Word of the day

July 11, 2019

Catafalque – a decorated wooden framework supporting the coffin of a distinguished person during a funeral or while lying in state; a raised bier, box, or similar platform, often movable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service; a pall-covered coffin-shaped structure used at requiem masses celebrated after burial.


Thatcher thinks

July 11, 2019


Rural round-up

July 11, 2019

New Zealand scientists lead the way to global breakthrough in methane reduction – Kate Nicol-Williams:

An international research programme led by New Zealand scientists has revealed a breakthrough in their fight to reduce agricultural greenhouse emissions.

After two years of work, researchers from AgResearch and Otago University, along with researchers from Australia, the United States and Japan, have discovered which bacteria in a sheep’s first stomach produce hydrogen as part of the digestion process, and the specific enzymes inside the bacteria that are responsible.

They’ve also found which organisms use the hydrogen as a food source in the production of methane. . .

Visiting expert showcases footrot vaccine – Sally Rae:

Footrot is a nasty and complex disease.

Estimated as a $10 million problem for New Zealand’s sheep industry, the infection caused major changes to the hoof, resulting in lameness and loss of production.

Dr Om Dhungyel from the Sydney School of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney has devoted much of his career to footrot research.

Last week, Dr Dhungyel was in Otago, talking to farmers about footrot and a vaccine he has helped develop which is now on the market. . .

Winter grazing must not compromise animal health and welfare:

The New Zealand Veterinary Association says there is no place in modern farming for winter grazing practices that compromise animal health and welfare.

“The time has come to transition away from winter grazing practices that result in poor animal welfare for livestock,” says NZVA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Helen Beattie.

Intensive winter grazing is commonplace and can lead to poor animal welfare and environmental damage, particularly during prolonged periods of wet weather. . .

Winner of 2019 Nelson Young Fruitfrower announced:

Jono Sutton has won the Nelson Young Fruitgrower of the Year for 2019.

He will go on to represent the fruit and vegetable sectors at the Young Grower of the Year competition in Tauranga on 1-2 October, where contestants will compete for their share of $40,000 worth of prizes.

Nelson Young Fruitgrower of the Year Coordinator, Richard Clarkson, says his focus has always been on education. . .

Retailers warn of an egg shortage, hike in prices:

Gilmour’s, the country’s largest supplier of wholesale food and beverages, is warning that the price of eggs is set to increase and the breakfast favourite may be harder to come by as egg farmers move to meet changes to the law.

In an email sent to customers today, the retailer owned by supermarket giant Foodstuffs, said “huge investment” was required by the industry to meet the Animal Welfare Code of Practice for Layer Hens which in turn would drive up the price of eggs. 

“There is currently uncertainty around supply as farms struggle to gain resource consent for new production whilst other suppliers exit the supermarket sector and/or industry altogether.  . .

Mulan trailer features Waitaki beauty:

The majestic grandeur of the Waitaki district is on display in the first glimpse of Disney’s live-action remake of the animated classic Mulan.

On Sunday, Walt Disney Studios released the first trailer for the film, filmed in part in the Ahuriri Valley, near Omarama, last year.

About 800 to 900 crew were in the Mackenzie Basin for about a month in spring.

The film was shot by Whale Rider director New Zealander Niki Caro and stars Chinese-American actress Yifei Liu in the titular role. . .


Free speech path to truth

July 11, 2019

Paul Moon gets to the nub of the need for free speech:

. . . One of the reasons is that free speech is too often (and mistakenly) depicted as an end in itself. “It is our right,” is a common claim, as though that alone clinches the argument. What is missed in the ensuing sound and fury of people demanding either their free speech rights, or protection from unrestrained speech is the fact that for centuries, free speech was advanced not as a right to be attained for its own sake, but as a means of achieving something immeasurably more important: the truth.

Free speech is a right, but not an end, it’s a path to truth..

Perhaps the most insightful observation on this aspect of free speech is attributed to the Czech theologian Jan Hus (1369-1415). He urged humanity to “love the truth, let others have their truth, and the truth will prevail.” This succinct adage specifies the truth as the basis for free speech, the importance of allowing others to have divergent opinions, and the possibility that a consensus will ultimately be achieved. Is it idealistic? Of course it is. But the alternative, in which there is no tolerance for diverse views, and no greater purpose for speech, other than its own uttering, is an immeasurably worse approach. . . 

Letting people air diverse views provides an opportunity to examine and debate them; to question and challenge; to prove and disprove.

. . The freedom to try to discover the truth was a burning issue (sometimes literally) in previous centuries, and yet in our more enlightened age, the emphasis on seeking truth seems to have been nearly extinguished. Promoting free speech as a right to insult, or conversely, censoring it for some perceived protective purpose, misses the point.

If free speech is to be defended, it ought to be primarily because it is the best means we have of attaining the truth, and those truths may indeed eventually make us free. . . 

Censorship and bans might stop people airing their views publicly but they won’t change them.

Only when people are free to speak and speak freely, is there the opportunity to validate and verify, ridicule and repudiate,  expose the lies and find the truth.

 


Confessions of a fair weather fan

July 11, 2019

Confession time: I have  been paying only cursory attention to Cricket World Cup matches.

In fact most of my information had come from Cactus Kate who is following the Blackcaps.

Until last night

Then, having tuned in when the Blackcaps had taken three very quick wickets I was hooked.

What a match.

 

 


Quote of the day

July 11, 2019

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth, nor honour but only and alone for freedom which no good man surrenders but with his life –  Robert the Bruce who was born on this day in 1274.


July 11 in history

July 11, 2019

472  After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius was captured in the Old St. Peter’s Basilica and put to death.

911 Signing of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between Charles the Simple and Rollo of Normandy.

1274 – Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, was born (d. 1329).

1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag in Dutch) – a coalition around the Flemish cities defeats the king of France’s royal army.

1346  Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1405  Ming admiral Zheng He set sail to explore the world for the first time.

1476 Giuliano della Rovere was appointed bishop of Coutances.

1576 Martin Frobisher sighted Greenland.

1616 Samuel de Champlain returned to Quebec.

1735 Mathematical calculations suggested that on this day that dwarf planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979.

1740   Jews were expelled from Little Russia.

1750  Halifax, Nova Scotia was almost completely destroyed by fire.

1767 John Quincy Adams, President of the United States, was born (d. 1848).

1776 Captain James Cook began his third voyage.

1789 Jacques Necker was dismissed as France’s Finance Minister sparking the Storming of the Bastille.

1796  The United States took possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty.

1798  The United States Marine Corps was re-established.

1801  French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons made his first comet discovery.

1804 Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

1833  Noongar Australian aboriginal warrior Yagan, wanted for leading attacks on white colonists in Western Australia, was killed.

1848 Waterloo railway station in London opened.

1859 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens  was published.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Fort Stevens; Confederate forces attempted to invade Washington, D.C..

1877 Kate Edgar became the first woman in New Zealand to gain a university degree and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a BA.

Kate Edger becomes NZ’s first woman graduate

1882  The British Mediterranean fleet began the Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt as part of the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War.

1888 Carl Schmitt, German philosopher and political theorist, was born  (d. 1985).

1889 Tijuana, Mexico, was founded.

1893  The first cultured pearl was obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto.

1893  A revolution led by the liberal general and politician, José Santos Zelaya, takes over state power in Nicaragua.

1895 The Lumière brothers demonstrated film technology to scientists.

1897  Salomon August Andrée left Spitsbergen to attempt to reach the North pole by balloon.

1899  E. B. White, American writer, was born  (d. 1985).

1906 The Gillette-Brown murder inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.

1914  Babe Ruth made his debut in Major league baseball.

1916 – Reg Varney, English actor, was born (d. 2008).

1916 – Gough Whitlam, 21st Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1919  The eight-hour working day and free Sunday became law in the Netherlands.

1920 Yul Brynner, Russian-born actor, was born (d. 1985).

1920 In the East Prussian plebiscite the local populace decided to remain with Weimar Germany

1921 A truce was called in the Irish War of Independence.

1921 – Former U.S. President William Howard Taft was sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person to ever be both President and Chief Justice.

1921 – The Red Army captured Mongolia from the White Army and establishes the Mongolian People’s Republic.

1922 The Hollywood Bowl opened.

1929 David Kelly, Irish actor, was born.

1929 The Gillingham Fair fire disaster killed 15 in England.

1932 Bob McGrath, American actor, was born.

1936 The Triborough Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic.

1940 World War II: Vichy France regime was formally established. Henri Philippe Pétain became Prime Minister of France.

1943  Massacres of Poles in Volhynia.

1943 – World War II: Allied invasion of Sicily – German and Italian troops launched a counter-attack on Allied forces in Sicily.

1947 The Exodus 1947 headed to Palestine from France.

1950 Bonnie Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1955  The phrase In God We Trust was added to all U.S. currency.

1957 Prince Karim Husseini Aga Khan IV inherited the office of Imamat as the 49th Imam of Shia Imami Ismaili worldwide, after the death of Sir Sultan Mahommed Shah Aga Khan III.

1959 Richie Sambora, American musician (Bon Jovi), was born.

1960 Independence of BeninBurkina Faso and Niger.

1960  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was first published.

1962 Pauline McLynn, Irish actress, was born.

1962  First transatlantic satellite television transmission.

1971  Copper mines in Chile were nationalised.

1973 A Brazilian Boeing 707 crashed near Paris on approach to Orly Airport, killing 123 of the 134 on-board.

1977 Martin Luther King Jr. was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

1978 Los Alfaques Disaster: A truck carrying liquid gas crashed and exploded at a coastal campsite in Tarragona, Spain killing 216 tourists.

1979  America’s first space station, Skylab, was destroyed as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

1983 – Lorraine Downes was crowned Miss Universe.
Lorraine Downes crowned Miss Universe
1983 A Boeing 727 crashed into hilly terrain after a tail strike in Cuenca, Ecuador, claiming 119 lives.

1987  According to the United Nations, the world population crossed the 5,000,000,000 mark.

1990 Oka Crisis: First Nations land dispute in Quebec began.

1991  A Nationair DC-8 crashed during an emergency landing at Jeddah, killing 261.

1995  A Cubana de Aviacion Antonov An-24 crashed into the Caribbean off southeast Cuba killing 44 people.

1995   Over 8000 Bosnian men and children (mostly Bosniaks) were killed by Serbian troops commanded by Ratko Mladic.

2006 –  209 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks in Mumbai.

2010 – July 2010 Kampala attacks: At least 74 people were killed in twin suicide bombings at two locations in Kampala, Uganda

2011 – Evangelos Florakis Naval Base explosion: Ninety-eight containers of explosives self-detonated killing 13 people in Zygi, Cyprus.

2012 – Astronomers announced the discovery of Styx, the fifth moon of Pluto.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia


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