Word of the day

January 25, 2020

Simper – smile in an affectedly coy, annoying or ingratiating manner; to smile in a silly, self-conscious way; an affectedly coy or ingratiating smile; a silly or annoying smile.


Thatcher thinks

January 25, 2020


Rural round-up

January 25, 2020

Innovation for the future – Samantha Tennent:

When the call of the land became too strong Mat Hocken answered by swapping his business suit for overalls and gumboots to champion the agricultural sector and agricultural innovation. Samantha Tennent reports.

Manawatu farmer and Nuffield Scholar Mat Hocken believes innovation will help the agricultural sector unlock some of the issues and concerns it faces.

So when he received a Nuffield Scholarship in 2017 he chose agri-innovation as his research project.

The scholarship is a prestigious rural leadership programme with a global focus, designed to fast-track the development of emerging leaders in the agri-food sector. Each year up to five scholarships are awarded to people who are expected to assume positions of greater influence in their field in the future. . . 

Scientist says methane from farming should be treated differently to CO2 – Kevin O’Sullivan:

It does not make sense that Ireland is regarded as producing more greenhouse gases than Los Angeles, a city of 13 million people, a US scientist has told a conference on climate action in agriculture.

Prof Frank Mitloehner from the University of California, Davis, told the Irish Farmers’ Association event in Dublin that the case for methane arising from farming being treated differently to long-lived greenhouse gases, such as CO2, was undeniable.

He said that methane, the main greenhouse gas in livestock production, only lasts in the atmosphere for 10 years, whereas CO2 persists for up to 1,000 years, he said. Methane was short-lived but carbon from fossil fuels was “a one-way street” to rising emissions. . .

Central Otago farmer comes up with simple idea to help firefighters in an emergency – John McKenzie:

It’s a simple idea that could save both lives and property across Central Otago.

Otago farmer and regional councillor Gary Kelliher has started fitting fire hose fittings to his farms irrigation scheme, in hopes other farmers will follow suit.

“My goal is right across certainly Otago, but even further afield across New Zealand where it’s dry and where we have irrigation schemes,” he said.

The fittings are quick and easy to install, costing just a few hundred dollars. . . 

Marlborough dairy farmer fears logging operation will destroy property – Tracy Neal:

A recently widowed Marlborough dairy farmer says a logging operation that has sprung up on a neighbouring property is likely to destroy her farm.

Lone Sorensen, who farms in a valley between Havelock and Blenheim, is enraged that a paper road through her property could become a major transport route for trucks and heavy vehicles.

The Marlborough District Council said it was doing what it could to smooth the pathway for all. . . 

Valley of the Whales –  Bill Morris:

The North Otago limestone country holds one of the world’s most important fossil cetacean records, a coherent story of how whales and dolphins evolved in the Southern Ocean. It’s a story that one small rural community has embraced as its own.

BURNS POLLOCK AND I stand in the Valley of the Whales, a deep gulch cut by the Awamoko Stream through the North Otago limestone. Formed on the floor of an ancient sea, this terrain is now far from the ocean, its thin skin of agriculture desiccated by drought.

I’ve often been fascinated by the dramatic contours when travelling through this valley. But it also holds narratives, bound into the cliffs and sculpted recesses—Waitaha rock art hundreds of years old, and the story of evolution embodied in the stone itself. I’ve brought Pollock here because I want to see the place through the eyes of someone who knows it as well as he does. He grew up in this district and has farmed here all his life. He is also a noted artist and his work—sere vistas cradling broken fragments of human endeavour—is unmistakably rooted in this landscape. . . 

Eight young Fruit Growers vie for title

• Emily Crum, Orchard Manager, Total Orchard Management Services, Whangarei
• Bryce Morrison, Technical Services and Innovation, Fruition, Tauranga
• Aurora McGee-Thomas, Trainee Orchard Manager, Strathmurray Farms, Tauranga
• Melissa van den Heuvel, Industry Systems Associate, NZ Avocado, Tauranga
• Katherine Bell, Avocado Grower Representative, Trevelyans, Katikati
• Megan Fox, Orchard Technical Advisor, Southern Cross Horticulture, Tauranga
• William Milsom, Machinery Operations Manager, Oropi Management Services, Oropi
• Harry Singh, Orchard Manager, Prospa Total Orchard Management, Opotiki . . 


Loo queues discriminate

January 25, 2020

Women have won many battles for equality but we’re still waiting to win the loo-queue one:

You’re taking the piss, right? Was my friend’s response to my suggestion that women’s access to toilets at concerts was an issue.

When was the last time he had to rush out at half time and jiggle about in the never-ending queue trying not to think of running water?

Never, I bet.

But fifty nine per cent of women report having to regularly wait to use the toilet in public, compared with just 11 per cent of men.

The only time I’ve found loo queues for men longer than those for women is the members’ stand at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin and the stadiums for World Cup games in Japan.

At the latter, the men’s queue at half-time zig-zagged from the entrance to the loo, up the stairs and along from there to people holding signs saying end of toilet queue.

 

At any other public venue I’ve been to there’s always a much longer queue for women’s loos than men’s.

A quick and entirely unscientific survey, of loos at public venues provides the reason – men’s loos have both urinals and pans and women’s loos have only pans and usually the same number as the men’s.

Given women take longer that’s always going to result in longer queues for them.

The answer?

Unisex loos might help though I’m not a fan of them, I’d prefer the simpler one of more loos for women.

 


A chick is born

January 25, 2020

Doc is livestreaming the hatching of an albatross  chick:

Royal Cam is a 24-hour live stream of a Northern Royal Albatross nest during the breeding season at Pukekura/Taiaroa Head on the southeast tip of New Zealand’s South Island. The season of 2019/2020 has seen the Royal Cam once again move up the hill. Now at Top Flat Track our new pair is OGK (banded Orange, Green, Black) a 21 year old male and YRK (banded Yellow, Red, Black) and 25 year old female. YRK laid the egg on 14 November 2019. This season the live stream has partnered with Cornell Bird Lab. There are some new features including a trial of night vision and the ability to pan and zoom the camera at the rangers discretion.

 


Saturday soapbox

January 25, 2020

Saturday’s  soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Image result for l m montgomery quotes

Don’t you know that it is only the very foolish folk who talk sense all the time? (Anne) L.M. Montgomery


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