Word of the day

01/11/2020

Perseverate – repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased; to persist in doing something to an exceptional level or beyond an appropriate point.


Milnes muses

01/11/2020

 


Rural round-up

01/11/2020

Shearers remain hopeful foreign workers will be given exceptions as clock ticks :

The shearing industry is nervously waiting to find out if it will be able to bring in overseas shearers to help this season.

The New Zealand Shearing Contractors Association had initially hoped to bring in up to 200 shearers to fill gaps in the local workforce, but with the clock ticking to get people into the country in time, that request has now been scaled back to 40 or 60.

Association president Mark Barrowcliffe said work would ramp up significantly in a month’s time. . .

Farmers need to show vulnerability :

Kane Brisco, who is in his seventh year 50:50 sharemilking at Ohangai near Hawera in South Taranaki, started his own social media page to get farmers talking.

“One of the things I’ve noticed with farmers under pressure is that they withdraw into themselves. I’ve done it myself,” he said.

“So, I think that as a farming community we need to be much more open to discussing the pressures we’re dealing with.

“We need to get better as a community at genuinely finding out how people are doing. The common answer is often ‘yeah good’, no matter how people actually feel, so we need to combat that.  . . 

NZ’s sustainable environment – Mark Chapman:

Freshwater quality and climate change mitigation are inexplicably linked to the whole country creating a sustainable environment. This job is for both urban and rural New Zealand to tackle together. What is often missed is how creating a sustainable environment is linked to businesses being profitable. This is because it is costly to achieve the outcomes that are needed and, where these outcomes reduce productivity and restrict the ability to grow or farm, the required funding becomes very scarce.

This is the conundrum facing the nation and not just rural New Zealand: how are we as a country – as we recover from Covid – going to finance the next steps to environmental sustainability?

It may well be a surprise to urban New Zealand that environmental sustainability is something growers and farmers have been committed to, intergenerationally, for decades. As a result, the rural sector has a significant head start on urban New Zealand.

Overriding these concerns is the need to feed New Zealand as well as keeping businesses profitable, to enable activities that support environmental sustainability. So, there is a balance to be reached: maintaining businesses profitability, feeding the country and making environmental enhancements. . . 

Revealed: taxpayers Cover animal welfare fines For Landcorp farmers:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is today calling on Landcorp to stop reimbursing farmers fined for animal welfare offences.

The Taxpayers’ Union requested correspondence pertaining to staff reimbursements of fines paid by Landcorp over the last three years. Landcorp provided information revealing the following:

• A $500 reimbursement for an animal welfare fine for transporting a cow that birthed a calf en route to slaughter on a moving truck. . . 

Science’s major role in our farming future – Neville Wallace:

I grew up during rapid changes in farming techniques from Blue Stone drenching of sheep for parasite control to anthelmintics, rubber rings for animal castration and tail removal. The wool boom of the late forties and fifties led to dramatic changes in farming practice such as the application of fertiliser by Tiger Moth biplanes, which could only carry a eight-hundred weight payload.

Our schooling was scientifically orientated so that we were taught horticulture by the late Rod Syme, who’s career as a horticulturist was to visit schools and demonstrate how to grow a vegetable and potato garden, and the science included how to use artificial fertiliser to increase crop growth and production. 

A leading Taranaki dairy farmer was at the forefront of developing the plastic ear tag for cattle, which ultimately led to the electronic ear tag of today. . . .

Bushfires Royal Commission doesn’t have the answers – Vic Forbes:

Experienced land and fire managers from eight community groups across Australia have jointly written to the Prime Minister urging the restoration of healthy and safe rural landscapes. The grass-roots organisations represent more than 6,000 members and 14 regional councils. They have called for an end to the ongoing loss of human life and the socioeconomic and environmental destruction caused by extreme bushfires.

Former Chief of CSIRO Bushfire Research, Phil Cheney, says that a focus on emergency response at the expense of land management has created an unstoppable monster. Expenditure on firefighting forces is ever-increasing whilst volunteers are being cynically used to deflect criticism away from failed government policies. Land management agencies no longer have primary responsibility for suppressing wildfires. Consequently they have little incentive for stewardship and fire mitigation. Cheney is a scientific advisor to Volunteer Fire Fighters Association.

Chairman of Western Australia’s Bushfire Front, Roger Underwood, points to the stark contrast in historical fire management policies and outcomes on either side of the continent.   Seventy years of data from WA show a strong inverse relationship between the area maintained by mild burning and the area subsequently damaged by high intensity fires. This relationship is especially apparent in extreme fire seasons. . . 


Maya muses

01/11/2020


Just be nice (not)

01/11/2020

Megan Devine on being nice:

How many times in your life have you heard “hey! Don’t say that!! BE NICE!”?? If you’re like many people, you’ve heard that phrase so many times, you say it to yourself every time you’re annoyed or upset by something.

It’s an automatic reflex. “Be nice” is what we tell ourselves when the truth feels too harsh to say out loud.

“Be nice” is what other people say when they’re afraid you’ll upset the status quo, or make things weird when you call someone out on their actions. And “be nice” gets aimed at grieving people when we complain that, no matter how “well intentioned,” certain things just feel like crap.

Things like, “Everything happens for a reason,” or “at least you had them as long as you did” feel dismissive and rude because they ARE dismissive and rude.

But you can’t just say that to someone. Can you? Find out in this video…. on being “nice.” (and what to be instead).

Megan Devine’s Refuge in Grief is one of the best resources I’ve found.

You can find it here.


Sir Sean Connery – 25.8.30 – 30.10.20

01/11/2020

Scottish actor Sir Sean Connery has died.

For many, Sean Connery was the definitive James Bond. Suave and cold-hearted, his 007 was every inch the Cold War dinosaur of the books.

He strode across screen, licensed to kill. He moved like a panther, hungry and in search of prey. There was no contest. His great rival, Roger Moore, by contrast, simply cocked an eyebrow, smiled and did a quip.

But whereas Ian Fleming’s hero went to Eton, Connery’s own background was noticeably short of fast cars, beautiful women and vodka Martinis – either shaken or stirred.

Thomas Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh on 25 August 1930, the son of a Catholic factory worker and a Protestant domestic cleaner. . .

He left school at 13 with no qualifications and delivered milk, polished coffins and laid bricks, before joining the Royal Navy. Three years later, he was invalided out of the service with stomach ulcers. His arms by now had tattoos which proclaimed his passions: “Scotland forever” and “Mum & Dad”.

In Edinburgh, he gained a reputation as “hard man” when six gang members tried to steal from his coat. When he stopped them, he was followed. Connery launched a one-man assault which the future Bond won hands down.

He scraped a living any way he could. He drove trucks, worked as a lifeguard and posed as a model at the Edinburgh College of Art. He spent his spare time bodybuilding. . .

A keen footballer, Connery was good enough to attract the attention of Matt Busby, who offered him a £25-a-week contract at Manchester United.

But, bitten by the acting bug when odd-jobbing at a local theatre, he decided a footballer’s career was potentially too short and opted to pursue his luck on the stage. It was, he later said, “one of my more intelligent moves”.

In 1953, he was in London competing in the Mr Universe competition. He heard that there were parts going in the chorus of a production of the musical South Pacific. By the following year, he was playing the role of Lieutenant Buzz Adams, made famous on Broadway by Larry Hagman.

American actor Robert Henderson encouraged Connery to educate himself. Henderson lent him works by Ibsen, Shakespeare and Bernard Shaw, and persuaded Connery to take elocution lessons.

Connery made the first of many appearances as a film extra in the 1954 movie Lilacs in the Spring. There were minor roles on television too, including a gangster in an episode of the BBC police drama Dixon of Dock Green. . . 


Sunday soapbox

01/11/2020

Sunday’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.

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. – Jane Austin


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