Word of the day

28/12/2020

Pseudopodium – a temporary protrusion of the surface of an amoeboid cell for movement and feeding; temporary or semipermanent extension of the cytoplasm, used in locomotion and feeding by all sarcodine protozoans (i.e., those with pseudopodia; see sarcodine) and some flagellate protozoans.


Sowell says

28/12/2020


Rural round-up

28/12/2020

Some Motueka fruit growers lose entire crop in hail storm – Jean Bell:

A Motueka fruit growers association says the millions of dollars worth of fruit that is ruined following a devastating hail storm that hit the Nelson region yesterday is a bitter pill to swallow.

Richard Clarkson, president of the Motueka Fruit Growers Association, said some growers, depending on where they are based, had lost their entire crop due to the storm.

He said the storm had wiped out so much fruit that the labour shortage crisis was somewhat averted.

“There’s orchards out there that are going to be in that 80 to 100 percent loss of crop, which is huge in terms of income,” Clarkson said. . .

Sustainability is top issue – Peter Burke:

NZ’s primary sector’s strong commitment to sustainability holds the key to the country obtaining a quality, comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union.

Negotiations on an FTA have been going on for the past three years and it’s hoped a deal can be agreed within the next couple of years at the latest.

Government and industry sources have told Rural News that the European parliament, which has to ratify any FTA, will place strong emphasis on NZ’s commitment to sustainability. The message being put out to the farming community by officials is that they need to get real about sustainability and that anything less than a full commitment could put an agreement at risk. . .

Synlait Milk almost halves profit forecast:

Specialty dairy producer Synlait Milk has almost halved its profit forecast after its key customer downgraded its earnings outlook because of lower sales.

Synlait is a major supplier of infant formula to A2 Milk, which on Friday said disruption in the daigou sales channel, involving purchases in Australia and New Zealand on behalf of consumers in China, had been more significant than expected.

A2 said it expected full-year revenue between $1.4-$1.55 billion, down from guidance of $1.8-$1.9b given at the annual meeting last month, sending its shares 21 percent lower.

Synlait said it now expected sales volumes of infant formula to fall by 35 percent as a result of A2 Milk’s lower sales. . . 

Agcarm appoints new animal health expert:

The industry association for crop protection and animal health manufacturers and distributors has appointed Jeff Howe as its technical manager.

Jeff Howe replaces Jan Quay, after a seventeen-year tenure, as Agcarm’s animal health expert. As well as taking the lead on animal health issues, Jeff provides technical support on the company’s crop protection and rural supplier portfolios.

“Getting better outcomes for farmers, animals, and consumers of food and fibre is a key driver for me. I am excited about the possibilities for new technologies to increase productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, minimise residues, and help in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. . . 

Central’s lost cloak – Anna Yeoman:

Central Otago wasn’t always a golden grassland, discovers Anna Yeoman.

I start up the track on a bright Central Otago morning, as a light breeze sets the grass heads bobbing among the thyme. A small bird trills and chirps nearby, while a harrier hawk turns lazy circles over the hillside. With the golden brown hills stretching out in gentle folds under a wide blue sky, it’s a classic Central Otago scene. Classic, but as I’m coming to learn, far from the true Central Otago.

Over the brow of Flat Top Hill, where the thyme-covered land drops steeply towards the turquoise water of the Clutha Mata-au River, I find what I came here to see. Standing out in the barren brown hills is a shock of luminous green, the glowing foliage of a single kowhai tree.

Dhana Pillai, eco-nursery manager for the Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust, is familiar with trees like this one. “You see them in strange places, often on their own, sometimes just a very stunted little thing, struggling on,” she says. “And you know those trees were once part of a forest, and we’ve lost all the rest of that forest.” . . 

Consumers associate plant-based with clean label: There is a ‘disconnect’ between perception and reality – Katy Askew:

Demand for plant-based products is booming and many consumers identify the sector as being ‘natural’, ‘healthy’ and ‘artisan’, new research reveals. “There is an apparent disconnect between the consumer understanding of natural products and the reality of the synthetic ingredients that are used to make many plant-based products.”

Demand for plant based products is rising fast. In the UK for instance, sales data from Kantar covering the lockdown period show meat alternatives are up 25% and free-from milks are up 28% year on year. A survey from the Vegan Society found 21% of people report cutting meat consumption during the coronavirus lockdown.

Concerns over animal welfare and a perceived ‘health halo’ are two of the drivers behind the plant-based movement. But plant-based is colliding with another food sector mega-trend: clean label. . .  


Yes Sir Humphrey

28/12/2020


Olive and Mabel company meeting

28/12/2020

Welcome to tomorrow – an interesting prediction

28/12/2020

This came in an email from a friend.

I have no idea of its origin or authenticity, but it is interesting reading:

Most or all of the following will become realty in the next 10-20 years . . . some of us won’t see the changes but our kids and grandkids will.

1 – Auto repair shops will disappear . . . .

 2 – A petrol/diesel engine has 20,000 individual parts . . . . An electrical motor has 20 . . . . Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are repaired only by dealers . . . It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor . . .

3 – Faulty electric motors are NOT repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with ROBOTS . . . .

 4 – Your electric motor malfunction light goes on . . . . so you drive up to what looks like a car wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee . . . . Then your car comes out on the other side with a new electric motor or component . . . .

 5 – Petrol pumps will go away . . . .

 6 – Street corners will have meters that dispense electricity . . . . Companies will install electrical recharging stations . . . . in fact, they’ve already started in the developed world . . . .

 7 – Smart major auto manufacturers have already designated money to start building new plants that build ONLY electric cars . . . .

 8 – The “Coal Industries” will go away . . . . Gasoline/oil companies will go away . . . . Drilling for oil will stop . . . . So say goodbye to OPEC . . . . The middle-east is in trouble . . . .

 9 – Homes will produce and store more electrical energy during the day than they use.

 . . . It will be sold back to “The Grid” . . . . The Grid will store and dispense it to the industries that are high electricity users. Has anybody seen the Tesla roof?

10 – A baby of today, will only see “personal cars” in museums. The FUTURE is approaching faster than most of us can even handle . . .

11 – In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide . . . . Within just a few years, their business model disappeared . . and they went bankrupt . . . . Who would have thought of that ever happening?

12 – What happened to Kodak and Polaroid will happen in a lot of industries in the next 5-10 years . . . . and most people don’t even see it coming . . .

13 – Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later, you would never take pictures on film again . . . . With today’s smart phones, who even has a camera these days?

14 – Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975 . . . . The first ones only had 10,000 pixels but followed Moore’s law . . . . As with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment in the beginning . . . . Before it became way superior and mainstream in only a few short years . . . .

15 – It will now happen again (but much faster) with Artificial Intelligence (AI), health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs . . . .

16 – Forget the book, “Future Shock”, welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution . . . .

17 – Software has disrupted and will continue to disrupt most traditional industries . . . (in the next 5 to 10 years . . . .

18 – UBER is just a software tool, (they don’t own any cars), and are now the biggest taxi company in the world . . . . (Ask any taxi driver if they saw that coming) . . . .

19 – AIR-BnB is now the biggest hotel company in the world . . . . (they don’t own any properties) . . . . Ask Hilton Hotels or the Marriott, if they saw that coming . . . .

20 – Artificial Intelligence (AI): Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world . . . . This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world . . . . (10 years earlier than expected) . . . .

21 – In the USA, young lawyers already don’t get jobs, (because of IBM’s, WATSON) . . . . you can get legal advice within a  few seconds so far the basic stuff . . . . with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans . . . . So, if you’re studying law, STOP IMMEDIATELY . . . . There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, what a thought and only omniscient specialists will remain . . . .

22 – WATSON already helps nurses diagnosing cancer . . . . It’s 4 times more accurate and many times faster than human nurses . . . .

23 – Face book now has a ‘face recognition’ software that can recognize faces better than humans . . . . In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans . . . .

24 – Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars were already here . . . . In the next few years, the entire auto industry will start to be disrupted . . . . You won’t want to own a car any more as you will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination . . . .

25 – You will not need to park it; you will pay only for the ‘driven distance’ and you can be productive while driving. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and they will never own a car . . .

26 – This will change our cities because we will need 90% to 95% fewer cars . . . . We can transform former parking spaces into green city parks . . . .

27 – About 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents (worldwide). That includes distracted or drunk drivers . . . . We currently have one accident every 60,000 miles driven . . . . However with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in about 6 million miles . . . . That will save a million plus lives, worldwide each year . . . .

28 – Most traditional car companies will doubtless become bankrupt . . . . They will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car . . . . while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels . . . .

29 – Look at what Volvo is doing right now . . . . no more internal combustion engines in their vehicles starting this year with the 2020 models . . . . They are using all-electric or hybrid only, (with the intent of phasing out hybrid models in the not too distant future) . . . .

30 – Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla . . . . Look at all the companies offering an all-electric vehicle . . . That was unheard of, only a few years ago . . . .

31 – Insurance companies will have massive trouble to . . . . because, without accidents, the costs of insurance will become cheaper . . . . Their car insurance business model will disappear . . . .

32 – Real estate will change . . . . Because if you can work while you commute, or you can work from your home . . . . people will abandon their towers to move far away to more beautiful and affordable properties . .

33 – Electric cars will become mainstream by about 2030 . . . . Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run ONLY on electricity . . . .

34 – Cities will have much cleaner air . . . .

35 – Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean . . . .

36 – Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years . . . . but you can now see the burgeoning impact . . . . and it’s just starting to get ramped up . . . .

37 – Fossil energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid . . . . to prevent competition from home solar installations . . . . but that simply cannot continue . . . . Technology will take care of that strategy in the not too distant future . . . .

38 – Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year . . . . There are companies who will build a medical device called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, a sample of your blood, then you breath into it . . . . It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any disease . . . . There are dozens of phone apps out there right now for health . . . .

WELCOME TO TOMORROW – some of it actually arrived a few years ago . . . .  

And, wouldn’t you know it, I’m still trying to work out how to use my cell phone


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