Word of the day

August 21, 2018

Kiang – large wild ass (Equus kiang), with a reddish-brown and white coat, native to the Tibetan Plateau.


Rural round-up

August 21, 2018

Anti-glyphosate zealots want ag to use more fuel, chemicals and cut food output – Tim Burrow:

Sensationalist headlines about glyphosate have been plastered across media worldwide for the past week.

This followed the decision of a Brazilian court ruled to suspend the registration of glyphosate until national health regulatory agency completes a toxicological re-evaluation – which could take a couple of years.

Within days of the that ruling, the Californian Superior Court ruled that Monsanto was liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company’s glyphosate-based products caused his cancer. . . 

Dedication to fruit industry recognised – Yvonne O’Hara:

Earnscy Weaver has been a familiar figure in the Central Otago horticultural scene all his life.

His contribution as a consultant, research liaison officer, industry body board member and leader was recognised when he was made a life member of Horticulture New Zealand at its conference last month.

However, he was in the United States talking to orchardists about recent developments with cherries, and will receive the award later.

He was delighted with the honour and was pleased as it also acknowledged the support of his wife Irene and family. . . 

Cookie Time founder Michael Mayell bets on a future of hemp – Aimee Shaw:

After 35 years in the biscuit business, Cookie Time founder Michael Mayell is heading in a new food direction: hemp seeds.

The snack food maker turned social entrepreneur is now advocating a future of hemp smoothies and other edibles.

Christchurch-based Mayell founded Cookie Time in 1983, aged 21, and has been on a “food journey” ever since.

His foray into hemp followed three months of researching the future of food. He’s now hooked. . . 

 

Why is Fonterra so bad at international ventures? – Keith Woodford:

Fonterra’s recently appointed Chair John Monaghan, in announcing the appointment of interim CEO Miles Hurrell, said that Fonterra wants to pause and reassess the way ahead.  This could be a breath of fresh air.  It needs to be a wind of change.

A starting question has to be why has Fonterra been doing so badly with its international ventures. This includes both international processing of milk and marketing of consumer-branded products. In the case of China, it also includes farming.

The so-called Fonterra Communications Division, but in reality the Fonterra Propaganda Division, has done a stalwart job over many years of painting over the cracks. But even those skilled operators have been unable to cover up some of the recent messes, particularly in China, but also elsewhere. . . 

OneFortyOne purchase of Nelson Forests confirmed by Overseas Investment Office:

OneFortyOne (OFO) has received confirmation that the Overseas Investment Office has approved its purchase of Nelson Forests. The completion date for the purchase will be Tuesday the 4th of September 2018.

Nelson Forests, currently owned by investment funds advised by Global Forest Partners LP, is a vertically-integrated plantation and sawmill business in the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough regions of New Zealand.

“We are very pleased that approval has been granted by OIO. The decision is important, providing certainty for the Nelson Forests’ team, customers, the region and the broader NZ forest industry. We look forward to being a strong contributor to the region,” said OFO’s Chief Executive Officer, Linda Sewell. . . 

Manawatu agtech start-up raises $900k seed investment:

A Palmerston North-based start-up company, Koru Diagnostics, has had impressive success with its first funding round.

Koru, which is developing cost-effective laboratory and rapid farmside tests, was substantially oversubscribed when it closed its seed funding round recently with close to a million dollars.

CEO, Rhys McKinlay, is very happy with the outcome. “We raised over $900k, mostly from angel investors, which will give us a commercialisation runway through until late 2019. These funds will be directed towards product development and commercial scale-up, protecting our IP and securing new commercial partnerships,” he says. . .

Horticulture signs up to prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy:

Horticulture today signed up to be part of the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy Te Puni Kōkiri Excellence in Māori Farming Award, which recognise excellence in Māori farming.

Today, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman and Kingi Smiler, Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Management Committee, signed an agreement that will see a horticulture Ahuwhenua Trophy in 2020. Each year the awards recognise a farming sector and horticulture will be on a third year rotation, after dairy (2018) and sheep and beef (2019). . . 

New Queenstown wine tour company will capitalise on booming industry:

With local family and tourism connections dating back three generations, a Kiwi couple are looking to make their mark on the booming Queenstown wine tourism industry.

Husband-and-wife to be Emma Chisholm and Lee Saunders have launched Alpine Wine Tours, a new wine experience offering unique, personalised and ‘adult-only’ experiences for every wine-lover.

Central Otago’s wine tourism industry is heading into a boom period, following research by Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand winegrowers showing that around 25% of international tourists seek out a wine experience, (increasing to 42% for those who visit to cycle or play golf). . . 


Waste tax tackles wrong end of problem

August 21, 2018

The Green Party wants to increase taxes on waste at landfills.

. . There have been calls to increase the $10 a tonne levy, which applies to only around 11 per cent of waste disposal facilities, to as much as $140 a tonne. The levy in New South Wales for example is more than $A120 a tonne. Sage would not say what she would like to see the levy go up to, saying she wanted to see what the Ministry for the Environment work produced. . . 

This is yet another policy that is long on emotion and short on science.

Reduce, reuse and recycle is the environmental mantra.

Reducing waste in the first place would be a much better strategy than either recycling or higher taxes for disposing of it.

Recycling isn’t necessarily a greener option and higher landfill levies would provide an incentive for illegal dumping which would pose far greater environmental problems than disposal in landfills.

A tax would be tackling the wrong end of the waste problem, potentially increasing greenhouse gases and diverting rubbish from landfills without reducing it.


Quote of the day

August 21, 2018

No language is rude that can boast polite writers.Aubrey Beardsley who was born on this day in 1872.


August 21 in history

August 21, 2018

1192  Minamoto Yoritomo became Seii Tai Shōgun and the de facto ruler of Japan.

1680  Pueblo Indians captured Santa Fe from Spanish during the Pueblo Revolt.

1689  The Battle of Dunkeld in Scotland.

1770  James Cook formally claimed eastern Australia for Great Britain, naming it New South Wales.

1772 King Gustav III completed his coup d’état by adopting a new Constitution, ending half a century of parliamentary rule in Sweden and installing himself as an enlightened despot.

1808 Battle of Vimeiro: British and Portuguese forces led by General Arthur Wellesley defeated French force under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot.

1810  Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, Marshal of France, was elected Crown Prince of Sweden by the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates.

1821  Jarvis Island was discovered by the crew of the ship, Eliza Frances.

1831  Nat Turner led black slaves and free blacks in a rebellion.

1863  Lawrence, Kansas was destroyed by Confederate guerrillas Quantrill’s Raiders in the Lawrence Massacre.

1872 – Aubrey Beardsley, English author and illustrator, was born (d. 1898).

1878  The American Bar Association was founded.

1886 – Ruth Manning-Sanders, Welsh-English author and poet, was born (d. 1988).

1888  The first successful adding machine in the United States was patented by William Seward Burroughs.

1904  William “Count” Basie, American bandleader, was born  (d. 1984).

1911 Mona Lisa was stolen by a Louvre employee.

1915 – New Zealand troops attacked Hill 60 in the last offensive action fought by the New Zealanders during the Gallipoli campaign.

New Zealand mounteds attack Hill 60

1918   The Second Battle of the Somme began.

1920 Christopher Robin Milne, inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories, was born (d. 1996).

1930 Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was born  (d. 2002).

1933 – Janet Baker, English soprano and educator, was born.

1938  – Kenny Rogers, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor, was born.

1942  Allied forces defeated an attack by Japanese Army soldiers in theBattle of the Tenaru.

1944 – Perry Christie, Bahamian politician, 3rd Prime Minister of the Bahamas, was born.

1944  Dumbarton Oaks Conference, prelude to the United Nations, began.

1945  Physicist Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. was fatally irradiated during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1952 Glenn Hughes, British bassist and vocalist (Finders Keepers/Trapeze/Deep Purple), was born.

1952  – Bernadette Porter, English nun and educator, was born.

1952  Joe Strummer, British musician and singer (The Clash), was born  (d. 2002).

1958  Auckland became the first city in New Zealand to introduce the ‘Barnes Dance’ street-crossing system, which stopped all traffic and allowed pedestrians to cross intersections in every direction at the same time.

Auckland pedestrians begin 'Barnes Dance'

1959  President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union – now commemorated by Hawaii Admission Day.

1963  Xa Loi Pagoda raids: the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces vandalised Buddhist pagodas across the country, arresting thousands and leaving an estimated hundreds dead.

1968  Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia, crushing the Prague Spring and Nicolae Ceauşescu, leader of Communist Romania, publicly condemned the Soviet maneuver, encouraging the Romanian population to arm itself against possible Soviet reprisals.

1968  James Anderson, Jr. posthumously received the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to an African American U.S. Marine.

1969 Michael Dennis Rohan, an Australian, set the Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire.

1971  A bomb exploded in the Liberal Party campaign rally in Plaza Miranda, Manila, with several anti-Marcos political candidates injured.

1976  Operation Paul Bunyan at Panmunjeom, Korea.

1983  Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. was assassinated at the Manila International Airport.

1986 Carbon dioxide gas erupted from volcanic Lake Nyos in Cameroon, killing up to 1,800 people within a 20-kilometer range.

1991  Latvia declared renewal of its full independence after the occupation of Soviet Union.

1991  Coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev collapsed.

1993  NASA lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft.

2001 – NATO decided to send a peace-keeping force to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

2001 – The Red Cross announced that a famine was striking Tajikistan, and called for international financial aid for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

2007   Hurricane Dean made its first landfall in Costa Maya, Mexico with winds at 165 mph (266 km/h).

2013 –  Hundreds of people were reported killed by chemical attacks in the Ghouta region of Syria.

2016 – The closing ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro took place.

2017 – A solar eclipse traversed the continental United States.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


365 days of gratitude

August 20, 2018

The bunch of daffodils I was given yesterday is brightening the scullery and giving me the scent of spring while I’m doing the dishes.

The flowers are a gift which has kept on giving all day and I’m grateful for them.


Word of the day

August 20, 2018

Kinase – an enzyme that catalyzes the transfer of phosphate groups from high-energy, phosphate-donating molecules to specific substrates; an enzyme that adds phosphate groups (PO43) to other molecules.


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