May 22 in history

May 22, 2016

334 BC The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus.

1176 The Hashshashin (Assassins) attempted to murder Saladin near Aleppo.

1377  Pope Gregory XI issued five papal bulls to denounce the doctrines of English theologian John Wycliffe.

1455 Wars of the Roses: at the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeated and captured King Henry VI of England.

1724 Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, French explorer  was born (d. 1772).

1762 Sweden and Prussia signed the Treaty of Hamburg.

1807 A grand jury indicted former Vice President of the United StatesAaron Burr on a charge of treason.

1807 Most of the English town of Chudleigh was destroyed by fire.

1809 On the second and last day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling (near Vienna), Napoleon was repelled by an enemy army for the first time.

1813 Richard Wagner, German composer, was born (d. 1883).

1819 The SS Savannah left port at Savannah, Georgia, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

1826  HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage.

1840 The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony was abolished.

1842 Farmers Lester Howe and Henry Wetsel discovered Howe Cavernswhen they stumbled upon a large hole in the ground.

1843 Thousands of people and their cattle headed west via wagon train from Independence, Missouri to what would later become the Oregon Territory . They were part of the Great Migration.

1844 Persian Prophet The Báb announced his revelation, founding Bábism. He announced to the world the coming of “He whom God shall make manifest”.

1848 Slavery was abolished in Martinique.

1856  Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beat Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas (“Bleeding Kansas“).

1859  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British physician and writer, was born  (d. 1930).

1871  The U.S. Army issued an order for abandonment of Fort Kearny in Nebraska.

1872  Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Amnesty Act of 1872 into law restoring full civil rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.

1884  The first representative New Zealand rugby team played its first match, defeating a Wellington XV 9-0.

First NZ Rugby team in action

1897 The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames was officially opened.

1903 Launch of the White Star Liner,  SS Ionic.

1906 The 1906 Summer Olympics, not now recognized as part of the official Olympic Games, opened in Athens.

1906  The Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their “Flying-Machine”.

1907 Laurence Olivier, English stage and screen actor, was born  (d. 1989).

1915 Lassen Peak eruptsed.

1915 Three trains collided in the Quintinshill rail crash near Gretna Green,, killing 227 people and injuring 246.

1936 Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) was founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland.

1936  M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist and writer, was born  (d. 2005).

1939 World War II: Germany and Italy signed the Pact of Steel.

1942  Mexico entered World War II on the side of the Allies.

1942 The Steel Workers Organizing Committee disbanded, and a new trade union, the United Steelworkers, was formed.

1946  George Best, Northern Irish footballer, was born  (d. 2005).

1947  Cold War: in an effort to fight the spread of Communism, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Truman Doctrine granting $400 million in military and economic aid to Turkey and Greece, each battling an internal Communist movement.

1958  Sri Lankan riots of 1958: a watershed event in the race relationship of the various ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. The total number of deaths is estimated to be 300, mostly Sri Lankan Tamils.

1950 Bernie Taupin, English songwriter, was born.

1955 Iva Davies, Australian rock star (Icehouse), was born.

1960 An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the moment magnitude scale, now known as the Great Chilean Earthquake, hit southern Chile – the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.

1962  Continental Airlines Flight 11 crashed after bombs explode on board.

1963  Assassination attempt of Greek left-wing politician Gregoris Lambrakis.

1964 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an “end to poverty and racial injustice” in America.

1967  The L’Innovation department store in the centre of Brussels burned down – the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.

1968 The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sank with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.

1969  Apollo 10‘s lunar module flew within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon’s surface.

1970 Naomi Campbell, British model and actress, was born.

1972  Ceylon adoptseda new constitution, ecoming a Republic, changed its name to Sri Lanka, and joined the Commonwealth of Nations.

1980  Namco released the arcade game Pac-Man.

1990  Microsoft released the Windows 3.0 operating system.

1992  After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Showfor the last time.

1995 – Waikato-Tainui signed a Deed of Settlement with the Crown.

Waikato-Tainui sign Deed of Settlement with the Crown

1997  Kelly Flinn, US Air Force’s first female bomber pilot certified for combat, accepted a general discharge in order to avoid a court martial.

1998 Lewinsky scandal: a federal judge ruled that United States Secret Service agents could be compelled to testify before a grand jury.

2002 – A jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicted former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in thebombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

2003 Annika Sörenstam became the first woman to play the PGA Tour in 58 years.

2004  Hallam, Nebraska, was wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado (part of the May 2004 tornado outbreak sequence) that broke a width record at 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide, and killed one resident.

2008  The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashed 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between 22 May and 31 May 2008. The tornadoes struck 19 US states and one Canadian province.

2011– An EF5 Tornado struck the US city of Joplin, Missouri killing 161 people, the single deadliest US tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950.

2012 – Tokyo Skytree was opened to public. It is the tallest tower in world(634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m).

2013 – British soldier Lee Rigby was murdered in a London Street.

2014 – General Prayuth Chan-ocha of the Royal Thai Armed Forces announced a military coup d’état, following six months of political turmoil.

2014 – An explosion occurred in the city ofÜrümqi, the capital of China’s far-western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, resulting in at least 43 deaths and 91 injuries.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Global problem requires global solutions

May 18, 2016

The Green Party continues its blinkered approach to the environment with its call to include agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme:

The call comes in the wake of a study, part funded by the New Zealand Government,1 showing that global warming pollution from agriculture must be cut significantly to keep global temperatures below a 2° rise, and that currently not nearly enough is being done to achieve this.

“National needs to stop making excuses and set a deadline to end the growing levels of climate-damaging pollution from agriculture,” said Green Party primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“The National Government has repeatedly refused to push the agricultural sector to reduce climate damaging pollution, despite this being a requirement for the energy sector, transport providers and nearly every other New Zealander.

Wrong.

The government was the prime mover behind the establishment of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural GHGs which is using international collaboration to find  solutions. It’s also working with farmers who are paying for research into methods to reduce emissions without the financial and social costs that the Green’s solution would impose, not just on farmers but the wider economy.

“All New Zealanders, including farmers, want to preserve a safe and stable climate for future generations. That means facing reality, and committing to an end to pollution-intensive farming. . . 

Facing reality means accepting that global problems require global solutions.

That means understanding that reducing food production here would increase emissions because production would increase in other countries with far less efficient farming methods than those employed by most New Zealand farmers.

It also means accepting good science which could show that genetic modification is one of the solutions.

AgResearch scientists have developed a genetically modified ryegrass that cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% but biotechnology experts warn regulations could delay its use.

Though it has several environmental benefits and could boost production it faces regulatory hurdles here because it has been genetically engineered.

The scientists have shown in the laboratory the ryegrass, called High Metabolisable Energy (HME), can reduce methane emissions from animals by 15% to 30% while modelling suggests a reduction in nitrous oxide of up to 20%.

It has also shown resilience to dry weather and can increase milk production by up to 12%.

Environmentalists have berated agriculture for not reducing greenhouse gas emissions but if laboratory results are replicated in the field, HME could reignite the GM debate.

UN research shows New Zealand farmers can cut climate damaging pollution with current technology, by as much as 17 percent. The Government shouldn’t be pinning all its hopes on a silver bullet solution to agricultural pollution.

“Leading dairy farmers are showing they can increase profit and cut pollution by optimising stocking rates and by shifting production to high-value, low-impact organic dairy farming. We need all farmers to follow suit,” said Ms Sage.

Of course reducing stock would reduce emissions here but it would at best do nothing to reduce world-wide emissions and would almost certainly lead to an increase as less efficient producers elsewhere increased their production.

The Green solution would reduce food production and lead to increases in both the price of food, which would impact hardest on the poor, and emissions.

Farmers are doing all they can to reduce emissions globally rather than the smoke and mirrors approach of cuts here replaced by increases there the Green Party is promoting.


GMI pest free

May 17, 2016

Great Mercury Island is pest free:

An eradication programme partly funded by the island’s part-owner Sir Michael Fay and involving DOC expertise has wiped out the population of introduced kiore, ship rats and feral cats.

“Sir Michael’s commitment to this project with DOC has produced a result that they could not have achieved working by themselves,” Ms Barry says.

“Forging a partnership with DOC’s scientific knowledge and the commitment of local volunteers has enabled the island to become a safe haven for native wildlife.”

After the rat eradication in 2014, two years of surveillance and regular pest-hunting dog patrols have found no rodents remaining on the 1872 hectare island.

“We’re now able to formally declare Great Mercury/Ahuahu pest-free,” Ms Barry says.

Today’s announcement means the entire Mercury island group, along with the nearby iwi-owned Ohinau group and the Aldermen Islands, is pest free.

The eastern Coromandel islands are home to a tusked weta found nowhere else in the world, kaka, saddleback, little spotted kiwi, tuatara, ten different species of lizards and hundreds of thousands of seabirds.

“Since 2014 Great Mercury already seen the return of kakariki and seabirds which had been driven off it by pests – a sure sign the eradication has worked,” Ms Barry says.

“As a result, the chain of islands has become a showcase for New Zealand’s island conservation management.”

Sir Michael says the goal of removing pests from the island has been achieved but the real challenge – keeping it that way – will require constant vigilance.

“We gladly celebrate this milestone on Ahuahu today, but these islands are still at risk because all it takes is for one person to allow a stowaway pest on their boat to escape and undo all the hard work that has gone on here in recent years,” he says.

For more information on the Great Mercury Island/Ahuahu pest eradication project visit www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/ahuahu-great-mercury-island/

I spent a school year on GMI, supervising the then-manager’s children’s correspondence lessons.

I went back last year and was very impressed with the improvements since I’d left around 30 years ago.

Pasture, stock, fences, tracks and buildings were all of a much higher standard than they’d been.

Instead of gorse taller than me, there were pine trees with natives regenerating in their shelter. The challenge now is removing the pines without damaging the natives.

The bird population was also much bigger since they were no longer in danger from mice, rats and cats.

This is a significant achievement for made possible by the owners working with DoC to protect and enhance native birds.

 


May 14 in history

May 14, 2016

1264  Battle of Lewes: Henry III was captured and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England.

1483  Coronation of Charles VIII of France (Charles l’Affable).

1509 Battle of Agnadello: French forces defeated the Venetians.

1608  The Protestant Union was founded in Auhausen.

1610 Henry IV of France was assassinated bringing Louis XIII to the throne.

1643  Four-year-old Louis XIV became King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1727 Thomas Gainsborough, English artist ,was born (d. 1788).

1747  A British fleet under Admiral George Anson defeated the French at first battle of Cape Finisterre.

1796  Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccination.

1804 The Lewis and Clark Expedition departed from Camp Dubois and began its journey by traveling up the Missouri River.

1811 Paraguay gained independence from Spain.

1836 The Treaties of Velasco were signed.

1861 The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite type meteorite, struck  the earth near Barcelona.

1863 American Civil War: The Battle of Jackson.

1866 – The General Grant, sailing from Melbourne to London, hit cliffs on the west coast of the main island in the subantarctic Auckland  Islands.

Wreck of the <em>General Grant</em>

1868 Japanese Boshin War: end of the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle.

1870 The first game of rugby in New Zealand was played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club.

First game of rugby played in NZ

1879  The first group of 463 Indian indentured labourers arrives in Fiji aboard the  Leonidas.

1889  The children’s charity the NSPCC was launched in London.

1907 The Plunket Society was formed.

Plunket Society formed

1913   New York Governor William Sulzer approved the charter for theRockefeller Foundation, which began operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.

1925  Virginia Woolf‘s novel Mrs Dalloway was published.

1926 Eric Morecambe, British comedian, was born  (d. 1984).

1927 Cap Arcona was launched at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg.

1929 Barbara Branden, Canadian writer and lecturer, was born.

1929 – Wilfred Rhodes took his 4000th first-class wicket during a performance of 9 for 39 at Leyton.

1931  Ådalen shootings: five people were killed in Ådalen, Sweden, as soldiers open fired on an unarmed trade union demonstration.

1935 The Philippines ratified an independence agreement.

1939 Lina Medina became  the world’s youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five.

1940 ‘H’.  (Herbert) Jones, British Soldier (VC recipient), was born (d. 1982).

1940  World War II: Rotterdam was bombed by the German Luftwaffe.

1940  World War II: The Netherlands surrendered to Germany.

1940  The Yermolayev Yer-2, a long-range Soviet medium bomber, has its first flight.

1941 – The minesweeper HMS Puriri was the second victim of mines laid off the Northland coast by the German raider Orion.
NZ minesweeper sunk off Bream Head

1943  A Japanese submarine sank  AHS Centaur off the coast of Queensland.

1948  Israel was declared to be an independent state and a provisional government established.

1955 Cold War: Eight communist bloc countries signed a mutual defense treaty -the Warsaw Pact.

1961  American civil rights movement: The Freedom Riders bus was fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama, and the civil rights protesters were beaten by an angry mob.

1966 Fabrice Morvan, French music artist (Milli Vanilli), was born.

1970  The Red Army Faction was established in Germany.

1973 Human Space Flight: Skylab, the United States’ first space stationwas launched.

1975 Carlos Spencer, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

Carlos Spencer.jpg

1986 Pride of Baltimore was lost at sea.

1988 Carrollton bus collision: a drunk driver travelling the wrong way hit a converted school bus carrying a church youth group killing  27.

2004 The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturned the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun.

2005  The former USS America, a decommissioned supercarrier was deliberately sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after four weeks of live-fire exercises.

2012 – Agni Air Flight CHT crashed near Jomsom Airport in Jomsom, Nepal, after a failed go-around, killing 15 people.

2013 – Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa due to the terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Happy Mothers’ Day

May 8, 2016


May 3 in history

May 3, 2016

1469 Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and political author was born (d. 1527).

1491  Kongo monarch Nkuwu Nzinga was baptised by Portuguese missionaries, adopting the baptismal name of João I.

1494  Christopher Columbus first sighted what is now known as Jamaica.

1715 Edmund Halley’s total solar eclipse.

1768 Charles Tennant, Scottish chemist and industrialist, was born (d. 1838).

1791  The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitutionin Europe)  was proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

1802  Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city.

1808  Finnish War: Sweden lost the fortress of Sveaborg to Russia.

1808 Peninsular War: The Madrid rebels were fired upon near Príncipe Pío hill.

1815 Neapolitan War: Joachim Murat, King of Naples was defeated by the Austrians at the Battle of Tolentino, the decisive engagement of the war.

1820 Missionary John Butler turned the first furrow at Kerikeri, becoming the first to use a European plough in New Zealand.

First European plough used in NZ

1830  The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway was opened – the first steam hauled passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.

1837  The University of Athens was founded.

1844 Richard D’Oyly Carte, English theatrical impresario was born (d. 1901).

1849  The May Uprising in Dresden began – the last of the German revolutions of 1848.

1860 Charles XV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Sweden.

1867 The Hudson’s Bay Company gave up all claims to Vancouver Island.

1877  Labatt Park, the oldest continually operating baseball grounds in the world had its first game.

1887 Margaret Cruickshank became the first woman to be registered as a doctor in New Zealand.

NZ's first woman doctor registered

1898  Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, was born (d. 1978).

1901 The Great Fire of 1901 began in Jacksonville, Florida.

1903  Bing Crosby, American singer and actor, was born  (d. 1977).

1913  Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film was released.

1915 The poem In Flanders Fields was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

1916 The leaders of the Easter Rising were executed in Dublin.

1919 Pete Seeger, American singer, was born (d.2014).

1920 A Bolshevik coup failsedin the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

1921 Sugar Ray Robinson, American boxer was born (d. 1989).

1921 Joe Ames, American singer, was born (d. 2007).

1926  Ann B. Davis, American actress Alice on The Brady Bunch, was born.

1928  Japanese atrocities in Jinan, China.

1929 – Charles Ewing Mackay, the disgraced former mayor of Whanganui, was shot dead by Berlin police during May Day riots in the German capital.

1933  Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman to head the United States Mint.

1933 James Brown, American singer and dancer, was born (d. 2006).

1934 Frankie Valli, American singer (The Four Seasons), was born.

1937  Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

1942  World War II: Japanese naval troops invaded Tulagi Island in the Solomon Islands during the first part of Operation Mo .

1945 World War II: Sinking of the prison ships Cap Arcona, Thielbek andDeutschland by the Royal Air Force in Lübeck Bay.

1946 International Military Tribunal for the Far East began in Tokyo with twenty-eight Japanese military and government officials accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

1947 New post-war Japanese constitution went into effect.

1948  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities were legally unenforceable.

1951  London’s Royal Festival Hall opened with the Festival of Britain.

1951 The United States Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees begin their closed door hearings into the dismissal of GeneralDouglas MacArthur by U.S. President Harry Truman.

1951 – The Kentucky Derby was televised for the first time.

1951 Christopher Cross, American musician, was born.

1952  Lieutenant Colonels Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedictlanded a plane at the North Pole.

1960  The Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Fantasticks, opened in Greenwich Village, eventually becoming the longest-running musical of all time.

1960 – The Anne Frank House opened in Amsterdam.

1963 The police force in Birmingham, Alabama switches tactics and responded with violent force to stop the “Birmingham campaign” protesters.

1973 The Sears Tower in Chicago was topped out as the world’s tallest building.

1978  The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (later  known as “spam“) was sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every ARPANET address on the west coast of the United States.

1986  Twenty-one people were killed and forty-one are injured after a bomb exploded in an airliner (Flight UL512) at Colombo  airport in Sri Lanka.

1991 The Declaration of Windhoek was signed.

1999  Oklahoma City was slammed by an F5 tornado killing forty-two people, injuring 665, and causing $1 billion in damage. One of 66 from the1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak, this was the strongest tornado ever recorded with wind speeds of up to 318 mph.

2000  The sport of geocaching began, with the first cache placed and the coordinates from a GPS posted on Usenet.

2002 A military MiG-21 aircraft crashed into the Bank of Rajasthan in India, killing eight.

2003 –  New Hampshire’s famous Old Man of the Mountain collapsed.

2006 Armavia Flight 967 crashed into the Black Sea, killing 113 people on board, with no survivors.

2015  – Two gunmen launched an attempted attack on an anti-Islam event in Garland, Texas, which was held in response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting..

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Rural Round-up

May 2, 2016

EU ramps up dairy production again – Keith Woodford:

The EU has now released dairy production statistics for February 2016 and from a New Zealand perspective the news is all bad. Daily milk production has increased 6.5% from January to February. Some increase was expected – February is always higher than January on a daily basis – but the extent of the increase is a surprise.

The combined January and February production is up 7.4% from last year, and February production, once adjusted for the leap year, is up almost 10% on a daily basis from January last year.

There are some glimmers of hope in other parts of the world, and I will come to that later in this article. First, more about Europe. . . 

Silver Fern Farms’ response to requisition for shareholder meeting:

On 13 April, Silver Fern Farms received a requisition led by Mr John Shrimpton and Mr Blair Gallagher, representing a group of 80 shareholders. The requisition is for the Board of Silver Fern Farms to call a special meeting of shareholders to consider the following resolution:

“Resolution: as a Special Resolution:

That the shareholders of Silver Fern Farms Limited (the Company) hereby approve the proposed partnership of the Company with Shanghai Maling and the restructure described in the Notice of Meeting and Shareholder Information Pack dated 28 September 2015 by way of this special resolution of shareholders.” . . 

Quit humanising animal agriculture – Kellie for Ag:

There is a difference between human and humane. I think people are forgetting that very important difference.

The last few weeks I’ve been dealing with animal rights activist on my Facebook page and I was quite stunned at what they were saying to me. One of my ‘favorites’ was, “How would you like it if I raped your mother and killed your father and siblings?”.

This comment bothered me in more than just one way. First of all, don’t you dare threaten my family. Second, humans and cattle are not in the same ‘playing field’. Survival of the fittest isn’t about equal rights for everyone.

If animal rights activist had their way: . . .

Livestock broker tackles broncos – Sally Rae:

He’s a bronc riding, world-record setting “stick-throwing” stock agent.

At just 21, Madison Taylor has already represented New Zealand in two very diverse activities, pipe bands and rodeo.

Now living in the Hakataramea Valley, Mr Taylor works for South Island-based independent livestock broking firm Peter Walsh and Associates. ……….. 

Schools to help name biosecurity puppies:

The Ministry for Primary Industries has proudly welcomed six new biosecurity puppies and is giving New Zealand schools the chance to name one of them.

Working biosecurity detector dog Aria gave birth to the beagle puppies (three boys and three girls) in March. They are collectively called “G-litter”.

The floppy-eared puppies will undergo intensive training to work at New Zealand’s ports and airports where they will sniff out food, plants and other items that could pose biosecurity risk to New Zealand. . . 

Side event chance to connect:

Attend the South Island Dairy Event 2016 in Invercargill and invest in yourself and your business.

That’s the message from Side event committee chairwoman Heidi Williams, who wants dairy farmers to set aside June 20 to 22 for the dairy conference.

Organised by farmers, for farmers, the annual programme was designed to promote thinking and debate, and help like-minded farmers to network and find inspiration, she said. . . 


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