February 6 in history

February 6, 2018

1664 Mustafa II, Ottoman Sultan, was born (d. 1703).

1685 – James II of England and VII of Scotland became King upon the death of his brother Charles II.

1778 In Paris the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce were signed by the United States and France signaling official recognition of the new republic.

1815  New Jersey granted the first American railroad charter to John Stevens.

1817 José de San Martín crossed the Andes with an army in order to liberate Chile from Spanish rule.

1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founded Singapore.

1820 The first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society started a settlement in present-day Liberia.

1840 Around 40 Maori chiefs, led by Hone Heke, signed a treaty with the British Crown at Waitangi.

The Treaty of Waitangi is signed

1842 Mary Rudge, English chess master, was born (d. 1919).

1843  The first minstrel show in the United States, The Virginia Minstrelsopened in Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City.

1848 Walter B. Pitkin, American lecturer in philosophy and psychology, was born (d1953).

1862 Ulysses S. Grant gives the United States ts first victory of the Amnerican Civil War war in the Battle of Fort Henry by capturing Fort Henry, Tennessee.

1894 Eric Partridge, New Zealand lexicographer, was born (d. 1979).

1895  Babe Ruth, American baseball player, was born (d. 1948).

1899 The Treaty of Paris, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain, was ratified by the United States Senate.

1900 The international arbitration court at The Hague was created when the Netherlands’ Senate ratified an 1899 peace conference decree.

1911 Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, was born  (d. 2004).

1912  Eva Braun, wife of Adolf Hitler, was born (d. 1945).

1917 Zsa Zsa Gábor, Hungarian-born actress, was born (d. 2016).

1922 Denis Norden, British radio and television personality, was born.

1922 – Patrick Macnee, English actor, was born.

1922 The Washington Naval Treaty was signed, limiting the naval armaments of United States, Britain, Japan, France, and Italy.

1933 The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect.

1934 Far right leagues rally in front of the Palais Bourbon in an attempted coup against the French Third Republic, creating a political crisis in France.

1945 Bob Marley, Jamaican musician, was born  (d. 1981).

1947 The trans-Tasman liner Wanganella was refloated after 18 days stuck on Barrett Reef.

Liner <em>Wanganella</em> refloated after 18 days on Barrett Reef

1950 Natalie Cole, American singer, was born.

1951 The Broker, a Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train derailed near Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, killing 85 people and injuring over 500 more.

1952 Elizabeth II became Queen upon the death of her father George VI.

1958 Eight Manchester United F.C. players were killed in the Munich air disaster.

1959 Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments filed the first patent for anintegrated circuit.

1959 – At Cape Canaveral, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile was accomplished.

1962 W. Axl Rose, American singer (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1976 Princess Marie of Denmark, was born.

1974 – The bird calls began on what is  now RadioNZ National.

1978 The Blizzard of 1978, one of the worst Nor’easters in New England history, hit the region, with sustained winds of 65 mph and snowfall of 4″ an hour.

1987 Justice Mary Gaudron became the first woman appointed to the High Court of Australia.

1989 The Roundtable talks started in Poland marking the beginning of overthrow of communism in Eastern Europe.

1992 The Saami people of the Nordic countries had an official day celebrating their existence.

1996 – Willamette Valley Flood of 1996: Floods in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, United States, caused more than US$500 million in property damage throughout the Pacific Northwest.

1996 – Birgenair flight 301 crashed off the coast of the Dominican Republic, all 189 people inside the airplane are killed. This is the worst accident/incident involving a Boeing 757.

1998 – Washington National Airport was renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport.

2000 – Second Chechen War: Russia captured Grozny, Chechnya, forcing the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria government into exile.

2004 – Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Princess of Belgium, was born.

2012 – A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit near the central Philippines off the coast of Negros Island causing at least 51 deaths and injuring 112 others.

2013 – An 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Solomon Islands killing 10 people and injuring 17 others.

2016 – A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit southern Taiwan, killing at least 38 people and injuring over 530 more.

Sourced from NZ History Online, Radio NZ  & Wikipedia.

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Rural round-up

January 25, 2018

Station faces $1m loss as big dry bites – Alexa Cook:

One of the country’s largest farming stations expects to lose about $1 million because of the harsh summer.

The 13,200-hectare Mount Linton Station in Southland has had about a quarter of its usual rainfall in the last year to date – 250 millimetres instead of more than 1000mm.

The lack of grass growth has forced the station to cull 25 percent of its 107,000 stock units.

General manager Ceri Lewis has worked on the station for 14 years and said the hot weather would hit the station hard this year. . .

Drought support events being run in Southland – Sally Rae:

Farmers and rural support professionals have been invited to attend free drought support events in Southland this week.

Organised by industry organisations, the events are being held in the Combined Sports Complex in Otautau tomorrow and the James Cumming Wing in Gore on Friday, both starting at 10.45am.

A drought committee was set up in Otago-Southland before Christmas, ready to spring into action if required, Beef + Lamb New Zealand southern South Island extension manager Olivia Ross said. . . 

Sheep and beef sector welcomes the conclusion of the CPTPP:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) welcome the conclusion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) negotiations in Tokyo.

During the recent negotiations, officials resolved the outstanding issues and have agreed to meet in Chile to sign the agreement on 8 March.

Sam McIvor, chief executive of B+LNZ, said the conclusion of the agreement represents good news for sheep and beef farmers and all New Zealanders. . .

Demand for stags reflects deer farmer confidence:

Confidence in the future profitability of venison and velvet production has flowed through to the market for sire stags, with strong sales reported throughout the country, says Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ).

Breeders report a marked improvement on last year’s results. Although no stags broke the $100,000 mark, average prices were up strongly for most sales, several by more than 50 per cent. Overall clearance rates were 94 per cent, compared with 83 per cent last year. . .

Livestock Improvement Corp first-half profit drops 22% on cost of transforming business – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – Livestock Improvement Corp posted a 22 percent slide in first-half profit as the farmer-owned herd genetics cooperative ramped up spending to overhaul its business, which it says is vulnerable to the same disruption other industries face.

Net profit fell to $14.9 million, or 51 cents per share, in the six months ended Nov. 30, from $19 million, or 65.3 cents, a year earlier, the Hamilton-based company said in a statement. . .

Industry has huge potential, cashmere producer says:

The country’s leading cashmere wool-fibre farmer wants to breathe new life into what he describes as a stagnant industry with huge potential.

David Shaw, who farms in Central Otago with his wife Robyn, said the cashmere industry in New Zealand was still cottage-style producing hundreds of kilogrammes of wool.

That was a far cry from the need to produce somewhere between five and 10 tonnes to be able to satisfy the local market and start competing internationally. . . 

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Rural round-up

January 24, 2018

 M. bovis action group formed – Sally Rae:

A Mycoplasma bovis action group has been formed in Southland by farmers, veterinarians and other industry stakeholders.

The aim of MASS (Mycoplasma bovis Action & Support Southland) was to provide a voice for those in the region and also assist the farming community in understanding and dealing with the outbreak of the bacterial cattle disease, spokesman Bevan Collie said in a statement.

Since first detected on a Van Leeuwen Dairy Group property in the Waimate district in July last year, the number of confirmed properties has risen to 17 and includes farms in Southland. . . 

Southland could be milking it :

A new report estimates that the sheep milking industry in Southland could be worth $124 million for the region by 2040.

That would be 1.5 percent of the region’s GDP.

The Institute of Economic Research report, commissioned by the Southland Regional Development Strategy, says this target is achievable.

Read the full report (PDF, 1,347KB) . . 

New spray dryer planned at Waikato Innovation Park as sheep milk ramps up – Rebecca Howard:

(BusinessDesk) – A new $45 million food spray dryer is being planned for Food Waikato as demand from the sheep milk industry ramps up, says Waikato Innovation Park chief executive Stuart Gordon.

Food Waikato, which is located at Waikato Innovation Park, currently has one open access development spray dryer, which came online five years ago and is now running at capacity. According to Gordon, the existing dryer processes about 900,000 litres of sheep milk each year and that is expected to double in the 2019/2020 season. . . 

Workers plan to send tractors home – Yvonne O’Hara:

A group of Vanuatuan orchard workers based in Ettrick are hoping to repaint two British Leyland tractors and take them home.

Group spokesman Lele Petelo said they had been given one of the British Leyland 270 tractors last year by Roxburgh East orchardist Sid Birtles, and the other was donated by Melrose Orchard owner Peter Vernon a couple of weeks ago.

Ettrick vehicle restorer Alistair Stevenson donated his time to repair and restore one of the engines and Mr Vernon bought the necessary parts for them. The men intend to work on the vehicles during their time off. . .

East Coast to hold first FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional final:

A former competitive snowboarder, a stud bull breeder and an award-winning shepherd are set to face off in the East Coast Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

It’s the first of seven regional finals being held from Kerikeri to Winton to decide contestants for the grand final of the prestigious competition in Invercargill in July. . . 

Top farmland investments earn 17pc despite seasonal setbacks – Andrew Marshall:

Last year’s whacky weather mix of extreme temperatures and rainfall frustrations, plus a weaker cattle market, have taken a toll on the returns of some of Australia’s top farming enterprises, as monitored by the national farmland index.

But returns of almost 17 per cent on the capital value of 60 properties tracked by the index are still pretty impressive.

In fact, the result ranks almost 200 per cent ahead of a similar index of earnings from US agricultural investments. . . 


Word of the day

January 23, 2018

Brook – a small stream, creek or natural flowing body of water; to allow, accept or tolerate; abide, bear or suffer.


Saturday’s smiles

January 13, 2018

Any stone in a tramping boot always migrates to the point of maximum pressure.

The distance to a given camp site remains constant as twilight approaches.

The number of mosquitoes at any given location is inversely proportional to the amount of repellent that remains.

The probability of a stomach bug increases with the square of the thistle content of the local vegetation.

The area of level ground in the neighborhood tends to vanish as the need to make camp becomes finite.

In a sleeping bag the urgency of ones need to urinate is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing worn. It is also inversely proportional to the temperature and the degree to which the sleeping bag is completely zipped up.

Waterproof clothing isn’t. (However, it is 100% effective at containing sweat).

The width of backpack straps decreases with the distance hiked. To compensate, the weight of the backpack increases.

Average temperature increases with the amount of clothing brought.

Tent stakes come only in the quantity “N-1” where N is the number of stakes necessary to stake down a tent.

Given a chance, matches will find a way to get wet.

Your side of the tent is the side that leaks.

All foods assume a uniform taste, texture, and color when freeze-dried.
Divide the number of servings by two when reading the directions for reconstituting anything freeze-dried.

The weight in a backpack can never remain uniformly distributed.

All tree branches in the bush grow outward from their respective trunks at exactly the height of your nose. If you are male, tree branches will also grow at groin height.

You will lose the little toothpick in your Swiss Army knife as soon as you open the box.

Enough dirt will get tracked into the tent on the first day out, that you can grow the food you need for the rest of the trip in rows between sleeping bags.

The sun sets three-and-a-half times faster than normal when you’re trying to set up camp.

Tents never come apart as easily when you’re leaving a site as when you’re trying to get them set up in the first place.

When planning to take time off of work/school for your camping trip, always add an extra week, because when you get home from your “holiday” you’ll be too tired to go back for a week after.


Could both be right?

January 12, 2018

The Ministry of Primary Industries is frustrated with farmers’ response to Mycoplasma bovis:

Farmers are being told to keep better records of livestock movements.

It follows another confirmed case of cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis, this time on an Ashburton farm.

The disease has been found on 14 farms, all but one are in the South Island.

Ministry for Primary Industries response incident controller David Yard said farmers have a poor record of compliance with the national livestock tracing scheme.

He said that’s making for a lengthy search for the disease on other properties.

“It’s proving extremely challenging for us to identify where all the animal movements are being made so we have to go and interview every farmer in detail to see if they can recall who they sold animals to and who they received.” . . 

MPI is frustrated with farmers and the farmer on whose property Mycoplasma bovis was first identified is frustrated with MPI:

. . .  Glenavy dairy farmer Aad van Leeuwen, who owns the farms where the disease was first identified in New Zealand – and has had 4000 cattle culled – said he believed it had been in the country for years.

After going to the United States to learn about the disease, which was prevalent in many other countries, he advised the ministry four months ago to adopt a rigorous nationwide bulk milk testing programme to determine how widespread it was.

”It’s made out to be such a terrible thing, but it’s very, very manageable; it’s been here for a long time already; it is worldwide,” he said. ”So, instead of ripping communities apart, sending people broke … I would say this madness needs to stop.

”It was only before Christmas that they were trying to link all these farms to us, which is absolute rubbish. There’s no link whatsoever to us. . .

‘Yesterday, MPI response incident controller David Yard told the Otago Daily Times the scheme ”if used effectively” was ”the most useful tool to identify where the disease ‘could’ be”. Yet he said the latest case was identified through bulk milk testing.

”MPI is working with the dairy industry to extend this bulk milk testing … nationally.”

It’s possible that both are right.

There are problems with the NAIT scheme. Not all farmers are recording animal movements promptly and correctly and the grapevine says inaccuracies and incomplete records aren’t only at the farmers’ end.

But it is also possible that Mycoplasma bovis has been in New Zealand for years and it is only because a vet went further in searching that it was identified on van Leeuwen’s farms.

Testing animals isn’t 100% reliable, it can result in false negatives. Testing  milk is a much better way to identify infected stock and it needs to be done nation-wide.

That’s the best way of establishing the extent of the disease and getting rid of it.

Bulk testing of milk could also settle the question of where the disease came from and how wide-spread it is.

 


O Holy Night

December 24, 2017


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