Sunday soapbox

January 21, 2018

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.

Image may contain: text

The saving of time and the conquest of leisure have no meaning if we are not moved by the laugh of a child at play  – Simone de Beauvoir

Advertisements

January 21 in history

January 21, 2018

763 – The Battle of Bakhamra between Alids and Abbasids near Kufa ended in a decisive Abbasid victory.

1189 – Philip II of France and Richard I of England began to assemble troops to wage the Third Crusade.

1525 – The Swiss Anabaptist Movement was born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptised each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.

1643 Abel Tasman was the first European to reach Tonga.

1749 – The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was destroyed by fire.

1789 The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, was printed in Boston, Massachusetts.

1793 – After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention,Louis XVI of France was executed by guillotine.

1824   Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, American, Confederate army general was born (d. 1863).

1859 – Ice came to Nelson for the first time.

Ice comes to Nelson

1864 – The Tauranga Campaign started during the New Zealand Land Wars.

1887 – Brisbane received a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city.

1889 – ‘Professor’ Thomas Baldwin descended by parachute from a balloon floating high above South Dunedin.

American acrobat parachutes from balloon

1893 – The Tati Concessions Land, formerly part of Matabeleland, was formally annexed to the Bechuanaland Protectorate, which is now Botswana.

1899 – Opel manufactured its first automobile.

1905 Christian Dior, French fashion designer, was born (d. 1957).

1908 – New York City passed the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, but the measure was vetoed by the mayor.

1911 – The first Monte Carlo Rally.

1915 – Kiwanis International was founded in Detroit, Michigan.

1919 – Meeting of the First Dáil Éireann in the Mansion House Dublin.Sinn Féin adopted Ireland’s first constitution. The first engagement ofIrish War of Independence, Sologhead Beg, County Tipperary.

1921 The Italian Communist Party was founded at Livorno.

1924 Benny Hill, English actor, comedian, and singer, was born (d. 1992).

1925  Albania declared itself a republic.

1938 Wolfman Jack, American disk jockey and actor, was born (d. 1995).

1940  Jack Nicklaus, American golfer, was born.

1941 Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor, was born.

1942,  Mac Davis, American musician, was born.

1944 New Zealand & Australia signed the Canberra Pact, which was an undertaking by both countries to co-operate on international matters, especially in the Pacific.

NZ and Australia sign the Canberra Pact

1950 Billy Ocean, West Indian musician, was born.

1953 Paul Allen, American entrepreneur, co-founder of Microsoft, was born.

1954 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), was launched in Groton, Connecticut by Mamie Eisenhower, the First Lady of the United States.

1958 – The last Fokker C.X in military service, the Finnish Air Force FK-111 target tower, crashed, killing the pilot and winch-operator.

1960 – Miss Sam, a female rhesus monkey, lifted off from Wallops Island, Virginia, aboard Little Joe 1B – an unmanned test of the Mercury spacecraft.

1968 Battle of Khe Sanh – One of the most publicised and controversial battles of the Vietnam War began.

1974 Rove McManus, Australian television host and comedian, was born.

1976 – Commercial service of Concorde began with London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes.

1976 Emma Bunton, English singer (Spice Girls), was born.

1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardoned nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders.

1981 – Tehran released United States hostages after 444 days.

1997 – Newt Gingrich became the first leader of the United States House of Representatives to be internally disciplined for ethical misconduct.

1999 – War on Drugs: In one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepted a ship with over 4,300 kg (9,500 lb) of cocaine on board.

2002 – The Canadian Dollar set all-time low against the US Dollar (US$0.6179).

2008 – Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 11 September 2001, and Asian stocks dropped as much as 15%.

2011 – 2011 Albanian opposition demonstrations.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


365 days of gratitude

January 20, 2018

When I was in Wanaka I met a German tourist.

His English was very basic and my German much less so but we managed a conversation.

He’d been in Queenstown the day before and didn’t like it.

“People,” he said, gesturing to show me there were too many. “Here there is space.”

Like the tourist, I like space and I don’t do crowds.

It’s not that I don’t like people, I just prefer them in smaller numbers.

Living in the country as I do, I usually have plenty of space and only encounter people in very small numbers and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

January 20, 2018

Freck – eager; ready; forward; impetuous; hearty.


Saturday’s smiles

January 20, 2018

Early one morning a shepherd was moving his flock from one
paddock to another when something frightened the animals. They
bolted onto the road, and nothing the shepherd or his dogs did could bring them under control.

As he became more and more frantic, a truck rounded the bend, stopped suddenly in front of the running sheep and a suitcase
fell out of the back.

The shepherd stared in amazement as his flock stopped running and walked slowly across the road.

As the driver of the truck got out to retrieve his suitcase the shepherd said, “That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”

The driver replied, “I’ve always been told I had a case that would stop a flock.”


Rural round-up

January 20, 2018

Agriculture is not the villain when it comes to NZ’s emissions – Steve Cranston:

Now that we have heard that a climate change commission will be established, this makes 2018 an important year politically for farmers.

There is a real possibility that if the truth about agricultural emissions is not better circulated amongst farmers and the general public alike, the New Zealand agricultural industry may be forced into a highly damaging and completely unnecessary emissions reduction scheme if it is not set up correctly.

With the notable exception of Northland avocado farmer Robin Grieve, few people or organisations have been prepared to state this basic fact that in my opinion, New Zealand agriculture is not the problem it is made out to be. . .

Lives imperiled by cellphone blackspot – Sarah Harris:

Sited in one of New Zealand’s remotest regions, Haast township continues to lobby for life-saving cellphone reception. Sarah Harris reports.

Blair Farmer will never forget how a woman’s life slipped away as he tried to save her on the floor of the information centre in Haast.

Yi-Chieh Feng, from Taiwan, had been flung from the rental camper van when it crashed into a bank. She was not wearing a seatbelt.

Driver Yu-Hsiang Chen could not call 111 as there was no reception. So he bundled her into the van and drove 30 minutes to Haast at the bottom of the West Coast. . . .

Southern Rangitikei vet Kristina Dykes determined to keep vets in the job – Kate Taylor:

A southern Rangitikei vet is determined to improve retention numbers in the profession she loves. She spoke with Kate Taylor.

As one of five children growing up in Auckland, Kristina Dykes never pictured herself working as a rural vet in provincial New Zealand.

She did want to be a vet from an early age, but it was cats and dogs in her sights more than cattle and sheep. She went to vet school quite indifferent to the rural sector but soon realised the opportunities available to her. . . 

NZ crossbred wool ‘in a crisis’:

Low financial returns have pitched the New Zealand crossbred wool industry into a crisis, a leading grower says.

Sales of merino wool were doing fine, but these represented less than 15 per cent of our national wool clip, with most of the country not high and dry enough to run merino sheep.

In contrast, returns from coarser crossbred wool were so low, many farmers found it barely worth taking their quadbikes out of the shed.

Campaign for Wool NZ Trust chairperson Renata Apatu, in particular, paints a grim picture. . .

Hunter Downs good to go – Annette Scott:

A desperate plea to farmers and investors has finally pushed Hunter Downs Water across the start line.

Late last year the proposed multi-million dollar South Canterbury irrigation scheme was at risk of being abandoned but a last-ditch effort proved successful.

After a renewed push for investors, HDW chairman Andrew Fraser confirmed the company had the shareholders needed to proceed with the $110 million scheme. . . 

Snow levels as high as 12 inches across Scotland – Zoë Wilson:

TOWNS across Scotland have been affected by heavy snow since Monday evening, and, although some people have experienced chaotic situations, others are taking advantage of the glorious views, and even considered the impact snow can have on their current situation.

One lorry couldn’t access Scotstounbank Farm, in Blyth Bridge, West Linton, due to heavy snowfall, and instead of abandoning the job, the lorry driver waited in the village while the farmer, William Aitken, dropped 270 prime Blackface wedder lambs off using a Massey Ferguson tractor and trailer. . .


Saturday soapbox

January 20, 2018

Saturday’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.

Image may contain: night and text

Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present – Alan Watts


%d bloggers like this: