Rural round-up

February 17, 2014

Coach develops forestry safety vest:

A former rugby league coach has adapted a piece of sporting equipment for the forestry sector in an effort to save lives.

Graham Lowe has designed a GPS monitoring vest which can measure workers’ fatigue levels by gathering data on their heart beat and hydration levels, which he said is almost ready to be launched.

Last year set an unwelcome record for forestry incidents, with 10 deaths and more than 150 serious injuries. . .

From riches to dags – Tim Cronshaw:

More than anything, Christine Fernyhough will miss the sky when she closes the farm gate for the last time at Castle Hill Station.

The big, open skyline is the backdrop to craggy ridges descending down steep shingle screes to the station’s broad tussock country, limestone outcrops and productive pastures.

Live long enough at Castle Hill as Fernyhough has and the overhead vista takes centrestage. Its intensity at dusk and dawn is matched by the evening star show and during the day she never tires of its ever changing canvas.

It’s been nearly 10 years since she came to have a look at the South Island and fell in love with the sky. . .

‘Idiots’ back hunting illegally – Lard Harper:

A resident on a far-flung South Taranaki road says police are doing little to protect life and property from illegal hunters.

Tangahoe Valley Rd resident Jill Hardy says “little idiots” were still peppering farmland months after authorities said they would intervene.

But authorities say they are doing everything they can to navigate a difficult issue.

Hardy said her latest complaint, laid against a group shooting from a picnic table on to her land, had gone nowhere. . .

 

NZ milk volumes 4.2% higher for the season – Abby Brown:

New Zealand milk volumes are 4.2% higher for the season to January 31, 2014 the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council says.

The Global Dairy Trade (GDT) prices on February 4 are 40.5% higher than the last event on January 21.

It is up 50% over the same six month period last year.

The council said in its latest Global Dairy Update that milk collection across NZ for the eight months to January 31, 2014 reached 1120 million kg milksolids (MS).

This was 4.2% higher than the same period last year. 

“Rain through December and early January helped maintain milk production above last season’s level with the North Island 3.7% higher and the South Island 5.0% higher for the season to date,” the council said. . .

Wetlands provide many benefits – Julie Ross:

The area of our Kokoamo Farm near Duntroon in North Otago was a boggy, willow-infested corner at the bottom of the farm boundary, fed by a large catchment area and at the head of the spring-fed Kokoamu Stream.

We decided originally to enhance an unattractive part of the farm, while at the same time testing the filtering ability of a created wetland and providing a suitable pond for duck hunting.

Since then, the focus of our work on the wetland has changed and it is now primarily about improving water quality, reducing the environmental impact of intensive farming and providing a habitat for flora and fauna to thrive.

In 2008 we received a $5000 grant from Environment Canterbury but have funded most of the project ourselves. . .

 

Lack of social media training a barrier to farmers – Abby Brown:

Sophie Stanley says the biggest barrier to farmers and agribusinesses from using social media is a lack of training.

One of five New Zealanders awarded a Nuffield scholarship in 2013 Stanley has travelled the world to explore how the agriculture industry harnesses social media.

She said it is an issue the industry should invest in.

“If farmers are interested in networking and sharing industry knowledge Twitter has a wealth of information and a number of farmers domestically and globally that you can interact with,” she said. . .


Technology can’t think for you

January 15, 2012

Technology can’t think for you.

This piece of wisdom was given to us by a nurse who was telling us that an apnœa monitor was a useful tool but it wasn’t a substitute for our eyes, ears and judgement.

This advice applies equally to GPS navigation.

Our first experience with GPS was in Spain. We soon learned to plan our route first with an old fashioned paper map and to know the names of places en route to and after our destination because road signs sometimes appeared to contradict the instructions from Josephine which is what we named the French woman on the dashboard.

We also learned that the GPS wasn’t always up to date, sometimes didn’t know about new roads and never knew about detours because of road works though we never got told to do a U-turn on a motorway.


May 2 in history

May 2, 2010

On May 2:

1194 – King Richard I  gave Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.

1230 William de Braose, 10th Baron Abergavenny was hanged by Prince Llywelyn the Great.

 

1335 Otto the Merry, Duke of Austria, became Duke of Carinthia.

1536 Anne Boleyn was arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft.

1559 John Knox returned from exile to Scotland to become the leader of the beginning Scottish Reformation.

 

1568 Mary, Queen of Scots, escaped from Loch Leven Castle.

1670 King Charles II granted a permanent charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company to open up the fur trade in North America.

 

1729 Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was born (d. 1796).

1737  William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was born (d. 1805).

1806  Catherine Labouré, French visionary and saint was born (d. 1876).

1808  Outbreak of the Peninsular War: The people of Madrid rose up in rebellion against French occupation. Francisco de Goya later memorializes this event in his painting The Second of May 1808.

Goya - Second of May 1808.jpg

1808 Emma Wedgwood, English naturalist, wife of Charles Darwin, was born (d. 1896).

 

1816 Marriage of Léopold of Saxe-Coburg and Charlotte Augusta.

 

1829  Captain Charles Fremantle of the HMS Challenger, declared the Swan River Colony in Australia.

 

1863 American Civil War: Stonewall Jackson is wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after reconnoitering during the Battle of Chancellorsville

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1866  Peruvian defenders fought off Spanish fleet at the Battle of Callao.

Battle of Callao.png

1879  The Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party was founded in Casa Labra Pub (city of Madrid) by the Spanish workers’ leader Pablo Iglesias.

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1885 Good Housekeeping magazine went on sale for the first time.

 

1885  Cree and Assiniboine warriors won the Battle of Cut Knife, their largest victory over Canadian forces during the North-West Rebellion.

Battle of Cut Knife.jpg

1885 – The Congo Free State was established by King Léopold II of Belgium.

1889 Menelik II, Emperor of Ethiopia, signs a treaty of amity with Italy, which gave Italy control over Eritrea.

1892 Manfred von Richthofen, German World War I pilot – the Red Baron – was born (d. 1918).

Mvrredbaron.jpg

1895 Lorenz Hart, American lyricist ws born (d. 1943).

1903 Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and author was born (d. 1998).

1918 General Motors acquired the Chevrolet Motor Company of Delaware.

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1932 Comedian Jack Benny‘s radio show aired for the first time.

Jack Benny
JackBenny1958Cropped.jpg

1933Gleichschaltung: Adolf Hitler banned trade unions.

1935 King Faisal II of Iraq was born (d. 1958).

 

1936 Engelbert Humperdinck, Indian-born singer, was born.

1945 World War II: Fall of Berlin: The Soviet Union announced the capture of Berlin and Soviet soldiers hoisted their red flag over the Reichstag building.

1945 World War II: Italian Campaign – General Heinrich von Vietinghoff signed the official instrument of surrender of all Wehrmacht forces in Italy.

VietinghoffHeinrich.jpg

1945 World War II: The US 82nd Airborne Division liberated Wöbbelin concentration camp finding 1000 dead inmates, most starved to death.

 

1946  The “Battle of Alcatraz” in which two guards and three inmates died.

1950 Bianca Jagger, Nicaraguan socialite, was born.

1952  The world’s first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet made its maiden flight, from London to Johannesburg.

1955  Tennessee Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

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1963  Berthold Seliger launched a rocket with three stages and a maximum flight altitude of more than 100 kilometres near Cuxhaven.

1964  Vietnam War: An explosion sank the USS Card while docked at Saigon. 

USS Card (CVE-11)

1964 Tram #252,  displaying the message ‘end of the line’ and with Mayor Frank Kitts in the driver’s seat, travelled from Thorndon to the Zoo in Newtown – the last electric tram journey in New Zealand.

NZ's last electric tram trip

1964 – First ascent of Shishapangma the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the Eight-thousanders.

1969   Queen Elizabeth 2 departsedon her maiden voyage to New York City.

QE2 leaving southampton water.jpg

1969 Brian Lara, Trinidadian West Indies cricketer, was born.

BrianLaraUkexpatCropped.jpg

1982 Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sank the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano.

 

1994– Bus disaster in Poland, 32 people died.

1994-bus-crash-Poland.jpg

1995 During the Croatian War of Independence, Serb forces fired cluster bombs at Zagreb, killing 7 and wounding over 175 civilians.

1998  The European Central Bank was founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the European Union’s monetary policy.

ECB LOGO.svg

1999  Panamanian election: Mireya Moscoso became the first woman to be elected President of Panama.

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2000 President Bill Clinton announces that accurate GPS access would no longer be restricted to the United States military.

2000 Princess Margriet of the Netherlands unveiled the Man With Two Hats monument in Apeldoorn and the other in Ottawa on May 11, 2000, symbolically linking the Netherlands and Canada for their assistance throughout World War II.

Man With Two Hats Ottawa Statue.jpg
 

2002 Marad massacre of eight Hindus near Palakkad in Kerala.

2004   Yelwa massacre of more than 630 nomad Muslims by Christians in Nigeria.

2008 Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar killing over 130,000 people and leaving millions of people homeless.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


GPS vs map and mind

July 11, 2009

A GPS makes navigation much easier, but sometimes the old fashioned way is better.

On the way back from picking up friends from Malaga late last night we decided that instead of taking the coastal road from Algercirus to Vejer de la Frontera we’d head inland. That route was a little longer in distance but had more motorway which we figured would take a similar or shorter amount of time.

It might have, but a few kilometres after we’d started our detour the GPS told us to turn off the motorway. I knew the name of the town we were heading for and it wasn’t on the sign at the approaching intersection but I decided not to argue with technology.

I should have because the road we turned on to was narrow and winding. It was probably quite a bit shorter in distance but much longer in time because we could go at only half the speed we could have on the motorway.

Next time the GPS tells me to do something I’m not sure of I’ll remember that good as technology is, sometimes it’s no match for old fashioned paper map and a mind that’s worked out the route.


Bad reporting but good idea

May 27, 2008

Student bond idea `has merit’

By DAN SILKSTONE – The Press | Tuesday, 27 May 2008

 

National Party leader John Key supports forcing medical graduates to remain in New Zealand for a set period as part of student loan arrangements.

 

Good grief – how did this reporting  get past The Press sub?

 

The headline sums up the story but nowhere in the article is there anything to back up the first paragraph’s statement that Key supports forcing medical graduates to remain here. And the Herald  makes it quite clear the scheme, if implemented, would be voluntary.

 

National leader John Key says his party is considering wiping medical students’ loans if they agree to work as GPs in rural areas for three or four years.

“I am very concerned about the number of young graduates that are completing their qualification here in New Zealand and leaving,” Mr Key said this morning.

“We need them in New Zealand, we’ve got a GP shortage that is well acknowledged and we’re not afraid to look at creative ways of maybe encouraging them to stay.”

Mr Key said any scheme would be voluntary.

“There are plenty of doctors who have a student loan – they might owe $90-$100,000. The concept of them working in part of regional or rural New Zealand for three or four years to have their loan written off might be very attractive,” he said.

That’s the kind of model we are considering.”

 

And the idea has merit. There is nothing wrong with graduates going overseas for further training or work experience, but we have a problem when they feel forced to go away for better pay and then don’t come back.

 

There is a shortage of GPs, especially in rural areas – every doctor at one medical practice in Oamaru is from overseas. Otago Medical School has started a rural training scheme which bases fifth year students in provincial towns in an attempt to redress the chronic shortage of rural doctors. There are a variety of reasons doctors prefer working in cities, but writing off a portion of a recent graduate’s loan for every year worked may help encourage some to the country.

 

Hat tip: kiwiblog

 


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