The rains were coming, unusually, and the peaches we’d been monitoring in the burning sun for weeks were flushed and ripe on our neighbour’s tree. She invited us to take as many as we liked because she didn’t want the birds to snaffle these delights. Neither did we, and so in her backyard Griff welcomed me and watched as I took to a loaded branch with a six foot bamboo pole.
Category archive: Miscellany
Dogs in any grouping – a wild pack or even just a domestic group – have an ‘alpha’ who is dominant. The term shifted to the popular sport of dog-fighting – with two references, one actual and one predicted. During the fight the superior dog could be seen on top. If a particular dog had a track record of achieving this supremacy, those taking bets on a forthcoming fight would refer to that participant as a ‘top dog’ while a newcomer, or fighter with an unimpressive track record, would be the ‘under-dog’.
Feel like some wordplay for the festive season? Well try these from the Washington Post for a giggle. The newspaper published a contest for readers in which they were asked to supply alternative meanings for various words. These were some of the winning entries:
Negligent, (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightie
Lymph, (v.) to walk with a lisp.
Balderdash, (n.) a rapidly receding hairline.
Testicle (n) a humorous question on an exam.
Oyster (n.) a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
Pokemon (n.) a Jamaican proctologist.
Circumvent (n.) the opening in the front of boxer shorts.
Willy-nilly (adj,) impotent.
Doesn’t seem to matter where you are in the world, there’s often another Kiwi close at hand. Even in the ‘60s long before mass travel a friend arrived in London and, walking down Earl’s Court Road one day, bumped into the last person he expected to see – a high school classmate.
Good news for Enzed: we came eighth in World Happiness, one ahead of Australia and Sweden, according to the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the UN.
Happiest country of all was Norway, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. Norway has insulated itself from the boom and bust cycle of many other resource-rich economies.
After kiwiboomers contributor Ann Andrews’ story we also wondered about why people lie.
There’s an annual World’s Biggest Liar Competition… The website Mental Floss wrote: …held since the 19th century, the World’s Biggest Liar competition owes its origin to a pub owner named Will Ritson, who was known for the fantastic stories he would tell to keep his patrons entertained—and drinking longer. One of his most famous lies was that turnips planted in the region grew so big that people had to “quarry” into them for their Sunday lunch, and afterward, the mammoth root veggies were used as sheds for sheep. http://mentalfloss.com/article/89006/winner-2016-worlds-biggest-liar-competition
First an editorial confession. We’ve been in Oz, but no, there’s no ball tampering copy here, just this:
Condom machine graffiti: ‘ For refund, insert baby here’.
Aussies are not so much a weird as a witty mob at times. Where some residents with dogs might put up a sign saying ‘Beware of dog’, others choose to let passers-by know with much more precision. Take this for example: ‘My dog can make it to the fence in 2.8 seconds. Can you?’
“We’re a species that… can study our own ability to be manipulated,” said Tristan Harris, a former ‘design ethicist’ at Google.
“We have to talk about the advertising-based business model, which, paired with artificial intelligence, poses an existential threat. We have to get really serious about this. If you think about where are the most powerful AIs in the world located right now? Arguably, at two companies: Google and Facebook. The most powerful AIs in the world.