When it comes to air pollution, we’re good. And now , so is India where people – especially in the Punjab can see the Himalayas –for the first time in decades. Researchers believe that the dramatic improvement in the country’s air pollution was caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns see https://www.iqair.com/world-most-polluted-countries.
Category archive: Miscellany
Doberman (n) is named after Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a German tax collector who realised he needed some protection from being robbed while doing his collecting. He bred Manchester terriers with Pinschers and Rottwellers with greyhounds, until finally producing the Doberman (the final ‘n’ of his name gradually faded away.
Bushfires still burn in Oz; Brexit vexited the Brits, and in America a new King was crowned by Republican Senators. You could sense an uprising to the elevation of President Donald to King Donald. Tears flowed and jeers echoed on both sides of the Atlantic, courtesy of television. These were passionate issues and sometimes you had to pause to wonder who, or what, lay behind them.
But no worries, because Down Under the Aussies showed that their sense of humour couldn’t be extinguished….
Wit – the first casualty of political discourse
Contributor Chris Horan put his finger on the dreary state of political oratory in this country now that cameras and mikes are everywhere. The last memorable orator was David Lange – trouble is, his comedy masked the dismantling of a Kiwi society many of us loved.
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.
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.