Archive for the ‘Fun Things’ Category

Food myths

January 19th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The HoS reports:

Turned down a McDonald’s thickshake this summer because you’ve heard it contains pig fat? Given up drinking diet cola because of cancer fears? Swapped margarine for butter because you’ve heard table spreads are just one molecule away from plastic?

These are three of the most common myths about food – and food experts say misinformation about food is worryingly widespread.

Had not heard that third one.

Consumer NZ food writer Belinda Allan said there were myths and misinformation about almost all kinds of food. “There have even been myths about broccoli being bad for you.”

Some of the most pervasive are that organic foods are better for you, oysters improve your sex life, Diet Coke causes cancer and – one of the most common – canola oil was used to make mustard gas and should not be eaten by humans.

A few rave about oysters, but it is really a placebo effect.

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More on Sugarless Gummy Bears

January 18th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

I blogged a link yesterday to a summary of some of the reviews of the sugarless gummy bears. But last night I went to the original sources of the comments on Amazon.

The summary had me laughing out loud. The actual original comments caused actual tears and physical pain. I read at least half of the 45 pages of them.

My favourite was the date with the German girl:

I’m pretty sure Andrea (I’ll call her) agreed to have dinner at my apartment only because I always spoke to her using nothing but my two-years-of-high-school German. Her English was perfect. Probably better than mine. But the fact that I could only ask her directions to the Autobahn or inquire about the health of her non-existent Tante Amelia, seemed to make me appealing to her in a sweet and non-threatening way.
My intentions, however, were considerably less child-like. Which is why the shopping that night was done at one of those upscale groceries with an international flair. Moules Marinieres is as much of a panty-peeler as anything I can cook, and isn’t that hard to pull off. But still, I was busy tracking the recipe in my head when I found myself in the sweets aisle. And that, to my great chagrin, is why I didn’t immediately notice the difference between Haribo Normal Gummi Bears (which are designed for human enjoyment) and Haribo Sugarless Gummi Bears (which are designed for use in maximum security prisons as a way to punish uncooperative inmates).
I shan’t make that mistake again. (notice you can’t spell SHAN’T without SHAT.)
Prior to Andrea’s arrival, I sat in my living room, creating a playlist of make-out music and nervously binging on the Gummi Bears I had placed in a decorative bowl because I am fancy.
The doorbell rang, and within minutes we were standing in the kitchen, drinking beers and both of us probably worrying that we were about to exhaust my ability to communicate in her native tongue. But soon that would be the least of my worries. In the middle of trying to ask Andrea if she likes to dance to young people’s music, I felt a flutter in my midsection, accompanied by a guttural pronouncement so loud it threatened to drown out my own voice.
Maybe it was because I was mentally refreshing my language lessons, but it suddenly struck me how much pre-diarrheal grumblings sound like German words.
“ENTSCHULDIGUNG!” was the next thing uttered by my rapidly clenching stomach. Appropriately, Andrea looked up in response.
“Sind Sie Kaffee machen?” she asked.
Am I making coffee?
I thought I must have mistranslated her at first, then finally I realized that yes, the loud, ominous gurgling coming from my gut could easily be mistaken for the percolating of some bachelor’s crappy coffeemaker.
It’s remarkable how quickly one knows that one is about to have a traumatic pottymaking experience. Maybe that’s the body’s way of buying you the precious seconds you need. I was already calculating the number of steps to the bathroom, speculating on whether I would have time to lift the lid to the toilet, when my own voice cried out loudly in my head.
She’s going to hear EVERYTHING!
Thanks to an acoustical idiosyncrasy in my building, the hallway outside the bathroom works as an amplifier pointed straight at my living room-slash-kitchen. So that somehow even the gentlest tinkle sounds like I’m pouring lemonade out of a bucket.
With only half an idea of what I was doing, I grabbed Andrea’s hand and pulled her roughly down onto my sofa. I must have looked like a madman as I booted up my iTunes playlist, plugged in the gigantic new headphones I had just bought to keep me looking young and hip, and clamped them down over her ears. (the sweat forming on my brow and upper lip couldn’t have helped.) In response to her nervous expression, I kept shouting “You’ll love this! You’ll love this!”
I spun her around so that she was looking out the window. My “plan” was that she’d be so distracted by the modest 4th floor view, that it would allow me to pull my pants off while I sprinted down the hall, silently singing the praises of the noise-reducing quality of my new headphones. (this story will be reprinted in its entirety as a 5 star review on the Sony Beats Audio Amazon page.)
As I slammed the bathroom door shut, already half naked, it occurred to me that I had not been shouting “You’ll love this!” at Andrea. I don’t even know how to say that in German. In my desperation I had been saying “Ich Leibe Dich!” Repeatedly professing my love for her in a shaky and frantic voice. But maybe that was a good thing, because as I threw myself at the toilet, I figured the best I could hope for is that she would be so creeped-out that she would sneak out of the apartment, blissfully unaware of the carnage taking place in the next room.
What can I say about the ensuing white-knuckle bowel movement that hasn’t been expressed in other reviews on this page? I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the adjective “Kafkaesque” used anywhere else.
By the end of Act One of this private little torture-porn movie, I was confessing to every unsolved crime in history. Praying I would stumble upon the one that would satisfy my invisible captors.
Quickly I realized that I had more than Andrea’s sense of sound to worry about. Were she to get even the faintest whiff of the weapons-grade sluice that my anus was angrily shouting into the porcelain, I would have to change my name and move to another city.
And so I flushed. And flushed. And flushed and flushed.
And then I flushed and nothing happened.
I have never looked down into a broken toilet with more horror in my entire life. And I once stopped up George Clooney’s crapper! (a true story for another time.)
I reached for the plunger, but my hand froze and my heart seized when I saw it on the floor, broken in two and covered in what looked like teeth marks. Apparently I had used the wooden handle to keep from biting my tongue off and had chewed clean through it. When did that happen? It seems my mind had already started the process of repressing this entire event.
Amid the feverish, fruitless dance I did across my tiny bathroom floor, it dawned on me that it had been more than a minute since my last soul-wrenching anal tantrum. Dear Lord, is it over? I asked, quite possibly aloud.
I may have been light-headed and delusional, but I began to imagine a non-ignominious resolution to this ordeal. I just needed to get her the hell out of here. If Andrea hadn’t fled the building, vomiting in terror, then I supposed I could pull up my trousers and make a cavalier exit. As long as I could get her off premises and as far away from this post-apocalyptic commode as humanly possible. Assuming that the Diarrhistas had retreated to the hills temporarily, maybe I could even whisk Andrea away to a candlelight dinner at Bernardo’s. How impulsive!
My first few steps back toward the living room were tentative. And not just because my sphincter felt raw and tattered. It was a slow approach to the Moment of Truth, especially when I saw her figure still planted on my sofa. I knew any look on Andrea’s face other than her mouth agape would constitute a miraculous victory. And when she smiled at me, the wash of relief that engulfed me was more glorious than any throes of ecstasy I might have wished for at the beginning of the night.
And then I saw it.
The decorative bowl sitting in her lap. Down to just the last few sugarless Gummi bears.
“Du hast Haribo!” she said to me. Accompanied by a satisfied smile. A big, beaming Hansel and Gretel smile, that slightly turned down in one corner at the sound we both suddenly heard. A low rumble from deep within her GI tract that sounded like Gefahrrrrr.
The German word for Danger.
Her eyes shot past mine and refocused on the bathroom door just down the hall behind me.

Just re-reading this and my eyes are wet again. Some others:

“Does she have a GI bleed? A necrotic bowel?” he asked.

As soon as we hit the ER doors I was off like a Kenyan on methamphetamine for the bathroom. I tried to use a hallway bathroom, but it was occupied. My only other option was the bathroom right outside the nurses station. I mean, it was RIGHT outside the nurses station. The door was a mere five feet from their desks. All those pretty, young, nurses. With no other option, I ran back, trying to keep my cheeks clinched. Little staccato bursts of sulfuric farts punctuated each yard as I raced for the finish line hoping that I could keep my chocolate starfish clenched tight enough to stem the tide.

I ripped the door open and somehow managed to drop my pants without undoing my belt. What erupted sounded like a steamroller driving through a bubble wrap factory. I knew it was audible from the nurses station and I had nearly knocked a pretty blonde out of her chair during my mad dash. As the sense of relief from the pressure washed over me, so did the smell. It smelled like someone took a bag of dirty diapers, filled it with rotting body parts, and let it sit in the sun for two weeks.

I sat there, petrified, but also doubled over with the sort of cramps that make one pray for death.

“Tonya? What is that SMELL?!” came a voice from outside the door. I knew there was no escaping with my dignity intact. I sent a text to my partner from the bathroom telling her I was sick and to let me know when she was ready to leave. When she replied I dashed from the bathroom back to the ambulance.

That was from a female ambulance officer.

Next time I am scheduled for a colonoscopy, I plan to eat sugar free gummi bears instead of drinking that nasty magnesium citrate. The bears are delicious and the cleansing effect is the same!

Heh.

He shuffled his way to my office shouting my name (probably to get the code) but I had hidden myself under my desk. “Unbelievable!” was the only thing he could say when I heard what sounded like a live cat being dropped in a bubbling stew pot while shooting a tommy gun. I looked under my desk to see soiled trousers drop on the floor of my office, as he defiled my shredder bin.

I started to feel bad for him and stood up, but was immediately knocked back down by a putrefied stench of an exploding blue whale that had laid in the sun for weeks. My gag reflex was vaporized and I spun yarn like Linda Blair and Pazuzu’s love child. Most of it covered my boss’s pants and legs, as he bore down like a power squatter moments before prolapsing. His eyes were open, but he couldn’t see anything but pain.

The quality of the writing is superb.

I begin to punch in the four digit code to open the gate… “4, 7″….. suddenly my stomach makes a noise that could only be described as an elephant with a trumpet playing into a megaphone….. then a shift of my insides that hit harder then anything I’d ever felt even during the two times I had GIVEN BIRTH…. WHEN SOMETHING WAS LITERALLY SHIFTING INSIDE OF ME!
I did not punch in the last two digits. All I could do…. all that my instincts and training had taught me to do…. I threw on my lights and sirens and put my car in reverse as I was already beginning to accelerate with my foot. I swear I nearly exceeded 30mph in reverse just to make it to the main road immediately. I had 2.7miles to make it to the nearest public restroom. Lights and sirens on I traveled at 80mph as I heaved through traffic and pulled into that ENMARK Station nearby. When I went running from my car and into the station I took no notice of the fully packed pumping area or the 15 or so people inside. I was too busy trying to squeeze my butt cheeks together and still maintain running.
Fast forward through what I will call the S***-POCALYPSE and a good 40minutes of my life I will never forget, I am faced with walking through the crowd of people that had collected due to my very fast and dramatic entrance. Apparently the assumption was there was a criminal type in the bathroom who I was arresting.

That was a police officer.

I bought a bag because I’m trying to cut down on sugar. It seems Haribo has replaced the sucrose in a typical batch of Gummy Bears with colon-shredding rage. Just a couple of handfuls left me crying for my mommy on the bathroom floor (I am 43 years old).

The cute little tricksters look just like their benign counterparts, with the same cuddly ears, stubby arms and not-too-squishy, not-too-firm texture. The taste is the same too, and that’s how the little demons invade your innards. I ate a dozen or so and then went about my day, oblivious to the angry, brown fire hose that they were constructing in my colon.

The cramping started about an hour later, and soon enough I was as bloated as a balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. When the rumbling started I sprinted down the hallway and made it to the bathroom just in time for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to stampede from my backside, laying waste to my home’s septic system AND my will to live. After three hours of pelvis-shaking misery, I was spongy, weak, and amazed that I had any bones left. I cursed Haribo with the little strength I could muster.

I’m amazed the FDA hasn’t banned them.

What is occurring in my body right now may only be explained with the final 20 minutes of the movie Independence Day. The sweet gummy bears that I thought I had chewed and swallowed have now resurrected inside my bowels with a vengeance. The only thing that I can imagine they are doing is s***ting inside my digestive tract. Decomposed zombie gummy bear s***. This can’t be all my s***. There’s no way. That’s not my s***. That’s s*** from a supernatural entity living inside me. Literally nothing I’ve eaten in a dozen years could possibly turn my ass into a to-scale model of Mt. St. Helens, violently spewing what smells like a public bus filled with homeless people with fresh perms, in Mexico City at such a cyclic rate, that I’m worried the war veteran below me thinks he’s storming Normandy again.
Shame on everyone who handled these bears before they made it to me. Shame on Amazon for making theses available for purchase. Shame on the guy in the warehouse who packaged this for shipment. Shame on the UPS guy for bringing this to my door. You all knew. I know you knew, and you knew I’d know. And you still let me do this to myself. Shame on you!
My last hope now is that the force of gas propelling from my anus may be strong enough to disturb Satan himself in hell. And that he is so angered by this that he sends an entire fleet of brave minions to come up through the toilet and put me out of my misery.

Is it wrong that these reviews made me want to try some? In fact some of the reviews are from exactly that – people who thought they couldn’t be that bad, and had to find out.

Seriously give up now whatever you are doing, and spend the rest of the day reading the 47 pages of reviews. It will cheer you up no end.

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Sugarless Gummy Bears

January 17th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

From Slightly Viral:

Oh, gummy bears! They’re so tasty and delicious you can never eat just one. In fact most of us eat them by the handful.   And with diet season in full swing, some of us may be looking at the sugar-free alternative to help ease the gummy bear cravings.

But before you hop on Amazon to make a bulk purchase of the sugar-free variety, you just might want to read the safety warnings.  Or better yet, take a look at the user submitted reviews. We’ve compiled the best of the best for you here at Slightly Viral…

Go read the reviews. Priceless.

 

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Hide and seek gone wrong

January 7th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

News.com.au reports:

A man from Mooroopna in country Victoria, aiming to surprise his girlfriend with his clever choice of hiding spot, had climbed naked into a top-loader washing machine, where he became firmly wedged, reports the Shepparton News.

Shepparton police Sergeant Michelle De Araugo said the man had attempted to climb into the washing machine on Saturday afternoon.

Emergency services were called, and after 20 minutes, freed the naked man by greasing him up with olive oil.

What would have been funnier is if she turned it on, thinking there was a load of laundry in there!

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The Wolf of Wall Street

January 5th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The Wolf of Wall Street, a controversial tale of financial greed, orgies and drug-taking starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has set a record for profanity in a major Hollywood movie.

It uses the F-word 506 times during its 180-minute running time – that’s once every 21 seconds.

The Martin Scorsese-directed film, a blockbuster hit in Kiwi cinemas this summer, eclipsed the previous record held by Spike Lee’s 1999 movie Summer of Sam, which notched up 435 mentions, according to Variety, the entertainment industry trade publication.

I saw The Wolf of Wall Street on Friday night in Hamilton, and loved it. A three hour movie is either going to be great or unendurable. It was the former. Just cracked up laughing so often. The highlight or lowlight was when the future wife of the Jordan Belfort walks into a party.

Funnily enough I didn’t even notice the profanity. Maybe it is partly because the F work hardly registers as a shocking word anymore (unless used directly at someone) but partly because it just fitted the environment the film depicted.

Some people will hate this film, but most people will love it.

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Q&A with a guy with two penises

January 3rd, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

A fascinating and hilarious AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit with a guy who has two penises.

Most of it not safe for work. Had over 12,000 comments. Some extracts over the break so no one will see them who doesn’t want to.

(more…)

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Hobbit 2 Review – John Stringer

January 2nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by Kokila Patel

I went on Christmas Eve, and here are my thoughts.  See my
review of Hobbit 1 also published on Kiwiblog.
http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/review-the-hobbit-1-2012/

This second instalment in The Hobbit trilogy opens with a
delightful cameo of Peter Jackson. So, we get this
out-of-the-way from the get go. A pub patron steps out of a
Bree Inn, bites a carrot in half, and stumps off in to the
rain drenched muddy alley way of Bree main street. Tick.

The elves in Hob 2 are much darker, more threatening than
before, even more than Hugo Weaving’s excellent ‘Agent
Smith’ Elrond from LoTR I-III. We see them in context,
as a race, pruning orcs from their borders and having warred
with the dwarves and Sauron.  We also catch a glimpse of
their gracious tragic arrogance. Lee Pace’s King Thranduil
is one of the stand out performances of this episode. The
elves too, this outing, seem to have liquid eyes (Mirkwood
Gucci) and more close-ups to enthrall and allure us in
contrast to the comical dwarves (of which more below).We
also get a lot more of Legolas’ back story, his relational
context, and the new character Tauriel introduces a love
triangle conflict with one of the dwarves. This is added by
Jackson (absent in Tolkien). Legolas is ennobled in this
tale and the elf-dwarf humour is back. There is a lovely
scene where he denigrates a dwarf passport drawing, “Is
this one of your hideous dwarf women?” “Noo. That’s
may wee bairn, Gimli.”  Legolas’ eyebrow twerks.

Jackson absolutely blew me away with Hobbit 1 which exceeded
my expectations as a long-time Tolkien buff.  So first,
some brick bats.

1. Hob 2 starts off lightly.  It comes across too
cartoonie, like the Disney-esque Radagast the Brown wizard
in instalment 1 which almost went over the line with the
rabbit sleigh (back this time too). Radagast is played by
Sylvester McLoy (Dr Who 7) a kind of Catweazel Worzel
Gummage figure with birds nesting in his hair.

2. Hob 2 is a bit disjointed, with cut-aways and flash backs
(especially Gandalf’s role in this movie) as Jackson seeks
to link this trilogy with LoTR (The Hobbit was written first
before LoTR was conceived). Fortunately the film is
redeemed in the second half by the drama with Smaug. But
you are aware of an episodic feel to Hobbit 2.

3. The barrels scenes with the dwarves escaping the elven
halls is ridiculous.  It is Tintin gymnastics to the
extreme, with Legolas doing those fanciful circ du
soleil Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon somersaults and
skateboard tricks.  Quite how the barrels stayed upright
with heavy dwarves in them in white water must have been a
miracle of the Valar.  It was silly and demeaned the
characters; bordering on Disney kids holiday rollicking.
Perhaps Jackson was attempting to capture something of the
children’s storybook nature of The Hobbit, which Lord of
the Rings is not.  But he recovers well.

4. Bilbo is also rather pale in this movie. He is almost a
second tier character beside Thorin, Bard, Smaug and the
Orcs. It is called The Hobbit after all. I’m not so sure
Martin Freedman was the best option as Bilbo. I wish Leo
McKern was still alive (Rumpole of the Bailey) either as
Bilbo or Thorin.

5. Mayor of Laketown played by Stephen Fry was a
disappointment, a bit like Barry Humphries as the Goblin
King in Hob 1. Fry is such a good actor (he was brilliant as
Oscar Wilde) but was off-key in this role.  It would have
been better if he played Lord Melchett.  Badly cast, a
lack-lustre performance and a missed opportunity.

6. There is ridiculous physics and timing in this film, like
when the dwarves somehow erect a massive moulded dwarf, fill
it with liquid gold, and then pull it apart in an attempt to
drown Smaug.  MacGyver on steroids. I would have cut that
out of the film altogether as too Indianna Jones and the
Temple of Doom.

7. Sorry, but I hate Bombur. He looks like Obelix with a
pleated beard and clashes with several of the dwarves,
especially Thorin, who are presented as gorgeous
metrosexuals, while others have the knobbly noses and stumpy
feet we expect of fantasy dwarves. They feel like two
different races.

Now the good bits.

There is a wonderful, dangerous, dark character in this
episode, and that is the bear-of-a-man Beorn the
skin-changer.  Jackson really captures the man, wild eyed,
slightly unpredictable, anchored in history. His makeup is
amazing.  Not too much, but enough to suggest the
Wildlands. I won’t show him to you, you have to go see the
movie for that. A highlight of Hob 2.

In Mirkwood there is a wonderful extended scene reminiscent
of the human-eating bugs in King Kong. Bilbo slays the
Spiders with the help of the Ring and saves the dwarves.
This is masterful, and even exceeds the book, Jackson at
his best.  I loved when Bilbo slips the ring on, and we
can hear the Spiders’ language. We also discover why Bilbo
and Frodo’s elven blade is so-named.

Jackson does some great linkages between Hobbit and LoTR,
establishing the origins of the Black Riders, and visually
linking Sauron’s form to the All Seeing Eye. He also
develops the personality of the ring itself. There is a
great wizard duel between Gandalf and Sauron at Dol Guldur.

Laketown is amazing.  Jackson portrays this once grand
place, now decrepit beneath the shadow of Smaug’s Lonely
Mountain as truly Tolkien-esque without too many
similarities to medieval Britain. The model makers deserve
an Academy for Laketown.

Thorin Oakenshield is fleshed out more deeply and we are
beginning to become torn by his heroic melancholy and his
corrupting greed for the gold and kingship. I personally
think the actor (Richard Armitage) is too pretty. A
knobbly ugly war-scarred dwarf is how I imagined Thorin
Oakenshield.  But his duel with Smaug, calling him a
flabby worm (as Tolkien does) is fantastic, as they duel
verbally for psychological rights to be “King Under the
Mountain.” Thorin is certainly brave.

A poignant moment when Thorin finally steps in to the halls
of Erebor beneath the Lonely Mountain. Here I think we catch
the obvious allusion to the Jews, and I’ve written on
whether Tolkien was allegorizing Jewish history in the
dwarves before.

The orcs Azog and his mongrel son Bolg are great, reminding
me of Satan and Son of Satan in Constantine. They grunt and
conspire their way through this movie. We also get much more
of the Wargs.

Smaug (pronounced SmOWg) is simply magnificent and exactly
how Tolkien portrayed him in my mind. He is malevolent,
dangerous beyond measure, and this is the most intimidating
portrayal of the majesty and weapon-of-mass-destruction
Dragon ever seen.  Smaug, spoken by Timothy Benedict
Cumberpatch, totally redeems the movie.  The second half
is fabulous with a long fight scene between Smaug, the
dwarves under the Lonely Mountain all the while with Bilbo
trying to burgle the sacred Arkenstone.  But Smaug is on
to him.

It is delightful seeing the Scrooge McDuck vaults times one
hundred, filled with gold and somewhere under it all, a
sleeping dragon.  Bilbo steps out tenderly as if walking
on egg shells, but gold booty is so NOISEY.  It slides and
rattles. GASP.  “If there’s one thing ya do laddie, don’t
waken it!”

The movie ends well, with Smaug flying off into the evening
sky with the hopelessly vulnerable Laketown below about to
be nuked by this jealous, angry psychopathic arrogant
ballistic missile with wings. Bilbo and the dwarves look
helplessly on; what have they awoken?  But Bard, already
well scripted by Jackson and team as an isolated outcast
whose grandfather failed to kill the dragon, has one family
heirloom black arrow left, and knows where the dwarven wind
lance is.  Queue Hobbit 3 and a day for Men! But first, a
roasting…

Great closing music.

All-in-all a dutiful middle piece to the trilogy.  Smaug
lifts it. 8/10.

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Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Merry Christmas everyone.

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A North Korean denouncer

December 17th, 2013 at 1:53 pm by David Farrar

Someone has set up a page where you can denounce people in North Korean style. Very useful!

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A great Xmas promotion from WestJet

December 10th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

That’s a very cool thing to do. The real spirit of Christmas.

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22 top TV shows

December 7th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

News.com.au has what they call the 22 shows most worth bingeing on. They are:

  • Breaking Bad – started watching Season 1 on DVDs a few weeks ago, and damn good.
  • Girls – I love how Hannah, the lead, is such an unsympathetic character.
  • Mad Men – just finished watching Series 5 on DVD. Great one to watch from the beginning
  • Homeland – first season rocked.
  • Boardwalk Empire – yet to watch
  • Downton Abbey – my parents love it. Yet to view myself
  • The Sopranos – watched when live on TV – scheduled for a DVD binge
  • Friends – very easy to watch reruns, which is just as well as it has been on TV2 non stop for 15 years!
  • The Walking Dead – watched a few episodes, but not got into
  • Friday Night Lights – never heard of
  • The West Wing – have watched every episode at least six times. Love it.
  • House of Cards – am beyond addicted. Kevin Spacey as Frank is compelling.
  • Seinfeld – watched at the time, but not one for reruns
  • NCIS – watching both live and older episodes
  • House – watched live – excellent first few seasons but drifted off
  • The Newsroom – too preachy
  • Buffy – the first TV series watched from series beginning to end on DVD – lots of fun
  • Arrested Development – not watched
  • Game of Thrones – watched within hours of release
  • Scrubs – mildly funny at first, but annoying
  • Doctor Who – loved the Day of the Doctor
  • The Wire – have got Season 1 to watch as friends insist I will love it, but yet to get into

 

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The Wellington Sevens

December 6th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Sevens fans oblivious to the sport being played on the field need to start paying attention as organisers look to “transform” Wellington’s biggest party and make it more Olympic.

The centrepiece of Wellington’s sports and events calendar needed to change ahead of the rugby code’s debut at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, general manager Marty Donoghue told a Wellington City Council committee yesterday.

“We’re at a point when we need to transform.”

That move is being supported by veteran rugby commentator Keith Quinn, who says the party has overtaken the tournament.

After the meeting, Mr Donoghue – who has spent just three weeks in the tournament’s top job – said the idea was to still have the party and costumes but to put more emphasis on rugby.

A worthy aim, but good luck with that.

Increasing the rugby and family zones was a way to enhance the sport aspect, and potentially attract new audiences.

One small problem with that.

The family and rugby zones were both used at this year’s tournament, and tickets for the 2014 event have been the first in years not to sell out within minutes, with about 3000 still available yesterday.

No one wants to be in the nana section.

The move to focus on sport was backed by Quinn, who ranked the Hong Kong and Dubai events ahead of Wellington’s because they focused more on the rugby.

“The Wellington Sevens is very good, but it’s at its best on a sunny day on the second afternoon, when the crowd finally does focus in on the last stage of the semifinals and the various finals . . . Sometimes I have felt that the party has distracted the crowd from the event, the sports event.”

I think many who attend have the view that the rugby distracts the crowd from the party.

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Lions up close

December 3rd, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

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Monday Motivator – Blue Hut On SH8

November 4th, 2013 at 10:00 am by Richard Hume

Monday Motivator 1

Welcome to this new spot on Kiwiblog – your Monday Motivator – a landscape photograph usually in the panoramic format from New Zealand or overseas designed to bring you a little inspiration for the week ahead.

I thought I would start with a classic New Zealand scene taken on the road between Twizel and Lake Tekapo which has a certain element of ‘kiwiana’ about it. Very rarely does it occur that you happen to be driving by when all the elements (especially the light) for a photograph are present at that very moment. But that was the case with this image and after a quick u-turn and setting up the tripod in the middle of the highway I set about capturing what has become a very special photograph.

Enjoy Free Wallpaper – Desktop or ipad

I hope you enjoy – you can download this photograph as a free Desktop Wallpaper HERE and please share with your friends.

Many thanks to David for adding me amongst the fine photographers on Kiwiblog.

Cheers Richard [richardhume.com]

 

 

 

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For Calvin & Hobbes Fans

November 3rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Received by e-mail:

I wanted to introduce myself as a representative for the comic syndicate for Calvin and Hobbes and many other comics, Universal Uclick. I’m reaching out in response to your post about Bill Watterson’s recent interview. We’re glad that you think that your audience is still connected a timeless comic strip and a brilliant storyteller.

With your readers showing interest in Bill Watterson and his comic strip, your readers may be interested to know that the entire Calvin and Hobbes archive is available for free on our GoComics website and mobile app – no strings attached. We’re the only place online and via mobile app that is legally approved to display Bill Watterson’s artistry via Calvin and Hobbes.

Website: http://www.GoComics.com/CalvinAndHobbes<http://www.gocomics.com/CalvinAndHobbes>

Mobile App: http://www.gocomics.com/explore/app_store

 The GoComics app boasts 4+ star ratings on all platforms and has been featured in Entertainment Weekly’s “The Must List” (May 2013) as well as the “New and Noteworthy” section on the iTunes store in multiple countries.

Good outreach on their behalf, and great to have the comics so easy to read online. Of course I have every single book of them also!

Also a film has been produced on the impact of Calvin and Hobbes on the cartooning world.

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Game of Bones

November 3rd, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

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Games of Thrones fans will love this picture.

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Sex is not a work related injury!

October 31st, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A Canberra public servant injured in a “vigorous” sex session in a country motel six years ago has lost her claim against the federal government for workers’ compensation.

The High Court has ruled in Canberra this morning that the woman was not entitled to compensation from the federal workplace insurer Comcare because the circumstances of her injury were not related to her employment.

Lawyers for Comcare argued throughout the four-year legal saga that the public servant should not get taxpayer-funded compensation as result of a “personal choice” to have sex while on the work trip.

Hard to see what other decision they could come to!

The bureaucrat suffered lacerations to her nose and mouth as well as “psychological injuries” when a glass light fitting was pulled from the wall of the motel room as she had sex with a local man in Nowra in November 2007.

Psychological issues?

Maybe the solution is to be umm less vigorous in the motel room!

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Grant on truck brakes

October 29th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

This audio is hilarious as a truck driver is called about using his engine brakes in town too much. Listen to the end for a twist. The audio is now after the break as it may have been interfering with other links.

(more…)

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Leading the world in …

October 24th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

5414

You can click on the image for a larger copy. From here.

The list of top ranks for each country range from the amusing to the fascinating.

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The rules of Horse

October 21st, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Horse is New Zealand’s iconic road trip game, made popular by Neil Miller esquire. From time to time there have been queries as to the rules, so I am happy to present the official rules of Horse. The three rules are:

  1. If you see a horse you point at it and yell out “horse” and you score one point
  2. If you see a picture of a horse, you point at it and yell out “picture of a horse” and you scores ten points
  3. If you see a cemetery, you point at it and yell out “bury all the horses” and everyone else’s scores reset to zero

The rules are quite simple and the person at the end of the trip with the most points wins, but there are a number of areas of interpretation which Mr Miller and I can provide authoritative guidance on.

Does a statue of a horse count as a picture of a horse?

Yes. Any inanimate representation of a horse counts.

Can you claim multiple pictures of horses on the one building or structure?

No. The first person who points to and claims a picture of a horse on a structure nullifies the others. So if a National Bank has four horses on it, only one can be claimed.

Do you lose a point if you claim a horse and it turns out to be a cow?

No. But you do get mocked by everyone else in the vehicle.

Does the Pegasus on Mobil petrol stations count as a horse?

Yes. A Pegasus is simply a winged horse.

What counts as a cemetery?

One or more graves. You must sight an actual grave. You can not claim a cemetery just on the basis of seeing a sign.

What do you score if you are playing horse and an advertisement on the radio has a horse neighing on it?

This was only encountered last week, and as it is so rare we believe a bonus of 20 points is appropriate.

What if you see a horse float with a horse inside it, and a picture of a horse on it?

Yell out “picture of a horse and a horse” and score 11 points.

Can the driver play?

Yes. However it is regarded as a bad thing if he or she wins as they should be concentrating on the road.

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No Calvin and Hobbes film

October 18th, 2013 at 12:41 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

No matter how much you want it, you’re unlikely to see a Calvin and Hobbes film.

Bill Watterson, who created the immensely popular comic strip about a boy and his tiger friend, has said that although he’s impressed with modern animated films from the likes of Pixar, he doesn’t see the need for a big-screen adaptation.

“The visual sophistication of Pixar blows me away, but I have zero interest in animating Calvin and Hobbes. If you’ve ever compared a film to a novel it’s based on, you know the novel gets bludgeoned. It’s inevitable, because different media have different strengths and needs, and when you make a movie, the movie’s needs get served. As a comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes works exactly the way I intended it to. There’s no upside for me in adapting it.” 

This makes me very sad.

I adore Calvin & Hobbes. Watterson is a genius for his ability to portray the world as Calvin sees it.

But he is probably right. The comic books are so perfect, that a movie just couldn’t capture that tension between the real world and Calvin’s world.

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The worst burglar ever

October 14th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

This is hilarious. Watch the full three minutes – especially the ending.

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An unfortunate name

October 11th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The single defining characteristic of teenage sex in 2013 is porn. Graphic, hardcore sex, free for anyone with a smart phone to watch. It’s so ubiquitous that the average age of first exposure to porn is now just 11 years old, warping kids’ ideas of what normal sex is years before they are likely to try it themselves.

“When you put a smart phone in the hands of a teen or tween, you’re basically giving them access to online porn,” says Liz Walker, the national director of Get a Grip Teenz education program.

That’s an unfortunate name for a group campaigning against porn!

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Wellington Mayoral Entertainment preferences

October 10th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post has asked the Mayoral candidates for their favourite movies, books etc.

Out of the six responses for each category, the item I prefer the most is:

  • Film – The Shawshank Redemption (John Morrison)
  • TV – The West Wing (Nicola Young)
  • Music – Elton John (John Morrison)
  • Website – Kiwiblog (Nicola Young) :-)
  • Hobby – Road trips (Jack Yan)
  • Author/Book – Biographies (John Morrison)
  • Game – Five Hundred (Nicola Young)
  • Sport – Kayaking (Celia Wade-Brown) to do, Rugby (Rob Goulden) to watch
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They do have nice buffalo wings

October 9th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Press reports:

Outgoing Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt racked up nearly $9000 on his ratepayer-funded credit card in the last year, including more than $120 on two visits to the bawdy Hooters restaurant in the United States.

Figures released to The Press under the Official Information Act show Marryatt twice visited the restaurant chain in Phoenix, Arizona, famous for its young busty waitresses. He was there on a council managers’ conference a year ago.

Cr Tim Carter, who chairs the council’s audit and risk committee and often signed off credit card reports from senior staff, said he was “struggling to understand how spending money at a Hooters bar was council business”. Mayoral candidate Lianne Dalziel has also called for more transparency on council spending.

To be fair to Marryatt, you do need to eat while at conferences and Hooters do have absolutely delicious buffalo wings.  Best I’ve had in America.

But it is a pretty dumb move to choose Hooters as an eating establishment, when the ratepayers (or taxpayers) are paying the bills. I would never go to Hooters if I wasn’t paying the bill myself.

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