Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Cyanide and Happiness Halloween

Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Zealand’s National Flower

Over at Topics from 192 Countries, the latest topic is national flowers. I have just finished writing this post for it, and decided to reproduce it here:

After reading Elspeth’s post the other day about national flowers, I was intrigued to find out what New Zealand’s national flower was, as I must admit I did not know. I went off and researched it and was surprised to find that New Zealand doesn’t have an official national flower, but it does recognise three unofficial national flowers as the Silver Fern, the red Pohutukawa flower, and the yellow Kowhai. As the Silver Fern does not produce a flower as such, the red Pohutukawa flower from our native Pohutukawa tree is probably the closest to a national flower. These trees are protected by law, and there are rules about only moving them until they are a certain age, and then after which you are not allowed to ‘kill’ them. These trees are evergreen, and the beautiful red flowers appear from late December (the southern-hemisphere summer).

The Silver Fern is better known as a national symbol for New Zealand. The Silver Fern is also native to New Zealand, and is characterised by its fern leaves being green on the upper surface and silver on its lower surface. The Silver Fern is often seen on New Zealand military uniforms and gravestones, but more commonly on the uniforms of New Zealand’s national sports teams (which are predominately black with white trim). New Zealand’s national netball team is known as The Silver Ferns. A lot of patriotic New Zealanders often get themselves tattooed with a silver fern to mark them as a Kiwi.

New Zealanders are colloquially known as Kiwis, after our national bird. The Kiwi is native to New Zealand and is a short and fat little bird, brown in colour, with stubby wings and a long beak (although probably not politically correct to call it short and fat anymore). Its stubby wings mean it is a flightless bird, an lives by hunting bugs and worms in the soil using its long beak. I’m not sure if Kiwis are able to climb Pohutukawa trees, but theoretically I guess they could achieve flight for small periods of time from these trees – Flight time being calculated as ‘height of the tree’ x ‘gravity’.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Topics from 192 Countries

Every once in a while someone comes up with an extraordinarily unique idea for a blog. Another one of these has just come to me, via email.

I received an email from Shinji in Japan on Wednesday, who asked if I would like to contribute to his project called Topics from 192 Countries. This blog is similar to A World of Bloggers in that Shinji is trying to get one blogger from each of 192 countries. The difference is that instead of a being a directory like mine, Shinji's idea is for each blogger to contribute and blog about their countries on the blog.

One concept that I like about Topics from 192 Countries, is that you can read the posts by countries. For example, if you click on the New Zealand link in the sidebar, a new page will open with all the posts about New Zealand. Fantastic!

I have accepted Shinji's offer and I now hold the honour of being the New Zealand contributor at Topics from 192 Countries. I have just posted an introductory post there, and hope to write plenty more about people, places, culture, facts and trivia there about life in New Zealand.

Ka pai Shinji!

('Ka pai' is Maori for 'well done')

Monday, October 23, 2006

Cyanide and Happiness

A friend sent me some of these cartoons from Explosm.net. I thought I'd share this one with you as it appeals to my dry sense of humour...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Peace on Earth

Mimi emailed me the other day with a fabulous idea she come up with called Dona nobis pacem in the Blogosphere. After recent nuclear tests in North Korea, Another plane hitting a building in NYC, mayhem in Iraq and all the other problems around the world, Mimi's idea is to have a "World Peace" day on Nov 7 2006. She may not be able to achieve complete world peace (I wish she could), but she is making a start by trying to have a day of peace in the Bloggersphere.

Always wanting to be part of a great idea, I am jumping on board and am going to post "Dona Nobis Pacem" on Nov 7. If you would like to be part of Mimi's movement, please click the link above or go to Mimi's blog for more info.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Blogging Blues

I've got the blogging blues!

It has been an interesting last couple of weeks for me. I've been off work sick with 'the flu' for the last ten days. I was planning to get a medical clearance to fly agan today, but now I've gone and broken my little toe, which means I'm hobbling around and still can't fly for another few days yet. To top it off, all the drugs I have been taking for being sick and now the anti-biotics and anti-inflammatories for upset my stomach and I've been spending a lot of time hobbling down to the toilet (Sorry, you probably didn't care to know that:-()

I hate being sick (or injured). I just don't feel like doing anything, except lying on the couch, reading a book, or watching DVDs and TV. Hence, I haven't posted anything for almost two weeks. I haven't picked up my camera. I haven't been visiting all my blog friends to read what they have been up to. I've just been feeling sorry for myself.

I hate being grounded and not being able to fly. Flying is like an addiction. When ever I'm not up there, I want to be up there. Like Michael Angelo said:

"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward. For there you have been, and there you long to return"

So, I'm sorry I haven't been as active as I'd like to be. Hopefully soon I'll be back to blogging full swing.

Mimi, I still love your idea about Dona nobis pacem, and I have been planning to write a full post about it since your email to me. Hopefully I'll get over my blues shortly and get onto it...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Stress Test

How stressed are you?

The following three images are all completely static. There is no trick involved. If you stare directly at any part of each of them, you will see they are not moving.

I can't explain exactly how, but if the image is moving it is because of how your eye is seeing it, and your brain is interpreting it.

Ideally, the pictures should not appear to be moving at all. If they are moving slowly you would be experiencing normal levels of stress. Young children and senior citizens should see them standing still. If you see them moving rapidly you may well be under considerable stress and I think it's time for you to take a holiday...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Critique My Blog - Mahnahmuhnah!

On Sunday I visited Critique My Blog and asked Billy Mac to critique this blog. This was what he had to say:

It seems like a lot of people these days are tapping into the Your Tube phenomenon. This blog...aside from flowing with interesting pieces of writing and topics...has one of my favorite clips...the muppets that sing Mahnahmuhnah. It's awesome. The blogs OK too :) All kidding aside...the blog has a blog meter, has a means to monetize the blog and the content is easy on the eyes. Nice job and Well done!

Thanks for the critique / review Billy! Be sure to check out Critique My Blog and if you're brave, ask him to critique your blog too. Don't forget to mention I sent you ;-)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Smoking Fry - McGoodness???

I have just watched the movie Super Size Me again. If you have ever wanted a reason to stop or cut back on eating fast food such as McDonalds, then watch this movie.

Super Size Me is a documentary directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, who goes on a quest to eat nothing but McDonalds for 30 days to see if eating fast food is in fact good for you. During this time he has to eat three square meals of McDonalds per day, have every item on the menu at least once, and if McDonalds doesn't sell it, he can't eat it. Also, if he is asked if he wants to 'super size', he has to say yes. He is also only allowed to exercise the same amount as the 'average American' does. At the beginning of the 30 day period he undergoes several health checks and then compares them regularly during the 30 days. The results? Let's just say it is enough to put you off eating McDonalds for a while.

If you went to see this movie at the theatre, you may have missed 'The Smoking Fry'. This is an extra scene available on the DVD edition. I found a copy of it on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. My question is 'How much preservative do these fries contain?'

This movie is enough to inspire me to eat healthily and exercise regularly. If I was a movie critic I would rate Super Size Me a 9/10.
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