Lost in translation

"I've been trying to learn German on my phone," writes Pete on Facebook. "I've learned that Zuckerberg (as in Mark) basically translates as Sugar Mountain which seem very appropriate. On the other hand Calvin Klein translates as Calvin Small - doesn't seem quite so cool now." A friend adds: "The German word Backpfeifengesicht - a face crying out for a fist placed heavily upon it. No English word will do for this one."

Health and Safety gone mad

"Time for the annual chimney sweep and a small adjustment is needed to the cowling," a reader writes. But Health and Safety legislation has decreed that my regular sweeper may not get up on my (almost flat) roof without erecting scaffolding. I, the homeowner, may, even though I am legendarily clumsy; he, an experienced professional, may not."

Three jobs helped get a roof over your head in 1972

A reader writes: "In 1972 my annual income $2000," writes a reader. "New townhouse in Long Bay $25,000 - 12.5 times our wage. Teamed up with a mate to buy one at more than 10 per cent interest rate. Worked weekdays at airport (no motorway connections in those days) plus at gas station on weekends and a bakery one night a week. That's how we got ahead - old fashioned hard work. PS: 12.5 times a $50,000 wage these days is $625,000 and interest rates are only 5 per cent so are houses really so unaffordable?"

We're wired to befriend cautiously

The loneliest people among us are set up to get lonelier because they are more likely to interpret social situations more negatively. University of Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo explains: "If you look at early humans and other hominids, they were not uniformly positive toward each other. We exploit each other, we punish each other, we threaten each other, we coerce. And so it isn't that I want to connect with anyone, I need to worry about friend or foe. If I make an error and detect a person as a foe who turns out to be a friend, I don't make the friend as fast, but I survive. But if I mistakenly detect someone as a friend when they're a foe, that can cost me my life. Over evolution, we've been shaped to have this bias ... (Via The Atlantic)


Phone book wasting away naturally

Dave writes: "The 2015 phone book was 31mm thick; the 2016 book 27mm thick; the 2017 book is less than 24mm thick. At that rate, the 2022 book will be the last at 4mm thick."

Listen to this:

The first episode of RNZ's new podcast series,


Picture this: Check out the BOZENA Riot system, a remote-controlled Peace Maintenance Machine.

Video: Needs to be recut with a 'That's What Friends Are For' soundtrack...

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