Sideswipe: Parrots under the influence

Red Lorikeets. Photo / Supplied
Red Lorikeets. Photo / Supplied

It's drunken parrot season in the Northern Territory, but instead of getting a bit tiddly, this year the birds are getting totally sloshed. Before the rains each year, scores of intoxicated red-collared lorikeets are picked up off Darwin's streets and taken to the local animal hospital. But this year is so bad vet Dr Stephen Cutter is calling it a massive outbreak. "People find them huddled in a corner or at the bottom of a tree. Mostly they just look sick - just a sad little bundle of feathers hiding from the world," he says. Mango, umbrella, and other trees can cause mild drunkenness in birds when the fruit or nectar ferments at different times throughout the year. (Source: Australian Geographic)

Right queue, wrong attitude

A reader writes: "A friend and I took a trip to Sydney last week, to meet up with another good friend to celebrate our birthdays. We decided to treat ourselves to premium/business-class travel via Air NZ. On our return at Sydney Airport, we were waiting to check in at premium when behind the counter this little bald man with a squeaky voice came over, removed the strap to the economy queue, and asked if maybe we were in the wrong queue as this was not economy queue.

Now maybe a few reasons why he assumed this: Could it have been my friend, who had beautiful polished pedicure toenails, but wore jandals? Or was it my thick, unruly hair? Or was it that all of us had 'mocha-latte' complexions."

Making those brown eyes blue

The lyrics of a famous Crystal Gayle song have come true with an entertainment lawyer-turned-doctor in Laguna Beach, California, claiming he has figured out how to make your brown eyes blue using a laser to remove the pigment from the surface of the iris. "The eyes are the windows to the soul," says Dr Gregg Homer. "A blue eye is not opaque (you can see deeply into it) and a brown eye is very opaque. I think there is something very meaningful about this idea of having open windows to the soul." The procedure only lasts 20 seconds, but it takes two to three weeks for the eyes to lose the brown pigment tissue, which never grows back. The procedure is expected to cost about $5000 and no doubt there'll be plenty of people lining up to get it done. (

How Vegas saved FedEx

How FedEx managed to avoid going down the gurgler. In the early 1970s, FedEx was in dire financial straits, needing an infusion of cash to maintain operations. As recounted by supply chain expert Roger Frock in his book Changing How the World Does Business: FedEx's Incredible Journey to Success - The Inside Story, the company needed $24,000 to make a jet fuel payment, but had only $5000 in cash. Founder Fred Smith sprang into action: he took the $5000 and went to Vegas. He won an additional $27,000 and the company survived. (Source:

- NZ Herald

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