Sideswipe: Aug 30: Please be gentle with our door...

A reader writes: "I saw this sign on a gym door and thought that if you could not prevent the door slamming in the wind, then taking out insurance for the eventuality might be the next best course of action. Although I am not sure if it's really practical to get each individual door user to read the sign and take out a policy."

Read the New Zealand edition

Bookish types enjoyed this week's trending Twitter hash tag #replacebooktitleswithnewzealandtowns. Here are some of the best:

We Need to talk about Levin

Bluff The Magic Dragon

The Chronicles of Napier

Hairy Maclary (from Dunsandel's Dairy)

Dannevirke the Champion of the World

The Cat in the Hutt

Pride and Porirua

How the Grinch stole Christchurch

Green Eggs and Hamilton

Gore of the Worlds

The Lion in the Meadowbank

Of Mice and Methven

The Happy Huka Falls

Diary of a Winton Kid

Beauty and the Beast of Blenheim

For more go to

Songs keep getting sadder

The British Psychological Society reports that popular music is sadder than it used to be. The researchers looked at the tempo (fast or slow) and mode (major or minor) of the most popular 1010 pop songs from 1965 to 2009. Tempo was determined using the beats per minute of a song, and where this was ambiguous the researchers used the rate at which you'd clap along. They found that "the proportion of songs recorded in minor-mode has increased, doubling over the past 50 years. The proportion of slow tempo hits has also increased, peaking in the 90s."

Ambergris find a lucky fluke

Following on from yesterday's story about the Dorset boy who found a lump of whale vomit valued at around £40,000 ($78,150), Warwick Graham writes: "Ambergris [whale vomit] has been found in New Zealand. Back in 1928 during a beach walk at Otara Beach in Eastern Southland, a trio of relatives, Bill 'Lofty' Blair and Fred and Frank Ericson, shipped a large lump weighing 189 pounds [86kg] to England where it sold by tender to a French perfume company. With a fortune of £2400 each, Lofty and Frank each bought themselves Southland farms."

- NZ Herald

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