CIA's foray into film

In 1955, the CIA produced an animated film called Animal Farm. As reported in the NY Times (March 18, 2000): "Many people remember reading George Orwell's Animal Farm in high school or college, with its chilling finale in which the farm animals looked back and forth at the tyrannical pigs and the exploitative human farmers but found it 'impossible to say which was which'. That ending was altered in the 1955 animated version, which removed the humans, leaving only the nasty pigs. Another example of Hollywood butchering great literature? Yes, but in this case the secret producer was the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA, it seems, was worried the public might be too influenced by Orwell's pox-on-both-their-houses critique of the capitalist humans and communist pigs. So agents were dispatched (by E. Howard Hunt, later of Watergate fame) to buy the film rights to Animal Farm from Orwell's widow to make its message more overtly anti-communist."

Clever boat names

1. "There used to be a boat in Wellington that gloried in the name Cut Lunch."

2. "Many years ago at Waihi Beach, when sanding the bow of an old boat to repaint, a name started to come through the many layers of paint. It was Sea Philis.

3. "A very well-known man around the waterfront had a launch called Valium and his tender was Aspirin," writes Dave Miller of St Marys Bay.


4. "Back in the late 70s a mate and I stopped in Taupo on the way to Napier and we saw a boat named Boat. We laughed about it for years."

5. "Many years ago, the Kendall family (Bruce's and Barbara's parents) had a keeler named Ajax. Its dinghy was called Squirt of Ajax."

Glad we're good for something ...

"I'm on holiday with my 4-year-old grandson," writes David Merriman. "Missing my morning read of the Herald, I asked Caleb if he wanted to accompany me to go and buy a copy at the shop. 'But why, granddad, do you need a paper when there's no fireplace here?'" Touche.

... but just too good for others

A reader writes: "To the gorgeous man in a black suit and James Dean-esque hair quiff, sitting at Revive cafe Wyndham St yesterday at 12.30. I tried to make eye contact but you were too engrossed in your Herald. We could have shared our lentil soup and Asian-slaw salad together. Damn you Herald ... breaking hearts and ruining lives. #nomorecatladies From, Sassy, single and ready to mingle - with you."