Three types of friendship

1. Tight-knitter: You have one dense group of friends in which nearly everybody knows one another. The network, which visually looks like a ball of yarn, can offer immense social support to those within it - but members are also at risk of "pulling each other down".

2. Compartmentaliser: You have two to four "clusters" of friends who don't know each other; one "cluster" may comprise people you have fun with, while another could be made up of people whom you turn to for work-related support or advice.

3. Sampler: You have one-on-one friendships, rather than groups of friends, and don't rely on friendships for a sense of belonging. You achieve success without the help of others, but may feel socially isolated.

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(Source: Dartmouth sociology professor Janice McCabe's study of the effects of social connections on academic performance.)

Shoulda gone to Specsavers

"The item about the tuatara at Matiu Island in Sideswipe yesterday reminded me of our carload of tourists in Canberra a couple of years ago," writes a reader. "We decided to check out the Governor-General's stately house and were excited to see a row of large, white cockatoos sitting on fence posts as we approached. We stopped, backed the car up with cameras ready, 'Look how tame they are, look how close we can get!' It was only when we got out of the car then one of us twigged - they were concrete birds."

Ad clunker

Overt (and dark) misogyny parading as acceptable copywriting spotted in a 1975 Matamata Chronicle, by Mike Bain. (Thank goodness we only have to deal with infantilising female body parts and environmentally friendly transport analogies these days).

Dress for a cause

Craig reckons the name Dress-up Hard-up for op-shop clothes parties is an unfortunate choice of words. "Op-shop parties and op-shop balls are reasonably popular and provide an excuse to spend money at a charity shop (eg Red Cross) to help support their efforts. You can then clean and return the clothes to them for someone else to purchase again." It's just a bit of fun at the expense of the fashion, he says, as the clothes are normally "old suits and dresses from the 80s that we select. You have fun and end up giving money to a charity".

On the seventh day they rested

A reader writes: "Auckland marathon, Halloween, Melbourne Cup and Guy Fawkes, all in the same week. Quite glad I'm not a running, gambling, pyromaniac mother of little ones. Apocolypse, anyone?"

Good read:

Hilary Clinton's Locker room talk... "I know you're talking about my butt cheeks, Madam President," Mike Pence said, ashamed. "But I wish you wouldn't.""Your butt cheeks look like two wet apple pies, governor," Hillary said."You're a six, tops. And the only reason you get a six is because I like your face. If I wasn't eating this soup right now, I'd just walk up and kiss you. I can't help myself around you, Mike. I want to lick you like a lollipop I just got from my doctor."


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