Travellers get cold shoulder

"On the bus [on] Great North Rd this morning, a young French couple with a baby in a stroller hailed the bus hoping to get out of the rain and go [downtown]," writes Tony Waring. "They offered to pay by Eftpos, but were told it was cash or a HOP card, neither of which they had, and so they were cast back into the elements. It reminded me of Joseph and Mary being told there was no room at the inn. I wish I had thought a bit quicker and come to their rescue. Perhaps Auckland Transport could empower its drivers to give out a free ride in such circumstances, and do the city's image a favour?"

Curiosity thrilled the cat

This week Peta, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wants people to stop using anti-animal language and has devised a list of phrases to "remove speciesism from your conversations". Instead of "kill two birds with one stone", Peta offers "feed two birds with one scone".

"Bring home the bacon" should be "bring home the bagels". Book retailer Waterstones in the UK responded with their own list of Stop Using Anti-book Language ... "Throw the book at them" becomes "pass the book to them" and "cook the books" becomes "cook the books a nice dinner".

Secondhand book shop find. Photo / Supplied
Secondhand book shop find. Photo / Supplied

Strange but true



The high school fad of 1947, according to


magazine: "Every morning before school, girls meet on school steps and swap one shoe and sock with a friend. Then they walk around with shoes that do not match."


An unofficial rule says two heirs to the royal throne should never be on the same plane together so they can protect the royal lineage should anything happen to the plane. The first time Prince William broke that protocol, by flying with his children, was in 2013 soon after George was born, on a trip to Australia and New Zealand.

According to their family tree, Prince William is the second heir, after his father Prince Charles. George is the third heir and Charlotte the fourth. That means, in theory, all three of them should always be in separate planes, even if they're going to the same place. (Via Business Insider)

No crying over subsidised milk

A reader writes: "Your correspondent, Ed Ackman, moaned about the exorbitant cost of milk in New Zealand compared to the US. The price of milk is so low in America because of the massive subsidies the US Government pays their farmers: over US$32 billion a year. This accounts for three quarters of farmers' income. It would be the equivalent of $15b in subsidies to NZ dairy farmers. By way of comparison: Fonterra's total gross revenue last year was $19b."