Key Points:

No repressed doors in Wellington, says Al.

* * *

Preparing for visitors to the Olympics, China is awash with English language books for locals to learn conversational English. But what are they learning? The New York Times says the police, 60 per cent of whom are supposed to be competent in English in time for the Olympics, study from a book called "Olympic Security English". Dialogues called "Dissuading Foreigners From Excessive Drinking" and "How to Stop Illegal News Coverage" introduce useful phrases like "Don't pretend to be innocent". One culprit is apprehended while robbing an American's hotel room, "because my family was killed when the United States bombed Afghanistan. I became homeless and I hate Americans".

* * *

Ulli Weissbach noticed a story in the North Shore Times about gifted children at the Apple Tree Education Centre in Devonport, with a picture of young computer programming whizz Jack Wilson. "According to the photo caption", says Ulli, "Jack is preparing himself for a job in Microsoft. But the picture shows him in front of an Apple computer. This lucky kid apparently has never struggled with MS software and will wish his Apple back as soon as he starts up Windows."

* * *

A reader says beware of tap water at gigs: "My partner was unpleasantly surprised when, trying to avoid paying for the expensive bottled water at a bar in Auckland, he poured himself a glass of hot soapy water from the bathroom taps. They actually pre-mix the soap and water before it leaves the tap to force you into buying bottled water. Washing one's mouth out with soap has taken on a new meaning."

* * *

An American Christian news service's blanket policy of replacing all uses of the word "gay" with "homosexual" has backfired in embarrassing fashion. OneNewsNow.com, a division of the American Family News Network, had been using an auto-replace feature, which resulted in top sprinter Tyson Gay being renamed "Tyson Homosexual" in stories on its website. This led to misleading headlines such as "Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials" and "Close call: Homosexual barely averts major flop in 100?" The website reported: "Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100m faster than anyone ever has. His time of 9.68 seconds at the US Olympic trials on Sunday doesn't count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he's certainly someone to watch in Beijing."

* * *

Today's Webpick: A very short clip titled, How To Confuse An Idiot . Watch ithere.





These are the very best online videos from Ana's online magazine Spare Room.