New Zealanders are used to their country being chopped off the edge of a world map, but to be completely missing? This is a picture Simon took last month on an American Airlines flight, from the in-flight magazine.

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Did you know that when you eat meat it stays in your gut for 40 years, putrefies and leads to a disease that kills you? "That is a fact," says celebrity vegetarian Heather Mills. But British-based charity Sense About Science, which exposes celebrities who make questionable scientific statements, says that isn't so. A gastroenterologist at the University of Liverpool clarifies: "Meat proteins, like all other proteins, are digested by enzymes and absorbed in the small bowel before they ever reach the colon. Any remaining indigestible matter is mechanically transited through the whole bowel in a matter of days and expelled in your faeces."

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A reader writes: "I moved from Christchurch to Canada in 2004 and lived near Toronto. A friend and I decided to go for a cruise. We were the only two people on the boat speaking English, so the French-Canadian family next to us struck up a conversation. They'd lived in New Zealand for years, but in Auckland. We couldn't have met each other, right? Er, no. He'd played ice hockey and had travelled to Christchurch for the National Championships. I was working the sin bin (penalty timekeeper) and the guy in question had received several penalties. He was memorable because he'd eaten a lot of garlic bread the previous night on a bet and still clearly smelled of it. He smelled a lot sweeter the second time around!"

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Coincidences continue. "A few years ago, I was walking along the beach at Waihou Bay, East Coast and stopped to talk to an older gentleman who was fishing. I don't generally talk to strangers yet felt compelled to ask how the fishing was going. I continued walking and bumped into a woman I knew from Tokoroa called Katie, who commented, "Saw you talking to Dad, did he recognise you?" I didn't realise that the fisherman I had been talking to and his wife had cared for me when I was a baby and had wanted to adopt and raise me with their daughters. I was 28 years old at the time. It was a touching reunion, with me taking them back to camp to meet up with my folks."

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Nicola has also encountered horrendous prices at Wellington Airport. "Realising I'd forgotten the essential bottle of roll-on before a weekend away I found one at Whitcoulls before boarding my plane. I was expecting it to be more expensive, of course, maybe around $7 to $8 as opposed to $4 to $5 in the supermarket, but it was $12! I decided to risk being bad company for the weekend."

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See today's Herald cartoon