Good advice from Pauanui, at right.

Straight into the bin

A keen recycler, maybe? "To the young man who was delivering the East & Bays Courier on Wednesday last week: I praise you on your plan to work on rubbish collection night. However, your actions did not go unnoticed by my family as we watched with amusement as you dumped all your papers in people's bins, and anticipated your actions as walkers and cars passed you: how you stopped and made yourself look busy until they were gone, then quickly dumped another lot. As you turned down a side street, my mum went out and looked in two of the bins you used, finding a total of 60 dumped papers. If only we had a video camera on hand - you may have become a YouTube hit! But to be honest, I'd say your days in that job are numbered ..."

Good as gold


At the Golden Globes the pudding was sprinkled with edible gold flakes. Egads! Have they not heard ($190) of the global recession! With a price tag of US$153 a gram the media were quick to describe it as an "untrammelled excess" and "a dessert that is literally as difficult to acquire as gold dust". But as Thomas Lumley explains on, this isn't a case of celebrity extravagance ... "One of the distinguishing features of gold is its ability to be hammered very, very thin," he writes. "A gram of gold can make a square metre of gold leaf. So, at gold-bullion prices, a 10cm x 10cm sheet of gold leaf, to cover an entire plate, would cost less than a couple of dollars. A 1cm x 1cm piece, enough to make some impressive gold flakes, would be a couple of cents. And, in fact, culinary gold leaf is available at close to bullion prices: is out of stock at the moment. I found a British supplier that sells 8cm x 8cm leaves for 66p ($1.27) each (in packs of 25). Culinary gold is cheaper per serving than, say, saffron, which wouldn't have excited any comment."

Dad was just kidding

What you believed when you were a kid ...

1. When we were children our father told us that monsters lived down the plug hole and the noise the water made was them shouting. Sure got us out of the bath quickly!

2. We used to go fishing for fish fingers. And, somehow, I always caught some. I'd stick my fishing net in the water, and after a while my dad would say "You've caught one", I'd pull up the net and he'd quickly plunge his hand into the net, take out something and put it in his pocket. We'd do this a few times, then stop. (Source: