Proud to be a Kiwi, not ...

Michael from Waiheke Island writes: "Recently I was a guest at the citizenship ceremony at Auckland Town Hall, where nearly 500 people from 56 nations became New Zealanders. What an occasion it could have been for them and their families, after years of effort, expense and dedication. Yet, what an embarrassment for New Zealand it was. The welcoming ceremony - as conducted by reluctant local board members (no MPs, no Auckland councillors or mayor) - was stiff, amateurish and essentially joyless. The only genuine excitement came at the end when a kapa haka group performed ..."

Just odd
1. A reader writes: "In a little coffee place hanging out over the water in Rawene ... art capital of Northland, a wood print for sale titled "Broken car giving birth to a dead horse". All righty then.

2. Parents of students at California's Calimesa Elementary School weren't happy with a new policy that required students to kneel before their principal. Officials described it as a safety measure. But after local media picked up the story, the school system announced it would drop the policy.


Newborn baby set to be a star

Got a newborn baby you're willing to lend to a film crew? Then the team behind short film Unit 6 would love to hear from you. Funded by the NZ Film Commission, Unit 6 is about a young woman who wants to escape her past but unexpectedly finds herself saved by the very thing she thought threatened her future. To ensure the project remains on schedule, the filmmakers are seeking a baby born next week for a four-hour filming session at the end of this month. So if you're keen to get your baby's big screen career under way, please contact

Don't get in stew over tomatoes

"I think Ross, who was worried about the waste of expensive tomatoes at the Bunol (Spain) tomatina festival, probably hasn't taken part," writes Zach.

"Tourism is at an absolute high then and people are more than happy to spend extra on hotel, drinks, food just to be part of the activities.

"It must do wonders for the economy of Bunol.

"The tomatoes are also grown in a different part of Spain and are less expensive and inferior. They are grown specifically for the festival.

"After the clean-up, the village cobblestone streets are pristine due to the acidity of the tomato disinfecting and thoroughly cleaning the surfaces.

"And it's free."

Food-ish: If you thought the dirty bird couldn't get any more gross than the double Down, I give you their deep-fried-soup...This Thursday, KFC stores in Japan will start offering deep-fried soup for a limited time. The battered bites of creamy corn porridge (aka potage) will reportedly remain soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. And yes, the Colonel includes whole kernels."

Picture this: A series of self-portraits of photographer Tommy Kha sharing a disinterested kiss with strangers and friend as a way of exploring the ideas of intimacy and the ways in which Asians are portrayed in both film and television.

Need to know: What is fracking?

Video: Worst retail TV ad I've ever seen...

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