It's back to the books for all the kids and time this Kiwi got back to writing. So let's start with some bits and bites from the Ewe Ess.

Knitting releases the blues!
Knitting can alleviate the blues, slow the onset of dementia and distract from chronic pain according to a survey recently released. Apparently knitting lowers heart rates by an average of 11 beats per minute — similar to a state of relaxation from yoga. The University of British Columbia [Canada] found knitting and crocheting also reduce the chance of developing mild cognitive impairment by 28 per cent!
A survey of 1000 members of the British group Knit for Peace reported that knitting reduced many who had arthritic pain. Perhaps El Donaldo could take up the habit!

Cats and dogs can get along!
A recent study by mentalloss.com found that these dog breeds get along with cats: Japanese chins; golden retrievers; papillons; labrador retrievers and beagles. So — Snoopy was right all along!

Ouch for a shoplifter
This crook will have soon have to face the music. In Fort Collins, Colorado, the local cops are looking for a female shoplifter in a reindeer outfit. So the officers, who obviously are not too busy out there, wrote a song:
"Rudolph the red-nosed burglar had a very shady scheme.
And if you saw the video, it would make you want to scream.
All of the other burglars used to steal without disguise,
They weren't like this Rudolph; she's different from the other guys.
The camera caught her as she committed burglary.
Rudolph the red-nosed criminal, we need your help with her ID.'

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Baby sitting riches!
Lauren F in New York City rang in the New Year watching a sleeping toddler and cashing in BIG! She charged $35 an hour on New Year's Eve — PLUS dinner, cab fare home and free cable! Normally she charges $20 an hour but for this New Year's gig she made $210 for six hours — plus a $19 dollar dinner and a $30 Uber ride home. Might pay for those parents to stay home next New Year.

Flops in — pointies out!
Dog-dreading passengers will soon see kinder, friendlier looking canines at Ewe Ess airport security. The TSA announced it will up its contingent of floppy-eared pups at check-in while curtailing pointy-eared pooches. Passenger acceptance of "floppies" is just better. They include Labradors and golden retrievers, German short-haired pointers, wire-haired pointers and Vizslas. It's an "arf-ful" decision, said a spoke-dog for German shepherds and Belgian Malinois who felt that the TSA was bow-wowing to pressure.