| Matt Facts: Matthew dislikes drinking cold drinks from coffee mugs. He also hates plastic forks. | | Did you Know? Toothpicks are overrated. | | Words of Inspiration: "You can tell a lot about a fellow by the way he eats Jelly Beans" – R.Regan | | Did you know? There are no Pez Facts. Pez is, in fact, not factual. | | Matt Facts: Matthew's fortune cookies always predict success. | | Words of Inspiration: When I'm sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead - Barney Stinson | | Did you know? "Buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo buf­falo Buf­falo buf­falo” is a gram­mat­i­cally valid sentence. | | Matt Facts: Matthew is best served on the rocks with a slice of lemon. | | Words of Inspiration: "Life is futile." | | Did you Know? Dinosaurs and Dandelions is the name of a popular blog that has been around since the 15 April 2010 | | Matt Facts: Unlike some people, Matthew only celebrates his birthday once a year. | | Words of Inspiration: "I'll be back" - The Terminator. | | Did you Know? The two modern breeds of Cocker Spaniel, American and English, are thought to have been descended from only two dogs? | | Matt Facts: On the second to last full moon of the year, Matthew develops an itch on his right shoulder. | | Words of Inspiration: “You can do it!” - Rob Schneider, in every Adam Sandler movie ever | | Did you know? Lettuce is often eaten raw. | | Words of Inspiration: "Science is always at work and never sleeps – just like Rust" | | Did you Know? When you dream, every­thing you see in that dream, you’ve seen before in real life. | | Matt Facts: Matthew officially endorses the Cadbury's Moro bar as being delicious | | Did You Know? A tadpole is also called a 'pollywog'. | | Matt Facts: Matthew has his own Facebook fan page. Creepy. | | Did You Know? Cats sleep for 70% of their lives. | | Words of Inspiration: "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it." - Gandalf. | | Did you Know? This is the end. The journey ends here. Then it starts all over again. |

Monday, 31 May 2010

From the Vault: The Bullfrog

This article was originally written for YAWN, but never published. Matthew and Pez apoligise. Possibly.

Ah, the good old Bullfrog, or American Bullfrog to be precise. Bullfrogs are very dare to my heart, but I'm not going to tell you why. Anyway, you look like the sort of chap who wants to know a bit more about the Bullfrog, and I don't mean the video game developer.

Where to begin? Well lets see, the American Bullfrog is an aquatic frog that is native to much of North America. You'll be glad to know that it can grow up to 18cm long and its vertebrae consists of ten bones. As you may have noticed, Bullfrogs do not have Extremely Large Mandibles. The bullfrog, lucky thing, is the State Amphibian of both Missouri and Oklahoma.

Unlike me, the Bullfrog has been into space. In 1970 two bullfrogs were launched in the Orbiting Frog Otolith, which is quite simply the best name for a space mission I've ever heard. Far more catchier than Apollo 17 anyway. Turns out Otolith refers to the part of your ear that is sensitive to gravity and the sick bastards in NASA were going to spin the frogs around and around while in space to see what happens. Sadly a nice patch wasn't designed for this mission, wouldn't the little frogs look so cute with little shoulder patches?

Anyway, back to the Bullfrog. The only part of the Bullfrog which is eaten by humans is the rear legs, which resemble small chicken drumsticks – remember that next time you go into KFC. The Bullfrog is also commonly used in schools for dissections. Does High School Musical feature a bullfrog? I'm not quite sure (readers, a little help?).

The Bullfrog is a member of the “True Frogs” family, which is the widest distributed of any frog family. Most members of the True Frog family (TFF) lay their eggs in the water. Do they float? Sometimes. Are they delicious? Always. Frogs are prominent in fairy tales and usual are depicted as ugly and clumsy but with hidden talents. So be nice to your frogs. Otherwise they might go all Super Saiyan on you.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Cooking with Matthew

Hello Kittens and welcome back to another excellent edition of Cooking with Matthew. The one stop shop for all your cooking related needs and advice. This weeks we are going to learn how to cook a true classic: the Pie. Ah, the humble pie. Who doesn't love the combination of pastry and a delicious mince/steak/cheese/apple/other filling. This is one of my all time favourite recipes and an excellent one to pull out of the cookbook when you are in the depths of winter and you need something to warm the belly.

Pie (Serves One)
Microwave Pie (1)
Tomato Sauce

1. Rip open each end of the packaging and place the pie in the middle of the microwave.
2. Cook for roughly three and a half minutes on high.
[Super Safety Warning: If your pie looks like the one to the right, then take it out of the tinfoil before inserting it into the microwave.]
3. Take the pie out of the packaging and leave it to stand for a couple of minutes.
[Extra for Experts: Try adding a slice of cheese at this stage - but not if it's a fruit pie!]
4. Smother the pie in sauce. [but not if it's a fruit pie!]
5. Enjoy!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Friday Night Live: World Chess Championship 2010

Welcome back boys and girls to Friday Night Live, Dinosaurs and Dandelions EXCLUSIVE coverage of the very best in worldwide sport. And best of all, it's all entirely LIVE and Free-to-air! This week we swap the gloomy streets of Sheffield for the exciting gym halls of Sofia, Bulgaria. The World Chess Championship 2010 awaits!

The match was a classic ladies and gentlemen, so strap yourselves in and prepare for a wild ride. The best of twelve thriller was between the DEFENDING Viswanathan Anand and the young (35) upstart challenger Veselin Topalov. But before we can get to the classic match, lets have a look at some of the background wheeling and dealing that got us to this point.

Anand, who hails from India, has been the Undisputed World Chess Champion since 2007. The title was split in 1993 after a contractual dispute and was only unified again in 2006. Anand had been the FIDE (Federation of Idiots, Drongos and Elephants)World Champion between 2000 and 2002, before it was unified back into the Undisputed title. Anyway, that's Anand's story and how he became one of the two participants in today's exciting action.

Topalov's path to the match is entirely different. Topalov was the FIDE World Chess Champion between 2005 and 2006, so he has what it takes to be a champion. After he lost that title he became one of the two participants in the 2009 Challenger match, facing the 2007 Chess World Cup winner Gata Kamsky in a match to decide who would be the number one contender. Topalov, of course, won that match and so earned the RIGHT to face Anand.

Sofia, Bulgaria won the right to host this exciting event. Topalov is Bulgarian and so it was advantageous to him to be playing in front of his millions of fans. The match format was the best of 12 games. Players scored one point for a win and half a point for a draw. Topalov demanded that the match be played in silence, and so they were. SHHHHH. Harking back to old Western duels, both players got to nominate four "seconds" to help them prepare and presumably take over if they died. Anand had the same group of seconds who helped his preparation in World Chess Championship 2008: Peter Heine Nielsen, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Surya Ganguly and Radoslaw Wojtaszek. Topalov's seconds were Jan Smeets, Erwin l’Ami, Ivan Cheparinov and Jiri Dufek. What a class bunch of people.

So, the match it self. Well, I can tell you it was thrilling. After the first two matches (remember its a best of twelve) they were tied 1-1. They then played for five draws and an Anand win, to give a score of Anand 4, Topalov 3. But THEN Topalov struck back to tie them up at 4-all. They then played to THREE more draws to have the scores tied at 5½ each with ONE game remaining. This match is so exciting I am just going to post the whole thing, Remember Anand is black: Queen's Gambit Declined: Lasker Defense, D56
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.e3 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Rc1 c6 10.Be2 Nxc3 11.Rxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nd7 13.O-O b6 14.Bd3 c5 15.Be4 Rb8 16.Qc2 Nf6!? 17.dxc5 Nxe4 18.Qxe4 bxc5 19.Qc2 Bb7 20.Nd2 Rfd8 21.f3 Ba6 22.Rf2 Rd7 23.g3 Rbd8 24.Kg2 Bd3 25.Qc1 Ba6 26.Ra3 Bb7 27.Nb3 Rc7 28.Na5 Ba8 29.Nc4 e5 30.e4 f5! 31.exf5? e4! 32.fxe4?? Qxe4+ 33.Kh3 Rd4 34.Ne3 Qe8! 35.g4 h5 36.Kh4 g5+ 37.fxg6 Qxg6 38.Qf1 Rxg4+ 39.Kh3 Re7 40.Rf8+ Kg7 41.Nf5+ Kh7 42.Rg3 Rxg3+ 43.hxg3 Qg4+ 44.Kh2 Re2+ 45.Kg1 Rg2+ 46.Qxg2 Bxg2 47.Kxg2 Qe2+ 48.Kh3 c4 49.a4 a5 50.Rf6 Kg8 51.Nh6+ Kg7 52.Rb6 Qe4 53.Kh2 Kh7 54.Rd6 Qe5 55.Nf7 Qxb2+ 56.Kh3 Qg7 0–1
!!!!! OMG !!!!
I know, right? To see an actual zugzwang in a World Championship match. Amazing!

Boy I can hardly wait for the World Chess Championship 2012.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Camptosaurus

As per request, part 3 of the A-Z (see what I did there?) is about the mighty Camptosaurus: The Camping Dinosaur.

Whats that? It's an actual dinosaur? Oh. Uh....Look!!! Here's a shiney!

Ahem, now that I have you safely distracted let us start again. The Camptosaurus is actually quite boring. It is pretty much a typical Iguanidontid and, unlike the eponymous Iguanodon, the Captosaurus isn't even famous. Damn. 

Hilariously, it was originally called the Camptonotus, but it had to be renamed because our dear friend O. C. Marsh found that that name was already in use for a type of cricket. I can see why so many people were fighting over the Camptonotus name, it is very catchy.

Depending on who you believe the name either means "Bent Lizard", "Bendable Lizard" or "Flexible Lizard. It had a long snout, hundreds of teeth and a horny beak. Camptosaurus may have lived in herds, but really we don't know that, it's just a wild guess. We do know, however, that it ate plants and probably nipped cycads and other prehistoric plants with its tough, toothed beak. If you care about the Camptosaurus' "Locomotion", then I am reliably informed that it could walk on two OR four legs - versatile.

Is CamptosaurusYour Favorite Dinosaur? You Can Vote For It By Clicking Here

Friday, 14 May 2010

Friday Night Live: World Snooker Championships

Well we promised you sport more exciting than anything TVNZ has. So, continuing the trend of live blogging on a Friday, we bring you exclusive coverage from the 2010 World Snooker Championship. We also apoligise for the lack of posts this week, it won't happen again *cough*.

We are LIVE from the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Seems an odd place for a World Championship, but there you go. Snooker has come along was from being a sport played in smoke filled English pubs. It is now also played in smoke filled Chinese pubs. "Athletes" from many countries also participate, such as Ireland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong and Wales. Truly a global game!

32 participants played in a straight knock out format. There had also been five rounds of qualifying. That's a lot of people. In the interest of full disclosure I must point out that there was also a German and a Thai in the qualifying rounds, don't want to miss out those Snooker powerhouses.

The current World number one and defending champion John Higgins was eliminated in the second round. He was later suspended from Snooker by the WBSPA (Water Balloon, Snooker and Puppy Association) after the News of the World alleged he had accepted money to lose frames during matches. Or in other words, is a dirty crook.

The final was between a Scot and an Australian, the first time since that classic 2003 final that there was no Englishman in the final. Australian Neil Robertson became the first Wanker Australian to win the title since 1952. There were many celebrations and they even wrote a poem about him. He is quite the looker.

For those of you interested the final score was as follows:
Neil Robertson (Aus) 18-13 Graeme Dott (Sco)
10-87 (80), 65-55, 1-93, 35-62, 68-56 (62, 56), 62-56, 24-73 (57), 47-74, 66-5 (61), 90-6 (90), 79-72 (Dott 72), 79-53 (79), 52-11, 4-71 (56), 27-70 (53), 113-23 (75), 23-87 (79), 69-56, 82-1 (82), 31-66 (52), 89-12 (51), 2-116 (112), 12-81, 116-13 (55), 36-83 (57), 69-15 (55), 63-49, 53-78, 74-23, 58-10, 94-1 (53)

That wraps up our exclusive live coverage of the Snooker World Championship, we hope you enjoyed it.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Cooking with Matthew

Hello there, and welcome to another wonderful edition of Cooking with Matthew. Have you noticed the season changing lately? That's nice, we have too. So today we are going to do a recipe to take advantage of the improving weather. This one is a refreshing treat that is sure to cool you off after a long hot day. This one has been around since 1905, so it's an oldie - but it certainty is also a goodie!

Ice Blocks (Serves Six)
Juice (Your choice of flavour!)
Wood (No need to cut down the Brazilian Rainforest for this one, we recommend Javan timber or popsicle sticks)
Ice Block Mold [Environmental tip: Some molds come with sticks that avoid the need for wood, now that's enviro-friendly!]

1. Pour Juice into Mold.
[Money Saving Tip: If your kids aren't spoiled rotten and probably won't know the different, try using one part Juice and two parts Water]
2. Place sticks in liquid.
3. Put Mold into the Freezer.
4. Leave to Freeze. (duh)
5. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Music Box [Sigur Rós]

In the last Weekend Wrap, Matthew promised you that the Music Box would be featuring "a very special Kiwi artist" to celebrate NZ Music Month. This was a lie and just goes to show you that you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet. This weeks band is in fact from Iceland, and are known for their melodic and sometimes minimalist, classically influenced brand of post-rock, as well as for singing in an Icelandic based, unintelligible language created by the band's lead singer, known as Vonlenska. A slow song this week, but give it a chance will ya.

This is Sigur Rós, with their song, Von. Enjoy.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Mattheeew and Andreeea
Sittin' in a tree
K - I - S - S - I - N - G
First comes loove
Then comes facebook relationship status updates
And so on.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Weekend Wrap

Welcome to the second edition of the Weekend Wrap, although it is the first edition to have this snazzy title. I'm going to use up a blog post telling you what you already know happened last week and whats coming up ahead. Choice!

Feedback and Comments

Woah, so apparently no one likes the Brontosaurus (come on guys, it means Thunder Lizard!). Sarahiously commented "Why is this about the A-Patty-O-Sore-Ass" while Analiese said "I request the brachiosaurus. It's like a brontosaurus, but with a far more awesome name..." Sometimes you just can't please everyone I guess.

One article that did please everyone is the Cooking with Matthew Noodles extravaganza. Delicious. A massive four comments on that post, I almost can't count that on one hand! Look for more noodlicious recipes to be out sometime soon.

The Top10 with Pez also got some love, with TV Shows of the 90's being a smash hit. If you haven't already, check out his latest effort, where he really outdoes himself. It's just a matter of time before that gets more comments I reckon [hint, hint]. Even if he can't spell mum...

Finally, Top10 is still seeking theme suggestions. Currently Top10 American Junk food is winning with two votes, including one vote from a person who no longer exists...hmm.....

Blogs we rather like

Although you don't need anyone but us to fulfill your blogging needs, Dinosaurs and Dandelions is not alone in the world. Here are some other blogs that might interest you:
Next time, on Dinosaurs & Dandelions:

We prove that anything TVNZ can do we can do better;
  • Live Sport that is better than the FIFA World Cup!
  • Consumer Affairs that matches Fair Go blow for blow!
  • Pez (TVNZ couldn't match Pez if they tried!)
  • The Music Box featuring a very special Kiwi Artist, Yay for NZ Music Month!
  • More exclamation marks!!!!!!!
  • Yet more stuff

Friday, 7 May 2010

UK 2010

Welcome to Dinosaurs and Dandelions comprehensive LIVE coverage of the UK 2010 election. (Possibly) The biggest and best coverage by a New Zealand blog founded in April. This page will probably be updated throughout the day. Thanks to our award winning graphics coverage for the banner!

The UK are 11 hours behind us, so 9:30am here = 10:30pm there. My times are NZ Times.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Phrase THIS

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"

You said what now?

"No man ought to looke a geuen hors in the mouth."

Come again?

"Don't be an ungrateful jerk when you get a gift. Dick."

Top10 with Pez [Mothers Day Special]

Lets be honest, any mom[no, I am not American, that is just how I spell it, and have done for many years. Deal with it.] who says she "doesn't want anything" for Mothers day, is a Liar. And as much as she appreciates the thought you put in, she actually does not want your sorry excuse for some hand made arts and crafty piece of shit gift you made out of glitter, pipe cleaners and coloured card. [for our 8 year old and under readers, please ignore this and continue with your beautiful works of art] So with Mothers Day just around the corner, I thought I'd do you all a favour and point you in the right direction when deciding what to get mom on her special day. And lets face it, no one knows your mom, quite like I do.

10. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner. This doesn't actually count as a gift, you should just do this anyway 'cause it's nice and you owe her, you ungrateful shits. You don't have to do all three meals, just pick the one that suits her best. For example if your mom likes to sleep in, and has bingo that night, make it lunch. Or if she's off to the pub at noon, and won't be home til late, make her breakfast before she goes. Kitchens not your thing? That's fine, just take her somewhere nice to eat, if she ends up with marmite on toast, or a McMuffin, then you're doing it wrong.

09. a Calender. This is really a last resort, especially since we're nearly half way through the year, but if you're really stuck, this is definitely a step up from that homemade nonsense, or a photo of yourself. Just make sure its a decent calender. If it has less than 12 months, or strange holidays you haven't heard of, then you need to keep looking. And make sure it's a calender that your mom will enjoy, probably something with flowers and/or kittens is what you're after. 'Busty Brunettes', not so much.

08. Fancy Chocolates. Again, chocolates are a bit of a last resort, and bare in mind that this will not be appropriate for all moms. If your mom can't eat sugary treats, or you've just never seen her eating chocolate, then move on buddy, number 08 in the list isn't for you, otherwise this could at least be a good idea for something to go with whatever you get her. None of that 'milk tray' rubbish though please, shop around, find some good shit. I said Fancy didn't I?

07. Floral Pot Plant. Your mom, loves getting bunches of flowers. She really does. But still, she secretly wishes you hadn't wasted your money on some dead plant cuttings that will wilt and drop petals all over her carpet. A nice floral pot plant though, perfect! If you know your moms favourite colour, that's even better! Just make sure you find a plant that's easy to keep alive though, if there's one thing your mom doesn't need, its some needy little shrub, that she has to feed and water and tend to all the damn time. She had enough of that shit from you.

06. a CD. When it comes to CDs, there are three main types of moms. Ronan Keating moms, Celine Dion moms, and Best Of moms. Occasionally you get some obscure mom though like an Eminem mom, or a Glam Metal mom, but hopefully after all this time, you have figured out exactly where your mom fits into these categories and can pick the appropriate CD. If in doubt, try a different number on the list. DVDs could also be an option for some moms too!

05. a Book. Books are tricky. Most moms love a good book, but this option will require more research than just about any other gift. For this to make a successful gift, you will need to find out important things like does she like fiction or non-fiction books, then who her favourite author is, or whether she likes cooking or gardening books, and so on. If you have done your research right, there is also a good chance she already has the book, so be sure to check before you buy it. Bonus points if you find some old and/or obscure book she wants and have to order it online, moms love that shit.

04. Liquor. Your mom has put up with a lot of shit from you. All the hissy fits. All the money. All the time and energy. And then just when she thinks you're at the age where she can relax a bit, you introduce her to your new boyfriend. The one with all the tattoos and piercings. So do your mom a favour, buy her a nice expensive bottle of liquor. She could use a drink or two, and if you buy her something a bit posh, she won't feel like a drunk. Heck, buy her a couple of bottles.

03. Magazine Subscription. Ah, finally top 3 material. This is kind of like an upgraded version of the book idea, you'll need to do a little research but if you do it right, she'll be ever so pleased. The reason this is so much better than a book, is 'cause she doesn't just get one present that she'll read once and put on the coffee table, she gets a nice surprise, then in a way, another present each month. Or week. Or 4-times-bi-post-annually. However often it comes, she'll love that shit.

02. Vouchers. I don't mean some voucher you printed out on your computer that entitles your mom to free dishwasher loading for a month or lame shit like that. I mean a real voucher, that you had to go to a store to get, and pay good money for. I know you have probably heard a lot of crap about vouchers and how impersonal they are and that is all true. But you will be pleased to know that your mom actually does not think this. She will in fact, love the fact that you spent your hard earned cash on something that is not a piece of useless trash she will seldom use, 'cause well, that's just how moms think. You know what your mom likes, if you don't, then ask someone who does know[a sibling who is a much better son or daughter than you, for example], and then shop for the voucher accordingly. This may be a voucher at their favourite shoe store or to get their hair did somewhere, I would personally try to avoid a warehouse voucher or something of that nature, but I dunno, that might be up right your moms ally.

01. the Winning Lotto Ticket. I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Please note: if you cannot guarantee it is a winning ticket, then you may want to just stick with a different number from the Top10 List. And would it hurt you to get her a nice fuckin' card to go with it? Geez.

Monday, 3 May 2010

The Music Box [Omnia]

This week in the Music Box, we head to the Netherlands, to bring you a band who is made up of members with English, dutch, Irish and Belgian heritage and play a mix of traditional and traditionally influenced music from various cultures around the world. They use a vast array of traditional and contemporary instruments including guitars, Celtic harps, bodhrán, hurdy-gurdies, bouzouki, didgeridoo, varies pipes and flutes and a range of percussion and drums.

The band is Omnia, and this is their song, Alive! from their 2007 album of the same name. Enjoy.

The Brontosaurus

Well, originally I didn't envisage the A-Z as being an actual series, just a rather random way to start the show. However I guess the joke is on me because since then I've had suggestions for letters and just today I was asked when the next A-Z would be out. Answer: Whenever I damn well feel like it. Other Answer: Now.

It may surprise you to find out that the Brontosaurus is extinct. No? Oh...I see what happened there. Let me rephrase that. The Brontosaurus is a "popular but obsolete synonym". In other words, this article is actually about the Apatosaurus. But I couldn't call the B article "The Apatosaurus", that just wouldn't make sense.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Delicious Dandelions: Tea

This guy is pretty serious about what he does...and when you're making tea, why not! Though who knows why he makes tea over an open fire. I tend to use a kettle myself.

Unfortunately, he's no doctor.

Here's another soothing version of the tea, this time using the flowers and a coffee plunger. Sit back in your favourite lounger and have a gander: