| 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. |

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Spring forward, Fall back...

So in twelve hours time the clocks go forward an hour and 2 o'clock becomes 3 o'clock.
Did you know that New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to officially adopt a nationally observed standard time? Well, apparently we were. Daylight saving was adopted in 1927, at first involving only a 30 minute leap into the future. An hour jump was trialled in 1974/75 and made permanent the year after. The period daylight saving lasts for has been extended twice since then, in 1990 and in 2006.

Friday, 13 September 2013

News in a Minute: News Flash

The star of hit shows Boardwalk Empire and Jersey Shore is in a critical condition tonight after being involved in a fire. Fire has destroyed up to 80% of the iconic New Jersey Boardwalk.

Ironically, the fire began in an ice cream shop, before spreading to over 50 businesses. Over 400 firefighters took five hours to put the blaze out. The same area was last year destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. The year before that the area was destroyed by Snookie and Jwow.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Voting made easy: Mayor of Auckland

In what is perhaps the most boring race behind Howick and Orakei's, the race for Auckland Mayor has not managed to attract a field of credible candidates to challenge incumbent Len Brown. As an aside, you have probably noticed I like to use the word incumbent a lot, in fact I wrote a dissertation on the topic, it simply means "the guy who currently has the job".

Anyway, lets have a quick look at the "candidates" for Mayor:
  • Stephen Berry "Affordable Auckland" - A former Libertarianz deputy leader, which places him somewhere right of the ACT party.
  • Penny Bright "Independent" - Also known as "the crazy Watercare lady", Penny is a long time activist and doesn't pay her rates in protest.
  • Len Brown "Independent" - The Incumbent mayor, Brown defeated John Banks in 2010.
  • Jesse Butler - I'll let Jesse describe himself: "...Masters Degree. Unemployed. All Blacks Supporter. Your new Auckland Mayor."
  • Tricia Cheel - An anti-fluroide activist from the North Shore, Tricia was angry in 2009 when her water was cut off two days too early.
  • Paul Duffy - A former employee of a credit card company and the founder of duffyclub™, Duffy is campaigning on his business credentials.
  • Matthew Goode - A failed local board candidate in 2010, this year Matthew is trying to run for Mayor.
  • Emmett Hussey "Independent" - His billboards describe him as "Sane." I am worried that he actually needs to state that as an attribute. He was charged with threatening behaviour back in 1915.*
  • Susanna Susara Kruger "Independent" - From Nambia, Kruger is currently setting up a "private global online entrepreneur university".
  • John Minto "Mana Movement" - Made famous by his involvement in the 1981 Springbox protests, Minto is a long time activist and a member of the Mana Party.
  • Phil O'Connor "Christians Against Abortion" - He is a christian and he is against abortions.
  • John Palino "Independent" - An American chef and/or host of a cooking programme, Palino is generally thought to be the strongest challenger from the right.
  • Reuben Shadbolt "Independent" - The son of the man who lost the Waitemata mayoral chains at a party. Which seems to be his main attribute.
  • Uesifili Unasa "Independent" - The Maclaurin Chapel reverend, Unasa is mainly campaigning in South Auckland.
  • Annalucia Vermunt "Communist League" - Ah, the Communist League. Why they still donate an entry fee to the council each election, I really do not know.
  • David Willmott "Roads First" - A transport engineer, David would like us to build more roads. We would then need more transport engineers. Ironically, his website is all about government debt and the collapse of Western civilisation into a world of warlords and serfdom.
  • Wayne Young "Working for the Homeless" - Made homeless by the leaky building crisis, Wayne would like to be mayor.
 Phew! Okay, that's all 17 candidates. What a eclectic field!
*this was possibly a different Emmett Hussey. Maybe.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Voting made easy: Waitakere

This October is local elections time again. Conducted by postal vote, you’ll be asked to vote for the mayor, the council, your local board, the district health board and (if you’re unlucky) the local licensing trust. Still confused? Maybe this picture will help?
Hmm...no that probably didn't work. Anyway, to make you more informed, I’m going to run through the candidates for the areas I live in. After all, it is all about me. If you're really that interested, a full list of the candidates can be found here. Anyway, without further ado, let’s start by having a look at the candidates for the Waitakere ward of the Auckland Council. In this ward, eight candidates are running for two seats on the council.

·        Peter Chan “Affordable Auckland” – A former Waitakere City Councillor, Mr Chan is running on the “Affordable Auckland” ticket along with former Libertarianz deputy leader Stephen Berry.
·        Linda Cooper “Independent” –A National Party list candidate and a former Waitakere City Councillor, Linda is an alumni of Massey High School.
·        Allan Fazaker – No idea. Google has nothing.
·        Penny Hulse “West At Heart” – The current deputy mayor of Auckland and, more importantly, Robert’s mum. Penny was also the last deputy mayor of Waitakere City and seems to clearly be the strongest candidate in the field.
·        Brian Neeson “Independent” – A former National MP who was replaced by John Key in 2002. This prompted Mr Neeson to leave the National party and run against John Key as an independent.
·        Douglas Robertson “Mana Movement” – Mr Robertson is standing for Hone Harawira’s Mana Movement.
·        Christine Rose “Independent” – A former Auckland Regional Councillor and Labour Party candidate, Christine has been endorsed by incumbent Sandra Coney who is stepping down from the Council.
·        Jason Woolston – Previously famous for being shocked after finding porn on a Vodafone loan phone, you can now find him on twitter at twitter.com/WoolstonNZ. He seems to be a fan of Shortland Street.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Spice of the week: Clove

Ah, cloves. Cloves!

Native to Indonesia, they are dried flower buds of an evergreen tree. They can be used in both sweet and savory dishes and are often found in Asian, Indian and African cooking. Apparently, cloves have a numbing effect to the mouth. Clove cigarettes were outlawed in the States in 2009.

Bizarrely, Zanzibar is the world's largest producer of cloves. It also turns out that Zanzibar is an island. Nuts! (or should that be Cloves!)

A clove of garlic is not the same as clove. Also, don't google cloves of garlic...things get weird...

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Music Box [Darius Rucker]

This week in a Music Box first, we have an extra special request from one of our favourite Dino Dandies in the whole world, Krystle! Here's exactly what she wrote, word for word:
Hootie from 'Hootie and the Blowfish' is now known by his actual name: Darius Rucker! His first single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It", made him the first African American to chart a number one on the Hot Country Songs charts since 1983!! PS: Dinosaurs and Dandelions is the best thing on the internet!! I just can't get enough!!
Thanks Krystle, I did wonder what had happened to Hootie and your support means a lot to us! As requested, this is Darius Rucker with his song, Wagon Wheel. Have a nice day!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

C3: International IPA day

As you may know, today is International IPA day. So to celebrate, today in Connoisseur’s Craftbeer Corner we are looking at the king of Indian Pale Ales, the Tui East India Pale Ale.

An IPA is a pale ale beefed up with more hops and a higher alcohol content. The style developed in England in the 18th century and these additions helped to preserve the ale on the ship voyage from Britain to India, giving IPA’s their name. The more recent craft beer movement in America has adopted the IPA and California in particular is noted for its aggressive IPA’s filled to the brim with hoppy goodness.

Tui (DB Breweries)

First brewed in 1889, Tui’s spiritual home is in Mangatainoka despite production having long since moved north to Auckland. Countdown lists this beer at $19.99 for a 12-pack.

Look 4/5
Well marketed, a wide variety of merchandise can be purchased in Tui orange (including Tuimato sauce). Plus, the factory is run by Tui girls. Honest.

Taste 2/5
Well…it is beer.

Summary 3/5
An IPA to be savoured. Yeah right.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Music Box [AlunaGeorge]

Our last duo is from London and consists of Aluna Francis and George Reid. They call themselves AlunaGeorge [See what they did there?], and they just released their first album, Body Music, in the last week! The tune might be called Attracting Flies, but don't worry, it doesn't stink!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Top5: Boxes

5. Post Office. 
Mail, who doesn’t like getting mail? Especially post cards.

4. Cricket. 
A box in cricket protects important stuff.

3. Cardboard. 
Essential for when you are moving house, cardboard boxes also come in handy at Pak n Save.

2. Office. 
We rather like films here at D&D. LOTS of films.

1. Music.
Bringing us top quality content since 2010. The Music Box never fails to entertain and inform with high quality tunes.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Music Box [The Knife]

Our next duo consists of Swedish siblings, Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Anderson, who perform under the name, The Knife. [If that sounds familiar, it might be because the José González version of their song, Heartbeats has already featured in The Music Box during last months covers theme!] From their fourth album, Shake The Habitual, this is A Tooth For An Eye.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Music box [The Presets]

For the third edition of our duos theme we have the forth single off the third album of the first Aussie group ever featured in The Music Box. Here now, with the song Fall, are two guys dressed as The Presets falling out of a plane.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Top5: The Western Isle

As you may know, I'm over in the Western Isle right now. Tonight in fact we are repairing broken friendships by watching the Warriors THRASH the Wests Tigers. (hopefully)

To celebrate here are five fun facts:

5. One third of Australia is desert.

4. The 1828 census found that half the population of NSW was convicts, and another quarter were ex-convicts. 26 January, Australia day, is the anniversary of the first convict ships arriving in Sydney.

3. Sydney is Australia's first, and largest, city. Also known as Sin City, Sydney wanted to be the capital of Australia but its convict stigma counted against it. Instead, they built a shithole capital halfway between Sydney and Melbourne; Canberra.

2.Australia's first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved Convicts.

1. Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Ask Allan... July Edition

Welcome to July's edition of your favorite monthly Q&A. Before we start, many of you have been asking where you can purchase the yellow leather hat shown in the banner above. Unfortunately this is not for sale as I only have one and I need it every second Thursday. If you would like to enquire about purchasing any other items of clothing, please see the contact details at the end of this blog entry. Now.. down to business...

Dear Allan, 
My car makes a sloshing sound when I come to a stop. What should I do? #AskAllan
Krystle @ Bush & Beach

Dear Krystle @ Bush & Beach

Your car may be carrying too much petrol, which could be overflowing and gathering in the crevices of the car's structure. I recommend soaking an old rag in petrol, opening the fuel filler cap, place the soaked rag in the fuel filler hole and then light the rag with a match. This will get rid of that pesky surplus petrol and the sloshing sounds! :-)

Thanks for writing in to 'Ask Allan...'

p.s. stand back



Why do they make Ribena packages so that the only way to open them involves sticking your finger into the Ribena?
- Stephen Merriman

Hi Stephen, thanks for your thought-provoking question. 

After conducting extensive research and testing, I have come to the following conclusion: You're doing it wrong. 



Dear Allan,
My husband has recently acquired a man scarf to protect him from the chilly winter weather. He is struggling to find the best and most masculine way to wear his scarf and I was wondering if you would be able to provide some advise in regards to this as it seems that you are very fashion-conscious (judging by the picture provided on this blog). Please help!
Mrs K M Martin

Dear Mrs Martin, 

Thank you for your question which I have no doubt has embarrassed your husband greatly. From the information you have provided me, and the fact that you expect your husband to wear a scarf, I can only come to the conclusion that you live on the North Shore... somewhere in the Torbay/Browns Bay area perhaps? But that is beside the point... 

When it comes to men wearing scarfs, I find that there is only one best practice, and I would be happy to guide you through it step-by-step (...remember that TV show?).

1. Hold the scarf in both hands so that is it fully-extended.. hehehe
2. Fold the scarf in half, and then fold in half again so that it is approx 1/4 the original length
3. Ask your husband to stand with both arms extended in front of him, palms down
4. Flush the scarf down the toilet.

Thanks for writing in! :-)



Dear Allan,
There's this girl. Every time I see her she starts kissing my neck and partially undressing. How do I tell if she likes me or not?
Mr B. Lind

Thank you for your question Mr B. Lind.

I cannot be sure, however if she has not actually told you that she likes you, then I would predict that you are not paying her enough money. Next time she is undressing, try slipping her another $50 while asking "Do you like me?".... I am sure this would provide a favorable result for you. 

To provide additional support with your problem, I am more than happy to help by coming to observe this next time and providing a demonstration if needed. 



Dear Allan

As co-editor-in-chief I demand to know how you got access to Dinosaurs and Dandelions and who authorised this whole 'Ask Allan' nonsense! You can't just stroll in here like you own the place and start writing your own bits! This is an outrage! Matthew is on the phone to our head of security as I type this and you should expect to recieve a letter from our lawyers in th every near future regarding this breach!

While I'm here though, I am co-editor-in-chief of a blog, for pirvacy reasons lets call it.. "Jigsaws and Sealions"... and there is this other co-editor-in-chief who is always picking on me and calling me names. How can I make him stop and understand how his actions make me feel?

Keep up the good work
From Pez.

Dear Pez, 

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the aleged "breach" you outlined in early in your letter, as my solicitor is currently drawing up a suitable response, which I can assure you will include some sort of defamation claim. However, I can say, it is great to be part of the team and working with you Pez.

In regards to the second part of your letter, I do want to help you while protecting your privacy.. or what you seem to call 'pirvacy'. Thinking back to my days as a Peer Mediator whilst I attended Primary School, a technique comes to mind which you may find helpful... I would start by having a conversation with this co-editor where you begin by making "I feel..." statements. This way Matthew he may better understand how his actions make you feel. If this does not work, then I recommend a swift knee to the crotch or a prank resulting him in spending a night in prison... I'll leave the details up to you ;-)

I hope this helps



Well people, that brings to a close July's edition of 'Ask Allan...' and I cannot thank you enough for your input via your questions. I'm sorry I couldn't get around to responding to everyone's questions... they just weren't good enough. However they will be filed away in preparation for the Wildcard Round.

As always, I leave you with a powerful quote for you to ponder in the days ahead:

"Its t-shirt tiiiiiiiiiime"
Vinny, Pauley, Mikey and Ron

And if you were wondering if it was Christmas yet, here is a website you may find helpful:


Please do keep your questions coming, no matter how trivial or outrageous you think they are. You can send them by submitting them on Facebook, Twitter or emailing dinosaursanddandelions@hotmail.com.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Music Box [Purity Ring]

For duo number two we head to one of my top two favourite countries in North America - Canada! The two members, Megan James and Corin Roddick, first formed Purity Ring in 2010 while on tour as part of another band. In 2012 they signed to a record label and released their debut album, Shrines, which includes the track Belispeak.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Another brick in the wall.


At some point last night we went past 10,000 page views. That means that we, dear readers, have spent 10,000 moments together. Poor you! Poor, poor you...

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Top5: Children's picture books

Welcome to Top5: Children's picture books, in which we attempt to explain why we all had such warped childhoods.

5: Green Eggs and Ham. Dr. Seuss, 1960 $10.57
Fun fact: This book contains only 50 words and is the result of a bet between Dr. Seuss and his publisher that he could not write a book consisting of less words than The Cat in the Hat, which contains 225 words.

5. Badjelly the Witch. Spike Mulligan, 1973. $17.99
Two children are searching for their lost cow (as you do) when they are captured by an incredibly scary witch. Eek! Plus, Spike Mulligan.

4: There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake. Hazel Edwards, 1980. $5.92
"The imaginary Hippo can do what he likes on the roof. In fact, he does all the things a little girl wishes she could, but is not allowed..." what a naughty hippo!

3: Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy. Lynley Dodd, 1983. $10.57
"Hairy Maclary goes off for a walk with a few of his friends - and comes up against a nasty surprise in the shape of Scarface Claw." A New Zealand classic that's celebrating its 30th birthday this month!

2: The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Eric Carle, 1969. $12.33
In which a hungry caterpillar keeps eating until it turns into a butterfly. The book has sold roughly a copy a minute since its release in 1969 and has been endorsed by the Royal Entomological Society! Entomawhatical?

1: The Railway Series No.1: The Three Railway Engines. The Rev W. Awdry, 1945. $10.57
The "exciting illustrated adventure" that started it all, The Railway Series stretches to 42 books and is perhaps best known for "No.2: Thomas the Tank Engine". No.1 introduced us to the lovable characters of Edward, Gordon, Henry, the Isle of Sodor and the Fat Director.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Music Box [MS MR]

If two's company and three's a crowd... is six, two crowds or three companies? I don't know and I don't like crowds, so just to be safe, this month in The Music Box we're all about duos!

Unsurprisingly, our first duo consists of two people - vocalist Lizzy Plapinger and producer Max Hershenow. The pair, from New York, go by the name MS MR and released their debut album, Secondhand Rapture, earlier this year. This is their first single, Hurricane.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Cooking with Matthew: Cheese

Well hello there my precious ducklings and welcome back to another quality Cooking Making with Matthew. Recently we were forbidden by one of the wise Editors-in-chief from creating any recipes that included Mice. As a result we have had to completly redesign today’s recipe.

Instead, today we are making something that is for mice. Namely, cheese. 

Cheese (serves 12…mice)

  • Milk (preferably from a cow)
  1. Ask Little Miss Muffet how to make Curds and Whey and then follow her instructions.
  2. Separate the Curds from the Whey using your old smelly sock as a sieve.
  3. Press the Curds to get the moisture out.
  4. Refrigerate.
  5. Enjoy!
[Public Health Warning: Don't, just don't...or do, but take lots of photos]

Monday, 1 July 2013

Top 5: Ships

5. MS Allure of the Sea: Did you know this was the largest cruise ship in the world? And has been since 2010? Oh. Well, I didn't...

4. Ten Cents: Sure, a fictional boat, but hey! Representing Tugboats everywhere which for its size, is the most powerful craft afloat.

3. USS Nimitz: The oldest aircraft carrier still in service with the US Navy, Nimitz was built in 1975 and is still one of the largest warships in the world.

2. RMS Queen Mary 2: The only transatlantic liner in service between New York and Southampton, the Queen Mary 2 visited Auckland in March.

1. USA 17: Also known as BMW Oracle Racing 90, USA 17 is a giant fuck-off racing trimaran that won the America's Cup in 2010, defeating those dastardly Swiss. Able to race with two hulls out of the water, sure USA 17 was only built for one purpose and is now obsolete but damn; awesome...

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Music box [We Came As Romans]

Well that's it for June folks. Here is We Came As Romans covering One Direction, or whichever Brit boy band this song is by. I'm Glad You Came, my universe will never be the same, see you again next month with a brand new theme.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Music Box [Marilyn Manson]

For the penultimate edition of our super-special double-hit cover-song extravaganza, we have a double-covered super-hit song special!

Glora Jones originally recorded the track Tainted Love in 1964, but it was Softcell's 1981, downtempo, synthpop cover that made the song famous around the world. Twenty years later, Marilyn Manson recorded this version for the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

How I survived the GoogleReaderpocalypse (and other boring tech stories)

You may recall that in April I was talking about the impending GoogleReaderpocalypse (or you may not). Either way, Google Reader is being shut down on 1 July (which is awfully soon). However, I am happy to report that I have now migrated to another web based RSS aggregator and it is doing the job for me so far. I took the plunge and went with Netvibes. And, what's more, if you put Netvibes into "reader view" it feels pretty much like a modern version of Google Reader. Bonus!

Anyway, moving on, in the same article we reported that Facebook was looking at implementing hashtags. Well, they obviously liked what they saw because hashtags are now causing chaos all over the mighty book of face. #hashtag

Finally, you may have noticed that we no longer live at dinosaursanddandelions.blogspot.co.nz and instead are the proud owners of the much simpler dinosaursanddandelions.com! Boy did I have some troubles setting it up though. I won't bore you with all the details but, after purchasing the site for a very very minimal fee, the domain registrar wanted another 600% to access DNS services like CNAME and redirect the site. This is a service that most other registrar's provide for free by the way. Luckily I managed to secure a Free DNS service and by Monday most of it was working, apart from a small SNAFU which was pointed out to me on Twitter. As always, managing everything from the blogspot/google end was a piece of cake. Mmmmmm..........cake.

Monday, 24 June 2013

"Ask Allan..." June Edition

Welcome to the very first edition of "Ask Allan..." Due to a downsizing at the meat-works, I have been forced to subsidize my income by making a monthly contribution to the infamous blog 'Dinosaurs and Dandelions'.

This is YOUR opportunity to ask those questions that have been burning in the back of your brain (or wherever else you keep them), and get a wise, mature, calculated yet witty response. 

The topic of such questions is entirely up to you, however to get you started here are some potential topics from which you can form questions:
  • Career advice
  • Relationship advice
  • Advice advice
  • Advice on creating lists
  • Problem solving
  • Riddles
  • Bullet points
  • Car advice
  • Grammar
  • Kelsey Grammer
  • Requests for anecdotes
  • Yellow leather hats
  • Legal advice *
* Legal advice provided is of the opinion of APB Holdings Ltd and should not be considered legally binding or as advice to be used in legal proceedings etc etc.

As a regular feature of 'Ask Allan...', we will also be bringing you a motivating and inspiring quotation from the world's great philosophers, thinkers and other influential people. As a first edition special, today we bring you not one, not three, not five.. but two quotes, each as inspiring as the other!

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life."
John 6:47

"I'm going to the back seat of my car, with the woman I love, and I won't be back for ten minutes! "
Simpson, Homer

So remember to send in your questions. You can do so by submitting them on Facebook, Twitter or emailing dinosaursanddandelions@hotmail.com.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sports Thoughts: 23 June 2013

Well, I promised you a post today, so here it is. Five random thoughts I've had relating sports in the last few days.

Second string Spain put 10 past Tahiti
Hasn’t it been good to see Tahiti “perform” at the Confederations Cup. Has a team ever got so much credit for such thrashings as the island nation did when they lost 1-6 to Nigeria and 0-10 to Spain? I guess that’s what happens when you’re ranked 138th and they’re ranked 31st and 1st in the world.

Fifa questions Durante's NZ eligibility
In good-but-it-doesn't-seem-it news, Fifa is investigating if the All Whites latest debutant, Andrew Durante, is actually eligible to play for us, being Australian and all. If they rule he isn't eligible for us it is likely that we will be stripped of our mighty victory over the Solomon Islands a few months ago. This is good because the issue was going to come up sooner or later and we'd rather have it worked out now than have it blow up in our faces later on and potentially be stripped of a World Cup qualification win over a team like Honduras.

Meninga cleared of wrong doing
Why is it called the “NRL integrity unit” when it can seemingly investigate anyone under the jurisdiction of the Australian Rugby League Commission, and not just NRL players?

Mini slams 'silly' Origin rule
Why is Anthony Minichello “hitting out” at the international rule regarding allegiance when really his anger should be directed at the ARLC’s insistence State of Origin players declare for Australia? By the way, only 127 days until the World Cup!

What about the Commodores?
And finally, “What about the Commodores” is not a phrase I thought I’d ever hear in V8 Supercars. This week bought the announcement of Volvo’s entry into the competition, joining Nissan, Ford, Mercedes and, of course, Holden. Here’s an artists impression of what one of the new Volvo S60’s will look like;

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Music Box [José González]

Just about everyone has heard this one [or atleast part of it] thanks to it's inclusion in Sony's 2005 Bravia television advertisement. You couldn't surf the internet or even chat with your grandma in Peru on one of those old things, but thanks to some colourful balls and a catchy cover song, the company probably managed to sell quite a few.

The original version of the song Heartbeats, was released in early 2003 by Swedish duo, The Knife. Later that same year, José González released this cover version on his debut album, Veneer. There is an actual music video for the song but it's pretty lame, so here's the extended cut of the advert instead. So many balls...

Friday, 21 June 2013

Scandal! Cap'N Crunch's Qualifications Questioned!!

In a surprisingly serious development this week, the nautical credibility of Cap'N Crunch was bought into question when troublesome trolls from Reddit identified that H. M. Crunch (real name Horatio Magellan) has three stripes on his uniform, instead of the four worn by a US Navy Captain. Three stripes identifies someone of the rank of Commander, who would report to a Captain.

The crisis then deepened for H. M. Crunch, with the US Navy stating that it had checked its personnel records and had no record of his service. Speculation quickly spread that he may have instead served in the French Navy, as in France three stripes signifies a Frigate Captain and he does sport a Napoleon style hat.

The maker of Cap'N Crunch cereal, Quakers*, was forced into damage control mode, stating that as he captains his own ship, the S.S. Guppy, he is a captain regardless of military rank, or service.

However, the debate rages on...

*what is with cereal companies with religious connotations?? I'm looking at you Sanitarium!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review: Georgie Pie

Despite my distaste for McDonalds, today I bit the bullet and ventured into one of their fine establishments. The reason: the 2013 Georgie Pie comeback.

So here it is, reviewed just for you on my patented "Hmm-Meh-Mmmm" scale.

Price: Hmm.
At NZD $4.50, McDonalds has clearly banked on the comeback of the brand to ensure people try it at least once, no matter the price. For comparison the Mercari Bakery prices their "award winning" steak and cheese pies at $3.80.

Pastry: Mmmm.
My pie was golden, firm and without a soggy base. It is also a square pie, which earns it a bonus mark.

Filling: Meh.
Initial disapointment at the filling was explained by a closer look at the advertising. This is a "steak mince and cheese pie", and not a steak and cheese pie. Or in other words, it's a mince and cheese pie.

Overall: Meh.
Worth getting once for the nostalgia and novelty value, but it's not going to replace your neighbourhood bakery pie.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Music Box [Rodrigo Y Gabriela]

For part two of our instrumental sub-theme, we have an acoustic guitar playing pair, originally from Meixco, who made a name for themselves playing in and around Dublin. After building a cult following in Ireland they went on to release their debut album in 2002 and have since had world wide success with their following three studio releases.

Their second album, which came out at the beginning of 2006, was the self-titled Rodrigo Y Gabriela. The duo, who had previously been involved together in a heavy metal band, included two covers on the album, a Metallica cover [you got to have atleast one...] and this version of Led Zepplin's, Stairway To Heaven.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Phrase THIS: Rule of thumb

We have all heard the phrase "rule of thumb" but actually, does that make any sense? And whose kingdom is the thumb ruling anyway?
Well first off, in this instance, the use of the word "rule" refers to measurements, not laws, much like the word "ruler". The phrase can be summed up as "a general principle or rule based on experience or practice, as opposed to a scientific calculation." Personally, I like the word guesstimate, so I'm just going to chuck that in there too.
It is quite commonly believed (though I'm sure not by you, dear reader) that the phrase rule of thumb dates back to an English law that allowed husbands to beat there wives as long as the stick wasn't wider than their thumb. While we won't debate the merits of such a law on these pages, this is certaintly not the origin of the phrase. English law did allow for "moderate correction" and domestic violence was probably quite common but they aparently didn't go around measuring sticks with thumbs beforehand.
Instead, the origins of the phrase appear to be more mundane. First recorded in 1692, and already in common usage well before then, the phrase probably originates from some form of measurement, such as when planting seeds or woodworking. This distance is roughly one inch and in many European languages the word for inch is same as the word for a thumb.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Music Box [Apocalyptica]

Our Music Box cover songs frenzy continues, and this week we're goin instrumentalTodays group was originally formed in Helsinki, by four classically trained cellists, solely as a Metallica tribute group. They have gone on to release seven albums which in recent years have included moslty original content and featured a range of famous guest vocalists.

Off their 1998 album, Inquisition Symphony, this is Apocalyptica, performing Nothing Else Matters, originally from Metallica's eponymous fifth studio album.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Music Box [Patti Smith]

Last time we heard Nirvana covering a 70's music icon, so to follow that up, today we have a 70's music icon, covering Nirvana.

Known as the "Godmother of Punk", Patti Smith is a singer-songwriter and poet, who greatly influenced the New York punk rock scene with her debut studio album, Horses. In 2007 she released her eleventh studio album, Twelve, a collection of cover songs which included this excellent version of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Post 100! (actually this time...)

Following on from our last disastrous attempt at a celebration, the Board of Directors™ is not too keen on funding another all out birthday extravaganza. We do however have a very special announcement[!] here for you and, whats more, we are totally sure that this time it is our 100th post!

And, well, if that's not enough for you, just go back and read From Dinosaurs to Dandelions: The ten year struggle that turned into a Broadway hit.

So now, without any further ado, what we've all been waiting for; a very special announcement! In the tradition of agony aunts everywhere, we present to you Ask Allan. 

That's right! Allan will be available to answer all your non-Allan related questions once a month. So send in your best queries now! Get in touch using facebook, twitter or email us at dinosaursanddandelions@hotmail.com. And, in case you need any further encouragement, all questions sent in before the 30th of June will go in the draw to win this delicious Bacon flavoured lollipop.*

*Artificial flavouring; not actually Bacon. Best Before 30 December 2012.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

The Music Box [Nirvana]

David Bowie's 1970 album, The Man Who Sold The World, was ranked 45th by Nirvana front man, Kurt Cobain, in a list of his 50 favourite albums. In 1993, the band performed their version of the title track on an MTV Unplugged appearance, which was then released as a live album. Sing along if you know this one.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Matthew's Midyear Movie Mayhem

So, after being on a film watching spree lately (well, a spree by my standards, probably not by your standards), I thought I'd do a quick and dirty review of each of them. NB: Reviews may not contain any dirt.

How many of these films have you seen? Score yourself out of four.

Argo (2012)

A nice "historical drama thriller" directed by, and starring, Ben Affleck. The film follows American embassy staff who are trapped in Iran and a CIA agent who creates a cover story involving a fake film studio to get them out. Based on events that occured during the Iranian hostage crisis, the film unfortunately minimises the Canadian input into the rescue plan and ignores the role of the British and New Zealand embassy staff. Don't worry though, we had the last laugh, because on 12 March 2013 New Zealand's parliament passed a motion that the house "...acknowledge with gratitude the efforts of former New Zealand diplomats Chris Beeby and Richard Sewell in assisting American hostages in Tehran during the hostage crisis in 1979, and express its regret that the director of the movie Argo saw fit to mislead the world about what actually happened during that crisis when, in reality, our courageous diplomats’ inspirational actions were of significant help to the American hostages and deserve the factual and historical record to be corrected." That'll show them!

The Hangover Part III (2013)

The third film of the series departs somewhat from the formula that made the first one such a success and that the second one blatently reproduced. Part III has more Mr. Chow, less Doug and no Mike Tyson. The film relies on the adventures of Phil, Stu and Alan to deliever an as-expected comedy that is satisfying but you probably won't remember in two weeks time.

Gangster Squad (2013)

Originally scheduled for a 2012 release before it was re-worked following the 2012 Batman theatre shootings, Gangster Squad follows a squad of LAPD police officers who are tasked with working outside the law to bring down the city's most notorious gangster. Vaguely based on true events, Gangster Squad features Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Emma Stone. The film is stylishly shot and, despite a perhaps slightly shallow plot, it will keep your attention throughout.

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

The sixth film in the series finally reunites Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez, along with Dwayne Johnson, MMA champion Gina Carano and most of the episode five's cast. The film builds on F&F 5's formula of moving away from a car film and towards a hiest film, with cars. Entertaining and with plenty of ridiculous action, this series isn't over yet as the movie clearly sets up a sequel. We went to a super enhanced viewing that included audience participation, which only added to the film's appeal.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Music Box [James Blake]

So, it turns out Matthew never got the note I left on his desk asking him to fill in for me last month... Unfortunately, this resulted in no puppy-related music videos being posted in The Music Box, and as the allocated time period has now passed, you're shit out of luck! Thanks for voting though, maybe we'll have another theme poll later in the year!

Now back to this months theme, and to make up for the lack of tunes last month, June will now feature twice the number of videos, for the same low, low price! Todays song, Limit To Your Love, was originally recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter, Feist, and appears on her 2007 album, The Reminder. This however is James Blake, doing it his way.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Music box [Devo]

I took a few weeks off in May and left Matthew to fill in for me. I trust he supplied you with all the puppy related music videos you could handle and by now you'll be ready for our June theme! This month, The Music Box has got it covered. That's right, we're bringing you all the best cover songs money can buy, and you don't even have to pay us for them!* [*you don't have to... but you can!]

First up, we're heading back to 1977 when American, new wave band, Devo covered The Rolling Stones hit, [I Can't Get No] Satisfaction. Mick Jagger himself has said he liked the bands version, and music reviewer Steve Huey described it as "...a spastic freak-out that's nearly unrecognisable" [That's a good thing, probably].

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Cooking with Matthew: Punch!

Why, hello. I hope you are ready for another delicious recipe. Today we are looking at a party favourite, punch. Punch comes from the Hindu word for five and was introduced into Britain in the early seventeenth century. Traditionally punch contains a combination of fruit and liquor, however at uncouth parties the punch may be progressively “spiked” during the night until it contains almost only alcohol. Or so I’m told.

Punch (Serves One)
Liquor (your choice!)
1. Liquor yourself up
Top tip: Aim to drink as much as possible as quickly as possible
2. Form your hand into a fist, with your thumb on the outside
3. Swing wildly at the nearest fellow party goer
4. Enjoy!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Top 5: Reasons to wear Pants

5. They provide something for you to sit on.

4. To conform to societies expectations of you.

3. Fashion: who doesn’t like a bit of colour?

2. Somewhere to wipe your hands when they’re dirty.

1. They keep your genitals warm.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

My All-Ferguson Manchester United XI

Following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, it's time to have a look at the best players to have come through the club under his reign. Ferguson has been in charge of the club since 1986 and under his reign Manchester United has won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cup's, won the UEFA Champions League twice and the FIFA World Club Cup once, so there are a fair few names to choose from.

Because we have to start somewhere, lets begin at the most obvious place: Goalkeeper.
Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel (398 games, 1 goal

Schmeichel is the obvious choice for Goalkeeper. Joining Man U in 1991, he was named as the World's Best Goalkeeper in 1992 and 1993. At 191cm tall and weighing in at around 105kg, Schmeichel had to have special XXXL goalkeeper shirts made for him.

In his eight years at the club he became a legend and the 1998-99 season ended with the club winning the treble, Schmeichel was captain of the sides 1999 UEFA Champions League winning side.

Perhaps the best way to show how valuable he was is the fact that the club had great difficulty replacing him, trying solid but uninspiring players like Tim Howard and Roy Carroll, the insane Frenchman Fabian Barthez and even an Australia, Mark Bosnich, as they got increasingly desperate to find a quality replacement.
Right Back: Gary Neville (602 games, 7 goals)

A one-club player, Neville joined the club in 1991 and made his senior debut in 1992. One of a group of amazing youth players in the club that would go onto achieve great things, Neville was the clubs first choice right back for almost 20 years. He took over the captaincy following Roy Keane's departure in 2005. He also was a regular for England, and is his country's most capped right back.

Centre-back: Steve Bruce (309 games, 36 goals)

One of the best English players to never represent his country, Bruce made his United debut in 1987 and went on to captain the club to The Double in 1994. With a playing style described as "rampaging", Bruce was often in disciplinary trouble yet was a high goal scorer for a defender. Bruce is now a respected club manager and this year led Hull City to promotion to the Premier League.

Centre-back: Gary Pallister (437 games, 15 goals)

A tough as bricks centre defender, Pallister played for Manchester United between 1989 and 1998. Now a director of Darlington, Pallister transferred to Man Utd from Middlesbrough in what was then a record British fee. He formed a formidable partnership with Steve Bruce and by the time of his departure he was the only player to have been involved in all of Ferguson's titles.

Left Back: Phil Neville (386 games, 8 goals)

The younger, and slightly less famous, brother of Gary, Phil currently captains Everton. He made his debut in 1994 and developed a role as somewhat of a utility, only fully establishing himself at left back following the departure of Denis Irwin. However, Phil starts in my side because I like him far more as a player. Neville was sold to Everton in 2005, for a £3.5 million.

(Defensive) Centre midfield: Roy Keane - captain (480 games, 51 goals)

The one and only Roy Keane took Steve Bruce's aggressive playing style and turbocharged it in the way only an Irishman could. Keane became captain in 1997, following Eric Cantona's retirement. He spent twelve years at the club and is my captain as during that time he won more trophies than any other United captain. Keane left in 2005 to join Celtic and after retirement became another of Ferguson's ex players to go into club management.

(Attacking) Centre midfield: Paul Scholes (716* games, 155 goals)

Scholes has just announced his second retirement, following Ferguson into the sunset. He originally retired in 2011 before being talked into a comeback in early 2012. Scholes is another of the juniors that came up through the ranks in 1994-95 and has been a fixture in the side ever since, amassing over 700 games for the club and 66 for his country.

Right midfield: David Beckham (394 games, 85 goals)

While being a lock for inclusion into this side, putting Beckham into the starting line up was something of a closer call. In the end though his talent, and reputation, meant he had to be in the first XI. Another of the golden juniors, Beckham left for Real Madrid in 2003 along with his wife, Posh Spice.

Left midfield: Ryan Giggs (929* games, 167 goals)

The one and only Ryan Giggs. He has scored a goal in each of the Premier League's 21 seasons, which is simply amazing. Chances are he may go another year as well. Maybe.

Centre forward: Wayne Rooney (390* games, 194 goals)

Perhaps having now played his last game for the club, Rooney has done enough since joining the club in 2004 to make the side. Joining as a promising youngster from the mean streets of Everton, Rooney took the drastic step of getting hair implants in 2011. They did the trick and Rooney has scored for the club at an impressive strike rate of around 50 percent.

Centre forward: Mark Hughes (345 games, 120 goals)

The second Welsh international to make the side, Hughes has two spells at Manchester United with Ferguson bringing him back in 1988. He played 256 games for the club under Ferguson. Twice a winner of the Player of the Year award, Hughes went on to have a successful career in management post-retirement.

Edwin van der Sar (Goalkeeper; 266 games, 0 goals)
After several attempts at replacing Schmeichel, Manchester United finally came close with van der Sar. Joining in 2005, he kept goal for United until his retirement in 2011.
Rio Ferdinand (Centre-back; 420* games, 7 goals)
In 2002 he signed a five-year deal to become the most expensive British footballer in history at the time and the world's most expensive defender. He's still going, although now starting to slow down, but has somewhat justified his extensive price tag.
Denis Irwin (Right/Left Back; 529 games, 33 goals)
Perhaps unlucky to be sitting on the bench, Irwin is the fourth most capped player in this side.
Bryan Robson (Centre midfield; 345 games, 74 goals)
The longest serving captain in club history, Robson loses a point for not being a Ferguson hire. Like many players, he also had a patchy relationship with the gaffer.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Attacking midfield; 292 games, 118 goals)
Following reports that he may return to Man Utd, Ronaldo might have a chance to make the starting team of any future best XI's. A Portugese wunderkid, Ronaldo spent six years playing for United, before moving onto Real Madrid in search of bigger things.
Brian McClair (Forward; 355 games, 88 goals)
A nuggety Scottish forward, McClair now works at the clubs director of their youth academy.
Eric Cantona (Forward; 185 games, 82 goals)
The amazing Cantona joined United in 1992 and became captain in 1996. Known for the firery french flair, Cantona scored over 80 goals for the club in less than five years before his surprise retirement in 1997.

Honourable Mentions
Nemanja Vidic (Centre-back; 256* games, 19 goals)
The Serbian defender had to appeal for calm when Serbia lost to New Zealand in 2010. He also did some things for United.

Ruud van Nistelroy (Forward; 219 games, 150 goals)

van Nistelroy spent five years at Manchester United in the early 2000's. An amazing player, he would have had to stay longer to make the side.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Cooking with Matthew: Soup

Good evening ducklings and welcome to another enthralling Cooking with Matthew. As always, I'm your host and you can call me Matthew. Winter is Coming and apparently last week's recipe didn't have the desired effect of warming your extremities. This week we will try another tact, soup. Soup is a delicious liquid food that has been around since at least 1982. The word restaurant originally referred to a cheap type of soup that was sold by French street vendors.

Soup (Serves Four)
Top tip: If you don't have any water handy, substitute it with some of these and increase the cooking times.
1. Add ingredients together in a large pot.
2. Place the pot on the stove top and bring to the boil.
3. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Enjoy!
Extra for Experts: For flavour, try adding that broth you've been saving for the last three years.