| 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. |

Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Music Box [How To Destroy Angels]

A brand new song this week off How To Destroy Angel's upcoming debut, full-length album, Oblivion. The group which features Trent 'Nine Inch Nails' Reznor, wife Mariqueen Maandig, long time collaborator Atticus Ross and Art Director, Rob Sheridan, formed in 2010 and has previously released two EPs.

Here they are with, How Long? Have a listen.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Connoisseur's Craftbeer Corner

Who doesn't like a good beer? Well, nobody. That's a fact. And what's better than a beer brewed in a microbrewery stuffed into someone's garden shed? Nothing, that's what. Craft beers just taste better.

The American Brewers Association defines a craft brewer as being  
  • small (producing less than 6 million barrels of beer a year), 
  • independent (no large brewing company owns more than 25% of the company), and 
  • traditional (mostly brews all malt beers).
So, with that definition in mind, welcome to our Connoisseur's Craftbeer Corner and let's get into our first craft beer.

Lion Red (Lion Nathan Breweries)

A larger style beer weighing in at 4.0%, Lion Nathan describes the beer as "a full-bodied malt flavoured beer, balanced with a pleasant hop bitterness". Originally known as Lion Beer, Lion Red was first brewed in 1907. An affordable brew, Liquor King lists this beer at $26.99 for a 15-pack.

Look 4/5
Lion Red is served in a stylish brown "stubby bottle" that holds a 330ml portion. The logo is a gold heraldry style lion standing in the rampant position. The red background and red bottle cap gives the beer its distinctive look.

Taste 1/5
Well, I tried, I really did. But no matter how much Lion Red I drank, I still couldn't taste anything.

Summary 2/5
Tastes like watery piss. One to avoid.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Echo Golf Golf Sierra

Eggs. We all love them, they're delicious (and easy to cook!). Most of the eggs we humans eat are chicken eggs, chickens were domesticated from Jungle fowl in subtropical southern Asia around 7500 BCE. I bet us humans have eaten a hell of a lot of chicken eggs since then.

The egg carton was invented in Canada in 1911. A wonderful invention, the egg carton holds eggs. Usually six or twelve. Sometimes ten.

You can cook eggs many different ways. You can boil them, fry them or even scramble them. To scramble them though you probably need to add some extra ingredients. Like milk and butter.

Because Americans are weird, the United States Department of Agriculture classifies eggs as meat. The USDA also recommends refrigerating eggs to prevent the growth of Salmonella. Good advice.
Did you know that? I didn't. That's a lot of eggs. Oracle Team USA are the current holders of the America's Cup. They won the cup in 2010 after a long legal battle resulted in their super huge trimaran defeating Alinghi's slightly smaller catamaran. Despite being held in the dead of night (NZ Time), the races were phreakin' amazing to watch, with the trimaran spending most of the race with only one hull in the water and at times sailing four times faster than the wind speed. Awesome.

The Cup is named after the first yacht to win it, America. The New York Yacht Club won the first race in 1851, making this the oldest active international trophy in sport. When the NYYC finally lost the cup in 1983 it ended the longest winning streak in sport.

Oracle Team USA will defend the cup later this year. Three challengers will compete for the right to face them; Artemis Racing from Sweden, Luna Rossa from Italy and Team New Zealand from RIGHT HERE IN LITTLE OL' NEW ZEALAND. We are going to kick some arse. I can't wait.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

The Music Box [Nekromantix]

This weeks song is an old favourite in the Dinosaurs and Dandelions office[Yes, we have an office]. The band originally formed in Denmark way back in 1989, but have seen a few lineup changes since then, leaving frontman Kim Nekroman[with his iconic stand-up coffinbass] the only original member. They play a blend of rockabilly and punk, known as psychobilly, which usually contain humorously toned, horror themed lyrics - as illustrated by album names like, Demons are a Girl's Best Friend, Return of the Loving Dead, and Life is a grave and I Dig it! 

This is the Nekromantix, with Gargoyles Over Copenhagen.

Friday, 22 February 2013

An ode to caffeine

Caffeine, caffeine; my favourite drug,
Caffeine, caffeine; give me a big hug.
Without you I get all shakey,
When you're here I'm wide a-wakey!
Coffee, Coke and even V,
You all mean so much to me.
I don't want us to be apart,
Caffeine, you've stolen my heart.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Empires of the World: Lithuania?

You've stumbled upon Empires of the World - a grand tour of all of the major civilizations of the world. First up; Lithuania.

At its Peak

While today Lithuania is one of the three small Baltic states in North Eastern Europe, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania once stretched from the Baltic to the Black sea.
Lithuania dominating circa 1387

Beginning in the 12th century the Lithuanian Dukes spread their empire southwards, claiming control of the area from the Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Mongolian Hordes. At it's peak the Duchy consisted of over 850,000 km2 with an estimated 4.25 million inhabitants, making it the largest country in Europe in the 14th century. In 1387 the state was Christianised, after prayer books were translated into Lithuanian.


The Grand Duchy of Moscow began to rise in the 16th century, putting pressure on Lithuania. In response Lithuania began to ally itself closely with Poland and the two countries united in 1569, forming the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. After the Napoleonic Wars, much of Lithuania was annexed by the Russian Empire. It was given independence at the end of World War I before being occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940.


Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union in 1990 and joined the European Union in 2004. Since the Global Financial Crises Lithuania has had one of the fastest growing economies in Europe and it is scheduled to hold the EU Presidency in the second half of 2013. Surely the future is once again bright for Lithuania.

Monday, 18 February 2013

From Dinosaurs to Dandelions: The ten year struggle that turned into a Broadway hit

Welcome to our very special 100th post, a joint Matthew-Pez production.

Yes, 100 already. And you, dear reader, have been here for all of them (poor you). To celebrate, we have a few things planned. To start, lets have a walk down memory lane and look at two of our favourite posts from the last three years.

Matthew's fave

When I think about my favourite post on this humble blog, Top10 with Pez is an obvious choice. In this series our favourite Pez runs through Top10's of just about everything, enriching our daily lives by giving us some sort of order and hierarchy.

While there are many stand outs in the Top10, the TV Shows of the 90's is a clear number one. Not only is it this blogs most viewed post, with an amazing 1122 views, it is informative, funny and, like any list, contains rankings that I strongly disagree with.

The best bit about this list, is its god damn nostalgia value. Who doesn't love to be reminded of what made their childhood great, 90's Television? Especially when this is combined with Pez' witty, and sometimes snide, comments. While a Top10 this good will be hard to top, I'm sure the next runaway hit is just around the corner.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer came in at number 4 in the Top10.

Pez' fave

My favourite posts of all have to be from the Cooking with Matthew series. Not only have I learnt some great dishes to impress my friends and family with, but it has also inspired me to get in the kitchen and try some of my own recipes.

I remember when I read the first Cooking with Matthew - it was such a new concept for me – the idea of me cooking a
Mediterranean dish in my own home! The first couple of attempts didn’t go so well, but it turned out I’d just missed the second step and with a few adjustments, I soon had a hot piece of toast on my plate. It was slightly blacker than his picture showed, but I am no Matthew and for a first attempt I was rather impressed with my efforts.

My favourite edition was probably where he showed us how to make noodles. I’d seen noodles on television before, but to actually learn how to make them, and in such a short amount of time, was one of the most rewarding days of my life. I still often eat noodles, and I am thankful to Matthew for giving me the confidence to take on such an exotic dish!

I look forward to many more Cooking with Matthew posts in the future, and am especially interested to see what recipe he has in mind for the delicious broth he has had me saving from my noodles for the last three years.


Feedback time! Lets get straight into your comments:
Dear Dandelions and Dinosaurs,
I notice that my favourite author, Pez, has not written a whole lot lately. While I love the Music Box series and check the blog frequently for more, I pine for more Pez related blogs. When will my favourite author begin to write again?


MJ Matthew
Massey, Auckland
Dear MJ.
Thankyou for your support and kind words. As my articles require far more work and research than Matthews do, I am unable to output as many posts as he does - for the Music Box alone I listen to hundreds of hours of music a month - and for a single Top10 list I could be required to watch dozens of films or hours and hours of television! Do not worry though, I currently have several projects on the go, so expect to see some of them soon.

Love, Pez.
Dear T-Rex and Taraxacum,
I'm a huge fan of your blog! I really love Matthews posts as they cover such a wide range of topics and are really funny but also really informative. I was hoping Matthew would consider writing a dating advice column as I really like this girl but don't really know what I should do. How do I know if she really likes me back? I really hope you can help.

Petey Gee.
West Auckland.
Thanks Petey!
Matthew isn't here right now but we know he appreciates your kind words. Matthew will consider your idea about a dating advice column, however he will probably then decide it is a bad idea. Keep reading the blog!

Dearest Dinosaurs and Dandelions,

I would like to say thank you. Thank you for your whimsical articles which have helped me through many a tedious afternoon at work.
You have also simplified the pizza 'making' process for me again! Never will I have to deal with unmelted mozzarella or slave away making my own sauce.

Kind regards
Hi Katie,
Without readers like you, we'd be nowhere. That's why we focus on attention to detail and care a great deal about our audience. So Katy, Thank You.
Our popular Cooking with Matthew series provides a great service as we find that the youth of today are completely hopeless in the kitchen. It sounds like you may be one of them. Didn't you ever listen to anything your mother taught you?

Love, Matthew.
Dear editors of Dinosaurs and Dandelions,
I want to congratulate you on your relaunch in 2013, it fills me with utter joy to once again read the incredibly high-brow entertainment this nation has been lacking. However I must point out your misleading tagline of discussing which celebrity had cornflakes for breakfast as I have never read about this - not that I wanted to either as that'd be mighty low-brow. Thank you very much and where do I send the cheque (that'd likely be lost in the mail) to to support this publication?
Yours reader-in-waiting,
Hi Lil,
It filled us with utter joy to hear your praise, however this joy soon turned to sorrow when the complaining started. Our readers are like family to us and when we find out something we have or haven’t done has upset one of you, we take this very seriously – thus I have ordered a full and thorough investigation into whatever it was you were moaning about. You’re welcome, and keep your money, this one’s on the house!

Love, Pez.
What's good on the web

Finally, we are going to leave you with some other stuff that's going on out there that we think is quite good:
  • First off, do you ever get to the top of a mountain, pause to take in the view and then get a sudden urge to flip the scenery off? No? Oh, well this guy does.
  • Following in the fine satire tradition of The Onion by bringing you Today's News: Today. The New Zealander is quickly becoming a must read. And, as a bonus, their facebook page is now Lillian endorsed!
  • Finally, a special Pez endorsed recommendation. If you like education, random facts and the news of the day, well then you can't go past this small blog. We are loving the Did you know section - I wonder where they got that idea from?
Unfortunately, that brings us to the end of our special 100th episode. We hope you've enjoyed a look back at two of our favourite blog posts combined with some viewer interaction and some links to the outside world to keep you busy. I can't wait for the next 100.

That's all folks, thanks for tuning in! 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Diplodocus

Welcome to episode four of our popular A-Zed series; Dinosaurs. Today we have reached the letter Dee, which of course means everybodies favourite long necked dinosaur that isn't the Apatosaurus; The Diplodocus. Our mate Dipo has that "classic dinosaur shape" with a big long neck and an equally huge tail, all held off the ground by four big sturdy legs. Diplodocus is long, in fact its the longest dinosaur that we have a complete skeleton of. It is estimated that Dipo was upto 33 metres long and weighed in at around 10 to 16 tonne. Jenny Craig would be proud.

The Diplodocus was discovered by S. W. Wilson in 1877, however he wasn't named until O. C. Marsh came along in 1878. Regular readers will know O. C. is short for Othniel Charles as Mr Marsh is a bit of a feature in this blog. From North America, complete skeletons are often found without their skulls, leading to a well respected theory made up just then by me that a headless sub species of Diplodocus existed in Wyoming and Colorado.

Dipo lived during the Jurassic period, so only about 150 million years ago. Hopefully I don't have to tell you that the Diplodocus was vegetarian, but just in case - the Diplodocus was vegetarian. They may have lived for around 100 years and probably travelled in herds. Its tail was "whip-like" and may have been used as a weapon. Either that, or for dominatrix games in the bedroom.

Unfortunately, no human ever saw a Diplodocus alive and so we can only summise what their habits were like. Academics guesstimate that they had nests for their eggs and were cathemeral - active in short bursts during the day. One study has even proposed that, due to their long necks, Dipo might have had a second smaller heart to pump blood to its head. But we all know that is wrong, as they didn't actually have heads.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Music Box [Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside]

This week in the Box we have a female fronted band, with a good old fashioned rock 'n' roll vibe. These crazy cats might not be everyone's cup of tea, but who would want everyone’s cup of tea anyway - they were probably all backwashing and germing it up and stuff like that! Ew...

Concluding Ladies Outside Live, here’s Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, in some park performing Cage.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Cooking with Matthew: Pizza!

Good morning and welcome back to everyone's favourite cooking show; Cooking with Matthew. After a hiatus of almost three years, I would imagine that you are getting rather bored with the four recipes we have learned so far.

But fear not, lets learn a new scrumptious dish to go with our collection of Pies, Ice blocks, Noodles and Toast. Today we travel to an exotic far away country - Italy - and learn one of their traditional dishes, Pizza. As well as being served in Italian restuarants everywhere, Pizza is also a Friday evening favourite - delicious.

Pizza is a little known dish that combines delicious toppings with a flat bread style base.

Pizza (Serves Two)

Money (anywhere between 300 to 2000 Yen converted into NZD)
A communication device (e.g. a phone, computer-internet combo, letter and pen)

A transportation device [optional]

1. Use your communication device to contact your pizza shop of choice and place an order.
[Vegetarian tip: For a vegetarian option, order a vegetarian pizza]
2. Either travel to the pizza shop to collect, or pay extra to have them travel to you; most establishments call this "delivery".
3. Exchange your money for the pizza.
4. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Breaking News: Pope's resignation causes Mass confusion.

In breaking news, the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City and Servant of the Servants of God has announced his resignation from the positions. Also known as Pope Benedict XVI (real name Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger) he will become the first pope since 1294 to resign voluntarily when he does so at 8am on 28 February 2013. Despite original reports that he was resigning to work as a marketing director for Satan, it can now be confirmed that he will retire to the Collegiate Church of St. Thomas of Villanova in Italy.

German-born, the future pope was conscripted into the Hitler Youth during the War before joining the Church in 1945. In 1981 he was appointed to a position in the Vatican City and became one of Pope John Paul II’s closest confidents. He was elected Pope on 19 April 2009 following John Paul’s death. Regarded as a traditionalist or fundamentalist, Benedict has suffered deteriorating health and reportedly has trouble walking. He was recently advised by doctors to avoid long flights.
Pope Benedict XVI checking out his favourite blog; Dinosaurs and Dandelions.
The election of a new pope is done by Jesus Christ himself. Prior to this, a Papal Conclave consisting of all of the Cardinals under 80 years of age convenes to make a recommendation. There are currently estimated to be 118 eligible Cardinals, of which ten are talked about as frontrunners for the position. The Cardinals are all locked into the Sistine Chapel until they can decide on a candidate. After each election, and they may vote continuously until someone “wins”, the ballots are burned. Dark smoke signals to the world that the election didn’t have a winner while White smoke signals that a new pope has been elected. Benedict himself was elected under rules requiring only a simple majority (50%+1) however now a supermajority (75%) is required. This means that this years conclave could be a long one, potentially frustrating the Church’s wish to have a new Pope elected in time for Easter.

Berries: Revealed!

In an exclusive exposé, Your ANNUAL weekly News uncovers the shocking truth behind something that we all thought we knew and loved, Berries.


Question One: What do Avocados, Bananas, Tomatoes and Capsicums all have in common? Answer: They are all, technically, berries.

Woah, you say! I know, right? But how about this;

Question Two: What do Strawberries, Blackberries and Raspberries have in common?
Answer: Yes, that’s right – none of them are actually berries.

Is your mind blown yet?
Common berries.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Phrase THIS II: Kicking the bucket

Have you ever heard the phrase, “kicked the bucket”? What does it actually mean? Yes, that they died, but how the hell does that make any sense?

Now if you’ve just shouted at the screen an explanation of the phrase, first off – check around the room to make sure no one is looking at you funny. Then, give yourself a brownie point. However, you may not be correct – because, you see, there are three commonly accepted explanations for the humble phrase, and no definitive proof over which is the correct explanation.

Allow me to elaborate;

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Music Box [Nicole Atkins]

In the second part of our Ladies Outside Live series, it’s off to the good old U.S of A. This singer-songwriter ranges from pop rock to blues with a hint of country, and backs it all up with one of the best voices in the business.

This is Nicole Atkins, live in an alley somewhere, singin' her song, The Tower.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

News in a Minute: Thursday 7 February 2013

Welcome to Thursday 7th February 2013, the time is Seven, roughly.

This is News in a Minute, where we show you all the ingredients for the news in three easy steps.

First off, our headline story - which is something terribly important and relevant to your daily lives. Today, New Zealand's almost award winning, third most popular folk construction company, Mainzeal Property and Construction halted work after being placed in receivership yesterday. Now the boring and dull accountants will do a stock take of the business before deciding if it can run itself back into the black or if it is a basket case that needs to be liquidated. The company got screwed over after it had to repair leaky buildings it took massive shortcuts on when building them during the nineties, funny that.

Ahem, moving on, we now get to the meat of the news: filler. Today's flavour is world news but other options include weather and sport. First up, Iran has reportedly put a monkey into space. Well, almost everyone agrees that they managed it - it's just debatable that they were able to safely return him to Earth or not. At the same time they were engaging in the space race, Iran also unveiled a medieval style finger chopping machine. Excellent juxtaposition by the Iran News Agency there.

In other world news, back Home they finally found the King, who has been lost since 1485. Richard III was found hiding under a carpark by archeologists from the University of Leicester. A Palace spokesperson claimed he was not lost, but had merely been misplaced.

Finally we will follow One New's example and end with a fluff piece. Look! Some cute animals!!

And there we have it, that was today's news in three easy steps. Thank you for reading and remember:

Better Living everyone!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Super Numbers

After watching Super Bowl XLVII, the Dinosaurs and Dandelions sports department breaks down the numbers from yesterday’s game;

Monday, 4 February 2013

A review of a bridge...yes, seriously.

As you well know, we here at Dinosaurs and Dandelions are the undisputed leaders in bridge related news in the North Massey-Westgate area. So when the "Westgate Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge" was officially opened last week by the NZTA and Auckland Transport, we were all over it - well maybe not all over it, but we certainly walked across it.
The bridge is yellow.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Music Box [Lykke Li]

In this edition of The Music Box, we're heading to Sweden for some catchy, indie-pop goodness that’s sure to get your feet a shufflin’ - so if you feel you got to dance, don’t be shy, there’s plenty of room up front! This’ll also be the first of a three part special featuring ladies singing live in the great outdoors. I call it: Ladies Outside Live, or LOL for short.

First up singing outside somewhere, is the delightful Lykke Li, [backed by the boys from Bon Iver] performing her song, Dance. Dance. Dance.

Now that I have pants on, we may begin.

Good morning.*

And welcome back, we have missed you.

You may have surmised from the activity around the place that this blog is in danger of becoming fully active again. And you would be correct. Much like White Island, we are ready to begin spewing forth a load of hot air again. However, unlike White Island, GNS Science doesn’t seem interested in monitoring us – more the pity, they might have learnt something.
White Island: Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 mins.