Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sideswipe

Take another look at this billboard in Rotterdam

By Ana Samways

There's no fool like a media fool: Published on the front page of the Dominion Post newspaper yesterday, a fascinating news story claiming extreme laziness has a medical cause. Any news hound worth their salt would've smelled a rodent at this stage, but not the Dom Post, even when the red flags were coming thick and fast. The story claimed that "motivational deficiency disorder could be fatal, because it crippled the motivation to breathe". Alarm bells anyone? The story quoted a guy called Leth Argos ... geddit? Who supposedly told the British Medical Journal that "one young man who could not leave his sofa is now working as an investment adviser in Sydney". Forbes.com explains: "It has long been the policy of the highly regarded British Medical Journal to throw off its shackles of respectability on April 1 and treat its readers to scientific inquiry into little-known and completely fabricated 'medical research'." The only thing more embarrassing than publishing the story, is leaving it on your website for 10 hours, and counting.

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A reader writes: "While in Oamaru, I needed to feed the pay and display machine. Unsure of how much it is to park in Oamaru, I fed the machine $2. This gave me parking from 2.57pm on Wednesday until 10.47am on Thursday. That's 20 hours parking for $2. I was due to return to Auckland on the Thursday night so I had my car dropped off at the airport for me to pick up. It was dropped off at 3.34pm and picked up 6 hours later. The cost? $26."

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A Ponsonby reader wonders whether the Soho Square "developers" would be having an easier time if they had chosen a name New Zealanders could relate to. "Contrary to what they might think, we don't all wish we lived in London or New York - and in any case, London's Soho Square has been Wino Central for decades and New York's SoHo isn't exactly glamorous, either."

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Among the Top 87 Bad Predictions about the Future, from www.2Spare.com:

"Atomic energy might be as good as our present-day explosives, but it is unlikely to produce anything very much more dangerous." - Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister-to-be, 1939.

"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty, a fad." - The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford's lawyer not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903.

"If anything remains more or less unchanged, it will be the role of women." - David Riesman, conservative American social scientist, 1967.

"It will be gone by June." - Variety, passing judgment on rock'n roll in 1955.

"Television won't last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." - Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.

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