Wednesday, April 29, 2009

FBI employee faints during Obama speech

An FBI (=Federal Bureau of Investigation) employee fainted during President Barack Obama's address to the bureau. Fortunately, Obama has experience with people fainting in his presence and handled the incident calmly.

Back in 1908 ... oh, did somebody faint? Do we have an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) here? Right down here. Just give him a little bit of space. This happened during my political campaign all the time. I was talking too long, people would be falling out every which way. They're usually fine, they just need a little bit of air and a little bit of water. Right down here, right in the middle. Not you ... All right, I think they'll be all right.
So back in 1908 ...

New Zealand road signs

Click on the image to enlarge it.

New Zealand bird song

New Zealand icons

The Goodnight kiwi
Before 24 hour TV Goodnight Kiwi signalled the end of nightly broadcasts. The last airing of this animation was in 1994. Today the characters are regarded as icons of New Zealand culture.

New Zealand National Anthem sung by Benjamin McHugh at the
Telstra Stadium, Sydney on 13/08/2005.

E Ihoa Atua,
O nga Iwi matoura
Ata whaka rongona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau to atawhai;
Manaakitia mai

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

The All Blacks' Haka


Here is an old L&P commercial that was on TV for years. The words are as follows: It ain't famous for its Grand Prix; well, it ain't famous for its flashy department stores; man, it ain't famous for its stunning architecture; well, it's not famous for its cathedral; it ain't famous for its royal family; it ain't famous for its railway station; well, it ain't famous for its fine restaurants; but it is famous -- L&P, World Famous in New Zealand

New Zealand: The Maori

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lessons in Kiwi English

Click here to find out what 'bugger' means.

New Zealand commercial using the "mate" theme to combat drink driving. Tag-line: if you drink then drive, you're a bloody idiot.
He's calling the guy by his name (Dave) rather than mate because they're not mates anymore after the crash. "Mate" is a pretty common term when you're speaking to someone. It's actually more common than using a person's name a lot of the time so to go from "mate" to "Dave" shows how far he's been separated from his friends. He's not one of them anymore. He's just someone who killed their real mate.

A hilarious commercial from New Zealand that explains when togs (the kiwi word for swimsuits) begin to be considered undies (underwear).

New Zealand accent and vocabulary

One News report on how the New Zealand accent has changed noticeably over the last 30 years.

You have here what seems like an innocent word. English - you might think “Whak-a-papa”, something similar to that. However, here in New Zealand, well James, why don’t you help explain this, how do you say this word? “Whaka-papa” That is “Whak-a-papa”, there is a word on the other side. This is how to speak New Zealand 101. Okay, we have the letters “N” and “Zee”. However, when you are in New Zealand, James — “N-Zed”. Aah! Slight difference. If you are wearing something like flip-flops, Rick, what would you call those? “Jandals”. Now Sam, if you were to ask your pastor to pass you the pasta what would you say? “Pass the pasta, pastor”… I don’t think that’s right, Rick - “It’s pass the pastor, pasta”. Oh, alright! “That was pass the pasta, pastor.” “I am confused.” And if you were to put something in the back of your car what would you put it into.” “It’s in your boot mate” Here it is. “Whatever is in the back of your car, is in your boot mate.” Not the trunk, it’s the boot. What would you call a big, grizzly thing, that would growl at you and eat you. “A bear” What would you drink..? What drink has alcohol in it? “A beer”.. Did you hear any difference? “Uh-uh” And what is a soft fluffy toy that you would often give to small children. “It’s a bear”, “Teddy bear” They don’t say “e” like we do, they say “ay”. I’d love to have a teddy bear. Is there anything else you can think of? “Oh! She’ll be right mate.” Okay, what does “Oh! She’ll be right mate” mean?. “It means she will be right” So it’s like you are doing good, alright. “It means that women are always right.” Ohhhh! “It means it’s okay, it’s good” Good to know, thank you. “She’ll be right is just she’ll be right, don’t worry about her, no worries mate, no worries” What do you put at the end of any adjective to make it cool? “As” So say something. “Sweet as”, what if something is really weird. “Weird as” So everything just has “as” at the end of it. “Cool as”. Cool as… cheer bro. “Cheer bro” Kiora is to say hello. And what’s a resume called here? “CV - Curriculum vitae” If someone quits at a sport like Dan you might taunt him and call him what? “Piker” A Piker. ” A what?” Dan would be a piker. “I don’t even know where this is going from” This is coming from your trash talking. “I’d say a quitter”, I like it. “A buster”, “a what, butter?” “Bus-buster” And if there is any word that ends with ‘r’ like for instance if it is say… “Amber?” Amber, ‘aymber’. “Faster”, “Fayster”. Alright that’s it, Okay. And that’s how you speak New Zealand 101.

Click HERE for more Kiwi words and expressions with their equivalent definition.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Zealand singers

Crowded House is a rock group formed in Melbourne, Australia and led by New Zealand musician and singer-songwriter Neil Finn. Finn is widely recognised as the primary songwriter and creative direction of the band.

Singer-songwriter Bic Runga, originally from Christchurch, now lives and performs her music around the world. Her first album Drive, released in 1998, won numerous awards and was then the biggest-selling music recording by a New Zealander.

Scribe is the stage name of New Zealand rapper Malo Luafutu. His debut album, The Crusader, was released in 2003 in New Zealand and has so far gone five times platinum in that country, achieving two number one singles.

Keith Lionel Urban (born in Whangarei, New Zealand) is a country music singer, songwriter and guitarist whose commercial success has been mainly in the United States and Australia.

Although Daniel and Natasha Bedingfield are British singers, they were born in New Zealand.

New Zealand films

New Zealand and Australia: Everybody needs good neighbours

The Australian ABC-TV programme The Gruen Transfer challenged two Sydney advertising agencies to come up with a mock TV ad to promote an invasion of New Zealand. They came up with two very different and funny ads, which, since airing has been a massive hit online and generated media interest in New Zealand.

And this is New Zealand's revenge:

Where the bloody hell are you?
The official Tourism Australia ad was released in early 2006 with the intention of increasing Australia's appeal as an overseas tourism destination in the international tourism market. The ad not only caused controversy at home in Australia, but also stirred a large amount of controversy in overseas territories, with Great Britain banning the original version of the ad after pressure from family groups. A compromise was reached and the ad was eventually broadcast with "bloody" being removed from the ad and a sanitised version being shown to the British market. However, the publicity that the ensuing controversy caused drew even greater attention to the campaign.

We've poured you a beer
and we've had the camels shampooed.
We saved you a spot on the beach
and we've got the sharks out of the pool.
We got the roos off the green
and Bill's on his way down to open the front gate.
Your taxi 's waiting
and dinner's about to be served.
We've turned on the lights.
And we've been rehearsing for over 40,000 years.
So where the bloody hell are you?

And this is New Zealand's parody of the previous ad:

Got you a nice house in Auckland.
We've fired up the P labs. (=clandestine drug labs)
And we've pulled the boy racers off the footpath.
We're putting on the haka every couple of minutes.
We've got most of the urine out of the pool.
And Winston's on his way down to open the front gate
They call me xenophobic...
So, where the bloody hell are ya?

This is the hysterical story of how New Zealand was created after an earthquake and The Bit That Broke Off became Australia and how New Zealanders went to The Bit That Broke Off to seek fortune and fame and how New Zealand wants now to claim their Kiwis back from all over the world and hook them all up.

42 Below Vodka, made in Sydney (New Zealand)

Story of 42 Below Vodka

“Each morning the Maori people of New Zealand, which is part of Australia, rise at dawn, cook some eggs, put on their grass skirts and go out to the fields to make 42 Below vodka. There they trade with the fierce All Black tribes that live in the hill country for raw ingredients and ship them down the Shotover in traditional Americas Cup yachts to the 42 Below factory. Then using only stainless steel distilleries carved from ancient kauri trees they create the world’s smoothest vodka which they give to the white man in exchange for blankets, muskets and hobbits. And as the day turns to night, the tribes come together, drink large amounts of 42 Below, carve plastic tikis for Air New Zealand and tell the traditional Maori joke which goes like this: Knock knock. Who’s there? Statue. Statue who? Statue bro? 42 Below Vodka - made right here in Sydney, New Zealand.”

42 Below Germany

42 Below - Britain

42 Below Canada

42 Below Wallaby

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sexy kiwi men

New Zealand commercials for soft drink L&P.

Back in the day when men’s fashion wasn’t cutting it modern Kiwi males demanded more from their casual attire, well what they actually got was less, a whole lot less as they welcomed in Stubbies, available mostly in brown and a frighteningly one size too small. Finally the Kiwi male was able to liberate his thighs to a breathless country. And his puku (=maori word for belly) and his bum! Features included a handy front key pocket although no key could fit in it, which was cool ’cause back then well people just left their keys in the car anyway. Now any social occasion was one men could feel comfortable in as they drank their L&P while their mullets (=hair style that is short in the front and long in the back) sheltered their necks from the long summer sun that burned on and on. You were there and so was L&P. World famous in New Zealand since ages ago.

There's something else to impress the ladies: Sugar free “Sweet As” L&P. World famous in New Zealand since quite recently.

New Zealand kiwifruit

Famous chef Keith Floyd in a 1980's UK ad for kiwi fruit:

Word of the week 27 April - 3 May 2009 KIWIANA

Certain items and icons from New Zealand's cultural heritage are often called Kiwiana. Items of kiwiana are generally those which are either unique to or particularly common to New Zealand, particularly from the early and mid twentieth century. Although the term is sometimes used to describe any and all New Zealand icons, it is more commonly used to describe pop culture items such as toys or branded foods. Kiwiana is generally seen as a form of kitsch. Click on the images below to enlarge them and find out more.

Photos of NZ icons or 'kiwiana' set to the music of Dave Dobbyn and Th' Dudes.
Pictures are of: Th' Dudes, All Blacks, Anzac Day, Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, Fred Dagg, Milford Sound, Goodbye Pork Pie, Jandals, Sheep, Garage Sale Sign, Footrot Flats, Mount Taranaki, Cows, Goodnight Kiwi, Split Enz, Greenpeace, Rainbow Warrior, Rainbow Warrior after the Bombing, Nuclear Free Badges, Smash Palace, Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay, Mount Everest, 4Square Icon, Horse Racing, L&P, Once Were Warrior, no. 8 Fencing Wire, State Housing, Rachel Hunter/Tip Top, NZ Music Month Icon, Sweetwaters Music Festival, Paua shell, Paua House, Bluff, Kaimanawa Horses, Americas Cup Racing, Moeraki boulders, Bungee Jumping off the Kawerau Bridge, Cardrona Hotel (from the Speights ads), 1981 Springbok tour, The Protests, Pohutakawa Tree, Beach Bach, Wizard of Christchurch, Raglan, Dame Whina Cooper and child.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

How to make Pavlova

The Pavlova consists of a base made of meringue crust topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits such as kiwis, strawberries, etc. It is considered a fresh fruit pie with a meringue crust.

No one knows who first created the Pavlova. But the name and the recipes first began appearing soon after Russian prima ballerina, Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1881-1931), toured both Australia and New Zealand in 1926 and Australia again in 1929. Anna Pavlova was considered the greatest ballerina of her time and her visit to New Zealand has been described as "the chief event of 1926." It was said "She does not dance; she soars as though on wings." From this you get the sense that this is a light, airy dessert.

There is a controversary with both Australia and New Zealand. While it has been suggested this dessert was created in New Zealand, it has also become recognized as a popular Australian dish. Both countries claim to have invented this dessert and claim it as their national dish.

(serves 8)
6 eggwhites
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
pinch cream of tartar

300ml thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar mixture

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g strawberries, hulled, sliced
2 kiwifruit, peeled, sliced
150g blueberries

cream of tartar is "ácido tartárico", if you can't find it you can use some lemon juice instead
caster sugar is just a very small crystal size white sugar
icing sugar is ground up white sugar, "azúcar glace"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Anzac Day

When Great Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914, the British Empire also entered World War I on the side of the Allies. Australia and New Zealand, which were dominions within the empire, each sent soldiers. Their troops were combined to form one corps—the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, or Anzacs. Although their best-known engagement—the Dardanelles campaign of 1915—proved disastrous, the Anzacs were recognized for their heroism and achieved legendary status among Australians and New Zealanders.
On 25 April every year, Aussies and Kiwis celebrate Anzac Day. It commemorates the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

Talk about New Zealand at the E.O.I.

Stay tuned for lots of New Zealand trivia on our blog: films, music, ads, accent and vocabulary, their neighbours, national icons ...

New Zealand commercials

New Zealand Insurance NZI
Ad from New Zealand Insurance NZI. The narrator, who has a really strong kiwi accent, presents various things and Kiwi personality stole to New Zealand.

Let's face it; everyone's stealing your stuff. It is better to have insurance.

The ad mentions: Phar Lap horse, Dragon, Split Enz, Crowded House, Maori, Coutts and Butterworth, All Blacks players, Electric fence, Pavlova, Spreadable butter, Dame Kiri ...and many others.

Pineapple Lumps (confectionery made with a pineapple flavoured centre covered in chocolate)

Burger King

Mainland Cheese Cheesemakers

This vintage ad features two old codgers taking a break from their fishing. They play a word game as they walk up to the cottage, connecting species of fish with popular singers. They try Cod Stewart, Squid Vicious, Cinammon Davis Junior, Tim and Eel Finn, Terakihi Kanawa, Tina Tuna, finishing with Pike and Tina Tuna. On the way back from the cheese tasting they find musicians with cheese sounding names: Chubby Cheddar, The Brie Gees, Camembert Humperdink, Mozarella Fitzgerald, Bryan Edam, Stilton John, Colby Stilton Nash and the Beatles. The Beatles? Yeah… Grated Hits!

This ad features bird impersonations. It’s a moa (homophone of "mower"), tern (homophone of "turn") seagull, duck, heron (sounds similar to "hearing") and a crane. Voiceover: “We wait eighteen months for our vintage cheddar to develop that distinctive sharp Mainland taste. Eighteen long months.” “It’s a fantail!”

Gingerbread Haka


Yeah, man?
Where did I come from? Well...

Let me tell you about the birds and the bees
And the flowers and the trees
The moon up above
And a thing called love
When I look into your big brown eyes
It's very plain to see
That it's time you learned about the facts of life startin' from A to Z

That's so cool, dad, because Jimmy Johnstone only comes from Scotland.


“Isn’t the world a great place? I mean just think of all the things we can do now! You can change the colour of your hair, your skin and even your eyes. You can have a virtual pet, an online friend, a second life! You can become a millionaire by selling pixels for a dollar each. You can go back to school after you’ve retired. Men can stay home and look after the kids while women go to work and bring home the bacon. If you don’t have boobs you can just go buy a pair. You can dial a hubby. You can get donuts in 564 different flavours and entertain the whole world from your living room. Now we can do all these great things so let’s make the most of it. Vodafone… make the most of now…”

Ad for Steinlager from the '90s, made for cinema (reason why it is long) and with a twist at the end. The actors are British comedians Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones.

Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones

New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud

AA Travel launched a "101 Must Dos" campaign to get Kiwis visiting their own country. It's a great idea, to rate our favourite spots in New Zealand, and the Automobile Association have also created a brilliant TV commercial to promote the campaign. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you smile, and if you are thinking of coming to New Zealand, it's a great snapshot of New Zealand scenery.

Chicken a la carte

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jamie Oliver cooking fish

Jamie Oliver is one of the most popular chefs on British Television. He’s famous for his recipes, his restaurants and his informal style. In this programme he drives down to the south west of England with friends from his restaurant. And while they’re having fun on the beach, he cooks a salmon with fresh herbs.

I’ve got this beautiful big salmon. Look at that. It’s a really fantastic way of cooking fish - fish in general really, but salmon’s ideal because it’s slightly oily. You wrap it up in paper and cook it on the Barbie and you get that slightly smoked flavour going through it, which is just like, ideal. So what I’m gonna do is put a bit of salt and pepper inside and outside the fish.

Right. And I got some fennel seeds, and they’re great with fish and make them taste fantastic. Um... good with chicken as well. You just sprinkle them over the whole thing. So once you done that… I got some nice herbs, and I tell you what, I got a serious amount of herbs. And… what’s …is you get a nice bit of everything everywhere. And you wanna stuff that right inside the salmon, it’s gonna steam straight through the inside of the fish. And I’m gonna put a layer of herbs on the bottom and I’m gonna plonk the fish on top of that.

I’m going to put the herbs along the top like this. So, basically, it’s not sitting on paper, it’s sitting on herbs. I’ve got some lemons here. Just slice up your lemons… flick them over the top. Get some, put them in the middle. Just copy what you’ve done with the herbs really. And then put some underneath it as well. And then, what you’ve got to do is wrap it up like, literally like, a Christmas present. So what I’ve got to do now is wet it to stop it burning too quick. So just get it really wet…

How you going mate? Lookin’ good.

Nice one Danny boy. ‘Ere listen. Take that!………. Nah, that didn’t get ‘m wet…. Haha…..

Click here for more Jamie Oliver's recipes.

Jamie Oliver's ads for Sainsbury's

Monday, April 20, 2009

The language of the Pirahã, a world without time or number

Linguist Daniel Everett thinks that the language of the Pirahã - an indigenous tribe from Brazil - contradicts the theory that all languages share a single, innate grammar. Their language has no fixed words for numbers or colours.

Monty Python - Latin lesson

The scene of Monty Python's movie "Life Of Brian" where Brian is given a Latin lesson.

Monty Python - Language Lab

Word of the week 20 -27 April 2009 SPREE

spree (noun) = a brief indulgence of your impulses

The word spree is mainly used in phrases like: go on a drinking / shopping / spending / killing / shooting spree; a spree killer

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle, the unlikely singing sensation

Susan Boyle, the singing church worker who starred on Britain's Got Talent, has now become a YouTube sensation!!! The clip of her audition has been viewed 2,485,245 times in 72 hours.

The 48 year old charity worker from West Lothian, announced from the stage that her dream was to emulate West End star Elaine Paige.

Her eccentric ways and less than polished appearance drew sniggers from the audience when she initially appeared but they were mesmerised from the moment she broke into song and gave her a standing ovation.

Simon Cowell pronounced her voice "extraordinary" and Amanda Holden was reduced to tears by hearing her sing.

<a href="" target="_new" title="Susan Boyle - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009">Video: Susan Boyle - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009</a>

Lyrics | Fantine - I Dreamed a Dream lyrics

Man about the house

Man About The House was a very popular British sitcom during the 70s. Its basic premise concerned a young male student sharing a flat with two girls - hardly a radical concept now, but something that was considered revolutionary and improper. The young man in question was Robin Tripp, a catering student from Southampton. His room-mates were Chrissy Plummer, with whom Robin wanted to be more than friends, and dizzy blonde Jo. The other main characters were their landlords, George and Mildred Roper. Whilst George was very uptight and disproving of the situation, Mildred was more relaxed.

Man About The House spawned two separate spin-offs - Robin's Nest, in which Robin started his own restaurant, and George and Mildred about the Ropers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Word of the week 13 - 19 April 2009 COLD CALLING

Cold calling (also known as telemarketing) is the process of approaching prospective customers or clients, typically via telephone, who were not expecting such an interaction. The word "cold" is used because the person receiving the call is not expecting a call or has not specifically asked to be contacted by a sales person.