New Ancient Continent

If you’re geographically inclined you’ll enjoy this eight page pdf claiming to have discovered a new continent, titled Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent from the Geological Society of America, from which this map comes:


Interesting in its own right, but also it’s not often you get to read about Kerguelen.

CS&W’s Graceless and Rude National Character Survey

Time to raise some ire. Based on strictly personal experience, here are some stereotypes that are sure to offend. All in good, clean fun. I think I’ll add more as they occur to me. Feel free to irritate your own chosen ethnicity in the comments.


Finland: Stubborn. Not malevolent.

Germany: No excuse for the disappointment that is their food.

India: Does luxury well. Wealth disparity allows this. High end more affordable for tourists than elsewhere.

New Zealand: Permanent slightly perplexed look. Sunburnt. Buggy eyes.

Pacific Islands: Collective motto: “Don’t hurt me please.” The ukelele and all its music is the cause of this.

Paraguay: Important only to Paraguayans. Who are sweet and all, sure. Still.

Scotland: Paternal. Strong men will take care of you. Like it or not. Ireland has some of this.

Thailand: The world’s consistently strangest names. Like Kejmanee Pichaironnarongsongkram. Except possibly

Turkmenistan, whose leader is Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

Turkey: Tirelessly gracious but with a useless language shared by no one but Central Asians. In Turkish, as often as not the “G” goes away. “Erdogan” is pronounced “erdo-an.” A “C” with a cedille, “ç,” is pronounced “dj” like George. Çiragon is “Jiron.”

USA: Groupthink. If you want, you can really think things through and work out what you think. But you have to do more than ‘like’ things on Facebook. Why bother? Your tribe’s news channel can think everything through and tell you.

Vietnam: Wiry. Persistent. Shake hands with tight grip. Prim. Barefoot.

Jet Lag Standing Still

Leaders have the power to set budgets, try to make the trains run on time, that sort of thing, but the ability to make an entire day completely disappear? THAT's power.

There will be no 30 December in Samoa, or Tokelau, a group of three atolls in the Pacific that are territory of New Zealand. They will redraw the international date line at midnight on 29 December, with both jumping straight to 31 December. It's to facilitate commerce with New Zealand and Australia. Wellington and Sydney will now be one and three hours earlier than Samoa and Tokelau, respectively.

Here's how the Samoan Prime Minister explains the rationale: "In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we're losing out on two working days a week. While it's Friday here, it's Saturday in New Zealand, and when we're at church on Sunday, they're already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane."

Interestingly, American Samoa is staying right where they are, so although the two territories are only 30 miles apart, the time difference between them will be an entire day.

(Thanks to for the story, and the photo is actually Rarotonga, the main island in the Cook Islands. Haven't made it to Samoa yet. We'll get to work on that.)

Big Quake. Big Hit.

Cc A book went on sale earlier this week commemorating the giant 7.0 earthquake last month that was centered just 19 miles outside Christchurch, New Zealand, and demand was so great it crashed the publisher's phone system.

It's on back order now, but more stock is due to arrive around the end of next week. You can order it here.













Photo, left, from the New Zealand Gallery at

In New Zealand, Barry Manilow is not a Weapon of Mass Destruction

This from the AP:

Mall in New Zealand city hopes playing Barry Manilow music will drive out unruly teens.

The area in question is Christchurch’s central mall area. Central City Business Association manager Paul
Lonsdale is quoted thus: “I did not say Barry Manilow is a
weapon of mass destruction.”

Photo from the New Zealand gallery at

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