Manukau Edition

Vol. 249:1  December 6, 2021

Phone 027 265 1250

Everybody's Talking

Staying fresh: Imagine buying grapes at the grocery store and being able to keep them fresh for several months. Farmers in Afghanistan employ an age-old method to do just that. It's called gangina, a technique that involves using two layers of wet soil as a container for the fruit. The soil, which is formed into the shape of a saucer, is dried in the sun, and the grapes are sealed inside. The airtight saucer is then stored in a cool place, sometimes even underground. The fresh grapes placed inside the container must not be spoiled, squashed, or broken, or the rest of the healthy grapes will spoil as well.

Tiny fruit: Coconuts, those large balls with the brown shells and the white milk and meat hidden inside, bring thoughts of warm climates and interesting cuisine. But big, familiar coconuts aren't the only variety available. A relative of the coconut is the coquito. This marble-sized fruit is also called pigmy coconut or dwarf coconut, and grows on Jubaea chilensis palm trees that are common in Chile. Unlike the fruit, these trees are huge and can live for many decades. The tiny fruit looks and tastes like its bigger counterpart, but doesn't have milk inside the shell. A coquito can be used in a variety of dishes, including desserts, snacks, and drinks.

Wild chickens: There are feral cats and there are feral dogs, but feral chickens? On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, these wild birds do, indeed, exist. They can be found everywhere, from the beach to the street to parking lots, which is an odd sight for visitors who are accustomed to seeing chickens in chicken coops. According to the locals, these free-roaming chickens and roosters came into existence after two hurricanes in the 1980s and 1990s wrecked the coops. The homeless domestic birds then mated with other wild fowl already on the island, leading to a poultry population boom.

Water tower home: Lots of people make homes out of abandoned buildings, such as old churches or schoolhouses. But a pair of cousins from Nieuw-Lekkerland, Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands, made a unique transformation. They turned an unused water tower into a home. The cousins are Sven and Lennart de Jong, who lived near the tower as children. When the tower came on the real estate market, they bought it, then spent 10 years making it into beautiful living quarters with their own hands. In the middle of the renovation, they both met and married their spouses, both of whom loved the idea. Now, the two couples and their children each have their own living spaces in their distinctive home.

Quotable Quotes

Common sense is not so common. ~ Voltaire

The whole secret of the study of nature lies in learning how to use one's eyes. ~ George Sand


1. Honus Wagner was a famous basketball, soccer, or baseball star?

2. Jellyfish are 95% water T/F?

3. Grape Nuts cereal was created by Charles Post in 1897, 1920, or 1950?

4. What is a sailor's emergency signal?

5. Orange is the combination of what two colours?

Your Weekly Horoscope

ariesAries (March 21 - April 20)
You may have a strong drive to take a big risk to go after what you desire. It may be better to develop a strategy rather than making an impulsive move. Lucky numbers: 3, 7, 9, 29, 30, 40.
libraLibra (Sept 24 - Oct 23)
You may be experiencing a calm, smooth environment right now. If so, you may want to take this opportunity to expand outside your comfort zone to do something different. Lucky numbers: 3, 6, 7, 19, 22, 27.
taurusTaurus (April 21- May 21)
You may feel stymied in your efforts right now. Have a discussion with those you trust on where an adjustment in your plans could give you a better result. Lucky numbers: 8, 10, 15, 22, 25, 27.
scorpioScorpio (Oct 24- Nov 22)
Your plans may not be manifesting as you hoped. If so, be careful of getting angry, which may only make matters worse. Better to wait and reassess the situation. Lucky numbers: 2, 6, 14, 18, 19, 35.
geminiGemini (May 22- June 21)
Your usual ability to readily pick up information from your environment may be on the fritz right now. If so, you will need discernment in your judgment of upcoming situations. Lucky numbers: 4, 9, 19, 23, 24, 37.
sagittariusSagittarius (Nov23-Dec21)
This time holds a potential for achieving your deeply felt hopes and wishes. To do so, let go of any old karmic patterns and beliefs that are holding you back. Lucky numbers: 4, 7, 18, 23, 27, 31.
cancerCancer (June 22 - July 23)
You may be currently focused on how best to keep the home fires burning smoothly. Think through where your viewpoint may need to be changed to achieve this outcome. Lucky numbers: 1, 2, 6, 10, 19, 40.
capricornCapricorn (Dec 22- Jan 20)
A focus on your relationships may be ongoing. If so, be aware of your emotions and feelings. Are they influencing your interactions with others? What changes are needed? Lucky numbers: 1, 10, 14, 35, 36, 40.
leoLeo (July 24 - Aug 23)
You may easily communicate your ideas to others. However, don't self-identify so strongly with those ideas that you end up arguing with others. Also listen to their viewpoints. Lucky numbers: 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 35.
aquariusAquarius (Jan 21- Feb 19)
Your focus may be on how to improve the lives of others. If so, you may need to wait a bit before the conflicting elements of your plan come together. Lucky numbers: 2, 6, 11, 14, 18, 23.
virgoVirgo (Aug 24 - Sept 23)
You may be uncertain about what you want in a situation. If so, decide what next step is best in alignment with your heart's desire, and the uncertainty should recede. Lucky numbers: 1, 6, 17, 20, 23, 38.
piscesPisces (Feb 20 - March 20)
Your energy level may be low, leaving you feeling tired. If so, think of where you can reduce your commitments so that you can lower stress and get more rest. Lucky numbers: 3, 5, 7, 12, 25, 36.
Lucky numbers for the week: Lucky numbers this week: This week's odds favour Aries winners with the luckiest number being 3.

Did you know

Rock star: British rock star Rod Stewart was born in London, England, in 1945. He was involved in several bands during his youth, including the Jeff Beck Group and The Faces, before becoming a solo artist with such singles as Maggie May and Tonight's the Night.

Ouchy elbow: Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, means the forearm muscles are being overused, causing damage and pain in the tendons. The condition is caused by repetitive motions, such as painting, repeatedly using a tool and, yes, playing tennis.

Lovely linen: Many people may wonder where the linen fabric in their sheets, suits, and napkins originates. This fabric comes from the flax plant. Its fibres are woven to make a durable, moisture-resistant material.

Migrating mammals: Another name for the wildebeest is the gnu. These hooved mammals live in the open plains of Africa, such as the Serengeti. They eat grasses and seasonally migrate to find food.

Tough game: While most people are familiar with 5-pin and 10-pin bowling, there is also a game called candlepin bowling. The pins in this game are tall and slender and are frustratingly hard to knock over with the small bowling balls used in the game.

On the lighter side

What do you get if you cross an octopus with a piece of furniture? An arm, arm, arm, arm, arm, arm, arm, armchair.

Why did Dracula run out of the garden? He saw sunflowers coming up.

Instructor: What is the most common reason for dry skin? Medical student: Towels.

Knock! Knock! Who's there? Hiatus. Hiatus who? Hiatus lunch and now the school bully is after me.

Where did the smart cat go to school? Purr-due.


1. Baseball star 2. True 3. 1897 4. SOS 5. Red and yellow