Late last week, the internet went into a semi-meltdown when non-Americans discovered something baffling about people in the United States: they don’t have kettles. If they want boiling water for a cup of tea, they boil it on the stove or (THE HORROR) they microwave it.

America flag

Obviously, a blanket caveat of #NotAllAmericans needs to be applied. I know, because some Americans do, indeed, own kettles. It seems more common to have the old-fashioned stove-top kettles over there, but still, it’s a kettle, right? However, discussing this with Americans has lead to some startling discoveries (for me, anyway) about small differences between America and Australia that I had no idea about. Here’s some of what I’ve learned, in no particular order:

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Manshoosh!

Manshoosh is a new, natural approach to men’s health and well being. The primary ingredient is a natural amino acid, found in high concentration in the brains of people known to be extremely logical and reasonable; the kind of people that ooze common sense. This amino acid, combined with natural oils, represent a revolutionary product for men.

This product is safe and secure for the user. When applied to a man’s lips, it creates a temporary seal that prevents him from spouting ridiculous ideas about the female body. Our aim is to use technology to improve the lives of men who would otherwise earn the ire of women everywhere for their ignorance and arrogance.

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When I was 14, I forgot to buy my boyfriend a Valentine’s Day present. So I did the only thing I could think of and told his mate to tell him he was dropped. Everyone who told me that was a little harsh got a lecture about how it was “just a Hallmark holiday, anyway!”. I stand by that bit of the story, though. In hindsight, the “Tell him he’s dropped” probably was a slightly dramatic way to handle the situation. As a teen, I was maybe a little melodramatic. Maybe.
I haven’t had the pleasure of too many godawful Valentine’s Day gifts, thankfully. A few cards so soppy the envelope was starting to disintegrate, though. And my share, of course, of the useless, clichéd and tacky.

Nothing says “I think we’re soulmates” like a $2 chocolate from Target. Source.

Cynicism aside, Valentine’s Day is a nice idea. Ignore the commercialism, materialism and sense of forced romance. It’s a good excuse to tell someone that you love them and maybe spoil them a little. And guess what- you CAN do it without the useless crap currently on display in every shop! In case you’re wondering, this is the stuff I mean:

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I’m really not very good with bugs. Some don’t phase me too much; I can live with them with nothing more than a little whinging and irritation. Others (e.g. moths and butterflies) might leave me somewhat paralysed with fear. Some provoke a very loud reaction (such as screaming for my husband in a manner that sets back feminism by several decades but honestly, him dealing with the scary bugs was part of our unspoken but previously agreed upon marriage vows).

Cockroaches are one of the latter.

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