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69 Facts About New Zealand That’ll Blow Your Mind

There is a bird that eats cars.

1. The kea, a bird native to NZ, is known for pulling windscreen wipers off cars and eating the strips of rubber from windows.
2. The longest place name in the world is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu, a hill in Hawkes Bay.
3. No part of the country is more than 128km (79 miles) from the sea.
4. In the scene of Star Trek: First Contact, where we see Earth from space, Australia and Papua New Guinea are clearly visible but New Zealand is missing.
5. Wellington is the southernmost capital city in the world.
6. Only 5% of NZ's population is human- the rest are animals.
7. NZ is the least corrupt nation in the world (tied with Denmark), according to the Corruptions Perception Index.
8. New Zealand has more Scottish pipe bands per capita than any other country in the world.
9. Blue Lake, in Nelson Lakes National Park, has the clearest water in the world.
10. New Zealand is home to the world's smallest dolphin species.
11. There are no land snakes, native or introduced, in NZ.
12. New Zealand has three official languages: English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language.
13. In 2008, TripAdvisor named Milford Sound (pictured below) the world's top travel destination, based on an international survey.

Wikipedia Commons

14. Organised commercial bungee jumping first began in New Zealand.
15. The first man to climb Mt. Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, was a Kiwi.
16. The lowest denomination in NZ currency is the 10 cent piece.
17. More people die in New Zealand each year playing lawn bowls than scuba diving.
18. NZ is home to more species of penguins than any other country.
19. In 1893, New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote.
20. Auckland is one of the most affordable cities in the world to live in.
21. One in three Auckland households own a boat.
22. The Māori name for NZ, Aoetaroa, means 'land of the long white cloud'.
23. In 2013, NZ legalised same-sex marriage.
24. Lake Taupo was formed by a supervolcanic eruption 26,000 years ago. The dust from the eruption could be seen in modern day China.
25. New Zealand is home to the giant weta, the heaviest insect in the world. It is heavier than a sparrow and looks like a giant cockroach.
26. Baldwin Street, in Dunedin, is the world's steepest street. The road has a gradient of 1 in 2.86 at its steepest section, a 38 per cent grade.

commons.wikimedia.org


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BuzzFeed – Latest

24 Adorable Stories About Meeting Your First Pet

Getting your first pet (or any pet, really) is one of the happiest days of your life. I asked BuzzFeed writers about their first time meeting their furry best friend.

Photo provided by Rachel Sanders

1. “My first dog (and best friend) was Barkley, a sweet, playful cairn terrier that was already a few years old by the time I was born. I'm assuming one of my brothers is at fault for this weird logic, but I grew up viewing Barkley as my equal in the family. I would never pick him up, because I would think to myself, I can't. Barkley is older than I am. We went on like that for 13 years.” —Jen Lewis

2. “When I was 5 we brought my first dog, a gorgeous, burnt sienna golden retriever, back from the Humane Society. She was sweet and gregarious, but we were worried that she was deaf or kind of stupid because she wouldn't respond to the name they gave us at her shelter, Misty. 'Misty!' we kept yelling. 'Misty!' Later that night, my mother looked in the paperwork they had given us. 'It says her name is Tawny?' The dog came running, smiling ear to ear, and we never mentioned 'Misty' again.” —Joe Bernstein

3. “My family had a dog and two cats when I was born (winners, all!) but the first authentically NEW pet in my life was an Airedale terrier puppy named Punto. On the day we went to pick him up, we knew which one he was because this ribbon around his neck was purple, a noble color. He was very small and curly, and peed on my mom's lap on the way home, which we all optimistically interpreted as an expression of his deep sense of comfort and belonging. We named him in honor of a previous fox terrier my mom had as a kid (Punto is a Norwegian name, I think?). He grew up to be fairly large and unfailingly sweet. He was once tied by his leash to the leg a garden chair, at some point tried to get up and run after a tennis ball or something, and was TERRIFIED to find that the chair was CHASING HIM. From that point on, he was always nervous around furniture, thunderstorms, and arguments. I loved him with all my heart.” —Rachel Sanders

Photo provided by Jen Lewis


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BuzzFeed – Latest

49 Things You Never Knew About “Game Of Thrones”

A Lannister always knows their facts.

1. More than 150 babies were named “Khaleesi” in 2012.
2. And “Arya” is the fastest-growing baby name in the United States.
3. Gwendoline Christie, the actress who plays Brienne, does not know her birthday.
4. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, adopted the dog that played her dire wolf in the show. The dog is named Zunni.

Via thethingsidoforluv.tumblr.com

5. The “horse heart” Daenerys ate for Khol Drogo on the show was actually a three-pound mass of a gummy bear–like substance.

HBO


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BuzzFeed – Latest

10 Crazy Things You Didn’t Know About The Hair On “Mad Men”

The head of the hair department for the AMC period drama, Theraesa Rivers, told BuzzFeed about close calls with razors, Miss. Blankenship’s wig, and what lies ahead. The seventh season premieres April 13.

There is a TON of research that goes into each character's look.

There is a TON of research that goes into each character's look.

Theraesa Rivers, who has been head of the hair department for three seasons and won an Emmy for her work in 2011, said that Mad Men strives for a “period-correct” look for each character.

“All the looks that you see on the show are actually looks that existed in the '60s,” she told BuzzFeed.

The department uses magazines, movies, and newspapers to research looks from the 1960s. Rivers said the hair department will go to different resources for setting- and character-specific looks — for instance, an issue of Vogue from the time period for a party scene.

“It all depends on the character. If it’s a politician’s wife like Betty Francis than we look at Time Life magazines,” she said. “Any newspaper where it has like Nixon’s wife or the the Kennedys, that’s what we base her looks off of.”

AMC

Hair is all about location, location, location.

Hair is all about location, location, location.

Rivers said each scene's location is crucial to dictating the look of each character. Office scenes in Manhattan are “conservative,” scenes in California call for a “looser and easygoing” aesthetic, and party scenes can be “avant-garde.”

“We think about where we are, what the setting is, who the people are, and who would be around them — that it would be real,” she said.

Equally as important is accuracy, and not choosing looks just because they were popular at the time, Rivers said.

“We’re careful not to throw inappropriate looks for the setting that we are in into the scene, just for the sake of having it because it was being done at the time,” she said.

AMC

Hair, wardrobe, and makeup choices are all about synergy.

Hair, wardrobe, and makeup choices are all about synergy.

Before a character is brought to life on screen, Rivers goes through production meetings, and the hair and makeup teams have their own meeting with the director of the episode. Rivers also meets with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner to discuss any new characters or if a principle cast member will have a particularly important storyline.

A character's hair, makeup, and wardrobe then comes together collaboratively.

“If the hair doesn’t go well with the costume or the makeup, you know, it all has to make sense together,” Rivers said. “It’s not that one speaks louder than the other. We want balance and the entire look to be cohesive and tell you something about the person on screen.”

AMC

A big part of Peggy Olson's attitude comes from her hair.

A big part of Peggy Olson's attitude comes from her hair.

Hairstyle is a visual reflection of a character's attitude, Rivers said.

“I think in any time period you can look and see a person’s hairdo reflects some part of their personality,” she said, naming Peggy Olson, played by actress Elisabeth Moss, as an example.

“[She] is a little more conservative, but she’s also a businesswoman and she’s a no-nonsense person,” said Rivers. “She doesn’t have a lot of time to do her hair and have a big teased-up hairdo like Betty Francis or an updo like Joan.”

Rivers noted Peggy's look has transformed from a longer, girlish hairdo to a more conservative, shorter look that still isn't as polished as other female characters on the show like Betty Francis (January Jones) or Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks).

“We always laugh, because [Peggy] is always a little off,” Rivers said. “Her clothes are great, but there is something a little off about her.”

AMC


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BuzzFeed – Latest

8 Surprising Things I Learned About Betty White In 15 Minutes

Here’s one: She will give you a cupcake, and you don’t even have to ask for it.

Toby Canham / Getty Images

In her six-decade-long career — from radio dramas to live television variety shows to Mary Tyler Moore to The Golden Girls to her current gigs, TV Land's sitcom Hot in Cleveland and Lifetime's reality prank show Off Their Rockers — there is pretty much no question that Betty White hasn't answered. She even said as much to me within the first two minutes of our interview, for which I was given a strict 15 minutes. “I've been in the talking business all my life,” White explained by way of apologizing for not having an answer to my question about what she can get away with saying now at 92 that she couldn't when she was younger. “So I think even if I wasn't supposed to talk about it, I did. It's been 65 years now in this business. That's a long time! That's a lot of talking!”

What I quickly discovered, however, is that even after a lifetime spent in the public eye, Betty White still has the capacity to surprise.

The actual cupcake Betty White gave me

Adam B. Vary / BuzzFeed


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BuzzFeed – Latest