Captains Pick

Ever wondered what an Australian was talking about when they referred to a 'captain's pick', 'doing a Bradbury', or went to order a 'double-cut roll'? They're just a glimpse of the more than 6,000 new words and phrases - including 100 from Indigenous languages - which have been added to the Australian National Dictionary for its second edition. Published by Oxford University Press Australia and New Zealand and compiled by the Australian National Dictionary Centre at The Australian National University, the new dictionary was launched at Parliament House this week. It now features the definitions and history of 16,000 words and phrases "unique to Australia". Other words or phrases among the most recent additions include everything from foods like 'battered sav' and 'fairy bread' to terms for people like 'bronzed Aussie' and 'Mrs Kafoops', political terms like 'Howard's battlers' and 'micro party', Indigenous words like 'rakali' (a water rat) and 'minga' (a tourist), and phrases and idioms such as 'carry on like a pork chop' and 'couldn't run a chook raffle'. Oh, and for the record - a 'captain's pick', used in recent years by various PM's, means 'the selection of a political candidate directly by a party leader' or 'a decision made by the leader of a political party without consultation with their party', while to 'do a Bradbury' means to 'be the unlikely winner of a contest' aka Steven Bradbury when we won gold in an Winter Olympic speed skating in the unlikliest of circumstances, and 'double-cut roll' is a South Australian term for a roll which is cut three times to allow two layers of filling.

It's not a bridge for the faint-hearted. The world's highest and longest glass-floored bridge has opened in China, hanging 300 metres above a canyon in the Tianmenshan National Park in Hunan province. The 430 metre long bridge reportedly boasts a floor consisting of 99 panes of tripled layered glass. Only 8,000 people are allowed to cross it each day (and, in what seems another sensible precaution, no stilettos allowed) and for those for whom walking across it isn't adventurous enough, from the middle of next year they'll be able to hang off the side of the bridge on one of three giant swings or bungee jump off it.

A dog named Duke has been elected honorary mayor of a small town in Minnesota in the US - and not for the first time. The nine-year-old Great Pyrenees won his third one year term after votes were cast at a local festival in the town of Cormorant. His duties apparently include greeting everyone who comes to the hamlet - which only reportedly has a population of about 1,000 people - as well as entertaining local kids.

This week's unusual church is the St Peter and Paul Catholic Church in the Australian opal mining town of Coober Pedy. The heritage-listed church opened in 1967 with extensions completed in the 1980s. The church, which features an above-ground bell tower, isn't the only underground church in the town - others include the so-called Catacomb Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church of St Elijah the Prophet. You can see some images here.