Sideswipe: July 23: Hello, what about hello?

Paul writes: "At least Tina and Tane are having a fun time not playing next to the kid-attracting diluted poo outlet sign on Takapuna Beach!"
Paul writes: "At least Tina and Tane are having a fun time not playing next to the kid-attracting diluted poo outlet sign on Takapuna Beach!"

A reader writes: "Mercury Energy has a Mercury Profile on its website, for people who do business with it via the net. It asks how you would like to be greeted and the only options offered are 'Hi', 'Sup', 'Kia Ora' and 'Gidday'. The picture accompanying 'Sup' shows a gormless-looking prat with a baseball cap on sideways. Whatever happened to 'Hello'?"

Train-ticket trauma
"My father-in-law decides to travel home on the Overlander train from Ohakune to Auckland," writes Gary. "I go online to book. Google 'train Ohakune to Auckland. Get sent to a site First thing I see is 'no seniors discount'. I carry on [with the booking, but] it is $117 ... He can't drive, so what to do? I go up the road to the iSite and book over the counter and it is only $69!"

For $400 an hour, expert can teach your child to play
Wealthy Manhattan parents are taking parental obsessiveness to new heights - by hiring $400-an-hour recreation "experts" to organise play dates for their children.

These playdates are monitored by instructors who teach the kids how to socialise in the hope of maximising their chances of getting into New York's elite private schools. The play dates involve groups of three to five 4-year-olds playing in a room. The experts closely monitor how the kids share crayons, colouring in, how they follow directions in Simon Says, and hold a pencil. Experts said kids might need the play-date tutoring because their lives have become so regimented, with classes in subjects such as Mandarin and violin, that they don't know how to play with others. (Source: New York Post)

Adding to ad moan
"The changes to the TVNZ ondemand app are not simply adding a few commercials throughout the programme," explains Ben. "It also plays the ads any time you skip to a new time index. While this might be an attempt to prevent people skipping ads, the effect of this is truly irritating."

Paying to dodge ads
Another reader comments: " Why doesn't TVNZ offer two versions of the app? A free one with ads, and a paid one, which has no ads? I'd definitely pay for an ad-free app."

Recreational faux pas: You named your boat what?

Picture this #2: Before toys made every accessory, kids used their imaginations. This two-storey Barbie house is so incredibly detailed and is made from things around the house. I remember doing the same thing as a kid...

Local: The old Footrot Flats theme park in Te Atatu North, 1986. Anyone remember visiting?

Video: Car companies make a big deal about advances in car safety. They tout crash test ratings, crumple zones, airbags and more. Do these things actually make a difference? Chevrolet decided to crash test two cars built fifty years apart...

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at

- NZ Herald

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