Sideswipe
A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: April 8: Bill English Highway

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Owen Mansill has recently returned from the US and took this picture near Swainsboro, Central Georgia. Photo / Supplied
Owen Mansill has recently returned from the US and took this picture near Swainsboro, Central Georgia. Photo / Supplied

Owen Mansill has recently returned from the US and took this picture near Swainsboro, Central Georgia.

Studylink pushes the space-time envelope

Richard received a letter from Studylink on April 7. He was overpaid a small amount due to a change in circumstances. "In the letter, dated March 31, they said if I needed to set up a payment plan to contact them by March 24 (one week prior to them writing the letter, and two weeks prior to me receiving it) or they will deduct the amount from my student allowance on March 30, the day before the letter was written."

Lost pearl recovered with a little mussel

"Many years ago my mother-in-law had been fishing with her husband off Great Barrier Island and, after dipping her hand in the water, she noticed she had lost the pearl out of the beautiful setting of her ring," writes Penny. "Realising she could do nothing about it, she never thought about it again until one evening when she was eating some mussel fritters that I had made for her and she crunched down on, yes, her pearl! Absolutely true.

I still wear the ring to this day with its newly installed pearl."

Division over 'racist' Gap ad

A new ad for clothing brand Gap has been accused of racism. The ad shows an older white girl standing next to a black girl with her elbow on the smaller girl's head - making it appear, some say, like the child is an "arm rest". The ad, which is part of a larger GapKids campaign in collaboration with Ellen DeGeneres, is meant to show "girls can do anything", but according to the Washington Post, the black child is on display with "seeming passivity", while the other girls dominate conversation with DeGeneres. "It becomes problematic when the black child is positioned to be a white child's prop," Kirsten West Savali writes for the Root. However, to give the picture a bit of context, the two girls, 12 and 9, are sisters. Lucy was adopted from Ethiopia. The mother tweeted: "Girl with arm resting on her shoulder is her sister. She didn't talk in video because she was too shy. Everyone needs to calm down."

Gap ad. Photo / Supplied
Gap ad. Photo / Supplied

Good read: Welcome to New Zealand, 100% pure tax haven, say Raybon Kan..."Foreign trusts are protected by centuries of legal tradition, of rich people hiding wealth that would instantly raise eyebrows. A Russian cellist, for example, somehow has $2 billion dollars. That is a very successful musician. Bono and Keith Richards are probably kicking themselves for not learning the cello. No doubt in Russia, demand for cello lessons has gone through the roof. Coincidentally, this cellist is best friends with Vladimir Putin. But so what? Is friendship a crime?" Read the full, glorious column here.

Picture this: Russian image-designer Konstantin Bogomolov has opened an Image School in Riga, Latvia where she performs incredible style makeovers for women of all ages...

Video: Heinz Japan is currently streaming an ad titled "Supermarket" which feature erotically charged interactions between married women and a tall, dark, and handsome Iberian pig...

Herald app users tap here for today's video.

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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