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

Sideswipe: July 19: We don't even have a dog

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"Someone left this note in our letterbox," writes Helen of Torbay. "We don't even have a dog!" Photo / Supplied
"Someone left this note in our letterbox," writes Helen of Torbay. "We don't even have a dog!" Photo / Supplied

Rent-a-friend service for the lonely

Client Partners is a Japanese business which supplies rental "friends" to the lonely, for hours or days of companionship tailored specifically to the needs of the client (with two rules, however: no romance and no lending money). A writer for Afar travel magazine interviewed several "friends" last month, one of whom explained, "Japan is all about face. We don't know how to talk from the gut. We can't ask for help." Said the female "friend" (who offered a goodbye handshake to the interviewer): "There are many people who haven't been touched for years ... who start to cry when we shake hands with them." (Source: News of the Weird)

Best parenting tweets

1. "My son got mad at me yesterday and opened all the bananas in the house. What type of passive aggressive monster is he?" @VictorPopeJr

2. "My 2-year-old said she is a grown up. I told her she isn't, that she is a toddler. She replied, 'No, I'm a grown up. I'm going to touch knives.'" @jessokfine

3. "[5:45am, in a harsh whisper] Daddy. Don't worry, you can sleep. I'm making my own breakfast. How do you turn on the oven? Me: I'm up." @simoncholland

4. "Watching the kids play hide and seek in the park and mine just hid behind a chain-link fence. At least we don't have to save for university." @iwearaonesie

5. "Dad: 'Come on, you guys are LATE!!' 1-year-old: 'You should have started YELLING at us earlier!'" @Dadmissions

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Emojis for professional women

If you were excited by the new avocado emoji, you'll love all the lady-job emojis coming your way. Google has announced a range of "professional female" to promote gender equality and because women are the biggest users. "No matter where you look, women are gaining visibility and recognition as never before," the Google proposal reads. "Isn't it time that emoji also reflect the reality that women play a key role in every walk of life and in every profession?" Users will get 11 new characters that portray professional women with varying skin tones instead of just a princess, a bride and a girl getting a haircut. So thanks, but why didn't they do this in the first place? Probably because in real life at Google, male employees still outnumber females two to one. (Source: Time, Mashable, Quartz)

Video: Kyle Scheele turned 30 and to celebrate he held a Viking funeral for his 20s ...

Good read: 'Don't believe everything you read on the web' is good advice especially after a Melbourne production company challenged the creation and distribution of 'new media' with a two year long social experiment doing their own fake viral videos. ""We set out to better understand exactly how to create short-form, highly sharable, 'snackable' content, that is capable of reaching worldwide mass audiences without the luxury of pricey media buys, ad campaigns, publicity strategies or distribution deals."

Video: Gollum at a music festival in Poland...(Scroll along to 28secs)

Video: There are our run-of-the-mill TV bloopers and then there are cringe-worthy news bloopers...





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

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