A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: August 15: Hair ribbons indicator

In the 1940s, American high school girls used hair ribbons to indicate if they were coupled up, looking or indifferent. (Source: Life Magazine - May 15, 1944)
In the 1940s, American high school girls used hair ribbons to indicate if they were coupled up, looking or indifferent. (Source: Life Magazine - May 15, 1944)

Lesser known signs of intelligence

1. Recreational drug users: A study in the UK suggests more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to consume psychoactive drugs than less intelligent children. Not that drugs make you smart, but more to do with inclination to risk taking.

2. Teenage virginity: An adolescent with an IQ score of 100 was 1.5 to 5 times more likely to have had intercourse than an adolescent with an above-average score of about 120 to 130.

3. Foul-mouthed: The findings of a series of vocabulary and emotional tests revealed those who shared emotional characteristics with intelligent people were also the most profane - the "poverty-of-vocabulary" myth with regards to swearing has been thoroughly debunked.

4. Cat lover: Research found those who identified as a cat person performed noticeably better in the intelligence measuring sections of the test than those who identified as a dog person.

5. Modesty: It's called the Dunning-Kruger effect. Essentially unintelligent people will overestimate their abilities, and the smart will mark themselves down.

(Full list here...)

'Get in the sea' taken literally

A student at the University of Bristol is in hot water after telling an MP to "get in the sea" on Twitter. Ms Thangam Debbonaire responded: "This person has just told me to drown - I believe that is a threat to kill." "Get in the sea" is a phrase popularised by comedy writer Andy Dawson via the @getinthesea Twitter account and a book of the same title. It's used to humorously highlight perceived idiocies with deliberately over-the-top vitriol.

Dumbest school rules

1. "At Maungawhau Primary in the late 50s we were not allowed to talk while we ate our lunch," writes Ross Vaughan. "We sat on forms with a class monitor. Anyone caught talking was sent to sit alone in the middle of the playground and was spoken to by the duty teacher afterwards."

2. "We weren't allowed centre-partings because the head believed that drug dealers would approach you to sell and we were forbidden from congregating in groups of more than three at break times. I don't recall why," tweets @shaxhuxmo.

3. I once got a half-page essay for having my school jumper sleeves rolled up," tweets @Jacobunny. "And having your jersey tied around your waist was obviously waterboarding territory."

Video: Gifs galore....

NYC Gifathon from James Curran on Vimeo.

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

- NZ Herald

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