A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: September 13: Junior journalism

A visit from the Prime Minister provides a great opportunity for some junior journalism.
A visit from the Prime Minister provides a great opportunity for some junior journalism.

Conversation courtesy 101

"Don't one-up someone else's story. If your buddy has just told you about something really embarrassing that he did, or complained about her stupid boss, or told you about how his last apartment was a nightmare, do not say any of the following:

"I've got an even better one."

"Something even worse happened to me!"

"That's nothing."

Story-sharing is not a competition. Let your friends tell their stories, and then you can tell yours. But do not try to tell anyone that your experiences are more hilarious or awkward or painful. If they are, people will figure it out on their own. And if they're not, who cares? Just tell your stories and have a good time.

(Source: Adulting: How to become a grown-up in 468 easy(ish) steps.)

Bored collie cross gets her cheep thrills

While we were in the house we could hear a flurry of constant loud cheeping from birds in the garden, followed by lots of barking and then silence. Fascinated we looked out the window and our german shepherd/collie cross would hold her paw on the branch of a tall, leafless tree whereupon all the little sparrows would collect. As soon as it was full enough to her liking she would take her paw off the branch letting it reverberate. All the sparrows would fly off cheeping and she would spiral up in the air as high as she could, barking. She would then repeat the process until she got bored.

Sexist stuff at work

1. "I'm busty and once I worked at a bar where a few guys named my breasts and then addressed me by that name. When I pushed back I was told I was ridiculous, they were just teasing. It was horrible."

2. "I once had a job where my boss had a policy that he wouldn't travel with a woman because he promised his wife he wouldn't. I would line up new business for us but then be cut out of travelling to pitch the client and close the deal because of this ridiculous rule and his ridiculous marriage."

3. "I had a run of horrible things happen to me over a period of months (death of a friend, spousal affair) and I found myself tearful from time to time. I was forwarded an exchange between two male colleagues in which they sidelined me for a promotion, deemed me unstable and then cracked a joke about the Hot Crazy Matrix - where women are assessed on a graph with an X axis for level of hotness, measured on a 1-10 scale, and a Y axis representing level of craziness." (Via:

This Dutch Supermarket truly has a try before you buy policy.
This Dutch Supermarket truly has a try before you buy policy.

Good read: Entomologist Justin Schmidt has been stung by a wide variety of insects, resulting in Schmidt's Pain Scale. Some of the descriptions sound like wine reviews: "Western Yellowjacket: Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine W.C. Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue."

Picture this: Aerial shot of this swimming pool tiling designed to look like Van Gogh's Starry Night...

Video: Channel 4 in the UK ran a competition to make ads championing disability during the Paralympics and Malteser's went for something delightfully risqué... 

Herald app users tap here for today's video.

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

- NZ Herald

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