A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: September 21: Who is targeting Piet Ubels?

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

"A few friends and I have noticed these around Auckland - looks like someone is targeting Piet Ubels," writes a reader. Maybe it is a pal of Piet? The defacing seems more like the work of a friend than foe.

NZ deemed still viable hundreds of years in the future

"Stumbled on an old Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode on The Zone channel," writes John Clark, of Glen Eden. "One of the characters was sentenced to two years' imprisonment in a minimum security prison on - you guessed it - little old New Zealand. Nearly fell of my sofa. Thought I'd heard it wrong. Set hundreds of years in the future; Planet Earth doesn't even figure in the stories that often, let alone the mention of any countries, towns or cities. For anyone interested: The episode is called By Inferno's Light/Doctor Bashir, I Presume?."

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Auckland Council quick to catch infringers

"I know the Auckland Council is desperate for infrastructure funding but this must be a step too far," writes Brett Marsdon. "My lads - cubbies from Otahuhu Welding working nearby - received a parking infringement yesterday for parking like this at the intersection of Crummer Rd and Scanlan St ... And the offence was 'Incorrect kerb parking - one-way road'. There is no signage to indicate parking restrictions. And yes, all the other cars in the photo were ticketed as well."

Addicts get help with their smartphone habit

Smartphone addiction is a growing problem, which is why a company is trying to crowdsource some cash for a box with a timer where you can lock up your phone. DistractaGone is ideal for the person who just can't stop checking their device every few minutes. Just open the lid, put the phone inside, close it up and set the number of minutes or hours you want to keep it locked up for. After you press the lock button, you have five seconds to cancel, after which the only way to access the phone until the time expires is to brutally force it open. (Via Oddity Central)

In west Auckland: "Hey acquaintances from've just moved house, right? Can we borrow your boxes."

In west Auckland: "Hey acquaintances from've just moved house, right? Can we borrow your boxes."

Good read: These 100 objects have had a huge impact on public health across the world, for good (like a stiff gin and tonic and the breast pump) and for bad (like the frying pan and the hotdog) ...
"When a child in the United States chokes, the culprit could very well be a hot dog...this backyard barbecue favorite poses a greater choking threat to babies and toddlers than grapes, nuts and hard candy. The reason: Because of its size, shape, and consistency, a piece of hot dog makes the perfect plug for a toddler's throat. In 2010, pediatricians called for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to consider warning labels on foods such as hot dogs that pose a choking hazard. Doctors have also suggested that manufacturers modify their recipes so hot dogs easily fall apart into small pieces when a child takes a bite." Read more here.

Video: In what looks like a Monty Python sketch, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, greets EU leaders with a friendly slap and calls the Hungarian PM a dictator in front of the press at the EU-Eastern Partnership summit in Latvia...

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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