Christmas gift

"I work in Mayo Rd, Wiri," writes Steve. "This 400m-long road in an industrial area appears to have become a surrogate waste dumping ground for household rubbish. There are 13 piles of rubbish on one side of the road; one pile every 30 metres. A couple of piles seem to be small truckloads of general household rubbish, broken furniture and pallets. I rang the council to get them to clear it away — it had also been reported to them twice within the last two weeks by people where I work. Council advise they will investigate the dumping and then arrange to have it removed. It may take six working days, they say. Some of this rubbish was dumped well before Christmas."

Dudes, quit the batty cricket comments

On Saturday at the cricket, the guy who does crowd banter on the big screen between overs sat with two women and asked them which players they most liked to look at. And during the Christchurch one-dayer before Christmas, it was the same thing. An older woman was asked who she thought was the best-looking player was on the field. Here's a top tip for cricket broadcaster dudes ... if there is a woman at the cricket and not out shopping, she is probably there for the game and you can ask her stuff pertaining to the chucking, hitting and catching carry-on.

Weather bombast

A powerful winter storm hit the US eastern coast last week — referred to as a "bomb cyclone". This term is an extension of "weather bomb", and is more like a kind of winter hurricane resulting from a process called explosive cyclogenesis, or bombogenesis, which occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone intensifies from the collision of cold, dry air with warm, moist, ocean air. This causes a rapid, bomb-like drop in atmospheric pressure, suddenly generating violent weather, hence the "bomb". Is it the latest bit of meteorological bombast — like polar vortex, snowmageddon, and thundersnow? Or media-generated hyperbole? Maybe not. The term can be found in technical papers as early as the 1980s and "weather bomb" is even older, this phrase for a "rapidly developing severe storm" was used in 1948, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) says.

Squint and ye shall find

A reader writes: "Early on New Year's morning, you had motorbike issues in Clevedon. On my driveway were a pair of glasses, now hanging over my fence, bottom rail. I guess they are yours."

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Video pick

Colorado Symphony performing the Jurassic Park theme at last year's Colorado Comic-Con, complete with the conductor wearing one of those inflatable t-rex costumes…


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