Pardon my French

Michael Edgar writes: "When my wife was at school in China in the 1960s she remembers being taught, in Chinese of course, 'Knowledge is power. France is bacon.' She understood the first sentence, but remembers asking what the second sentence meant. Her teacher just waved her away. (It seems he did not know what it meant either). She was just a small child and did not persist. Later she learned many Chinese people had learned the same two sentences and most did not know what the second sentence meant. It was only those who seriously studied English that, like her, eventually figured it out: 'Knowledge is power' — Frances Bacon."

Office rules overkill

"I once needed a pen," writes a Reddit user. "Figured this was a reasonable ask. Went to the supply closet on my floor, which was locked. Asked the floor's admin, she told me to go to the main supply room in the basement. Went to the basement and explained my situation of needing a pen. They told me all requests for supplies must be approved by my department head. Problem is, being new, I'd never met my department head. She also worked in San Francisco (I worked in Milwaukee), so I needed to send an email both introducing myself, and asking her if I had permission to get a pen from the supply closet."

Now it registers ...

"I visited my new favourite cafe in Hamilton a few days ago," writes Steve. "Tasty coffee and great ambiance. It has a funky, retro-type decor and plays my kind of music on its record player. 'Have you got Johnny Cash,' I asked. The barista looked a little startled. 'Eh?' I repeated myself and still a blank. A little frustrated, I said again, more insistently. 'Cash, cash, have you any?' He furtively looked at the cash register. I suddenly realised where the conversation was going. 'No, no. I'd like some Johnny Cash music please.'"

Quick links

1.Playmobil incorporated into art. More here.

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2.Just like that regrettable tattoo, graffiti artists in Berlin are turning hate symbols into much less sinister drawings.

3. Pyromaniac birds in Australia are known to snatch up burning brush from existing fires and plop it down elsewhere, starting new fires.

Video pick

A brilliant cover version of American heavy metal band System of a Down's classic tune on twin ukuleles…


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