Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: May 11: No quickies

No quickies: Spotted outside the Edgewater Palms in Paihia, by Robert.

Comedians all around

"Our four children recently shouted my wife and me tickets to see Rhys Darby at SkyCity for our wedding anniversary," writes Steve. "I suggested that we get something to eat before the show. Our 14-year-old daughter suggested pizza, but I said I thought that might be a bit stodgy. Not knowing what the word meant, she asked, 'Is that food which is a cross between strange and dodgy?' I'm beginning to think her humour is as quick as Rhys Darby's."

Pranks and other naughtiness

1. "As we assembled for the final three-hour examination of our two-year masters degree, we found a letter from the dean in our mailboxes containing a request. 'This examination will be marked by the tutors who have taught you and have got to know you personally. To eliminate any possibility of bias in marking, please do not put your name on your examination paper. Instead, please enter the following code in the space provided for your name.' We all dutifully followed this instruction, with the result being that the university collected 100 anonymous exam papers.

The students had to be recalled to individually identify their exam papers. The hoaxer was never found.

2. "A mate's father told me this one: When he was at school, he and friends would hang out in the physics lab that backed on to the rugby pitch. In the lab was an old Model T ignition coil, which could generate a high-voltage spark. They hooked this up to the corrugated-iron fence between the lab wall and the rugby pitch and waited until half time, when it was customary for players to relieve themselves behind the fence. At the critical moment, they switched on the spark coil and took great delight in seeing the burly 1st XV team members jump sky high when the shock travelled up the conductive urine streams."

Making a buck off a hiccup

A 13-year-old, Mallory Kievman, is chief executive and founder of a company that claims to have cured hiccups with a lollipop. Kievman is preparing to launch her product, the Hiccupop, a hiccup-stopping lollipop of her own invention, with a patent pending, financial backers, and a team of business consultants. She got the idea after trying to tame a stubborn bout of hiccups with different home remedies: drinking saltwater, sipping water out of an upside-down cup, eating spoonfuls of sugar, slurping pickle juice. She had developed the product in her family's Manchester, Connecticut, kitchen, amalgamating her three favorite cures - lollipops, apple cider vinegar and sugar. "I'm still "tweaking the taste," she says. But the combination of ingredients "triggers a set of nerves in your throat and mouth that are responsible for the hiccup reflex arc ... It basically over-stimulates those nerves and cancels out the message to hiccup." (Source: New York Times)

- NZ Herald

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