Sideswipe Extra: Oct 23: I'm going out for some air

A Pasta menu. Photo / Supplied
A Pasta menu. Photo / Supplied

Cocaine is not only found on legal tender, now in urban Italy all you have to do is go outside and take a breath. A study of psychotropic drug levels in ambient air from eight Italian cities found background levels of cocaine, cannabinoids (the active ingredients in marijuana), nicotine and caffeine in every urban centre. Turin had the highest concentrations of cocaine, says the Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research in Rome. Meanwhile, Bologna and Florence had some of the highest cannabinoid levels. (Source: New

Marketing on a roll in a loo near you: Jordan and Bryan Silverman's start-up venture, Star Toilet Paper, distributes toilet tissue to public restrooms in restaurants, stadiums and other locations absolutely free - because the brothers have sold ads on each sheet. Company slogan: "Don't rush. Look before you flush." (Source: Detroit Free Press)

Dream Weaver prompts proposal: Romantic stories: "Every day, I couldn't wait to see him. One night we were, I guess, kissing. Gary Wright singing Dream Weaver was on the stereo. All of a sudden he got serious. He told me he loved me, wanted me to be the mother of his children, he wanted to marry me. He had no ring - it must have been Gary Wright and Dream Weaver that did it." (Via The New York Times). Have you got a romantic and quirky story to share? Email Sideswipe.

Till lack of connectivity do we part: Dave Hopkins says yesterday's WiFi/hair dryer story reminds him of many years ago when he worked in IT support for a large UK company. "One Monday morning, I got a call from a Judy Kershaw at head office complaining that she couldn't log into the system. I told her there was no log-in set up for Judy Kershaw, and that the only Judy was Judy Sweeney. She replied: 'Oh, I used to be Judy Sweeney but I got married on Saturday and now I'm Judy Kershaw'."

Exploding toilets and other excuses: Excuses, excuses: Barbara Matthews of Onehunga writes: "When I was tertiary teaching, the most common excuse for absence was, 'Grandma died'. I had never realised how many grandmothers one individual could have, all expiring, usually at exam time. But the best excuse ever for not attending a lecture was, 'My toilet blew up'."

New Zealand's Banana Boat sunscreen safe: The Banana Boat Sport Performance spray-on sunscreen mentioned in yesterday's Sideswipe item about a man in the US who caught on fire while barbecuing after applying some is not the same Banana Boat sunscreen sold in New Zealand. The products sold here are safe and are not included in the US recall, say Energizer New Zealand.

Ad wank: An elaborate PR stunt for the release of the new James Bond movie Skyfall...(or as one commenter put it: "Totally staged bullshit. I'm going to the movie, but not because of these sad sheep hipsters in this montage who were told to smile and act like they are important for corporate propoganda coke."

Quick gag: You know your music career is over when?

Picture this: Cooling off on a hot day...

Vox poping: "Who won the first lady debate last night?"

Video: Herds of deer roam freely in Bushy Park in West London and walkers are warned to stay away from them during the rutting season... This guy didn't listen.

- NZ Herald

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