Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe Extra: Oct 25: Convenient transport or just plain cruel

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Animal cargo. Photo / Supplied
Animal cargo. Photo / Supplied

Animal advocacy outfit Paw Justice posted this picture on their Facebook page, asking followers if they thought it was cruel and whether it should be legal to transport dogs this way. Over 4000 people have commented, the majority outraged and many wanting the practice to be made illegal. "That is disgusting," declared Jennifer. "As if that poor little creature wouldn't fit inside the car. That is pure, ignorant cruelty. How would they like to be stuck there with huge vehicles suddenly over them. The fumes, the noise, the cold. Hateful owners." Another simply said: "It's just a dog." What do you think? Are we coddling our pets or is there no justification for treating an animal this way?

Feet, inches, worms and horses - enough is enough

A reader writes: "In December 1976, metric measurement became law in New Zealand. But 36 years later I still have to figure out complicated fractional mathematical equations in which 12 inches equals a foot, 3 foots equal a yard, 37 yards equal a chain, 367823 links equal a mile and a bit, a cubit is an unknown quantity and 40 poles (or Germans) equal a furlong, which is something horses do when you whip them hard.

Reaching back to my school days I try and remember all this but find it nigh impossible and so, so pointless. On Trade Me I was searching for a shipping container to become my garden shed, but don't know how big they are when I am informed they are '20 feet long'. People tell me how tall they are by saying so many feet high plus a few more inch worms. Being a modern man, I am 183cm. Or 1.83m. Or 1830mm. See how simple the metric system is! Last week, even Jim Hickey, the weather guy on TV, said: 'There were gusts blowing at 160km/h, that's nearly 100mph.' Huh?"

Rod and Elton, friends forever

The best bit from Rod Stewart's Rod: The Autobiography, according to The Daily Beast.com: In the early 1970s, Stewart lived down the street from Elton John, and the two became best of friends. They called each other Phyllis and Sharon, or just "dear". "Whether it was drink or cocaine, he could see me right under the table every time. One night at his house, we were applying ourselves to the medicinal powders and it got to six in the morning, at which point I tendered a short letter of resignation," Stewart wrote. He found a bed to sleep in, but four hours later his friend was thumping at the door, "bright of cheek and white of smile," telling him they had a football match to go see. Stewart even wanted to form a supergroup with Elton John and Freddie Mercury ... "The name we had in mind was Nose, Teeth & Hair, a tribute to each of our remarked-upon physical attributes."

Slap on some butter and call it a cop-out

Excuses, excuses: "Years ago I had an apprentice who gradually got later and later to work," a reader writes. "Finally I asked him why. He replied: 'Mum didn't butter my toast.' Stifling a laugh I asked him how that worked. His explanation? 'Well I get up at 5 to 8, mum has my coffee and buttered toast ready for me. But this morning she hadn't buttered it.' I sent him home for the day, so he could ponder on how to get to work on time. Darren was never late again."

Picture this: Halloween costumes for kids that they're too young to understand...

Simplifying the US Election: The stereotype of the humourless German has been blown out of the water with this comedian who breaks down his interpretation of Republicans and Democrats...

Almost Nostalgia: I fondly remember a time when Jeremy Wells wasn't Meridian's bitch... Here's Eating Media Lunch's sexist New Zealanders.

Video: The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra are trying to get to #1 in the charts ...as a way to lobby the government for continued funding. So they've set Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture to some footage of the real Auckland to promote the selling of it on iTunes (along with versions from more hip musicians Kids of 88, Weird Together and Luger Boa).

- NZ Herald

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