Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: June 26: Tall tales from the 1930s

37 comments

No photo fakery here. This is 20-year-old Gogea Mitu, a boxer and the tallest Romanian in history, on the cover of a German magazine in 1935. Shown here he was 2.42m tall, had a weight of 183kg and had a foot size of 38cm. He was sought after by doctors and scientists who wanted to know the reason for his gigantism and by people who wanted to profit from his stature. Mitu lived to be 22, dying of tuberculosis in 1936. (Via Weird Universe.)

Inappropriate poet

A reader writes: "My young son walked out of the cafe we were in in Parnell the other day and while I was getting my coat he swaggered towards the door and yelled back 'Yo! Let's go, ho!'. Rather embarrassing but he then asked if I was proud of him because he can make rhymes all by himself. I was!"

Tony, come and get your knife please

"Tony was travelling on the same flight from Nadi to Auckland on May 19 and had his Swiss Army knife confiscated from his cabin luggage," explains Lisa. "He asked me if I could pop it in my suitcase and meet up with him at arrivals to pass it back to him. I did (doing something I have told my children to never do) and spent the next few hours sweating about the potentially cocaine-filled knife in my suitcase ... Anyway, knife made it safely through (husband furious with me) but I never saw Tony in arrivals and lost his business card and am sick of looking at this knife that reminds me of my stupidity. If he sees this in Sideswipe he could get in touch with me."

Omaha 'community spirit'

"Interesting little piece about the 'heavily tattooed' local homeless person," mulls Peter. "It speaks volumes about the attitudes of some Omaha residents/bach owners. Community-mindedness only applies if you are 'respectable', look like us and drive the right car. Whatever happened to the so-called egalitarian Kiwi way, and helping those at the bottom of the heap?"

Small story says a lot

David Herkt comments: "I found the idea of the pre-emptive gathering together of 'residents' to facilitate the moving on process [of the Omaha homeless man] fascinating. Modern NZ in a nutshell. Gated suburbs/enclaves for the well-off. There will be Omaha security guards in little electric cars next. One of those stories that reveals much."

Making technology work for mum

Books vs tech: In response to Victoria's comment that iPhones are educational too ... "We bought my 14-year-old son an iPod Touch for Christmas, since then he has hardly read a book, has stopped talking to us and is constantly either playing online games or using Facebook or Snapchat ..." Another reader says she has leveraged the sheer desperation of her 10-year-old to play online building game, Minecraft into a chore-based reward system. Loading the dishwasher without complaint and in record time for 30 minutes on the PC is a good deal, she says.

Badvertising: I hope if an advertising agency was involved in this unappetising billboard for cheap and cheerful restaurant Gina's, that they appreciate the added a few letters are intended to match their efforts of foulness... The comments on RedditNZ are great

Picture this: "Hope this note on my mum's calendar pertains to TV..." tweets Dan Kois.

Video: This PBS clip looks at how being well-off affects attitudes and behaviour (less generous, more entitled and more inclined to cheat, no matter what the political leanings). And rather than finding rich and poor people researchers used a game of Monopoly as an experiment and made one player more wealthy and advantaged than the other...

Video: Cutest haka I have ever seen...

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

- NZ Herald

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