Sideswipe: What's Kiwi for vuvuzela?

Kerry Smith of Te Atatu South doesn't understand the big deal being made about South Africans blowing their vuvuzelas during the World Cup. "This was purchased at Eden Park about eight or nine years ago, its colour a dead giveaway as to what team its users support. Slightly shorter than the South African version but it achieves the same result."

Family apart united by All Whites

Shirley Fountain of Kohimarama says all her extended family was watching the All Whites playing the Italians in South Africa at the same time, but not on the same TV. "We were here and our grandsons were ecstatic in different Auckland suburbs. One of our sons was excitedly watching in a beach cafe in Greece, while another grandson was elated in Holland and two other family members were watching in an Italian cafe in Germany wearing their All Black tops - to express their excitement after the game they did a haka, much to the consternation of the German customers."

Taking bludging too far

An Australian senator thinks proposed paid parental leave benefits could encourage women to get pregnant (on purpose) and then have late-term abortions, simply to claim paid maternity leave. "Drug addicts and welfare cheats can go out there and get themselves pregnant and then after 20 weeks have an abortion and still pocket the Government's cash," said conservative Family First Party senator Steve Fielding. The Australian Government hopes to introduce its first paid parental leave scheme offering 18 weeks' paid leave at A$543 ($670) a week. The new benefits could also apply to women who have stillborn babies, and Fielding said this made it unclear what entitlements were allowed to those who terminated their pregnancies. "The notion that someone would, for the purposes of receiving ... paid parental leave, proceed to a post 20-week pregnancy and then procure an abortion for that purpose is really the most incongruous thing that anyone might consider could happen," government Senator Ursula Stevens said.

42 reasons to wear safety gear

Craig writes: "Speaking of window cleaner safety, my wife and I now live in Manhattan and as part of the 42nd floor apartment lease we signed we get one free window clean on moving in. We were expecting to see a window cleaning basket come down the side of the building at some point, but imagine our surprise when this young man climbed up on to our window sill and leaned out the window to clean the outside. He was not attached to anything with 42 floors below him."

A big thank you for generosity

Earlier this year Sideswipe ran a note from a parent wanting to know what to do with books from university, now that their children were qualified. This was responded to by Kiwanis, a service club which sends all types of educational material to Vanuatu. "As a result of this information in Sideswipe, Kiwanis have sent two shipping containers this year filled with books, clothes, desks, chairs and tools to needy schools in Vanuatu," writes Ewan Beck. "Kiwanis wishes to thank Sideswipe and the generous schools and people for their donations. This is an ongoing project in its 15th year with an estimated 100 tonnes plus already delivered." Donations are being accepted for another container to be sent later this year. Phone Ewan on 021 728 381 to donate.

- NZ Herald

Today's Webpick: These fish, which have been skinned, gutted and beheaded, are just about to be smothered in butter, wrapped in tin foil and baked, when all of a sudden... Go here.

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