Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: March 9: Intoxicating card game

A reader found this "card game" in Waihi Toyworld. "It was in the children's section, along with Fish and Thomas the Tank Engine card games," she says.

Swashbuckling face fur

The ladies may shun the face fur, but the kids love it. A reader writes: "I wear a head scarf tied in the back containing my long hair in a bun, and sport a large beard. So when picking my daughter up from kindy the other day, I walked through an area with 2- to 3-year-olds, one of the young boys says to a teacher: 'WOW! A real pirate!' I responded in my best pirate voice: 'Don't tell your parents I'm a pirate now will ya, me hearty?' Then yesterday all the kids were saying, 'Look, it's the pirate'!"

Racist? Take pills for it

A common heart disease drug may have the strange side-effect of combating racism, a new study suggests. Volunteers given the beta-blocker, used to treat chest pains and to lower heart rates, scored lower on a psychological test of "implicit" racist attitudes. They appeared to be less racially prejudiced at a subconscious level than another group who were treated with a placebo.

Scientists believe the discovery can be explained by the fact that racism is fundamentally founded on fear and the drug is also used to treat anxiety and panic. (Source: The Telegraph.co.uk)

Pavlova, Phar Lap, now Mansfield

Vincent Mills of Mangere Bridge writes: "While waiting for a flight home from Sydney Airport yesterday I noticed that one Qantas jet, parked at its air bridge, was named Katherine Mansfield. Curious that the Aussies, yet again, seem to be adopting our achievers as their own. Incidentally, I couldn't find the Sam Hunt, James K. Baxter, Kiri Te Kanawa, or Bret McKenzie jets awaiting departure."

- NZ Herald

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