Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: June 27: 'Mrs Parata rides again'

Labour leader David Shearer visited Owairaka District School in his Mt Albert electorate on Friday to read aloud to the children and some witty teacher gave him this book.

Why we just click 'okay'

Companies that collect customer data always publish their policies on how they keep the data "private" (even though those policies explain precisely the ways they intend not to keep the data "private" and how they are not required to by law). But researchers found that if typical consumers bothered to read all of the detailed privacy policies they encountered, it would take from 181 to 304 hours per year (22-38 workdays). (Source: Techdirt.com)

Older really is wiser

Ageing is a bit of a drag, with most physiological things deteriorating, but the good news is while some mental capabilities diminish, others get better. Researchers at the University of Michigan presented "Dear Abby" letters to 200 people and asked what advice they would give.

Subjects in their 60s were better than younger ones at imagining different points of view, thinking of multiple resolutions and suggesting compromises. (Source: Smithsonianmag.com)

The invisible homeless

The Real Homeless of Auckland City: Amber* is 32 years old and living in a hostel with her two children after leaving her husband of 12 years because of violence. Women's Refuge were unable to accommodate her and referred her to a hostel but she left after a resident offered her money for sex. They have been living in another hostel for two months as they wait for a Housing New Zealand house. Her son has been assaulted a number of times by another kid living at the hostel. She is paying $230 per week for their room which has two single beds. She is not sleeping well as the lock on her door is broken and hasn't been fixed. She is now on the DPB but struggling to make ends meet as she has limited skills and no work experience due to having been a stay-at-home housewife all her adult life. Tomorrow I am sleeping rough as part of the Lifewise Big Sleep Out, raising money to help people like Amber and her children. If you'd like to sponsor me please go to http://bigsleepout.org.nz/author/ana-samways. (Here's hoping it's a mild rain-free night).

* Not her real name.

- NZ Herald

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