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'Perk' spaces

A reader writes: "In Pollen St, just off Ponsonby Rd, there is a small doorway, which is never used, with a towaway sign. Three cars can park all day without paying a cent while tickets are dished out by council officers for anyone exceeding 120 minutes, as specified on the sign, immediately beside the 'perk' spaces."

Phone bill confusion, or con

A reader writes: "My phone bill from Orcon arrived and I was alarmed to see the amount charged to national calls. I seldom phone outside my area code so I took a closer look. Orcon said it's because I have dialled the area code before the number and not just the number and that their system cannot determine that it is in fact a local call. (My kids have got into the habit of dialling the area code from a mobile phone, so they do the same with the landline.) I asked Telecom, Slingshot and Vodafone if they had the same policy and was told a definite 'no'. If I were to dial +64 before my local number I wonder if Orcon would charge me international rates?"


Senseless Census
1. A reader asks: "What's with the question only for women about how many babies they have had? Where are the dads? Shouldn't those males also be asked how many they have fathered or are they looking for a virgin birth?"

2. Another reader had this to say ... "This is our first time trying to complete the Census in a rural area. No forms arrived so I phoned Census NZ and was told new forms would be sent - posted this time, not hand-delivered, but Census wouldn't accept our rural delivery postal address. They needed a 'physical' address to send them to. Can someone at NZ Post explain to Census NZ why this isn't going to work? It makes me think now there must be under-reporting of the rural area, as we are unlikely to get any Census forms to fill in."

Toilet humour buildings

"The 'urinal or bidet' (as your reader describes it) on top of ASB's new head office at North Wharf is a reflector device in the shape of a sail designed to act as part of the building's ventilation and lighting system. It's my understanding that the Vero building's 'halo' serves no other purpose but to create a distinctive roof line and cover up the lift over-runs, aerials and antennas."

Shaking up the Middle East

In the Western world, viral dance the Harlem Shake is just a chance for bored office workers to be anonymous exhibitionists, but in the Middle East, it's fast becoming political. An event on Facebook is seeking participants to perform it in front of ruling party Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters, days after four students were arrested in Cairo for doing the Harlem Shake, which police deemed a "scandalous act". Harlem Shake-themed political protests have also gripped Tunisia after the country's Education Minister called the dance an "insult to educational message". Last Friday, students protested by performing it in front of the Ministry of Education. (Source: The Daily Dot)

Picture this (sublime): Shooting star (and the Milky Way) over Tekapo.

Picture this (ridiculous): Standing cat.

Video: This is how society warned kids of the dangers of drugs in 1972...(this PSA was very controversial at the time and was eventually pulled from the air because it rightly or wrongly terrified children)

Social Media: The Tweet Hereafter morbidly collects the tweets of those users who have died.

Video: Not since the 1983 horror movie Christine has there been a car that can drive itself...Audi reckons it's made a car that can park itself (who needs Campbell Live's dog!)

* Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana here.