Sideswipe: July 5: The real Barbie

Using the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman, artist Nickolay Lamm has created a Barbie shaped like a real person (right).
Using the measurements of an average 19-year-old woman, artist Nickolay Lamm has created a Barbie shaped like a real person (right).

Posties blown a raspberry

A Shropshire man has been told by the Royal Mail he will not receive any post unless he cuts back his aggressive raspberry bush. Mike Stevens was issued a health and safety notice over his fierce garden growth. He was told post service workers were "intimidated and threatened" by his 2m raspberry bush, with the Royal Mail ruling it was a health hazard. "It is the postal service making the problem, not my raspberries," said the retired teacher. "They are not malicious. They haven't got any thorns on them and they are not like nasty brambles so I don't see what the problem is." (Source:

Not just fatty, but mood-altering too

Potato chips are moreish, but preliminary research suggests it may be a case of trans-fat induced personality change rather than lack of willpower that keeps you eating them. Researchers at the University of California at San Diego studied several hundred male and female participants and found statistically significant increases in hostility and aggressive behaviours resulting from consumption of fast food.

The effects are thought to stem from the ability of trans-fats to interfere with the body's natural levels of DHEA, a long chain fatty acid that is known to impact mood and act as a natural anti-depressant.

An unfortunate association

A man being treated for cancer walked into a bank wearing a surgical mask to protect himself against germs. Unfortunately for Joe Jaramillo, the FBI were hunting an armed and dangerous criminal known as the "Surgical Mask" bank robber. He went to a teller to make a withdrawal, but the teller kept saying there was a problem with the transaction. He then found himself surrounded by police officers.

Simpler than it seems

Minnehaha not Maori: A reader says he has heard real estate agents around Albany referring to a Kitty Wa-Kay drive ... "er, that's Kittiwake, and it's a bird, guys!"

In a flap over nothing?

Ryan might like to take another look at his outrage over the restaurant offering bluefin tuna. "There is an abundance of southern bluefin tuna, the majority of which comes from farms in Port Lincoln. So I doubt his local is serving an endangered species, just a piece of farmed fish."

Nice idea: Tablecloth playhouse...

News: A horror-themed colouring book featuring pictures of blood, knives and screaming victims to colour-in has been pulled by Tesco after being marketed at children as young as five. The book, entitled "Colour Me Good - Arrggghhhh!!", includes images from classic horror films including Fatal Attraction, Psycho, Misery, Hellraiser, The Shining, and The Silence of the Lambs.

Picture this: Magicians of the Internet is a collection of contrived publicity shots for entertainers who have yet to make it big...

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

- NZ Herald

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