Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: September 24: Stuck behind a truck

62 comments

"I was looking forward to the passing lane at the Brynderwyns, as I was stuck behind a logging truck," writes a reader. "But then, lo and behold, another one pulls out and overtakes so no one can pass."

Don't smile, you're facing the camera

Why do people in old photos not smile? Mark Twain explained: "A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever." The belief was that smiling made you look stupid. You'd rarely find a portrait painted with a grinning subject. Says scholar Nicholas Jeeves: "By the 17th century in Europe it was a well-established fact that the only people who smiled broadly, in life and in art, were the poor, the lewd, the drunk, the innocent and the entertainment." In 1703, a French writer lamented "people who raise their upper lip so high ... that their teeth are almost entirely visible". Not only was this discourteous, he asked - why do it at all? After all, "nature gave us lips to conceal them".

Secrets of a top town

Sheryn writes: "I read this in the Straight Furrow newspaper in a Bayleys Real Estate profile for the Waipiata Country Hotel. After listing the Waipiata township's best features - a bowling green and town hall - it said: 'Tourist attractions in the settlement include a former mental hospital dating back to the turn of last century, and the town cemetery.' A must go-to destination!"

Zsa Zsa adds twist to game-selling tale

In 1966, toy sellers were reluctant to stock Twister, which critics called "sex in a box", until a PR firm got Johnny Carson to play the party game with one of his guests, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. Milton Bradley sold three million copies the following year. (Source: mentalfloss.com).

Theme park dream ends badly

Best Facebook status update: "There is a lady sitting in Starbucks right now crying with a friend because she is getting a divorce. But before you think I am a terrible person for laughing at somebody else's pain, let me explain ... She is leaving her husband of 30 years because he will not let her add a room on to their house for a 'Kitty Wonderland'. Yes, she wants to build a theme park for her cats. I could not make this up. This is really happening right now ..."

Film: Part of the marketing campaign for the upcoming thriller The Counselor, directed by Ridley Scott, from an original screenplay by Cormac McCarthy, includes close up posters of the films' stars - Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz. The male stars have normal human skin but the women have been retouched so much they look plastic.

Shady character: It's not even summer but this is how one guy parked at Onehunga pool on Sunday ...

Form funny: How did you hear about us?

Picture this #1: What four generations of women look like...

Picture this #2: Space cat leggings...

Video: Emptying the pool...

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz

- NZ Herald

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 27 Dec 2014 12:22:45 Processing Time: 699ms