Sideswipe: October 17: Power to move you


"What I done was put my stuff on KiwiRail," says Scott.

Car designers who made a name for themselves

According to More Curious Questions by Max Cryer, the Mazda brand was founded by Mr Ju-jiro Matsuda. The Japanese name for the Zoroastrian "God of Reason" is Mazda so Mr Matsuda's name was adjusted to Mazda to name the car. Three men investing in another car's manufacture, were Mr Den, Mr Ao-yama, and Mr Take-uchi. Their initials made up the convenient word 'dat' - which by happy coincidence sounded like datto ... Japanese for "running fast". Later models were designated to be Dat-son (son-of-Dat) but the suffix "son" is similar to a Japanese term meaning "lose money" ... so the spelling was changed to Datsun, honouring the sun on the Japanese flag. Isuzu cars are named after the Isuzu river, and Mitsubishi means "three diamonds" - part of the founding firm's family crest. Subaru is Japanese for "unite" but is also the name of the star constellation Pleiades. Three well-known brands are named after their founders - Mr Honda, Mr Suzuki, and Mr Toyoda (changed slightly to Toyota which is easier for non-Japanese people to say) Rather more prosaic are Nissan (an abbreviation of "Japanese industry") and Daihatsu (meaning "generator manufacturers").

I'm not taking him for a spin

A reader writes: "Driving into Hamilton this morning a hitchhiker had his thumb out to me as I drove past him at Gordonton. I could see him in the rear-vision mirror as I passed, seemingly puzzled that I hadn't stopped for him. He might have fitted into my small car, but for some reason he had a top-loading washing machine on the road beside him. Really?"

A close shave from the 80s

A reader writes: "I can remember in the 80s a bunch of us being told we may be expelled from school because we had skinhead haircuts. Later one of our mothers went to the head and explained a bad case of lice was going around."

Bad bank statement

A reader writes: "In 1960 when I was 17 and single I worked in the local bank. When I handed in my notice the manager demanded to know why I was leaving. When I told him I was pregnant and going to be married, he looked me up and down and told me not to bother coming back after lunch. Presumably my morals didn't live up to the bank's high standards."

Chasing husbands instead

Another reader says: "Not sure of what the current situation is, but in the past courts would not enforce judgment in payment default cases if the debtor was female. This made creditors very wary of giving credit to females. Early on in my career I was advised by the collection agency I used to always invoice the husband instead. Such practices are not always simply prejudice against females."

Picture this: Naked Chicken...

Mental rental: A $350 a week Christchurch property with no cooking facilities and no fridge. Suit raw foodist or desperate family of 6...

Video: "Courtesy of the tween-focused men who birthed Rebecca Black's "Friday" comes Alison Gold, a 12-year-old singer whose goopy video for a song dubbed "Chinese Food" has racked up over 1.2 million YouTube views in a day."

Video: The next big thing in kid's movies, Boats...

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at

- NZ Herald

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