Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: December 5: The more the merrier

48 comments
What a difference one letter can make.
What a difference one letter can make.

Extra mice per room at the Novotel, Rotorua (thanks Anton).

Books flown by special delivery (no drones involved)

After Amazon's drone delivery announcement, British bookstore chain Waterstones figured it might as well jump on the bandwagon and announced that it will also offer 30-minute delivery of its products. From the FAQ on its website:

Q. Isn't this just what they did in Harry Potter?

A: Yes, this is exactly what they did in Harry Potter. You're asking that as if this is a bad thing ...

Q: Will the owls be treated humanely?

A: Yes! Our owls will be loved by specially trained booksellers who will regularly feed the owls with love, affection and mice.

Q: Isn't this how Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds began?

A: The Birds is fiction, this is the real world. Everything will be fine.

Overtaking worries

Yesterday a contributor grumbled that to pass a vehicle doing 100km/h within the 4km/h tolerance would need a 2.6km passing lane. Many readers said, "why do you need to overtake them since they are already doing the maximum speed limit?". But a few braved the majority and explained why they felt the blanket 4km/h tolerance might be the best solution for road safety.

1. A reader says the Institute of Advanced Motorists, a UK organisation dedicated to educating drivers to be safer motorists, once told him that when overtaking it is essential to reduce the time exposed to danger and get out and back to your own side of the road as quickly as possible. "But in NZ it is exactly when you are doing this, and momentarily exceeding the allotted 4km/h buffer, that the police car comes around the next corner!"

2. "You're in a Ford Falcon XR6 driving from Auckland to Napier," writes Andrew. "You're following an elderly lady in a 1.5-litre Daihatsu Charade. Every time it's straight, or there's a passing lane, she drives at 100km/h. But every time you go through a gorge she slows to 75km/h. What do you do? Stay behind her and take over seven hours to get to Napier? Or overtake her on a straight, even if that means driving at 115km/h for a few seconds?"

Any faster than 100km/h and it's too messy

Last word: "Ask any credible road or traffic engineer anywhere in the world and they'll tell you that 100km/h is pretty much the highest speed limit that should ever be on an undivided road ... you might be a perfectly safe driver at 115km/h, but would you be happy for the average inexperienced, distracted idiot with no situational or spatial awareness doing the same speed [to be] in the oncoming lane with only a strip of paint between them and you?"

Great parody: Website with fine dining restaurant food and drinks for the child with discerning tastes...

Local: A new series of comedy Auckland Daze starts tonight on TVOne at 10pm. Here's a taste...

Video: Terrible infomercials...

A few Christmas gift ideas:

1. A replica of the presidential parade vehicle - a 1961 Lincoln Continental X-100 (yes, the one President John F. Kennedy was riding on that fateful day)...

2. Wrap these round your Christmas tree - C3-Tree-O Lights...

Video: German guy doesn't understand this English phrase....

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

- NZ Herald

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