A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: March 28: Brutal caption

Brutal caption from this newspaper story.
Brutal caption from this newspaper story.

Search on for road rage detector

Ever experienced road rage? What if an on-board emotion-detection system could tell that you were getting annoyed and intervene? Researchers with Peugeot Citroen are exploring how technology for reading facial expressions could be used in the industry. But how would this technology be applied? A calming voice saying, "I'm not sure you should be doing that, Dave?" or better still, a proximity sensor and speed limiter that kicks in to ensure you can't tailgate, or maybe a friendly wake-up call if you're starting to doze. (Source:

One plank short of service

A reader writes of his experience at a Mitre 10 Mega:

"Can you cut this plank for me?" "Sure, no problem."

"I need it cut into three pieces." "Sorry, we can only make one cut."

"But I need two cuts, since I need three pieces." "Sorry, we don't do precision cuts."

"I don't need precision, I just need it cut into three pieces."

"Sorry, we're allowed to make only one cut for customers."

I left without buying the plank. I'll try again on the weekend with another customer service person.

Dress code gone crazy

A Christian school in Virginia has refused to re-enrol an 8-year-old girl, Sunnie Kahle , because "students have been confused about whether Kahle is a boy or girl". This from a letter to her adoptive grandparents: "We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behaviour need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that Timberlake Christian School is not the best place for her future education." (Source: Towerload)

Helping accentuate the difference

Elizabeth had a school-holiday job on a production line in a foam rubber factory. "A wedge was cut out of saucer-shaped foam pieces and my job was to glue the two edges together to make a shallow cone. The woman next to me sewed fabric on each side of them and the one next to her put them in cellophane bags labelled Accentuettes. We called them falsies."

Video: Furniture freaks out...

Picture this: The California Heritage Museum in Santa Monica is holding an exhibit of pictures from the iconic website Awkward Family Photos , who curate pictures which "celebrate the family experience and shine a light on all of those deliciously awkward moments that come with the price of family membership."

Video: A Russian father and his baby daughter are having a heated discussion about why she threw her pancake on the floor. While the baby doesn't understand a word her father is saying she can copy the intonation and body language ...

Video: Michele is a nanoscientist at Auckland University and in addition to doing real science "I try to promote scientists as being more approachable," she says. "I recently made a video to counter the one that Rhys Darby made about nanobots killing our brains," she says. Here it is...

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

- NZ Herald

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