A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: July 2: The new look


Bald and bearded two-wheel rider? Here's your new helmet. (Via @BkkGreg on Twitter)

Chinese policeman attracts big social media following

A social media account run by a police officer in China has more than 640,000 followers reading his quirky crime advice and posts debunking rumours. One piece of advice police officer Wang Haiding posts squashes a long-running urban myth about kidney thieves: "A kidney dies only hours after removal. You can do nothing with one stolen from a stranger, except stir fry it," he says. It's part of a campaign to give a more human face to both the police and officialdom. While the account is full of cute pictures of dogs and internet slang, Wang says that there's a serious point to it. "The essence of my work is to build trust," he says. Online rumours have become a major concern in China, and government attempts to control the conversation lack trust because their social media presence is often a "one-way information pipeline". The personal touch has made Wang so popular that he regularly has to tell his followers to dial the emergency services number to report a crime, rather than tell him first. (Source:

The long pocket of the law

David writes: "Do not complain about NZ police not attending scenes quickly enough. Police on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, have advised that cash is short and whoever called police to attend a catastrophe would need to pay for fuel for their vehicles to take officers to the scene."

Dropping a clanger

Times journalist Daniel Finkelstein recalls William Hague's visit to Japan: "He went with a group of MPs, and one of them had a pressing question to ask the mayor of Hiroshima. 'Everywhere else we've been in Japan, said the MP,' the streets have been higgledy-piggledy. Yet here in Hiroshima your streets are laid out in a well-organised grid. How did you achieve that?' The mayor paused and quietly responded: 'We had some help. From the Americans."' Finkelstein insists the story is true, but he won't say who the former MP is. A commenter who lived in Hiroshima says the story rings true, explaining that residents of the city are "prone to joking about the American-assisted urban renewal project of 1945".

Stupid Trade Me questions

1. Listed a rental house ... small one-unit house situated on a dairy farm. Explicitly said no pets. A few applied with a dog or cat - okay, sure, worth a try. But the question that took the cake was some plonker who asked: "Can I bring my horse? Will only have one, I will sell the other three beforehand.". Fair to say no deal.

2. Matt recently listed a bookcase and carefully measured the dimensions and advertised them in the listing in millimetres (mm). "I received a question from one watcher asking me to please convert the dimensions to centimetres (cm)!"

Video: Huge tree decimated in seconds with this heavy duty forestry mulcher...

Picture this: Ugly Belgian houses...

Picture this: Re-enacting stock photos...

Video: Swedish art director Christoffer Castor (who created an hilarious ad for his 21-year-old Volvo last month) was tapped by Volvo to make an ad for their latest car...

NZ Herald app users click here for today's video.

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

- NZ Herald

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