Who's been sitting in my seat?

Mt Albert resident Anna Farrell went to the movies at St Lukes. Seating places were allocated at the box office, and when she went into the cinema, the only other people there were all in the back row. Because she likes to sit in the centre, she sat three rows down. Absolutely no other seat in the theatre was occupied. Minutes later, a late-comer asked her to move because she was in his allocated place.

Origin of spooky things

1. Friday the 13th: There's a word for the fear of it: triskaidekaphobia. The superstitions are less concrete. One theory traces it to the Last Supper, attended by 12 apostles and Jesus, and the fact that the crucifixion traditionally took place on a Friday. The combined fear of Fridays and the number 13, however, didn't really take hold until the early 20th century, when Thomas Lawson published a book called (surprise) Friday, the Thirteenth.

2. Flying broomsticks: Broomsticks became associated with flying because of witches' "flying ointment", a potion made up of various hallucinogens, like the fungus ergot that grew on rye. Since ingesting the ointment orally led to a host of unpleasant side-effects, witches chasing a high supposedly used the broomstick to administer it through, well, other areas. Apparently, it felt like flying. (Via Mental Floss)

MMP pie reheated

Further to yesterday's pie analogy explaining MMP

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A reader writes: "Or, Jacinda buys the pie with the other two but then Winston said he didn't realise the mince pie had cheese in it - that's way 'too fancy ... back in the day a proper pie just had mince. Could we not have got a good old mince pie like they serve at the RSA?' Then James pipes in, 'Oh, I didn't realise that the pie had dead animal in it, did they not have a broccoli pie available?' While they were all arguing the pie went cold and stale, so the bakery had to make a new one at great expense to the New Zealand public. This time it was suggested the pie would be auctioned with the winner of the auction to get the pie and not waste the baker's time and ingredients."

Jokes you can tell your kids

1. Q: What's the difference between a hippo and a zippo?

A: One's really heavy, the other's a little lighter.

2. Q: What do you call a Frenchman wearing sandals?

A: Philippe Philoppe.

Time to defriend your folks?

Quick links

1. Catch up with the news around the world in pictures ...

2. This clip by is a darkly amusing and insightful exploration of ageing and death.

3. People, we have reached peak ripped jeans trend.

Video Pick

Awkward stretcher attempts...


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