A Wham-inspired Xmas card by TheFidorium.

The medical dangers of kissing

According to the New England Journal of Medicine some people have such severe food allergies they can react after kissing. "Reactions began rapidly after the kiss in all interviewed subjects (all in less than one minute). All 17 reported localised itching and swelling or urticaria (hives) in the area kissed. Four subjects reported the development of wheezing with at least one episode of kissing. Patient 5 was kissed on the cheek by his mother right after she tasted pea soup on the stove and a large wheal immediately developed at the exact site of the kiss, followed in minutes by flushing, urticaria, angioedema, and severe wheezing, requiring the administration of epinephrine in the emergency department."

(Source: The Annals of Improbable Research)


Colourful Irish words


A bogn is an egg without a shell, although the word can also be used of soft, unsteady ground, as well as mushy, overcooked food - and, by extension, a spineless person.


When you fill something up to the brim but then keep on adding more, the part that lies heaped above the top of the container is the maolg. The same word is also used for someone who sticks out from a crowd, or for a small knoll or hill in an otherwise flat expanse of land.


Strocla literally means "scratcher" or "scraper" in Irish, but can be used figuratively to describe someone who works hard but is not particularly well-skilled.(Source: Mentalfloss.com)

The chic of it

A reader ordered the dress on the left online, forking out NZ$165. The dress on the right is what arrived in her mailbox more than six weeks later. She has had no response to her emails and realises now she's been scammed.

The dress on the left was ordered online and the reader received the dress on the right.
The dress on the left was ordered online and the reader received the dress on the right.

One L of a mix-up

Karen writes: "We went to visit an old friend of the family last week. This lady is elegant, elderly and insists on particular etiquette. However, that day she must have been distracted as she poured the milk into the teacup first instead of the tea itself. This is not the correct way, in fact people who do this are sometimes ridiculed by others and called a MIF (milk in first). Knowing her sense of humour and seeing an opportunity to poke a little fun I thought I'd call her a MIF. Unfortunately I got confused and called her a MILF. Surprisingly, by the look on her face, she seemed to understand what this meant. What a difference one letter can make!"

Good read #1: Honest Museum Audio Tour: "Here it is, the "Mona Lisa." You woke up early for this. You waited in line for almost an hour. You're now surrounded by seventy people, all trying to catch a glimpse of it. One of them just elbowed you while taking a photograph of it. It's behind a lot of glass. It's not very big. What I'm trying to say is: it's O.K. to feel disappointed..." Read more here.
Good read #2: The smell of freshly cut grass is actually the scent that plants release when in distress.

Video: Celebrate Christmas with a Twerkey...

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