Where there's a will

"My students were practicing narrative techniques and literary elements by writing creative stories. I gave specific content requirements (include dialogue, a conflict, a clear theme, figurative language, etc), but I gave the students free choice of topic," writes Justin Franco on Quora.

"I had one student that year who was notoriously lazy. I caught him [skiving] a couple of times and eventually told him to log off the computer and write his story by hand. He sat down and began writing. The story was due the next day, and I assumed this student would not hand one in. To my surprise, he did turn in a story, and even more astounding, it seemed decent!

"It was still clearly his language. It had grammar errors ... awkward phrasing in some parts, but other parts seemed remarkably cogent. A little too well-written and insightful in fact ... I wanted to give this student the benefit of the doubt ... Still ... something didn't seem quite right. The story seemed somehow familiar ... As I began to dwell on this idea, I realised that a couple of the plot points reminded me of something I'd seen.


"Maybe on TV? All at once, a fuzzy memory came back to me ... [he had] lifted his entire story from the plot summary of a Wikipedia article about a Will Ferrell movie, Step Brothers, and wrote it just poorly enough to make it seem believable.

Placename a gas

"Many years ago with my family we were on holiday in Denmark," writes a reader. "To get from Jutland towards our next stop (Legoland) we had to drive on the motorway, over a bridge. The town at the base of the bridge is in a windy location between the mainland and the island. It is called 'Middlefart'! You could not believe how often young children can see the name on a motorway!"

Dinner will be served in the garage ... (Via Terriblerealestateagentspictures)
Dinner will be served in the garage ... (Via Terriblerealestateagentspictures)

Rugger, geegees and a few libations, anyone?

Posh magazine Tatler asks its readers what is the poshest of all the posh words you've heard?

Rugger - Rugby

Blotto - Very drunk. Yonks - A long time, eg "Not seen you for yonks".

Bind - Bind as in problem, eg "I'm in a bit of a bind old bean".

Bate - An aristocratic term for "mood".

Awfully - Like the term "terribly", to call something "awfully" good is a posh way of saying "extremely" or "very".

Brick - A reliable or trustworthy person.

Good read:

a new study has found that both men and women tend to exhibit

when in the presence of someone they're attracted to. "The researchers claim that women are more likely to shun greasy, fatty, and generally delicious foods-like fries-in favour of healthier dishes, a behaviour that has likely evolved in response to the perception that men prioritise beauty and health in a female partner. Men, on the other hand, don't give a second thought to ordering indulgent dishes, but are more inclined to order more expensive drinks and menu items in an effort to appear successful."

Video: A riveting macro time-lapse of cell division of a tadpole egg over 33 hours.
Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz