Who needs a phone book these days?

"I find it hard to think of a more pointless exercise than the annual delivery of what we used to call the telephone book," a Westmere reader writes. "Mine just arrived and went, as it does every year, straight into the recycling. I have tried to get our address taken off the delivery list, to no avail. Does anyone use them in a smartphone world? By my calculation, it puts 350 tonnes into the waste stream each year. Perhaps the company that produces them could devote the resources to a website that works."

Don't rinse dishes

If you rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, says you should stop. Apparently dishes need to be dirty for the dishwasher detergent to do its job, because the enzymes in it are designed to attach themselves to food particles. Without food, the enzymes have nothing to latch on to. Today's dishwashers are more savvy than those in grandma's day. They have advanced sprayer technology and sensors that detect how dirty your dishes are, says Forte. Plus pre-rinsing at the sink (and washing dishes by hand, for that matter) seriously wastes water and energy.

Light lunch

Doctors at a Saudi hospital found a lightbulb in the stomach of a 21-year-old man. He went to the emergency department suffering from fatigue, nausea and a high fever. Al-Ahsa hospital said the patient was immediately sent to the operating theatre to extract a foreign object in his abdomen - which turned out to be a lightbulb he had swallowed when he was 10. (english.alarabiya.net)

Watch, kids, no hands!

"Good on Alf Hoyle for recalling his push-button starter on his Model A," writes Dave Field of Ngongotaha. "When my children were small (1960s) we had a Ford Falcon station wagon with a floor-mounted push-button window squirter and the kids were always amazed to see me wash the windscreen while not taking my hands from the steering wheel!"

"The council is very stroppy about a long list of forbidden weeds and palms," writes Colin. "This is only half of the dreaded moth plant growing over the fence in the council carpark next to their HQ in Graham St."

Picture this:

This building in Amersfoort, Netherlands looks pretty ordinary...until you take a closer look. The facade is decorated with

that run the gamut of feelings from joy to despair.

Quick clip: A baby octopus, swimming.

Video: Twin babies acting out scene from Frozen is better than it sounds...

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