The penny finally drops ...

1. "When I was very small, there was a shop near us with a sign that read FURNITURE RECOVERED," writes Leo. "For a long time I thought it was a detective agency that recovered stolen chairs and couches."

2."When we were little our mother 'made us better' from any childhood aches and pains with a small teaspoon of mixed butter and sugar," writes David. "We thought it was delicious and it always worked. I was pretty old when I discovered it was the aspirin mixed into this that did the trick."

3. "When I was young I had to use the pedestrian crossing outside our church," writes a reader. "I thought the sign read "Presbyterian Crossing."

Deadweight anchor

Xinhua's first English AI anchor makes debut at the World Internet Conference that opens in Wuzhen, China Wednesday. / New China TV

How to save a few hefty salaries in broadcasting. AI news reader is unveiled at the World Internet Conference in China. "This is my very first day at Xinhua News Agency," says a sharply dressed artificial intelligence news anchor. "I look forward to bringing you the brand new news experiences." "It's quite difficult to watch for more than a few minutes. It's very flat, very single-paced, it's not got rhythm, pace or emphasis," Michael Wooldridge from the University of Oxford told the BBC. And compared to a trusted human news anchor, he says that "if you're just looking at animation you've completely lost that connection to an anchor".

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Lost in translation

Three English words that have no real equivalent in any other tongue.

1. Cheesy: Lots of other languages have words for "covered in cheese", but when it comes to "cheesy" meaning "fake, garish, and trying too hard", not a lot of other words compare. "Kitsch", from German, comes close, but there's no such thing as a big, kitschy smile.

2. Spam: Not the pork-ham mash-up in a can, but the obnoxious stream of junk email that ends up in everyone's inbox. Like Spam the food is "fake meat", spam the message is a "fake email" and actually comes from a Monty Python sketch - the idea being that the junk mail piles up like the star ingredient in a Spam-loving restaurant.

3. Gobbledygook: This made up world first entered the English vocabulary in 1944, from the desk of Texas senator Maury Maverick. He was railing against overly complicated words and attempting to evoke the sound of a turkey's gobble. Of special interest were the words "implementation" and "activation" - anyone using those words, according to Maverick's memo, would be shot. (Via Curiosity.com)

Quick links

1. Thirty-eight pictures of people doing nice things for other people…

2. Security camera footage of of a mum and her two young kids and the dog returning from a walk. An exercise in wrangling for sure… the scene is set for something to happen, but its not what you expect.

Video Pick

President Reagan reacting to a balloon popping just two months after he was shot...


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