Facts are stranger than fake news

Writer Nicole Cliffe asked her Twitter followers for their favourite weird facts and she got a few pearlers.

1. The low German (Plattdeutsch) word for vacuum is huulbessen. Literally translated it means "screaming broom".
2. Male giraffes will headbutt female giraffes in the bladder in order to make them pee, so that they can smell their urine and determine if the females are in heat.
3. The reason we associate the heart shape with love is because there was a herb named silphium that had seeds that shape. Silphium was such an effective birth control that the Romans ate it extinct. It was the basis of some economies, worth its weight in gold.
4. Boobytrap spelled backwards is partyboob.
5. Anne Frank and Martin Luther King were born the same year which was seven years after Betty White.
6. Corgi is welsh for "dwarf dog".

Fancy a trip to West Harbour?

"We live in West Harbour," writes Susan White. "For whatever idiotic reason, when developing this subdivision 30 years ago, whoever was responsible for beautifying streets decided to plant pohutukawa trees on the narrow berms. Most of the trees are now straggly and diseased and their roots are ripping up footpaths. After repeated complaints over the past two years this (pictured left) is the quality of "workmanship" that has been carried out. An eyesore and an OSH hazard.

Most of the pohutukawa trees are now straggly and diseased and their roots are ripping up footpaths. Photo / Supplied
Most of the pohutukawa trees are now straggly and diseased and their roots are ripping up footpaths. Photo / Supplied

A is for attitude, T is for respect

80s TV star Laurence Tureaud named himself professionally as Mr. T. Photo / Supplied
80s TV star Laurence Tureaud named himself professionally as Mr. T. Photo / Supplied

Eighties TV star Laurence Tureaud named himself professionally as Mr T because he hated how his father, uncle, and brother who returned from Vietnam, were disrespectfully called "boy" by white people. He wanted the first word from everybody's mouth to be "Mister" when speaking to him. The star of hit show The A Team wore odd clothing and mismatched socks because he knew that poor kids grew up getting whatever hand-me-downs they got, and he didn't want them to feel embarrassed for wearing what they had. He ditched his signature gold chains after helping clean up New Orleans post-Katrina and not wanting to be flashy when the people he was helping had literally nothing left. (Via Reddit)
Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz

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