News you may have missed...

1. A 70 year-old Devon butcher who became locked in his walk-in freezer used a large roll of black pudding to escape after realising the safety release had frozen. The freezer temperature was -20C, which is capable of killing a human in about an hour. "I used it like the police use battering rams to break door locks in," he told the Mirror earlier this year.

2. The movie Paranormal Activity had a small budget but made US$194 million (NZ$288m). During screenings, so many people walked out that one studio executive thought the film was bombing. They later learned viewers were leaving because they were too frightened. The marketing for the movie only showed people watching the movie and their reactions of jumping out of their seat.

3. The "poison squad" were government employees in the early 1900s who would test the safety of common food additives of the time by eating ingredients including formaldehyde (embalming fluid) and borax (laundry detergent). They were often students who signed up for the food additive experiment job for free room and board, they dressed in formal attire to eat and become heroes in the press. Their work led to food labelling requirements.


From Ask a Manager

Q: For the last year or so, my best friend has been working in a large open office with maybe 30 or 40 other people. This brings with it the expected annoyances of a lack of privacy and having to overhear other conversations, but it has also brought a very unexpected and unwanted surprise: a woman who often plays a ukulele in the middle of the workday ... I feel like this is the sort of thing that's beyond the pale unless it's done with the express consent of all hearers, but maybe I'm being too harsh about this?

A: Nope, you're not being too harsh. Open offices are difficult enough. It's really not cool to add a loud, entirely optional, potentially intrusive noise into the mix.

Two things to know today ...

One of the moons of Uranus is called Margaret ... And the practice of not using a person's name to avoid giving them any more attention — eg using "the Cheeto" instead of "Donald Trump" — is called voldemorting.

Author revealed

Yesterday's Sideswipe asked who was the author of this: "A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." And the answer? The inimitable Roald Dahl.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

From a reader: "This bottle of wine was a gift to my wife, who is a childcare worker, from a parent."