Mourning life as you know it
A South Korean service offers free funerals for the living to get a perspective on life. Thousands have taken part in "living funeral" services at Hyowon Healing Centre. "Once you become conscious of death, and experience it, you undertake a new approach to life," said 75-year-old Cho Jae-hee.
Kiwi female mayor first
The headline from 1930 "Canada's first woman Mayor won't neglect her housework' sent Clark Thomborson down a rabbit hole of papers. He discovered that Onehunga elected a female mayor the "day after the first general election in which women could vote".
Elizabeth Yates's victory was big news in New Zealand and around the empire, and she received congratulations from Premier Richard Seddon and Queen Victoria.
The Herald 's report read: "A spirited contest [in which] numbers of vehicles were busily engaged plying to and fro with voters."
There's no mention of the new mayor's gender aside from the "Mrs". The Evening Post played the gender card explicitly in its headline, with a brief story that reveals only one qualification of Onehunga's new mayor: she's the "wife of ... a well-known resident". Wow.
Handbag found, thank you
A reader writes: "I arrived from overseas on a late flight into Auckland. In the process of putting luggage into our car at about 11.30pm I overlooked my handbag. It wasn't until I reached home that I realised I had left my handbag in the carpark. Of course it contained my passport, credit cards, driving licence, Supergold card and cash.
"Some wonderful person found the bag about and went to the trouble of dropping it at the Manukau police station. At 1am the handbag and I were reunited. Unfortunately the police are not permitted to give me contact details of my saviour. I certainly owe that person gratitude."
Word of the day
Kittle-pitchering (18th century slang) — interrupting a boring person who tries to tell a long story by throwing in questions about minor details; from "kittle" (to puzzle with a question) and "pitcher" (to throw in). ( Via QI )