Complaining by the numbers
"Access to Maungarei/Mt Wellington is now blocked to cars belonging to the general public by a huge gate," writes Julie Chambers. "Apparently, the road is available in special circumstances if you call the Maunga Authority who have been 'co-managing' Auckland's volcanic cones for a couple of years. I recently had to wait over 20 minutes for the authority to answer the phone. So I complained. The gentleman on the phone gave me a 'complaint reference number', something like: 1912091308341R ... What could the number mean? Has the authority had over 1,912,091,308,341 complaints since it took over?"
Midlife rut in life's road
Age, we're told, is just a number. That number, however, can be a key indicator. An economics professor at Dartmouth College studied data from 132 countries to measure the relationship between wellbeing and age. He found mid-life crisis was real, the age of peak misery was 47.2 years and it could be linked to a breakdown in social relations that came with middle age, such as divorce. He added that the 2008 financial crisis triggered the rise of individualism against a backdrop of falling social connectivity. This led to a breakdown with community and made it very hard for the vulnerable undergoing a midlife crisis. (Via The Telegraph )
Words you didn't know you needed
Expand your vocab and drop a few of these into a conversation ...
Aglet: The plastic on the end of shoelaces.
Borborygmus: A rumbling in your stomach. Time for lunch!
Balter: "To dance badly" aka like David Seymour.
Sciapodous: Having large feet.
Cataglottism: A great way to make "French kiss" sound less sexy.
Natiform: Bum shaped.
Griffonage: Sloppy handwriting.
Tyrotoxism: "To poison with cheese".
(Via Curiosity.com )
Grandparents or speed demons?
A reader writes: "We recently received two speeding tickets which were issued on Christmas morning. The first at 7.30am (7km over the limit) in a quiet, residential street en route to present opening with our grandkids and the second on our return trip (9km over) to prepare the Christmas turkey. Sour grapes, revenue collecting or the Grinch disguised as police?"
Dumb family fights
Karen Rennie, of Henderson, writes: "On a holiday trip with the girls in the back, I heard, "Muuuum, she's got her finger on my side of the seat!" This story gets pulled out regularly at family gatherings.
Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at firstname.lastname@example.org