A reader writes: "While visiting friends in Beachlands, I was surprised to see none other than Dame Edna Everage looking back at me over a garden fence. Homeowners Linda and Peter Stopforth said they asked a friend to repaint granny who had looked over their fence for many years in their old house. The friend said it would be fun to change granny into Dame Edna Everage, which is why Dame Edna is there at the fence."
New technology wonders
Innovations from the tech industry event CES 2020 in Las Vegas.
• Voice-activated taps: US company Moen showcased tech-savvy taps that could dispense exact amounts of water, at a specific temperature, on request.
• "Smart" litter trays: Pricey tabby toilets that help gather and analyse your pet's stools to ensure they are in top condition. LuluPet's AI Smart Cat Litter Box includes a built-in stool and urine image recognition and "excretory behavioural algorithms" — which is not a phrase you might have ever expected to read.
• Rotating TV: Samsung's Sero TV can spin around to display vertically. It is available in Korea, and lets viewers to cast vertical video such as Instagram and TikTok from their phones to the biggest screen in the house.
• Anti-snore pillow: A Korean company's Motion Pillow supposedly puts an end to a dig in the ribs at night. Once snoring is detected, four airbags within the pillow inflate and deflate to adjust the user's head position to stop it.
• Lipstick mixer: L'Oreal's Perso lipstick mixer allows users to combine lipstick, foundation and skin care products to their liking. It can also connect to your social media accounts, allowing you to mix lipstick to match your favourite YouTube "influencer". The future of makeup or social-media obsessed hellscape? The choice is yours.
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Don't cement your salsa
In 2018 a 17-year-old student at Spalding Grammar School in the UK protested his school's "ridiculous" ban on bags by taking his books and supplies to class in a microwave, the Sun reported. It wasn't just a microwave, either. Jacob Ford also carried his supplies in a large wicker basket, part of a lawnmower and a saucepan. The "silent protest" got him a two-day suspension. The backpack ban was issued because large bags, carried by older students, were hitting younger students in the halls, the Sun reported. Students could take the bags to school but were told to carry books by hand between classes, according to the paper.