"Why does the Auckland Council allow a group of people to use the front of the museum as a gym area?" asks Josephine Dougal. "Isn't it considered a consecrated area? It's an area where people go to pay their respects at Anzac Day. Why not use the grassed area and show some respect."

Strange but true
1. Damn fine motor skills: If you need a spot of surgery, you could go through the public health system or simply find a teenager who is really good at playing Halo. A recent study found that teenage gamers are better virtual surgeons than medical residents.

2. Baby Bilbo: Name website Nameberry reckons next year names will be influenced by blockbusters, following another instalment of The Hunger Games and the start of The Hobbit trilogy. "Freya, Linnea, Signy, Astrid, Soren, Leif and Lars are other appealing choices and one of the major characters in the upcoming Hobbit movie is named Thorin," says the Daily Mail. "While Leonie, Lionel and Lev, Leopold and Leonora are expected to make headway ... ."

Cars replace public transport
Cynthia writes: "All this talk about the inner-city rail loop, and getting Aucklanders 'on board' the public transport system in general ... At the weekend, the trains on the Western Line were replaced by railbuses, which don't recognise the electronic card/ticket system - meaning that people who had committed to the rail system by paying for a monthly pass had to pay again for the replacement transport. No, we used the car instead. This, on top of the morning train being cancelled once, and running five to 10 minutes late twice - all in the last week ..."


Pheasants not for eating
"The pheasants in Cornwall Park have become very trusting of humans over the years," says a reader. "To the gentleman who recently caught a pheasant, wrung its neck and then took off with it in his car ... We don't do that sort of thing in this country."

One grateful young iPod owner
Hannah Ferguson, 11, was overjoyed when the iPod she got for her birthday was found at the Taste Festival information centre after she lost it on Sunday. She says "an enormous thank you" to the honest person who handed it in.

TV: Nice videobomb lady.

The meme that never dies: Remember Dramatic Chipmunk?
Well, here's Dramatic Mugshot...
Kids: All that effort and expense parents go to create a show-stopping kid's birthday cake is usually wasted on a bunch of 10-year-old boys... All you need for the 'meanest cake eva' is to nip down to Bunnings buy a piece of guttering and fill it with all the garish stuff kids like and you've made a show stealing Gutter Cake.

Video: French condom ad with a difference...Go here.
Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz