It True? readers are set straight on those things we always assumed to be true, but really aren't.' />

An extrovert trapped in the body of a politician. Minister Paula Bennett was all over Twitter for her extravagant posing at the Young Nats Ball. Tweeter @lolNZPolitics thought this parody was most apt.

Invercargill ground zero for instant coffee
In Max Cryer's latest book Is It True? readers are set straight on those things we always assumed to be true, but really aren't. According to Cryer, it's widely thought that instant coffee was invented in Chicago, but not so ... "Perhaps they didn't notice that coffee had already been on sale for 11 years in the New Zealand city of Invercargill," he writes. "Invented there by David Strang (patent No 3518 in 1890), and described as 'soluble coffee powder - made instantly with boiling water - it could be made in a breakfast cup'. Coffee mills in New Zealand had been established in Invercargill since 1872."

Strange but true
1) Officials in Sudan seized at least 70 female sheep that had male sexual organs sewn on - the result of livestock smugglers trying to circumvent export restrictions. (Ewes are valued more highly, and their sale is limited.) Authorities had been treating the inspections as routine until they spotted one "ram" urinating from the female posture.
2) Marine wildlife experts in Australia issued a stern warning to beachgoers after photos of a teen posing with a dead shark came to light. The girl, who came to check out a copper shark that washed up on Marcoola Beach, north of Brisbane, is shown in pictures straddling the dead, 3m shark. If the animal has just washed up on shore, there is a chance that it could still be alive, they warn. (Source: Sunshine Coast Daily)
Oh how time flies ...
Today is Sideswipe's 12th anniversary. Egads! Largely thanks to a steady flow of reader contributions, I have been able to put together an often amusing, sometimes irreverent mish-mash of oddities and quibbles for a very long time. Well done, you! You are funny, opinionated buggers from all backgrounds and I couldn't do it without you. I shall celebrate with a midday drink and a wedge of cake.

Picture this: "Meanwhile, in an alternate universe, the Nirvana/Hole story took a decidedly different turn," tweets actor Patton Oswalt.

Picture this: Now that's a royal photo I'd like to see...


Ads I grew up on:
You're going to shout when the Fruju hits you...
Dream Merchants waterbed fairy tale...
.... And Nut Roll ditty came flooding back to me...

Video: An incredible compilation of landings and take-offs at Birmingham Airport over a particularly stormy period...

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