Friendly fire

John Dumoulin of Virginia won an international competition on Microsoft Excel proficiency, which was part of the larger Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship. People come from all over the world to test their skills at Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, though it's restricted to ages 13-22.

Said Dumoulin: "Some of the foreign countries, they've been training for hours and hours and hours on end. When you first meet the international students, everyone's friendly, but when they find out you're competing against them in the same category, they get this fire in their eyes. They want to win." (Via Weird

Skills (practical and emotional) we should all have

1. Being able to judge when it's a good time to shut up.

2. Is hygiene a skill?


3. How to be the bigger person. It doesn't kill to say sorry and admit when you're wrong.

4. Basic cooking.

5. How to swim.

7. How to use Google. (My friend's mom starts every Google search with, "Hello Google, can you tell me ...")

What would you add to that list?

Emoji enthusiast

A reader responds to yesterday's comment about overuse of emojis showing insecurity, saying they have helped him a great deal. "I am on the autism spectrum and find emotions and facial expressions very confusing. I never really know how I'm feeling and I most certainly cannot put this unknown confused feeling into words. Emojis have helped me express myself in a way that years of counselling could not. I found myself naturally drawn to certain emojis depending on how I felt and my friends quickly learnt what these meant for me, without ever having to put words to them. Why would I write, "I'm not sure how I feel, I guess I'm as sad as is normal for me because of how much I hate myself but I did do a 3-minute handstand this morning so I guess I'm not a complete failure and the world isn't ending?" when I can just put the cute sad looking octopus and everyone understands me perfectly. It seems like an effective and efficient choice to me."

But where to take it...

Either "Please use caution" or "Please take care" would have worked here.

Quick clips

1) Timing is everything. 2) He could do this all day.

Making a semi-informed decision

If you are pondering who you might vote for, On The Fence is a handy online tool where you can find out which political personality you like fits your belief system. Check it out here.

Video Pick

How to build a human... (explained with dry British humour and a little bit of swearing)

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at