Diminishing freedom

"Yesterday, this country crossed over to the dark side," writes a reader to the UK's Sun newspaper. "We went from being a free-ish nation proud of its democratic traditions to one where officials talk openly about suppression of certain 'views' and 'opinions'. The Crown Prosecution Service announced that the online abuse -- hurling of barbs on Twitter and other platforms -- would for the first time be treated as a hate crime. So firing off a tweet saying something hateful or sexist about a politician or journalist will be treated as a hate crime, on a par with yelling racist abuse in someone's face or lobbing a brick through a religious building's window. Make the mistake of drunkenly tweeting that a female politician you don't like is a 'bitch' and you could have your collar felt by the cops. We live in a world in which more and more beliefs and opinions are being redefined as 'hateful'. The potential for people who simply have old-fashioned or politically incorrect views to be branded hate criminals is palpable -- and awful."

Danger of mixing your drinks

Combining a low-calorie mixer with your favourite tipple will make you seem drunker, at least to a breathalyser. Psychologists have measured the effects of using artificially sweetened drinks when drinking alcohol and found that drinking vodka mixed with diet soda boosted breath alcohol concentrations 20 per cent higher than did the same amount of vodka mixed with sugary sodas. The reason for the elevated alcohol concentration is the absence of the sugar, which slows the absorption of alcohol. (Source: cnbc.com)

Fuel app is just an inside job

"BP fuel has a new phone app," notes Brian Pinny. "You can pay for fuel with the app from inside your car. Don't even think about doing this on the outside of your car. That's against the law. Time for a rethink methinks?"

Are these your wedding photos?

"I wonder if you might help to unite another set of negatives with their rightful owner," asks photographer Micheal. "The bride's name was Joy Tuck -- not her married name. I also know the wedding was on September 6, 1969. There are 150 photos in all and I'll gladly hand them over with their digital versions." Get in touch with Sideswipe if these are your photos.


Trump high

A large shipment of carrot-coloured ecstasy pills was seized in Germany. It's thought the drugs would have been sold on the internet under the slogan "Trump makes partying great again". One side of the tablets shows Mr Trump's face and exuberant hairstyle while the president's surname is written on the reverse. More here.

Dedicated followers of fashion

Illustrated timeline of women's fashion every year from 1784-1970.

Video pick

The promo clip for the next series of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 is a mouth-watering artistic endeavour...

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz