Sideswipe

The New Zealand Herald - - Entertainment - Ana Samways | ana.samways@nzher­ald.co.nz

Did you know about . . .

1. Tokyo’s in­cred­i­bly ef­fi­cient re­cy­cling sys­tems. All com­bustible trash is in­cin­er­ated, the smoke and gasses cleaned be­fore re­lease, and then the left­over ash is used as a re­place­ment for clay in the ce­ment used for con­struc­tion.

2. The phrase “He never mar­ried” was com­monly used by obit­u­ary writ­ers in the United King­dom as a eu­phemism for the de­ceased hav­ing be­ing ho­mo­sex­ual.

3. A group of 15 mon­keys once used trees to cat­a­pult them­selves over a 17ft high elec­tric fence af­ter es­cap­ing a re­search in­sti­tute in Ky­oto Univer­sity.

4. Ari­zona has a Stupid Mo­torist Law that fines mo­torists the cost of the res­cue for get­ting trapped in floods af­ter go­ing around the road bar­ri­cades.

5. Oak Ridge, a city built in the US in 1942 where 100,000 peo­ple lived and worked in a fac­tory, do­ing very spe­cific tasks, with most hav­ing no idea of what they were mak­ing. In 1945 they saw news re­ports of the atomic bomb­ings of Ja­pan and re­alised they’d been work­ing on the bombs all along.

Who hears, wins

Ac­cord­ing to a study in mice, the brain might come with a noise­can­celling feature: it may help you ig­nore the sound of your own foot­steps or the crunch­ing of your bites. Re­searchers found that the brain of mice can­celled out the sound of their own foot­steps, which es­sen­tially al­lowed them to fo­cus on sur­round­ing sounds, such as those from ap­proach­ing cats.

As­ton­ish­ing chem­istry per­fect for big screen

“I’m just say­ing I wouldn’t be un­in­ter­ested in a feature-length com­edy about two cathe­dral-lov­ing Rus­sian gays whose dream hol­i­day to Sal­is­bury via Bow turns into a night­mare when they’re ac­cused of car­ry­ing out a deadly nerve attack.” (Via @steven­perkins)

A com­mu­nica­tive cu­cum­ber.

Op­ti­cal il­lu­sion. “Hard to be­lieve that this new paving in High­bury Birken­head is ac­tu­ally flat! Prob­a­bly a de­vice to slow down walk­ers!”

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