Sideswipe: May 05: Rare African kangaroo

A reader writes: “Recently brought a Diamond Art — a hobby where you stick diamond jewels on to a pattern to look like a mosaic —entitled African Sky … Someone failed to notice the kangaroo on the left-hand side.

Modern music is awful, says science

A group of leading musicologists in their late 40s have confirmed that music has gone steadily downhill since 1996. The scientists have studied the last quarter-century of recorded music and believe there is no doubt that it has precipitously declined in quality since they were young and heard it played in nightclubs. Professor Joseph Turner said: “We’ve double- and triple-checked these results with test subjects, all born in 1976 at the latest, and this isn’t conjecture. This is objective fact. Every musical genre that’s come along after that date, any musician younger than 40 and pretty much anything produced in the last decade after I had kids, is just noise.” (The Daily Mash)

Experience Coneville Road

Parrot was a gas fiend

Alice Knott came to her death yesterday through the instrumentality of her pet parrot, an evil-dispositioned bird, who was cordially detested by everybody except his mistress. He would follow her from room to room, and was never happy except in her presence. He was generally regarded as a devil by many. His unpopularity was increased by an uncanny habit of pulling the tips off the gas burners with his strong beak and inhaling the gas until it stupefied him. He was a gas fiend, a feathered victim of the gas habit. While his young mistress was sleeping yesterday the parrot took off the lava tip in her room and started on a gas debauch. This time there was no one near to avert the consequences of his deed. When Miss Knott’s relatives, alarmed by her long silence, broke open the door they found her dead. Her little murderer was found half-unconscious by the door. When he found himself succumbing to the gas and was not rescued as usual by his mistress, he realised that something was wrong, and had wit or instinct enough to make for the door and shove his bill as far as he could underneath it. He recovered, and while the Coroner was in the house the malignant little bird was caught trying to turn on the gas again. (New York Times, September 14, 1899)

What a coincidence

A reader from Papakura writes: “Some 10 years ago my wife and I were travelling from Taumarunui to Te Kuiti on a clear, autumn morning at around 7am. As we climbed a low hill and passed through a gap between the hills, suddenly a topdressing aircraft appeared just above us flying very low.  The noise was quite scary.  When we got over our fright we laughed about it saying it was rural New Zealand and most topdressing was done in the autumn on calm days. Three years later we were travelling the same route, mid-autumn, early morning with two friends in the back.  As we came to the area of our earlier encounter we started telling the story of the scare we got.  Lo and behold as we reached the very spot a top dressing aircraft appeared, same height, same noise and same fright.  What are the odds?”

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