Sideswipe: April 01: Where’s the purple Wiggle?

Things your younger self thought were true

1. “Drink-driving meant people drinking while they were actually driving, i.e. had a glass of red wine sitting on the dashboard.”

2. “First job after leaving school … thought you paid tax then at end of year got it all back! I thought it was some kind of loan to the government. Heard mum and dad mention getting ‘tax-back’ over the years and thought that was what happened!”

3. “I thought when you were 40 you had all your teeth out and had dentures.”

4. “I thought the Outer Hebrides weren’t real – like a phrase to describe something as very far away.”

5. “When I was little I was watching a TV drama (to be continued next week) with my dad. He told me that all the actors had to stay in that position until the next episode … and I believed him. Used to worry what they did about eating and going to the toilet, for a whole week!! Believed that for ages.”

6. “Until maybe six years ago I thought zebras were fictional. I remember my parents telling me that a Zebra was a horse in its pyjamas ready for bed. So I spent many years thinking any pictures I saw of a zebra was a horse made to look like it was in pyjamas. Not my best moment when I realised.”


The family of the late great Leonard Nimoy have partnered with the Boston Museum of Science to create a 20-foot illuminated, stainless steel monument statue of the iconic hand gesture that the actor made famous as the symbol of”Live Long and Prosper”.

Nature heal thyself

Produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, The Year Earth Changed is an upcoming documentary that looks at what happened to the natural world when much of the world’s human population stayed indoors for a few months. “From hearing birdsong in deserted cities, to witnessing whales communicating in new ways, to encountering capybaras in South American suburbs, people all over the world have had the chance to engage with nature like never before. In the one-hour special, viewers will witness how changes in human behaviour — reducing cruise ship traffic, closing beaches a few days a year, identifying more harmonious ways for humans and wildlife to coexist — can have a profound impact on nature. The documentary, narrated by David Attenborough, is a love letter to planet Earth, highlighting the ways nature bouncing back can give us hope for the future.”

Anti-procrastination coach

A young “online supervisor” from Xinyang, China, makes a living out of helping people combat procrastination. He will text and call them with equal parts pressure and encouragement. With so many distractions a click or swipe away, procrastination is a modern-day “plague”, so Xiao Zhu’s business is booming motivating people to get work-related tasks done or help them stick to a weight-loss routine or study for an exam. He keeps track of his customers’ schedule, constantly reminding them that they have things to do. Zhu estimates that he has worked with more than 20,000 clients over the past six years, helping them battle the monster that is procrastination. He spends about 15 hours of his day texting and calling clients. The vast majority of his clients are young people aged 18 to 30, who live by themselves and lack self-discipline.

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