Sideswipe: February 11: Before and after gutters

A reader writes: “We were sent an email from a local company today, offering to clean our gutters. Their ‘after’ shot did nothing to inspire us to avail ourselves of their ‘services’!”

While you were sleeping

A 38-year-old US man is warning other AirPod users about the danger of swallowing the wireless ear buds after accidentally ingesting one in his sleep and undergoing surgery to have it removed. After waking up in his home in Worcester, Massachusetts, Brad Gauthier noticed that one of his AirPods was missing. He had fallen asleep with them on, but he didn’t think much of it. He went about his day, ignoring the slight discomfort in his chest, but when he tried to drink a glass of water, his throat simply filled up and he started choking. Again, he didn’t think much of it, but the missing AirPod started bugging him … Gauthier and his wife laughed about the idea of him accidentally swallowing the wireless ear bud, but the more he thought about it, the more plausible that explanation became. The AirPod was surgically removed and although the built-in speaker still works the microphone was damaged during its unusual trip.

A sign of contradiction

The Streisand Effect

A guy on Twitter who had barely any followers tweeted something nasty about Captain Tom Moore, the hero centegenarian who recently died of Covid after raising millions to fight the disease. But police in the UK soon arrested him for the offensive remark after he boasted about it to the press, so now millions of people worldwide have read the illegal words: “The only good Brit soldier is a deed one, burn auld fella, buuuuurn.” According to, the case is an example of the Streisand Effect, “where censorship only draws more attention to the problematic material at hand. But it’s also an example of another phenomenon, where vanishingly obscure material — and laws that oblige police to police it — can be intentionally exploited to justify attention given to a subject. In this case, the bad tweet is now a prop in fights over Scottish independence [Twitter], free speech [Daily Mail], nationalist appropriation of Moore [The Guardian], and every conceivable subject upon which it touches.”

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