Sideswipe: May 4: Hmm, which to scan first?

Prisoner on a Chinese reality show

In a story reminiscent of David Seymour on Dancing with the Stars, a Russian man who joined a boy band competition show on Chinese TV on a whim but quickly regretted his decision has finally been released from his three-month ordeal after making it all the way to the final. Vladislav Ivanov, a 27-year-old from Vladivostok, was working as a translator when producers reportedly noticed his good looks and asked him to sign up as a contestant. Ivanov agreed but quickly came to regret the decision. Unable to leave on his own without breaching his contract and paying a fine, he instead begged viewers to send him home and deliberately performed poorly in the hope of being voted off. His first song was a half-hearted Russian rap, in stark contrast to the high-pop of his competitors. “Please don’t make me go to the finals, I’m tired,” he said in a later episode. “I hope the judges won’t support me. While the others want to get an A, I want to get an F as it stands for freedom,” the South China Morning Post reported him as saying. His pleas went unanswered and his fan base celebrated him as an icon of “Sang culture”, a Chinese millennial concept of having a defeatist attitude toward life. Why did he do it? He thought joining the show might help his introverted personality.

Monster of Loch Ness raising a family

It seems there is not merely one but two Loch Ness monsters, and they have produced a litter of baby monsters. D.B. Wedge, a science teacher at the boys’ school attached to the Benedictine Abbey of Fort Augustus, which stands at the head of Loch Ness, told the Sunday Express that he had not seen the baby monsters but several of his pupils had and the baby monsters were three feet long. Wedge deplored the “sensationalism” of reports and suggested the use of a diving bell to explore underwater caverns where, “fed by warm springs, the last survivors of prehistoric monsters still contrive to exist”. (The New York Times, June 27, 1937)

Pull up to my bumper, baby

A reader writes: “My car is the small white Pajero Junior parked outside an apartment building in Broadway Park, Newmarket. When I arrived there were no vehicles in the visitor car parking. I parked well inside the marked white lines.  What person would park within a few millimetres from my rear bumper when they have the rest of the parking spaces available? Not only that but they were overlapping the width of the parking space and the length! I challenge anyone to find a worse example of parking anywhere in the country!”

Shower thoughts

1. The fact that Elvis was drafted into the military at the height of his stardom is so crazy to me. Like imagine you’re in the middle of a war and ya hear someone shout “cover me” and it’s Beyonce.
2. IDEA: Petition to rename country “AAA New Zealand” to make using drop-down menus easier.
3. The fastest reflex in the human body is the one between not being able to find something and claiming someone else has moved it.

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