Sideswipe: November 9: Strange allergy to the sun

Strange allergies

People who are allergic to the sun develop distinct red welts within minutes of exposure to the sun, regardless of the outside temperature. This is different to heat rash, a commonly misattributed condition caused by sweat ducts that have become clogged. It might be caused when photosensitive chemicals in the body are created in response to UV radiation, which then somehow trigger an unwarranted antibody response. There are also people who develop hives after experiencing vibrations on their skin. They can also experience flushing, headaches, and a metallic taste in the mouth following exposure. Though these symptoms only last for up to an hour, people can experience multiple episodes a day. Triggers can include rubbing a towel on your skin, riding a bike, or even clapping your hand. (Via Gizmod)

No phones in bed, says Mum

“I thought my 15-year-old was diligently plugging the charger into her phone every night before going upstairs for bed,” writes a reader. “Until I discovered she was actually plugging it into an empty phone case and taking her phone with her.”

Rugby training helps on the streets of Auckland

Roger Clarke from Te Awamutu writes: “On the question of giving way on footpaths, your original correspondent was getting bullied out of the way because she was walking on the right-hand side. When chivalry was alive and well, men walked on the gutter side of the footpath, allowing women the inside, safer course. In these post-chivalry days of equality, the tacit rule is for everyone to keep to the left (in America, keep to the right) then hold your ground against anyone who approaches against the flow. Sometimes you might have to protect your line by dropping your shoulder a fraction or raising your forearm in a fend; a bit of rugby training can help with your technique. But, generally, keeping to the left will ensure far fewer problems.”

Thin white line keeps order

A reader writes: “I’m old enough to recall the good old days when there was a white line up the middle of the footpath on each side of Queen St and pedestrians used common sense and courtesy to walk on the left side of that line.”

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