Sideswipe: December 7: Invisible park benches

Make mine a quadruple

UK-based Anno Distillers has launched the “world’s strongest gin”, a spirit so string that it comes with a small beaker for precise dosing, as well as clear mixing instructions. With a 95% ABV, the Anno Extreme 95 gin is definitely not meant to be enjoyed straight. Its creators recommend it served as a “light G&T”, using only 5ml of spirit, tonic water and a slice of grapefruit as garnish. To help you with those measurements, the gin comes with a small measuring beaker. A product at around 70 per cent alcohol content would be classed as a hazardous liquid by most shipping companies, so the product is mostly a PR stunt to achieve the world record.

Trolling your landlord

How to make December more exhausting

Send Christmas cards
They’re a thoughtful and old-fashioned way to give yourself loads of stuff to do for no reason. You’ll definitely WhatsApp the recipient before the card arrives, so you might as well just send a Santa emoji instead and be done with it.
Shop responsibly
Amazon doesn’t pay enough tax and treats its workers badly, so you must spend December typing in your card details and paying eye-watering amounts for delivery on 50 different websites. It’s both highly responsible and tediously inconvenient.
Invite a vegan
Christmas dinner with all the trimmings not complicated enough for you? Guarantee panicky and stressful meal planning by inviting a vegan, preferably one that is also allergic to nuts and can’t tolerate gluten. (Read more here)

Packaging overkill

“I appreciate the trouble the cycle shop took to pack my new bicycle helmet for shipping,” writes Peter. “But I can’t help wondering whether, if it is so fragile as to need this level of cushioning, it is going to be up to the job of protecting my head.”

Last word

“I’m just astounded by the dysfunction, the willingness to just stay the course as hundreds of thousands of people die, and the unwillingness to innovate in literally any way. I’ve realised that when we need to rise up as a country, we have truly no moral capacity to do it. It’s just the most mind-bending, complete Twilight Zone experience that makes you ask why the hell we even bother.” Harvard epidemiologist Dr Michael Mina.

Carb time lapse
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