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Popular Elsewhere

15:02 UK time, Friday, 19 August 2011

A look at the stories ranking highly on various news sites.

The premise behind a well-hit Guardian story is that the Red Hot Chilli Peppers have been around longer than you think. And it has a point. The band formed in 1983 albeit with a very different line-up to today. Added to that, their bassist and drummer are 48 and 49 years old. So what's the secret to their continued success? They say it's that they still work every day, instead of being "sat on the beach eating burritos".

Fishing tales don't come much bigger than the Telegraph's most read story. It says when fishing for mackerel in Devon angler John Goldfinch hooked in a scuba diver.

And Goldfinch does jokes too. The paper quotes him as saying "When I went home and told my wife, she just said she was glad I didn't bring him home as she couldn't have eaten a whole one." Boom boom.

Sam Kean wrote a book about periodic tables. So far so boring. That's what his Chinese book illustrator thought when she designed the front cover for the Chinese audience. Her answer, explained by a baffled Kean in a popular Slate article, is to shake it up a bit by putting naked ladies on the cover. While the element cesium is represented by a bomb, it gets stranger as gold appears to be represented by a transformer but the naked women are representing barium and iodine. Kean got hold of the illustrator Bianco Tsai who explained her motivation was "to catch people's eyes, and make them curious about it."

So much for sportsmanship. A popular article in the Age reports on a "friendship" basketball match between Washington's Georgetown Hoyas and Chinese professional side the Bayi Military Rockets turning into a brawl. It's not great for diplomacy as the Age points out it's all while US Vice-President Joe Biden is in Beijing on a four-day visit to discuss US-Chinese economic relations. The story is also proving popular for the Washington Post which does its best to give a run-down of the fight, including the detail that, at one point, freshman forward Moses Ayegba, who was wearing a brace on his right leg, limped onto the court with a chair in his right hand, apparently in self defence.

NPR's audience want to know why you wouldn't build a bridge over the narrowest part of a river. In the case of the Tappan Zee Bridge over New York's Hudson River, it's all about who would collect the toll. The three-mile bridge opened in 1955 goes over one of the widest parts of the Hudson river. The investigation says the narrower part was governed by the Port Authority so it was decided it would be built over a three-mile gap so the State of New York would get the revenues. But, as the years passed highways and towns grew up around it, meaning now they are stuck with it.

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