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Paper Monitor

10:29 UK time, Thursday, 11 September 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Yup, it's the morning after the day before and the biggest story in town is also the most infinitesimally small. The Large Hadron Colander - not a slip of the tongue, but a bid by Paper Monitor to win the £500 prize offered by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and noted in Metro, for anyone who can come up with a more exciting name for the Large Hadron Collider.

Hold on, CHEMISTRY! Paper Monitor thought the physics dudes had this CERN gig wrapped up for themselves.

No matter (if you'll excuse the physicist-style pun). The BScs can argue that out for themselves. The challenge for the papers is how to convey this Big Physics stuff to your average arts graduate - cf yesterday's Guardian exploits with Gummi Bears.

To the Daily Mail - which, with its picture of Captain Birds Eye to explain the Higgs boson particle (bosun, geddit???) risks being clever-clever in its efforts to dumb down.

Telegraph writer Neil Tweedie shows how it should be done, especially given the challenge of going all the way to CERN HQ in Switzerland to write an entertaining colour piece about the atomic equivalent of the 400 meters sprint.

The switch-on itself is a lot of hype, we're told, in advance of the real fireworks some months down the line when they actually start smashing protons into each other.

Or as Tweedie tells it: "In reality, yesterday's global media event was the equivalent of turning on your new Ferrari, letting the engine tick over for five minutes and going back inside for a cup of tea."

Delicious - the prose that is, not the tea, which never is on the Continent.

Not that such trifling issues will be troubling your average England fan, making his/her way back from Croatia after last night's 4-1 victory, thanks in large part to the footwork of Theo Walcott.

Paper Monitor is old enough to remember the high jinks and japes headline writers got up to when a certain Wayne Rooney burst on to the England scene, with all that Roo-tiful, Roo-One etc.

So, any promising puns for England's new bright young star? "TRIO WALCOTT" chirp the Sun and Guardian. "ENGLAND'S NIGHT OF GLORY ONE! TWO! THEO!" says the Mirror.

The boys done well, but it's still early days, Brian.

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