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16:40 UK time, Friday, 21 November 2008

I imagine that by now we all know recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. But despite continued dark mutterings in the press of a possible "depression", I've not read any explanation of how exactly that differs from a plain old recession, only vague implications that it's jolly bad. Does anyone know?
Tom, London

I have a new addition to the Crunch Creep... Has anyone else's enjoyment of the BBC news site (including the delights of the Monitor) been diminished by the redundancy of a "news-buddy"? Many slow afternoons were whiled away by sending a colleague a funny news item and he the same in return. Maybe someone could set up a Facebook group to provide support for those in need?
PS: Steve - if you're reading this you're greatly missed. The news quiz just won't be the same without you.
Molly, Dorking

So, the Dubai hotel opening ceremony could be "seen from space" (Quote of the Day). Well, I've just checked on Google Earth, and so can my back garden.
Steve, Southampton, UK

I think we can safely assume the reason model Karolina Kurkova has no belly button is most certainly cosmetic rather than medical. Even if it was initially removed for medical reasons, the fact she still does not have one now must be cosmetic. As a model, her body image is her whole business and I am sure she could easily afford to have one cosmetically added. She could even put it on expenses. If she is at a loss as to what to do with the space, maybe the Mattel logo would complete the desired look?
Rob Mansfield, London

Come on then - how many of you surreptitiously clicked on the Baaps link next to the belly button story expecting something a bit more "interesting" than plastic surgery? Hmm??
Susie, London

If a kidnapper kidnapped me and handed me a gun and told me to shoot one person or he would shoot six then I would happily shoot the kidnapper and then write a book called "I was kidnapped by an idiot."
Hugo Klemmons, Canada

OK, so I'm a dancing pig in Cuban heels according to 7 days 7 questions, for a score of nil. But all the people I know say I'm contributing to the fun and entertainment ethos of the quiz, so can I take part again next week?
David Ph, London, UK

It must be time for the Who Do You Think You Are team to trace the actor James Cromwell's family tree - surely he's a descendant of Nicolaus Copernicus?David Slater, Kilmarnock, Scotland

I know children are more technically-minded these days, but I really do hope that the internet is largely beyond the capabilities of the average four-year-old. Otherwise poor little Eamon knows exactly what he's getting for Christmas (What is the point of Woolworths?).
Nik Edwards, Aylesbury

Dave Godfrey asks for suggestions as to which half of us can grow moustaches, left or right (Thursday letters). I think you'll find it's actually the top half.
Steve, Catford

I suggest the front half.
Anne R, Fareham

It's far less than half. Without measuring myself exactly, probably only about one three-hundredth of me can grow a moustache.
Graham, Purmerend, Netherlands

To all of those over the past few weeks who have criticised Laurie Taylor's column for not offering any conclusion - it's a spoiler! Listen to the week's edition of Thinking Allowed (linked to from the article and available as an all-singing-all-dancing podcast), and all will become clearer. Poor Laurie. Perhaps his articles should be more clearly marked as bait to lure us into radio...
Aimee, St. Andrews, Scotland

All the talk of words with an unnecessary "pre" added brought to my attention the seemingly new phenomenon of "pre-news", such as this story which is to tell us there will be some news later.
Naomi P, Sussex

Letters at 22:54?! Is the Credit Crunch hitting so hard that Monitor is having to do lots of overtime?
Basil Long, Leicester

Just in case I ever get another letter published, I thought it best to inform the Magazine Monitor that I used to be Adam of Brussels, Belgiumland. There's always the possibility that someone's keeping tabs on these things, you know.
Adam, Seattle, Americaland

Why do so many of your published letters end with a question mark?
Liz, Reston, VA, USA

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