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Web Monitor

15:18 UK time, Thursday, 7 May 2009

A celebration of the riches of the web.

Hello again from Web Monitor, which has been clicking upon websites to give you the most interesting bits. Make sure you share your best links with us by either sending us a comment via the box to the right of this page or recommending it to us on Delicious - we're called "bbcwebmonitor".

Katy Perry• First off, singer Katy Perry has been telling Popeater that her new song has been inspired by her own fake wedding:

"We went to Vegas on a whim and we decided to get fake married. We took all the pictures with the minister, with the fake cake, in the fake chapel and got a fake marriage certificate. We went and bought a wedding dress and a suit at a thrift store, and scanned the pictures and the certificate to my family members, my manager at the time [and] totally freaked the s--- out of them. It was the most hilarious, stupid prank I've ever pulled."

But why?

Raw footage from inside the Liberty Sun, a US merchant ship carrying food aid to Kenya and attacked by pirates, has been posted on YouTube by Wired magazine. The journal of all things tech says the wider context of the video is a debate in the US about whether commercial ships can carry their own arms. Having watched the video, Web Monitor wonders whether they should also carry mic muffs.

• Is Nasa going all Nigella? It's sending a laboratory full of yeast into space today. Slate magazine looks at what's so great about yeast for scientists, and, disappointing it's not about making pizza bases in zero gravity. It turns out that not only are yeast cells like human cells, they are also flexible and safe to test on. Fancy.

• An old myth about hard times is that women buy more liptsick in a recession as a pick-me-up. Markteting Magazine has tut-tutted this as nonsense, finding that women prefer to spend the money on facewash. In fact, it's also debunked a host of other recession myths such as the fact that "staying is is the new going out" Wrong again. There's been an increase in cinema ticket sales and people aren't ditching branded products and charity giving is up.

• Following a list being released of Americans banned from the UK, Mental Floss magazine lists past US citizens banned from our isles. Reasons include support of Welsh miners and disbelief from the border controls when a tourist said they intended to spend the week in Gateshead. Perhaps Philip, late of the Apprentice, from neighbouring County Durham, could plough his energies into improving the town's image now that he has more time on his hands.

• Talking of which, how's this for a quote from the Apprentice's Lorraine:

"He's apologised to me for what he said about me and as far as I am concerned, that's the end of it."

...only it wasn't Lorraine, it was committed Conservative blogger Iain Dale trying to wrap up a long-running feud with Labour blogosphere foe Derek Draper. It comes as Drape, editor of LabourList, announced his resignation a month after a hullabaloo over some e-mails. Well there's nothing that bloggers love blogging about more than other bloggers, which is why Dale published the news that he got to break the news seven hours earlier than Derek Draper announced it. Still with me?
Dale then gave a bullet point list of site improvements.
Ahead of its time in many ways was Rap Log - a right-wing log of British news though the medium of rap (obviously).One rap was calling for Derek Draper's resignation back in February in the rap This Is Why. Derek had annoyed Rap Log for following him and the rest of Iain Dales followers, on Twitter. In the words of Rap Log:

"Stick your headphones on and get that sub-bass pumping... politics will never be the same..."

• At first it seemed like this advert for a furniture warehouse, is desperately trying to sell sofas based on their contribution to healthy race relations. Oh how we laughed at the ridiculous ad-men! Then, Gawker reveals that the advertisers knew what they were doing all along and are being tongue in cheek. Does it make it funnier? Judging by how we left things at Sterling Cooper on Tuesday night, it's the ad men who need something to chuckle about.

• If you're feeling a little under-valued by your peers, remember everyone gets criticism now and again, even Julie Andrews.
Cynical-C collects one-star Amazon reviews of classic movies, music, literature and Julie Andrews in his "You can't please everyone" series. On This is Spinal Tap a reviewer pointed out: "If you're going to make such an excellent documentary, why make it about a band that nobody has ever heard of?" Fair point.
On the Beatles album Abbey Road it was suggested: "Why do you need this when you have Pink?" When you put it like that...

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