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Web Monitor

16:58 UK time, Monday, 13 July 2009

A celebration of the riches of the web.

You don't have to be in your teens to make it into today's Web Monitor, but it helps. Make sure you share your favourite bits of the web with us by sending your links via the comment box.

Daniel Radcliffe• At the New York premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Daniel Radcliffe (who the Mirror says is now worth £30m) impressed Jada Yuan from the New Yorker magazine not just because he reportedly said "tap dancing is so cool" but mostly because he held all other reporters at bay to conduct an "adorable" interview with "terrified" 11-year-old reporter Danielle from Scholastic News (the US version of BBC School Report). Here is part of the interview from Yuan's perspective:

Danielle: "How did Harry change from the first movie to the second? I mean, the sixth?"
Radcliffe: "To the sixth? Well, he grew marginally taller. The films have gotten a lot darker since that first film, so I think he has had to get a lot tougher since then. Thank you very much."
Danielle [holding breath, then nearly dropping mike]: "Oh. My. God. Oh. My. God. That was soooo cool!"

• Psychologist Richard Stephens of Keele University has come up with a useful rebuff for teenagers chastised by their parents for swearing. Whilst the argument that swearing shows a low range of vocabulary may still be true, Scientific American reports on the study led by Stephens which found swearing helps relieve pain. An experiment where college students had to keep their hands immersed in cold water found that those who swore more reported less pain and endured it for 40 seconds longer than others. Stephens goes one further:

"I would advise people, if they hurt themselves, to swear."

Sasha Baron Cohen
• The debate about the effect the film Bruno will have on gay rights continues. Web Monitor reported last week that film critic ST VanAirsdale welcomed a gay protagonist in a Blockbuster as a good thing for gay rights. Now USA today report the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have had a chance to see the film and disagree. GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios says the film reinforces gay stereotypes. It turns out that Universal had already shown the film to GLAAD members and asked for their feedback but according to Barrios, the offending scenes stayed in, including a scene with a baby sharing a gay jacuzzi party. USA Today reports that Universal defends itself, saying the film:

" ...uses provocative comedy to powerfully shed light on the absurdity of many kinds of intolerance and ignorance, including homophobia."

• In a move not seen since that 1991 film Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead, a 15-year-old intern, Matthew Robson, has made a splash whilst on work experience. The front page of the Financial Times carried a story this morning about the intern's report he wrote during his work experience at Morgan Stanley on the media habits of young people. The 'Teenage Scribbler's' report was described as "one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen" by Morgan Stanley's Edward Hill-Wood. The Guardian highlighted his dismissal of Twitter as for old people and reproduced the report which said big TVs are hot but anything with wires is, like, so not cool.

• In the Weekly Standard, US political satirist PJ O'Rourke is getting hot under the collar about TV pundits calling them badly informed lazy so-and-sos. He imagined an advert for newspaper reporters to become TV Pundits:

"Facts? Your producer will pull them out of a hat. Figures? Computer graphics whiz-kids will generate them for you. Sick of running down reliable sources? Had it with standing up for journalistic principles? Give those tired dogs a rest!"

Maybe O'Rourke should refer to Joshua Green's plea in the Atlantic to regulate pundits and following on from that Conor Friedersdorf's idea to make pundits bet on their predictions, both previously in Web Monitor.

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