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Paper Monitor

12:02 UK time, Thursday, 4 February 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The problem may be with the accelerator pedal, but the Times for one is not shy of stepping on the gas on the Toyota story.

Its coverage is infographics-a-go-go (links to PDF), with a detailed technical illustration of the accelerator pedal and, in, particular the rogue friction pad.

So excited is it by the story that it dispatches a reporter to one of Toyota's suppliers in Scotland, a tale told in a blue "Behind the story" box as part of its double-page spread.

"The Scottish factory has had contracts to supply 'throttle position sensors' to Toyota's plant in Burnaston, near Derby, which has made nearly 350,000 Auris and Avensis models over the past two years."

OK, so that's established that, then. But wait, there's more.

"A request to speak with Kenny Hall, the company's finance director, was granted, but Mr Hall declined to comment on the relationship with Toyota.... Outside, an employee having a break was equally reticent. Could he confirm that the company supplies Toyota with parts? 'No, I couldn't possibly confirm that,' he said, before smiling awkwardly and stubbing out his cigarette."

Well, that was well worth the trip then.

More revealing is its article on why mosquitoes pick and choose between humans. As one largely left unmolested by mozzy bites - unless no-one else is around on which to feast - Paper Monitor notes that researchers say they tend to target those who sweat more.

As the old adage goes, men sweat, women perspire and your humble correspondent merely glows.

And finally, a wonderfully evocative headline from the Daily Mail: "Village in fear of the unpleasant pheasant".

The sub-editor who came up with this beauty deserves an extra dollop of custard on his/her Spotted Dick at the canteen this evening. For the bird does indeed sound unpleasant:

"Men, women, children, prams, bikes, dogs and even cars have all fallen victim to the psychopathic fowl, which some believe is out to avenge its dead relatives."

Kudos, then, to the photographer who risked life and limb to get an up close and personal snap of the bad-tempered bird. How he or she escaped unscathed is not explained in the article.

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