BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor

Archives for October 24, 2010 - October 30, 2010

10 things we didn't know last week

16:44 UK time, Friday, 29 October 2010

Snippets from the week's news, sliced, diced and processed for your convenience.

1. Crows go to school.
More details

2. Flamingos use make-up.
More details

3. John and Margaret were the most popular baby names for 30 years.
More details

4. Polar bears wave.
More details (Daily Mail)

5. More than half of all Americans dress up at Halloween.
More details

6. The normal lifespan of an octopus is three years.
More details (The Australian)

7. Liberalism is genetic.
More details (The Guardian)

8. A footballer can be allergic to grass.
More details (The Sun)

9. Mount Everest has its own 3G wireless network.
More details

10. Some 7.2 million British people get by without a wristwatch.
More details

Seen 10 things? Send us a picture to use next week. Thanks to Vic Barton-Walderstadt for this week's picture of 10 water droplets.

Your Letters

15:48 UK time, Friday, 29 October 2010

I was going to get up and take a walk to combat my sedentary lifestyle but there was a bit at the end of the article about not taking risks and it looks like it could rain so...
Chris Clarke, Grenoble, France

Re: Apathy in the UK. Bet you get loads of letters on this one.
Andrew, Malvern, UK

Re: Alex (Thursday's letters) Many years ago I was operated on by a surgeon called Mr Handslip. Fortunately, he didn't live up to his name.
Sylvia Murphy, Eastbourne, UK

It appears he has defected to the opposition - maybe that's why "shadow foreign secretary William Hague registered no gifts". (Now corrected)
Conor, Belfast

Holding her hat down? Covering her face so that she doesn't get caught by the camera? Nursing a sore ear? Just a few explanations off the top of my head that are far more likely than time travel. How would she get a signal, anyway?
Aaron, Lowestoft, UK

It's a disgrace! They should all be sent to a penal colony. Oh, wait...
Phil, Guisborough

Re: Kat Gregg's Scrabble dilemma. (Thursday letters) Just name your cat (or any pet) "Av" and you can use it. After all, proper nouns are now permitted. To take it further, get an ant farm, name every ant after a two letter combination and you're sorted!
Lester, London, UK

I've noticed recently that the media are now pronouncing Pakistan as Parkistan - can someone tell me why the R is being put in where there isn't one?
Stewart, Bristol

Regarding 'Poppy Watch', I saw the MOTD2 persenters wearing poppies on Sunday 24th October. Surely a little early for this years poppies I thought at the time. This was confirmed when I read that this year's poppy Appeal was launched yesterday. Yes, you can wear your poppy at anytime. But this year's not last year's.
Saffron Garey, Southampton

Monitor: Paper Monitor was dozing this morning and failed to spot the red-tops and middle market papers all sporting poppies. The Daily Mail was sporting the biggest, although it was missing a leaf. PM prize for artistic merit to the Daily Express.

Caption Competition

13:16 UK time, Friday, 29 October 2010

Comments

Winning entries in the Caption Competition.

The competition is now closed. Full rules can be seen here [PDF].

This week, it was window dressers preparing mannequins for a Christmas display at Selfridges, on Oxford Street, central London.

Thanks to all who entered. The prize of a small amount of kudos to the following:

6. Valerie Ganne
I told them we needed elves for the Grotto - not Elvis

5. Pendragon
Apparently, our grotto designer was told he was being made redundant in January

4. Frankonline
Handbag shop opens in the Leaning Tower of Pisa

3. Tim Haveron Jones
That'll teach you to complain when the bloke on the checkout asks if you need a carrier bag

2. Clint75
As his researchers prepare little Frank to meet what could be his father, Jeremy Kyle decides that a DNA test might not be necessary.

1. Nick Fowler
OK, who let Tim Burton design this year's grotto?

Paper Monitor

11:19 UK time, Friday, 29 October 2010

James Bolam and Rodney Bewes as Terry and Bob in Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads

Friends and rivals: Boris and David

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There are few things that Paper Monitor enjoys more than a good love-hate relationship.

So the front page of today's Times brightened an otherwise dreary morning in Monitor Towers.

"Boris puts coalition in a spin with Kosovo jibe," is the headline, summing up London Mayor Mr Johnson's comments that "Kosovo-style social cleansing of London" - predicted as a result of the government's housing benefit reforms - would not happen "on my watch".

David Cameron, the paper reports, was not happy:

Aides made clear the Prime Minister's disapproval even after the mayor tried to ease the row with a statement claiming that his remarks had been taken out of context.

"The Prime Minister doesn't agree with what Boris Johnson has said or indeed the way he said it."

The story would not be so fascinating were it not for the ongoing soap opera of the pair's relations.

Paper Monitor likes to view it as an old Etonian remake of the Likely Lads, with Boris the cantankerous Terry, continually at odds with the PM's straight-man, Bob.

However, a nagging need for each other keeps the pair from an all-out split - though Paper Monitor imagines they make up over something a little more refined than a brown ale.

Today's sketch writers, cartoonists and political analysts have a field day.

Analysis from the Times's Fiona Hamilton notes: "Mr Johnson has a long-standing rivalry with Mr Cameron and, deny it as he may, his desire to become Tory leader is an open secret... Mr Johnson clearly sees a chance to score valuable points."

Meanwhile, its cartoon pictures the London Mayor at Hyperbolics Anonymous, with the caption: "My name is Boris and I'm addicted to overstatement."

The Daily Mail's leader column says Mr Johnson's "silly remark" was regrettable.
It suggests he should be directing his "undoubted eloquence" to arguing the case for overhauling a welfare state that "gives a better lifestyle to benefits claimants than to hard-working families".

The Daily Telegraph, however has the prime minister "scolding" the mayor.

Mr Cameron's rebuke - via his spokesman - constituted "an unprecedented slapdown to Boris Johnson", according to political correspondent Rosa Prince.

Meanwhile, the Independent sums up the relationship:

Some Tories joke that they share two qualities above all: they are hugely ambitious, and also incredulous at each other's success... Downing Street insiders are still able to chuckle about "Boris being Boris". But the joke is wearing paper thin.

Paper Monitor suspects the pair will patch things up. But if the British public find all this political intrigue wearing similarly thin, then the Daily Star can ride to the rescue.

"Jordan shock: I still love my Pete," its headline screams. Katie Price has, apparently, plunged her marriage to Alex Reid into crisis by confessing undying love for her ex, Peter Andre.

And so, Paper Monitor concludes, a little squabble over welfare policy is put squarely into context.

Friday's Quote of the Day

09:18 UK time, Friday, 29 October 2010

"The man used filthy language. Otherwise, the ceremony was OK" - a Maldives hotel manager's reaction to a celebrant calling a bride and groom "swine" and "infidels" in his native tongue as they renewed their wedding vows.

Police are investigating after a video of the foreign couple's ceremony at the Vilu Reef resort appeared on the internet.

In it, the celebrant is heard to say: "You are swine. The children you bear from this marriage will all be bastard swine. Keep fornicating and spreading hatred among people. Your marriage is not valid. You are infidels."

The Maldives government has vowed to ensure there is no repeat.

More details (Daily Mirror)

Your Letters

18:05 UK time, Thursday, 28 October 2010

As nobody seems willing to reply to Alex Kersting (Friday letters) I'll make the sacrifice. Nominative determinism is the phenomenon that many people's career paths seems to be determined by his or her name. My personal favourite is Dr IC Notting, who happens to be a eye doctor in The Hague (Netherlands).
Alex, London

Re a quote in this story "Take one female cat over a seven-year period. If all the kittens survived and bred, she would be responsible for 21,000 cats - they are such prolific breeders you can see how important it is to neuter," says Ms Hammond. Surely, you'd need a male cat as well?
Nickoli, Stoke-on-Trent, England

There've been some great, pun-tastic headlines on the BBC News website recently, but the 'Also in the news' one this morning about James Bond's car ('From Rush-Hour With Love) is genius.
Sue, London

As we put our timepieces back this weekend,I remember when at 11 years old I was taken to Parliament Square to watch Big Ben clocks being 'put back'.At 2am the hour and minute hands started moving forward 11 hours to 1am.To an eleven year old it was fascinating plus there were many adults also watching. So can I claim I saw time fly? Mind you several decades later it, time, seems to be flying faster than I wish of its own accord
Tim McMahon, Pennar/Wales

I noticed a story on the Magazine homepage today called 'av a word, and momentarily became extremely excited about how the advent of the word "av" could enhance my future scrabble games. Alas though my enthusiasm was curbed upon reading the story, and ascertaining that "av" remains firmly in the "not a word" camp. How disappointing.
Kat Gregg, Coventry

Re News Magazine - Keith Richards love of books. Sorry to be pedantic but the Dewey Decimal system is used to classify books, not catalogue them. I would hope that a journalist knows the difference.
Susanah Farmer, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

In the Magazine's "Who, What, Why" series is an article entitled How is Keith Richards still alive? [see link above]. "How" is clearly none of the aforementioned question words. So, who decided this was acceptable, what were they thinking, why didn't an editor intervene, and how am I supposed to concentrate on the article's content?
Warren, Bristol

Ooh, I almost forgot. Imagine my excitement at opening my Saturday Guardian and finding a nice big photo of Drunk Girl. Great to see she is still doing the rounds.
JoeA, London

Erm... does anyone have any idea what happened to Poppy Watch?
Callum, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Monitor: Paper Monitor has advised that a new season of Poppy Watch, in which the relative sizes of the newspapers' front page poppies is analysed with laser-equipped calipers, will begin next week.

Paper Monitor

09:25 UK time, Thursday, 28 October 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

"Introducing our brilliant new columnist," breathlessly exclaims the banner above the Daily Telegraph's masthead.

The paper has snared Allison Pearson - sometime chick-lit author, formerly of the Daily Mail, where she occupied the page previously inhabited by the redoubtable Lynda Lee-Potter - as the centrepiece of what Fleet Street used to call the "women's pages" and what most papers now refer to as the features section.

If the Telegraph's intention is to bolster its stereotypical readership of spluttering ex-brigadiers with a greater appeal to a female audience, Pearson is an obvious choice.

The author of I Don't Know How She Does It, a best-selling novel about the pressures of modern motherhood, she earned praise from the Mail's traditional admirers and detractors alike for a valedictory column in the paper in which she spoke frankly about her battle with depression.

Her knack for combining a columnists' necessary stridency with an informal openness and vulnerability is one of those qualities that sounds as though it should be easy, but Paper Monitor can't think of any other newspaper pundit who quite manages to pull it off.

While Private Eye see Pearson's return as fuel for its Polly Filler/Mummy For Old Rope parody, there is little doubt that the Telegraph's executives will hope she can reach the parts the rest of the title cannot - namely, the lucrative demographic of well-to-do shires ladies who might once have taken a mid-market tabloid but now find them a little too vulgar.

Indeed, it is hard to imagine the Telegraph's Simon Heffer praising those silent Home Counties Joan of Arcs who, in Pearson's words, spend days occupied with "driving her three boys to school, back and forth, back and forth, the self-replenishing pong mountain of PE kit (rugby for Matthew and Will, hockey for James) and all those parents' evenings" with nary a thank-you.

If a cynic were to point to this as a shameless pitch to a very narrow, albeit profitable demographic, they might be right.

But as a tactic it is certainly less heavy-handed than the Times' lead T2 feature, in which David Aaronovitch - not a gentleman noted for a snake-hipped, androgynous countenance - spends a week as a woman to better understand the female psyche.

Over a double-page spread, [subscription required] Aaronovitch learns to moisturise, attends a pilates class and has a manicure.

His conclusion? "I was amazed by how time-consuming being a working woman, just in appearance terms, is."

He could have turned to Pearson's column and saved himself the hassle.

Thursday's Quote of the Day

08:59 UK time, Thursday, 28 October 2010

"Are you planning a surprise party for us, filled with jobs and health care?" - US TV host Jon Stewart quizzes President Barack Obama after the leader claimed his administration hadn't received the credit it is due.

During an interview for The Daily Show, President Obama fended off criticism of his record by insisting that "we have done things that some folks don't even know about" - prompting Stewart's wry comeback.

More details (Daily Mail)

Your Letters

15:13 UK time, Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Re. i-everywhere, "It's about... saying 'I want this; I want that. You're going to give me what I want on my terms'," says the head of marketing company Brand Forensics.
I think that may be one of the most depressing statements I've ever read.
Sue, London

Roy (Tuesday letters) has clearly never been to NZ. Plus I haven't spotted any Mordor-like mountains in Borehamwood recently.
Richard, Reading, UK

I considered writing to complain about people having nothing better to do than write letters debating where "Middle Earth" was born but I've got better things to do. At the risk of mixing metaphors I'll get my invisibility cloak.
Greg, Dallas TX

Re Katherine's letter suggesting Porridge watch should commence (Tuesday letters), it looks like a critical story has aleady t-oat-ally passed us by...
Sara F, Kenilworth

Tom Webb, Surbiton (Tuesday letters). If I left all my valuables on a table outside my house, I admit I wouldn't be bewildered to find they had all disappeared. I would however, be somewhat surprised to find they had been removed because the agents of a multi-billion dollar corporation were nipping out of their cars and pilfering any unsecured valuables as part of their paid employment.
Ray, Turku, Finland

Dear Tom, The fact I have my name on my doorbell does not give anyone the right to flog the information to all-comers, which is what Google has done. There are now no end of "free wifi" maps using this information to encourage all comers to steal the users bandwidth. It is in real terms very difficult to use wifi without broadcasting your SSID. That does not give Google the right to broadcast the fact, making them accessories to the crime of theft.
Fred, Rotherham

Tom - agreed. What trite - if you don't want to "share" you personal, private, innermost workings and such; use a blimmin' password!
Amy, Cambridge

Dear Saffron (Tuesday letters) You missed the expenses row, recession, end of recession, possible double dip, election, coalition, potential double Miliband, World Cup, Commonwealth Games, double maths, ash cloud, BP leak, Chilean miners stuck then unstuck and the spending review. How's the baby? xxx
Garey Southampton, Saffron Walden

To Saffron Garey. Having been on maternity leave, you already have what is conceivably the most important thing of all, so in that way, no, you have missed nothing at all.
Raymond Hopkins, Kronoby, Finland

Paper Monitor

11:03 UK time, Wednesday, 27 October 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

So, farewell then, Paul the Octopus. With your match-predicting nous and reputed psychic powers, you kept the papers busy throughout a mediocre World Cup.

Paul, born in Weymouth, correctly forecast how Germany would perform in seven matches and accurately tipped Spain over the Netherlands in the final.

But now he has passed on. He has ceased to be. Paul is an ex-octopus.

Across Fleet Street, the sense of loss is palpable.

"In a summer of less-than-stellar football, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi all found wanting," mourns the Daily Mirror, "the clever little sea creature was often the only thing worth watching."

It is a touching eulogy, offset only slightly by the headline "They think it's Paul over... it is now" and a factbox detailing how he could be made into tapas.

The Sun is equally florid, referring to Paul as a "mystic cephalopod" and adding wistfully: "A £10 accumulator on Paul's tips would have won £3,000 at William Hill."

However, it is the heavy papers that devote the most attention to the late invertebrate.

The Times [subscription required] is especially effusive:

Iran pronounced him decadent; President Ahmadinejad said that the mollusc was spreading Western propaganda, and there were rumours of an octo-fatwa. Kazakhstan betting syndicates, furious that they had been out-guessed by an octopus, or indeed anyone born in Weymouth, swore revenge. The Spanish Government offered Paul a safe haven.

Yet, at the end of the day, he appears to have died a natural death. Paul had been sluggish for weeks and, while an octopus always has problems getting out of bed, it was clear that he was on his last legs.

But it is the Guardian that devotes the most energy to the story.

On its front page, under no fewer than three (three!) bylines - including those of its Beijing and Berlin correspondents - it tells breathlessly of an array of conspiracy theories about Paul's death emerging "like a cephalopod from a crevice".

It quotes the Chinese director of a forthcoming thriller entitled Who Killed Paul the Octopus? who says she is ""60 to 70% sure" he died in July and was secretly replaced.

The evidence? "[Octopuses] all look the same. It is impossible to tell the difference."

Paper Monitor is most gratified, however, by the headline in the print (though not the online) edition - "Kicker conspiracy?" references to Mark E Smith and the Fall always being welcome in these quarters.

Wednesday's Quote of the Day

09:09 UK time, Wednesday, 27 October 2010

"Protection for your privates, both literally and figuratively" - makers of ballistic underwear for UK soldiers

The Ministry of Defence is testing the underwear, known as Blast Boxers. They have a very serious function, because they feature soft panels to protect the femoral artery from debris and flames accompanying a blast, according to manufacturers BCB International.

Your Letters

16:35 UK time, Tuesday, 26 October 2010

I was amazed to see that Richard Taylor, the award-winning technician, speaking about NZ keeping the filming of The Hobbit saying, and I quote, "This is where Middle Earth was born and this is where it should stay." Sorry Mr Taylor, Middle Earth was born in England, the place where JRR Tolkien wrote the books. New Zealanders get over it. Americans and Brits don't complain when their films are made abroad and they sometimes hold the rights to the books their films are made from. Brits have more right to feel aggrieved that the original trilogy wasn't made in the real place where Middle Earth was born.
Roy Gladwell, Borehamwood, UK

Oh no! Paul the psychic octopus has passed away in Germany. Didn't see that coming.
Candace, New Jersey, US

Paul and Emperor. A dual, perhaps? Or suicide pact?
Mike, Newcastle upon Tyne

Hey PM (Paper Monitor, Tuesday), I LIKE the Metro. It just about lasts me to uni (depending on how cooperative the Tube is) and I can do the puzzles on the way home. The i sounds a bit like London Lite, which was trash and could be read in about 5-10 mins... Are you permanently calling yourself P, or are you just taking the mickey out of i?
Kay, London, UK

It's interesting to see the new 20p paper aimed at "lapsed readers of quality newspapers". Its front page asks the important question "Is (Sesame Street's) Bert gay?" - which reminds me why I stopped reading 'quality' newspapers in the first place.
Edward Green, London, UK

Given that the clocks go back at the weekend, will it soon be time for porridge watch? (please note that for BBC independence reasons, other brands of watch are available)
Katherine Broadhurst, Cardiff

The current economic situation can be confusing enough without the BBC having a link entitled "UK economy set to slow sharply" taking you through to a story with the headline "UK economy grows a faster-than-expected 0.8%"
MCK, Stevenage

I'm sorry but all the information gathered by Google was not private. It was all captured from unsecured networks - in effect these people were "broadcasting" their personal information to everyone in the local vicinity. It's like being bewildered that all your valuables got stolen because you put them out on a crate table in front of your house unattended.
Tom Webb, Surbiton, UK

Hello, I'm back from maternity leave. Have I missed anything? Kindest regards.
Saffron Garey, Southampton

Paper Monitor

11:48 UK time, Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Welcome to P, a new service highlighting the riches of the daily press, brought to you by Paper Monitor.

TODAY in a historic first! P will be reviewing i! It's all you could need in a potted paper review, based on the quality, convenience and desirability you demand in today's busy world.

So here goes! Wish us luck! i mostly has shorter paragraphs. Lots of tweets. And foreign news in just 10 stories. Plus in other news, did you know it's Bolivian president Evo Morales's 51st birthday?


That's the sort of thing you'll find out if you read i, the new paper launched by the Independent, on sale for the first time today at just one fifth of the price of the normal paper. The Independent, meanwhile , has taken a turn upmarket - thicker paper, black and white photos - to distinguish itself from the new competition.

So what's the point of i? Could this be just what the world has been waiting for - the paper to read when you haven't got the time to plough all the way through Metro?

In terms of tone, it feels somewhere in that "lite" gap that is part tabloid paper, part supplement, part easy-to-digest fast news. Though it says Independent above the door, it doesn't feel like it. The Indie, for instance, wouldn't have been so lame as to put a picture of Sesame Street's Bert on the cover asking "Is Bert Gay?" Page 10 dutifully reveals the answer (no).

Will i fly? Paper Monitor has often been wrong about these things, and always like to wish people well when they start on new ventures. Times are very difficult for newspapers, with circulations mostly falling month on month. But, just like the Bert question, the only honest answer is: "Err, who knows?"

There's one more thing to mention, though. Once upon a time, newspapers had names like newspapers - Chronicle, Herald, Journal, that sort of thing - but now it seems people will have to ask for an i.

That in particular feels like a bit of a stretch to PM. Who would be known by their initials?

Tuesday's Quote of the Day

10:01 UK time, Tuesday, 26 October 2010

"A cross between a snowplough and a combine harvester" - Peter Mandelson's description of Gordon Brown

In his new documentary, Mr Mandelson says he thought that while Mr Brown possessed considerable intellect, he lacked the ability to relate to people as a human being. And much to the irritation of the well-groomed former Business Secretary, the prime minister couldn't keep his tie straight.

Full details

Your Letters

16:07 UK time, Monday, 25 October 2010

Why, when reading suffering is relative, did I think of my mother-in-law?
R Perrin, Climthorpe, UK

Firstly, this is horrible news. Secondly is it too much to ask that the fine amounts be given in sterling. That's what I paid my licence fee in, blah blah blah.
Phil, Guisborough

Re: Alex Kersting (Friday's letters) - Neither do I. Perhaps someone could fill me in.
Mr Bun, the baker, Aberdeen

I saw your headline Freeman to play Bilbo in Hobbit. Bit disappointed now to find out it's not Morgan.
JennyT, NY Brit

Is Magazine Monitor aware that its distant cousin "Frontpage Latest News Tickertape Thingy" can apparently travel in time? It's one of only two logical explanations for the tense of this headline: "BA says it will restore basic travel concessions to cabin crew who went on strike next week". The other explanation being an unfortunate case of truncated headline grammar - but that can't be it, surely?
Louise, Bedfordshire, UK

A brilliant idea in an age of defence cutbacks - rather than paying for expensive stealth material, keep your submarine hidden from enemy eyes by claiming it's stuck in Scotland. A quick rigged news conference, and HMS Astute can be anywhere in the world before anyone realises that the pictures were Photoshopped.
Edward Green, London, UK

Royal Navy nuclear sub "grounded"? Did it stay out late at a party?
Rob Falconer, Llandough, Wales

Re: 10 things number four. Am I the only one that thought big cat camouflage was common knowledge?
Robyn, Cheshire

I was surprised to read the link Elephant damage "good for frogs", although as so few frogs survive being damaged by elephants, I imagine those that do probably acquire some sort of celebrity status.
Graham, Purmerend NL

Paper Monitor

12:34 UK time, Monday, 25 October 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There's nothing like economic troubles to send the papers diving for the trenches - taking cover in the cosy territory of long-time prejudice and bombarding political foes with highly explosive rhetoric.

Monday's papers continue to chew over the weekend's analysis of last week's government Spending Review, with the Daily Mirror predicting a Purge of the Poor.

Its deputy political editor Jason Beattie sums up the cumulative effect of the cap on housing benefit and reduced council tax benefits thus:

Up to a million people could be driven out of their homes as a result of the Coalition's savage attack on the poor.

The Independent is equally outraged: "Why must the poor be driven out of our cities?" it asks in its leading article.

However, the Daily Telegraph has a slightly different take on the story, reporting that the Home Counties face an "exodus" of poor Londoners.

Similarly, the Daily Mail which reports that "families in well-heeled suburbs have been warned to brace themselves" for an influx of 200,000 benefits claimants.

Confusion reigns. Never having lived in the Home Counties, Paper Monitor can only assume that suffering is relative.

Digesting the Independent's front page lead caused Paper Monitor further head-scratching.

Warning: double dip is heading our way, it declares.

Paper Monitor's initial thought was of those orange and cherry-flavoured sherbet snacks that make your tongue tingle.

Then, for a nasty moment, Paper Monitor worried that it might have something to do with the economy.

But, thankfully, the Sun's front page came to the rescue. The only double dip in sight is Wayne and Colleen Rooney's dunk in a pool in Dubai to celebrate the Manchester United striker's £8m pay rise.

To think, last week he was bemoaning his club's lack of ambition.

Paper Monitor was right, suffering is relative.

Monday's Quote of the Day

09:28 UK time, Monday, 25 October 2010

"If any of the Roman Osbournes drank nearly as much as I used to, they wouldn't have even felt the lava" - Rocker Ozzy Osbourne, on learning that he shares DNA with ancient Romans killed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The former Black Sabbath frontman, better known for biting the head off a bat than researching his family history, had his genetic code examined by a laboratory in New Jersey. As well as discovering a link to those who died at Pompeii when the volcano erupted in 79 AD, scientists found he was a distant relative of King George I and the outlaw Jesse James.

More details (Daily Mail)

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