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Popular Elsewhere

14:56 UK time, Monday, 4 July 2011

A look at the stories ranking highly on various news sites.

The New York Times' most e-mailed article tackles a common curse of digital communication! That is, the crushing guilt surrounding over using exclamation marks"! It desribes regular users as "on a slippery slope to smiley faces"!

"It's unusual for a punctuation mark to carry such infamy" it says, but come one guys! We're talking about the exclamation mark here!!  The article go on to expose the most discerning writers'  love-hate relationship with the punctuation point. It turns out, when it comes to writing e-mails it can be quite useful! The problem, it seems, is that the exclamation mark is tempting to use because it's "the quickest and easiest way to kick things up a notch". But the article cautions not to use it when you're angry - "Only happy exclamation points." Or should that be "Only happy exclamation points!"

Almost without fail, Charlie Brooker's articles make it onto the Guardian's most read list. And a Brooker article is not complete without a flourish of elaborate metaphors and similies. In an article where he criticises a recent Ed Miliband interview in which the Labour leader repeatedly said strikes were wrong, readers have been spoilt.
Not only is there

"It sounds like an interview with a satnav stuck on a roundabout."


He adds three more

"Or a novelty talking keyring with its most boring button held down."
"Or a character in a computer game with only one dialogue option."

It starts getting ridiculous with

"Or an Ed Miliband-shaped phone with an Ed Miliband-themed ringtone."

Before ending with


"Or George Osborne."

Remember the Chilean miners? What about the Chilean president? Oh dear, Time's popular article could be right - it has gone all Austin Powers and declared President Sebastián Piñera has "lost his mojo". His approval rating has gone down 30% as viewed by Chileans. It's not just down to plans for a hydroelectric dam in a "pristine" region but also his education policies that are getting him in trouble. But the article has two consoling thoughts for the president - one that he can't run for office in the next election anyway and second  that the casting has been done for the feature film of the miners' rescue.

Naomi Wolf asks in Al Jazeera if porn is driving men crazy. What she is actually asking is if over the last few years men's brains have been rewired to cause more difficulty controlling impulses. She says a body of evidence has built up over the last few years to confirm that porn releases dopamine in the brain which can be addictive and when it wears off, just like other drugs, makes people anxious and let-down. She says "rather than engage in pointless self-loathing or reactive collective judgments" people should take responsibility and get counselling.

And it being 4 July, many readers are clicking on American Independence Day stories. NPR hosts read out the full declaration of independence which has become something of a tradition for them.

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph's most popular story puts a dampener on the celebrations by issuing a reminder that the US economy really isn't doing that well on his article "United States of Gloom".

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