BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor

Archives for October 30, 2011 - November 5, 2011

10 things we didn't know last week

15:30 UK time, Friday, 4 November 2011

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

1. Robert Hardy has played Winston Churchill on seven occasions.
More details

2. Polar bears have a surprisingly weak bite, while giant pandas have very strong one.
More details

3. Texas Hold 'Em is the world's most popular form of poker.
More details

4. Being born in August can result in low confidence and self-esteem.
More details

5. A butcher's shop in Dorset, founded during the reign of Henry VIII, is Britain's oldest family business.
More details (Daily Mail)

6. Jimmy Savile and Margaret Thatcher celebrated New Year's Eve together for 11 years in a row.
More details (Daily Telegraph)

7. People in England eat more fruit and vegetables than those in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
More details

8. There were fewer than 300 motor cars on the road in France in August 1900.
More details (Daily Telegraph)

9. Young Chinese girls in Hunan province used Nushu, a language that no men could read, to communicate with one another.
More details (Guardian)

10. Kensington Palace has obscene graffiti dating back to 1902.
More details (Daily Telegraph)

Seen 10 things? Send us a picture to use next week.

Your Letters

15:11 UK time, Friday, 4 November 2011

"Organisers...said the picture seems to 'capture... perhaps a synchronised swimmer or diver'." Now I'm no art critic, but bearing in mind the poster is called "diver" I'm guessing it might be the diver?
Basil Long, Nottingham

I know I'm not an econmomist, but... If Germany can borrow money at 0.3% and my local building society is offering savings accounts at 3.12% - what's to stop Germany taking out a couple of trillion and investing it to make billions of profit? Or... Maybe they have thought of this and Frau Merkel is frantically sending out emails trying to get people to invest a billion euros for her.
Andrew, Malvern, UK

Anyone else look at this week's news quiz and wonder who Kim Kardashian is, who Kris Humphries is and why we might remotely care? Time to recline in my leather armchair and contemplate a new smoking jacket.
Fi, Gloucestershire, UK

Your article fails to note that one of the primary reasons for ditching leap seconds is that the GPS system at present can only cope with 127 of them.
John Airey, Peterborough, UK

Forget the Bee Gees, my CPR coach recommended Queen's Another one bites the dust, but suggested not singing it aloud!
Fergus, McArthur, California

Looks like we need a new set of area conversion tables. What's this in football pitches or as a fraction of Wales?
Colin Edwards, Exeter, UK

Mark (Thursday's Letters), I think she used to wear them all bunched up - the puffball skirt of the day. She probably didn't wear them with lurid green legwarmers and rollerskates though.
Susan, Newcastle

Popular Elsewhere

14:56 UK time, Friday, 4 November 2011

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

My Little Pony has been attracting an unexpected cult following of young men, according to a popular Wall Street Journal article. It claims groups of grown men meet up, start bands, even cut back on college courses all in appreciation of the magnificence of a cartoon series meant for little girls. They even have their own moniker: bronies. And apparently there is a lot of appreciation for the complex characters portrayed. "They have flaws, they have backgrounds they're ashamed of," explains 15-year-old Christian Leisner. At a brony gathering in Berkley, 27-year-old Ohad Kanne said his sisters wonder what is wrong with him but "luckily, we have this community that understands".

It’s nothing new for readers to flock to animal stories, rocketing them up most read lists of news sites. So it is unsurprising that Daily Mail readers are clicking on striking pictures of a gorilla getting a check up at the vets before moving to a new zoo. But what many may miss out on are the words written around these pictures. This is a shame (ahem) as the incredible detail like “they also took the opportunity to cut his nails” would be missed. Gripping.

We’ve had Beckham studies and Madonna studies, now a popular Washington Post article hails Jay-Z studies. This time Georgetown University is offering a course called Sociology of Hip-Hop - Urban Theodicy of Jay-Z. The piece explains that Georgetown isn’t dumbing down - or as Michael Dyson who’s leading the course puts it: “This is not a class meant to sit around and go, ‘Oh man, those lyrics were dope’”. Instead, he says, he wants people to ask ““What’s the intellectual, theological, philosophical predicate for Jay-Z’s argument?” Too much for a Friday afternoon, surely.

A popular Huffington Post article says a survey shows the number one issue couples argue in the winter is the temperature of the house. It claims that four out of 10 couples admit to having “two tiffs a day” about whether or not to turn on the heating. So who has done the survey? Thermostat company Honeywell. Hmmm

Caption Competition

13:22 UK time, Friday, 4 November 2011


Winning entries in the Caption Competition.

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

This week was runners in the Lausanne Marathon in Switzerland.

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

6. Raven Clare:
The boniness of the long-distance runner.

5. Catherine:
Despite CERN's reassurances, the re-run of the 'faster than light' experiments a few miles away in Geneva seem to be having some slightly odd localised effects.

4. Jeff Higs:
he needs guts and determination to win, well determination.

3. ARoseByAnyOther:
I'm being sponsored by Damien Hirst.

2. Woundedpride:
It was so much easier, he thought, running WITHOUT the scythe.

1. SkarloeyLine:
Nice to see Pheidippides doing a lap of honour.

Paper Monitor

11:40 UK time, Friday, 4 November 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Today's newspapers appear to have been inspired by Calvin Harris's song The Girls. One newspaper in particular has gone crazy.

The front page has Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi apparently leering at Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Page two has three young blonde ladies ice skating. Inside, the G20 protests are illustrated by three young women dressed as clowns.

And there's a big picture of the two new Bond girls for your delectation. And a big image of TV presenter Katie Derham in a sparkly red dress.

And on the next page a picture of actress Amber Heard with her back to the camera in a rather tight-fitting gown.

Yes, you guessed it, it's another edition of the Daily Telegraph. Colonel Tufton-Bufton must be getting rather hot under the collar these days.

Only the Daily Star can hope to rival them these days.

A number of the papers find a great deal of space for a picture of new Bond girl Berenice Marlohe. But not the Daily Mail - they're much more interested in the idea of the first black Miss Moneypenny.

Particularly as actress Naomie Harris is from north London and went to Cambridge. Classic Mail fayre.

Also classic Mail is Jan Moir's analysis of Hugh Grant's lovelife, and that of other celebs, in her column. Her conclusions are unremarkable, but her language is fruity.

She refers to an alleged tryst involving Justin Bieber as a "30-second rompini".

Then there's a reference to somebody else's "speedy-boarding love technique" and Paper Monitor will not forget the phrase "knickers-ahoy zeitgeist" in a hurry.

Particularly not with a picture of Kirstie Allsopp on the next item along.

Popular Elsewhere

15:49 UK time, Thursday, 3 November 2011

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

A popular Guardian article says fans of Insane Clown Posse "known primarily for their love of facepaint and fizzy pop", have been classified by the FBI as a criminal gang. It links fans, known as the Juggalos, to a shooting and an assault on a homeless man. But it could be that readers are clicking on the story less out of outrage for the "demonisation" of music fans and more because they have never heard of Insane Clown Posse. The Guardian seeks to educate. It explains Insane Clown Posse are the pioneers of the "horrorcore" music genre with an evil clown image and fans averaging out at 14-years-old. It doesn't get to the bottom of why they like to spray fizzy drinks over their fans.

Most of us have forgotten how to put one foot in front of another according to the New York Times' most popular story. And this isn't meant as a euphemism. We've literally forgotten how to run properly, it says. The article claims cushioned soles are behind this evolutionary re-wind and subsequent increase in runners' injuries. The piece then becomes a cautionary tale about the perils of advertising in publishing. That's because it claims this hasn't come out before because running magazines were dependant on advertising from shoe makers.

China's leading e-commerce site isn't eBay, it Taobao. A popular Time article wanders through the stalls in its virtual marketplace. The magazine notes that in the days before Taobao's dominance in China was certain, its owner Jack Ma came out with some great fighting talk against eBay:

"Ebay may be a shark in the ocean, but I am a crocodile in the Yangtze River. If we fight in the ocean, we lose -but if we fight in the river, we win."

Brian Palmer pleads in a popular Slate article for readers to never spend more than $3 (£1.87) on a bottle of wine. Besides the argument that countless blind experiments have shown so-called wine experts haven't been able to tell the difference between expensive and cheap wines there is another rather compelling point of view: that if you don't like the wine, you haven't spent very much.

Your Letters

14:40 UK time, Thursday, 3 November 2011

The picture accompanying your story about the sale of Queen Victoria's underwear leaves me puzzled. is that a very very small women holding the kickers, or was Queen Victoria a positive giant of a woman?
Mark, Reading, UK

Your in-depth knowledge of Greek history has rather given the game away. Surely you're Mucker Monitor - we studied Classics together at Cambridge in '58. Didn't you get a first and weren't you going to conquer the world of television, radio and newspapers. How's it going?
Sir Arnold Dingbat, Beresforth Castle, Home Counties

I did enjoy this article but rather ashamedly has to look up "ameliorate" in the dictionary. Did remind me of the old rule we were taught in English "Never use a large word, when a diminutive one would suffice".
Neil Wilkie, Perth

Can I suggest taking on an intern, Monitor - you seem to be a little behind? 3 November and no mention of Poppy Watch?
Richard Martin, Doncaster, UK

Re Self-Extinguishing Cigarettes: It seems incredible that the government has brought in legislation to modify the design of cigarettes in an attempt to prevent 64 deaths a year when the product itself kills in excess of 110,000 people per year.
Fag Ash Lil, Ashton, UK

I know they are wanting to reduce smoking, but making cigarettes have an RIP in them?
Basil Long, Nottingham

Paper Monitor

11:39 UK time, Thursday, 3 November 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor likes to keep its readers abreast of what is going on in the world of celebrity and showbiz news. Purely out of anthropological interest of course.

But it would obviously be inappropriate to name any of those involved.

The middle-aged English actor once usually called "floppy-haired" and famous for getting very friendly with a lady on the Sunset Strip is allegedly "enjoying the attentions" of a 21-year-old German burlesque singer.

This is news because he has just fathered a child with someone he had a "fleeting affair" with.

The Daily Mail has a big comment piece from Amanda Platell. She lets rip with her use of "oleaginous, womanising lounge-lizard" and "apparently insignificant, loveless liaison". Lordy.

Further on the Mail dedicates two pages to the two-year-old child of the England footballer famous for his hair transplant and his occasional peccadilloes.

Over in the Daily Telegraph the honourable self-made property guru is giving advice on marital happiness. Don't talk to your husband until you've fed him, she suggests.

Over in the Daily Star there's a profusion of celeb bumpf. The slightly odd teenage pop singer is accused of fathering a child with a fan after a tryst lasting in the region of 30 seconds. The Mail should get Platell on the case.

The paper reveals that the tubby actor who used to be quite funny writes the gags for the talent show judge and man/boy band member who used to be quite tubby.

Over in the Sun there's some space for news about the troubled woman actor who was in a half-decent teen flick many years ago but has largely been famous since for comprehensive substance abuse. Apparently her latest jail sentence was delayed for her to pose naked for Playboy.

Paper Monitor wonders why this could not have taken place inside prison. The reasons may have been logistical rather than artistic.

Your Letters

17:48 UK time, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Re this story, have the police started an undiecover operation? I'll get my dirty mac.
Paul, Ipswich

Re the headline "Curb on foreign students 'biting'". Why just stop at foreigners? Muzzle UK students too!
Andrew, Malvern, UK

I am surprised that nobody has added to Basil Long's list of things to do when the clocks go back. Most Monitorites like to put the sprouts on to boil too.
Janice, Faversham

Paper Monitor has left his/her/its coat.
Marc, Oldham UK

Picture 4 is not Ally Pally, it's Muffin the Mule!
Ralph, Cumbria

Re: Random stat of 03:44 being when Britons are most likely to have their sleep interrupted, according to a study. There's a simple explanation for this - 03.44 is the time when the researchers decided to call hundreds of people to ask what time they were most likely to have their sleep interrupted. I'll get my night shirt.
Mr Moo, Hampshire

Popular Elsewhere

15:50 UK time, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

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

Daily Mail readers are clicking on a story about a ghost dog. Really. But this isn't any old ghost dog. This is the ghost dog of Wing Commander Guy Gibson who was depicted in the film Dam Busters. The labrador had been run over during World War II. But, the story says it appears he has turned up in a photograph of a 1980s memorial service. The article does not stipulate how investigators determined whether this was definitely the World War II ghost dog and not just any old ghost dog.

Telegraph readers are also looking into images. But this face popped up in the most unusual places. Urologists found what appeared to be a face in an ultra sound of a man's testicle. The story then explains that, instead of giving this religious significance, the urologists sent the picture to be "peer reviewed" at the Urology journal. The mass was discovered to be harmless.

President Obama has found himself embroiled in one fried-chicken row after another, according to Slate's most read article. The latest is the decision of a fried chicken restaurant in Beijing to call itself OFC - Obama Fried Chicken. Jesse Bering says the outrage in the US shows that "informed citizens of our own country may be the only ones who understand that mentioning 'fried chicken' in the same sentence as 'black people' is a major no-no". But he says he could only guess at why and when the liking for fried chicken became a racist stereotype.

Guardian readers are coaxed on to shout that old cliche "but is it art?" at the paper's popular interview with living art exhibition EVA & ADELE. The couple's breakthrough came in 1991 when they hijacked an art exhibition to stage a wedding. But they admit they are better known for their surreal appearances as The Eggheads on Channel 4's Eurotrash. From 1997 to 2002, they performed "video art" for the show. This involved stunts like as putting banana skins on their heads. "No one really understood what we were doing," says Eva. "Even those paying us."

Paper Monitor

13:33 UK time, Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The current Greece/eurozone/probably-everybody-else economic crisis obliges every newspaper to explain things to their readers.

That even includes those papers that usually push all business and economics stuff right into the middle of the paper.

They're obliged to do things in as simple and engaging a way as possible.

So the Sun has a factbox entitled "How they have made a drachma out of a crisis". Ho ho. And there's another box - "What have the Greeks ever done for us?"

Now Greek history happens to be a bit of a pet subject of Paper Monitor. So this box is examined with interest.

The first item that catches the eye is "2500 BC: Greeks on Crete invent mazes by building the Labyrinth, with the mythical minotaur at its centre".

Now Paper Monitor hates to be a pernicket, but at that time there were no Greeks on Crete. It's the very much non-Greek Minoans that you're thinking of.

Next up: "625 BC Greeks use coins as money to trade between states".

The history of coinage is rather murky, but there are theories that it was the Lydians in western Anatolia that first used coins, or indeed cities in India.

Moving on: "490BC: Greeks invent the Marathon by sending a messenger 26 miles to report beating the Persians in war."

This is indeed the modern legend behind the Marathon, but Herodotos, a key source for the period, didn't tell it that way. He suggested the whole Athenian army did the 26 miles, with their armour. The lone runner went a much longer distance to Sparta.

Then it's: "472 BC: They invent theatre and comedy and tragedy genres." In fact, tragedy is thought to have been invented during the 6th Century BC.

The box omits Eratosthenes, who calculated the circumference of the world, as well as inventions like the crane and showers.

And it lists the Greeks' contribution from 230BC to 1800AD as "not a lot". That's missing out such items as the invention of the drydock and the reintroduction of the fork to western Europe and probably a whole host of other things.

Pedantry over.

Popular Elsewhere

15:39 UK time, Tuesday, 1 November 2011

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

The Guardian's most read story spots a surprising trend; despite increased GDP and population, people in the UK are consuming less. It says the total weight of everything we use, from food and fuel to flat-pack furniture - reached its peak in 2001 and began to decline. Despite increased obesity, even food intake is falling. That, it seems, is because we do less exercise and whack up the central heating. But other stuff - from maize to metal - may only be explained by a genuine reduction in demand for resources. All this during a growing economy - something which has largely been seen as impossible before. Cue excited environmentalists.

It's 25 years since the Australian soap opera Neighbours was first broadcast in the UK. For Times readers, this is as good excuse as any to look back at how the mild mannered programme has influenced British life. The article notes that this seemingly inoffensive drama about having a cup of coffee and a sit down has had more sway than your average lobbyist:

"So deep became the nation's obsession that by 1989 John Prescott quoted the entire theme tune in a parliamentary debate."

It's a day after Halloween but readers are still reading on what they should have dressed up as. And a popular Daily Mail article shows the prize for the most over-engineered costume should go to Nasa employee Mark Rober. By duct taping two iPads either side of his body and setting up a face time chat between the two, he made it look like there was a hole going right through his stomach. He may like to note that a bit of fake blood would have sufficed.

Days after it was first printed, New York Times readers are still clicking on Mona Simpson's eulogy for her brother - the co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. She reveals that, as well as his many professional feats, he used to be a bit of a matchmaker:

"Whenever he saw a man he thought a woman might find dashing, he called out, 'Hey are you single? Do you wanna come to dinner with my sister?'"

Your Letters

15:38 UK time, Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Good news about the economy growing 0.5% in the third quarter of 2011. That was probably because I was offered a new job at the end of September, and bought a new suit and jacket.
Michael Hall, Croydon, UK

Anyone who watches daytime TV will know that the solution to the Greek debt crisis is to get Carol Vorderman to consolidate all of Greece's debt into a single affordable monthly repayment. If Greece have any unwanted gold then even better.
Stuart Mills, Birmingham

With regards to this picture, doesn't the BBC need to inform us that other plumbers are available in the Leicester area?
Ralph, Chatham

Shame on Senator Eaton and her campaign to stifle the laughter of future generations of sniggering youth.
Rusty, Montreal, Canada

Re: What's your number? I don't care what my number is. I do care when my number is up. I'll get my shroud.
Henri, Sidcup.

Yes Ross of London (Monday's Letters), you forgot the banana of radioactivity!
Zoe, Birmingham, UK

Ross (Monday's Letters), I believe you have forgotten the smaller area measure of the football pitch. I'll get my warm up jacket.
Clare, Guildford, Surrey

Paper Monitor

13:00 UK time, Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

So the hypothetical question is "how many pictures of Pippa Middleton can you fit across two pages of the Daily Mail?"

And the answer is eight, and there's still room left over for three adverts. It's a tongue-in-cheek, vaguely Craig Brown-esque skit in Pippa's own voice, under the headline: "How to party like Pippa!".

Then we've got a big picture of Tamara Ecclestone lounging on a Ferrari in a fairly brief dress.

With so much pictorial stimulation being pushed at the reader, it's a miracle they have any energy left to read any articles.

Let's go to the Guardian for the serious news. Our eye first falls on... "Pippa's guide to the perfect party". It's a tongue-in-cheek, vaguely Craig Brown-esque skit in Pippa's own voice. Albeit, with a few less pictures than the Mail.

Well, there are definitely some interesting words in the Times, courtesy of Ben Macintyre. It's a nice idea, addressing the much-circulated rumours about Sir Jimmy Savile as a way into the increasing intolerance of eccentrics.

Macintyre quotes JS Mill and dubs the conformist legions as "anti-oddness lynch mob". He nicely segues into the media treatment of Christopher Jefferies, the original suspect in the Jo Yeates case. He was released without charge and was entirely innocent of any involvement.

"His crime was to have slightly longer hair than is traditional for men of his age."

The result was that he was dubbed "weird", "posh", "loner", and "creepy".

You have to take your hat off to Macintyre. It's all very intelligently done.

Popular Elsewhere

15:31 UK time, Monday, 31 October 2011

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

Getting a divorce if you are super-rich can be a tricky business, says a popular Times article. The tricks to keeping as much money as possible stretch further than just hiding the wealth. Being the first to file the divorce is key as, if assets are all around the world, it can be filed in the country most sympathetic to the party. And another trick is to go round all the best lawyers first - once one party has been to them the they aren't allowed to represent the other side.

New York Times headline

Luck doesn't play a big part in the success of our era's big entrepreneurs, according to a popular New York Times article. Which is lucky for the writers Jim Collins and Morten Hansen as it would have been a bit difficult to write anything substantial from the findings "some people are lucky", putting nine years of research down the drain. So the lesson they give instead is that people like Bill Gates were lucky but they made the most of their good luck. Bad luck works very differently though; that, they say, can wipe out a business, regardless of its owner's attitude.

USA Today

Meanwhile USA Today readers flock to read about, reportedly, America's happiest woman. It seems to have found quite a normal low-profile woman. Meet Mary Claire Orenic, "50 years young - with a child old enough to drive himself to school and a husband who comes home to make her lunch as she telecommutes to a job that helps the world." Orenic claims her goal was to move to California and play volleyball on the beach which she achieved.

Daily Mail headline

Finally the Daily Mail's most popular story couldn't have asked for a better visual representation of a changed character. Former white supremacist Bryon Widner had tattoos across his face telling of his past. But when he changed his mind, it took 16 months and 25 surgeries to get rid of those tattoos. But that wasn't the hard part - that was finding a donor and, poetically enough, having to approach previous enemies, to do that.

Your Letters

15:06 UK time, Monday, 31 October 2011

Stephen Tomkins comments that the Christian Church has come a long way from its radical origins, but he appears to be lumping all Christians together in this. There are still many radical Christians out here for whom the people are the church, not the building, and who do not like the attitude of the clergy of St Paul's, worrying about how much they are loosing in income, if the reporters are to be believed. I applaud what the protesters are doing and feel that the clergy of Paul's should be doing more to support them.
Helen Cameron, Kent

Should shipwrecks be left in peace? Absolutely, the impact of releasing potentially harmful stuff otherwise dormant far outweighs the curiosity/research factor, in my opinion.
Marcia Milne @BBC News Magazine

The 80lb cod caught of Norway, which equates to 135 fish and chip suppers, will, I take it, go down on the list of Magazine Monitor Measurements along with the London Bus, Wales, Olympic swimming pools, marathons and various tall buildings. Is there anything I've missed?
Ross, London

So "Coldplay tried hypnosis while recording new album" (10 things). I don't imagine they had to look too far to find something that helped them drift out of consciousness.
Michael, Edinburgh, UK

You ask: "How will the Grand Prix change India?". To ask the question is to show complete ignorance of the country, the answer will be "not at all". A billion or more people won't know it's happening. In such a vast and varied land, the F1 GP is less than a drop in an ocean.
Faustino, Brisbane, Australia

Has the Senator who wants to make the polar bear the new national emblem of Canada actually asked the bears if they want the job? I thought they were still happy working for the manufacturers of a see-through mint.
Mark, Reading, UK

Does equality in throne succession involve leaving the seat up or down? These things need to be made clear.
Paul Dunning, Chelmsford

You can tell anyone in favour of moving clocks forward an hour permanently have never suffered from depression. It's a good job I have Magazine Monitor to brighten my dark mornings on the way to work!
Gary Bullock, Coventry

Monitor note: You're too kind Gary.

Paper Monitor

10:48 UK time, Monday, 31 October 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There's plenty of horror in the newspapers today - and Paper Monitor isn't talking about those pictures of model Heidi Klum winning this year's prize for the most stomach-turning Halloween costume. A skinned corpse.

If actor Ewan McGregor turns to the Life and Style section of the Daily Mail today he is likely to get a fright. There's a feature on how celebrity crushes can improve your love life. It's a frothy piece all about how a healthy fantasy life can get you thinking about sex in a fun way again.

But the playful tone gets considerably darker with Nova Selly, 37, who has crush on McGregor. She admits to moving to Scotland to live with someone simply because they looked like the actor. After a month she says she "came to her senses" and moved back to London. Phew. Just a moment of madness then? Err, no:

I know it's hopeless and even dangerous, as I actually do feel as if I am in love with him, even though I'm now in a happy relationship."

It sends chills down Paper Monitor's spine, let alone McGregor's. He probably frantically searching for his lawyer's number as you read this.

There is horror of another kind in the Daily Mirror for George Clooney, courtesy of ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis. It's a master class in getting your own back on one of the world's most eligible bachelors after they end your relationship and within weeks are walking down red carpets with your replacement. The TV host, 33, kindly "opens her heart" about their relationship especially to tell us she regarded 50-year-old Clooney as more of a "father" than a boyfriend. Ouch.

Finally, there's big fish news. In what's becoming something of a regular feature, Paper Monitor likes to keep track of all the giant catches of the day. This time it's a cod caught off the coast of Norway. A 80lb (36kg) monster cod. Of course, there is the ubiquitous fish supper calculation. This beauty would serve up 135 such suppers, according to the Daily Mirror.

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