Lunchtime has always been the Monitor's witching hour – an all-too brief spell in the working day when grafters are freed from the 9-5 office slog to indulge in a spot of online loitering (with honourable intent, of course).
But with no caption competition spell to cast its audience under this week, the Monitor is taking a leaf out of the operating manuals of some of its BBC cousins and going LIVE.
Between 12.30pm and 2pm this afternoon, and in place of Friday's letters page*, the Monitor is staging a live and constantly updated extravaganza of comments, conjecture and confabulation submitted by its loyal public. Who knows where it will go, but this, at least, is where it starts - with news that as part of its 10-year strategy for young people, announced yesterday, the government wants to institute "coming of age ceremonies" as a rite of passage into adulthood.
Send your letters on this using the post form above, right and when the half-hour past 12 striketh, hold tight and watch this space.
* Letters already submitted will be considered for Monday's Your Letters page.
---POSTED AT 1401 BST---
MM note: Gone to lunch
---POSTED AT 1400 BST---
I kind of like the whole rites-of-passage idea, but I can't see how it'd be a government thing and work! (and not just because government initiatives rarely seem to work!) From what I gather, from the countries that still have a ceremony for entering manhood have it as very much part of their culture. Whist it may be good if we did have something like that - it could help with a sense of identity, for example - but wouldn't it seem weird having a government run one?
Its nearly 1400 is Monitor Live's Cat curling up for a nap yet?
Yippeee it's Friday
Lynn, Guildford UK
---POSTED AT 1359 BST---
Damn timezones. Missed it.
It could just be me but on the 'pet detective' story, isn't it just a good chance that - being in a nursing home and all - the population of the home are generally a little closer to death than the rest of us?
basil Long, Newark Notts
---POSTED AT 1358 BST---
The term 'Mummers' will not work on this side of the pond. Philadelphia has Mummers, which are like fancy Morris dancers that perform New Year's and at special events
Candace, New Jersey, US
With regard to the "cat of doom", it's not the first - I used to work in a Hospice and the cat there did exactly the same thing! It was kind of spooky but the patients (who obviously didn't know the story) found his company very reassuring.
---POSTED AT 1356 BST---
A collective noun is a word for a group of things, such as `flock' of sheep. `Mummers' and `monitorites' sound like words for individual readers, to me. I suggest an `imperceptibility' of monitorites.
David Richerby, Athens, Greece
Is it theoretically possible to make marmalade or jam out of a tomato or banana?
Matt Sims, Frome, UK
---POSTED AT 1352 BST---
I can see that Sarah B's comment is all in good jest. But I just wanted to say I am a little offended by the 'daddy's money' comment. I went on a 5 month travels to S America last year all off of my own finances after working full time for 8 months. I have since supported my self through university on those savings plus my student loans without taking a penny off my parents. Please don't lump us all into on box.
Clare, Reading, Berks
I've got a cold at the moment, and was lying on my couch feeling a bit sorry for myself last night. My cat jumped up and cuddled up to me. Having read the cat story earlier that day I jumped up rather fast, and I've now discovered a cat is a far better cure than any of the decongestants/painkillers I've been taking!
Ann H, London, UK
I've heard marmalade is a corruption of "Marie Est Malade" (Mary is sick); Queen Mary ate marmalade as a sort of medicine to cure colds and flu.
S Murray, Chester, UK
Kaz, I've got a killer cat going spare. He's got a perfect record of predicting the deaths of various birds/frogs/mice that he comes across.
---POSTED AT 1349 BST---
Re Marmalade: The word comes from the Portuguese word for 'quince', which was the original fruit used to make marmalade. The process used to make that is the same process used to make orange (and lime, etc.) marmalade, and is different to the 'jamming' process. Also, marmalade is made with citrus fruits - jam isn't.
So is this just a Beta for the new iMonitor then?
---POSTED AT 1346 BST---
Re Lee Pike's query about the naming of marmalade - in answer to your query I remember my mother telling me it was French and related to malady and made my maman... although she could have been having me on.
sarah b, southampton, uk
Lee - never mind that. Why do Americans call jam 'jelly' when it clearly doesn't wobble?
Lee - citrus fruits, not just oranges... See this Wikipedia entry
Where can I get a killer cat?
Re the first letter, from Sarah in Nottingham. Maybe it has something to do with the distances involved?
Lee Pike, Cardiff, UK
---POSTED AT 1342 BST---
Apparently planning the 'ceremonies' will involve lots of young people from different schools - it was in the Metro. Does that mean that they're changing the coming of age to 16 (please no!), if not what about those who aren't at school when they turn 18?
Re Emma's request for a collective noun for Magazine Monitor fans, I think it should be 'Mummers'.
Emma, its Monitorites isn't it?
P.S. Is MJ Simpson on holiday?
---POSTED AT 1338 BST---
As the letters seem to be a bit slow and not very inspired, I thought I would let you know that the sheep got out of the field yesterday and I had to help shoo them back in.
Linda, Geddington, UK
Why is Marmalade called Marmalade and not Orange Jam?
Lee Pike, Cardiff, UK
Re Catherine O's comment - nNobody says groovy any more. The phrase you're looking for is "Wizard!"
Rob Foreman, London, UK
Re Lydia, Lancaster - you're not the only one, but sadly few of us teens get our letters published.
Sharmina, 18, Manchester
Re Matt's comments on Sara's post - I'm pretty sure the reason Sara was turned away was because she was trying to get a drink...
Rollo Wilkinson, Dorchester
---POSTED AT 1333 BST---
I think it says a lot that "coming of age" these days involves getting absolutely cream-crackered at the local watering hole (and I admit I did that too) whereas much older "coming of age" ceremonies involve chucking you out on your ear with only the shirt on your back and seeing how long you last. I think the latter sounds much more fun! I was recently treated to the story of my local priest (celebrating 60 years of priesthood) whose personal "coming-of-age" involved going to Borneo as a missionary with no money and relying on the goodwill of fellow man to get by. Perhaps the modern equivalent is going to Thailand on a gap year with daddy's money before entering the world of work...
sarah b, southampton, uk
In the article "More Scottish births than deaths" it says "Death rates are also said to be at the lowest total since the introduction of civil registration in 1855." Did civil registration do for a lot of folk, then?
Martin Ruck, Oxford, UK
At Sara from Bristol's comment about being turned away from pubs at 17. According to 'Mock the Week' you can go into a pub at 14 on your own, you just cant drink.
Matt Sims, Frome, UK
---POSTED AT 1330 BST---
What would be the collective noun for a group of Magazine Monitor fans?
Emma Manderson, Cardiff, UK
Ewa.. STEP AWAY FROM THE CAT
Stig, London, UK
---POSTED AT 1322 BST---
Hi, Candace! Don't you ever sleep?
sarah, trieste, italy
Monitor Live on Friday lunchtime? It's a ploy for MM to go home early. Odds on Ten Things being ---POSTED by 4pm?
Ed, Clacton, UK
---POSTED AT 1318 BST---
Apparently wizards come of age at 17. Wish I'd known that line when told to "move on" from pubs at that age.
Sara, Bristol, UK
Yes, we must do more to relate to the nation's teenagers. Groovy!
Catherine O, Maidenhead, UK
The other day, our local paper carried a story about a graduation ceremony from a nursery school for 4-year-olds which seemed a tad premature to me as a rite of passage.
Christina, Bath UK
Kudos to whoever has forfeited their lunch break to run Monitor Live!
---POSTED AT 1312 BST---
In my day, the coming of age ceremony was going to the employment exchange to pick up your UB40.
Alan Addison, Glasgow, UK
Re Ian, Bristol - evidently, the same kind of service as those who don't do duvets.
Maybe these coming of age ceremonies should be inspired by Aboriginal traditions: send teenagers out into the Australian outback for a walkabout for a year or so, living off their own wits. There's plenty of space, and only the brightest and most self-sufficient would come back. That sounds like a ideal coming of age ceremony! :-)
Martin, Bristol, UK
I send this in to celebrate the one time I may ever get my letter published. Plus my friend has just got a kitten and named it Porridge to celebrate MM - FEEL THE LOVE.
Ewa, London, UK
---POSTED AT 1306 BST---
Re coming-of-age ceremonies at 18 - congratulations, they can now pay rent?
Candace, New Jersey, US
Re Sally from London's suggestion, character building for 18-year-olds maybe, but much more fun for everyone would be to get the government to do it?
Simon, Milton Keynes
---POSTED AT 1250 BST---
Could the government perhaps take tips from Bruce Parry's Tribe series? It must be character-building for nudey 18-year-olds to have to jump and run across a line of unruly cattle in front of their entire community.
Surely I can't be the only teenager sick of being stereotyped by a government who are just indignant of their own lost youth?
Lydia, 18, Lancaster
---POSTED AT 1248 BST---
I've been watching this "Going Live" thing for ten minutes now, and there's been not the least sight of a gopher hand puppet, let alone Trevor and Simon. What kind of service is this?
Looking at the prophecy that is the nursery rhyme 'Dr Foster', why did nobody predict these floods years in advance?
Henry Fosdike, Bournemouth
Re coming of age ceremonies… Isn't that when they can legally go into bars and buy alcohol and get smashed instead of illegally doing it?
---POSTED AT 1238 BST---
"Coming-of-age" ceremonies used, aeons ago, to involve "the key to the door". With house prices as they are today, "the key to the shed", perhaps?
I'm still too freaked out about the killer nursing home cat to contribute fully.
---POSTED AT 1234 BST---
This is so thrilling that I am going to add popcorn to my lunch, put my feet on my desk and settle down to watch.
Phil B-C, London
1231, you're late!
---POSTED AT 1230 BST---
Coming-of-age ceremonies? Don't we already have an archaic ritual for this sort of thing, known by the ancient words 'eighteenth birthday'?
Apparently British teenagers are more likely to "hang out with other teenagers" than teenagers in other European countries. Who else are they supposed to hang out with? Middle-aged politicians maybe?
Sarah, Nottingham, UK