A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.
One's esteemed colleague Mr Blastland last week gave something away about his age, referring as he did to owning a scratched T-Rex single when he was 13. So Paper Monitor is reluctant to drop any hint as to age. But boy-oh-boy, reading today's Sun sure makes it feel
• like the 80s are back/
• like what the 80s must have felt like. (Delete as applicable)
Page One. "NAVY RUSH TO FALKLANDS", it says. "TASK FORCE 2".
Page Three. "Bazooma Britain - Scouse girls have biggest - Geordie lads are experts - Women ogle 'em the most."
This latter report comes complete with a regional breakdown of relative average bra sizes around the country, ranging from 34DD in Liverpool to 32A in Aberdeen. Now far be it from Paper Monitor to question the research, which was conducted by
the polling organisation cosmetic surgery group Transform (whose website promise "The breasts you've always wanted from £77 per month" surely needs some cosmetic surgery of its own in the form of some punctuation), but if there truly was such a difference in the regional asset base of the country, wouldn't someone have already noticed? Just wondering.
So while it's the 80s at the Sun, it's 2007 at the Independent, which is seeming to slip into bad old habits by having all of pages two and three taken up with pictures of sad looking primates. That lemur might be on the brink of extinction, but crikey it's cute.
In fact it would be pretty easy to confuse the primates with some even more cute pictures of sleeping babies (with almost alien smiles) on a double page spread in the Daily Mail. "Some are swaddled in knitted scarves, others are snuggled up in hammocks, snoozing on a fluffy rug or curled up in a wicker basket - but they all have in common their unique, gently-contorted poses. To curl the babies into these positions [the two American and one Canadian photographers] have a simple trick: they photograph the babies when they are between five and 10 days old. At that age, they sleep soundly and they are malleable to be moved into 'curly' positions."
When the parents see the results "many of them burst into tears", the paper writes, though it seems like this is a good thing. You can see the pictures here. But one can't help wondering if, when they are old enough, any of these little people might feel a bit hard done by, what with all the gentle contortions and photographs in papers and all.
Last word today goes to the redoubtable Telegraph feature writer Bryony Gordon, whose work one admires. But in a remarkable confessional, this 29-year-old writer at one of the world's great newspapers, which has the highest circulation of any of the daily "quality" market, reveals that she is still not completely financially independent. Her mother bought most of the flat she is living in, and last month had to pay her gas bill.
"I am still partly reliant on my parents, despite being old enough to be one myself, a point that my mother never tires of making. 'You know that you are going to be 30 this year,' she says. 'When I was your age, I was already paying your school fees.'"