BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor

Archives for March 13, 2011 - March 19, 2011

10 things we didn't know last week

17:32 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

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

1. Monkeys recognise faces.
More details

2. Hearing aids can work on teeth.
More details

3. St Patrick's Day is a national holiday in Montserrat.
More details

4. The last British tsunami to register a verified height was in 1975, and it reached 6cm (2.3in).
More details (The Times)

5. Sharks go to the cleaners.
More details

6. Picking daffodils could count as criminal damage.
More details (Guardian)

7. Elephants respect their elders.
More details

8. Birds crash into wind turbines because they aren't looking where they're going.
More details (Daily Telegraph)

9. Just 3% of UK cash machines dispense £5 notes.
More details

10. Whales are scared of sonar.
More details

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

Your Letters

15:36 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

When you write "best-remembered", what precisely do you mean? Do you mean "best-remembered by people under 30", or "seen by more people", or even just "most recently in the public eye" (as in "you know, that bloke who...")? I refer of course to the late great Michael Gough. You state he is "best-remembered" for four rubbish Batman movies. Not to this old Hammer fan he's not. For me he will always be best-remembered for his role as Arthur Holmwood in Terence Fisher's Dracula'(1958), starring Christopher Lee (who, no doubt when he goes to the Great Green Room in the Sky, you will probably describe as "best-remembered for being in a couple of Star Wars films).
Rob, London, UK

Why do people tell sick jokes about tragedies? I was watching a documentary about humour once and one of the theories is that its got to do with the primeval instinct of fear that it could happen to you and the release of that fear/panic. A bit like laughing after being on a scary roller coaster ride, or an extreme version of laughing when people fall over.
Kerin Ingman @BBC News Magazine
With the incessant coverage of Kate's "catwalk dress", am I alone in thinking of "The Emperor's New Clothes" every time the "dress" is displayed?
David, Jerusalem

And when it comes to subtlety and nuance, Dr Double notes, 140 characters makes life difficult. He metions Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr - who are the other 138?
Ralph, Cumbria

More visited, yes. More popular? No.
Obi, Hebden Bridge

To Ray (Thursday's letters) There *is* a lack of interest in telling people about one's lack of interest here. That's why no-one wrote in to talk about it.
Joel, Hamburg, Germany

Re: the 10 Things lunch. I'm sorry, the foil "thing" should be unwrapped. There could be anything in there. And while I am willing to concede that the packets of crisps can be counted as individual entities (although two packets of crisps is seriously unimaginative and unhealthy) those carrots are quite clearly more than one item. Unidentified items in the bagging area I think.
Vicky, East London

Dear Monitor, could we have a "like" button under each letter? There could be an awards ceremony for the most liked letter at the end of the year.
Sarah, Camberley

Popular Elsewhere

14:16 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

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

"Friday" by Rebecca Black is "the worst pop song of all time" according to one of the Independent's most popular stories. The track, which details the 13-year-old California girl's excitement at the impending weekend, has become a YouTube sensation, but not for good reasons:

"It could be the robotic vocal delivery. Or the inane chorus of "tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards". But "the worst pop song of all time" has become a global sensation. "Friday" is either a witty parody of saccharine teen-pop or a new low in manufactured song production... It has received 10 million views and now leaped into the official iTunes download chart. Black's name even 'out-trended' the Japanese earthquake on Twitter. However most of the comments are not positive. The lyrics of 'Friday' have come under particular scrutiny. The song follows the teenager as she gets up, eats a bowl of cereal and struggles to choose whether to sit in the front of the back seat of the car."

Talking on a mobile phone while crossing the street may be dangerous for the elderly, but not for young people, according to one of Time magazine's most read stories. Researchers found the younger generation were able to navigate a busy two-way street even while listening to music or making a phone call. But elderly participants were distracted, hesitating before stepping off the pavement, and thus lowering their chances of completing the virtual task. The researchers said their findings support the idea that multi-tasking abilities decline with age.

The owner of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has "falsified safety data and tried to cover up problems" in the past according to the Australian's most read news story. The Tokyo Electric Power Co injected air into the containment vessel of Fukushima reactor No 1 to artificially "lower the leak rate", the website reports. When the misconduct came to light, in 2002, the company expressed its "sincere apologies for conducting dishonest practices", says the Australian.

Raises don't make employees work harder, but pay cuts make them slack off according to the most read story in Slate. During the recent downturn, companies have responded to falling sales mostly by laying off workers rather than lowering salaries, the article notes. But why?

"A series of studies in the burgeoning field of behavioral economics provide some insight into why managers seem to prefer handing out pink slips rather than lowering salaries. In experiments where workers were randomly assigned to receive wage cuts, they retaliated by slacking off. If you know that anger and resentment accompany pay cuts, it's easier to understand the response of management during recessions."


Caption Competition

13:08 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011


Winning entries in the Caption Competition.
The competition is now closed. Full rules can be seen here [PDF].

This week it's Justin Beiber unveiling his waxwork at Madame Tussauds in London.
Thanks to all who entered. The prize of a small amount of kudos to the following:

6. Grazvalentine
You're perpetuating the notion that Canada's full of lumberjacks, take this!

5. Throbgusset
Nick Clegg goes 'street'

4. Valerie Ganne After Justin's attack, the waxwork was so badly disfigured it had to be remodelled as Rupert Grint

3. Mr Snoozy
Justin stared impassively off into the distance as his waxwork dummy was positioned as if to punch him in the face.

2. Paris-Amsterdam Yank
At five pounds a swing, the government senses an opportunity to eliminate the debt.

1. Rogueslr
He's got a wider range of emotions than me, he cannot live!

Paper Monitor

11:43 UK time, Friday, 18 March 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Ahhh, animals. They're lovely. Much nicer than people really.

The newspapers' weakness for cute animal stories and pictures is well documented and today is no exception. Despite the nuclear and humanitarian crisis in Japan, it's the tale of two dogs in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that makes big news.

The Daily Mail - probably the biggest proponent of the media's isn't-it-cute animal strand - has the story of the "dog that symbolises bravery of a people".

He was filmed fiercely guarding his injured canine friend in the wreckage of a village in north-east Japan. It's cute and both dogs were thankfully saved, but Paper Monitor personally finds tales like the one of a woman carrying her elderly mother on her back for miles to a hospital more symbolic of the bravery of the Japanese at the moment.

The Daily Express takes the animal love one step further, with a double-page spread on how to give your pet the kiss of life. The feature is about the man who runs the country's only first aid course for animals. Is he barking? Not if the pet-owners interviewed are anything to go by. "I would do anything for my dog," says one woman.

The Daily Telegraph answers a question that has been keeping Paper Monitor up at night. Who would win in a fight - a wildebeest and a leopard? As Harry Hill would say, there's only one way to find out.

It has pictures of the two animals in a stand-off in Kenya's Masai Mara national park. The one with spots wants to eat the one with the horns.

Who comes out on top? It's the wildebeest, who sent the leopard packing with the help of its horns. Praise be, now we can all sleep easy tonight.

Popular Elsewhere

16:45 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011

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

Prince William and Kate Middleton could barely afford to buy a caravan if they depended solely on their salaries, according to one of the Telegraph's most popular stories. The article quotes banking group Santander as saying Prince William's RAF salary of £37,170 means the couple could only obtain a mortgage of £142,000. It found a selection of properties valued at this amount across the country, many of which it described as 'less than regal'. Properties valued at this amount include a two-bedroom bungalow in Windsor which is a rebuilt mobile home, measuring just 50sq ft (4.6sq m).

Time magazine's most popular article is about a "video sting" by a group run by conservative James O'Keefe and the subsequent ousting of a radio station's CEO. In the video National Public Radio's (NPR) Ron Schiller and a colleague met with two members of a fictional Muslim group dangling a $5m (£3.1m) donation.

"Prodded by the 'donors,' Schiller said liberals 'might be more educated' than conservatives, described Republicans as "anti-intellectual" and said the GOP [Grand Old Party] had been 'hijacked' by the 'racist'.
"Or did he? After the tape became national news, and after NPR hastily sacrificed its CEO to appease critics, a video editor at the Blaze - a website founded by Fox News host Glenn Beck - compared the edited sting video and the two-hour original, also posted online.
"Schiller did say some bad things, the Blaze found. But the short video took them out of context, like a bad reality show, and made them sound worse. It transposed remarks from a different part of the meeting to make it seem as if Schiller were amused by the group's 'goal' of spreading Shari'a law. It left examples of his complimenting Republicans on the cutting-room floor."

Proving popular with readers of the Voice of America website is the surprise expressed by their correspondent Steve Herman at Japanese Stoicism after the earthquake. As well as the lack of open anger, Mr Herman notes the missed opportunity to increase prices.

He adds that merchants may have traditionally ranked near the bottom of Japan's social hierarchy but in most of the country trying to make a little extra money in times of adversity is "just considered, well, unseemly and un-Japanese".

Increasing the amount younger children are taught may backfire, according to Slate's most read article.
New research published in the journal Cognition say that while learning from a teacher may help children get to a specific answer more quickly, it also makes them less likely to discover new information about a problem and to create a new and unexpected solution.

Your Letters

15:50 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011

How did Dennis the Menace make it into the 21st Century? Incredibly badly, judging by the awful new cartoon series.
Isaac Shortman @BBC News Magazine

Re: wedding street parties in Lincoln (or anywhere else for that matter). When grandparents had street parties all they had to do was put the trestles and bunting up, not do a risk assessment on whether a fairy cake could fall on someone's head and harm them. Too much red tape is the reason!
Ruby, Leics

Graham (Wednesday's letters), one thing I've noticed in these letters is that there is no lack of interest in telling people about one's lack of interest. Happily the coverage is limited here, which is a relief after being bombarded with the even-less-interesting Swedish Royal Wedding for weeks on end last year.
Ray, Turku, Finland

Why does everything in the most shared box have "quotation" marks? I'm sure they're not all needed.1: Bob Marley's 'human moment' revealed in lost footage. 2: Japanese emperor 'deeply worried'. 3: Rap star Nate Dogg 'dies aged 41'. 4: 'Radiation' text message is fake. 5: 'Red tape' forces quake team home.
David, Newport-on-Sea, Shropshire

Ian, (Wednesday's letters), I don't know the name either but I get it every time a Radio or TV presenter says Nucular instead of Nuclear. It's not difficult and you're supposed to be professionals. New. Clear o.k That's better, pain gone. For now.
Paul, Ipswich

Ian (Wednesday's letters) - why is schedule supposed to be pronounced shed-ule, but school is pronounced skool, scheme is pronounced skeem etc?
Ellie, Herts

Ian (Wednesday's letter), The word for that wincing pain that goes through you shoulders every time you hear someone pronounce schedule, "sked-yoo-uhl" is known as pedantitis
Jez, Rochdale

Paper Monitor

13:22 UK time, Thursday, 17 March 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor knows a fair bit about features commissioning meetings.

Journos sit around, burbling on about "monkey tennis" and other Alan Partridge-style ideas.

But occasionally something is said that stops the assembled crew, rendering them speechless with the brilliance, the sheer audacity, of what is being suggested.

Or there's this feature in the Daily Mail where women's bottoms get compared with that of Kate Moss.

There's women aged 26, 32, 40 and 56 and you have to guess which is which.

Further back in the Mail and we get to the letters page.

There you have a very Mailesque missive.

"Will DCI John Barnaby of Midsomer Murders soon have a one-legged black lesbian detective sergeant with a Scottish accent?"

Paper Monitor likes the way a Scottish accent also qualifies as exotica in the world of Midsomer.

Over in the Daily Express, there are four letters about Midsomer.

One of the Express's famous phone-in polls has established that 99% of readers support a white-only detective show. Today's poll is more of the same, asking if Brian True-May should be allowed to start working again immediately. Paper Monitor is predicting another North Korea-style election result.

It's put even more bluntly in the Daily Star's textmaniacs.

jaywalm says: "brian true-may 4 prime minister"

Your Letters

15:56 UK time, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Re: Lincolnshire royal wedding party numbers 'shameful'. What exactly does it have to do with Ms Lowe if other people don't want to celebrate somebody else's wedding in the same "council-approved-fun" way as her?
Mel, Newcastle, UK

In this story one councillor blamed the "uncertain weather" for the lack of interest. Perhaps it is just lack of interest alone?
Graham, Hayle

Was this story created for teh sole purpose of allowing the BBC to use a picture of Einstien's head being carried through the streets, to be used?
Simon Howes, Leighton Buzzard

Here's my contribution to public sector efficiency savings: "Police said they were trying to establish whether the bus should have been using the route". Dear Police, no, the tall bus should not be using the route with the low bridge. Yours sincerely, Mike
Mike, Switzerland

I love this new Popular Elsewhere blog. Even more procrastination material.
MF, London

Is there a word for that wincing pain that goes through you shoulders every time you hear someone pronounce schedule, "sked-yoo-uhl"?
Ian, Redditch

Popular Elsewhere

14:19 UK time, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

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

The New York Times' most read article says the best way to keep fit is to get a dog. The story says several studies now show that dogs can be powerful motivators to get people moving. "Not only are dog owners more likely to take regular walks," it adds "but new research shows that dog walkers are more active over all than people who don't have dogs."

"One study even found that older people are more likely to take regular walks if the walking companion is canine rather than human."

Economist readers are catching up on news of the Dalai Lama's resignation. The spiritual leader of Tibet said that "Tibetans need a leader elected freely by the Tibetan people". The article says that whether his resignation is accepted or not, he means to make plain that he can no longer be relied upon as the movement's supremo. Last week, Padma Choling, the Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet said the Dalai Lama must follow the tradition of reincarnation and cannot choose his successor. The Economist is "dumbfounded":

"Strange as it is to see the Communist Party dictating the terms of a Buddhist reincarnation, it wouldn't be the first time China has intervened with succession of Tibetan Buddhist leaders."

The Australian's most read story looks at a row over the extent of action to combat climate change. It comes after the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard cited China's closure of "dirty" coal-fired power stations to back her argument that Australia must act to price carbon. Opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt accused the prime minister of failing to mention that China, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, was experiencing huge growth in emissions.

The devastation caused by Japan's earthquake and the subsequent potential risk of nuclear radiation leaks highlight the urgent need to establish a global disaster emergency relief mechanism. That's according to Xinhua news site's most read article. It argues that no individual nation can remain immune from increasingly common threats posed by climate change, shortages of resources and the frequent financial, energy and food crises. That makes it "essential to establish a global emergency and relief system to increase the world's capability to tackle natural disasters".

Proving popular with the Independent's readers is news that the singer Adele's father has never seen her perform.
The article says Mark Evans, regrets becoming estranged from his daughter after he started abusing alcohol 10 years ago, and admits he still can't bear to see her perform on stage. Mark, told the Sun "I was putting away two litres of vodka and seven or eight pints of Stella every day."

Paper Monitor

10:39 UK time, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Maybe journalism isn't such a bad a job after all.

Spring is here, and Fleet Street's colour writers have been wandering the lanes and byways of Midsomer Murder country.

A tour of the area in which the ITV crime drama is set will, according to the Independent, normally set you back £6.50, although the paper informs us that this price includes a packed lunch.

Nevertheless, the legion of hacks jotting down their impressions of the rustic spires, village greens and old maids biking to communion will be able to put their warm ale on expenses. Good for them, thinks Paper Monitor.

The press pack are, of course, in such congenial turf as Wallingford, Oxon and Great Missenden, Bucks, because Brian True-May, the co-creator of the series filmed within them, has said racial diversity "wouldn't work" in the show because it represents a "last bastion of Englishness".

Iain Hollingshead of the Daily Telegraph, that most Midsomer Murders-ish of newspapers, is charmed by a community in which an advert for a Friday night lecture at the local museum promises, "with a thrilling use of quotation marks, to use 'modern technology'".

Like other reporters, Mr Hollingshead detects that this real-life slice of middle England in fact includes a small but visible ethnic minority community.

"The most striking difference between Great Missenden and the fictional towns of Midsomer county is that there are black people," observes Jack Malvern of the Times.

Malvern speaks to the members of the town's minority communities, including an Indian newsagent called Atul who sells True-May his morning papers and defends his customer against the charge of racism.

"I think it has been blown out of proportion, really," suggests Atul.

Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail is appalled that Mr True-May's remarks have become an issue, insisting that the writer is the victim of political correctness. "Midsomer Murders does not aim to 'reflect modern Britain' and it is bonkers to expect any drama so to do," Letts insists.

Yet in the pages of the same paper, Robert Hardman wonders aloud if the critics have a point:

After all, having featured 942 actors and 22,000 extras over 14 years, would it be entirely unreasonable for one of Britain's five million non-white citizens to wander into the orbit of DCI Barnaby and his team?

Diversity, it appears, is alive and well in middle England after all.

Popular Elsewhere

16:07 UK time, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

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

A Massachusetts university president has banned a traditional Naked Run according to a popular Boston Globe story. The article says over the years, the combination of heavy drinking and running has led to broken bones and altercations with the police. When justifying the ban Lawrence Bacow said "the only question is whether a student has to die first. We cannot allow this to happen.'' But the students expressed disappointment that the December run will finish as it has become a bonding session before the final exam crunch.

Wired magazine's most popular story says a man who has written a protest on his chest is suing the US Government for detaining him at an airport. Aaron Tobey, 21, wrote an abbreviated version of the Fourth Amendment on his body and stripped to his shorts at an airport security screening area. He had written "Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures" on his chest in marker pen. He says he was handcuffed and held for about 90 minutes by the Transportation Security Administration at the Richmond International Airport after he began removing his clothing to display on his protest.

Ed West asks in the Telegraph's most read story why there isn't any looting in Japan. He points out this is quite unusual among human cultures and doesn't know why the Japanese display altruism even in adversity. This belief is backed up by the example of the 2007 floods in the West Country where abandoned cars were broken into and free packs of bottled water were stolen. Then there was looting in Chile after the earthquake last year - so much so that troops were sent in. And in New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina saw looting on a "shocking" scale.

Slate magazine's most read story asks why it is so difficult to part with "juvenilia". This is the memorabilia collected through your juvenile years. Jessica Grose explains that in theory she accepted the necessity of throwing away spelling tests and book reports dating back to the mid-'80s but in practice, it didn't quite play out so smoothly:

"My psychiatrist mother watched my struggle with a bemused detachment. She didn't say so, but I suspect that if we had talked about it, she would have told me that I was experiencing a textbook case of displacement: I was really upset about letting my childhood go, but I was unleashing all that emotion on the concrete act of cleaning out my bedroom."

Proving popular on al-Jazeera's site is a story about the history of cyber war. It says cyber operations have been going on for a long while and the private sector has been "only too ready to fill the cyber mercenary role for piles of cash". The story of a big money attempt to infiltrate a group of hackers called Anonymous which failed and led to the infiltrator's online accounts being wiped out. This, it is argued, is an illustration of the asymmetric nature of cyber warfare.

Your Letters

15:42 UK time, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

This only proves one thing. Ethnic minorities are far too sensible to move to an area where your chances of surviving a two-hour episode are slim-to-zero.
Jaye, Rutland, England

"Police said they were trying to establish whether the bus should have been using the route." My instinct says no.
Phil, Leeds, UK

Paper Monitor, you've got it all wrong about tabloids being obsessed with travellers. Given that the fuss is all about trying to evict people from a fixed location, surely the obsession is with people who are displaying a distinct lack of travelling tendencies?
Adam, London, UK

I just wanted to remind all your readers to beware of the Ides of March, especially if you are an Italian leader. Even more so if one of your friends is called Marcus.
John Airey, Peterborough, UK

To Suzy (Monday's letters), when I did science GCSE we got two GCSEs for doing three sciences so I wonder if there's also the option to do two sciences and get one GCSE for it.
Jenny F, Aberdeen

Re: number three in 10 Things, surely the lifespan of the average British person decreases by twenty-four hours a day?
Paul Greggor, London

Paper Monitor

11:46 UK time, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

A series highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's official. Well, in Monitor Towers anyway. Travellers are the new Katie Price, the new Diana, even the new Posh and Becks - they are the new obsession of certain newspapers.

Following the success of Channel 4's Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, the travelling community has found itself firmly in the sights of the tabloids, along with some of the other papers.

At the Daily Star they have repeatedly knocked Katie Price off the front page, a minor miracle considering she has a new, very handsome, 25-year-old Argentinian boyfriend.

The Sun is also fascinated and today has a double-page spread on a massive traveller camp, which is in Crays Hill, near Basildon, Essex. The council has decided that after 10 years the families at Dale Farm must finally go and has given them 28 days to pack up and leave. The eviction could cost £28m apparently.

Dale Farm featured in the Channel 4 programme and, referencing the show, the paper has gone with the headline: "Our big fat gypsy eviction". It leaves Paper Monitor wondering why everything in the traveller community is always described as big and fat?

Anyway, as with any obsession, there seems to be a bit of a fight over who knows the most about the subject, and is closest to the action. The Sun says it is the only paper to be granted access to the site, although the Daily Mail also has a double-page spread on the site today and also seems to have gained access.

There's some emotive language used in both. The Daily Mail writes of "native villagers" moving their children to different schools, while the Sun's reporter recounts a meeting with a young traveller who said she has dreamt about the police tearing down her home. "I was screaming, I'm scared," she said.

The Sun can claim the best picture, a very interesting shrine on the site involving a large statue of the Virgin Mary and a bathtub. It has also managed to find a local person who says the travellers should be allowed to stay. She's a rarity if both articles are an accurate reflection of the situation.

But will they be evicted? Who knows, we will have to wait and see. But one thing is for sure, the national newspapers are going to devote many more column inches to the saga because big, fat gypsy stories seem to attract big, fat numbers of readers.

Your Letters

16:00 UK time, Monday, 14 March 2011

Announced by Education Secretary Michael Gove in the autumn, the new English Bac benchmark measures how many pupils in England achieved five GCSEs at grade C or above in English, maths, a language, two sciences and either geography or history. *Counts on fingers* err, that's six GCSE's isn't it ? Not surprised they all failed.
Susy, Strathaven

In this article, can I be the only reader who completely failed to understand the following sentence?:- "In the film Big Nothing, David Schwimmer's character Charlie is placed in the 'Jennifers and Stephens' section of a call centre because 'callers like to think they get the same service rep'."
Anyone care to explain?
Paul, Marlow, UK

Monitor note: In that section, all the female employees tell callers they are Jennifer and the male ones pretend they are Stephen.

Re your Tennyson 10 essential quotes how can you miss out "Break, Break, Break on thy cold gray stones Oh Sea, And I would that my tongue could utter the thoughts that arise in me"?
Anton, Hungerford

Oh how I chortled at this article about non-EU workers being banned from takeaway jobs by an organisation known as MAC (Migration Advisory Council). I can only imagine that it's a large mac! I'll get my Gabardine overcoat.
James Rigby, Wickford, Essex

I tanked at the 7 days quiz, as usual. But can I take issue with question 5? I'm pretty confident the first-ever census was not taken in 1801. There was a very well-documented census roughly 1801 years earlier.
GDW, Edinburgh

Popular Elsewhere

12:57 UK time, Monday, 14 March 2011

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

In the Guardian's most read comment piece Charlie Brooker says "dumb kids are fodder" for Jamie Oliver's latest "shockingly arrogant" TV experiment where the chef opens a school. He points out that the programme, Dream School, is part of a new TV genre of celebrity teachers.

"Simon Callow taught them English by shouting at them. David Starkey taught them history by insulting them. And Alastair Campbell taught them politics by arranging a debate, which soon degenerated into a full-blown playground ruck...
"Thank God Jamie merely opened a school, and didn't decide to explore the NHS's failings by opening his own Dream Hospital, in which famous actors who've portrayed doctors in popular dramas perform operations on members of the public."

The most read story in Adelaide's the Advertiser says speed cameras are nothing more than revenue raisers. They quote a University of Adelaide study which shows they are not used in notorious black spots.

The New York Times' most read article is Google's key elements to a good boss.
The results are gathered through Google's data mining team who are now focusing on softer data, which they call "people analytics". The article calls the findings "forehead-slappingly obvious".

"Have a clear vision and strategy for the team."
"Help your employees with career development."
"Don't be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented."

Proving popular with Time readers is an article entitled How Companies Now Know Everything About You. Joel Stein looks into what companies think they know about him from the information he gives online. To keep your habits from being public knowledge Mr Stein suggests that you don't say anything private on a Facebook wall, keep your secrets out of e-mail and use cash for illicit purchases.

China's Xinhua news readers are catching up on Lisbon Fashion Week's highlights. The article highlights designs by designers Filipe Faisca and Alexandra Moura. Both use the autumnal colours brown and gold.

Paper Monitor

10:16 UK time, Monday, 14 March 2011

A series highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is brought home in today's newspapers through a series of incredible images. The many photographs in all the papers are astounding, utterly arresting and heartbreaking in equal measure.

Under the headline "Japan fights for its life", the Daily Telegraph has an image of a woman wrapped in a blanket and standing amid the devastation in Ishimaki City. Inside it has a shot of hundreds of cars that had been ready for export, now burnt out and piled up in one massive heap.

The Daily Mirror has a remarkable shot of the large boat washed up on top of a building, while one of the Sun's most poignant shots is of the hand of a victim reaching out of the rubble. The Guardian's front page is dominated by a photo of rescue workers carrying an elderly woman from a mass of debris as far as the eye can see. How she survived and how they found her is simply mind-boggling.

But incredible stories of survival are starting to emerge. On its front page, the Sun has the tale of a man found clinging to the roof of his house and floating 10 miles out at sea. He had been there for two days and said:

Helicopters and ships passed but none noticed me, I thought that day was going to be the last of my life

The Guardian has a graphic on page seven that shows the epicentres of the quakes and aftershocks in Japan over the last few days. It's a blur of small orange and red circles, the red ones showing the most severe. It's impossible to count how many there have been and equally impossible to get your head round.

The Daily Telegraph also brings home the size of what has happened in a column headed: Disaster By Numbers. It includes statistics like 9.8 - the number of inches the earth was thrown off its axis by the powerful earthquake.

No exaggerated headlines and words are needed by any of the papers today. The size of this disaster speaks for itself.

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