BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor

Archives for June 19, 2011 - June 25, 2011

10 things we didn't know last week

15:27 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

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

1. Vincent Van Gogh looked a lot like his brother Theo.
More details

2. Urban pigeons remember who will feed them and who will chase them away.
More details

3. Women have gaydar.
More details (Daily Telegraph)

4. There are ants that carry a friend so they can deal with big bits of food.
More details

5. It's very difficult to urinate in a treated water reservoir in the UK.
More details

6. Half of Britons are, in fact, Germans.
More details (Daily Telegraph)

7. Sonic the Hedgehog's shoes are based on Michael Jackson's footwear in the Bad video.
More details

8. British taxpayers own 200,000 paintings - including multi-million pound works by the likes of Titan, Monet and Picasso.
More details

9. A female tennis player's grunts can reach 95 decibels.
More details (Daily Telegraph)

10. Chocolate milkshake is the ideal post-workout recovery drink.
More details (Daily Mail)

Seen 10 things? Send us a picture to use next week. Big thanks to Jacob Haddad for this week's picture of 10 balloons in Oxford.

Caption Competition

15:15 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011


Winning entries in the Caption Competition.

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

This week it was cosplay enthusiasts at a convention in the UK. Cosplay is short for Costume Play where players dress and perform roles from Japanese culture, Anime and Manga art characters.

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

6. BaldoBingham
The chastity mask was the latest trend to sweep through American high schools.

5. eattherich
At SHA (Super Heroes Anonymous) Ninja Wasp was finding that discovering his inner mild-mannered alter ego was emotional stuff.

4. penny-farthing
Parting is such sweet Zorro.

3. Kudosless
... and good luck with those Glastonbury toilets.

2. Valerie Ganne
Students at an Essex school misguidedly prepare to put on Shakespeare's The Many Knives of Ninja.

1. Steele Hawker
Don't worry so much - everybody who eats cress gets it all over their teeth.

Your Letters

15:03 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

"Darfaydar"? It took a long while to figure out what Jessie J was talking about in this article. I weep for the future.
Simon Love, London

So Airbus estimates it has sold more than 700 A320neo jets so far. Now, I could understand, if for example, Mrs Miggins had estimated that she had sold more than 700 pies, but surely, in such a safety critical industry, a manufacturer should be able to accurately count its crate sales.
James Bigglesworth, Crepy, France

"...could the blue creatures offer a model for society?" I hope not. There was only one smurfette. How that all worked out has been a source of much debate through many people's growing years.
Sarah, Basel, Switzerland

Of course we should model society on the Smurfs. I've been telling people that until I'm blue in the face.
Rob Falconer, Llandough, Wales

Re: Do Smurfs provide a model for a good society? Won't we get cold not wearing any tops? Especially in our climate. Not to mention UV damage to the skin over the summer.
Malcolm Rees @ BBC News Magazine

Lewis (Wednesday's Letters), I'm also guessing the penguin is male. He is on Peka Peka beach. Sounds like nominative determinism, fnaar fnaar!
Phil Warne, Nelson, NZ

Surely I can't be the first to point to the 6'4" Basil Long (Thursday's letters) and cry nominative determinism?
Katherine, Sydney, Australia

Popular Elsewhere

13:32 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

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

It's Glastonbury weekend, it's been raining so cue pictures of Glastonbury fans covered in mud. But the Daily Mail has upped the stakes, on their most read piece with a picture of a "Gran" pushing her way through the welly-clad crowd with a walking frame. It's complete with a reference to "pensioner pop" and is enough proof for the paper that music fans are getting older.

No mud is in sight for some music fans. Just pool parties and now desert landmarks. That 's because, as the LA Times' most popular story claims, Las Vegas has become the electronic dance music capital of the world. The reason behind the location change from Ibiza is the increased popularity of the genre in the US. DJ Kaskade explains: "Now when you turn on the radio you hear JLo and Britney Spears copying the music we've been making for 10 years".

Women's football isn't one you often see in the most popular lists of newspapers so the confession "I would drink every day on my own until I passed out" may explain Kelly Smith's appearance on the Independent's list. Ms Smith, who is on the England Women's team, but also plays for Boston Breakers, says she realised she had a problem in 2004 when she drank her way through her time with a broken leg. She isn't sure she'd call herself an alcoholic and says she has never played drunk. Despite this revelation the piece still manages to squeeze in comparisons to men's football, a recognition that this could be annoying, and confirmation from Ms Smith herself that this is annoying, and then an in depth comparison to male footballer Wayne Rooney, anyway.

Google Doodles are becoming a much sought after sign of recognition. The drawings on the front page of the search engine's website celebrate "all kind of random occasions" says CNN's most popular article. A delightfully obscure anniversary picked out by CNN is the painter Paul Cezanne's 172nd birthday. The rising importance of Google's recognition is shown in complaints that the company didn't recognise Gay Pride month with a sketch.

Finally, a tale of decline playing out in public is Forbes' most popular story. Tom Anderson, the guy who used to automatically add himself as your friend when you signed up to MySpace, hasn't been that attentive on his own page. It points out that the site's co-founder hasn't updated his page since March. Unfortunately, the last update was "What's hot on MySpace". Apparently not much, Forbes retorts. Ouch.


Paper Monitor

12:23 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor is clean, dry and warm. Paper Monitor had a shower this morning and will sleep in a bed tonight. Paper Monitor, you may have gathered, is not at Glastonbury.

Who needs to, after all, when all of Fleet Street devotes so much coverage to the festival? Even that least counter-cultural of publications, the Daily Telegraph, carries a page lead on the event - illustrated, of course, with photographs of young ladies in wellies and short skirts dancing in the mud. Glastonbury being late June's equivalent of A-level results day.

Of course, the festival isn't just there for the benefit of Fleet Street picture editors. Paper Monitor favourite and regular Glasto-goer Caitlin Moran has written a splendid article on her favourite things about the festival, one of which is a rather unique banner:

No one knows who owns the 10ft high ten-foot-high "I HEART SAUSAGES" flag, no one knows where he got it from - presumably a flag-shop owned by someone really into sausages. But for the last four years, the gigantic "I HEART SAUSAGES" flag, waved from the centre of the audience, has been a mainstay of Glastonbury's headlining acts. Aside from being a cheerful reminder of how fantastic sausages are, it's also a great moment when a legendary act - Bruce Springsteen, say - looks out into the audience, notices it, and clearly thinks, "Sausages? I was about to sing Born in the USA, but now, all I can think about is sausages. Man, I'd like a link in a bap."

The Guardian's page-three lead on the festival is slightly more offbeat. It observes that festival organisers have vetoed "the first major attempt to test the use of legal highs and illicit drugs at a British festival by sampling sewage".

According to the newspaper, the proposed research was seen by substance abuse experts as a "golden opportunity" - terminology that not all readers will find entirely appropriate.

Perhaps inspired by Glastonbury, the Sun also has drugs on the brain, this time examining claims that William Shakespeare may have been more exotic in his tastes than previously imagined. Smoking pipes found buried in his back garden were found to contain traces of cannabis.

The paper searches the bard's work for further evidence of his ingestions, citing such lines as "O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick" from Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth's "The patient must minister to himself".

Its headline? "To E or not to E."


Popular Elsewhere

15:57 UK time, Thursday, 23 June 2011

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

Jose Antonio Vargas discovered when he was 16 and applying for a driving license that his US green card he'd carried for the last four years was fake. His grandfather had paid for it when he flew him over from the Philippines when he was 12. He tells his tale of living as an illegal immigrant in America in a popular New York Times article. The plan his grandfather had for him, that once he got older he would marry an American woman, came a cropper when he came out as gay. The problems continued as he pursued a career in journalism and was part of the team who won a Pulitzer prize for the Washington Post's coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. His grandmother's first reaction was "what if people find out". He too was anxious "the more I achieved," he says "the more scared and depressed I became." Now, he says, he is tired and has come forward to the authorities, and his readers.

A British woman who won a reported $1bn in one of the biggest divorce settlements in history has filed for bankruptcy in the US, according to the Telegraph's most popular story. In 1982 Patricia Kluge, a former adult film actress, married John Kluge, the US television mogul who became America's richest man, worth $6bn. The divorce was in 1990. But Ms Kruge didn't divulge how she lost the money just saying it was a long story. However, the piece explains that her investment in vineyards, creating $300 bottles of wine, hasn't been a success.

Potatos are worse than nuts for keeping the pounds off, reports the most popular Washington Post article. A Harvard study worked out for the first time the amount of weight individual foods add. It claims chemical make-up of food can have more influence than just calories on how much ends up as fat in the body. Potatos seemed the biggest sinners perhaps because of their effect on the chemical insulin.

The universe's highest electric current ever seen has been found according to the New Scientist's most popular article. The article says the current is being carried by a cosmic jet two billion light years away. It's the equivalent to a trillion bolts of lightning. The University of Toronto team who worked on it say they think magnetic fields from a colossal black hole at the galaxy's core are generating the current.

Is it OK to text on your phone while eating in a fancy restaurant? Time's overriding answer is yes, in its most popular article. After all, you're not a guest in someone's house but paying for the services. So go ahead, even take a picture of your food if you wish. The food writer Josh Ozersky says he's noticed that in high end restaurants there is a power struggle going on over who is in control and most of the time the restaurants win.

Your Letters

14:56 UK time, Thursday, 23 June 2011

The fence-through-the-goalpost story was wonderful, but both fence and goalpost should be left as they are and submitted as an entry to the next Turner Prize competition. It ought to win. I can hear the judges' verdict now: "A bold conception, playfully juxtaposing the constraints of goal-oriented modern existence with the angular certainty of restraint and limitation which mocks creativity". Or any alternative combination of those words, of course.
Mark, Reading, UK

Regarding the flushing away of all that reservoir water, perhaps they'd better add underwater cameras to their CCTV to catch sneaky ducks.
Graham, Purmerend

How do you stop mobiles in concerts? Get the team that built the Peter Harrison Planetarium at the Royal Observatory Greenwich to help you out. You simply won't get a signal in the planetarium and I have heard "Please leave your mobiles on with ring tones on loudest - you won't get a signal through the dome's copper shell".
Adrian, London, UK

Susan (Wednesday's letters), were you still a Crook when you went to Australia?
Ruaraidh, Wirral, UK

I rather like the new portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip. At least it means that - at 6'4" - my trousers actually look a decent length.
Basil Long, Nottingham

In case you use the Emperor penguin from Antarctic visits New Zealand beach story for your caption competition, can I get in first with "I'm sure I left my car around here somewhere."
Rob Falconer, Llandough, Wales

Paper Monitor

10:45 UK time, Thursday, 23 June 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's with a heavy heart that Paper Monitor writes today. The reason for such sadness? A double-page spread in the Times. The subject? Oxbridge entrance exams.

No, this is not due to a flashback to some awful humiliation in front of such an interview panel. Paper Monitor will leave it up to you dear readers to decide if it got within sniffing distance of such hallowed halls of learning. What is causing this woe is the story that Oxford and Cambridge universities are being urged to scrap their traditional admissions interviews to make the process fairer.

Now this is all well and good, but these interviews are the stuff of legend. The paper prints some of the classic questions that have been asked in them, like: "How do I know you are the same person as the one who walked through the door?" Or: "Is a monkey a human?" The world would be a far less colourful place if such brain bogglers disappeared. Don't do it. Pretty please.

Favourite animal story of the day is in the Daily Telegraph. It's about Ci, who has been branded Britain's worst sheep dog because he is scared of sheep. A video of him being chased by them has become an internet hit. But quite frankly, Ci seems like the sensible one when you read the character analysis of sheep by his owner Jane Lippington. She says:

Sheep can be quite aggressive if they think they have the upper hand - they stamp their feet and gang up in numbers and act like an army.

Eek! They actually sound really rather scary. Like Doctor Who baddies. Script writer take note. Paper Monitor is with you Ci and running for the hills.

Finally, John Galliano's trial started in Paris yesterday. The fashion designer is accused of making "public insults" based on origin, religion, race or ethnicity. He denies purposefully offending anyone.

Known for his flamboyant style, most of the newspaper were keen to see what he wore to court. The answer? A black, three-piece suit and black brogues. You can sense the disappointment among the media. After all, this is a man who has left the house dressed as a matador, an astronaut and Napoleon - and he wasn't going to a fancy dress party on any of these occasions, he was going to work.

But there was a flash of that individual style. The suit was worn without a shirt and just a loosely tied cravat. This is as low key as Galliano gets. "Raffish" is how the Times describes it. More like a 50-year-old Artful Dodger with a David Niven-style moustache is how Paper Monitor would put it.

Popular Elsewhere

15:45 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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

The Daily Mail's most popular story reveals the Duchess of Cambridge is a bad speller. It says "In the letter, just unveiled in Wimbledon's museum, she writes quite instead of quiet and confuses 'till with 'til." The paper goes on to point out that Princess Catherine went to school at Marlborough College where it costs £29,000 a year to board. The handwritten letter was addressed to the All England Club thanking them for their hospitality during the Wimbledon tennis Championships 2008.

Italy's most popular ready made pizza is made in Lancashire, according to a well hit Guardian story. It says Dr Oetker's thin crust pizzas are made in an industrial estate in Leyland which accounts for just over 20% of Italy's shop-bought pizza market and reflects a rising demand for convenience food. The paper reviews the pizzas as "inoffensive in the extreme" and needing olive oil and black pepper "to gain anything resembling a flavour". But it commends the low price and lack of topping slippage.

A popular Telegraph story warns of killer bugs in the dishwasher. It quotes Slovenian research which found fungi harmful to the lungs growing on the rubber band around the doors of dishwashers. The paper says the warm, moist environment along with alkaline water are a perfect environment for fungi to form.

Aid workers are the target of ire in a popular Slate article. "Scan the world's hot spots and disaster areas, and you'll invariably find NGOs and advocacy groups living high off the hog from donor money and hyping their causes with artfully presented information designed to prompt people to reach for their checkbooks". The disdain is directed towards NGO workers who drive 4x4s paid for by their companies, their partying and their salaries. It says environmental organisations are often the best paying. They are also more prominent, it says, because government ministries dealing with environmental issues are typically underbudgeted meaning outside organisations take over the main services.

The trial of Dutch extreme-right leader Geert Wilders for labelling Islam a fascist religion is coming to an end reports al-Jazeera's most popular story. The article examines how the judgement will test the Dutch definition of hate speech and set new boundaries to freedom of expression. The article warns "Many people in the Netherlands already feel that there should be a limit to what one is allowed to say; however, when that limit is drawn, they would not want it applied to them."

Your Letters

15:33 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Re: Health warning to festival goer. What really? And do you mean that driving fast and carelessly causes car crashes? And ice is slippery? Wow! Thank you for this astounding insight.
PollySaxon, Lichfield

Re: How do you stop mobiles in concerts? I'm a penniless student (cue violins) going to university in September (hopefully). I'm very passionate about classical music and I'm putting money aside to go to a Covent Garden opera production next year. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, at least for the foreseeable future, and somebody texting next to me would seriously detract from the experience. That's not elitism, it's simply wanting to be able to make the most of a very rare opportunity. They can check their phone when they leave, I can't go to another performance a couple of weeks later. I'll get my baton...
Rob Orme, Winsford, Cheshire

How do you stop mobiles in concerts? The singer Regina Spektor stops mid-song to yell at people who are talking, singing along or on their phones!
Laura Hampson @BBC News Magazine

"It includes an aerial runway, a mega-basket swing, outdoor fitness equipment, a jungle climber and web traverse/balance equipment." Whatever happened to a couple of swings, a slide and maybe a see-saw?
Basil Long, Nottingham

The penguin in "Emperor penguin from Antarctic visits New Zealand beach" is clearly male - miles from home but just carries blindly on in the hope that he'll recognise something.
Lewis Graham, Hitchin

In the interest of pedantry, I demand that the name of this section is changed to reflect the inclusion of 'how' questions.
MF, London

Re: Tim Henman (Tuesday's Letters) - it's still not much use having a tennis court in your back garden if you haven't got anyone decent to play against!
Nicola, Brighton

My father's surname was Crook (Tuesday's Letters). He worked for the Bank of England. At one time he was on the Bristol Crime Prevention panel with another Mr Crook (a local businessman) and the Chief Constable - name of Twist. And my mother (who hated her name of Ada) used to sign her cheques "A.Crook".
Susan.Thomas, Brisbane, Australia

Oh! Oh! Nights are drawing in. Time to get the sprouts on for Christmas.
Graham, Purmerend

Paper Monitor

10:52 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Euhhhhhhh! Don't look now, but one of the papers is trying its very best to put you off your breakfast today. Possibly your lunch and dinner as well. And very probably succeeding.

Without any warning the Times unleashes a full page of horror on unsuspecting readers. It correctly headlines the story on page four as the "disgusting truth" about what's lurking in your pillow.

A new study suggests they are a breeding ground for infectious germs and superbugs. And cue the onslaught of frightening facts and figures about that thing you lay your head on every night. Also the hideous magnified picture of the miniature wildlife - and its detritus - on even the cleanest pillow case.

The most stomach churning is the statistic that after two years of use more than a third of the weight of your pillow is made up of dust mites, dust-mite excretion, dead skin, bacteria and saliva. A THIRD! It's one of those things you should know, but really wish you didn't. Grrrr, fists are being shaken at you Times journlists at breakfast tables across the nation. How is anyone ever going to sleep easy after this?

After a serious case of denial in the tabloids yesterday, the Sun tackles the story that half of Britons could have some German blood in them - in true tabloid style of course. It has come up with a How German Are You quiz, which it kicks off by asking:

DO you have a craving for sausage or get upset about bad timekeeping? Then you might actually be GERMAN.

Questions include:

Ladies, when your armpits are a little hairy do you...
A. Reach for the razor.
B. Wear a long-sleeved top.
C. Take every available opportunity to remove your top and put your hands on your head.

And Paper Monitor's personal favourite:

Wearing leather trousers and slapping your thighs is OK only if...
A. You are a rock star or Russell Brand.
B. You are Max Mosley.
C. You fully appreciate what a magnificent traditional dance form it is.

And Paper Monitor's "oompah" rating? As British as talking about the weather and queuing, according to the paper.

Popular Elsewhere

16:27 UK time, Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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

A tale of NHS waste is proving popular with Daily Mail readers. It claims gluten free pasta prescribed on the NHS ends up costing up to £50 a packet. Its source is the Eastern and Coastal Kent NHS Trust's assistant director of medicines management, Alison Issott, who is quoted as saying a £2 packet of pasta would cost £5 to buy, plus a £1 dispensing fee, £1 pharmacy fee and a delivery charge up to £40. The paper reports the Trust is now advising patients to buy the pasta themselves.

Guardian readers are catching up with the delays to Donald Trump's Scottish golf resort. The newspaper reports the resort has been hyped up as becoming the world's best. But Mr Trump announced, while the course will be open for play next July, the five star hotel and villas have been postponed because, in Mr Trump's words, "the world has crashed". The Guardian adds that there has been a long running dispute with local residents over the protected dunes and the neighbours' boundaries.

A popular Independent story claims we can control our dreams. The article reports a technique developed by Deirdre Barrett, an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, called dream incubation. She is quoted in the article as advising "if you want to dream about a particular subject, focus on it once you are in bed. Since dreams are so visual, hold an image related to that subject in your mind as you fall asleep." She also suggests we can use the information presented by our unconscious by trying to recall our dreams as soon as we wake up.

An Economist article popular with readers asks why people don't like Mormons. It comes after two of the candidates competing to become the Republican leader ahead of the US presidential election are from the Church of Latter Day Saints. The article suggests that the biggest difference between Mormonism and other world religions is that it is relatively new which "may contribute to the scepticism about it, which contributes to the faith's insularity, which contributes to additional scepticism, and so on."

A new drug is sweeping across Russia according to Time's most popular article. According to the magazine, in the first three months of this year alone, the Russian drug control service says it confiscated 65 million doses of "krokodil". It says the drug has roughly the same effect as heroin but is at least three times cheaper and extremely easy to make. It goes on to say the over-the-counter painkiller codeine is the active component but addicts mix it with gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, iodine and red phosphorous, "which they scrape from the striking pads on matchboxes".

Your Letters

16:01 UK time, Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Australia has regained the ashes. I'll get my whites.
Phil, Guisborough

"Tim Henman and Andy Murray - both came from middle-class backgrounds. Henman was the son of a lawyer who could afford to have a tennis court in the garden." And he still can't win anything!
MK, Stockport

Not quite nominative determinism, but I like the idea of being strung up at a cello concert. Is there a word for that?
Joseph, London

Breaking news! Cat catches mice! Whatever next?
Paul, Ipswich

I'm less worried about mobiles going off during concerts because if you scowl at people they get the message. My fury is directed at those who come back from the interval and EAT THEIR CRISPS!
Fee Lock, Hastings, East Sussex

In response to Jim (Monday's Letters) that depends entirely on whether your mental image involves Kylie Minogue, or, God forbid, John Prescott! Apologies to all of you who were previously in the former camp, but are now in the latter.
Dave, Bristol

Glad to see Anon (Monday's Letters) is keeping our dear friend Nominative Determinism in the news. Who'd have thought that Mr Green would be the editor-in-chief (no less) of Golf International? My only question is, why isn't the initial of his first name "T"?
David, Jerusalem

Wait, what... you are anonymous but you 'out' PC Law! (Monday's Letters) Shocking! In my hometown we have a PC Crook.
Tattooed Mummy, West Sussex

Boredy boredy, bored... come on Monitor, do something - it's certainly turning out to be a very long day.
Andrew, Malvern, UK

Paper Monitor

10:25 UK time, Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

If you've ever wondered what university academics do apart for teaching for a few hours a week, the answer is clear in today's papers - research. Whether it's time well spent is a matter of opinion.

One study dominates and you don't have to be a professor of whatever to work out why. Scientists at University College in London have concluded that half of Britons have some German blood in them. The Daily Mail says the findings are "herr raising". Arf arf.

It's a result of Anglo-Saxopn migration after the fall of the Roman Empire. As the Daily Telegraph points out the new findings now make it a case of "don't mention the relations". It also points out the German press are having a field day with the findings. It says Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, wrote:

There is no use in denying it. It is now clear the nation which most dislikes the Germans were once Krauts themselves.

Probably the biggest shock with regards to the story is that it wasn't picked up by any tabloid. In a state of denial?

Other research in the Daily Telegraph today reveals what's the best place for an afternoon nap - a hammock. It's the rocking motion apparently. Glad that's cleared up.

Another issue cleared up in today is that of raunchy photoshoots and the pressure they may or may not put on women. The expert opinion in this case comes from Page 3 girl and Newsnight guest Peta Todd. Yes, you read that correctly. Following her second appearance on the "super-serious" news programme hosted by the "even more serious Jeremy Paxman", she sets out her case for lads' mags and Page 3:

The word "objectification" is bandied about a lot at times like this, particularly in relation to lads' mag culture. According to some, women are objectified by raunchy, topless photoshoots. But objectification, in my opinion, is an ugly way of saying "appreciation" - appreciation of women and the naked form.

There you go feminists. Sorted. This little mix up has all been the fault of ugly words. Ms Todd also argues Page 3 and lads' mags are much better than women's magazine because "the average size and curvyness of the girls in the lads' mag will be far bigger than those inside the women's".

And just to prove how much the Sun "appreciates" the curvier naked form, at the bottom of Peta's opinion piece is a strapline promoting a feature in today's paper. It's a photoshoot of "proud size16 readers" posing naked. Female emancipation tabloid style.

Your Letters

15:35 UK time, Monday, 20 June 2011

Well, it's not secret any more!
K Morrison, Lowestoft

Gaah! Naked star jumps! Not a good mental image for lunchtime.
Jim, Crowborough

7337 looks like "lite"? No it doesn't. It does, however, look like 'leet'. I'll get my j@c|
Dave M, Stevenage

When is it acceptable to boo? When politicians get historical facts wrong.
Jan Anderson @BBC News Magazine

A bit irresponsible to publish Timbo's letter on a Friday so we can't have the correction letters until Monday; a whole weekend of possibly having persuaded people to drive dangerously. The Highway Code is fairly specific that it is only OK to pass on the left when you are in slow moving queues, which is not what the video clip showed. Full details on overtaking here.
Ed Loach, Clacton, UK

It is precisely incidents such as this that mean that if there were a real invasion, everyone would be very blase about it and not take it seriously. We're just going to allow ourselves to be taken over without even realising it, thinking it to be some cheap stunt. We're a zombie nation already.
Basil Long, Nottingham

Had my first real-life experience of nomintive determinism - I was on duty as a Special Constable on Friday night (hence the annonimity) and was with a PC Law. I was so excited by this, but had to explain to him what on earth I was going on about!

Paper Monitor

11:04 UK time, Monday, 20 June 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's that time again. Time for every sports desk in the country to reach for the dictionary, dust it down and open it at the letter "m". Yes, Wimbledon starts today and that means we can expect a lot of alliteration when it comes to Andy Murray.

The Sun kicks off with "Murray mania mounts", referring to him as "Muzza" in the story. In fact, "mania" seems to be the Murray word du jour in all the papers. The sports writers obviously haven't got past words beginning with "m" and "a" in their dictionaries just yet.

The Mirror opts for an unusual angle in its main feature about him - how he has swapped his Ferrari for an Aston Martin. Interesting? Not really. But apparently he likes the car because it's British and at this stage of the tournament we're all still in it together and one big happy British family. Obviously, he'll very quickly go back to being Scottish if he fails to win.

The Daily Mail has signed up Muzza's mum Judy to write an exclusive column in the paper during the tournament. It says she is the "most famous mum in tennis" and in her first article she wants to set something straight about her parenting technique:

Contrary to some people's perceptions, I do not actually spend all my time following Andy around the world telling him what he should and should not be doing.

Well, that's us told. Eek. She's a little bit scary.

So moving swiftly on there's a new trend alert. Today the Sun introduces the world to "glammothers" - women who have become grandparents in their 30s.

The youngest, who is very aptly named Lucy Young, was just 32 when her granddaughter was born. The mathematics are as follows - she was a mum at 18 and her daughter was a mum at 14. Oh, and Ms Young is a glamour model. Well she would be wouldn't she, this is the Sun.

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