BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor

Archives for July 31, 2011 - August 6, 2011

Your Letters

17:14 UK time, Friday, 5 August 2011

Was anyone else expecting Kate Moss? (Yes, tree pun intended.)
Basil Long, Nottingham

Steve (Thursday's letters) I think you'll find the term is forgetful-self-appreciation.
Sarah Kay, Cannock, Staffs

Steve, I think amnesia covers it.
Jo, Lichfield

Am I the only person who thinks that what the person in picture seven has drawn is in fact the underside of a steam iron?
Sue, London

How did the statistic "one-in-six clergy in the PKN [Protestant Church in the Netherlands] and six other smaller denominations was either agnostic or atheist" manage to escape the attentions of both 10 Things and Random Stat today?
Paul, Marlow, UK

It was illegal to sign a football player on a Sunday in the 1950s. Was it? Is that because they got ink all over them?
Jeff Doggett, Leicester

Caption Competition

13:20 UK time, Friday, 5 August 2011


Winning entries in the Caption Competition.

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


This week it's Kong Qingyang and Shen Likun, who got married this week, using a forklift truck as a wedding car. The reason behind it is that Kong, a former forklift driver, met Shen while buying a forklift from her. And they say that romance is dead.

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

6. SkarloeyLine
To have and to load, to lever and to cherish...

5. Cairngorm McWomble
Shen was apprehensive about the first dance. Kong's favourite song was Westlife's You Raise Me Up and Shen already had a fear of heights.

4. eattherich
My Big Fat Distribution Centre Wedding

3. Mike Newcastle
Phew! I thought I was going to end up left on the shelf.

2. bradmer
They were prepared for the highs and lows of marriage

1. Pendragon
I said to hire a wedding car, not higher one.

10 things we didn't know last week

12:00 UK time, Friday, 5 August 2011

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

1. Spider-Man has died.
More details

2. Margaret Thatcher did not pioneer the Right to Buy scheme for social housing.
More details

3. Almost as many people get married on a Thursday as on a Sunday.
More details

4. A web address can cost nearly £1 million.
More details

5. Suicide bombers are considered a suitable subject for Afghan satire.
More details

6. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin cannot bend frying pans with his bare hands.
More details

7. A hole in the ground can qualify as a private members club.
More details

8. It was illegal to sign a football player on a Sunday in the 1950s.
More details

9. Local councils in England own 40 hotels and around 20 cinemas.
More details

10. There are poisonous rats.
More details

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

Paper Monitor

10:04 UK time, Friday, 5 August 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Many of the front pages are dominated by a variation on the same image - man with head in his hands, whether it be Italian supremo Silvio Berlusconi or a trader at the New York Stock Exchange - and tales of global financial doom and gloom.

The European debt crisis and the plunging global stock markets are the headlines but there's a great deal of detail that the papers are keen to explain to their readers.

So how does the Daily Star untangle the details for its readers?

In fewer than 90 words, at the top of page two.

A sign that the paper's audience sees BIG BRO GOES ON BIG BOOZE BENDER as a more important matter? Or is it simply that they know their stuff, thank you very much, and don't need to be patronised with the petty details?

Elsewhere, recent snaps of former Australian cricketer Shane Warne feature prominently. For a man who was once seen as an alpha male of the sporting world with his beer swigging, cigarette smoking, ladies' man lifestyle, it would once have seemed inconceivable that any talk of his "beauty secrets" would make the front page, as it has in the Mirror.

In the Daily Mail, fellow Aussie Amanda Platell lays into Warne for his new look - "almost overnight a national sporting hero has morphed into a metropolitan big girl's blouse" while also managing to squeeze every stereotypical catchphrase and cultural reference to their homeland into the piece - "Sheila", "dinkum", "tinny" plus mention of Crocodile Dundee and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Paper Monitor's surprised she hasn't got "throw another shrimp on the barbie" somewhere in there too.

Oh, and the secret behind Warne's beauty? His girlfriend Liz Hurley's moisturiser and a diet drink that swells in the stomach and makes the person feel full. That's one way of getting out of Hurley's own weight-loss favourite, a strict regime of cabbage soup. Yum.

Your Letters

16:24 UK time, Thursday, 4 August 2011

A claims management company has texted me to say I'm entitled to up to £4000 in compensation for my car accident. I think I should get much more than that, since it caused such bad amnesia that I have absolutely no recollection of the accident itself or of ever having driven a car. Was I perhaps a passenger in one of your readers' cars? Could they please tell me where we were going and why?
David Richerby, Liverpool, UK

Now the BBC is looking for nominative determinism on purpose, aren't you...?
J Paul Murdock, Wall Heath, West Midlands, UK

I was sure the third tag here read "things we learn don't twitter"!
Paul Greggor, London

Re Young people "more likely to reach 100 years old". What rubbish! Young people don't become 100 years old, 99-year-olds do.
Marcooosa, Portsmouth

Rachel of Wayzat (Wednesday letters), it would be a terrible faux pas to serve Garibaldis, especially free ones. Bourbons - now that's a regal dynastic choice, or a Royal Scot if available.
Trina, UK

What's a word for the phenomenon where you find yourself amused by a letter only to notice that you wrote the letter?
Steve, Edinburgh

Paper Monitor

12:30 UK time, Thursday, 4 August 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Today's insights reflect the importance of the "three Rs", especially important after recent reports that nearly 20% of children are not meeting the required standard in English.

It's nice to see that all the party leaders have got their summer reading in order, as the Times reports.

Labour leader Ed Miliband's weighty collection includes Leadership on the Line by Ronald A Heifetz and Marty Linsky, while Prime Minister David Cameron is reportedly reading Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Lib Dem leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has supposedly chosen Hitch-22: A Memoir, by Christopher Hitchens, as his holiday choice.

The Daily Mirror takes the story even further and reports the supposed reading habits of such literary heavyweights as footballer Joey Barton (Orwell's Animal Farm), Lindsay Lohan (Philip Roth's The Plot Against America), Barack Obama (Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls) and the BBC's own Jeremy Paxman (Jonathan Coe's The Rotters' Club).

Paper Monitor wonders when that list of people has ever been grouped together before - or if they ever will be again.

Blogger - and occasional pop star - Robbie Williams has made full page news in the Daily Star for what he has written on the web, citing exhaustion as the reason he had not been able to be the "flailing banshee" he wanted to be.

While Paper Monitor wouldn't want to question Mr Williams' meaning, does he really want to act like a hyperactive mythical Irish fairy, one that appears just before the coming of death?

Your Letters

14:33 UK time, Wednesday, 3 August 2011

So he's had himself, his mother and his TWO wives frozen ready for when their diseases can be cured? The man's just asking for an argument when the time's right isn't he?
Simon Love, London

I am intrigued and, admittedly a tiny bit jealous, to learn that there is a Royal Lounge at Manchester Airport. How does it differ from First Class or Business Class? Are there free garibaldis?
Rachel, Wayzata

Obviously, this random American is correct about Stevenson's inspiration and the man himself doesn't have a clue. (Raises eyes to ceiling).
Natalie, London

Re: The 110% comments (Friday letters). I always thought the idea was that you'd be giving 110% of your (so far) best effort. This would mean that "I'm 100% livid" descends into tautology however...
Steve, Edinburgh

Re: Duchess of Cambridge SAS training (Paper Monitor). So abseiling from a helicopter before dinner will no longer be anything special. But finding the right hat and dress to do it in, that is a challenge.
Candace, New Jersey, US

Rusty, Montreal, Canada

Paper Monitor

11:27 UK time, Wednesday, 3 August 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, as shown in a number of today's papers.

Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne has made front page news in the Independent - and featured heavily elsewhere - after offering a £50,000 reward to break the arms of someone on Twitter threatening his daughter.

Bannatyne, who says his "family is well protected", was taking the threat seriously and reported the incident to the police.

But it is not just Russian threats that celebrities need to cope with, sometimes they need saving from themselves.

The Daily Star reports that footballer Ashley Cole has hired a 24-hour SAS-trained guard to, in their words, "save him from lusty wannabe WAGs".

Apparently, "he doesn't want to be involved in kiss-and-tells that will mess things up for good with Cheryl".

While Paper Monitor would never question the seriousness of the threats from any "sexy ex-Army babes", £1,000-a-day to be Cole's "minder" seems like a good way to earn a six-figure living.

Elsewhere in self-defence news, the Duchess of Cambridge has been given SAS training to protect her from any kidnap threats, the Telegraph suggests.

She will now, it is claimed, be more aware of anything "unusual" in routine surroundings.

Adding a punchline to that revelation would just be too easy.

Your Letters

16:31 UK time, Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Never mind the wallabies, I'm more interested in what all those comments contributors had taken - it was a bit like reading the letters page in Viz...
Sue, London

Apologies if the inbox was so flooded with cheese jokes on Monday you couldn't find letters to post and hence their absence.
Tom Webb, Surbiton, UK

Re Clouds - Image #5 - Never mind the cloud formation, what about the massive wasp on the right?!
PollySaxon, Lichfield

David (Friday letters). Based on American sports talk, it is normally possible to give 110% effort. So I'd guess the same applies to rage.
Richard, Picton, Canada

Re Snake rides car bonnet. I'm no expert, but it looks like a windscreen viper to me. (Mumbles something about a coat and exits building).
MD, Southsea

How excited must the author of this have been to finally find a rhyme for humungus?
Irena, Madrid, Spain

Paper Monitor

15:45 UK time, Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Ah, there's some very silly stuff indeed in today's papers.

Paper Monitor is almost left feeling that there's some sort of seasonally-induced news shortage.

We'll start with the best. It's in the Sun. There should be a prize for any article that contains a sentence like:

"This amazing sonar image appears to show Han Solo's Star Wars spaceship the Millennium Falcon at the bottom of the Baltic Sea."

The man who found it says: "I have never seen anything like it." Well, yes, that's what one might have assumed.

Then in the Sun and elsewhere there's the woman who punched a black bear while out running in Montana. And the couple in the West Midlands who try to live like native Americans, again in more than one paper.

And what about the pub that's banned Morris dancers because the bells on their boots break a ban on music.

The Daily Mail suggests that a British bee venom mask is all the rage in China.

If only we had a name for this seasonally-induced news shortage.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.