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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 18:25 GMT
The Magazine Monitor

THE MAGAZINE MONITOR

Welcome to the Magazine Monitor, the home for:

  • Daily Mini-Quiz results
  • Paper Monitor
  • Your letters
  • Punorama (Weds)
  • Caption Comp (Thurs)
  • 10 things we didn't know (Sat)

10 THINGS WE DIDN'T KNOW THIS TIME LAST WEEK

10 THINGS
10 Gulls
10 seagulls by Tony Janes

Snippets harvested from the week's news, chopped, sliced and diced for your weekend convenience.

1. Wrapping up warm really CAN help stop you catching a cold.

2. CS Lewis wrote the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in three months. (CS, by the way, stands for Clive Staples.)

3. London's Waterloo station carries four times as many passengers as Heathrow each day.

4. Prisoners wear lurid green and yellow jumpsuits when appearing in court so they can be easily spotted if they try to escape.

5. Every two minutes someone is told they have cancer.

6. The actress who played Connie, the woman with a smart red bob haircut who advertised AOL for five years in the late 90s/early 00s, now works in an estate agent's in London.

7. The Japanese word "chokuegambo" describes the wish that there were more designer-brand shops on a given street.

8. More Coca-Cola products are consumed per person in Mexico than any other country, and the company has 70% of the nation's soft drinks market.

9. Fountain pens are unsuitable for children under 14, because they don't have holes in the pen caps.

10. The tartufo bianchi - a fungus which smells of decaying leaves and is better known as a white truffle - is worth more per gram than gold.

Sources where no link: 3: Transport Secretary Alistair Darling, BBC News, 14 November; 4: the Times Monday 14 November; 5: BBC Breakfast News; 6: the Independent, Friday 8 November; 7: the Times 14 November; 8: the Sunday Times, 13 November; 9: the Daily Telegraph 11 November; 10: the Independent, 14 November.

Thanks this week to Ed Tufton and Dave Godfrey.

If you spot anything that should be included next week, use the form below to tell us about it.

Name
Your e-mail address
Country
Your thing and where you saw it

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.


YOUR LETTERS 18 NOVEMBER 1515 BST

Letters logo
In this week's "readers pictures of the week" picture 6, "A wee one puts the flowers in the shade!" you can clearly see that the baby's head has been Photoshopped into the image. There is obvious fading at the bottom and a very crude attempt to layer the petals of the flowers over the child's head. I don't deny the cuteness of the image, but the situation presented did not take place and as such should be presented as a composite image or not included. I am sure that you received many more pictures that were genuine and could have been included instead.
Ian Buchanan,
London, England

Re: Paper Monitor discovering a rhyme for Orange. Orange also rhymes With Lozenge hence: having a cold makes you less bold have an orange lozenge cos feeling squalid is horrid
Em,

Would you believe it. Two out of the top three news headlines are about football (World Cup and Best). Whatever happened to real news?
Herbert G,
Leeds, England

The LBQ keyring is £40 now! Do I pay the gas bill or buy it?
Margie Morgan,
Bootle, Merseyside

They say there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. With the proposed retirement age for pensions, this means I have two extra years to get a Lunchtime Limerick printed before retiring.
Tim McMahon,
Pennar/Wales

Re: the Readers' Column, Let's ban banning, 18 November. Some very sound advice here, but what should we do when confronted on the Tube with someone wielding a sackful of frozen halibut? Maybe the man with the laptop is writing his undying love to the woman in his life, hence the smile. I like to think of the rabbit in the old Cadbury's Caramel ad - she had the right idea, relax, let yourself unwind... What is more important, my mental health and sanity or someone listening to an iPod at full blast? Just think of the rabbit...
PJ,
Barcelona

Is Brian Ritchie's letter a joke?
Norm Brown,
Branxton NSW.OZ.

Just above your headline "Hollywood Madam Caters for Ladies" is a button labelled "Printable Version". Where have you put the button for the Unprintable Version?
John Whythe,
Newport, S E Wales

Sir Bob's comments regarding his contempt for e-mail also ring true for snail mail, telephone and mobile phone calls, traditional memos, Post-It notes found attached to your monitor when you return from your lunch break, text messages, and set menus at restaurants. Well, not so much that last one, but you get the general idea.
Ben Paddon,
Luton, England

The only fault I find with Little Britain is that it's harder to drop than crack. I wake up and have to get my fix before I can even brush my teeth. If I don't watch at least three episodes before the day is over, it will trigger insomnia and depression. Can someone suggest a less funny show, so that I can ease the withdrawals? Please help!
Jered Hughes,
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Re your top photograph for Why do prisoners wear lurid jumpsuits? When I was in the oil industry I used be slightly self-conscious when everyone was dressed in prisoner-like orange overalls. Now I realise there's a bigger problem being in Norwich when the Canaries are playing at home.
Nick, Cromer

If they passed me in the street wearing that, I'd stop them and ask them to look at the engine of my car, pay them for their trouble, then let them be on their way...
Rikki,
UK

Another one for "Things We Already Knew" - Obesity is a key risk factor for obesity. (see picture caption.) Who would have thought?
Jen,
London

HOUSEKEEPING FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER 1114 GMT

Apologies to quiz fans - 7 days 7 questions has been corrected after we wrongly identified the novel summarised in text as The Catcher in the Rye in question four.

And as this is Children in Need day, we draw your attention to this auction. A past winner of the Lunchtime Bonus Question has put his keyring up for sale, all proceeds to the charity.

CAPTION COMP ***UPDATED*** FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER 1100 GMT


It's time for the caption competition.

This week, uncomfortable words on the escalator? What's being said as Conservative leadership hopeful David Cameron attempts to go up in the world?

6. Alan, Japan
He began to worry when other people started hearing the voices too.

5. Matt J, Willesden
"Now, am I supposed to stand on the left or on the right? The left...? Or the right?? Dammit!"

4. John Sinclair, England
The question "are you a swinging voter?" seems to have been misunderstood.

3. Gary, Hoddesdon, Herts
"It's nice to see you using the Underground, Mr. Blair."

2. Ian, London
"Hmmm... Must get it right with John Humphreys... we must change to be inclusively passionate about... we are passionate about changing inclusively... we are including passionate change in... er..."

1. Vivien, London
Having got it onto the escalator, she panicked about how she'd get the lifesize dummy through the ticket barriers.

PAPER MONITOR FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER 0945 GMT

Newspapers logo
A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Time for another charivari of highlights. You might remember that the Daily Mirror was going through a spate of running stories about Charlotte Church having her hair done? Well there's another haircut today folks. "Charlotte Church brings a touch of grown-up glamour to kids show CD:UK, with tousled hair and low-cut top." (Hear the leer.)

A pure Daily Mail moment, complete with trademark "long question" headline: "One's a professor with an Oxford degree who enjoys a luxury home in Florida. The other's a single mother with three sons by three different fathers and lives on benefit in a council house. How can two sisters born into middle-class privilege end up so very different?" (Though of course the paper does not imply any value judgement on the two women, one of whom is pictured in a floral patterned skirt and cardy, the other in a low-cut micro-nightie party dress. Guess which is which.)

The Sun manages to report on the European Commission's breaking of Sky TV's monopoly on live Premier League football WITHOUT mentioning Sky TV.

Footnote on yesterday's reporting of Little Britain. Paper Monitor did learn one thing while watching the programme last night: "Orange", the word popularly thought not to rhyme with anything, actually rhymes with "binge".

FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER

To mark the start of the World Scrabble Championships, yesterday's mini-quiz asked what's the record points score for a single word? One-third wrongly said 288, while 26% said 426. It's 392 - for 'CAZIQUES', the plural of a West Indian chief - which 40% of you answered correctly. A new Daily Mini-Quiz is on today's Magazine index.


YOUR LETTERS THURSDAY 17 NOVEMBER 1600 GMT

Letters logo
I can't believe that they are trying to claim that the Narnia books aren't Christian allegory (Narnia Christian link played down, 17 November) - Aslan sacrifices himself to forgive another's sins, the altar cracks, and then he comes back to life. More to the point, at the end of the Last Battle Aslan himself actually says he is Jesus. Doesn't get much clearer than that.
Robin,
Edinburgh

Interesting how Sir Bob says e-mail is wasting time etc, (Bob Geldof rails against e-mail, 16 November), seeing as how "Make Poverty History" encourages me to e-mail my MP or Tony Blair.
Claire,
South Wales

Re Today's Paper Monitor, reporting on Caitlin Moran finding Little Britain unfunny (Paper Monitor, Thursday). As an expat living in Canada I am amazed that Little Britain is not only popular in the UK but for some unfathomable reason Canadian TV has also purchased the rights to air the show. I agree with Ms Moran that is is very sad that such a show has gained popularity. It does not have the wit of previous comedies and is derisive and insulting.
Sharon,
Canada

Thank goodness, I was beginning to think that only the people I know were the ones who found Little Britain devoid of any humour whatsoever. But now apparently we are not alone. Like so much that has to pass for humour these days it seems to be merely a series of contrived and childish rude sketches. Possibly it has attracted an audience as there is so little real contemporary comedy for it to compete with.
John C,
Warrington, UK

Re Literary Classics become text messages , 17 November, I am reminded of Bob Hope's gag about learning the technique of speed reading. "I read War and Peace in 20 minutes. It's about Russia."
Alan,
London UK

The new text message revision aids have distilled the ending of Pride and Prejudice to "Evry1 Gts Maryd'. In light of your Quote of the Day from Tuesday (see right), can we assume American pupils will get the alternative "MrDrcy sez 'MrsDrcyx3'"?
Maurice Day,
Bootle

Re. Thursday's quote of the day ("Madwyfsetsfyr2haus"). Is that not a sleepy village in mid-Wales, somewhere in the foothills of Snowdon?
John Dobson,
Huddersfield, UK

James from Edinburgh asks why the chicken crossing the road joke is a joke. An unexpected punchline is a factor in many jokes. Somehow it's amusing to be led down one line of reasoning and suddenly thrown on to another one. The "chicken" joke is a double-play on this. When someone starts a joke with "Why did something with an obvious explanation happen?", because we know it's a joke, we're expecting something other than the obvious explanation; so when we get the obvious explanation, it's funny because it wasn't what we were expecting. Of course, this rapidly wears thin, hence variants such as, "because it was nailed to the hedgehog" (which, we had been informed previously, had crossed the road to, yes, get to the other side). On the other hand, a shaggy dog story is one where the punchline bears little relation to most of the "tail" (note: obligatory AIW), which is another form of humour through misdirection. I suppose the chicken joke could be considered as a "shaggy dog story of length zero"; but then so could most jokes - except longer shaggy dog stories, of course. Well, he did ask.
Brian Ritchie,
Oxford, UK

Maybe the joke originally went something like this: Why did the chicken cross the Styx? To get to "the other side".
Paul Davies,
Birmingham UK

Re (Who, What, Why? Why do prisoners wear garish yellow and green tracksuits?, 17 November)... These are the colours of the national Australian sport teams. Coincidence?
Matth,
London

Re Paper Monitor's "wear drainpipes with chunky cardie" tip: I tried just that this morning. Slouching in a crowded Tube train, a kindly stranger bent forward and asked "are you pregnant?" Er, no. But at least my bum didn't look big.
Ilsa,
London

I'm enjoying today's BBC News site headlines: "French violence 'back to normal'" "Black Sea toast gas deal" (a deal on gas for making toast?) "Greens fear chemical fudge." (And who wouldn't?)
Robert Day,
Coventry, UK

Re: the value of an LBQ keyring (Monitor letters, Wednesday). We surely need to keep a cool head and express this in terms of football pitches, double decker buses, and Wales. So here goes.
1) LBQ keyring on ebay: current bid £21.00.
2) Cost of new Wembley: £750 million - or 35714285 LBQ keyrings, which is just shy of 1 LBQKR per 10 metres of a journey to the moon.
3) Asking price of an '82 Leyland Double Decker bus on eBay: £2,000, or 95 LBQKRs. 3) I'm currently trying to calculate the value of Wales, but running out of fingers (Catherine Zeta Jones is worth 2).
Greg,
Croydon, Surrey

Have you stopped the DVD watch on the papers? I notice the Sun was offering the Lady and the Tramp yesterday. And then had their front page story about X-Factor's Maria and Louis.
TC,
UK

FLEXICON THURSDAY 17 NOVEMBER 1300 GMT

Welcome to the Flexicon, our flexible lexicon, which aims to chart, monitor and assist in the creation of a language suitable for modern life.

Recently we've add various suggestions for the Flexicon from readers including "flexiconoclast", "flexiconographer", "flexicontent", "littlerature" (the small books you find at bookshop tills), "embarrasador" (diplomats such as Sir Christopher Meyer who write revealing books), "begulars" (people who frequently write to the Monitor asking to be made Letter of the Week) and "reguliars" (a regular feature which is not as regular as it might be).

Thanks for all those submissions. Here is a real world example to add to the pile:

CHAVELLER: someone who, according to travel industry research, goes on holiday to the kinds of destinations previously favoured by the adventurous but which have now become increasingly mainstream - eg India, Thailand, and Australia - and makes travel snobs have to go to new frontiers (Central and South America, East Africa).

Submissions to the Flexicon are now being accepted via the form on the right.

PUNORAMA ***UPDATED*** THURSDAY 17 NOVEMBER 1245 GMT

Prince William
It's time for Punorama.

The rules are straightforward - we choose a story which has been in the news, and invite you to create an original punning headline for it.

The story for this week is how Prince William got stuck in rush-hour traffic and arrived an hour late for work on his first day of work experience.

Stuck in a queue at the lights is Where there's a Will there's a delay (Lynn, London; Murray Milne, Hong Kong; Derek Behan, Blackburn, Lancs; Steve, York; Tim Francis-Wright, Boston, US; John Murphy, Lauris, France).

Out of the congestion charge zone is Willy get there on time? (Gearoid O'Muimeachain, London), When Will-ie be 'ere? (Ketan Mistry, Dublin, Ireland) and Willie make it? (Richard Downey, Basingstoke).

Nosing into the bus lane is Hour Royal Prerogative (Mike B, Kent), while jumping a red is I'll be there in an hr(h) (Jon Speechley, Exeter). Shaking a fist after being cut up by a cyclist is By your peeve (Candace, New Jersey, US), while See you late heir (Martin Price, UK) slams on the brakes.

Brought up short by road works is He had nothing to chauffeur his first hour's work (Mark Wrighton, London), and Throne in at deep end on first day (Pam Reed, York) stops for a restorative latte.

Enjoying a run of green lights is He who would be wor-King (Sean Smith, Bucks), but beating them all in - and so bagging the boss's parking spot - is Good Will Bunking by Frederick Heath-Renn, London.

PAPER MONITOR THURSDAY 17 NOVEMBER 1025 GMT

Newspapers logo
A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Another series of Little Britain starts tonight, and the advance press has been unremittingly fawning. So Paper Monitor - ever contrary - notes with a frisson of delight that Caitlin Moran of the Times has declared it dreary and derivative.

No clever word-play, an obsession with the taboos of physicality - "facial hair, urine, fat, breast milk..." - at the expense of the extremes of morality or emotion - "the hunting grounds of most great comedy" - leave it lagging behind superior examples of genre such as Fawlty Towers and The Simpsons.

And, she says, it displays a repulsive attitude to women. The series opens with a catfight between the two stars in fat suits. "This is the entirety of the joke - that two very fat naked women are having a fight... [It] looks like the kind of thing Clive James would have shown a clip of in the 1980s, while sighing over the juvenile comic aesthetics of the Turks."

With "sub-fifth-form" lines, she is not surprised at recent reports that it has a huge child audience. "I couldn't care less about children repeating poo and bum-sex jokes - that's the very essence of being nine."

But what does depress her is that the formative influences for future comedians will be "misogyny, viciousness and over-cooked surreality".

(The Times also gives column space to a critic who loves the show. But then who - bar Ms Moran - doesn't?)

THURSDAY 17 NOVEMBER

Oh dear. We seem to be lacking dedicated Madonna fans. Only 8% of you correctly answered yesterday's Daily Mini-Quiz (found on the Magazine index) which asked how many top 10 hits Madge had had in the UK singles chart. The correct answer was 58. A new Daily Mini-Quiz is on today's Magazine index.


YOUR LETTERS WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 1333 GMT

Letters logo

I wonder whether Sir Bob would take the option to send this article to a friend via e-mail? (Bob Geldof rails against e-mails)
Dave Griffiths,
Wilmslow, Cheshire

Congrats to Kieran Boyle, two letters in one day meaning an impressive AIWpD of 6 (AIWpD = Almost Imperceptible Witticisms per Day).
Andy M,
Oxford

How am I supposed to do the music quiz when I don't have sound on my computer? Somehow I managed 7/10.
Peter J, Brighouse,
Yorks

Jo from N. Ireland (Tuesday's letters) provides the well known 'Why did the chicken...' joke in a belief that previous imperceptible witticisms were too imperceptible to warrant Magazine inclusion. However I've always found the humour of this joke either absent, or in itself imperceptible. Perhaps Magazine readers could enlighten me, as currently the joke just seems to be a very short shaggy dog story.
James,
Edinburgh, UK

The "carrots help you see in the dark" myth isn't (Mother knows best. Or does she?). Carrots are a good source of carotene (hence the name), which is a good source of this nutrient. Carotene is essential to ensure correct eye function.
Hedley,
Morecambe, England

The carrots myth was created as an attempt to make people eat more veg during the war. A famous RAF night fighter ace was credited on the posters with saying, eat carrots, they help me see in the dark (so not the airborne radar then).
James,
Falkland Islands

I have yet to have anything published on this website, whether on Have Your say or the Magazine. I'm sick of reading comments from the same people again and again (especially when they're ex-pats who comment constantly and smugly on how bad life here is in Blighty). However, it's possible I just constantly talk rubbish and have nothing to say that is worth listening to.
Karen,
UK

Please ignore previous letter - I've just had an opinion published on Have your Say! Does life get any better?!
Karen,
UK

If Vicky S or anyone else is interested and has some kudos to spare, my LBQ key ring is now on offer here. All proceeds to Children in Need.
Simon Robinson,
Birmingham UK

To Kieran (Tuesday's letters) and anyone else wishing to compare things with the size of a football pitch: Could you please state which ground you are using as a comparison? The Laws of the Game give dimensions that result in an area of between 4050 and 10800 square metres. Even an international pitch can vary by at least 25% in size (6400 to 8250 square metres). Also, the distance of the Moon from the Earth varies between 363,104km and 405,696km, a difference of more than 10%. And a double-decker bus is between 10.5 and 10.9 metres in length.
Ray Lashley,
Bristol, UK

Presumably someone who takes the opposite stance to a Flexicographer is a Flexiconoclast.
Steve,
London

PAPER MONITOR WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER 1019 GMT

Newspapers logo
A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The makers of I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here promise this series to be the ickiest yet. So who has signed up for career resuscitation via creepy-crawlies?

"Another cast of has-beens and former 'stars'," says the Mirror, providing a run-down of each contestant's pet hates - belly-buttons, camping, no mascara, mud, rude people etc etc. No danger of encountering those in the jungle, then.

Not even the Iron Lady's daughter can inject some much needed moral fibre, bemoans the Daily Express - Carol Thatcher is too scared to tell her mother she's taking part. "I might just tell her that I've done it when I get back."

And the Sun trumpets "Battle of the blondes" at the prospect of a face-off between an ex-pop moppet and a former Neighbours actress (who surely has an unfair advantage, having grown up in Australia where the series is shot).

Their meagre jungle rations puts Paper Monitor in mind of how best to squeeze into drainpipes, the unforgiving trousers du jour. For non-beanpoles, the Daily Telegraph offers these tips:

  • Do not follow La Moss's example of wearing flat shoes
  • Instead tuck trouser legs into high-heeled slouchy boots
  • Wear a long tunic top or chunky cardigan
  • Do not add a belt over the top

And if that's not daunting enough, the hot look next spring is skinny white jeans. You have been warned.

(And Princess Diana is on the front of the Express. Again.)

WEDNESDAY 16 NOVEMBER

In Tuesday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked how many bottles of wine, out of a total of 14.4bn sold each year, cost more than £10? Less than a third of you (31%) got the right answer, which is one in 1,000 bottles. 39% mistakenly said one in 100 and 31% erroneously plumped for one in 50. Today's question is on the index today.


YOUR LETTERS TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 1730 GMT

Letters logo

I failed to have my letter published in the Magazine last week, in spite of including at least three almost imperceptible witticisms. I fear I am being too subtle, so in future I shall make my humour more obvious. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side!
Jo, N. Ireland

Dear Editor, Oh great, thanks guys! All this loose talk about Lunch Time Bonus key rings has re-opened traumatic wounds that had only just started to heal. I NEVER GOT MY KEY RING. I won. I emailed my address. I re emailed it. I sent chirpy little reminders. Nothing.I had almost convinced myself that they did not really exist, but now I learn that not only do people really own them, but they are either unlovingly losing them or selling them to wannabe Lunch Time Bonus Winners who do not deserve them. Huh.
Vicky S, East London

Another one for the Gratuitous Brent Watch in the article on Making Slough happy. Shameless BBC.co.uk. Shameless.
Bas, London

Re: Men write short, sarcastic texts: No wy!
Stuart Tyrrell, Oldham, UK

"There was also evidence of people being annoyed by the inconsiderate use of mobile phones - with loud ring-tones the biggest irritation" in Men write short, sarcastic texts Gosh. Can I nominate this for inclusion in the new "10 Things We Already Knew" column (see Gus's letter)?
Rob, London, UK

So a 175-year-old giant Galapagos tortoise is, we are told, roughly the size of a dinner table (175th birthday bash for tortoise ). It may help readers to know that this is one 3850th of a football pitch.
Kieran Boyle, Oxford, England

Jonathan Duffy's mum may be right about the common cold (Mother knows best? ) but wasn't the whole carrots help you see in the dark a myth created by the RAF during WWII? (see Malmesbury's Secret Factory ) Anyway I still have trust issues after finding out the truth about Santa, the easter bunny and the tooth fairy!
Chris, London

Mother Knows Best: Garlic does help prevent colds. It keeps away people, including those who carry colds.
Kieran Boyle, Oxford, England

PAPER MONITOR TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 1000 GMT

Newspapers logo
A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

What do the papers make of Posh Spice having the words "Chocolate, Champagne, Alcohol" written on the back of tight-fitting pink number?

"She can't be indulging in any of those three treats if her scrawny frame is anything to go by," says the Sun.

"Is that the menu for tonight, Victoria?" asks the Daily Mail. "Sorry to break the news, Victoria, but aren't champagne and alcohol the same thing," enquires the Daily Star.

Diana, Princess of Wales, is on the front page of the Daily Express again.

Meanwhile, you might remember that yesterday, Paper Monitor could hardly contain itself at the thought that with the launch of the Daily Telegraph's podcasts it would only be a matter of time until there was a Boris Johnson podcast.

Well it's true - the paper today reveals that the great blond one is to be one of the star attractions. It also tries to make up for any readers confused by yesterday's announcement of the start of podcasts which didn't actually explain what podcasts were. Today it runs a small explanatory article "in case, by this stage, you're wondering 'what on earth is podcasting?'"

It goes on in very gentle instructive tones, with the fantastic direction: "Launch the internet on your computer..."

TUESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 0850 GMT

In Monday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked who had not made it into Debrett's People of Today. 44% of you thought it was Victoria Beckham - but she is most certainly in the book (unlike any of the other Spices). 42% of you said Kevin Keegan, and it was you who were correct. Today's question is on the index today.


YOUR LETTERS MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER 1630 GMT

Letters logo
Faces of the Week describes Sir Paul McCartney as "the first artist in history to broadcast live music into space." While Macca may be the first established artist to deliberately broadcast live music into space, the fact remains that live music, when broadcast, along with much of our other television and radio signals, has been leaking into space ever since the human race started broadcasting. It is open to question whether any alien civilisations (if there are any) have sufficiently powerful telescopes and decoding equipment to make sense of these transmissions when they get them, or indeed whether they decide those transmissions show intelligence or not. Also, quite a few astronauts have taken instruments into space with them - see here .
Neil Golightly,
Manchester, UK

Two weeks ago the BBC informed us that make-up makes women seem more attractive. Last week, news broke that wealthier families are more able to support children in higher education. This week, weżve learned that wrapping up warm can help us avoid colds. Perhaps the Monitor could make room for "things we already knew" alongside "10 things we didnżt know this time last week".
Gus,
London

Is someone who creates a flexicon a Flexicographer?
Stig,
London, UK

Getting expat Kiwis to return home has been a campaign of a prominent New Zealand businessman. During a similar publicity drive a some years ago, one of his selling points were that there are ample opportunities in NZ. Just a few months latter, he expanded his business activities into Australia. NZ may be very beautiful, but it is also very "small".
Alice Bregman,
New York, ex Wellington

Simon Robinson asked in Friday's Monitor Letters how much he should ask on eBay for his Lunchtime Bonus Question keyring. Had it not been for an observant colleague, I - as a fellow winner of that prize - would have been bidding for it. "Has anyone lost a keyring with a picture of a knife & fork?" said the intranet message. Do these people know nothing?
Neil Franklin,
Southampton, UK

In response to Simon Robinson's query about the value of an LBQ keyring, I seem to remember its value is equal to a healthy dose of Kudos.
Dave Williams,
Cambridge

Is someone who randomly fills in numbers in those grids to try to impress fellow commuters looking for pseudokudos?
pj,
Barcelona

PAPER MONITOR MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER 1010 GMT

Newspapers logo
A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Welcome, friends, to another week of speed reading the newspapers, all in the cause of making you feel informed, educated and entertained. Public service webcasting at its finest.

Some points from today's papers. a.) Andrew Davies, the celebrated screenwriter of Bleak House, writes to the Guardian to answer a letter from Professor Malcolm Andrews which had criticised the BBC One Dickensian soap opera. Mr Davies's response: "Professor Andrews would seem to be a bit of a twit - and if Dickens were still around today, I bet he'd have some fun with him." Twit - there's a word you donżt hear very often nowadays.

b.) Sarah Jessica Parker photographed knitting (Mirror). Also Uma Thurman.

c.) The Daily Telegraph has started offering podcasts. Let me repeat that. The Daily Telegraph has started offering podcasts. It does so in some style - with a huge banner advert on the top of the front page (right). And yet in an implicit admission that many of the Telegraph faithful would have no idea, let alone interest, what a podcast is, there is not a word in the rest of the paper explaining what this strange statement on the front page actually means. It's very odd. Having listened to today's podcast, Paper Monitor can tell you it's restricted to sports columnists at the moment. But the next step, if there's any decency in the world, is surely a Boris Johnson podcast.

MONDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2005

In Friday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked which grooming technique Wayne Rooney had admitted to. 48% said back-waxing, 33% said moisturising, and 18% said eyebrow-plucking. It's moisturising. Monday's Mini-Quiz is on the index now.

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