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Last Updated: Friday, 13 January 2006, 17:57 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 boys
10 Brylcreem Boys by Steve Geordie Elliot (bottom row, left)

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

1. Alanis Morisette cuts her own hair. "It's easier," she says.

2. Newsagent John Menzies is more properly pronounced John Ming-iss.

3. Box-office revenues for Phantom of the Opera worldwide - more than £1.7bn - exceed those of any film or show in history, including Titanic and Star Wars.

4. Looking away from a human face helps concentration.

5. Jeffrey Archer and Menzies Campbell were in the same British athletics team.

6. Jeremy Paxman's surname was made up by a 14th Century Suffolk ancestor who devised it as a pun on "peace man" when he entered politics.

7. Tony Blair doesn't slap Leo but did used to slap his other children.

8. Google employs 40 new staff a week.

9. Less than 10% of the land in the UK is owned by homeowners.

10. Bono wears sunglasses because he has sensitive eyes.

[Sources where there is no link included: 1 - the Observer, 8 January; 3 - the Independent, 9 January; 6 - Who Do You Think You Are? BBC One, 10 January; 7 - Newsnight, BBC Two, 9 January; 8 - 10 O'Clock News, BBC One, 6 January; 9 - Whose Britain Is It Anyway?, BBC Two, 10 Jan; 10 - Metro, 13 January]

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

Add your comments to this story using the form below:

Name
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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 FRIDAY 13 JANUARY 1620 GMT

Letters logo
Re: Big Brother Galloway criticised, Mr Galloway states "I hope they'll all be voting for me over the next few weeks". I don't think George Galloway quite understands Big Brother.
S Murray,
Chester, UK

When it comes to warnings about film content, I'm sure nothing will ever beat the one for "Team America, World Police" - "contains puppet sex."
Jon Keen, Sandhurst, UK

In terms of a description of 'mild peril', how about trying to subtly read the Monitor at work when you sit next to your boss?!
Katy O,
London, UK

I agree wiş Stefan in regards to ğe şeoretical revival of old english characters in ğis modern age. Ğerefore, every English Rose must have it's ş.
Elaine

Linda Hunslet and Stefan Fraczek should get in touch. Dduallt looks like it's pronounced thorn-u-a/eth-'l-t, or "Thu-athlet".
Gus,
Gus

Too easy Linda Hunslet of Dduallt (Letters 12th January). Any railway anorak knows it is pronounced "THEE-ALLT", Translation - Black Road. I claim my prize.
Alan Jones,
London UK

I can't let the letter from "Linda Hunslet, Dduallt, Snowdonia" pass without comment. I think she is made up, as there is no town/village/hamlet at Dduallt. Further, "Linda" is the name of a "Hunslet" built steam engine which now runs on the Festiniog (one "f" as that is the official railway spelling) Railway which has a station and a spiral at "Dduallt" in "Snowdonia". Apologies to Linda if she's real...
Tom,
Guernsey

The story Mozart's music diary goes online states "One featured composition...has almost never been performed". Almost never? What kind of grammar is that? It conjures up wonderful images of a failed musical resolution. "I will not play this music, I will not play this music"..." Dammit!"
Rachel, Cambridge

I was disappointed that this article did not have a "See Also" link to this one. Now if my pork chops glow in the dark, I won't know if they are infested with Pseudomonas fluorescens or they just came from a fluorescent pig.
Andrew Turner,
Revere, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Note to Candace and Ralph about the new Mini - the designer is American.
Mark,
Berlin, Germany

For Helen Bourne's information, Pete Burns' original claim to fame was that someone spun him round, round, baby, right round, like a record, baby, round, round, round, round.
Steve,
Newcastle

This comment "And [the Learning and Skills Council] is urging those young people who are banking on a moment of fame to draw in the cash to remember those former Big Brother contestants who have long since been forgotten. " from this article - the irony cannot be accidental!
Lysander,
St Peter Port

There are many things about this story to delight and confound the mind, but the sentence "They found breasts moved in a 3D figure of eight" is something any Benny Hill fan could have told you, so I nominate it for 10 Things We Already Knew.
Chandra (36C),
London, England

Re Friday's Paper Monitor - does this mean that the Vatican is converting to Judasism?
pj , Barcelona

'The study suggested as a woman runs a mile, her breasts bounced 135 meters.' A mix of metric and imperial? Please, one or the other
Basil Long,
Newark Notts

Re Meet Mr Paddington. First the weekly quiz and now the articles as well! How can we sneakily skive off work with Paddington blasting out the speakers? Very un-PC.
Bish,
Bedford

On King Kong: not many people know that the film is known as "King Kong" in every country in the world except one. That exception is Sweden, where the word for "King" is "Kong". Hence in Sweden, the film about the giant ape always used to be known as "Kong King".
Robert Day,
Coventry, UK

CAPTION COMPETITION FRIDAY 13 JANUARY 1300 GMT


It's time for the caption competition.

This week, Tony Blair cleans graffiti off a Swindon wall under the watchful eye of a council worker as part of his government's "give respect, get respect" campaign. But what's being said?

6. "That was an interesting nickname they gave you sir."
Jan Potter, san diego, Ca

5. "Okay, okay. Let's flowchart the new cabinet responsibilities one more time."
Nick McDonnell, Nottingham

4. "I dont care if you are the Queen of Sheeba, you're going straight to bed when you've finished that lot."
Mark Starling, London, UK

3. "Oh I'm sorry - I'm more familiar with whitewash..."
AML, Belfast

2. "I bet it's been a while since you have had that much power in your hands Mr Blair?"
Tim Maidment, Bristol

1. "This is great! I could use this to clear Ruth's office."
Stephen Ibbs, Wolverhampton

PAPER MONITOR FRIDAY 13 JANUARY 1110 GMT

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

Despite the headlines about government ministers giving a green light to paedophiles to work in schools, there is an air of forgiveness in today's Daily Mail and Daily Express... not towards Ruth Kelly, you understand, but Judas Iscariot.

As the man who shot the late Pope John Paul II is released from prison, the Vatican is also suggesting that the man who sent Jesus to his death, might not have been such a bad old apple after all.

Sure he betrayed the son of God, says Peter Stanford, writing in the Mail. But where would Jesus be without the crucifixion and so resurrection - "just another of the thousand and one Middle East messiahs".

"Judas may just have been the victim of the longest-running miscarriage of justice ever," says Stanford.

The Express, meanwhile, throws the challenge of rehabilitating the embodiment of evil open to assorted PR gurus and the like.

Max Clifford would find a spiritualist to relay Judas' claim that he'd been framed, then seek a "TV tie-in so viewers would be convinced of the authenticity". Lord Bell, who used to advise Lady Thatcher, suggests Judas buy Aston Villa and return them to the top of the league. And author Mitchell Symons would place Judas in the Celebrity Big Brother house.

"It would give him time to place his actions inside a framework of moral relativism." Ahh, so perhaps that was George Galloway's explanation for his feline simpering in Rula Lenska's lap on last night's Celebrity BB.

FRIDAY 13 JANUARY

In Thursday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked in which country did King Kong beat Narnia at the box office. Your answers were pretty evenly split and 25% of you correctly identified Argentina, which is one of the few countries where Kong got the better of Aslan. Today's question is on the Magazine index now.


YOUR LETTERS THURSDAY 12 JANUARY 1652 GMT

Taiwan breeds green-glowing pigs by Chris Hogg. 'Nuff said?
(Note to MM: I wouldn't normally resort to these kinds of comments to get my name on your pages but I have been nominated by my work colleagues on this occasion.)
Ray Lashley, Bristol, UK

As a self-styled "grammar fascist", I find it heartening when people write clear and correct prose. I spotted this gem on eBay: "If your not happy were not happy..." This is a perfect example of how to use the subjunctive correctly. It has made my day.
Daniel Hayes, St Albans, UK

I identify with Brian Ritchie (Monitor Letters, Wednesday) - how can one compete with such punny masterpieces as Gorrillaz in the list? But then I'm not to be too Fossey.
Kip, Norwich UK

A formula for frontal v filtered tube boarding (Monitor Letters, Wednesday). The filter index, f, is calculated, simply, as:
f = (H/A * W/G * D/G)
H = number of passengers getting OFF the train
A = number of passengers getting ON the train
W = width of train doors
G = the gap
D = distance from nearest platform exit to train door
The larger the value of f, the better the chances of filtering from the side.
Steve C, London Docklands

Imogen, the formula is simple:
C= ME²
where C is chance of getting on tube; M is mass (as in size you are) and E is element of dexterity you are able to exert with your elbows.
Rose, London

Yes, it's better to approach the train doors from the side instead of full on. That way fewer people can push into your path. The same goes for getting through any other exits or entrances. And yes, there is a mathematical formula for this. A very well known one is Exodus, which I believe was the first algorithm to be patented and sold.
John, Belgium

PJ - mild peril (Monitor Letters, Tuesday): reading the Monitor and thinking you are now in West Yorkshire.
Strong peril: Waking up and finding you are (my family is from Lancashire!)
pj, Barcelona

In the article on Pete Burns and his fur coat (What are the rules on wearing fur?), he's described as "Celebrity Big Brother contestant Pete Burns". What was his original claim to fame?
Helen Bourne, York UK

Americans always get this wrong, but the Monitor should know better. High Tea is a hearty repast (pork pies, scotch eggs, etc) eaten instead of the evening meal. The High Tea photo in Your icons of England is clearly depicting an "afternoon tea" or a "cream tea."
Heather (child of English parents), Michigan, US

Re Pupils must look away to think: Especially if the answers are written down your arm.
Mark Till, Southport, UK

For those of you who have mastered pronouncing Menzies "Ming-gees" Campbell, your next task is the station on the Ffestiniog Railway in Snowdonia: "Dduallt".
Linda Hunslet, Dduallt, Snowdonia

PUNORAMA ***UPDATED*** THURSDAY 12 JANUARY 1233 GMT

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 two musicians are fighting a legal battle over which can call their band The Plonkers. Players in the West Country groups wear smocks and pluck out "Scrumpy and western" tunes on banjos.

The set opens with a few short but sweet numbers: Banned names from Bryn Roberts, Bristol, and De-cider from Lynn, London.

Now let's step up the tempo with Cider House Duels (Simon Rooke, Nottingham) and West Cider Story (Andy, Epsom, UK), and a segue from Dueling band woes (Candace, New Jersey, US) to Dueling Banjos (Kieran Boyle, Oxford; Simon Meara, London).

Any requests? Here's a favourite - Whose cider you on? - from Stella Alvarez, Teesside, UK; Roy, Helsinki, Finland; Candace, New Jersey; Brian Ritchie, Oxford; Ben Havell, Cardiff.

Put your hands together for special guest Rolf Harris: Now... the barristers wigs who put the words in the writs for the breaches of the boys who put the names on the faces of the group called the Plonkers of the Crown Court of Queen Elizabeth, were just passing out (too much cider) by Stephen Buxton, Coventry, UK, thelbiq.co.uk.

And as a grand finale, Appellation mouthings (Helene Parry, South Wales expat to Brentford Lock) and Country 'n' Festerin' (Gearoid O'Muimeachain, London)

PAPER MONITOR THURSDAY 12 JANUARY 1130 GMT

Newspapers logo

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The political vultures may be circling around Ruth Kelly, but it's Lib Dem stand-in leader Menzies Campbell who gives the sketch writers their pound of flesh in today's press.

Up for his first Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Mr Campbell made the blundering error of asking Tony Blair why one in five schools lack a permanent head teacher. The PM's retort about struggling to find leaders for failing organisations was an open goal.

"Ming the Merciless was rebranded Ming the Massacred though, as it was self-inflicted, perhaps that should have been Campbell the Car Crash." - Ann Treneman, the Times.

"Like one of those Bognor Birdmen [Campbell] was confident his baby could fly. Sir Ming trundled down the runway alright. His preamble was faultless. But then disaster struck... Grown men wiped their mirth moistened eyes." - Quentin Letts, the Daily Mail.

"Oh the laughter (little of it, so very little of it, kind laughter) seemed to go on for a decade and certainly Sir Ming aged 10 years before it ended." - Simon Carr, the Independent.

"[The laughter] began slowly. .. but within moment he was under water, [Sir Menzies'] words washed away in a huge, gurgling torrent of gully-clearing, live-stock downing pleasure." - Simon Hoggart, the Guardian.

THURSDAY 12 JANUARY

In Wednesday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked which of Tony Blair's children did he not slap? Obviously lots of Newsnight-watchers among you, because nearly 80% got it right - it's Leo. Today's question is on the Magazine index now.


YOUR LETTERS WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY 1558 GMT

Letters logo
Re Punorama: I think I'll have to pass this time. "Scrumpy and western" has caused white-out on my pun radar.
Brian Ritchie, Oxford, UK

Re Why is Menzies pronounced Mingis? As a student of medieval literature, I eagerly await articles on the letters thorn (ş) and eth (ğ), which are equally important parts of our linguistic heritage. A return to the "long s", which is the form of the small letter used everywhere except word endings, would also be most appreciated. The main reason for their decline was the development of the printing press. Caxton imported type made in the Continent, which lacked thorn, yogh, and eth; thus he had to replace them with other letters. Now we no longer have to rely on movable type, I for one feel the BBC should take the lead in restoring this splendid alphabet.
Stefan Fraczek, Cambridge, UK

To PJ - an explanation of mild peril. Picture yourself hanging by your fingers from a 20-storey building - that is strong peril. Now imagine you realise you're actually flat out, drunk and clinging to the pavement - you've just experienced mild peril.
Josie, Oxfordshire

Re: the warnings given when advertising films (Monitor Letters, Tuesday). My personal favourite was the recent Herbie trailer which notified the watcher that the film 'contains car stunts'.
Stacey, Essex

My grandson received a Bear in the Big Blue House DVD for Christmas. It is, apparently, suitable for viewing by persons.
Jan, Coventry

With all this talk about respect (So what on earth is respect?), it occurs to me that if, in the 1950s and 60s, we were told that in 50 years time we would be forbidden to wear certain types of headgear so that our every movement could be tracked on camera, we would have been horrified. And yes, kids behaved badly then as well. Remember teddy boys, ton-up kids, paki-bashers, skinheads and rockers?
Jo Edkins, Cambridge, UK

RE: Diana count on Express front pages. Would this be the Express's DI-Q?
Steven Bush, Nottingham

A mathematical question for Magazine readers. If waiting for a train/tube in rush hour, would you be more likely to get into said mode of transport if you stand directly in front of the doors or if you try and filter in from the sides? There must be a formula for this (answers on a postcard, please).
Imogen, London

Tony Blair's child-rearing confessions make fascinating reading. But what about the nappy-changing issue? Did he occasionally experiment or do it on a regular basis? And, if so, did he inhale? The public deserves answers.
David Dee, Maputo Mozambique

Note to Candace about the new Mini (Your icons of England) - it's German.
Ralph, Cumbria

PAPER MONITOR WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY 2006 1015 GMT

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

Strangely no mention in the Daily Mail about its almighty faux pas yesterday, wonderfully identified by the Monitor's new favourite reader, NJM of Edinburgh.

But there's more than enough fun to be had with the launch yesterday of Mark Oaten's campaign to lead the Lib Dems.

The Daily Mail's Quentin Letts wrote: "My eyes kept dancing between a large spot on his neck and his aggressively close-cropped pate. He does not have much hair, but what he has is mown as short as a Pakistani Test wicket."

It's a theme picked up by Ann Treneman in the Times. "We were all too busy examining his hair (or lack of it). It is amazing how he has made himself look balder than he actually is."

Meanwhile the Guardian's Simon Hoggart and the Daily Telegraph's Andrew Gimson must be on the same wavelength: "A new breakfast cereal was rushed to market at an impromptu press conference yesterday. The launch of Oaten was masterminded by Mark Oaten, the Liberal Democrat MP who invented it and lent it the lustre of his name, and by Lembit Opik, the only other Lib Dem MP who has admitted swallowing it," writes Gimson.

"How can you act tough when you have a surname that sounds like a cheese-cracker?" asks Hoggart. "These days we're all into 'super-foods'. Your breakfast should consist of fromage frais, topped with fresh berries, and served on an oaten biscuit. (And Mr Oaten's chief drum-banger is fellow MP Lembit Opik, whose name might be thought to sound like a brand of organic yoghurt. ' Every 100ml tub of delicious lembit-flavoured opik contains up to a billion bacteria, going to work scouring your stomach, cleansing your bloodstream and helping to combat global warming...')"

No mention of Diana in the Express today. It's a scandal.

WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY 1015 GMT

lips

In Tuesday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked whose lips (right) are these? No fooling you lot - just 13% said Celebrity Big Brother housemate Pete Burns, post-surgery, while 87% correctly identified California Governor, Arnold Swarzeneggar, post bike accident. Today's picture question is on the Magazine index now.


YOUR LETTERS TUESDAY 10 JANUARY 1615 GMT

The front page of today's Daily Mail has the headline 'IS Turkey safe for holidays?' To the right of this question is a banner advertising their latest competition, one of the prizes being a holiday villa in.... yes you guessed it - Turkey!
NJM,
Edinburgh

Lee Heyes (Monitor Letters, Monday) writes about newspapers giving away DVDs. Does he think it would harm the newspaper industry if every time you bought a CD you got a free newspaper that was first out 20 or 30 years ago? If that free newspaper included a excerpt from some of the current papers' columnists, do you think it would encourage people to buy newspapers? And if the newspaper industry recieved money from the music industry for the permission to give away these old newspapers, do you not think this money could be spent producing better quality newspapers? This is what happens with free CDs, which often include bonus tracks from 'up and coming artists' which promote them and the industry, and if it was seriously damaging, do you think the artists or the record labels would give permission for their songs to be used on free CDs?
Sam Hayes,
London

An entry in both the Caption Competition and Punorama? (Monitor Letters, Monday). The Flexicon entry must be a "double entendre".
Kip,
Norwich UK

With all that spare time on ones hands. Punemployed?
Bob,
Bergen, Norway

People such as Simon Rooke who have entries published in the Caption Comp and Punorama deserve the honorific title "Cap'pun" to advertise their achievements. As an occasional achiever of the (now closed to new entrants) limerick & letter double, I reserve the right to consider myself eletterick.
Gus,
London

I read with interest the article about how being (a passenger in a taxi exposes you to more pollutants than any other form of travel, 10 January) but was surprised to see that there was nothing in there about how it affects the driver. Surely the people who did the research would have suggested something to prevent the driver getting his lungs poisoned by airborne pollutants - or were they assuming that he'd be talking so much about former passengers that he'd be immune?
Cat,
London, UK

Re Nigel's comment about the "moderate sex" in Match Point (Monitor Letters, 9 January) reminds me of the DVD I bought of the 1950s classic science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still. The warning panel says that the film contained "Some mild threat". As far as I remember, the message of the film was "If you spread your warfare to the stars, we will reduce your planet to a smouldering cinder." What would they classify as a strong threat?
Robert Day,
Coventry, UK

Nigel - I went to the pictures last night and saw "Where Truth Lies (18 - contains strong sex and violence)". I'm still wondering what strong sex is, I thought it might be sex between strong people or something, but no-one involved appeared to be a muscle-man / woman.
Ben Clark,
Oxford

What about films that contain "mild peril"? What on earth is "mild peril"?
PJ,
West Yorks, thelbiq.co.uk

Re: pronounicng "Menzies" ( Why is Menzies pronounced Mingis?, 10 January). Why not avoid the confusion and just call him Walter? It's his real first name according to Wikipedia.
Kev,
London

It will be interesting to know if Menzies (Ming) Campbell would support the new initiative in schools to use phonetics to improve reading skills.
Alan Wheeldon,
Harlow, UK

According to Norbert's calculation (Monitor Letters, Monday) from the Guardian (assuming the 4 digit year is used for year of birth) I need to spend minus £1893 on my wardrobe. I thought I earned a decent wage, but I suppose living at house number 1 doesn't help
Christine Bowles,
Milton Keynes

Carol (Monitor Letters, Monday) might be the first to suggest that she already "knew" that violent computer games may make people more likely to act aggressively, but if she does suggest this, then there are countless researchers and academics who'd love to talk to her. They've been examining the issue for years and haven't found any significant links.
Tim Miller,
London, UK

I was interested to see the BBC Corporation's story on ATM machines (Indonesians make ATM sacrifices, 10 January). Do I win Pedant of the Week award?
Sam Leader,
Sydney, Australia

Can I offer this story for 10 things we already knew? Marine reserves "good" for reef?
Lindsay,
Reading, UK

How about a note at the bottom of Paper Monitor each day to inform us of the percentage of Daily Express front covers over the preceeding rolling 30 days that included the word Diana?
HannaH,
Uk

PAPER MONITOR Tuesday 10 January 1150 GMT

Newspapers logo

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

So much for a price war... the Daily Mail's move to match the Daily Express by slashing its cover price to 30p, as noted in yesterday's Paper Monitor, is over almost as soon as it started. Instead, Mail readers are invited to savour the return of columnist Richard Littlejohn from the Sun.

Some history: Littlejohn, often called the cabbies' favourite columnist, was poached by the Mail (for a rumoured salary of £1m) many months ago, but has been on gardening leave for some time after the Sun threatened to take the Mail to court.

His absence, if anything, has only made the heart grow harder as he surveys how the political landscape has changed in recent months.

The Lib Dems are an "irrelevant sideshow" but Charles Kennedy is the best they've got, says Littlejohn, pithily summing this up as "in the land of the bland, the blind drunk is king".

He deplores David Cameron for fighting over what is assumed to be the middle ground, but is "in reality a Leftish, pinko plot of land staked out by the BBC, the Guardian and the Labour Party".

"Call Me Dave", as Cameron is branded, is an "invention of a coterie of privileged thirtysomething scribblers" who Littlejohn thinks of as the "Alice Band, because they're all either called Alice or married to someone called Alice".

Notting Hill, Cameron's manor, is "their very own Alice Springs". And just when it seemed he has wrung this metaphor dry, comes the coup de grace: "But it's Alice in Wonderland to kid themselves that their fashionable obsessions are shared wholesale by downtrodden Middle England."

As the Mail's tagline states, Littlejohn is most definitely "back in business".

TUESDAY 10 JANUARY 2006

In Monday's Daily Mini-Quiz, 49% of you thought that the one thing Prince William wouldn't have to put up with during his officer's training at Sandhurst was a five-week absence from his girlfriend. Sadly for William, that is something he WILL have to endure.

The correct answer was that he won't have to get up at an undignified 5am - he can rest his royal head until a more stately 6am. Today's picture question is on the index now.


YOUR LETTERS MONDAY 9 JANUARY 1730 GMT

Letters logo

Given the inevitable handover from Blair to Brown, and the possibility of Campbell winning the Lib Dem leadership election, could I be the first to mention Flash Gordon versus Ming the Merciless over the dispatch box?
George,
Manchester

What to call Ming's backers?, 9 January. May I suggest a "Mingalay" (pron. ming gah' lay) (isn't there a Scottish island with this name??)
Rose,
LONDON

In light of recent events, is there any chance of you publishing a "Menzies" pronunciation guide? It sounds as though the newsreaders are saying "Minz" but a quick search profers a whole host of other possibilities, at least one of which is best left unsaid. I feel quite ashamed at my ignorance and would really like to know how I should have been referring to the newsagents for all these years. Many thanks.
Catherine O,
Maidenhead, UK

[Monitor note to O: Good idea, watch this space.]

Re: Paper Monitor: I'm beginning to think the Daily Express editors are avid Magazine Monitor readers and are keen to propagate the joke. There's no other possible explanation for the Diana obsession.
Nick Richards,
Enfield, England

Paper Monitor might be interested to note that the new television advert for the Daily Express features a picture of - guess who - Diana - on a mock front page! I have only just stopped chuckling.
Angela H,
Worthing, UK

In today's Paper Monitor you say that the Daily Mail has slashed it cost by 10p, to 30p. How come my copy of today's Daily Mail still costs 40p? Is it because I live in a rural area? Has anyone else's Daily Mail been reduced? I'm feeling hard done by, thanks PM, now I'm going to sulk!!
Sue B,
Grove, Oxfordshire

Giving away free CDs and DVDs is just plain wrong. How would the newspaper industry like it if CD shops gave away a free newspaper with every purchase of a CD? They are destroying the music retail industry, and I for one still like to browse my local CD store and make my selection. How long will these stores be able to carry on if the press continue to give away the lifeblood of independent CD and DVD retailers?
Lee Heyes,
Horsham, West Sussex

Violent computer games may make people more likely to act aggressively. Can I be first to suggest that this is one of the ten things we already knew this week?
Carol,
Portugal

I was pleased to read the following 'equation' in the Guardian today: "if X represents your annual salary and Y represents your age and Z represents your house number and * represents the year you were born, then X squared, divided by 1,000, divided by (Y x 362.3) multiplied by Z and minus * equals the amount you should devote to your wardrobe". I am, however, disappointed to learn that for me this equates to a dandified budget of just £8234.92.
Norbert,
UK

"It took a 21-year-old just 20 minutes to come up with an idea which has made him more than one million dollars in four months. So what's his secret to creative thinking? " (The million-dollar student, 9 January. )Isn't this known as the million dollar question?
Henri,
LONDON

I picked up a leaflet from our local cinema on Friday night. The first film it lists is "Match Point (12A contains moderate sex". That's pleasing to hear, I wasn't too keen to see a film with excellent or appalling sex in it.
Nigel,
Stevenage, Herts

I noticed that Simon Rooke had entries for both Punorama and Caption Competition published in the same week, surely there should be a Flexicon for such an illustrious achievement?
Sam Hayes,
London

[Monitor note to Hayes and others: The Flexicon has now been reopened and is welcoming suggestions.]

PAPER MONITOR MONDAY 9 JANUARY 1045 GMT

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

Never has Paper Monitor's stated intention of highlighting the riches of the daily press been so apposite. PM is reeling from the price hikes in some quarters of the so-called Quality Press. The Guardian has shot up a full 10p today - a copy will now set you back 70p. That's a 16.5% rise. Economists among you will note this comes in somewhat higher than the underlying rate of retail price inflation of 2.3%.

With rather perplexing synchronicity, the Independent has also jumped, going up 5p to match the Guardian's cover price.

Is this perhaps the cost of all those free DVDs coming home to roost? Whatever the reason, the only daily that will set you back more dearly is the Financial Times - price £1.

PM would be out of pocket were it not for some serious cover price jousting elsewhere on the news stand. Both the Daily Mail and the Daily Express have slashed their cost by 10p, to 30p. The Daily Star has also gone down by 5p.

Express readers will be heartened to hear that price cuts not withstanding, it's business as usual. Today's front page headline: Diana 'death squad' riddle.

MONDAY 9 JANUARY 2006

On Friday, we asked, through the Daily Mini-Quiz, what would be the average income in the UK in 2020? Just 23% of you guessed correctly that it'll be £44,800 according to the City and Guilds of London Institute. Today's Daily Mini-Quiz is on the Magazine index.

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