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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 18:30 GMT
The Magazine Monitor

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Welcome to the home for our daily look at the papers, your letters, the caption competition and 10 Things - plus other stuff to do on your 19-minute lunch break.


10 THINGS WE DIDN'T KNOW THIS TIME LAST WEEK

10 THINGS
10 mobiles by Tony Janes

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

1. Shoppers spend £46m a year on "distraction buys" - items bought to mask embarrassing purchases, such as condoms and treatments for piles, in the same shopping basket.

2. The term "misfeasance" means to carry out a legal act illegally.

3. Rats smell in "stereo" - the rodents' brain responding differently to smells from the left and right.

4. The telegram which informed the world that Orville Wright had successfully flown misspelled his name as "Orevelle".

5. The communications director of the London Planetarium is called Diane Moon.

6. Louisiana has the highest rate of coastal land loss in North America - an area the size of Wembley stadium is lost to the sea every 20 minutes.

7. More households have two or more cars than have none.

8. Half of all cars sold in the United States are four-wheel drives.

9. Bill Gates is so rich the US tax department has a special computer devoted solely to his finances.

10. Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair has a glass cabinet in his office containing a Sikh sword, a Jewish prayer book and a book entitled A Portrait of New Zealand

[Sources, where stories are not linked - 1: Guardian, 3 Feb. 4: Wikipedia. 5 & 7: The Times, 31 Jan. 8: BBC One's News at 10, 31 Jan. 9. Yahoo News. 10: Guardian, Monday 30 Jan.]

If you spot anything that should be included next week, use the form below to tell us about it. Thanks this week to RG, Lester Mak, and Tony.

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 FRIDAY 3 FEBRUARY 1605 GMT

Letters logo

On the Euromillions thing. It's actually statistically worth buying a ticket now by the way. The odds against winning are 76 Million to one, and it costs £1.50. Ignoring the "minor" prizes on offer the Jackpot would need to be worth £114 Million for the tickets to "break even", which has now been passed. Now, bear with me because here comes the maths part, the "expected value" of each ticket is the prize value multiplied by the chance of winning. So here £125 Million / 76 Million (Technically 125Million*(1/75Million)). So each ticket you buy (for £1.50) is worth just over £1.64. Imagine how many Anoraks I'll be able to buy with my winnings!
Bas,
London

In reply to Jennifer's letter requesting the length of an era to be standardised. I think you'll find an era is roughly as long as an entire working fleet of Routemaster buses. When the fleet was disbanded it was described as the end of an era which presumably started at the same time as the fleet.
Andy M,
Oxford, UK

This is great.
chelsea,
newburgh fife scotland

After finishing in the gym last night, I cleared my locker and was about to walk off leaving the locker door open. One of the other gym members said that I should lock the locker door instead of leaving it open because there had been instances of people breaking into lockers when they came across open doors. There was a notice on the wall stating the same. I've been trying to fathom this one out all night but no amount of mathematical logical or deductive reasoning has provided an answer so far. Any ideas?
Ted,
Telford

Stephen Buxton, re: salt. Salt is used for far more than just food preparation. The majority of salt in the UK is used in the production of chemicals and other industrial applications. The salt we put on our roads is imported, as our own mined salt is not clean enough. Crikey, I'm boring myself now. Comes from living too near Cheshire's premier Salt Museum.
Lucy Jones,
Manchester

Tim G observed that "opps" in more than one way is an "oops". In our office, we have a document history page which often contains the entry of "Corrected tyops, speeling mistakes, and did good grammer check". Rather surprisingly, not a single boss has ever commented about it.
Judy Cabbages,
Peebles, Scotland

Lien Gyles complained the caption competition picture was too frivolous. It's meant to be a bit of fun! The rest of the BBC news website covers the serious stuff in some depth. Perhaps you've just missed the point? Three cheers for inanity!
Hat,
West Yorks

These cartoons: if nobody may ever depict the Prophet Muhammad, how can anyone tell they're of him?
HTFB,
Oxford

Referring to the article "Invasion 'agreed before Iraq war'", am I the only person who would be more alarmed if the invasion was agreed after we had gone to war.
Duncan Spence,
London, UK

Thanks to "ver Monitor" I too am on DIANA WATCH and caught myself smirking when I saw the "Cruel Attack on Diana" headline on today's Express. You have a lot to answer for as previously the Daily Express did not register on my list of things to think about! Damn you, Monitor, damn you.
Amanda,
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, howay!

To Matt of York, I'd been pondering autological words without realising that was the name for them. The best I can think of at the moment are noun, polysyllable, high-falutin (which is a high-falutin way to call something high-falutin) and metaphor, which as it means 'to carry beyond' in Greek is itself a metaphor. Can anyone think of any more?
Neil C,
Ascot, UK

Re: Google.cn - if you think the filter doesn't work when searching from the UK, compare and contrast http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=tiananmen (Google UK image search for "tiananmen")
and
http://images.google.cn/images?q=tiananmen (Google China image search for "tiananmen"). Note the mysterious lack of tanks in the second search.
James Cram,
Loughborough, UK

Gun-toting motorists more prone to road rage One for 10 Things we Knew Last Week?
Imogen,
London


CAPTION COMPETITION FRIDAY 3 FEBRUARY 1320GMT


Winning entries in the caption competition.

This week, Mr Happy gets stuck as he and other beloved literary characters help launch the ticket ballot for the children's garden party to celebrate the Queen's 80th.

Winners are as follows:

6. "Can I see some ID please?"
Ketan Mistry, Dublin, Ireland

5. "Philip, can you ask the chef where he found the mushrooms we had at breakfast?"
Chris, Inkpen

4. Aaron Barschak's cunning plan hits a snag.
Candace, New Jersey, US

3. "Where's Big Ears?"
Marc Gerrish, Barrow, Lancashire

2. The pursuit of happiness.
Lynn, London

1. Overhead in Prince Philip's room: "I warned that chap 10 years ago he'd turn yellow if he stayed in China too long."
Mark Hawkins, East Sussex

PAPER MONITOR FRIDAY 3 FEBRUARY 1125 GMT

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

R.I.P Smash Hits, the "paper that plastered a million teenage bedrooms", mourns the Daily Telegraph as it Dad-dances in its stone-washed jeans by way of tribute.

Under a hit parade of the magazine's covers through the decades, the Mirror notes "how reality TV shows and the net killed off the teenagers' pop bible".

The Guardian, surely more of an NME reader, gets down with "ver kids" by turning its G2 cover into a mock Smash Hits. Gratuitous use of exclamation marks? Check! A palette of brightest pink and yellow? Check! A moody-looking A-Ha lookie-likie (Paper Monitor showing its age)? Check!

On a far more serious note, the papers agonise over whether to publish the cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad which have sparked protests across the Middle East.

The Times explains that it has decided not to, having balanced public interest against offence caused, but provides weblinks for those who wish to see them.

Nor does the Independent, but its cartoonist depicts blood-splattered "free speech" graffiti with the hand of the artist lopped off by a scimitar.

The Sun says that it won't run the cartoons as they are intended to offend Muslims, and instead opts for a photo of France Soir's front page, as does the Daily Telegraph - but both censor out Muhammad. And the Telegraph's Garland depicts a terrified cartoonist glancing back at armed protesters above the strapline "There'll always be an England".

The Express provides a bit of light relief for those on Diana-watch - CRUEL ATTACK ON DIANA trumpets its front page. And the sub-head is a classic example of the "headlines that mean you needn't read on" genre: "She didn't 'need' murdering. She had already destroyed her reputation, says Blunkett." The story continues on page five, much of which is devoted to a lovely picture of the lovely princess.

FRIDAY 3 FEBRUARY

Marmalade sandwiches all round. Yesterday's Daily Mini-Quiz asked which character invited to the children's garden party to mark the Queen's 80th has a birthday the same day: Paddington Bear, Postman Pat or Noddy. Fifty-five percent of you opted for Paddington - the correct answer. It's Friday, so Stephen Buxton's Pointless Poll is on the Magazine index in place of the DMQ.


YOUR LETTERS THURSDAY 2 FEBRUARY 1705 GMT

Newspapers logo
We Monitor readers have recently focused our attention on the pursuit of finding standard lengths of measurement. How about a standard unit of time - may I recommend "era" as a prototype (as in The lasting legacy of Smash Hits)? Exactly how long an era represents so that we may convert it to days, hours and Routemaster buses?
Jennifer S, Des Moines, Iowa, US

Does anyone fancy joining me for a pint of ale and a couple of sticks of chewing gum in the Seven Stars tonight?
Ali, Stithians

I love the Magazine Monitor, but right now I am extremely angry with you. How can you justify having such an inane picture for the caption comp in this of all weeks? OK, so the BBC is going along with the rest of the British press and not showing us what those cartoons are like, you could still have made a stand for freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion (which includes the freedom not to be religious) by choosing a more relevant picture.
Lien Gyles, Matlock, UK

I see that most of the puns in Punorama used the word "Qing" with the idea that it sounds like... something else. But isn't the letter "q" in Chinese words pronounced as "ch?"
Stephen Ferreday, Mansfield, UK

Isn't it obvious what the disgraced ex-chairman of Walmart was planning (Wednesday's letters)? The dog kennel was to keep the alligator in before the boots were made, the sausage to entice him to enter, the Celine Dion CD was to keep him calm while he fattened up and the shotguns were to shoot him should he fail to be a good dog, sorry alligator. Or was Mr Coughlin simply planning a weekend away in his portable country house?
Jenny, NY Brit

Helen from London asked what her computer is doing making noises when "sleeping" (Tuesday's letters). Obviously it is dreaming of electric sheep.
David Kelly, Liverpool

Thanks to Ian for the suggestion regarding my gradually evolving computer. I'd better cut this letter short before it realizes I'm using it to plot its own demise.
Helen, London, Canada

Enough talk about having to starve computers: we shouldn't anthropomorphize them: they don't like it.
Nigel, Edmonton, Canada

To Tim G of London (Wednesday's letters), there is already such a word - autological, which means self-referential. The opposite of autological is heterological. Now the question "is heterological itself heterological?" is known as Grelling's paradox, as there is no answer which is consistent with the meaning of the word.
Matt, York, UK

Words that somehow represent their own meanings - reflexicographic? Or autolexotic perhaps?
Candace, New Jersey, US

Caroline wants to work out how much salt is in a product when she is only presented with the sodium content (Wednesday's letters). She wonders if the formula could be as simple as: SALT=SODIUM+((SODIUM x 35.5)/23)
At the risk of stepping on someone's barely perceptible witticism, the BBC's own food section gives the rather simpler formula: SALT=SODIUM x 2.5
To be absolutely clear, 1,174,242 level teaspoons of salt = one Routemaster bus.
Andrew Bell

A matter of great importance to me: Is Magazine Monitor male or female?
Caroline Browne, CT, US (ex UK)

Looking at Paper Monitor's FT on eBay does beg the question - why was it buying baby clothes? An explaination is surely required...
Mike, Nottingham

Old reader, will comment ad nauseum.
Stephen Buxton, Coventry, UK, thelbiq.co.uk

PUNORAMA ***UPDATED*** THURSDAY 2 FEBRUARY 1330 GMT

Vases
The 300-year-old vases
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.

This week it's the story of the priceless Qing vases destroyed when a visitor slipped on a loose shoe lace and stumbled against their shelf at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Great minds think alike - it's neck and neck as to which pun has been submitted by the most entrants, with a tie between Qing 'ell (Simon Rooke, Nottingham; C Falconer, London; Alistair Fray, Aldershot; Nick, Redhill, UK; Catherine O, Maidenhead, among others) and Qing Gone (Bradley, Enniskerry, Ireland; Lisa Abbott, Suffolk; Angela Atkinson, Swindon; TeeGee, Belfast; Lesley Morgan, West Sussex etc¿). Also popular was Ker-Qing (Tony Larcombe, Malvern, PA, US; Candace, New Jersey, US).

Variations on this theme included Qing laces (Adam, Newport), Qing clumsy idiot (Dave Godfrey, Swindon) and Qing vases (Tony, Berks).

Then there were those who minded their language, with Urn-replaceable (Bradley, Enniskerry, Ireland), It's shoe're loss not mine (Gearoid O'Muimeachain, London), Hardly a Fitz-Qing demise (Algo, London) and A-vase-ive action (Stoo, Lancashire).

Then there was Jar-Jar Jinx by Kip, Norwich. Nice.

PAPER MONITOR THURSDAY 2 FEBRUARY 1228 GMT

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

More European newspapers have reprinted cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad to show their solidarity with the editor of the Danish paper which first ran the caricatures. This has escalated the row over freedom of expression and sparked protests in the Middle East.

And France Soir, the French paper carrying the caricatures, has since apologised and sacked its managing editor.

The papers here cover the row, but how do they treat the contentious images? The Daily Telegraph has no accompanying images, but describes the cartoons in detail.

The Guardian crops out the cartoons in its photo of France Soir's front page, leaving only the headline Yes, We Have the Right to Caricature God, and reprints an extract of the paper's defence.

The Times goes for a slightly more daring crop which plunges halfway into the cartoon to reveal the chief players - Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian deities (although only Muhammad's turban is visible) - and a speech bubble.

The Sun, however, carries the news that Jordan plans to sell her breast implants on eBay. Which reminds us - still no takers for PM's copy of yesterday's Financial Times.

THURSDAY 2 FEBRUARY 1015 GMT

In yesterday's Daily Mini-Quiz, we asked about champagne: it's bonus time and City slickers have almost drunk London dry of jeroboams - super-size Dom Perignon bottles - but a few methuselahs remain? Well done, people, 80% of you correctly said that a methuselah was bigger than a jeroboam. Today's question is on the Magazine index now.


YOUR LETTERS WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 1615 GMT

Letters logo
Regarding salt. I did the quiz (8/10, that'll do nicely) then checked the back of a crisp packet. It tells me that it contains 0.2g sodium. I realise that the relative atomic mass of chlorine is 35.5 compared to sodium's 23. Does this mean there's 0.2 + ((0.2*35.5)/23)=.51g salt in my crisps? Can it really be that simple?
Caroline, London

Seeing your salt quiz has prompted me to ask this: If salt is mined from seams that have been around for many millions of years, how come there is a need for a use by date on the packaging?
Stephen Buxton, Coventry, UK, thelbiq.co.uk

"Customised dog kennels, a Celine Dion CD, handmade alligator skin boots, several shotguns, a large polish sausage" - the mildly alarming shopping list of disgraced former Walmart vice-chairman and self-confessed thief Tom Coughlin (Ex-Wal-Mart boss stole from firm). Any thoughts on what he was planning?
Sarah, Beaver Bank, Canada

In today's Paper Monitor, you mis-spell oops as opps. Can flexiconographers come up with a term for words that somehow represent their own meaning? An defINITion is the best I can do, although I suppose the word 'word' also fits the bill.
Tim G, London, UK

Helen's computer is slowly evolving (Tuesday's letters). It will soon develop its own mind, become ever more recalcitrant and attempt to force her into a life of servitude. The only way to prevent this is to starve it of electricity at the wall, quickly, before it's too late.
Ian

So Tom Baker, aka "The Doctor", is the new voice of text (Actor Baker becomes voice of text). Has anybody tried texting Shantelle Healy's joke to their landline? Would you hear the Doctor telling jokes about doctors? Or am I reading far too much into this?
Philip, Nottingham, UK

Magazine Monitor, please lead by example. At the top of the page - monitor, red LED, blank screen... you're in standby. Which is bad for you, me and the polar ice caps (in your defence, you seem to be lacking an off switch).
Caroline, London

To Jo, who wondered how a page on Tiananmen Square got through the censors of google.cn (Tuesday's letters): you weren't accessing the site from China. Users in China can use any Google site (including .co.uk), but all will censor the pages they view.
Martha Hampson, London

Re: Max Power's letter (Tuesday's letters). Thank you, but Dr Swift is an exciting alias. My rather dull real name is Clarence B Manfull.
Doc Swift, Manchester

New reader, will comment later.
Jack, Arlington,Virginia

PAPER MONITOR WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRAURY 1158 GMT

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

Google's self-censorship of its Chinese search engine has come in for much stick since its launch last week. So what do these restraints involve? The Guardian's G2 runs some contentious image searches through google.cn to find out (also tried yesterday by Magazine reader Jo of N Ireland).

Examples include a smiley snap of the US commerce secretary and his wife when searching for Tiananmen+Square; no images for Hong+Kong+freedom+protest; ditto for Wang+Wangxing, the Chinese dissident; and people+progress brings up a photo of Tibetan people celebrating the progress their nation has made under China.

Meanwhile Kate Moss appears in all the papers, having jetted in to talk to police about her alleged cocaine use. The Daily Mirror, which had itself a scoop with pictures of the model apparently snorting the drug, gets a tad over-excited and adds an "exclusive" banner to its coverage. As does the Sun.

Again no Diana story in the Daily Express. But Paper Monitor is inspired by their writer who makes a tidy sum selling off her rubbish on eBay. And it really is rubbish - a used tea bag which goes for £40, her last Rolo (£15) and an odd sock (£11). Any takers for PM's well-thumbed copy of today's Daily Sta... opps, we mean Financial Times? There's some great stuff about pensions, Alan Greenspan of the US Federal Reserve, and Chantelle from Celebrity Big Brother. (Just joking about that last one. Obviously.)

WEDNESDAY 1 FEBRUARY 0927 GMT

In the Daily Mini-Quiz on Tuesday, we asked how long after the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605 was Guy Fawkes hanged, drawn and quartered? Just one-third of you correctly answered that it was 12 weeks, making Tuesday the 400th anniversary of his death. The remainder were evenly split between three days and a year and 12 weeks. Today's question is on the Magazine index now.


YOUR LETTERS TUESDAY 31 JANUARY 1705 GMT

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I am delighted to see how Muslim grassroots and organizers have used peaceful resistance to protest what they saw as an insult to the Prophet (Danes facing growing Muslim storm, 31 January). Stopping buying diary products from Danish companies is an excercise of freedom of expressions that Scandanavian people should welcome. Scandanavians cherish freedom of expression no matter what the cost is, it is above everything even consideration for other people's belief. They should be happy that Muslims have followed their lead and expressed their feelings in a peaceful way. They have lost a market no doubt but what's the heck, it is a small price to pay to protect freedom to insult others.
Asa, Toledo,
Ohio

Am I the only Magazine reader who has tried visiting www.google.cn and typing in 'Tiananmen Square'? Oddly, the third result down is about the student massacre. Why didn't the censors pull it up?
Jo,
N. Ireland

Mark from Guildford asks what Shantelle Healy meant on Friday by writing "Noke noke hows thir docter" etc etc. I think it's a phonetic (or just badly spelled) attempt at a knock knock joke, with no punctuantion. Try reading it fast the way it sounds: "Knock Knock. Who's there. Doctor. (Not sure here but it might be Doctor Doolittle). Knock Knock. Who's there. Doctor. Doctor who. You just said it." Now we just need someone in here who can explain why this joke is funny?
TC,
UK

Shantelle Healy's post consisted of two knock knock jokes as told my a Brummie with lockjaw. Surely anyone could have realised that.
Michael Hall,
Croydon, UK

Shantelle Healy's letter sounds to me like a ventriloquist trying crack jokes. Perhaps it's an (almost) imperceptible witticism suggesting that Monitor is a dummy?
Steven Bush,
Nottingham, UK

As for thoughts on why Shantelle did it, perhaps she wanted the fame and fortune that the Monitor provides. These days, it's more or less the only way to get a taste of celebrity without risking a public vote.
Stuart Moore,
Cambridge, UK

Noke noke hows thir doonut doonut how doonut ask me
D I, Amsterdam,
The Netherlands (ex-UK)

Re: the debate on TVs going on 'standby'... What about my computer? Even when it's "sleeping" it stays quite hot and makes little noises. I'm deeply suspicious. What is it doing in there??
Helen,
London, Canada

I noted with interested that a man got his hearing back after taking a ride on a ski lift and Joyce Urch recovered her sight after a heart attack earlier this month. How about a little competition to predict the next miracle cure?
Greg,
Wirral

May I be the last to wish the Magazine Monitor a Happy New Year for 2006?
Sheldon Price,
Manchester

If this gets published, can you put it second from bottom?
Marlow,
UK

I would like to congratulate Dr Swift (Monitor Letters, Monday) - on his excellent name.
Max Power,
Guisborough

PAPER MONITOR TUESDAY 31 JANUARY 1015 GMT

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

Slim pickings today in the papers, apart from the relish taken by some in reprinting recipes for roadkill, extracted from a new book. The Times and the Daily Mail offer Hedgehog Spaghetti Carbonara ("Chop hedgehog into small chunks....").

The Daily Mirror, following its Diana doll story yesterday (which is followed up elsewhere today), has obviously made up for a quiet day by putting special effort into its puns.

A story about a revolt by copper: PLOD OFF
A story about stadium completion delays: WHENBLY?
A story about Tony Blair taking a lung test: TONY BLOWER
A story about impending global devastation: WE'RE ON THIN ICE

Ahh yes, impending global devastation. And yet no-one really seems that bothered.

Meanwhile, no Diana headline on the Daily Express today. But there is a picture of Camilla and a story about how angry people are that she's wearing rabbit fur. One campaign group, the paper says, is calling her "Camilla the Killer".

TUESDAY 31 JANUARY

In the Daily Mini-Quiz on Monday, we asked how much (according to a survey) did an average family spend on window cleaners, cleaners and gardeners in a month. The answer was £182, which just 10% of you identified. 55% of you said £42, while 34% said £82. The Monitor must admit that it too was surprised by the results of the survey, which was why it made a good question. The fact that more of you took part in the Daily Mini-Quiz than there were people polled in the original survey is merely incidental.


YOUR LETTERS MONDAY 30 JANUARY 1730 GMT

Letters logo
In Brady drug smuggling bid foiled, you tell us: "The killer, who was jailed for life in 1966, has been fed by a tube since refusing food six years ago. " Does anyone know WHY? Can't he just starve himself to death like Bobby Sands did?
Alexander

Re: LH's "on/off" button (letters, Friday 17th). I have a sneaking suspicion that, even though there is no red light, if the TV can pick up the signal from the remote to turn on again, it isn't completely turned off. Therefore, it's still on standby. Perhaps the Magazine could find out for us what exactly is using up all the power in a TV on "standby"? It can't just be one little LED, surely?
Vicki,
UK

It would appear that all the manufacturers have done is cunningly removed the stand-by LED from the front panel.
Craig Andrews,
Sheffield, UK

Re: Paper Monitor, Monday. I wonder if anyone can confirm if the voice for the "Diana doll" was provided by a genuine English actress or (here's hoping, given earlier exploits in the Magazine Monitor) is it Dick Van Dyke-esque? I think we should be told, or at least be allowed to judge for ourselves...
Graeme,
Dundee, Scotland

On the Archers at the weekend, Caroline and Oliver took part in a trail hunt, only for their hounds to flush out a fox which they then went on to kill. Is this, or is this not, the complete definition of that original Flexicon word, the fauxhunt?
Cameron Charles
Islington

Am I the only reader to get over-excited by the headline New Powers Over Death Considered?
Catherine O,
Maidenhead, UK

Re: In Mark from Boreham's letter, Friday, he says he found no help from Google when looking up the word "adumbrated" - is he perhaps using www.google.cn by mistake? Google.co.uk returns 124,000 results for me
Nick Strudwick,
Leeds

To "adumbrate" is to sketch something out, to explain it or outline it. An instance of George employing obfuscating reification perhaps? Or just simple circumlocution?
Dr Swift,
Manchester

On Friday, Shantelle Healy wrote: "Noke noke hows thir docter docter how docter do litle to. noke noke hows thir docter docter how you gust said it." Any thoughts anyone?
Mark,
Guildford, UK

Re 'Diana car crash inquiry 'complex' ' ... is this the name of the condition suffered by the Daily Express?
James S,
London

Re Friday's Pointless Poll: which failure would best qualify an MP to be his party's leader. What was the correct answer?
Simon Robinson,
Birmingham, UK

PAPER MONITOR MONDAY 30 JANUARY 1120 GMT

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.
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The Daily Mirror brings us the story of the day. A company in the US has made a Diana doll, it reports, but it's not quite the People's Princess we all remember:

"The talking 'action figure' in white skirt and jacket is described as the Princess of WHALES. With disjointed ankles, garish make-up and unconvincing hair, it looks nothing like her. Even more eerie are the 16 phrases, in Diana's voice, which can be played by pushing a button in the doll's back. The smiling figure says: 'I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts' and 'I want to do good things'."

Also uttered are the phrases: "I don't sit here with resentment. I sit here with sadness." And "There's far too much about me in the newspaper."

Do you think the doll might have been reading Paper Monitor? She doesn't say which newspaper there's far too much about her in. But we all know the answer. And, sure enough, today's Daily Express, page one: 'DIANA: WHY DID SPIES VISIT THE MORGUE?'

MONDAY 30 JANUARY

In our inaugural Pointless Poll on Friday, we asked which failure would best qualify an MP to be his party's leader. 66% of you thought being branded a lost cause by Trinny and Susannah would do it, 18% thought failing a singing audition on the X Factor, and 14% being voted the Weakest Link. Interesting findings? Perhaps. Anyway, normal service is today resumed, with the Daily Mini-Quiz.

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