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Last Updated: Friday, 30 June 2006, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
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 fans in Spain
10 fans on sale in Mallorca, by Julia McGann

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

1. Archaelogists who have found evidence of hunting and butchering of elephants in Kent, 400,000 years ago, believe that the elephant meat was eaten raw.

2. While 53% of households have access to a garage, only 24% use them for parking cars.

3. Siestas are not a southern European invention. An afternoon sleep was common in northern Europe before the industrial revolution.

4. Ants judge distance by counting their steps, suggest researchers from Switzerland and Germany.

5. The Facebook social networking website is so popular among students that there is now a verb "to facebook" someone.

6. Alcohol-related mental health cases, among in-patients, increased by 75 per cent in the past decade.

7. Harry Potter author JK Rowling says that "in something like 1990" she had already decided upon the final chapter of the concluding seventh book in the series.

8. Givenchy perfume's new model for its Angel or Demon range is Marie de Villepin, the daughter of France's prime minister.

9. John Vassall, who spied for the Soviet Union, was given an emergency number to contact: Kensington 8955 and he was instructed to ask for "Miss Mary".

10. Mortgage borrowing now accounts for 42% of take-home salary. The total mortgage debt has passed 1 trillion for the first time.

[Sources, where stories are not linked - 8: Times, 30 June. 9: Daily Telegraph, 30 June.]

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

Your e-mail address
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.


Letters logo

Re the 7 days 7 questions question on Michael Jackson. Surely the headline was right before you drag and drop?
GDW, Edinburgh

Kip makes a good attempt with his pupil sex gag (Thursday's letters), but I'm afraid that my eye jokes are even cornea.
James, Edinburgh, UK

I've just received this flyer through my letterbox. I'm not sure my shower is built to accommodate two people.
Shaun Brodvron, London

Re: Odd product warnings. My (prescribed) anti-depressant tablets include the warning "may cause depression" in the advisory sheet. Nope, I'm not joking.
Tigger, Milton Keynes

I once bought some antiseptic cream with instructions not to use "internally or on the brain". I never figured it out either...
James Carter, Manningtree, UK

My dog's anti-histamine tablets have the warning: "May cause drowsiness: if affected do not drive or operate machinery."
Susan Thomas, Brisbane, Australia

Sign on a tattoo parlour: "Ears Pierced While You Wait." Think about that for a moment.
Paul, San Diego, US

Instructions that came with a car sunshade (a windscreen-sized piece of reflective cardboard): "Do not drive with sunshade in place".
Nigel, Edmonton, Canada

Re: Jel's request for a word to sum up the inherent inability of bureaucracy to learn from experience (Thursday's letters) - I propose hindblind.
Justin, Driffield, UK

An inability to learn from history - revolution?
Kip, Norwich, UK

Robin, Edinburgh

I'd like to suggest a new game - 10 Things Snap. Readers get a point when they notice a "10 Things" photo which has been used before. Examples (checking through old Monitors) include "10 Daisies" used 3 times and "10 Portaloos" used twice. Can you tell I was bored this lunchtime? Perhaps I should have had a siesta instead.
Ed, Clacton, UK


The tournament may still be going, but for Magazine readers, the World Cup 2006 crostini "sticker" album is over.

Did you collect them all? Well, prove it to the world.

Readers are invited to e-mail pictures of themselves with their completed crostini album (details below). We'll publish all pictures next week in the Magazine.

How to send pictures of you and your completed "sticker" album:

The best way to send pictures is to e-mail them to us. Send them to the.magazine@bbc.co.uk. with the subject line CROSTINI.

Don't forget to include your name.

If you want to send your picture from your mobile phone, dial 07921 648159. You can send them from any network or phone. Please send the large full size images (usually 640x480 pixels) taken by the mobiles otherwise they are too small to publish.

If you submit an image, you do so in accordance with the BBC's Terms and Conditions.

In contributing to BBC News you agree to grant us a royalty-free, non-exclusive licence to publish and otherwise use the material in any way that we want, and in any media worldwide. (See the Terms and Conditions for the full terms of our rights.)

It's important to note, however, that you still own the copyright to everything you contribute to BBC News. This means you are perfectly free to take what you have produced and re-publish it somewhere else. Please note that if your image is accepted, we will publish your name alongside it on the BBC News website. The BBC cannot guarantee that all pictures will be published and we reserve the right to edit your comments.


It's time for the caption competition.

This week, a giant panda cub plays at the Wolong Nature Reserve in China. But what's being said?

1. Jon Bright, London
"Jeez you people really know how to rub the salt in, I could've had a slide but noooo..."

2. Jon, Bishops Stortford
"I just don't understand why you never get pregnant my dear."

Which is the best entry?
Jon Bright
Neil Whiteside
Ian Smith
Marcus Booth
3769 votes cast
3. Neil Whiteside, Cambridge
A curious side effect of being an endangered species.

4. Phil, Cardiff
"That's the last time I agree to a blind date."

5. Ian Smith, Farnborough
Chi-Chi realised See-Saw wasn't the playmate he'd been expecting.

6. Marcus Booth, Bristol
I expected more from Alton Towers.


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

Protest marches are rarely as suited and booted as one which took place yesterday with the support of that bastion of the besuited, the Daily Telegraph.

About 100 business people marched in support of the "NatWest Three" - facing fraud charges in the Enron fallout in Texas - and campaigning to amend a new extradition pact with the US under which UK citizens can be handed over without solid evidence of wrongdoing (but not the other way around, because the US hasn't ratified it yet).

It's a pact which the Guardian says has "created an unlikely coalition of civil liberties campaigners and business leaders, with the latter claiming it is being used primarily to target executives."

Which is where the Telegraph comes in. The extremely orderly mob brandished placards provided the broadsheet demanding fair trials for business people.

"What was meant as a weapon in the fight against black-hearted terrorists has become a sledgehammer to crack white collar offences," blusters the paper's Jeff Randall, late of this parish.

For Liberty's Shami Chakrabati, it serves as a timely reminder that "if you have summary justice or you abandon human rights this can hurt anyone".

And in the Independent, defender of civil liberties? Yes, they cover the march. But a great many pages after news of how Germany's media fell in thrall to Martin Rooney, a Brit living in Bremen who claims to be the striker's uncle from his mother's side. In which case he should have the surname Morrey.


We asked the name of Muhammad Ali's new health food company. It's Goat - Greatest of all Time - which just 17% of you got right; 50% said Ox and 33% said Mule. Today's Daily Mini-Quiz is on the Magazine index.


Letters logo
How nice the comment about the British empathy on the demise of Frasier's dog should come from Kat. Closure :-)
Derek Hasted,
Havant UK

To Kat from Stevenage: heart-warming? Tens of thousands die each day because of lack of clean water, and you think it's heart-warming that a TV dog's death seems to preoccupying the British public's thoughts? As much of an animal lover as I am "embarrassing" is the word I'd use.

Eddie wasn't Frasier's dog. he was Frasier's dad's dog. And why does the quiz feature a picture of Les Dennis? I can't for the life of me make the connection.
Peter Collins,

Chocolate fountain?. Lee Pike in Cardff is mistaken... it's a sherbet fountain and a chocolate log.
Gareth Jones (the real one),

I once had a T-shirt where the washing instructions were either "get your mum to do it" or "find a rich man, screw him for all he's worth, bin this top and buy a new one." I got my mum to do it.

I once bought a toaster which came with a slip of paper with one sentence on it: "This toaster must not be left unattended".
Paul Ellis,
Liverpool, UK

I once bought some sleeping tablets that warned "may cause drowsiness".

I just scored 3/10 on the Philanthropy midweek quiz only to be told that it means I am "very tight". What rubbish, I am just plain ignorant!
Colin Main,
Berkhamsted, UK

Is pupil sex anything to do with beauty being in the eye of the beholder?
Norwich UK

In your article about the obituary writers convention, there's a disturbing picture of Andrew Mckie. It took me a while to realise that the glare off the car in the background was not actually a scythe. I have to admit, at first I thought it was a little tasteless.

Re this article, don't you feel safer knowing that MI5 are looking after us? "The director general has told us that she has not, as yet, seen any evidence of a decline in established cultural standards as a result of growth and regionalisation. Over the coming year, however, a senior manager will work with staff to formalise the existing corporate ethos in order to preserve aspects of the working culture that the Service wants to retain."
At least it should baffle al-Qaeda.
Witney, UK

Can the flexicologists come up with a word for the inherent inability of bureaucracy to learn from experience, as per 3 October 2005, 22 November 2005 & 29 June 2006 ?

Your crostinis are making me sick!
NY Brit


It's time for the caption competition.

This week, a giant panda cub plays at the Wolong Nature Reserve in China. But what's being said?

Send us your captions, using the form below. We'll publish a shortlist on Friday after 1200 BST for you to vote for the winning entry.

Your e-mail address
Town/city and country
Your caption

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


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

Since we launched our "most read now" and "most e-mailed now" tracker, it's obvious to anyone who cares to check that animal stories do brisk business.

So three guesses which story is in all the papers this morning - the death of Frasier's dog, Eddie? No. The 3in Japanese invader dubbed the "grey squirrel of the fish world"? No.

Here's a hint - the first part of the Daily Mirror's headline: "APOCALYPSE MIAOW". Can you see what it is yet? "ALIVE! THE CAT FEARED DEAD IN DIGGER ATTACK".

Meanwhile, the Times laughs in the face of the Brentwatch brigade. Most papers illustrate David Cameron's description of Tony Blair as the David Brent of Downing St with a photo of said Wernham-Hogg boss doing his infamous dance. The Times uses the same pic, but carefully stitches the PM's face into place through the wonders of image manipulation software.

Many column inches are devoted to the "MISS JAILED FOR PUPIL SEX" (thank you, the Sun, all we need to know in just five little words). Amid all the lurid details - and there are many - one in particular stands out. The "Miss" in question is called Elvira Fairhurst.

Now that's a name. The handle of a Mills and Boon temptress bestowed upon a suburban schoolteacher.


Les Dennis
We asked 8,820 Magazine readers: what was the name of the (ghost written) autobiography of Moose, the terrier who played Frasier's dog Eddie. Our survey said; Goodnight, Seattle (58%), uh-errr; Eddie: A Dog's Tale (27%), uh-errr; My Life as a Dog (15%), ping! Today's Daily Mini-Quiz is on the Magazine index.


Letters logo

You have to love the British Public. It warms my heart that the most read and most e-mailed story this morning was about the demise of Frasier's dog.

Erm, the antenna dish in this picture - is a true reflection of BT service level agreements?
Rachael & Dan,

Quote of the day - 'Take off clothes before ironing to avoid burning'
Your quote of the day reminded me of a health warning, in bold red print, on two pints of milk: "Allergy advice: This product contains milk".
Gareth Jones,

My jeans' care label says "remove jeans before washing" and has a helpful picture of a person in a whirlpool. I'm pretty sure it's intended as a joke but am equally sure it protects them from stupid people's litigation.
Lucy Jones,

If the phrase used to describe surplus butter is a "butter mountain" does it follow that surplus chocolate should be described as a "chocolate fountain"?
Lee Pike,
Cardiff, UK

The BBC claims that 1 million bars of chocolate look like 55 elephants. Just how do they look like elephants? Do they not just resemble bars of chocolate?
Thomas Steuart-Feilding,

In the interests of equality, I look forward to the equally patronising article regarding what would be in women's magazines if men wrote the articles (The clickable alternative 'lad mag'). May I suggest "You won't look younger but you'll be much poorer if you slap this obscenely priced gunk on your face" or perhaps "By looking at our exclusive pictures, you are directly supporting the intrusive photography that makes celebrities' lives hell".
Guildford, UK

Re: "Paper Monitor would sooner pluck out its own eyebrows than read a match report, yet manages to find a few nuggets." PM has to be Boy George.
Baltimore, US

PJ in Scunthorpe (Tuesday letters) ticks off another correspondent for correcting the Monitor's "pain au raisin" - it's not the raisin which is the problem; it's the au (singular) and aux (plural).
London, UK

Sorry, pj (and PM). Though you're right in that in French, a singular noun may be used as a collective, you'll find that Google lists 30,800 occurrences of "pain aux raisins" as opposed to a little over 500 for "pain au raisin". Usage rules...
Lorraine, Quebec

Look, it doesn't matter whether the raisin is plural or not, because nobody eats it anymore - least not around my boulangerie. I'm sure it's just an urban myth from 1980s French lessons. You have croissant, pain chocolate, or brioche raisin - you pay your money (eurocentimes) and make your choice.
Nimes, France


It's Punorama results time.

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 wash out on the first day of Wimbledon.

Persistent rain meant only 44 minutes of play were possible on the opening day of the championships. The cost of refunds could be 1m.

The word "brolly" proved the most popular this week. Brolly Good Show was offered by Bradley, Enniskerry, Ireland, and Rebecca Plumb, from London, while Nick Rikker in Barcelona, Gareth Jones, in Anglesey and Na in London offered Serve and brolly.

There are no prizes this week for the much-submitted likes of Swimbledon and Court in the rain.

But credit has to go to Helene Parry, South Wales expat to Brentford Lock, for her offering of You cannot be cirrus!. And also to Wimbledon stratus quo from Simon Rooke in Nottingham.

Forlorn Tennis Association from Dr Swift in Manchester and OG Nash, Doha, Qatar also raise a chuckle.

The rain is pain pours million down the drain is suggested by David W, in Fleet, UK, while Rain,debt and match comes from Michael in Glasgow and Rain Stops Pay arrives from Rhodri Morris, Pontypridd, S. Wales and Richard Peers, Croydon, Surrey.

And last but not least Every cloud has a server whining from Graham Valentine, Richmond, England is not bad at all.


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

No football matches today, so does that mean the papers are any less full of the antics of the boys in red, white, blue? No it does not. Paper Monitor would sooner pluck out its own eyebrows than read a match report, yet manages to find a few nuggets.

In the Guardian is Nancy's Diary, charting the World Cup ups and downs of Sven's main(ish) woman.

"Svennis he pass another bad night. 'I have strange dream. Four-man Portugal run ring round England on pitch while Big Phil Scolari he canter up and down touchline on horseback dress as Braveheart. I make imperceptible eyebrow gesture to Beckham to get stucked in, but he turn to me and say: 'Boss, I think I told you, I'm a lover not a fighter'."

Hmmm. Even PM has realised that the World Cup has seen bigger surprises.

And so to salt sprinkled in another festering wound. A Guardian columnist gives voice to an abiding fear: Maradona. Great footballer (watch the hand!?!), praise be he's retired. But what's this? Almost the entire Argentinean team is dark-haired, thick-set and short-of-stature. "Who's the daddy? Diego... literally" goes the headline.

Meanwhile the Daily Mirror has another costume in mind for Big Phil - a big shouty hen. No sooner had PM made a valiant effort to read the explaining article - something about chickening out - than the will to live started to slip away.

And so, to sleep, perchance to dream... eh Sven?


Tuesday's Daily Mini-Quiz asked what can Boy George expect to do for his community service, after losing his appeal to do less humiliating work. He will be raking leaves, which 31% of you got right - 56% thought he'd be scrubbing toilets and 13% painting railings. A new Daily Mini-Quiz is on the Magazine index now.


Letters logo

Ooh, a good bit of misdirection on the Magazine front page today. Putting the Boy George quote of the day about being a scrubber right next to the mini quiz certainly encouraged me to select the wrong answer of toilet cleaner. Whatever happened to unbiased surveys?
Whiteley, UK

FYI, Duncan from Brighton, Pooterism comes from the name of the principal character of The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. It's generally used these days as a snobbish term for belittling the mundane concerns of the middle classes, normally by those of a self-professedly "artistic" disposition.

Duncan says "what is pooterism". I thought it was another, friendlier, word, for "computer speak". But maybe that's cos I have two little boys who refer to the PC as the "pooter".

Tennis people are at it again: "He whips a forehand passing-shot past Soderling and then fools him with a drop-shot so well disguised it was virtually wearing a false beard and sunglasses."
Gareth Jones,

Lucy Jones is clearly not as "francophone" as Paper Monitor as "raisin" is perfectly acceptable as a plural noun.
pj (yes, really!),
Scunthorpe, England

When reading the "result" of Monday's DMQ, I was filled with a wave of confidence. If the Monitor can make mistakes like this, then maybe there is hope for the rest of us desk fliers after all. Thank you.
Ray Lashley,
Bristol, UK


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

Busy bloke that Tony Blair. If running the country wasn't enough, turns out he is something of a newspaper columnist on the sly. Here he is in Tuesday's Daily Mirror assessing the whole Live 8/G8 bonanza one year on.

Mr Blair makes the case for his new Africa Progress Panel, name checks Gordon Brown three times and tells readers that things are getting better, but there's still a long way to go (in Africa, that is).

Turn to the Guardian, and there he is again - rebutting his critics on domestic policy. Both titles are left-of-centre in their sympathies and, as with the Mirror article, this appears to be an exercise in appealing to wavering Labourites - and keenly timed given the critical remarks of his spurned ex-home secretary, Charles Clarke, that are plastered across today's papers.

Yes, Tony Blair is trying to fight his way back into the affections of the Guardian faithful. And for those disillusioned readers who have distanced themselves so far from the policies of Number 10 they've forgotten exactly who Mr Blair is, the Guardian article signs off with a helpful jog to the memory: "Tony Blair is the prime minister".


Monday's Daily Mini-Quiz asked what the phrase "I say" was being replaced with in revised editions of Enid Blyton's novels. What percentage of you got the right answer - "Hey"? Well, a bleary-eyed Monitor was a bit of a klutz this morning and missed noting the result before the new Daily Mini-Quiz - see it here - went up and for all sorts of complicated reasons it's almost impossible to retrospectively find it out... but as of Monday afternoon, about 70% of respondents were correct.


Letters logo

Re: "As you nibble your pain au raisin..." in Paper Monitor. Quite a sad little breakfast, that. One measly raisin? Or did you mean "pain aux raisins"? With all your newly-acquired foreign muck knowledge I'd have thought you'd manage that...
Lucy Jones, Manchester

Good to see old favourites re-appearing ; I have so far spotted 3 references to "SW19" as a euphemism for "Wimbledon" on the sports pages and it's still only day one!
Andrew Ruddle, Weybridge, Surrey, UK

What is pooterism, anyone? It doesn't exist in any dictionaries I have access to...
Duncan, Brighton, UK

The whole of the article Israeli threat of military action is made up of one sentence paragraphs. How about a one sentence paragraph watch?
Gordon, Catterick,UK

Thoughts on a MonitorWatch to keep track of MM's ascendance up the "Most Read" charts (No.4 as I type this)? It might go some way to filling the gap left by Top of The Pops...
Simon S, Victoria, Canada

Regarding Stoo's discovery of the largest handheld device. This billboard-sized "mobile device" would take some effort to get into your pocket.
Tim Collins, Southampton

The news is cold
maebh oneill, cork


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

As you sip your morning latte/nibble your pain au raisin/slurp your porridge, how much do you want to see the England football captain's own breakfast repeating on himself? Daily Mirror readers, one hopes, have a stronger constitution than most because the paper depicts David Beckham mid-Huey on its front page, set-off by the headline HERE WE THROW!

Never noted for its modesty, the Sun nevertheless lets the words do the talking, with QUEASY DOES IT. There are several pictures of Becks looking non-too well, but readers are spared the spew.

A young William Hague might have fared better out in the 90-degree Stuttgart heat. Remember the story of the 14 pints the former leader of the Conservative party sunk in his teens? Did he puke? He's a Yorkshire man - of course he didn't, according to one of his answers in the Independent's You Ask the Questions... interview. It would, however, "kill" him now.

The interview is published on the day that David Cameron is due to set out his plans for a "common sense" Bill of Rights to rival the Human Rights Act.

It was, of course, Mr Hague who trailed "common sense" politics during his time in the Leader of the Opposition chair. Remember his much vaunted "Common Sense Revolution"? So what happened to that? "People evidently didn't want it," he tells the Indy.

Whither the kitchen table, asks Paper Monitor.


Cast your minds back to Friday, when the Daily Mini-Quiz - for non-Magazine regulars, it appears each day on the Magazine index - asked how many Swarovski crystals did 16-year-old Jordan wannabe Carly O'Brien's dress contain. The answer: 30,000. Congratulations to the 57% of respondents who got it right. Now pit your wits against a new DMQ today.

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