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Preview: BBC NEWS | Magazine Monitor: Your Letters

BBC NEWS | Magazine Monitor: Your Letters

The Magazine's recommended daily allowance of news, culture and your letters.

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:00:42 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2013

Your Letters

Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:00:42 +0000

Considering what a superlative conductor of electricity gold is, I do believe that Datta Phuge has become the world's most expensive lightning rod. roarshock, Oregon, USA I just want to clear up any confusion regarding this story "Narrow Swindon alleyway painted with double yellow lines". This is an art installation and is a project on my media studies course. I'll get my paint brush. Graham, Hayle, Cornwall Andrew, Malvern, I knew I should have closed the curtains when the car drove past. Now everyone knows the colours of my kitchenware! Darren, Birmingham Re: tobacco memories. My grandfather regularly fielding calls at his corner grocery asking "Do you have Prince Albert in a can?" Candace, New Jersey, US Re: the story on Liberace. He was gay? Honestly? Well I would never have thought it. While the revelation floodgates have been opened - d'you have you any clues to the religious leanings of the Pope? Ted Rodgers, Cheshire

Your Letters

Mon, 15 Apr 2013 17:43:00 +0000

Vodafone making bird-brained decisions like usual.Chris Malton, Southampton, UK Re this story: It calls to mind Mario Balotelli's reply when police questioned why he had £5,000 in cash on his person - "Because I am rich".AD, London Streetview, Pot, Kettle, Black.Andrew, Malvern, UK

Your Letters

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 17:32:54 +0000

Re: labrador puppies tussling under one's jumper. Running does, however, have a synchronising effect on those puppies. The scientific question then becomes a problem of clockwise or anti-clockwise motion. Candace, New Jersey, US "Jam firm given permission to spread"? So what else are you supposed to do with it? Fire it off your spoon like a trebuchet? Sheesh! Fi, Gloucestershire, UK I could point out that 50,000 tons of meat is equivalent to about two thirds of the London bus fleet but that doesn't help very much. 50,000 tons of meat is one dodgy quarter-pounder for every EU citizen. David Richerby, Liverpool, UK Great. As if we weren't already being forced to hear people chatting on their mobiles in public too much. Now we're going to have to put up with mega-phones. Dave, Truro There IS a God! Angus Gafraidh, London UK

Your Letters

Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:29:42 +0000

Mark (Wednesday's Letters) - Fee can get her octopodes after the opponent plays to,top,op,po, pod,od,de,ode,odes or es. I'll get my tiles. Steve, Southampton I was out by one! When, on Monday, I saw the published letter on octopodes which said, and I quote, "octopuses (octopi?)", my first thought was "Ooh! That person really needs to know the correct plural of octopus! Somebody well-informed on such important matters had better write in and tell them. I'll do it." But I was busy, so I didn't. Instead, I mulled the matter over and came to the conclusion that you, Magazine Monitor, deliberately published that letter knowing that it would be extremely provoking to many of your readers, and that you would get a mailbag stuffed to the electronic gills with letters giving the proper plural form of the word. I then guessed that you would publish four of them. P.S. Duncan's was my favourite. James, Stockport Dutch horse or Malian camel? Martin, Luxembourg How sad the Dutch didn't take warning - one of the companies behind the current meat scandal is in the town of Oss. Rahere, Smithfield The new Galaxy Mega phone appears to be displaying a weather forecast of a sunny 25 degrees for London on Tuesday April 30th. That must be almost as optimistic as the idea of getting a 6.3inch phone in your trouser pocket. Simon, Cambridge

Your Letters

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:50:50 +0000

Duncan: "Pedants may wish to note that Octopussy wasn't a James Bond book title in itself" No, but it was itself in a James Bond book title: "Octopussy and the Living Daylights", a book of (two) short stories by Ian Fleming published posthumously. Goldfinger, London Duncan (Tuesday's letters) - surely that should be "species' names"? I'll get my apostrophe. David, Cardiff, South Wales Fee - look for lots of space when your opponent plays "pod", and hope you have the right letters. Mark, Banbury, Oxon Really, it's their own fault for delaying this so long - had they done it earlier, there'd be less history to teach. MK, Reading

Your Letters

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 15:12:10 +0000

Kat (Monday's letters) the pedants' plural for the octopus is 'octopodes' since the word is of Ancient Greek rather than Latin origin - this is why the pedants' word for 'Latin name' for a species is 'scientific name', since not all species names are in Latin. For regular folk ˜octopuses" are perfectly acceptable; this also avoids invoking James Bond film titles. Pedants may wish to note that Octopussy wasn't a James Bond book title in itself... I could go on; the world of the pedant is a Mandelbrotian nightmare. I'll get my anorak. Duncan, Hurstpierpoint Kat, (Monday's letters) modern dictionaries say 'octopuses' or 'octopi' are acceptable, but marine biologists prefer 'octopodes'. Although quite how you could make something of that in Scrabble, I have no idea... Fee Lock, Hastings, East Sussex Re: Iron Lady's passing. Handbags at half mast today. Candace, New Jersey, US To Rob Falconer (Monday's letters), I don't know why you're worrying about that rabbit eating 50 quids worth of lettuce and carrots or whatever. He'll still have three quid left over for frivolities such as visiting the Bunny Club. Emigrant, Marseille, France Kat, actually it's octopodes as the root word is Greek (eight-footed) not Latin. Yours in Pedantry. Heather Simmons, Champaign, Illinois, USA I'm aware that Lady Thatcher is dead, but the Magazine Monitor is more important. Rob Mimpriss, Bangor, Wales Oh, poor PM. I recommend a nice cup of hot cocoa, some biscuits, and a good thoughtless movie on the telly. Maybe an early bedtime, too. Dragon, Concord, Calif, US

Your Letters

Mon, 08 Apr 2013 18:45:04 +0000

About loneliness, I'm very glad I live in these modern times. My family are spread across the globe. Only a few decades ago that would have meant a letter every few months and perhaps never seeing them again. Thanks to Skype, my 2 year old daughter knows her grandparents despite only meeting them 4 or 5 times in her lifeAine, Stevenage The fact that "female octopuses stretch further to reach for food" (10 Things) needs some qualification. Is it that females reach further than males? Or perhaps that female octopuses (octopi?) reach further than, say, female T-Rexes? Or even that they reach further for food than they do for... rocks? I simply must know!Kat, Ipswich Head of Online Services - Mr Webb.Basil Long, Nottingham "It costs £50 a week to feed a 23kg rabbit - the world's largest." I just hope he's not on benefits then.Rob Falconer, Llandough, Wales Uh oh, do we need to defrost Sly?...Jez, London

Your Letters

Fri, 05 Apr 2013 16:00:35 +0000

After Her Majesty's Bafta-winning parachute jump, I did a double-take at the sight of "Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to visit Mars". I then realised that it's probably a very convenient visit, given that Windsor Castle must have a very similar postcode. Fi, Gloucestershire Right, based on the ability to hum Justin Bieber's Never Let You Go, Paper Monitor is clearly a 12-year-old girl. Rusty, Montreal, Canada Tom Fordyce, BBC Sport's chief sports writer, describes the Grand National as "a rollercoaster ride". Could I suggest that someone has a quiet but urgent word with him before tomorrow afternoon. John, Bath Who says there's no North/South divide? Colin, Korea

Your Letters

Thu, 04 Apr 2013 17:01:34 +0000

My favourite Cupertino (or auto-correct fail as I like to call it) was when my phone changed the word 'panicking', thereby telling a friend 'I'm completely pancaking about everything'. HB, Birmingham A fine Cupertino happened to me when writing a report on the former government social welfare agency, the New Zealand Income Support Service. Guess which German political group from the 1940s the spellchecker decided to change the NZISS to... Dave, Wellington I expect that in the near future history lessons will speak of Henry VIII's 'unheading' of Anne Boleyn. I'll un-decoat. Roarshock, Oregon, US I was interested to read that the mass of a Higgs Boson is 0.0000000000000000000003g. It would surely be easier to comprehend such a number if we were also informed how many of these mysterious particles made a double decker bus. And conversely, if the bus would actually be there at all. Brendan, London So according to Thursday's random stat, as I completed secondary school, I should expect "1cm extra height in old age". When exactly during my twilight years am I expected to grow? I'd like to be prepared - I may have to purchase new clothes, and that takes some planning on a pension. Kat, Ipswich I'm glad to read this: Stonehaven to get lifeboat cover. It will help stop the lifeboat getting dusty. Steve, Aberdeen

Your Letters

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 14:17:41 +0000

Following Malcolm's logic from yesterday's letters, befriending would mean to defriend if beheading is to dehead. Basil Long, Nottingham Malcolm (yesterday's letters) - I like 'defriending', but I'm not familiar with 'deheading'. I've heard of dead-heading (of daffodils), or beheading (of Tudor wives), but neither of those really works with unfriending. 'Befriending' is, well, completely wrong, and 'dead-friending' sounds like a zombie outreach project. Ashley, Hull I tried the class test a few times and found that all that's keeping me out of the precariat is going to gigs. When I tick that box, I become an emergent service worker. If I go to more gigs will I end up in the elite?Rosie, Cambridge, UK According to your survey, I'm middle class.I was so surprised, I nearly dropped my focaccia. Michael Hall, Croydon, UK Business reporter Laurence Knight declares: "To ask about a country's long-term prospects in the middle of a financial crisis is something of a fool's errand." He then writes an 860 word article that does just that. Why? Rik Alewijnse, Feering, UK I guess Ed Loach (Letters, Tuesday) didn't read the bit which said; "The food experiment carried out by Dr Cutler was much more extensive than we've been able to show in this finished report, and included controls which the results were compared with." David Richards, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Re: train gripes. May I add escalators up and down to the platform. Many are oblivious to the stand right, walk left rule. I'll get my cote. Candace, New Jersey, US Time for a Cupertino-off? When working in the rail industry, my personal favourite was an email client which kept suggesting I should change 'ScotRail' to 'scrotal.' Susannah, Oxford

Your Letters

Tue, 02 Apr 2013 15:42:32 +0000

My favourite example of a Cupertino (as described here) is from my old PC that once updated 'Celine Dion' to 'Feline Din', which I thought was most appropriate. Jo, London I will admit, I've always thought of it as "defriending" (as with 'deheading') rather than "unfriend"... Malcolm Rees, Aldershot Talking of throwing food as we were, this article on the five-second rule really needed to also test the food before it was dropped on the floor to see if the germs were on it already, rather than all coming off the floor. Ed Loach, Clacton, UK Nominative determination alert for the name of the fish-testing laboratory in this report. Paul Greggor, London BBC News Website Invents Time Travel. I clicked on BBC News website this morning at 09:18 to find that it had been updated this morning at 10:11. Looking forward to the Lottery results! Pete, Warrington

Your Letters

Mon, 01 Apr 2013 15:53:34 +0000

I knew what date it was. I was fully prepared. Managed to see through everything thrown at me by press and family but woefully failed in the end. Anything relating to EU directives seemed so believable I totally fell into each and very April trap.Peter, Pershore, Worcs The Evening Standard described the security for The Boat Race as "watertight". Wouldn't that spoil the event?MCK, Stevenage I think I just became addicted to Googlewhacking. Took me a while, but I found only one result for "linguaphile barabbas".Liberty, London England Regarding leaving Nigeria out of the BRICS in order to make the acronym better - was BRINC thought to be too ominous?Jenna, Bath Ah, but Basil (Friday's letters), a triangular flapjack can also be broken into two smaller triangles. So a rectangular one is no worse, in this respect.David Richerby, Liverpool, UK Basil (Friday's letters). I doubt if the children throw food they could learn how to make two triangles from a rectangle.Ed Loach, Clacton, UK

Your Letters

Fri, 29 Mar 2013 12:07:32 +0000

"Random stat - 288 questions fielded by mothers per day". I asked my mother how many questions she was asked each day and she replied, "that's 289 now". Rob, France Just a final point on the flapjack flap. What will the school do when the children realise that they can snap the flapjack in half diagonally to make not one, but two triangular flapjacks? Basil, Nottingham Rich (Wednesday's Letters), if you tessellate the flapjacks, then what will the preparers have as their own pick-me-up snacks? Dragon, California, US Regarding the Daily Mirror article on the lamb curry containing no lamb, but potentially containing dog or cat, was I the only one to find the following comment amusing? "One expert said: 'It was quite amazing to find something with no stray ingredients'." Oh dear... Fiona, Gloucestershire Graham (Wednesday's letters), forget about lost keys, I am more concerned that someone has lost the plot. Henri, Sidcup

Your Letters

Wed, 27 Mar 2013 13:40:53 +0000

Kay (Your Letters, Tuesday), you do not have to suffer. Using your iPhone, browse to the Monitor page on the interweb. Then select the icon at the bottom of the screen that looks like an arrow escaping from a box. Tap on the option to "Add to Home Screen". Magazine Monitor will then appear as if it were an App. I'll get my protective case. Jim, Crowborough Milliband to join International Rescue? Thunderbirds are go! Jo Penn, Lichfield On the theme of flapjackery topology, Fee and Basil make good cases for fewer corners. However, there is an economic constraint in that the chosen shape ought to tesselate in the plane for maximum unit yield. I submit hexagons, which are the closest approximation to a circle that will neatly fit. Rich, Titchfield Common, UK "Cyprus making 'superhuman' effort to reopen banks by Thursday". What, have the door hinges jammed or has someone lost the keys? Graham, Hayle, Cornwall There was only one profession considered "most wanted" in Greece. No surprise as to which one... John, Glasgow Sorry, Rob (Tuesday's letters) but along with people like Bob Hope (born in Eltham, London in 1903), Alfred Hitchcock (Leytonstone, 1899) and Boris Karloff (Honor Oak, 1887) the vast majority of fans would consider Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin to be American as almost all of their significant work was done after they landed on those shores. If it is any comfort it works the other way around - famous 'Australian' actors Nicole Kidman and Mel Gibson are both closet Americans. ANGUS GAFRAIDH, London UK

Your Letters

Tue, 26 Mar 2013 16:16:50 +0000

Telegraphing your punches the easy way. This gang actually named their fraudulent film "A Landscape of Lies"? I wonder, would anyone like to put a few quid into my new film "Buy That Nice Dr Walker A Lamborghini"?Dr Reece Walker , London UK Matt Lucas "said he had always been 'a huge fan of the visual comedy of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and of course, our very own Mr Bean'." Er, sorry, but are Chaplin and Laurel no longer regarded as British?Rob Falconer, Pernes-les-Fontaines, France Hollywood director takes pity on starving boffins?Rik Alewijnse, Feering, UK May just say that this article is probably the most brilliant, inspiring and wonderful piece of journalism ever. Well they do say philately will get you everywhere.James, Great Dunmow The conditional in "31% of people would pray for world peace" implies that they're not actually doing it. I hereby rewrite today's random stat as, "Humanity doomed: 31% of people believe they could reduce death and suffering at the cost of literally nothing but a few minutes of their time, at any convenient moment, but are too selfish and lazy even to do that."David Richerby, Liverpool, UK We could take Fee's argument full circle and suggest that only sperical flapjacks be allowed - thereby no edges or corners at all. Afterall, no schoolchild has ever been injured by a ball being thrown or kicked in their face.Basil Long, Nottingham Sigh... the only problem with having an iPhone and the BBC News app, is that it doesn't include the Magazine Monitor. I so rarely use a computer now I never get to read the letters... I miss you MM - please get the app developers working...Kay, London