The unwieldy broadsheet format was invented in the 1780s. Then, newspapers were taxed according to the number of pages printed, so it suddenly made sense to print bigger pages. Anyway, the latest titles to go compact are The Wall Street Journal's European and Asian editions. Best new bits include snappier news stories, stronger links between the paper and its website, wsj.com, and an easy-on-the-eye font. And, we're relieved to see, they've kept faith with those funny little dot drawings. They're drawn by hand, you know, and each takes about a day to dot. Time well spent, don't you think?
They might seem outrageously expensive (£5 for a roast lamb roll? We'd rather buy our lunch at Waitrose) but there's something addictive about vegetables that actually smell like vegetables. And if you avoid the tourist-trap locations (the French market at Putney Bridge springs to mind) and stalls selling overpriced chutney and limit yourself to your weekly meat and three vegetables, it ends up being a lot cheaper than Tesco. It's also a damn sight tastier, as well as giving you confidence that your Sunday roast chicken didn't spend its life suffering from bird flu in Romania.
Sky One's latest US import is much more than a Desperate Housewives clone. Playground drug-dealing, jokes about sex with a tennis racket and Mary-Louise Parker's bolshy, weed-dealing lead character all made for a memorable first episode. Weeds' mercifully short running time, just over 30 minutes, should ensure that the characters remain fresh enough throughout the series. Hopefully the amoral tone will continue amid the marijuana haze.
PORN FILM TITLES
Oh, don't listen to them. Loitering in Soho sex shops is not seedy. It's an education - especially now that pornography is becoming part of the mainstream. Porn film titles make for fine lunch-hour light entertainment while simultaneously offering a lesson in the art of crap puns. Crack Addict, Analgeddon, Ass-ume the Position and Raiders of the Lost Arse are just a few we've, ahem, come across.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ... Toucan's idents for CSI
There are three simple rules for idents: keep them entertaining, make sure there are enough of them so that the audience doesn't get too bored, and make them relevant to the product. Toucan's idents for CSI fall down on all counts: the dialogue is abysmal, never varies and says nothing about what Toucan is or does. We can only assume it's got something to do with phones. A real shame when CSI is one of the best TV properties around.