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Heroes and villains

Paxo | Potter | Air New Zealand


Jeremy Paxman, who has signed off after nearly 30 years of hosting University Challenge. He’d win any competition for “most low-key exit from a TV show”, says Carol Midgley in The Times. All he did was say that the programme “returns later in the year and I look forward to watching it with you”. No “end-of-an-era” speech; no applause. Bravo.


An Indian government official who ordered that an entire reservoir be drained so he could retrieve his phone. Rajesh Vishwas dropped his device when he was taking a selfie, so he got his underlings to use a pump to remove more than two million litres of water over three days. When he finally found his phone, it was too waterlogged to work.


Beatrix Potter, who according to one literature professor is guilty of the “appropriation of black cultural forms”. The problem, says Libby Purves in the Daily Mail, seems to be that Potter’s Peter Rabbit books are similar to the Brer Rabbit of African tradition, which she was familiar with while growing up. But “stories are nobody’s private property”; if we can’t borrow those from other cultures, we’ll remain in “narrow, stifling, cramped spaces, afraid of everything new, unfamiliar and foreign”.


Air New Zealand, which has been weighing passengers before they board international flights. The airline says the voluntary, anonymous survey would be used to improve fuel efficiency. They should weigh people again upon landing, says one Twitter user, for an “assessment of catering quality”.