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The Independent Culture
PETER YORK, the research and style guru, and Diane Abbott, the branchee and feisty MP, were both showing face at the Met Bar this week for One Love SL, the new charity for Sierra Leone. Overheard just before Mariella Frostrup and Sophie Dahl arrived: "You can duck down and hope nothing hits you. Or stand up as tall as you can, show it your teeth and say..." (and here comes this week's Phrase That Pays), "...`Dish it up baby'."

"SASS IS verbal jousting. It's about venting opinions in a sophisticated way and not going for the lowest common denominator. Sass should come not from denigrating things, but from wanting to improve them. Bitchiness can be fun if you know you're being bitchy, if what you say surprises yourself. But if you are a bitch? Not fun. If you're a bitch and miserable, it's a drag - anybody can be critical. I always have fun. That's the point, for everybody, I think." Sandra Bernhard, quoted (and on point) in GQ.

PIERS ADAM has something for the weekend, sir: sexual apartheid. The K-Club proprietor opens his new, men-only barber shop in George Street today. Will it make the cut among the West End's young blades?

GOING UP: during our lives, the time we spend in lifts adds up to... minutes. Here, courtesy of Pandoraphile Emma Roach, are five tips for making the most of them. 1) Drop a pen. Wait until someone stoops to help retrieve it. Then scream "That's mine, you bastard!" 2) When the doors close, reassure other passengers that they will open again. 3) Call out "Group Hug!" - then enforce it. 4) Stare beadily at another before suddenly whispering: "I have new socks on." 5) Wear a puppet on your hand. Use it to talk to the other passengers.

OH, AND what's The English Patient's Kristin Scott-Thomas been doing since finishing Random Hearts alongside Harrison Ford? "I've been sitting back and just enjoying being at home, vaguely thinking about future projects." Is this the thespian equivalent of gardening leave? Or is Kristin method- rehearsing for a role as a resting actress?

KIRK DOUGLAS, quite a swordsman in his day, has met his son Michael's lover Catherine Zeta Jones and approves. The Swansea temptress and Michael have been playing a round on a Majorca golf course this week... do they know what players now describe as "a condom shot"? It doesn't feel good, but it's safe.

PANDA POINTS... players are asking: why a panda (pictured)? "Pandas are rare, exotic and pandorable. They like something to chew on and are funny about sex," Pandora says. Points are awarded by her entertainments committee, comprising "positive-minded, people-friendly sexperts, teenage celebrity workies and a model/actress/astrologer." How to play: collect points, win prizes - of whatever's available (Books? Gizmos? Celebrity dates and other curios?). They'll be offered at random regardless of ethics, seasonality or knifestyle preference. Pandora's indecision remains final.

LOUIS-PHILIPPE I, the French king, should have played cricket. A newspaper called The Times this week gave his dates as 1747-1880... quite an innings.

A NEW report by the media-watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting says coverage of bear attacks is biased. "The media are blatantly anti- bear," director Lynette Pierce said. "Every time a bear is taunted, harassed or provoked into lashing out at humans, the bear is depicted in the media as the aggressor." The report added that in 411 cases of bear-human conflicts in the last year, humans were victorious in 410 cases.

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