The Box

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Adams' family values

ARSENAL'S brilliant victory had a special glow for team captain Tony Adams. Just a few months ago his playing career looked doomed because of drink problems and injuries. But after a month's intensive rehabilitation in a clinic near Nice, Adams returned to say, after seeing what it had done to his life, "I hate alcohol". He went on to lead his team with inspiration on its way to victory in the Premiership. Some fans may wonder how Tony celebrated Sunday's triumph? Pandora's answer: like a true champion not some drunken yobbo. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more British athletes followed his example?

Surfing samaritans

IS SUICIDE now regarded as a laughing matter by the Samaritans? So it might appear to anyone who hears their tasteless "Don't hang up" radio recruitment ads. Pandora is happy to see that one alternative to this charity - which seems to have succumbed to trendy Nineties marketing mania - could be the Internet. Not only is the Net proving effective at saving lives, it's trying to catch murderers as well. Last week an unnamed British woman who posted a suicide note on the Net was rescued when an American read it on his computer and contacted local authorities in Leeds. She was treated at St James University Hospital and survived her drug and booze overdose. A few days later, a 29-year-old computer programmer in California confessed to his "online support group" for heavy drinkers that, three years earlier, he'd burned down his house in North Dakota and killed his sleeping 5-year-old daughter in order to "rid me of her mother's interferences", according to the New York Times. Three members of his group called the police and the man has now been charged with murder. Pandora salutes all these Net surfing samaritans.

Sport's digital exchange

THE Digital Revolution now wants to jump off our television screens and straight into our sports stadiums. Like many airplanes and cars, every seat in an arena may soon be equipped with small individual computers. These will allow spectators to call up instant replays, watch the action from various camera angles and send e-mail to managers and players. One American baseball stadium, in Phoenix, Arizona, already has installed these abominations. What is this rubbish? Apart from the tantalising prospect of 30,000 outraged Arsenal fans being able to e-mail their choicest insults to a visually challenged referee in the middle of a match, Pandora is appalled by this hi-tech device. The idea of attending a live event only to keep your eyes focused on a tiny computer screen - no doubt full of annoying ads for team-related merchandise - must be one of the most depressing technological "advances" of the late 20th century.