Help! One of our dinosaurs is missing



Last week an advert appeared in Metro and London Evening Standard newspapers. "MISSING," it read, "23FT ORANGE DINOSAUR. My café is suffering and my dog's depressed. If you stole my dinosaur please put him back."

The world's press (well, a couple of news websites including The Huffington Post) were intrigued enough to investigate further and found no evidence of the Epping café the dinosaur was said to have stood outside. The world's press (and so on) came to the conclusion the advert was a hoax or, worse, amarketing ploy. But one reporter decided to delve deeper (OK, I emailed the girl behind the Facebook page). And lo, someone called Roxy Cooper, 18, replied: "Roy hasn't actually stood outside the restaurant for a while as it got pulled down some years ago. We only said we were losing business to make people think it was more serious. My dad just wants the dinosaur back to put in the front garden."

Which all sounds terribly sweet, except photocopied A4 missing posters sprang up outside this paper's office, suggesting something more coordinated than "Roxy" would have me believe. Readers, I will get to the bottom of this and, if it is all a scam, my claws will be out.

Eat your heart out

If you enjoy watching the rain as it falls on someone else's parade there is no finer place to do so than in the Daily Mail comments section.

Last week, below a story headlined "Mum who's a packed lunch Picasso" – about the work of Grace Hall, whose Eats Amazing blog has been running for a couple of years – readers were in fine form. "Too much time on her hands", "She's setting him up to be a fussy eater for life" and "Competitive motherhood at its best" were among kinder remarks.

"I've been struck," says Hall, "by the amount of negativity the piece seems to have inspired. The angle the article took concentrated on the idea that my son is a fussy eater and that I pander to his whims. This is not how I see what I do. My son makes no demands of me. As a full-time mother I get very little time to myself, so being able to turn a chore into something fun and creative helps keep me happy as well as my son."

Money (that's what I want)

Even (especially?) venerable institutions must mutate to survive. And so it is with Abbey Road Studios, which, with the music business in turmoil, is opening its doors over the next few weeks for another batch of events which allow music lovers a glimpse into its sacred studios.

The ticket gets you a peep around Studio 2 and then a talk by Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan, authors of Recording the Beatles. All good. But click on the website to buy tickets and what you will mostly see is people who want to go but can't afford to. Because the price of a ticket for the tour is, get this, £88.40. About 200 people take part in each of these tours and the studio runs them twice a day. That's about £35,000, thank you very much. Just a thought: if you want to record in Studio 2 the rate is roughly £2,000 a day with an engineer to assist. So you might prefer to get some musical mates together and go down that route. (Or just get a free photo on the zebra crossing outside, like everyone else.)

Penne for our thoughts

The ASK Italian restaurant group is attempting to make us Brits rethink our attitude to a dietary staple with a nationwide campaign called Respect the Pasta. Is this necessary? Yes, if the results of the chain's poll of 1,500 people are to be believed.

Among the survey's findings are the astonishing facts that 7 per cent of people admit to boiling pasta in the kettle, 8 per cent still think pasta grows on trees and 24 per cent use ketchup as pasta sauce (with 3 per cent admitting to using peanut butter). There's more. One in four of us think the word carbonara derives from the fact that pasta is high in carbs and 7 per cent think that the stuff was invented by Mr Pasta. The only hope for the human race is that respondents were just being fusilli.

Homeless is where the art is

You might remember the artist Andres Serrano, or at least recall the controversy around his 1987 work Piss Christ. The work Serrano has been doing recently is more low-key; he's been collecting the scraps of cardboard homeless people hold up. Seeing as the plight of the homeless gets less attention than bodily fluids, here are four teasers to point you in the direction of the video: 1. "If it was you...?" 2. "Giving is easy asking is hard." 3. "Need fuel for private jet." 4. "Homeless blah blah blah."

No rhyme or reason

Another in an increasingly regular series of limericks based on recent events:

Though undoubtedly beautifully shot

All Jamaica Inn's viewers said, "What?

The cast are all mumbling

And why we're all grumbling

Is cos we have all lost the plot."

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Recruitment Genius: Estimator

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Day In a Page

Read Next

The Top Ten: Words In Christmas Carols That Ought To Be Revived

John Rentoul
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas