Keep at it, Kristen
When Hollywood actress and Twilight star Kristen Stewart opened her heart to Marie Claire for its current cover story, she can have had no idea of the venom that the self-penned poem she read out to the interviewer would unleash. Published in its entirety by the magazine, "My Heart is a Wiffle Ball/Freedom Pole" has since been declared "the worst poem of all time", "a poem that's worse than she is", and a work that "reads like a middle-class fridge door". But how bad is the offending verse really? Let's ask Judith Palmer, director of The Poetry Society, no less. "We can definitely say that this is not the worst poem in the world," Palmer says. "It has a memorable title, some strong images, and a couple of lines which show promise: 'He hit your flint face and it sparked', for example. As a young writer we hope Kristen won't be discouraged by the bitching. She should stick at it." Worst poetry of all time, indeed. Everyone with a passing interest in the work of Douglas Adams knows that that was written by Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings.
Teabags at dawn
While actual storms were lashing the country, a metaphorical one was brewing in Harrogate, home of the genteel tearoom, Bettys. Because when the North Yorkshire town was voted the "third most romantic in the world" by users of Secret Escapes last week, the tourism website Visit Harrogate sought to capitalise by sending out a press release listing the many romantic things to do in the area. Astonishingly, the release made no mention of Bettys, surely the first stop for couples hoping to get gooey eyed over gooey confectionary. A Bettys spokesperson told this column: "We know in our hearts that Bettys is a romantic destination by the number of dates, declarations of love, proposals and anniversaries celebrated [here]." So what does Visit Harrogate have to say for itself? "We are huge fans of the tearoom, but Visit Harrogate represents the whole of the district and, of course, other tearooms are available." Back over to Bettys: "There's more than enough love to go round in heavenly Harrogate and certainly no room for any hurt feelings between Bettys and Visit Harrogate." Aw. Seems it was all a storm in a teacup.
"I Shot the Sheriff", "Rebel Music", "Revolution", "War" … The songs of the late reggae superstar Bob Marley lend themselves to many things but a jukebox musical aimed at young children does not spring immediately to mind. Not that this has deterred the team behind Bob Marley's Three Little Birds, currently packing them in at the New Victory Theater in New York. The musical, based on a story by Marley's daughter Cedella, is, according to The New York Times, "careful to establish an innocent tone". Watch this space for news of the "Holidays in the Sun: Sex Pistols Songs for Toddlers" compilation.
The price of love
Groupon, the site for men who love a bargain more than they love their partner. OK, that's not actually the slogan of the ever-popular group discount website, but it might just as well be after the rush of orders for a "Sterling Silver Personalised Triple Ring Necklace" (price £70, yours for £14.99). According to analysis by Deal Zippy, "the UK's first daily deals search engine", the big winner of Valentine's Day was Silvexcraft Design, the Liverpool-based company that had to produce about 20,000 of said necklaces. The losers? The women on the receiving end of the romance-busting bargain, who are now walking around with an, ahem, "unique" item of jewellery.
Tell me about yourself
At the beginning of last week we were all Team Samuel L Jackson, because who didn't want to applaud a celebrity who hit back at what he perceived as an interviewer's lazy mistake. As the week progressed, though, the issue became more complex (Jackson did, in fact, appear in an advert shown during the Super Bowl final). Never mind, though, because the episode still gives us an excuse for a list, and as most of us are unlikely to ever be the subject of a live TV interview, here is a top five of the worst job interview questions you could be asked: 1) If your friend was injured and you had to get them to hospital, would you go through a red light? 2) What kind of people do you dislike the most? 3) Tell me about yourself. 4) So, do you have any questions for me? 5) Why do you want to work here?
Hero of the week
It is, you might suppose, every young developer's dream: to create the game that gets the whole world hooked and makes your fortune in the process. Not so for Dong Nguyen, the 29-year-old Vietnamese creator of Flappy Bird, who last week pulled the plug on the app said to be netting him $50,000 (£30,000) a day in ad revenue. Flappy Bird is, sorry was, even in the history of dumb videogames, a pretty basic piece of nonsense. But people don't choose their addictions and Nguyen had had enough. "It happened to become an addictive product," he told Forbes magazine. "I think it has become a problem." Nguyen cited "guilt" and the fact that his life "has not been as comfortable as it was before" as the reasons for his decision. And it is that increasingly rare use of the word "comfortable", shed of any financial context, that surely makes Nguyen a bona fide hero for our time.
For no rhyme or reason
Another in an increasingly regular series of limericks based on recent events:
When you can't even turn on your tellies
And the water's right up to your bellies
You need practical aid
So you might be dismayed
When they send in the wallies in wellies