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Free phones but no Slush Puppies

AS if we haven't suffered enough: BT Cellnet is fostering the mobile habit by sponsoring students at Derby College, Wilmorton, in a reward scheme for punctuality and achievement. Discounts on pay-as-you-go vouchers and free phones will be on offer from September to reduce the drop-out rate.

Bad habits were nipped in the bud by teachers at Carshalton high school for boys, Surrey, who spotted a link between consumption of the brightly coloured ice-drinks, Slush Puppies, and disruption among pupils. "Admittedly, it was an unscientific perception, but staff did report a positive change in the boys' behaviour when we stopped selling the drink," said head Gareth Bevan.

A more scientific approach revealed that vanilla-scented patches can help fizzy-drink and chocolate addicts to lose weight. Researchers at St George's

Hospital, London, found that the smell, wafted from a patch on the hand, reduced people's desire for swee food and drinks - good news for comfort-eaters.

Touching tales from the famous in Celebrity Snapshots, a book of anecdotes to raise cash for Children in Need. In the book, John Major recalls how his older brother appeared to "be incredibly fat" when he returned on leave from National Service. "He unbuttoned his Army coat and out tumbled the largest collection of comics I have ever seen." Aahh!

As teachers enjoy their break, it's parents' turn to tear their hair out; and they have sympathy from an unlikely source.

As he opened a new Jewish primary in Hertfordshire, the Duke of Edinbugh - father of four children who went to boarding school - mused: "You send children to school to get them out of your hair. Then they come back for holidays and make life difficult for parents. That is why holidays are set ...(at) the limit of your endurance. Then you send them back to school." Well, if you're rich, that is.

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