Hello dear, how's your mental agility?;The week in view;Opinion

26th March 1999 at 00:00
THOSE wishing to sharpen their intellect could have gleaned some tips from the papers this week. Mobile phones improve your mental agility; develop mathematical dexterity by learning the piano, and avoid missing sleep -one point is knocked off IQ for every hour lost.

In a pound;150,000 effort to improve children's literacy, the Tate Gallery will be inviting pupils from 15 schools to view works by Dali, Constable and Millais, and then write poems. Ode to a Lobster Telephone by Salvador Dali, perhaps.

Paying teenagers to talk about sex is public health minister Tessa Jowell's answer to Britain's soaring rate of teenage pregnancy. Inspired by a project in the South Bronx, she is convinced that getting 15 to 19- year-olds to talk about sex and relationships to younger pupils will persuade them to say no or insist on contraception.

Jack and Jill's town of Kilmersdon Hill in Somerset is under the spotlight after an American tour company decided to include it on its round of trips to nursery rhyme sites.

Local legend tells they were a married couple living in the time of Henry VIII. They did have a hill to climb to their nearby well and Jack's trip to fetch water the day before the birth of their baby ended when a boulder rolled down and killed him. Jill died of a broken heart a little later.

One of children's TV favourites also fell last week - from grace, after the puppets on Sooty and Co were seen playing with essential oils in containers resembling medicine bottles.

Meanwhile, the Millennium Dome defined the sights, sounds and smells of school in its learning zone: ranting headteachers, bells, playground laughter - and boiled cabbage.

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