Letter of the week:

A letter from The SMH today:

Wednesday’s dust storm was a clear warning from God: do not bring back Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

David Smith Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Robes of office not in Costello’s size: The Australian‘s newsroom is recovering from a severe irony bypass this morning after a satirical press release quoting Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle paying out Peter Costello sent scoop-hungry scribes into a frenzy.

In the interview, to be aired tonight on Channel 31’s The Inquiry, Doyle demands the retiring Costello steer clear of his turf, claiming the Lord Mayor’s gig is “beyond him” and that he “should know his limitations”. (Elsewhere in the interview Doyle said he would “lightly smack” Melbourne’s public transport operators until they agreed to launch 24-hour tram services). But the hilarity didn’t dissuade the wily newshounds at the Oz , who hit the phones to snaffle the “Doyle slags Costello” scoop from the Lord Mayor’s media advisers.

Of course, knifing Doyle would be well down Costello’s list, considering the ridicule dished out in Liberal circles over Arthur Sinodinos’ suggestion a month ago, in the pages of The Australian , that the Member for Higgins should seize the state Liberal reigns from Ted Baillieu. Doyle remains good buddies with Costello, after the Treasurer helped him topple Denis Napthine in 2002. His media adviser, Tim Singh, is also said to have recently pitched in to assist pro-Costello forces in the Wannon pre-selection campaign. — Andrew Crook

Morning shows cash in on dust storm: Wednesday’s Sydney dust storm paid dividends for morning TV shows as viewers turned on to find out why they were waking up to a red glow. Across all three commercial networks, viewing figures were up throughout the morning, according to preliminary TV ratings from OzTam. — Mumbrella

Finally, an interesting (and animated) leading man: It has only taken 72 years, but Disney has created its first African-American princess, a New Orleans beauty called Tiana … But all the fuss over Princess Tiana’s PC credentials has overshadowed an equally grave crime of royal stereotyping — the decades of terrible treatment meted out to handsome princes in the Disney kingdom. Was there ever a bunch of leading men more lacking in charisma than this bunch of plank-like stiffs?. — The Daily Beast

Which book has most shaped world literature? Gabriel García Márquez’s seminal novel One Hundred Years of Solitude is the piece of writing that has most shaped world literature over the past 25 years, according to a survey of international writers. Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams from My Father , also makes an appearance on the list of favourite works chosen by fellow writers. Indra Sinha, Blake Morrison, Amit Chaudhuri and 22 other authors were asked to pick the title that they felt had most influenced world writing over the past quarter-century. — The Guardian

Oh I never felt like this before. Never felt this way … it’s the truth! And I owe it all … ahem, sorry: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey may have danced into each other’s hearts on screen, but the late actor definitely didn’t have the time of his life filming Dirty Dancing . In his aptly titled autobiography, The Time of My Life — the release of which was pushed from October to next Tuesday in the wake of his recent death — Swayze writes that his leading lady was one huge pain in the derriere on-set. Why the beef? Apparently, Grey acted too much like, well, a girl. — NY Daily News

“Save the boobs”: That’s one tag line. “If men had breasts they’d appreciate them” is another. Does a new PSA for breast cancer awareness go too far? “I pledge allegiance to my girls. To my cheechees, to my hooters, to my tatas. And to tell my doctor about any changes I see or feel immediately.” Are these breast cancer awareness PSAs or bits of dialogue from a fraternity comedy? M.J. Decoteau, founder of Rethink Breast Cancer, says her organisation had to find a way to reach young people who believe they’re invincible to a disease that, in reality, is the leading cause of cancer deaths in young women. — ABC News

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