Your fascinating account of the role of mushrooms in art (Very sporish, G2, 3 February) omitted arguably the most astonishing fact regarding John Cage’s “obsession” with mushrooms. This being that Cage appeared on an Italian quiz show answering questions on mushrooms. Over five programmes in early 1959 Cage won 5m lire – the final question required him to correctly name the 24 varieties of a single mushroom.
• While I would not wish to take away from any of the praise heaped upon Kirk Douglas, surely he is not “the last great star of Hollywood’s golden age” (End of a golden era as veteran actor Kirk Douglas dies at 103, 6 February). Olivia de Havilland, who starred in perhaps the most celebrated of all Hollywood movies, Gone With the Wind, is still with us, also aged 103.
• Our Magic Marmalade Cutter has been in use for at least four generations of our family. With elbow power from my seven-year-old granddaughter, it considerably reduces the time spent slicing (Letters, 25 January). And it doesn’t have batteries to run out, or become obsolete due to software updates.
• The proximity of a photograph of the Python stars’ flowers for Terry Jones at his funeral and an item on dead pythons at a nature reserve in Friday’s paper made me first anxious and then laugh. A fitting tribute!
• I suggest that we take a ploy from the Trump playbook and in future only refer to the US president as “the impeached Donald Trump”.
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