It's been a good week for … Maximus Decimus Meridius

LAST time we saw Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning epic, Gladiator, Russell Crowe’s character was most definitely dead, having succumbed to wounds inflicted by his enemy, Commodus, in a duel in the Colosseum. Seventeen years on, however, the director is talking about featuring Maximus (and Crowe) in another film.

“I know how to bring him back,” Scott said recently. “I was having this talk with the studio – ‘but he’s dead.’ But there is a way of bringing him back. Whether it will happen I don’t know. Gladiator was 2000, so Russell’s changed a little bit. He’s doing something right now but I’m trying to get him back down here.”

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To adapt the original film’s tagline: “The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an empire. The long-dead gladiator who came back to life for a sequel that no-one saw coming.”

It's been a bad week for … microwave ovens

TO most of us, the microwave oven is a handy kitchen device that heats up cups of coffee and evening meals. To Donald Trump’s senior counsellor Kellyanne Conway, it’s something else entirely.

Conway has waded into Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that President Obama had had his wires tapped in Trump Tower last October. White House press secretary Sean Spicer now says it was not meant to be taken literally.

Interviewed on camera in New Jersey, Conway said: “There are many ways to surveil each other now, unfortunately. There was an article this week that talked about how you can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets … microwaves that turn into cameras, etc. We know that that is just a fact of modern life.” At which point, a startled nation gazed in wild surprise at its microwaves and wondered if Trump’s had secretly been turned into a camera for use against him.

Conway later said she wasn’t making a suggestion about Trump Tower and was making a general point about surveillance. But the damage has been done. We’ll never look at our microwaves the same way again – just in case they’re looking at us.