July 31, 2007

Help us, Sergeant Friday!!

Theft Suspect Eludes Massive Dragnet

You know, I find it odd that police never use real nets. Nets always work when the bad guys use them on Batman and Robin and on Scooby and Shaggy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2007

On the bright side, none of them had anything to do with spelling.

Auburn reports 13 secnodary violations, three in football

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day.

"I think most people think I was pretty lucky."

Count me among most people.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:13 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2007

Well, of course...

Idaho center touts bear rehabilitation

...it's obvious that it's really only successful when the bear admits he's got a problem.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2007

Now maybe it's just me...

...but since when is a "heat wave" something that's only been going on for a day?

East swelters in 2nd day of heat wave

And since when is a heat wave only two days long? "[...] Cooler weather and storms were forecast by Wednesday. [...]"

Newspapers--struggling mightily to become as useful as spam.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:16 AM | Comments (3)

July 06, 2007

How odd.

New Measurement: Earth Smaller Than Thought Y'know, I never realized anyone had ever measured the size of thought.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:12 AM | Comments (11)

July 05, 2007

Well, I've heard of citizen's arrests before...

...but never one conducted by a building: Man with knife arrested by Obama's hotel

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2007

They say "man bites dog" is news.

I wonder if this would qualify, too: Suburban Fla. man strangles rabid bobcat

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:13 PM | Comments (3)

June 11, 2007

Concert pianist, Stanford provost...

...National Security Advisor, Secretary of State, and now this: Rice engineered to carry cholera vaccine.

Is there nothing she can't do!?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

Well, it certainly looks like they waited long enough.

TVA names successor to fossil power chief

Here's hoping they looked outside of the Cenozoic strata.


You know, I'm still not quite sure why the headline writers go to such trouble to write something so incomprehensible.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2007

Whew.

Well, thank goodness for that. Air levels safe for outdoor activities

The air returned to healthful levels this morning as rain in Shelby and Jefferson counties washed away Tuesday's pollution. [...]

I have a big pile of tires and trash in the backyard I had intended to burn, so it's good to see it's safe to work outside again.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:05 PM | Comments (2)

Well, after doing that...

...it's kinda hard to think he'd be jovial--Victim at High Falls serious after falling 40 feet onto rocks

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

May 10, 2007

Look, AP, your straight news reporting are giggles enough...

...let's not resort to headlines like this--Dale Jr. getting a DEIvorce

And please don't try anything else along a similar line, such as "Li'l E DEIvesting himself," or "Dale Jr. DEIleted," or "Junior will not be DEIfied," or "Number 8 Says A-DEI-os."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:53 AM | Comments (7)

May 09, 2007

Yes, much like the passion felt by those...

...who rush to plunk down money to see the world's shortest giant.

Second-tier candidates inspire passion

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2007

Stupid Babies!

Despite warnings, most U.S. babies watch TV

We spend all this time and money trying to warn them, but do they listen!? NOOOooooo! Dangitall, it's like they don't even understand anything!

Stupid babies.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

May 03, 2007

Jim Smith Asks...

..."I know it is sad that these guys died but do you think its right to blame our perky little Katie?"

Failed Anchor Blamed for Climbers' Fall

No, no, of course not. But such is the price one pays these days for trying to defy the intrenched patriarchy that rules network news.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2007

Oh, come ON, now!

Okay, I'll admit I like to make fun of the various rustics and bumpkins and clodhoppers whom I dwell amongst, but generally I do so out of a misplaced sense of fondness for these silly rubes, who need someone all smart and sophisticated to point out their various flaws and shortcomings, and NOT out of simple animosity. Generally.

But I expect MORE out of the news media--especially what with all their talk of diversity and multiculturalism and junk like that--so it is with no small amount of high dudgeon that I point you to this insensitive bit of mainstream media mockery--Hicks buying property on Lake Guntersville.

Dash it all, but there should be NO PLACE for such high-handed japery at the expense of our fine rural denizens! I demand that this insult not--

Hmm?

Say again?

Oh.

Well, never mind, then.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:17 PM | Comments (2)

April 26, 2007

When Gavels are Outlawed...

Roberts hits Stevens over death penalty

Someone's been asleep at the headline generator switch again!

Although it seems that someone must have figured out the silly visual image conjured up by that fragment, and pushed through a headline rewrite that says this: Roberts Pans Texas Death Penalty Opinion

You do sorta have to wonder why Julia Roberts has anything to do with this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, well, let's hope so.

NASA Satellite Launches Spaceward to Study Earth's Highest Clouds

Because I mean, let's face it, launching satellites groundward is pretty counterproductive.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:33 AM | Comments (4)

Talk about yer thrill-a-minute event!

Nuns reunite to mark 1967 calcium study

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2007

One for Steevil...

NASA to test portable robot surgeon

That weird--I mean, why would a portable robot even need a surgeon!? Seems like a tech guy with a screwdriver and a soldering iron should be more than enough.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2007

I hope they get some nice heavy ones.

Calif. voters weigh stronger levees

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2007

Now THAT'S the kind of study people can use!

Study finds more delays, lost bags for airline passengers

I suppose it IS something of a good-news-bad-news thing--even though study helps you find your lost bags, it also finds more ways to delay you. Still, at least you can put on fresh underwear while you wait.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:39 AM | Comments (2)

Of course, you have to wonder...

...exactly when it was that razor blade companies decided to up the ante from making multi-blade razors to ones that can shoot: Attorney: Shaver shot man in self-defense

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2007

Talking about your yee-haw fun weekend...

UA players get a taste of Saban in workout

A headline revolting on so many levels.

But I do sense there might be a market among rabid Bama fans for Taste O' Saban bottled water, sports drink, soda, barbecue sauce, salad dressing, lip balm...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:40 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2007

I'm just so confused!

Tyson selling plants in Alabama with 1,200 workers

I mean, is Tyson using 1,200 workers to help him sell plants, or is he selling both plants AND workers in Alabama (which I would think would get him crossways with the 13th Amendment)? It's just a mystery!

I am glad to see he's doing something productive nowadays, though. Aside from biting people.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2007

Not sure who this looks worse for.

Reuters, or the level of intelligence of Reuters' readership: Rock scientists to make map of the world

"Rock scientists"!? Why not write "geologists"? Does the writer not know the word, or is he afraid the readers won't?

Silly Reuters.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:09 AM | Comments (4)

March 02, 2007

I think you'll see this coming a mile away.

Topless wife photo ends man's pole protest

No, wait--hold on--read the first paragraph:

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German man who spent 10 days in a self-made box atop a 72-foot-tall pole to protest a looming jail term was lured off his perch by his wife -- who sent up a topless picture of herself in his lunch box. [...]

Okay--all together now:

"Why would she get in his lunch box to have her picture taken!?"

Thank you, folks--you'll be here all week.

Second best part?

This:

[...] His wife Susanne, 25, backed his protest until the former stripper and mother of their five children decided she had had enough.

They know what causes that, you know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2007

The beavers have some competition...

..."But it is rare to see so many rats congregating in one place in such public view."

One would hope.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (2)

Well now.

1st Beaver spotted in NYC in 200 years

There's probably a joke in there somewhere.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)

February 16, 2007

I bet that's one weird looking elephant.

Park won't lift elephant with human hair

Still, it's probably better looking than Donald Trump's hair. (In fairness, Trump's might not actually be human hair.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2007

Stealing Taranto's Schtick Again. UPDATED!

"It was very creamy and stuck to the roof of my mouth, but I must say, this bacillus is simply scrumptious!"

Peanut butter recalled over salmonella

(Trust me, this one will make today's roundup.)

UPDATE 1:30 p.m. Can I call 'em or what:

'It Was So Smooth, and It Stuck to the Roof of My Mouth'
"Peanut Butter Recalled"--headline, KOMU-TV Web site (Columbia, Mo.), Feb. 15

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2007

"You keep using that word."

"I do not think it means what you think it means."

Historical figures perforate Iraq debate

Uhmm, not meaning to ever be seen as questioning the talents and wisdom of my betters in the Fourth Estate, but do you think that "perforate" might be a less apt word choice than, oh, say, "permeate"?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:56 PM | Comments (2)

I didn't even know frozen chickens could drive.

40,000 frozen chickens clog Interstate 59 in St. Clair County

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2007

Adventures in Headline Writing!

A terrible story made all the more worse by the daft headline: Woman pleads guilty in womb attack.

One assumes that had she tried to stab the woman in the chest, the headline writer would have noted she had pled guilty to a heart attack.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2007

See!? This just proves how dangerous religious fundamentalism in America has become!!

Car smashes into Athens church as driver reaches for cell phone

If you people would quit putting those churches everywhere, this wouldn't have happened!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

January 04, 2007

Stealing Taranto's Schtick Again

FEMA: Calif. levees worse than thought

I dunno. I've tried to hold back water with thought, and it never works.


Trust me--it'll be here tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

Poor, minorities hardest hit...

Scientists say 2007 may be warmest yet

Well, I realize picking on headline writers is barrelfishing at its easiest, but "yet" and "recorded" are two entirely different things. For Summer '07 to be the hottest ever, both polar ice caps would have to melt and Antarctica would have to be covered in forests. Like it once was. And like Greenland once was.

Back when it was much hotter than it is now.

But, admittedly, before there were much in the way of scientists to sit there and record it.

And, oddly enough, when there weren't nearly so many factories or airplanes or evil Republican anti-Earthers.

None of this to say that the climate's not changing, or that if it is, man plays no part in it--only that it's been both a whole lot colder and hotter in the past, and hysterical hand-flapping humans probably aren't quite as big a factor in those changes as some in the media or various Gaia's advocacy groups might like us to believe.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2006

December 01, 2006

One is led to assume...

NY cracks down on illegal mystery meats

...that both illegal non-mystery meats and legal mystery meats will continue to be safe from government intrusion.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:31 PM | Comments (4)

November 30, 2006

They grow 'em big in Athens...

Athens officials discussing huge youth baseball project

It's nice someone is finally doing something for our huge youth.

(H/T Jimbo)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:57 AM | Comments (6)

November 21, 2006

Well, Mr. Torquemada, your rsum is VERY impressive...

Water board slot may be filled.

(H/T to Dr. Smith, who expressed disappointment that he didn't even realize positions were available for the job.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2006

Headline Writer Pleased With New "N" Key...

...Vows to Use it at Every Opportunity

Replican of Colunbus' ship visits Tuscaloosa

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:18 AM | Comments (2)

November 06, 2006

The Greatness of America!

I just saw this headline--Cook named managing editor of The Anniston Star--and it made me proud that even someone who has no journalism skills can become a managing editor! If a cook can do it, just think about all the other folks who could do just the same thing--leaving a difficult, low-paying job for the high-paying, high-status profession of newspaperman! Or woman, even!

Hmm? What?

His name is "Cook"?

But he probably could get a job as a cook, right?

Oh well, never mind.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2006

Maybe I'm just overreacting.

That's possible, you know.

But I simply must say ARRRRGHHHHHAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!

They've gone and done it AGAIN!

Auburn teacher wins $25 grand from Milken Foundation

STUPID AP HEADLINE WRITER!! STOP PUTTING GRAND IN THE HEADLINE!!

Look, you can see that and think someone misspelled "grant" and wonder why anyone would care about a twenty-five dollar grant. Or you can read it as "twenty five dollars grand". BUT IF YOU MEAN TO SAY TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS, WRITE "$25,000"! If you can't bring yourself to write that, just write "25-grand" BUT LEAVE OUT THE DOLLAR SIGN!

I figure this must be some sort of vast journalistic conspiracy designed to drive me even more insane. Sorta like the way George Bush says "Internets" and "nucular" to make the lefties come unglued.

Then again, as folks say, never ascribe to malice what can more easily be blamed on ignorance.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:19 AM | Comments (4)

October 16, 2006

I know, I know...

...I shouldn't be so hard on people who write for a living, but still:

Democrats favired when economy uncertain

OH, and from the "No WAY!" File: Lamont criticizes Lieberman in debate. I mean, what are the odds of THAT!?

Also from the Land of Obvious: Texting a powerful tool for good or ill. Or not.

Finally, anyone care to wager when someone starts blaming this: Hawaii quake blame on volcanic stress on a) global warming, or b) George Bush?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2006

Okay, this has to stop.

I don't know who's writing these things. The first one I could let go as a slipup, but now there comes ANOTHER one: Gadsden man given 51 months for stealing $500 grand

STOP THAT, MORON HEADLINE WRITER! The guy didn't steal "five hundred dollars grand" and he didn't steal a $500 grand piano--he either stole "$500,000" or "500 Grand" or "half a million" or something else, so QUIT WRITING $(numeric amount) GRAND! And better yet, quit using "grand" when you mean "thousand." Twit.

Oh. And don't steal money from your mother-in-law, either--that goes for all of you.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:33 AM | Comments (2)

October 04, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing!

W. Va. lawmaker embarasssed by photos

Press not bothered at all by use of additional consonants.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:17 AM | Comments (3)

October 03, 2006

Are pixels in that short a supply?

How not to write a headline--Governor offers $ 5-grand rewards for four Birmingham homicides.

I read that as "...five dollar grand rewards..."

Look, if you're going to try to be the hard-boiled J. Jonah Jameson-type, just use "Gov Ponies Up 5 Grand Rewards in 4 Slayings." If you want to look like you actually have a lick of sense, use something like "Governor offers five thousand dollar rewards in four homicides." But please don't use 'dollar sign-numeral-slang.'


['Ponies' also being a reference to the last guberantorial campaign, when Riley's opponent had a clever songster come up with a parody song to ridicule the governor riding a horse in his campaign spots. "Riley, Ridin' on a Pony" (sung to the tune of "Dooley") was quite a hit for a while.]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:38 AM | Comments (4)

September 29, 2006

From the "Sumthin's Gotta Give" File

Just noted this odd juxtaposition of headlines on the al.com newsfeed:

Georgia lottery numbers 12:01 p.m. CT

Russia may reconsider Georgia troop plan 11:50 a.m. CT

Okay, I've said it before, and it looks like I'll have to say it again--one of you Georgias out there is going to have to change your name. Either that, or you media folks are going to have to start using "Republic of Georgia" for the one over yonder, and "Home of the Braves" for the one on this side. But we just can't keep having the Rooskies think they can just march troops into Georgia and steal their peaches (and lottery tickets) like that.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2006

Probably not a word to be said too casually when speaking of a mob boss...

NYC Gotti jury: We're deadlocked

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:54 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2006

Let's hope...

Crews try to corral California wildfires

...that they don't put them in a wooden corral, or else I have a feeling they'll manage to get right back out.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing

Fake grenade causes "explosion" at Pensacola area beach

Okay, here's the deal--Reuters has ruined the use of quote marks for all media. It is no longer possible to read a headline with quote marks and know for sure what's intended (sometimes you can't even tell what's going on when you read the story) but still, this has to be one of the more egregious uses of the marks.

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A fake grenade caused an "explosion" at a Pensacola area beach.

The Escambia County, Florida, sheriff's office says a woman found what she believed to be a live hand grenade in the water at Quietwater Beach. Several beachgoers called police about it, saying the pin was still attached. Another woman carried it carefully to shore.

But deputies later determined that it was actually a grenade-shaped cigarette lighter. Souvenir shops on the beach sell novelty lighters that resemble everything from chrome wheels to fish.

The fake grenade was later tossed out.

Look, AP--it's not a good idea to try to spice up a stupid story about a grenade-shaped cigarette lighter by using the word "explosion" ANYwhere in the story or headline--ESPECIALLY when there was no explosion, actual or figurative. News has become misleading and mendacious enough without actively trying to make it more so. Yes, I realize the intent was to say it caused an explosion of interest or activity or other some stupid thing, but please.

Second of all, if you DO find something like this and aren't sure what you've found--DON'T PICK IT UP AND CAREFULLY CARRY IT. Just call the police and let them handle it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2006

Speaking of editors...

Jimbo Smith sends along this one from the Las Vegas Sun: Harvard Dead Defends Khatami Invitation

Hard to beat an endorsement from a zombie.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2006

Related, or Not?

What happens when two stories run closely together on the feed:

• College students use old approach for success in sales 2:17 p.m. CT

• College lobbyist loan former two-year chancellor $125,000 1:29 p.m. CT

That probably leaves an impression not intended by either story...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2006

Why, back in my day...

Candidates seek youths at MySpace

WE called 'em "online predators"!

I hope they track 'em down and throw 'em in jail.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Ads coming to texbooks

One wonders how long it will be before spelling lessons are reintroduced.

This was posted at 1:28 p.m. It's 2:01 by my clock now--wonder how long before the missing T will be found?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:00 PM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2006

From the Department of Redundancy Department

Police launch death probe after man found dead in swimming pool

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2006

Reached for comment...

Burning brush likely ignited several trailers in salvage yard

...Moses had no comment, other than to note that "burning brush" is not the same as a burning bush, and that God's wrath is generally visited upon groups of trailers by tornados, not fire.

(Hat tip to Dr. Smith)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2006

I'm no scientist...

New earthquake sways buildings in Jakarta

...but wouldn't it be terribly difficult for an old earthquake to do anything?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:16 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2006

Do you know what this means!?

Scientists Concoct Chocolate That Won't Melt

We get to replace all the Space Shuttle tiles with unmeltable chocolate! We can build nuclear containment vessels out of unmeltable chocolate! M&Ms won't melt in your hand OR in your mouth!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2006

"Waldo," eh?

1-year-old found in Waldo after wandering away from grandmother

WALDO, Ala. (AP) — A 1-year-old baby boy was found and returned to his grandmother yesterday after he wandered off and was lost for three hours.

Chief Deputy Jimmy Kilgore of the Talladega County Sheriff's Department said the boy's grandmother was outside playing with the child when she went into the house to answer the phone.
The boy, who will be 2-years-old in two weeks, was gone when she came back outside. [...]

The boy was about 45 yards off Skyway Motorway across a ravine.

He had walked about a mile from his grandmother's house in the three hours he was missing. [...]

And now to answer the obvious question.

By the way, don't trust babies not to bolt if left unattended.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:54 AM | Comments (14)

June 22, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Police: Suspect in judge shooting spotted

Oughta make him pretty easy to see in a crowd, I'd wager. Unless he's hiding in a pack of leopards.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing!

This is just dumb--Silence rare among NYC construction boom

Not only is the headline stupid, it has a matching story:

By AMY WESTFELDT
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The biggest burst in construction in New York in decades is making it tougher than usual for people in the City That Never Sleeps to get a little peace and quiet.

In many neighborhoods — especially around the World Trade Center site — residents are assaulted by the noise of jackhammers and bulldozers and confronted by orange traffic cones at practically every turn. Rush-hour commuters have to wade into traffic to get around construction equipment on the sidewalks. Trucks clog the narrow streets, their horns blaring. And the digging often starts before the morning cup of coffee is ready.

"After you've worked a full week, you really don't want to wake up at 7 a.m. to the drilling," said Lisa Hanock-Jasie, who with her husband moved to lower Manhattan a year ago, attracted by the prices and a building that would take in their 85-pound Belgian Shepherd. "We love living down there. We just hope that it ends one day."[...]

It's a CITY, people!

And just when did it become fashionable to keep emaciated Belgian shepherds in your apartment? And what does he do all day--pine for the polders and yearn for his flocks? Play the pan flute? Read Hercule Poirot stories? Poor fellow--and to top it off, being kept by a couple of self-centered, hyphen-named people who can't seem to figure out moving into a construction site might be noisy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:44 PM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Florida county is nudist Mecca

Hmm--does this mean they're naked under their burkas?

And I wonder how long it will be before that headline gets altered, lest the AP home office be besieged with excitable sorts who are offended by this desecration of the Prophet's HQ?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

May 26, 2006

Would it hurt...

...to take just a little extra time to write stuff? Just got this CNN news alert:

"Capitol Police say the apparent gunshots that sparked a Capitol shutdown were likely caused by workers using tools."

Could we not have said: "Capitol Police say noises that sounded like gunshots that sparked Capitol shutdown were likely caused by workers using tools."

Unless, of course, somehow the workers managed to use tools to create apparent gunshots.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:05 PM | Comments (1)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

I don't think that came out the way you wanted it to: Troopers to enforce seat belt laws, 17 traffic deaths estimated.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:12 AM | Comments (2)

May 25, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing!

13 in U.S. illegally arrested at Coast Guard base in Mobile

It took me more than a moment to figure out the 13 weren't arrested illegally, but were in the U.S. illegally.

How about next time try "13 illegal aliens arrested at Coast Guard base in Mobile."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2006

Maybe it's just me...

but this--Vatican to issue document on condom use--sounds as though it might be as useful as a book on French military strategy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

A terrible story, made all the worse by this clumsy headline: Phoenix police shoot dead hostage taker.

Why would police shoot someone who's already dead? Or, alternatively, someone who takes dead hostages?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:56 AM | Comments (1)

April 04, 2006

I don't think that came out the way you wanted it to.

So to speak.

A story on Chilton County peach growers and their methods for increasing peach production, headlined thusly: Peach growers prune for harvest.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2006

From the Entertainment Industry's "Gee, What Are the Odds of THAT Happening!" File--

Jackie Chan injured by stuntman

and,

'Brokeback' takes top film at gay awards

Amazing, huh.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:35 AM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2006

Well, duh--

Have Irish been fooling us on shamrocks?

They don't call 'em realrocks for a reason, you know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2006

Now THAT'S how to write headlines!

Prosthetic legs returned; police stumped

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:51 AM | Comments (2)

February 15, 2006

Well, I HAD heard that after the hurricane...

...construction was booming.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

I always thought it was right around 100%

Test Helps You Predict Chances of Dying

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:01 AM | Comments (5)

February 14, 2006

I wonder if they mean McClellan?

U.S. Grant Web Site Doesn't Work With Macs

Maybe it's McClernand--what with that whole Vicksburg thing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:39 AM | Comments (2)

February 10, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing! Part II

Now call me crazy, but this just seems like an unfair disadvantage--Olympic bobsledding champ juggles family in bid to win new medal

I mean, I love family juggling as much as the next guy, but I don't really think of it as a winter sport, and to expect someone to do it while riding a bobsled seems almost punative.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:09 PM | Comments (5)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Former Conn. governor released from prison

Now, I'm not usually one to complain when the headlines are spelled correctly and make sense, but still, I think this one just cries out for something like "Ex-Conn. Governor Ex-con."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:54 AM | Comments (4)

January 19, 2006

You know, for such a serious topic...

...this sure is a snicker-inducing headline: Feds Seek Google Records in Porn Probe.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 05, 2006

Adventures in Headline Writing!

This link sent to me by sharp-eyed academic Jim Smith, who asks: "What’s a quabble and why would siblings do it? Is it a new Alabama thing started since I left?"

The nearly indecipherable object of derision--Siblings quabble land man in jail in arson case

The opening paragraph clears up at least a portion of the confusion, but even if the ess were properly positioned, there's still some more work that should have been done to make the headline a bit more readable.

I will say, however, that a theme park named Quabbleland might be kinda interesting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

December 20, 2005

Imagine that.

Carbon Hill fireworks stand goes out with a big bang

No word on the formation of new planets.

Anyway, an excerpt:

CARBON HILL, Ala. (AP) — Crazy Bill's Fireworks stand aparently [sic] went out with a bang. A fire erupted in the stand early Monday and the insides were gutted when firefighters reached the scene eight minutes after being alerted.

"You can imagine striking a match to a barrel of gunpowder," Carbon Hill Volunteer Fire Chief Buddy Smith said. "It went quick." [...]

I reckon so.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:25 PM | Comments (6)

December 12, 2005

Slay Bells Riiiiing....

Coroner's office offers gift ideas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Looking for off-the-wall Christmas gift ideas? The Clark County coroner's office can help. Tucked away in the office is a gift shop with items that walk a fine line between humor and morbidity. There's a coffee mug with the inscription "Playing for Keeps," a $10 fake jawbone that holds business cards and a T-shirt that reads "Coroner ... Cashed Out in Las Vegas."

"That's about as risque as we go," Assistant Coroner John Fudenberg told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We certainly don't want to make a mockery of death." [...]

Thanks, guy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:24 PM | Comments (2)

December 06, 2005

I would be, too!

NASCAR Annoyed With Absentee Drivers

All those cars, driving around in circles by themselves...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

December 05, 2005

And in other celebrity news...

Al-Qaida figure finally gains attention

The hard way.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:59 AM | Comments (3)

November 29, 2005

Yet more Adventures in Headline Writing

Japan space probe has thruster problem

Maybe it's just me, but if Viagra can sponsor Mark Martin's NASCAR ride, this seems like the perfect opportunity for Cialis to step up the competition and see if the Japanese would be willing to sign them up as a space probe sponsor.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:52 AM | Comments (4)

November 28, 2005

I hope--

Official says hurricane areas need more

--he doesn't mean more hurricanes. Or officials.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2005

I have an idea.

I saw this headline: Sony may lose grip in next game consoles war

And I thought, "Hmm, maybe they need a professional game player as a paid endorser." I have a suggestion.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:31 PM | Comments (8)

November 18, 2005

Some things defy parody.

Worm researcher state's top professor

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:29 AM | Comments (3)

November 16, 2005

Who Knew!?

San Francisco Passes Sweeping Dog Laws

If they have those, I wonder if they have any that can dust and vacuum? Or cut the grass? Surely so--and they're apparently so good at their jobs the mindless bureaucrats believe they have to regulate them. Probably gonna make them get janitorial licenses or something.

Anyway, if I can't have a dog who vacuums, one that will sweep would be a big help.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:38 AM | Comments (3)

November 15, 2005

Quite Possibly the Worst Headline Ever.

Usually, I find headlines that are unintentional malaprops, but this one about some coins being stolen from Rome's Trevi Fountain is intentionally horrific:

No coins in the fountain....da de da de da de da...

Did someone really think it necessary--or humorous--to add all the da-des? It makes no sense musically, unless this is the shorthand Reuters teaches its editors to write when they deal with music.

I would much prefer it if Reuters stayed away from comedy, and stuck to providing easily parodied imitations of actual news reporting.

Now then, if you need a primer, the preferred styling should be: "Nooooo coins in the fountainnnnnnn..." Draw out the syllables as they would be if you're actually singing it, don't add anything after the ellipsis, and italicize it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:50 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2005

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Offered without commentary--

Big stars are born near Milky Way's black hole

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:01 PM | Comments (3)

October 12, 2005

Call me crazy...

Professor finds two-headed rattlesnake

...but I don't see how this is going to help them get off the island, even if Gilligan doesn't mess something up.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:45 PM | Comments (3)

September 30, 2005

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Poor lawyers.

Out on the streets, begging for food, scrounging in dumpsters for cans, sleeping in boxes, having to chase ambulances on foot instead of from the safe confines of a Mercedes--SOMETHING MUST BE DONE FOR THE POOR DISPOSSESSED BARRISTERS!

Thank goodness for the good folks in the city of Bessemer, Alabama--Council looks at resolution to appoint indigent lawyers.

Maybe the paper could hire some indigent editors.

(Hat tip to Jimbo for sending that one along.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:59 AM | Comments (11)

September 29, 2005

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Okay, I have exactly one minute to mock my betters in the journalism game, but this one was a little too funny to let lay: Wind-fueled fire threatens S. Calif. homes

You're saying that wind fueled the fire?! Meaning that if it serves as a fuel, we could run cars by filling up their tanks with blowing air?

Our energy crisis is solved.

Okay, so I realize that wasn't worth wasting a minute on.

UPDATE!! THEY'RE TEACHABLE! I just noticed (11:33 a.m.) that the headline has been edited at 10:41 a.m. to read "Wind-Fanned Fire..." THANK YOU, Headline Writer Guy!

(Although I believe--were I an editor--that I would have stuck with something more common, such as "Windblown.")

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:02 AM | Comments (6)

September 12, 2005

Adventures in Headline Writing, Part Too

Alabama atheltics gets $5.5 million airplane

How's about maybe shedding a buck or two for some spelling books?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Lawmakers begin considering reconstruction ideas

Bring on the carpetbaggers and scalawags!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2005

Best description for members of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body I've heard in a while...

Tainted loons, US senators tackle EPA on mercury

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2005

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Rehnquist's Casket on Its Way to Funeral

I sure hope someone doesn't forget to bring the late Mr. Chief Justice, too.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2005

AMAZING SCIENCE!

Study: Placebos make people feel better

Astonishing! It's almost as if the person who thought up the name did it purposely!

Science is something, ain't it!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:57 PM | Comments (2)

August 18, 2005

Who knew!?

UAB campus encouraged to read, discuss one book

That's a really smart bunch of buildings if they know how to read! Of course, you figure the library would probably be best at it.

(And since we're poking fun at usage, I would ask the editor to use the word "Lao" or "Laotian.")

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2005

Remember this, monkeys...

--Just say no.

U. of Wis. records show high monkey deaths

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2005

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Female magazines evolve to feature flabby

Who knew there were boy magazines and girl magazines!? I suppose all those loose blow-in subscription cards are their way of reproducing.

(Aside from the humor, it is a bit interesting in our incredibly sensitive age where Reuters can't seem to bring itself to call a terrorist a terrorist, that we have someone who throws out the F-bomb with such a cavalier attitude. Especially considering that the article merely states that magazine ads and articles are featuring more naturally-proportioned women, which is frankly not the same thing as being flabby.)

UPDATE: The current headline in the linked story (as of 3:41 CT) now reads: "Fashion magazines showing more body types." Apparently someone else noticed. (ABC is still carrying the older version, at least until it's sanitized.)

No matter the headline, though, the first sentence is still the same catty one as originally printed: "NEW YORK (AP) — Mixed among the pages of dazzling celebrities and rail-thin models that dominate fashion and teen magazines is a surprising sight: young women with thick thighs and flabby abs. [...]"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2005

Well, not since I deflated it...

Oglesby pool losing thousands of gallons of water per day

(Dateline Oglesby, Illinois (Gateway to Starved Rock), named for one of those Yankee Oglesbys.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Humans dying of pig disease a concern

Ya think?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2005

But would the bartender let him run a tab?

Pastor brings God to Prattville bar

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:31 AM | Comments (2)

July 22, 2005

Well, there's probably rust in the spring attachment points in the rear floor pan.

Nanjing Automotive Buys Collapsed MG Rover

Once they get the rust fixed, they probably also need to be very careful about trying to drive it after dark. Or in the rain. Might also need to invest in a good fire extinguisher, too.

What a sorry end for Morris Garages.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2005

I bet it's cramped in there!

Cameron Diaz testifies in photo case

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

Than...?

9-year-olds said better in math, reading.

Maybe a few could be hired to try their hands at headline writing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

Apparently, everything makes you fat...

Food makers warned on high-fat snack ads.

Who knew advertising even had fat in it!? I always figured that at least the print ads would have fiber content going for them.

Shows what I know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:34 PM | Comments (2)

June 02, 2005

Apparently it makes speling erors, too.

Report: Guidant sold flawwed heart device

UPDATE: Well, shucky-darn--they went and corrected the headline, thus depriving me of the joy of poking fun at them. I wonder if there's someone I can sue for loss of mirth?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:21 AM | Comments (2)

June 01, 2005

Well, my, my--you don't say!

Leaving out chicken cuts time for making pasta dish

One imagines even more time could be saved by eliminating the pasta, too!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:03 AM | Comments (6)

May 27, 2005

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Many nuclear plants lack backup sirens

I didn't realize they had sirens--I would have figured they would have had one of those beepers like garbage trucks have. And second, who knew they could MOVE, much less back up!? I think it would be pretty cool to drive a nuclear plant around the block.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:09 AM | Comments (5)

May 23, 2005

Adventures in Headline Writing II!

Thousands of BBC Workers Begin Strike

At Least Three Citizens Express Mild Concern;
Management Dusts Off, "I know what you are, we're only negotiating the price" Joke;
Reuters, AFP, Others--Big Hopes to Pick up Anti-American Slack

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:05 PM | Comments (1)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

USF shareholders OK Yellow Roadway deal

Lollypop Guild Expresses Concern;
In-depth Report: Who Is Man Behind Curtain?;
Hope to Branch Out into Air Freight--Flying Monkeys 'Looking Good,' Say Execs

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:13 PM | Comments (7)

May 12, 2005

Well, yes, if you don't understand sarcasm.

I've tried not to comment much about this garbage, but this one caught my eye--Journalist on Tape Lauds Jackson As Parent

Uhmm-yeah. Here's the quote:

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The jury in the Michael Jackson trial watched a video Thursday in which the journalist who made a damaging documentary about the pop star actually praised him as a parent.

"Your relationship to your children is spectacular," Martin Bashir said to Jackson during the making of the documentary. "It almost makes me weep." [...]

Well, I don't see that as any sort of praise (although Mr. Neverland probably thinks everything said about him is some sort of praise). This unpraiseworthiness is especially notable if you take the definition of "spectacular" as being, "Of or pertaining to a show; of the nature of a show," or "Adapted to excite wonder and admiration by a display of pomp or of scenic effects; as, a spectacular celebration of some event; a spectacular play."

I saw the documentary when it aired, and I knew exactly what Bashir meant, and I knew he was saying something ambiguous enough that someone with a poor sense of irony and a highly inflated ego would take it as a compliment, even though it obviously wasn't meant as such. Unfair to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed manchild? Probably. It almost makes me weep.

What I don't quite get is why the reporter for the article would want to try so hard to read into the quote the meaning Jackson wanted it to have. Why not say, "Jackson's legal team saw the statement as praise," or some other such phrase--something with a bit less obvious cheerleading to it. Or is that what I hear called "advocacy journalism"?

Anyway, another nice quote from the article, this time from Jackson--

"I'm not a nut," Jackson said. "I'm very smart. You can't come this far and be a nut."

Smart, successful, and crazy aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. But you know, at least Howard Hughes had the good sense to not mess around with kids.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:32 PM | Comments (4)

May 10, 2005

Wow.

Frist expects showdown over filibuster

It's like he's some kind of a psychic or something!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)