Save us Penguin! You’re our only hope!

I will admit I was only partially watching the NHL All-Stars game today, but my mouth was hanging open during the second intermission when they unleashed the joint project between Stan Lee and the NHL: The Guardian Project. I don’t know if I’m just behind on hearing about this, but it is utterly bizarre. Who in the world thinks that what hockey teams need are cartoon superheros based on their team names? Given that the sport is about competition between the teams, why is the story line being created seemingly that all these team heroes are going to band together … Continue reading Save us Penguin! You’re our only hope!

Don’t discount the crossword puzzle in all this

Maybe the most interesting thing about this summary of responses to questions about the future of newspapers by a variety of newspaper and media experts is that they all urge newspapers to be very hesitant about reducing their number of print days per week, but they also concur that in ten years we will no longer have daily print newspapers. Common wisdom is that, at some point in the not too distant future, newspapers are going to have to leave their bulky physical form behind, but it seems that these experts think it is more important now to start reshaping … Continue reading Don’t discount the crossword puzzle in all this

Gently prod your television with a pointy stick!

Somehow, in the past six months, I seem to have become much less of a TV watcher. It is interesting – I always rolled my eyes at people who said “Oh, there are just too many more-valuable things to do than watch TV”. TV is fun! There is some good storytelling on it! And sometimes, I just feel like my brain is going to start oozing out of my ears if I do not sit on the couch with some knitting and some vacuous entertainment for a while. But I’m starting to see buzz about the fall TV schedule and … Continue reading Gently prod your television with a pointy stick!

Can you overdose on Ho Hos?

It’s odd enough that anyone decided to track which cities eat the most Ho Hos per capita, and it’s random that Pittsburgh tops the list, but the best thing about the Post-Gazette coverage of this “story” was apparently the lack of application of common sense or basic math literacy, allowing the orignal story to claim that the average Pittsburgher eats over 1.5 Ho Hos a day. It’s a little sad that this slipped through the editing process given how clearly ridiculous that statistic is. I particularly like the computation in the correction that, if their original statistics were correct, Pittsburghers … Continue reading Can you overdose on Ho Hos?

Pretty, pretty food

I’ve seen this type of side-by-side comparison done for models, but this commparison of ads of fast food with photos of the real fast food as it is served is – well, okay, not very shocking at all – nobody expects fast food to look anything like the ads. But it’s still interesting to see quite how different the reality can be from what they are selling. [via Boing Boing]

Price of business

If you are a fan of The Office (the American version) and you are a bit of a geek, you will probably love That’s What She Said, a weekly weblog that calculates the litigation value of Michael Scott’s misdeeds in that week’s episode. [via ALOTTFMA] Their assessment is that the “Ben Franklin” episode is the most expensive recent episode, with so many horriifying examples I had forgot them all. The Office is possibly the funniest show on television today, in part because they manage to keep Michael likable even when he’s absolutely awful, allowing them to pull humor from situations … Continue reading Price of business

Myth Confirmed

I had a sense of deja vu watching tonight’s episode of Mythbusters (Episode 59: Crimes and Myth-Demeanors 2) where they test the claims that various high tech security systems are intrusion proof – including fingerprint scanners! As I mentioned in my entry earlier this month, my Cyberattacks intersession course tried this same thing, though only with the small computer access scanner, not the major door access scanner Mythbusters featured. They, too, were able to beat the scanners, using more sophisticated techniques, but also being able to use a more plausible method of fingerprint capture. Whereas I like to think that … Continue reading Myth Confirmed

Beauty, Power, Advertising

Hosted at the University of Vermont, this Web Essay on the Male Gaze, Fashion Advertising, and the Pose has a nice discussion of the issues in advertising portrayals of female beauty with a combination of scholarly references and good imagery. Worth checking out – it may not be Killing Us Softly, but it’s an interesting read. I particularly like the photoshop job they do in the first few slides.

Media Errors

I’ve added the new-to-me weblog Regret The Error to my daily websurf. It’s a collection of links to errata corrections in a number of major US newspapers, but it’s the accompanying commentary that is particularly good. Reading through the recent entries, there’s a fair bit of discussion of how much news sources rely on each other to be accurate, so that an error in one publication can spread throughout them all without much background checking being done. Obviously, the misreporting about the recent mining accident is a tragic example of this. What I particularly like about the site is the … Continue reading Media Errors

Popular Science Coverage

The Guardian has a weekly “Bad Science” column, mostly exploring a poor interpretation of an experiments results, usually on the part of mass media. This week’s column, Don’t dumb me down, takes on the question of why mainstream media coverage of science is so bad. At the expense of some potshots at humanities scholars – who are all lumped in with a particular type of anti-scientific mindset – Goldacre does put together a fairly comprehensive list of the classes of mischaracterization in science stories, making for a nice crib sheet for when to question a science story. The fault, which … Continue reading Popular Science Coverage