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Sad State of News – What Goes Around…

Russian Journal

Russian Journal

I’ve just been reading A Russian Journal, written in 1948 by John Steinbeck with photography by Robert Capa. The quick description is: “A memoir that takes place not only to Moscow and Stalingrad (now Volgograd) but through the countryside of the Ukraine and the Caucasus.”

I’d recommend it, and not only for its clear style (it’s Steinbeck), and its insights into post-WWII Russia from an American perspective. I was also struck by the sentiment that I’ve quoted below about the state of news writing in 1948. It forms the basis of the trip to Russia then.

It seems to me that is it is being repeated as if newly minted now. I see it all over the Internet in 2015 by those of us mourning some ‘Golden Age of News’. Read on…
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Broadsheet Clickbait – Benedict Cumberbatch on Islamic State

Broadsheet Clickbait

Continuing our series of amazing ‘serious’ newspaper stories, here is Benedict Cumberbatch – the Sherlock actor – providing his much needed insight into dealing with the Islamic State.

Check out some other entries after the jump.

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Broadsheet Clickbait – Steve Jobs

Broadsheet Clickbait

Oh dear. The Independent is so lost in chasing for clicks with tawdry headlines that it’s even contradicting itself in its body copy.

The reason for this is that The Indy got its lead and idea from Pando.com in a story entitled, “Newly unsealed documents show Steve Jobs’ brutal response after getting a Google employee fired“.

It’s not just the combination of the headline and story body that are staggeringly annoying, look at the wording of that copy: Read More

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Cosmos Rebooted – In the Face?

Carl Sagan

I hear that the relaunched Cosmos TV series has included a little hagiography of Giordano Bruno as a martyr to Copernican science, and I sigh…” Philip Ball

Philip Ball is an author of several books on aspects of science and its interactions with other aspects of culture. Philip worked for Nature for 20 years as, and I quote from him, an editor for physical sciences (for which his brief extended from biochemistry to quantum physics and materials science) and then as a Consultant Editor.

Phil also writes the science blog for Prospect Magazine. Phil’s sigh is not just naysaying for the sake of it.

Ball’s comments on Giordano Bruno and his inclusion at the start of the Neil deGrasse Tyson fronted Cosmos reimagined (aka The Because Science TV Show) refer to the animation, 11 minutes of it, at the start of the show that once again repeat the canard of Bruno as a Martyr of Science. Let’s look at the video first.

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Shredding

My Twitter feed often throws up random juxtapositions and contrasts, this one grabbed my attention this afternoon. Feel free to send me any you see.

How to use the verb, "to shred" kids.

How to use the verb, “to shred” kids.