Monday, June 27, 2005

my papa was a rodeo too

I read a really horrendous piece of journalism the other day. Some of you already know this, but my local newspaper is a sorry sack of shit. They actually paid somebody one time to write the headline "Police search for clues in shootings, robberies". Thank goodness the newspaper cleared that up for me. I always thought they sat on their asses all day long and did no crime investigation at all. That isn't today's point, though.
The News and Record has many shortcomings. One of them is that they have an archiving system that requires a payment of $3 per article. Or you can get a yearly archive subscription (1000 articles) for the low, low price of $1995.00. I'm not kidding. I wish I was. No free sample, no trial membership. Nothing.

Anyway, this genius named Melissa Turner wrote an article in Friday's paper about lightning. Different kinds of lightning and the perils of being struck by lightning. In her article, she offered "some tips for staying out of its angry reach". Angry reach??? What the fuck is that? I didn't realize lightning was angry. Maybe she's right, though. After all, she's the professional journalist. Among the tips for those who find themselves in an open field in the midst of a lightning storm:

"assume the 'lightning stance'".

She stated it like it's something we're all taught in the same lesson as "when you're on fire, stop, drop and roll." She would later clarify and explain the 'lightning stance' as getting into a crouched position.

(b) (this one was my favorite, and she actually said this. I'm not making this up)

"Cover your ears. Pray. This will minimize your chances of being stuck, but does not guarantee safety"

Okay. That's just plain crazy. I may not be that wise in the ways of science, and I'm a skeptic when it comes to religion. Nonetheless, I'm certain that prayer cannot alter meteorological forces. If it was true, we would never experience droughts or typhoons or devastating hurricanes. Now, I will say that for the praying kind, saying a prayer in a situation like that probably does make you feel better about being in a horrifying situation. But c'mon!

I wish I could share this article with you so you could read it for yourself, but their cruddy archiving system is stupid, and I don't want anyone to have to pay three bucks.

now playing:

Destroyer -- This Night
Destroyer This Night


Dan said...

There's a really cool South Park episode along these lines about "duck and cover" and the dangers of lava flows. I think my advice to anyone who wanted to stay out of lightning's "angry reach" would be, "don't go outside during a lightning storm."

Doesn't make very good copy, but neither does writing about the perils of lightning.

doug said...

The Greensboro Fishwrapper might be pretty bad, but I swear, I haven't seen anything as bad as the Knoxville, TN paper - which I was reminded of this morning when i saw this post at South Knox Bubba this morning:


greatwhitebear said...

LOL...actually the best use of The South Bend Tribune is that of local restaurant Fiddler's Hearth, who serve their excellent fish and chips wrapped in it. God know you wouldn't want to actually read the damn thing.

Actually, the grease stains make better reading.

d-lee said...

I'm surprised your state and local divisions of environmental health allow the restaurant to serve fish-n-chips wrapped in newspaper. Of course that's how they're traditionally served in the UK. I work in an Irish pub, too. We'd love to be able to serve the fish-n-chips that way, but our health department doesn't approve newsprint as a "food contact surface". It is, after all, an insanitary surface.
out of curiosity, mark, does the fiddler's hearth use haddock as their fish? That's what we use, in a Guinness batter. People go nuts for it.

greatwhitebear said...

Actually they use cod, with a Guiness batter.

Actually, modern newsprint is one of the most sterile wrappings you can use. The police here bundle the "couldn't wait till the hospital" babies they deliver in them.

In case your interested, Fiddler's Hearth has a very nice website: