Wednesday, September 02, 2009

2 September 2009: Headlines

Doug directs our attention towards the Daily Mail Random Headline Generator.

From there, there's a link to the even more fascinating (because it's real-world) study of actual Daily Mail headlines that track, on a daily basis, the essential categorization by the Mail of all items in the known universe into one of two groups: things that cause cancer, and things that cure cancer.

Recent examples (all from August 2009) include:
  • Could marriage be the secret to surviving cancer?
  • How a romantic candle-lit dinner can give you cancer
  • Don't give children ham sandwiches, say cancer experts
  • Why eating popcorn is good for your health: Popcorn could help prevent cancer, research suggests.
Still, it's better than the Daily Echo, where the top headline this morning was:

"Ten-mile jam as DVLA runs tax disc checks"

- implying that the DVLA were stopping people on a busy road and individually checking their tax discs, when in fact they had a van out on the A31 with a camera that was taking number plates based on the fact that it was August Bank Holiday and so the traffic was guaranteed to be going slowly enough to capture them all on film, for computer-based checks. Tax discs were never checked at any stage in the process, and while it was frustrating for those stuck in the jam (and I remember an equivalent jam on the A303 which lengthened the Barnstaple - Southampton run from three to over six hours) it was nothing much to do with the DVLA: they were just taking advantage of the Bank Holiday jams.

Meantime, news from the lump is that a urologist has now dismissed any remaining suggestions of cancer and has prescribed "aspirin and a jockstrap" to relieve the inevitable (yearly, he suggests) pain from the non-growing cysts. Leading to the inevitable conclusion that the UK National Health Service is better than the US health system, probably solely on the basis that at least I'd get the jockstrap on the NHS in the UK.

Hmm - kind of implies a Daily Mail headline, doesn't it?

Could Jockstraps Be Miracle Cancer Cure?

Update: Actual Daily Mail article from February states that using Facebook causes cancer. See, you're all going to die except me.


Doug said...

but the swans must be upset, they don't use Facebook but Channel 4 is giving them cancer... its a cruel world.

Doug said...

Whats going on, now BBC2 are at it, "Gypsy Child Thieves" - huh?

Becky said...

This is my favourite recent headline: