Wednesday, February 02, 2011

How to hype

A lovely bit of hype in the Torygraph caught my eye:
'Second sun' on its way

The Earth could find itself with a 'second sun' for a period of weeks later this year when one of the night sky's most luminous stars explodes, scientists have claimed.

So this remarkable event is "on it way" and "could" happen, "later this year". That's just the headline and subhead though. On reading the rest of the story, it might not happen for a million years. I'll not hold my breath then.

7 comments:

ligne said...

fucknell, the only thing i'd seen of this (hilariously overblown) story was in the Mail. nice to see the torygraph living up to its standards...

skanky said...

Fairly typical churnalism.

More here:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/01/21/betelgeuse-and-2012/

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/01/24/betelgeuse-followup/

Roger said...

Wow. That is one of the worst astronomy articles I've ever seen. How very depressing it is that for most people, science is filtered through an arts-dominated media before it gets to them. CP Snow is more relevant than ever these days, I think.

guthrie said...

Roger, I think by now that it isn't a matter of arts graduates not understanding, it is a matter of churnalism, as James says. What this means is that you have fewer staff producing more news, so all newspapers and TV relies upon the same small spout of news from the wires and internet, and under pressure to reformulate every story in the standard manner. So it wouldn't matter if a cosmology graduate was employed, since they'd have to write the correct kind of rubbish, not an actual useful interesting story.

I used to blame the arts/ science split myself, but see now that it is unimportant compared to the commercialism.

See "Flat earth news" by Nick Davies for more information and case studies in media insanity.

Joel said...

This site wins though, as, as it puts it, it could happen in 2012 (or in another million years, but here's something about the Mayan calendar anyway):

http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/01/21/will-the-earth-have-two-suns-by-2012

David B. Benson said...

Yes, the world starts ending this April or May and is finished ending by winter solstice of 2012 CE.

I thought everybody knew that.

;-)

Lt Uhura said...

Don't you understand? It's not the sun up in the sky. It's the Son of God.