Stupid news?

by Danica

I came across this news article today titled ‘Owner of skull urged to come forward’, and a million thoughts went through my mind.

The first was that if someone had lost their skull, they should be dead, right? Apparently not.

A human skull that washed up on a Sydney beach has police looking for its owner, who should be alive and kicking.

But that doesn’t make sense. Your skull contains your brain which controls every thing in your body. Electric impulses from the brain to your heart cause your heart to beat. So even if your heart is perfectly fine, losing your brain would mean that your heart wouldn’t be able to function. Therefore, no brain means no life. But the article insists that the person “should be alive and kicking”. Uhm… ok.

The skull is that of a child, aged between four and six…

Why on earth would the poor kid still want to be living if they had no head? How on earth would they come forward? They can’t see, hear or think, ’cause they have no eyes, ears or BRAIN.

Police were alerted when the skull washed up at the Mona Vale beachfront area known as the Basin, in Sydney’s north, on September 12 last year.

September 12 LAST YEAR?! They expect this kid to still be “alive and kicking” after 10 months?!

Anthropologists have determined through radiocarbon dating that the skull is about 700 years old…

Wait… What?

Police believe it may belong to a private collector, museum or research facility.

Isn’t that the kind of thing you should put at the beginning of a news article with that title?

This reminds me of a friend’s blog that I read the other day where she wrote about a book titled Eats, Shoots and Leaves. This is what she wrote about it:

“A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
“I’m a panda,” he says at the door. “Look it up.”
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China.
Eats, shoots and leaves.”

It also reminded me of a certain grammar nazi who would probably enjoy this just as much as I would (you know who you are, Missy! hehe). But it’s about using proper punctuation. Which excites me more than a Battlestar Galactica geek traipsing around at Supernova.

I was the grammar nazi she was referring to (it’s a reference I made in my blog I before E), and I actually would really enjoy that book.

But the point is, the people who write the news (and edit it, for that matter) should watch the wording of their articles, so as not to mislead readers or start rumours. Yes, they do end up making sense in the end, like the skull owner is actually a collector, not the person who’s body the skeleton was once a part of, but seriously, were the news writers trying to get more media attention for this article or something?

I mean, I was really looking forward to seeing a headless kid in the playground today.

– “Keep moving forward.” – Walt Disney