Thursday, June 10, 2010

All The News Worth Mentioning

On the TV news at noon a few days ago I was informed that on the Today Show President Obama said he is talking to the folks so that he will know whose ass to kick. Good Golly Miss Molly, what's this world coming to? That's not 'news' it's political entertainment. Now I'm going to have to break myself of the bad habit of watching the local TV news.

First I stopped reading newspapers and now... no more TV news.

Why do I no longer read printed newspapers?

Here's what a professional science writer in a leading newspaper wrote:

Children can learn better at school by taking omega-3 fish oil supplements which boost their concentration, scientists say. Boys aged eight to 11 who were given doses once or twice a day of docosahexaenoic acid, an essential fatty acid known as DHA, showed big improvements in their performance during tasks involving attention.

Here's what the scientific study under discussion actually said:

At baseline, there were no significant group differences for percentage correct, commission errors, discriminability, or reaction time. At 8 wk, there were no significant group differences in percentage correct, commission errors, discriminability, or reaction time. The time x dose interaction was not significant for percentage correct, commission errors, discriminability, or reaction time.

The above example of outrageous reportage appeared on Language Log June 8, 2010.

It is not surprising (to me) that newspaper readership is going down, down, and down. I suppose that more and more people have come to realize that they are being lied to constantly, by the press and by the government, and they can thank the talk-radio hosts and the plethora of blogs written by individuals who thrive on spreading what they see as being 'the truth'.

And TV news is even worse.

Ahhhhh! I don't even want to think about that stuff anymore.

So . . .

Now for something completely different --

I intend to take a walk through the unpopulated (by humans) stretch of desert out behind the house, all the way to the wash. Maybe tomorrow, or perhaps on the weekend. Whenever I decide to do so, I must remember to watch my step (literally) as some venomous creatures dwell therein, such as Rattlesnakes, Gila Monsters, Tarantulas, and Scorpions. Also must remember to load my camera with fresh batteries and my largest size memory card.

This is what the stretch of desert scrub looks like from the back patio -- this is the area I intend to explore with my camera as soon as I get up the nerve...

It looks a bit forbidding, doesn't it?

But looks (as goes the old proverb,) can be deceiving.

For example: I saw what I thought was a peculiar looking spider web. It was large, dense, and dangerous appearing. And I wondered if a Tarantula spins webs --

But upon closer examination I discovered that the web was not a spider's web but was instead, securely wedged between the arms of a cactus, nothing more than a weather-faded plastic shopping bag.

My upcoming expedition into the desert will likely prove uneventful, and perhaps even disappointing and unproductive.

Or not . . .

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