Tuesday, January 30, 2007


3. (context unclear) "If you're over 50, ask your daughter about screening for colon cancer."
2. (classified ad) "11-year-old cat, neutered and spayed"
1. (an H&R Block ad) "So every dollar you've earned is where it belongs. In our pocket."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

From the NYT

Do parts of this sound familiar to anyone? (From The New York Times, so free registration might be required.)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Odds and Ends

A few things worth commenting on:

1. Tommy Jackson's alleged plagiarism
Thanks to Rick for bringing this to my attention. Tommy Jackson was the editor of The Daily Citizen in Searcy for many (I have no idea exactly how many) years. He brought stability, if not quality journalism, to the place, which is something it has sorely lacked since his departure. He left in the middle of my time in Searcy to take this position at UCA.

It's unbelievable how often stories like this come out. Everyone, journalists and nonjournalists, has to be so careful to avoid the temptation to take the easy way out and lift a few lines from Wikipedia or whatever.

I only use the word alleged above because I haven't actually seen the evidence myself. If The Echo's description of the situation is accurate, then it is plagiarism, no doubt. If that is the case, the idea that he's seeking "hefty damages" from the university is laughable. Those of us who have spent our lives in academia and the world of journalism have to know better than to "take things off the Internet" without attribution.

2. China's going to 'purify' the Internet
As someone who spent two years behind The Great Firewall of China without too many ill effects beyond an inability to get to Wikipedia for the better part of a year, this is a concern.

3. If you've ever wanted to kill 400 chickens ...
Thanks to Katrina for pointing this one out. You have to read this story for your laugh of the day. The same goes for these two:

4. For Sale: 1957 Plymouth Belvedere. Like-new?
5. Finally, TV news does something worthwhile

Finally, for those who haven't heard/noticed, I have joined Facebook. If you're on there and I haven't friended you yet, let me know.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


3. (in the cutline with a photo of a postal worker) "Dawson celebrated 50 years on the jon ..."
2. (in a classified ad) "Happy Birthday to the most impotent man in the family!"
1. (a crime story) a woman "allegedly used her three daughters as traffic pylons" while she practiced her driving skills.

Monday, January 22, 2007

One year ...

Katrina and I have been thinking about China even more than usual over the last few days. Believe it or not, it was one year ago this weekend that we returned from Wuhan.

A Cliff's Notes review of our time since then for those of you who were late to the game:

- We spent the first few weeks (late January) in Des Moines getting past jet lag and reverse culture shock.
- We then spent a good chunk of February in New England with Katrina's family.
- From late February through early June, we lived with my parents in Des Moines and had temporary jobs. Katrina worked as a substitute teacher with the Des Moines schools; I found a decent job through a temp agency.
- By late April, it became clear that we would be moving to Columbus, Ohio, so Katrina could start work on her doctorate in literacy education.
- In late May, we made our first trip to Columbus and found an apartment while I interviewed for my job.
- We spent much of June in Massachusetts for Katrina's mom's wedding.
- After the wedding, we took a whirlwind trip to Searcy to get our things out of storage and see some friends. In the process, we realized Katrina had left her driver's license in Massachusetts and had been driving illegally for a week.
- We moved in to our apartment July 1; my first day as assistant city editor at The Advocate in Newark, Ohio, was July 5.
- Back to Iowa for a few days in mid-August for my sister's wedding. I was one of the groomsmen; they had the ceremony at the Salisbury House in Des Moines.
- Katrina started her doctoral work in September and finished the first quarter with flying colors in December.

We really miss China. It's just hard to feel that we're doing the same kind of important Work here that we were doing over there. Not to mention the dozens of friends, both Zhongguoren and Meiguoren, we left behind. But it seems that this is where we need to be for now.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Winter has arrived

Yes, it's January 21, but it seems that winter has just arrived over the last week here in Columbus. In fact, we woke up this morning to see our first significant snowfall of the season. We got a few inches before it tapered off around noon.

The Good News: It came on a Sunday, which means I don't have to drive 80 miles round-trip to work on the semi-slick roads.

The Bad News: I'm not sure that the city of Columbus is familiar with the term snow plow. As we drove home after church this morning, it didn't seem that even the major streets had been plowed yet. This does not bode well for the times I have to actually drive to work in the snow.

Katrina, of course, is thrilled with finally having some snow. I'll grant it looks pretty, but it's not going to make it any easier for people to show up for our Game Night tonight after evening services.

How is the winter treating all of you?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

AP style quiz

This is comforting: Even The New York Times makes AP style mistakes. (Or they oddly have their own house style on this point.) A gold star to the first commenter to spot the AP style problem in this article. Don't worry ... it's pretty obvious.

In other recent news that I haven't had a chance to comment on:
- We have cows of all kinds in Iowa.
- Maybe we can actually make money off our Web sites!
- Breaking news: User-generated content is good for old-media sites.
- Amazing Race 11 starts Feb. 18!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Yes, your favorite series is finally back for the new year. Tonight's selections were exceptionally visual, so these aren't the best ever.

3. (a headline) "Flu shots can be prevented with shot"
2. (a headline) "Manufacturer of flame-retardant fabric catches fire"
1. (in a church's ad) "Sermon Topic: The Power of Prunes"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Special "Headlines" Vote

As I'm sure you all know by now, Ohio State fell apart Monday night in the BCS National Championship game, losing 41-14. I really can't say much about the game, as I was working through it. I worked a special 4 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. shift so we could do an eight-page special section on the game. (It was our A section, with a full-page photo on the front and three photo pages inside. We like the pictures.)

I, for one, am very proud of our banner headline from that day. (Full disclosure: I didn't come up with it. Credit for that goes to one of our copy editors, Tom.) So I thought we should play a game.

Below are the banner headlines various media used Tuesday morning. Leave a comment sharing your favorite and reason, or rank them. Feel free to suggest your own, too.

"Chompions" (a reference to the Gator chomp)
"Swamped" (a reference to Florida's home stadium)
"O-H N-O" (a reference to OSU's ubiquitous O-H I-O chant; they're very proud they can spell)
"Gator aides" (I think you can figure out the reference)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Best Game Show Hosts

Katrina and I are confessed game show nerds, so it should not be shocking that we watched Game Show Network's Top 10 Game Show Hosts Countdown last night. Here's their Top 10, with their most famous game show alongside.

10. Bob Eubanks ("The Newlywed Game")
9. Pat Sajak ("Wheel of Fortune")
8. Chuck Woolery ("Love Connection")
7. Bill Cullen (23 shows)
6. Regis Philbin ("Millionaire")
5. Richard Dawson ("Family Feud")
4. Monty Hall ("Let's Make A Deal")
3. Alex Trebek ("Jeopardy")
2. Gene Rayburn ("Match Game")
1. Bob Barker ("The Price is Right")

As a whole, Katrina and I thought the list was pretty good. We would, however, disagree with Regis and Chuck, especially Regis.

Regis hosted one of the most famous and (temporarily) popular shows ever, but it had nothing to do with his hosting style, which was irritating. If he hadn't made the game drag out so badly, "Millionaire" might have lasted longer in prime time.

The list named Wink Martindale as an honorable mention; he certainly should have been included on the list instead of Regis and/or Chuck.

You can't argue with No. 1, though. The Top 5 is solid, but Jeopardy fans like us would have liked to have seen Trebek up at No. 2.

Your thoughts on the list? (Any Peter Tomarken fans out there?)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

A New Quarter

It is a new academic quarter and/or semester for many of you, including Katrina. (I think she's planning a post about her new classes on her blog.) But about the only place in my life that still operates on a quarter system is at church.

Katrina and I have an interesting lineup of topics, especially in our Sunday morning Bible class. We are in the very popular parenting class. (We found out this morning that we're now the only ones in the class who are not expecting a child and/or already have one or more children. That's right -- Katrina is not pregnant. Don't worry, we couldn't keep a secret like that from you all!)

The class is based on a book in the "Let The Children Come" series by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo. Each class period, we spend about half the time in discussion and about half of the time watching a lecture DVD by the creator of the series. It's certainly helpful as we contemplate parenthood, although we generally keep quiet and let the actual parents talk.

Our Sunday morning topic is the Gospel of John, and we will study worship on Sunday evenings.


For those of you living under a rock, Ohio State plays in the BCS National Championship game Monday night. As you might imagine, that has been the dominant subject at work over the last week or so. It also means I have to work on Monday, but I will get Tuesday off instead. (That likely means there will not be a "Headlines" post this week.)