Day 239 – Expert opinion

Today was (not quite) Black Friday (thanks, AnitaB) and so I either need to gush about the amazing deals I got on a fridge and an air-fryer or lament the sociaital disaster that is rampant consumerism (but perhaps also sneak in the air-fryer).

Sky News spoke to 90s pop stars Right Said Fred (you may remember them from their songs I’m too Sexy and Deeply Dippy) (but hopefully not) about their views on the UK coronavirus lockdown, and while everyone is fully entitled to their views on the UK coronavirus lockdown, is it unfair of me to suggest that Sky News that Sky News find some experts in the field, rather than some bald 90s has-beens who are actually just trying to punt their latest dreadful musical offering?

Would I want to know the opinion of some epidemiological authority on crappy pop music from the end of the last millennium?


So why on earth are we listening to the Fairbrass brothers about UK pandemic policy?

Yesterday’s headlines today

I’m out of town for a few days, so expect shorter, punchier, compact and bijoux posts for a while.

But then, sometimes less is more. For example, when reading this headline:

I prefer to let my imagination run free, rather than following up and looking at the actual details of the story.

If you want to do the same, extra marks are available if you are able to factor this quote into your mental imagery:

The TSA is yet to respond to Ms Feinman’s claims, but earlier said the lobster had “cooperated quite nicely with the screening process”.

And if you really have to know what was actually going on: click here.

Misleading Headline Leads To Expectant Mum Panic

It’s actually a serious story. And relatively neatly reported.
But the headline. No.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • There’s a mosquito-borne virus found in and around the equatorial belt called Zika Virus
  • It’s a member of the Flaviviridae virus family (actually, you probably didn’t need to know that)
  • It’s been linked with birth defects in cases where it infects pregnant women
  • The El Salvador Ministry of Health has suggested that, where possible, women delay falling pregnant

Sky News reported it like this:

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Look, once you’ve read the story (or once your favourite blog has explained it to you in helpful bullet points), it does kind of make sense. But if you are pregnant and just see the headline, well, it does appear that you’re going to be pregnant for about 166% longer than you thought. (Or 7% if you’re an elephant.) (In which case how are you reading this anyway?)

Simply replacing “Warning” with “Advice” would surely have worked better.

As with many tropical diseases, Zika Fever can be avoided by not living in or visiting tropical areas. Despite the heatwave of the last few weeks in Cape Town, we’re not one of them, so thankfully our local-mums-to-be are safe and can hopefully look forward to entirely normal 0.75-year pregnancies.

Cape Town Clouds Make Sky News

Sky News. Clouds. SKY News… Geddit?

But yes, the Sky News website finally caught up with Cape Town’s spectacular lenticular cloud formations of Sunday afternoon, and told the world about them.

Fullscreen capture 2015-11-10 015651 PM.bmp

The story quotes photographer Kyle Mijlof as saying:

“I was on my scooter at the time, driving along Signal Hill back home to Camps Bay, I stopped to get this quick shot – I still had my helmet on.”

From which we can deduce that Kyle lives in Camps Bay, rides a scooter and usually takes his helmet off when taking photos. Also, we can tell that he isn’t a vegan and he doesn’t do crossfit, or he surely would have told us by now.
He continues:

“Honestly, the whole skyline that day was unbelievable and a bit of an eerie stillness in the air.”

Well, it wasn’t windy, which is a bit unusual for this time of year. But “eerie”? No. That’s a bit of a stretch.

Still, it’s just nice for Cape Town to get some positive (or at least not negative) coverage on the international news circuit.