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Significant Details: Headline news

April 16, 2014

April 12 ––––– The following headline made a screaming appearance just in time for the dreaded income tax deadline: “Procrastinating on those taxes? Blame your genes.”
Great. Two days after I quit procrastinating and actually did my taxes, they come up with an excuse – “failure to evolve” – that could have let me dally another couple of days. So I procrastinated by reading the article. Waste of good wasted time. It was 1,000 words of contradictory gibberish, like most “genetic/DNA/science” articles, and it concluded procrastination is about half genetics and half just being lazy.
That prompted me to continue procrastinating by lazily reading only the headlines on various stories or, because I’m a hip, digital guy, just looking at photos or other “posts” online.
Sticking with science news, it seems some folks have figured out how to use DNA: “UK woman wins contest to clone wiener dog.” Doggone. No. He’s back. Ack.
One of the more striking images to hit the screen was a stunning photo of a fit and trim young lady. In a bikini. Standing on her hands on a chair. Holding a fully drawn-back bow and arrow with her toes. And yes, it appeared on Photoshop Friday.
Here’s how an amazing “automotive advance” was announced: “Gasoline-fueled diesel truck engine cuts fuel use, emissions.” Which makes almost as much sense as having a “Find Your Phone” app. On. Your. Phone.
Here’s one that makes perfect sense: “Legalized marijuana is on fire.” And smoking, obviously.
From the, Are They Just Making This Stuff Up Department, there is this gem: “Anti-piracy group accused of stealing photo used in anti-piracy ad.”
In the Please Don’t Show A Photo Category, there is, “Nursing home sued for hiring strippers to dance for elderly residents.”
Speaking of getting too excited for their own good, we have The Heavy Breathing and Breathless Pronouncement Award, which goes to, “How to protect yourself from this new terrifying security flaw called Heartbleed.” Sub-heads included, “Millions of websites infected.” “The Internet will never be the same.” “Nothing is safe.”
Egad. Take a breath. And they did. The “end of the digital world as we know it” morphed on Day Two into stories about “fixes and patches” already installed. And what should innocents do to “protect your online profile?” Change your password. When you get an email telling you to change your password. Ack.
While the Heartbleed Bug struck fear in the hearts of many, for most folks over the age of 25 the revelation that huge, faceless companies staffed by the “best and the brightest” had let down their customers was an old, familiar story.
The evidence? It came in a string of three headlines in the L.A. Times Business Section:
“Heartbleed bug could undermine years of work to build public trust.”
“Bank of America to pay $772 million for illegal credit card practices.”
“With massive Toyota recall, automakers on pace to break records.”
Almost makes the IRS look good.

(Jon Klusmire of Bishop should have procrastinated more and written less.)

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