Saturday, February 28, 2015

Favorite websites in review, part 9

These websites have been featured on Tech-media-tainment. So they bear the TMT stamp of approval.

201. Fake AP Stylebook (twitter.com/FakeAPStylebook)
202. Poynter’s Regret the Error (poynter.org/tag/regret-the-error)
203. Jim Romenesko on Pinterest (pinterest.com/jimromenesko/jimromenesko-com-posts)
204. Who Is That Hot Ad Girl? (whoisthathotadgirl.tumblr.com)
205. Coverjunkie (coverjunkie.com)
206. IKEA or Death (ikeaordeath.com)
207. Who Said It? Kanye West or Your Creative Director (kanyevscreative.com)
208. Cheese or Font? (cheeseorfont.mogrify.org)
209. Headlines Against Humanity (headlinesagainsthumanity.com)
210. Black Friday Death Count (blackfridaydeathcount.com)
211. Maps on the Web (mapsontheweb.zoom-maps.com)
212. Amazing Maps (amazing-maps.tumblr.com)
213. Reason (reason.com)
214. Used to Be a Pizza Hut (usedtobeapizzahut.blogspot.com)
215. Honest Slogans (honestslogans.com)
216. Our Incredible Journey (ourincrediblejourney.tumblr.com)
217. Retro Report (retroreport.org)
218. Emergent (emergent.info)
219. Snopes.com (snopes.com)
220. Couldn’t Be Reached (couldntbereached.tumblr.com)
221. Where Bloggers Blog (wherebloggersblog.tumblr.com)
222. Thomas Wolfe Was Wrong (thomaswolfewaswrong.tumblr.com)
223. BuzzFeed Articles Without the GIFs (buzzfeedminusgifs.tumblr.com)
224. Awful Reviews (awfulreviewposters.tumblr.com)
225. Art of the Title (artofthetitle.com)

Photos: Netflix logo from Honest Slogans; “Big” movie poster from Awful Reviews.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Fun movie websites: Movie title stills, final images and famous objects

I love movies and I enjoy interesting websites about movies.
Yesterday, I profiled Awful Reviews. Today I’ll discuss six other fun movie-themed websites

Art of the Title

The website Art of the Title appreciates the artistry that goes into making compelling title sequences for movies and TV shows.
Founded in 2007, the website has examined opening credit sequences for such TV shows as “Twin Peaks,” “Game of Thrones,” “Adventure Time” and “The Walking Dead.” It’s covered movie title sequences from the likes of “The Interview,” “Forrest Gump,” “Taxi Driver” and “The Wizard of Oz.”

Movie Title Stills Collection

On a similar note, the Movie Title Stills Collection is a website containing hundreds of main titles from feature films, both classic and recent.
The collection spans from 1920s silent films to present-day blockbusters.

The Final Image

While some film buffs are obsessed with movie opening title sequences, The Final Image focuses on the last shots.

Famous Objects from Classic Movies

Famous Objects from Classic Movies is an online game where you guess the titles of movies based on silhouettes of objects from those movies.
The early stages are easy, but it gets progressively harder.

Google Street Scene

The website Google Street Scene doctors images from movies to make them look like they are photos from the street view feature of Google Maps.
The blog is the work of Tre Baker, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Quiet Earth

Quiet Earth is a website focused on science-fiction and horror movies. It has a particular interest in post-apocalyptic movies.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Awful Reviews: If movie posters used the worst reviews

The website Awful Reviews takes movie posters and replaces positive reviews from film critics with 1-star reviews from customers on Amazon.com.
The results are often hilarious as average Joes and Janes miss the point of many classics or are offended by swear words and other content.
The best posters on the website are for universally acclaimed movies featuring remarks from clueless bumpkins.
Sometimes the scathing amateur reviewers make an interesting point about a movie, even if their arguments are crassly written.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Interesting news media websites: Retro Report, Emergent

Some say the Internet has fostered a golden age of journalism. The Internet supports a host of new media outlets, niche-subject websites and miscellaneous blogs on writing and reporting.
What follows are several websites I have yet to spotlight on Tech-media-tainment, but are worth visiting.

Retro Report

Journalists on average are good at breaking news, but not so great with following up on those stories after their initial coverage.
Retro Report does video segments on old news stories that deserve a second look.
Launched in 2013, Retro Report is a documentary news organization that provides forward-looking coverage of older news stories. The Retro Report team includes veterans of the CBS news show “60 Minutes,” the New York Times and other prestigious journalism outlets.

Emergent

Social media is rife with false news reports. The website Emergent is trying to be the Snopes.com of breaking news.
Emergent describes itself as “a real-time rumor tracker.” The website “focuses on how unverified information and rumor are reported in the media. It aims to develop best practices for debunking misinformation.”
Emergent is a research project of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.

Couldn’t Be Reached

A blog entitled “____ couldn’t be reached” documents the many times public officials decline to make themselves available to discuss important issues.
“Whether it’s an investigative, nonprofit newsroom like us, an international outlet like the New York Times, or newer media like Politico or BuzzFeed – when journalists call, officials are choosing to comment less for stories on the record,” the website says.

Where Bloggers Blog

Where Bloggers Blog shows photos of the workspaces of notable bloggers.
My reaction: their desks are way too tidy.

Thomas Wolfe Was Wrong

Author Thomas Wolfe wrote the famous adage, “You Can’t Go Home Again.”
The blog Thomas Wolfe Was Wrong documents the many times people think they’re being clever online when they write that Wolfe was wrong, you can go home again. It’s now an annoying cliche.

BuzzFeed Articles Without the GIFs

BuzzFeed has been an enormous success with its stupid quizzes and click-bait lists. It also runs a lot of articles with animated GIFs.
The website BuzzFeed Articles Without the GIFs shows how terrible those articles are without the GIFs.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fun websites: Honest corporate slogans, repurposed Pizza Hut buildings

I come across a lot of interesting websites in my travels online. Over the next few days, I plan to list some of them by category. Today I’ll review a few business-related websites.

Used to Be a Pizza Hut

Used to Be a Pizza Hut documents the many shuttered Pizza Hut buildings that get repurposed for other uses.
“These beautiful structures, most likely now devoid of the table-top Pac Man machines, dot the American landscape,” the website says. “Some provide ethnic food, some, used cars, and a rare few are now municipal buildings. Whatever their current purpose, we can always be reminded of the mediocre pizza that was once served in these establishments. That, and those red plastic cups.”
Mike Neilson, a mobile software designer in Bethel Park, Pa., created the website in 2008 and has documented more than 500 former Pizza Hut buildings since then.
The website was discussed on Brandflakes for Breakfast.

Honest Slogans

Honest Slogans is a funny website that features rejiggered corporate logos and slogans. It portrays products and companies as how they are actually perceived.
Honest Slogans is the work of graphic designer Clif Dickens. He posted some of his favorites on Huffington Post.

Our Incredible Journey

Our Incredible Journey is a blog that documents when one company buys another and then shuts down its services. This happens all the time with Internet companies. The blog is the work of Phil Gyford.
The website was discussed on Laughing Squid.

Friday, February 20, 2015

LFL wardrobe malfunction photos moved to new website

In the summer of 2013, Tumblr unceremoniously deleted three blogs I had created and managed, including one on Lingerie Football League wardrobe malfunctions.
I recently posted almost all of the LFL photos that Tumblr erased on a new service, Soup, based in Vienna, Austria. Hopefully Soup is a more trusted entity than Yahoo’s Tumblr and can respect “fair use” exemptions to copyright.
Since Tumblr deleted my research on the photos, I had to recreate descriptions for the photos, which was difficult. It’s something I put off doing for a year and a half.
In November 2010, I boasted that Tech-media-tainment had become “the Web’s leading aggregator of Lingerie Football League wardrobe malfunction photos.” This website generated a lot of traffic because of that distinction.
But the torch has long since passed to the Italian blog Very Special Girls, which is the now the top aggregator of LFL wardrobe malfunction photos worldwide.
TMT posted LFL wardrobe failure photos, including nip slips and bare butt exposures, to show the absurdity of the players’ uniforms. The LFL flaunts female sexuality to the detriment of the sport. If it wants to be taken seriously as a sport, it needs to provide uniforms that fit.
My curated photos were copied by a few other websites for their own LFL photo galleries.

For an archive of LFL wardrobe malfunction photos, check out LFL Wardrobe Malfunctions on Soup.io.

Photo: An LFL player flashes a nipple pasty while high-fiving fans. (Photo from Flickr user Feric89.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yahoo fails continue

Yahoo is one of my daily go-to resources on the Internet. I use MyYahoo, Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Mail every day.
So, it’s disturbing to me that those services are so buggy now. Perhaps Yahoo is spending too much energy chasing mobile Web users and not enough on its traditional desktop services.
In the photo up top, the RSS feeds on MyYahoo homepage went down recently.


Clicking on a Yahoo Finance news article occasionally takes me to a blank page.


My Yahoo Finance portfolio page is all sorts of messed up here.

See earlier posts on the subject:

Yahoo errors continue, but web portal spruces up its oops page (Oct. 17, 2014)

More Yahoo error messages: A portfolio of fail (Sept. 13, 2014)

Long-time Yahoo user sick of website’s buggy services (Sept. 3, 2014)

Monday, February 16, 2015

10 things doomed to go the way of the dinosaur

1. The U.S. Postal Service

The independent government agency will be in a period of decline for years to come, but the future is clear. The U.S. Postal Service as we know it will gradually fade away. And along with it, so will go postcards, the hobby of stamp collecting, disgruntled postal workers with a gun fetish, and other things.
(See “Mail boxes, stamp collecting threatened by Post Office demise.”)


2. Pennies

Americans finally are wising up to the fact that pennies are unnecessary and wasteful. One-cent coins cost 2 cents to manufacture, creating a money losing-proposition for the U.S. government. They also are a drag on productivity and a hazard to children and pets if swallowed. Plus, they are becoming irrelevant as financial transactions increasingly switch to electronic payment options.
(See “Time is running out for the U.S. penny.”)

3. One-dollar bills

The issue of eliminating the $1 bill from U.S. currency in favor of $1 coins comes up every few years. Old coots clinging to the past have saved the paper bill for now. But eventually the federal government will do the right thing and ax the $1 bill. Doing so could save taxpayers $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.
(See “U.S. needs to stop printing $1 bills.”)

4. Business cards

Business cards are being replaced by LinkedIn. The personal information on business cards can quickly become out of date. People change jobs, job titles, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email accounts. The beauty of LinkedIn is that the user keeps his or her contact information and career data current themselves. Business cards are joining Rolodexes in the dust bin.
(See “Business cards becoming passe, replaced by LinkedIn.”)

5. Phone books

The clock is ticking for phone books. Most people today get phone numbers for businesses, government agencies and persons by searching the Internet. But there’s still money to be made selling advertising for yellow page directories, so phone books persist. But not for long.
(See “Phone books deserve to die.”)

6. Newspapers

Newspapers in print form are fading fast as more people get their news online. Some pundits are predicting that newspapers in the U.S. will start disappear en masse within a few years as circulation declines and production costs increase.
(See “The end of newspapers threatens paperboys and kidnapper props.”)


7. Magazines

Like newspapers, print magazines are declining in circulation, because of the rise of the Internet. Print magazines are likely to become a niche media as opposed to a mass media in the years to come. The cachet of being a magazine’s cover subject or cover model probably will diminish as well.
(See “Magazine sales continue to slide; Format’s future in doubt.”)

8. Copy editors

To save money, many publishers have cut the ranks of copy editors and fact checkers. The results have been a lot of Internet LOLs as the public shares the latest typos, misspellings and other embarrassing errors copy editors presumably would have caught.
(See “Copy editors are an expense some publishers don’t want.”)

9. Ownership of music, movies, other software

First it was physical media (CDs, DVDs, etc.) that were threatened by the shift to digital, now it’s ownership of entertainment and software. Consumers are shifting from owning digital media files to using subscription and ad-supported streaming media services. Plus, people are beginning to subscribe to PC software instead of owning it outright.
(See “Ownership of music, movies and software slipping away.”)

10. Concert and sports tickets as memorabilia and collectables

As more ticket sellers switch to electronic tickets that can be printed at home or scanned from a mobile device, collecting concert and sports tickets as mementos is likely to wane. A cheap printed ticket doesn’t have the same allure as a glossy, souvenir ticket. Plus, since they can be easily copied, they have no collector value. (See “Concert and sports tickets disappearing as memorabilia and collectables.”


Photos:
Post office comic by Marshall Ramsey (Postal Cartoons on Pinterest);
Mailbox as endangered species by Carmichael Lynch (See Carmichael Lynch Flickr page and article by Laughing Squid.)
Newspaper Road is a dead end (See article by Romenesko);
Concert Ticket Album for sale on Amazon.com.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Concert and sports tickets disappearing as memorabilia and collectables

When I was a kid, people liked collecting matchbooks. In those days smoking was prevalent in bars, restaurants and hotels and a lot of those establishments would leave baskets of matchbooks at the checkout counter for people to take.
Now with smoking banned in most such businesses, matches have been replaced by mints at the checkout counter or reception desk.
Another collecting trend likely going by the wayside is saving concert and sports tickets as mementos. That’s because thick glossy souvenir paper tickets are giving way to cheap print-your-own tickets or e-tickets.
The benefits to event companies from the shift are obvious. The self-printed and e-tickets have bar codes that can be scanned at the gate, preventing fraud from counterfeit tickets.
But such tickets have no collector value since they’re typically unattractive and can be easily photocopied.
I still have tickets to some concerts that I went to the 1980s and ’90s. But young people today probably aren’t keeping their tickets. Instead, they’re more likely to use cellphone photos of the events as their mementos.

Photos: “Just the Ticket: Ticket Stub Organizer” by Peter Pauper Press sold on Amazon.com.

See also:

Is It The Death of the Concert Ticket?! infographic by Authority Tickets.

The Death of the Concert Ticket (The Presurfer; June 3, 2012)


Saturday, February 14, 2015

18 prominent libertarian celebrities

The mainstream media have picked up that libertarian politics are on the rise.
For instance, the New York Times magazine did a story on Aug. 7, 2014, titled “Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?” And Time magazine published an opinion piece on Feb. 5 titled “Libertarianism Is on the Verge of a Political Breakout.”
Increasingly people are fed up with the nation’s two-party system. They realize that Republicans and Democrats are essentially the same, distinguished only by the special interests they’re each beholden to.
Getting elected to national office is all about campaign fundraising. Corporations and industry groups lead the way and expect something in return for their money. So, politicians in Congress and the White House answer more to them than to their official constituents.
Libertarians believe in less government and more personal freedoms. Candidates describe themselves as fiscally conservative, but socially liberal.
One of my favorite publications, Reason magazine, and its website, Reason.com, carries the torch for libertarian thinking. It’s a great resource.
Reason occasionally spotlights celebrities with libertarian beliefs. Since I run a pop culture and entertainment blog, I thought I’d list some here.

18 prominent libertarian celebrities
  1. Vince Vaughn, actor
  2. Drew Carey, actor, comedian and TV show host
  3. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of “South Park” and “The Book of Mormon”
  4. John Stossel, crusading TV journalist and author
  5. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia
  6. Penn Jillette, magician, actor, author
  7. Clint Eastwood, actor and director
  8. Tom Selleck, actor
  9. Kurt Russell, actor
  10. Kelly Clarkson, singer
  11. Gary Oldman, actor
  12. Jeremy Irons, actor
  13. Howard Stern, radio and TV show host
  14. Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for rock band Rush
  15. Adam Carolla, radio and TV show host
  16. Big Boi, musician, producer and member of Outkast
  17. James Deen, porn actor
  18. Belle Knox, porn actress
References:

Libertarian Celebrities & VIPs (Advocates for Self-Government)

9 Extremely Successful People You Never Knew Were Libertarian (Mic; March 7, 2014)

Ten Celebrities You Probably Knew Were Libertarians (Reason; March 9, 2014)

List of libertarians in the United States (Wikipedia)

Porn Star Belle Knox Is Remaking Herself As A Libertarian Activist (Jan. 29, 2015)

Porn Star James Deen Is a Raging Libertarian, Hates Affirmative Consent (Reason; Nov. 12, 2014)

Legendary Actor Gary Oldman Outs Himself as a ‘Libertarian’ (Reason; June 24, 2014)

Hollywood Actor Goes Full Libertarian On Mayor Bloomberg, Slams ‘Terrible’ Nanny Statism (The Blaze; April 4, 2013)

Big Boi, Of Outkast, Explains Voting For Gary Johnson Over Obama (Huffington Post; Jan. 11, 2013)

A Refresher on Clint Eastwood’s Libertarian Politics (Reason; Aug. 31, 2012)

Photo: TV journalist John Stossel.

Friday, February 13, 2015

These lists are strictly business: Product flops, sexist ads, weird vending machines


The Worst Product Flops Of All Time: 24/7 Wall Street (Huffington Post; March 8, 2014)

10 companies that wasted money on Super Bowl ads (Entertainment Weekly; Feb. 1, 2014)

11 Sexist Vintage Ads That Would Be Totally Unacceptable Today (Huffington Post; March 5, 2014)

19 Times People Tried To Claim Absurdly Basic Ideas As Their Own (Huffington Post; July 18, 2014)

The 6 Most Ridiculous Lies Ever Published as Nonfiction (Cracked; June 22, 2014)

The Weirdest Food Vending Machines Around The World (Huffington Post; Sept. 19, 2012)

13 bands that could reunite, but won’t (AV Club; March 12, 2014)

Photo: Print advertisement for New Coke.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Internet lists: 404 error pages, top words used in viral headlines


17 Ancient Abandoned Websites That Still Work (Mental Floss; Nov. 22, 2013)

The 25 best types of Internet ‘porn,’ ranked (Huffington Post; May 29, 2014)

The top words used in viral headlines (Buffer; March 19, 2014)


7 of the best error messages on the Internet (Fast Company; Feb. 21, 2014)

25 Innovative 404 Error Pages Designs for Inspiration (Designer Ledger; Nov. 5, 2013)

To those 404 error pages, let me add a few more.
Twitter “Fail Whale” designer Yiying Lu created the “Overwhelmed Octopus” as the art for the 404 page for Muck Rack, a social platform for journalists. (Laughing Squid; Aug. 13, 2013)

Photos: Internet error pages (top down) from Klout, the Hollywood Reporter and Fandango. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sexy lists: Top occupations depicted in porn, biggest porn stars

Most searched-for occupations in porn movies (Pornhub Insights; April 16, 2014)

5 Ways Porn Created the Modern World (Cracked; Dec. 11, 2010)

The Dirty Dozen: Porn’s Biggest Stars (CNBC; January 2015)

Top 10 most commonly searched terms on porn sites (PornMD)

20 Pictures that Prove You Have a Dirty Mind (Opposing Views)

Maxim Hot 100 list of sexiest women (Maxim; 2014)

15 Sports Illustrated swimsuit models on film (EW; April 25, 2014)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

TV show lists: Shows cancelled too soon, stars banned from SNL

Gone, Not Forgotten: 16 TV Shows Axed Too Soon (Entertainment Weekly; May 8, 2014)

23 One-Season TV Wonders (Entertainment Weekly; Nov. 9, 2014)

Take your significant other to work day: 32 actors who popped up on their other halves’ sitcoms (AV Club; May 12, 2014)

Getting Banned From ‘SNL’: The Exact Moment That Got 10 Performers Permanently Booted (Uproxx; Feb. 19, 2014)

Cool lists about TV shows (Tech-media-tainment; April 20, 2014)

Photo: The cast of “Firefly.” 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Movie lists: Total B.S. biopics, movie cameos, unreleased films

7 Movies Based on a True Story (That Are Complete Bullshit) (Cracked; July 9, 2008)

6 Movies Based on a True Story (That Are Also Full of Shit) (Cracked; May 12, 2009)

7 Movies Based on a True Story (Are Shockingly Full of Crap) (Cracked; May 12, 2014)

4 Famous People Who Accidentally Created Classic Movies (Cracked; Aug. 18, 2014)

26 Movies That Came Out at the Same Time and Are Basically the Same Movie (E Online; June 16, 2014)

20 Greatest Movie Cameos and Small Roles (Geektyrant; May 2014)

The 10 Most Random Athlete Cameos in Movies and Television (Green Label; Aug. 1, 2014)

12 Lost Movies You May Never Get to See (The FW; April 2013)

Completed movies that still haven’t been released (Den of Geek; April 14, 2014)

Other movie-themed list roundups on Tech-media-tainment:

Pop culture lists: Movies, celebrities, games (May 27, 2010)

Fun movie lists: Taglines, trailers, quotes and fake ‘Seinfeld’ movies (Sept. 8, 2010)

The worst Best Picture winners, remakes, sequels and spin-offs (Sept. 9, 2010)

Movie lists: Summer blockbusters, superior sequels, athlete cameos (Sept. 11, 2010)

More fun movie lists: Futuristic films that proved accurate, plus depictions of the end (Sept. 13, 2010)

Fun movie lists: Most paused movie moments (July 10, 2011)

Fun movie lists: Original movie titles, career-killing films and more (April 18, 2014)

Photo: Fake honest poster for “Argo.” (See others at the Shiznit.)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The most significant U.S. magazine special issues, including SI Swimsuit Issue

Sports Illustrated just published its annual Swimsuit Issue, which has become a huge business for the sports magazine and parent company Time Inc.
Special issues are important to magazines because they drive reader interest and advertising.
What follows is a list of the most prominent magazine annual special issues in the U.S. (in alphabetical order):
  • Allure Nudes Issue
  • ESPN The Body Issue 
  • Esquire Sexiest Woman Alive 
  • Forbes 400 Richest Americans 
  • People Sexiest Man Alive 
  • Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 
  • Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year 
  • Time Person of the Year 
Photos: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2015 featuring cover model Hannah Davis (top); Esquire Sexiest Woman Alive 2014 featuring actress Penelope Cruz. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

LFL women’s football league planning player trading cards … again

Legends Football League, previously known as the Lingerie Football League, is planning to come out with collectable cards spotlighting its sexy women players.
The LFL made the announcement on Jan. 15 on its Facebook page.
“National Trading Card Company set to produce team and favorite player sets in 2015. More details coming,” the LFL said.
The Facebook entry featured sample cards showing three players: Chelsie Jorgenson of the L.A. Temptation, Ange Yangas of the Chicago Bliss and Ashley Johnson of the Atlanta Steam.
However, this is at least the fifth time the LFL has promised to make trading cards of its players. It did so previously in March 2011, June 2011, April 2012 and again in February 2013. But no cards were released.
I searched online for National Trading Card Company and couldn’t find a website for it. I did find an eBay store, however. It appears to specialize in selling replica tickets from major sporting events.
The LFL is scheduled to start its 2015 season on April 11. The league had its inaugural season in 2009. It has since expanded into Canada and Australia.

Photos: Sample LFL trading cards featuring Ashley Johnson of the Atlanta Steam (top), Chelsie Jorgenson of the L.A. Temptation and Ange Yangas of the Chicago Bliss.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Abandoned cities, towns and other places

Some travelers like to partake in the often illegal hobby of exploring deserted places.
WebUrbanist has covered many of these places, from the abandoned city of Pripyat, Ukraine, near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to the Turkish controlled ghost town of Varosha on Cyprus.
What follows is a bunch of web lists to abandoned places, some of which you can visit like Old West ghost towns in the U.S. to others that are strictly off limits.

The World’s 10 Creepiest Abandoned Cities (Gadling; April 27, 2011)

24 Global Tales of Ghost Towns and Abandoned Cities (WebUrbanist; Oct. 19, 2008)

Abandoned Cities: 7 Deserted Wonders of the Modern World (WebUrbanist; Aug. 8, 2007)

Ultimate 33-Part Urbanist Guide to Abandoned Places (WebUrbanist; Dec. 5, 2008)

8 Fascinating Object Graveyards (Oddee; April 8, 2009)

Forgotten Florida: 6 Amazing but Abandoned Places in the Sunshine State (Direct Villas Florida; Sept. 30, 2013)

Photo: The Bodie Hotel at night in the gold-mining ghost town of Bodie, Calif., now part of Bodie State Historic Park. (Wikimedia Commons photo by J├╝rgen Lobert.)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Interesting travel lists: Awesome beaches, deep canyons, scariest hikes

Here are some cool travel-related lists that I’ve come across online. Maybe they’ll give you some ideas for possible trips.

10 Underrated National Parks In America (Huffington Post; Jan. 29, 2015)

10 Awesome Beaches around the World (Touropia; Dec. 12, 2014)

These Are The World’s Least Visited Countries (Huffington Post; Aug. 22, 2014)

9 Big Holes That Aren’t the Grand Canyon (AARP; Aug. 14, 2013)

53 Surreal Places You Need to Visit Before You Die (Flavorverse; July 26, 2014)

These 9 Famous Landmarks Look Absolutely Stunning... Until You Zoom Out (Huffington Post; March 15, 2014)

26 Real Places That Look Like They’ve Been Taken Out Of Fairy Tales (BuzzFeed; April 28, 2014)

Top 10 Unusual Islands (Listverse; Aug. 24, 2010)

World’s Scariest Hikes (Travel + Leisure; August 2010)

10 Real-Life Hidden Treasures You Could Still Find (Listverse; Aug. 3, 2013)

Photo: Trunk Bay on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Photo by Ben Whitney.) 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Copy editors are an expense some publishers don’t want

To save money, many news publishers have cut the ranks of copy editors and fact checkers. The result has been a lot of Internet LOLs as the public shares the latest typos, misspellings and other errors copy editors presumably would have caught.
When I started out in the newspaper business in the mid-1980s, news stories would pass through several editors before they were published. Reporters didn’t even write their own headlines.
Today in the 24-hour news cycle online, copy editors are seen as a bottleneck and an unnecessary expense.
Reporters these days write their own headlines, do search engine optimization (SEO) and often supply their own photos and videos. If a typo or error gets through, and it’s seen later, someone will edit it online after it’s published. Print editions are stuck with the mistakes.
Today, spell checking applications in word processor software have largely replaced copy editors. But spell check won’t catch many mistakes as the following examples prove.

“We may never no why he attacked” – headline from the Detroit Free Press in August 2012. (See image at top.)

“Let is snow, let is snow, let is snow” – headline from Brattleboro Reformer in Brattleboro, Vt., on Dec. 27, 2012.

“Atlanta’s Snow Debacle 2014! What happen? Why It Happen? Can it happen Again?” – headline from The Atlanta Voice for the Jan. 31-Feb. 6, 2014, issue.

The Birmingham News in Birmingham, Ala., misidentified a bunch of classic rockers in a graphic for a feature in March 2014.

See also “The year in media errors and corrections 2014” from the Poynter Institute.

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