Monday, August 18, 2014

Robin Williams

One of the biggest news stories last week was the tragic suicide of comedian Robin Williams. There is no question that the world lost a great comic genius. His improvisational skills were unparalleled, and he made a lot of people laugh, including me.

Many of his fans, along with other Hollywood stars he preformed with, have talked about his warmth, passion, and humor, and they were uniformly stunned that a man who was so delightful and had everything one could want, would just kill himself like that.

But when I read the news, I wasn't the least bit surprised. Sad, definitely, but not surprised.

Although Robin Williams could make me laugh, he also creeped me out a little bit. Not intentionally, of course, but whenever I watched him I always felt a little uneasy. I sensed he had a dark side. It was nothing I could put my finger on or in any way define. Just a vague sense that deep inside of him something was terribly amiss. So while I found him to be entertaining, I never became a big fan. Something I can't define about him disturbed me enough that I never felt drawn to him as many people were.

When Mrs. Doubtfire came out, a movie which had some sad undertones along with its delightful humor, I tried to explain this feeling to someone but they looked at me like I was from Mars. So I'm wondering if anyone else picked up on it, or am I the only one?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 8

This was just a little Boo-Boo, the kind that might slip by any writer from time to time. It was in an August 14th story about a new ordinance in Sand City prohibiting camping on the beach. In one paragraph was a double negative reference to the "no anti-camping law." 

I've done this sort of thing before. I'll start to write something one way, then go back and write it another way, and forget to delete the unneeded words. So the writer probably started with "no camping law" then decided to make it "anti-camping law" but he forgot to delete the "no" resulting in a double negative that means the opposite of what was intended.

It's quite understandable that the writer missed his mistake. That's one reason why newspapers have editors, to catch mistakes before the news is printed. But as I've noted in previous Mental Notes, the Herald doesn't have its own editor anymore, and things like this are slipping through the cracks.

Click image to enlarge.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 7

This promo was in today's Herald on page B-11.

"Is that a phone in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?"

Click image to enlarge.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 5&6

When I started this Herald Boo-Boo Watch I didn't really expect to be posting entries more than once a week. But the Herald's careless errors keep rolling off the presses with disturbing regularity. I suspect that Dismantle-it First Media's consolidated production staff in Chico is spread way too thin to do adequate proofreading, or even automated spell checking, as we see below.

Boo-Boo number 5 comes from the Monday August 4th Opinion page. Two of the three commentaries that day had headlines, but for some odd reason, one headline went missing.

Click image to enlarge.

And Boo-Boo number 6 was also on the Opinion page the very next day. Just a simple typo, but a glaringly obvious one that should have been caught, by spell check if not by the human eye.

Click image to enlarge.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch part 4

I didn't expect to be back here so soon, but mere hours after I posted the last Herald Boo-Boo another one fell into my lap.

On the Herald's Opinion page the newspaper occasionally prints comments that readers post online. In the print edition this feature is called "Sounding Off." A quote is printed in a black box and the screen name of the individual is printed beneath it along with the title of the article they were commenting on. As an example, here is one from July 30th that is properly formatted.

Click to enlarge image.
The Sounding Off printed on August 1st, however, was missing its credits, except, curiously, for the last four words of one article title. 

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But it could be worse. A month or so ago there was a silent "Sounding Off." I wish I'd saved that one. The space was there, but it was completely blank. So I suppose partially blank means they're improving. Progress, I guess.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch Part 3

I had intended to post this several days ago but Blogger wasn't playing nice with the picture. Anyway, part 3 of the Monterey Herald Boo-Boo Watch is from the July 22nd issue. In Herald math 22 x $1,000 = $220,000!

Click image to enlarge.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Herald Boo-Boo Watch parts 1&2

As I promised a couple days ago, here are the first two installments of the Herald Boo-Boo Watch wherein we take a look at the careless errors made by Monterey Herald since editing and production was moved out of town.

Parts 1 & 2 are being combined since they both appeared on July 18th.

Part 1 was on Page 1, and had me asking "100 miles south of what?"
Click image to enlarge. press Esc to return.

Part 2 was a USGS earthquake hazard map on page 6. At first glance I assumed the darker areas were higher risk zones and lighter shades were lower risk zones. Then I looked at the key and realized the top two shades were the same. So were the fourth and sixth shades. And the third shade from the top was lighter than the fifth shade. Evidently the original USGS map was in color and the Herald converted it to black and white without accounting for the fact that different colors can show up as the same shade of grey when converted.

Click image to enlarge. press Esc to return.
And notice the Herald's caption. It says this map is undated. so we have no way of knowing if it is the current map or an outdated one!

Part 3 will appear soon. It involves a peculiar form of math.