Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yahoo!'s Enquiring Minds

Here is the latest example of a headline from what Yahoo! News thinks deserves to be included in their “News For You” list:

Eat the Old: Could Mass Cannibalism Solve a Future Food Shortage?

I assume that most of us know that P. J. O’Rourke was kidding when he wrote Eat the Rich:  A Treatise on Economics;  but at least he chose a better target.  The fact is that the Yahoo! News headline reminded me of the days when it used to be fun skimming National Enquirer headlines while waiting to check out at the supermarket.  In this case, however, the story seems to have come from Life’s Little Mysteries, which is described as “a sister site to LiveScience.”  Why this counts as news is beyond me.

It also set me to wondering just what the public attitude is towards science content these days.  LiveScience is obviously aiming at popularizing that content, presumably “by any means necessary,” as Malcolm X used to say.  This is quite a departure from the days when Popular Science was written for people who wanted to do cool things in their garage, like build a radio-controlled model airplane.  I suppose times changed when those devices became drones and started to be used to drop bombs, rather than harassing the neighbor’s cat.

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