Mar 4, 2009

Your daily nonsense from the New York Times

The New York Times was especially prolific on the nonsense front today.

First, in an article about organic food:

"Although the rules governing organic food require health inspections and pest-management plans, organic certification technically has nothing to do with food safety."

Hm. In what way do health inspections technically have nothing to do with food safety?
Secondly, and somewhat more delightfully, we have an article about the science of free throws in basketball. I'd often wondered about this, and it seems like the stats on what percentage of free throws are successful have stayed static for decades. So they're setting the stage, talking about how weird this is, and of course you're going to want a professional opinion on the matter, so they come up with the following:

"'It’s unbelievable,' Larry Wright, an adjunct professor of statistics at Columbia, said as he studied the year-by-year averages. 'There’s almost no difference. Fifty years. This is mind-boggling.'"

There you have it. This man's mind has been boggled by a straight line.
And finally, in the "just saying what happened is boring" class of nonsense, the intro to an article about Google's digitized book settlement:

"Last month an e-mail message washed up at the offices of The Cook Islands News in the South Pacific."


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