Off the top

     Bad news, big sisters: A new study finds that firstborn girls are more likely to be overweight or obese than their second-born sisters.

(Los Angeles Times)


First, fast and wrong



Stock art ‘achievement’ of the weekend

From the Philadelphia Inquirer.



Wooden ships, iron men and cub reporters

What do a food writer at the Los Angeles Times, a senior writer for the Wall Street Journal based in London, and a features and enterprise sports writer for the Washington Post   have in common?

Aside from dream jobs, they started their careers in metro newsrooms around the time they received their driver’s licenses. “I relied on rides from (newspaper) friends, the city bus system and a pair of roller blades to get to and from the newsroom,” said Rick Maese of the Washington Post.

Biographies are filled with stories of famous people whose career path was struck by an early childhood experience (think of George Washington and the cherry tree). Newsrooms seem to be filled with people who knew in adolescence that this business was in their bones.

Like so many traditions of the business that have died in the bonfire of expense cuts over the past decade, we’ve lost that “take a chance on this kid” mentality that served us so well.

(Editor & Publisher)

Okay, but next time try harder on finding stories of early childhood experiences.


This and that

Since the days when most major cities supported multiple newspapers, the news media has long been subject to groupthink, and prone to search for sensation. But as more readers move toward online social networks, and as publishers desperately seek scale to bring in revenue, many have deplored a race toward repetitive, trivial journalism, so noisy that it drowns out more considered work.

(New York Times)

Or to put it another way: Journalism, which since Tut’s time has tried to be exciting, continues to try to be exciting, even if electrons have displaced stone chisels.



Help wanted

Job of the day: The New Times is looking for a arts editor. Get your resumes in! (Journalism Jobs)


Knowledge of English helpful but not required.



Because I felt like it, that’s why

An idyllic city setting was marred by a horrific assault early Tuesday when a woman was raped near the Central Park Boathouse, police said.

The unidentified 22-year-old victim was walking through the iconic park near E. 74th St. about 3 a.m. with her attacker when the suspect forced himself on her, cops were told.

When the rape was over, the suspect, described as a Hispanic man in his 20s or 30s, escorted the woman out of the park but doubled back to get a cellphone he left behind, officials said.

The woman bolted, flagged down a cab and was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital for treatment, cops said.

The woman identified her attacker, said he was an acquaintance, but wouldn’t say more, officials said.

She was being questioned by Manhattan Special Victims Unit detectives Tuesday morning. The rapist remained at large.

This is the second rape to be reported in Central Park this year, according to NYPD statistics. Overall crime in the park had jumped by 26% as of Sunday, thanks mostly to a spike in robberies.

(New York Daily News)

(“Thanks” to?)


Those were the days

logo-test-biz-copy-editorsThis still stands as the best lede of the past 30 years:

NEW YORK — The stock market crashed yesterday.

(Wall Street Journal)




Had to get black in in there.

The dramatic trial of a Colorado neuroscience student who swathed himself in black body armor and unleashed a hail of fatal gunfire into a crowded midnight movie showing ended Friday when a jury spared the life of James E. Holmes, sentencing him to life in prison without possibility of parole.

(Los Angeles Times)


Stop right there

Tsomo escaped Tibet last year on a zipline that carried her into Nepal over a chasm of jagged rocks and a river gushing white as frothing milk.

(Los Angeles Times)



The less things change, etc.


(“The Kingdom and the Power,” 1969)




Pressing the flesh on the campaign trail

Republican presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie confirmed that he has used birth control on Tuesday during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.

NBC News


And then I stopped reading

Centennial, Colorado (CNNJames Eagan Holmes did not start out in this world as a psycho killer.



And then I stopped reading

Things you didn’t know about Kentucky Fried Chicken

Whether you call it KFC or Kentucky Fried Chicken, the restaurant that made founder Colonel Sanders a household name is one of the world’s biggest and most successful fast food chains. But even if no Sunday dinner is complete without a bucket of that “finger-lickin’ good” chicken, we bet there’s a lot you didn’t know about this international chain.

(Fox News)


Whose children?

The heart-wrenching tragedy that befell Madyson “Maddy” Middleton in Santa Cruz is highly unlikely to happen to any of our children.

(San Jose Mercury News)


Labor Reporting 101

The company “offers” and the union “demands.” (Bloomberg)
The telecommunications giant is pushing back against union demands such as increasing tuition assistance and eliminating employee health-insurance contributions, which were instituted for the first time in the 2012 contract. Verizon’s initial offer in June included a 2 percent wage increase in each of the first two years of the three-year contract, plus a lump-sum payment in the final year.



The mind-reading continues

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is continuing to assess whether to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, and will probably make a decision next month, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.


Of course, only one person has knowledge of Biden’s thinking. That would be a pretty good source. Anyone else: bunk.


Stop right there

A 115-year-old U.S. law that’s grown like kudzu …



That’ll do it

You don’t even have to be a weather amateur. (Albuquerque Journal)



And then I stopped reading

He suffered for his art. Now it’s the reader’s turn.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Media goodbyes must be the equivalent of root canals for readers.

The sentimentality. The faux humility. The ego. Somewhere, someone has to stop it.

But it won’t be me.

(David Weidner in MarketWatch)