Lately I’ve been keeping a headline file. Duh headlines:

Texting while driving is reckless

Indictment is cloud over Kelty campaign (Non-Fort Wayner explainer: The indicted one is Kelty.)

You-gotta-read-this headlines:

Marquess of Blandford jailed for road rage

Earth Might Survive Sun’s Explosion

3 Ohioans convicted of trying to sell catfish bait as heroin

Can’t forget Misc Stupid:

Pigskin breeds thought

And then there are the headlines that can’t quite capture the full scope of an event of tragic stupidity, like this: Baby killed in dog attack. You have to read the story to imagine the scene — a Warren party full of teenagers, one with her new baby, one with his recently rescued Rottweiler with a history of aggressive tendencies toward children. The mother goes to mix formula, someone puts the carseat on the floor, the dog “comes out of nowhere,” and justlikethat, a four-month-old life is snuffed out. Some people shouldn’t own dogs, some people shouldn’t be parents, and sometimes a little baby is the one who has to tell them.

The dog’s name was “Chopper,” by the way. Always get the dog’s name — first rule of reporting.

Alan wrote a story once about some people who bred miniature horses. They thought they were cute. They had been breeding shih tzus, but once they saw the little horses they got out of the little-dog game. A copy editor changed “shih tzus” to “dogs.” I can’t recall why; probably he or she thought “shih tzu” might make people think “shit zoo” in their heads, and that would be wrong. Alan told his boss, “If I have to tell them why ‘shih tzu’ is funnier than ‘dogs,’ I just give up.” The mini-horse people provided one of the mascots for the Indianapolis Colts, a stallion that had been fine until they started breeding it, and it began nipping the cheerleaders. Testosterone — cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

I’m meandering here, aren’t I? Whimsy, dead babies, shih tzus — I should pick a topic and stick with it. OK. How about my love for Detroitblog? Of all the ones in my RSS bookmarks, this is one I look forward to most. It’s entirely anonymous, although my spidey sense told me early on it was written by a journalist, and a few months ago this was confirmed by One Who Knows, but one who steadfastly refused to spill the final beans. He doesn’t write often, but when he does I’m always charmed — the top-of-the-pile post about the Bali Barber Shop is a perfect example, taking note of the humblest of businesses in a grungy of the city that somehow hangs on. This isn’t a very pretty town, but it’s full of places like this, a little pocket of cheer tended by an 80-year-old man who refuses to give up and by soldiering on, gives Detroit a flavor all its own.

For purposes of space, I’ll spare you my rant on why I can’t read stuff like this in the daily newspaper. I know why the blogger keeps it on the DL.

Today is a morning for maintenance — my car’s due for its 50K service, and in celebration, I’m going to the dealer’s waiting room without my laptop, only one of the three books I checked out of the library yesterday. Whichever captures my fancy will replace the months-old “Stalin’s Ghost” on the nightstand later today. I know, I know — try to contain your excitement.

Posted at 7:52 am in Media |

19 responses to “Headlines.”

  1. MarkH said on September 13, 2007 at 9:05 am

    When I first started J-school WAY-back-when at OSU, our first overview course on reporting had a textbook containing little instructional tidbits throughout the margins. Things such as “Headlines We Can Do Without”. Here’s one over a story on a military fighter that nosedived into a suburban New Jersey McDonald’s, taking many lives including children celebrating a birthday:

    Head: “Jet Kills 22”

    Kicker above: “Crashes Kids’ Party”

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  2. brian stouder said on September 13, 2007 at 9:10 am

    A headline I saw today, regarding an unfolding story about Steve Fossett’s presumed demise

    Other families hope Fossett effort yields closure


    I heard a week ago that the search planes and so on had found a previously unknown or crash site or two, which intrigued me…and then I read in this article

    The small air force combing the Nevada wilderness for Steve Fossett has spotted a half-dozen uncharted crash sites that may bring some solace to the families of fliers who took off into the desert sky decades ago, never to be heard from again. William Ogle hopes some of the newly discovered wreckage will be from the plane his father was flying when he vanished on a flight from Oakland, Calif., to Reno. Ogle was just 5 at the time.

    Isn’t this somewhat amazing, and more than a little telling?

    We have Google Earth, and searchable satellite photos and all the rest, and this big fish fellow flies off and disappears into the ether (without a flight plan – which I thought was a no-no), and only THEN do we find all these other sites?

    It is a strange world

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  3. Danny said on September 13, 2007 at 10:08 am

    That dog story is replayed far too often for my liking. Just last week I heard about a woman, I think in San Francisco, who got mauled by a pit bull while trying to save her toddler. She put the child in a trash can for safety, but the dog kept trying to knock over the trash can to get at the him/her.

    These stories pop up often enough that I think I am for the extermination of aggressive dog breeds.

    Edit: Apologies to Petey of the Little Rascals. I did love that dog.

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  4. Joe K said on September 13, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Flight plans are not required to fly under vfr(visual flight rules, 1000ft ceilings and 3 miles visibility) We here in the USA are free to fly in unrestricted airspace when ever we please. Now was it SMART for Fosset to go out without telling anybody where he was going? No way, Not in that country. If you have a question on aviation I am a flight instructor and can probably answer you.
    Cheers and Tally Ho,

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  5. Danny said on September 13, 2007 at 10:17 am

    OK, Joe, I’ll give you a try. Where is Amelia Earhart? 🙂

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  6. Joe K said on September 13, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Amelia is probably at the bottom of the pacific ocean. She was not that great of a pilot and her navigator was a drunk, or she could have been spying on the Jap’s and got shot down, but the president knew about it in a memo a month before it happened, and covered it up so we would not be prepared at Pearl Harbor and then be attacked giving him an excuse to declare war on Germany who had not attacked us. I really think Pres Bushes Grand Father was a fault some how.
    P.S. Nancy,
    What’s with the people building there own guiatine’s in Detroit???

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  7. Danny said on September 13, 2007 at 10:44 am

    LOL! Thanks for connecting the dots between Pearl Harbor and World Trade Center.

    That reminds me, I just watched Conspiracy Theory with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts last week. Not a bad flick.

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  8. MichaelG said on September 13, 2007 at 10:47 am

    I’ve been following the Fossett story with some interest. I used to own a plane similar to the one Fossett was flying when he disappeared. I had a Citabria 7ECA and he has a Super Decathlon. It’s like I had the basic Mustang and he has the Jack Roush super bomb but it was the same basic airframe. Stand 20 feet away and the uninitiated couldn’t tell the difference. I’ve also done some flying over northern Nevada. Mountain flying is a whole other discipline from basic flatland flying and there is a host of different and special ways to kill yourself. Minden, NV, just east of Tahoe, is a big time sailplane center and many records have been flown from there. The SF Chronicle – sfgate.com – has had very good coverage of the search. See today’s front page for example.
    Some friends died just 2 weeks ago taking off from a small airport in foothill El Dorado County. A36 Bonanza, 1300 feet elevation, 100 degrees temp, 300 lbs overweight, took off downwind into rising terrain. The airplane didn’t want to fly, hit the fence and endo’ed. The accident was filmed by Fox news who happened to be on site. It has been making the rounds of the internet. Perhaps you saw it.

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  9. brian stouder said on September 13, 2007 at 11:03 am

    OK – a question: Why would a person not want to file a flight plan? Is it an involved process that one skips if one can?

    I would have thought it would amount to ‘cheap insurance’ – to give emergency responders a leg up if you happened to end your flight sooner than you originally wanted to…

    How strictly must you adhere to a flight plan, once filed? (for example, must you specify certain way points?)

    To the uninitiated (me!), it would seem that before you’re ever wheels-up, you would have a definite idea where and when you want to be wheels-down again, and that a flight plan would be a fairly simple affair…?

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  10. LA mary said on September 13, 2007 at 11:24 am

    I’m going to wonder all day about “Pigskin Breeds Thought.” That guy gets paid to write?

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  11. nancy said on September 13, 2007 at 11:31 am


    Paid, but not much.


    As for the guillotine story, all I can say is, some people are on a mission, and you’d best not get in their way.

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  12. MichaelG said on September 13, 2007 at 11:42 am

    Good, Mary. I thought I was the only one who didn’t get the pigskin quote.

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  13. Joe K said on September 13, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    You may file a flight plan at any time. I file one each day when I go from Auburn to Detroit to Cleavland, running checks, this allows me to enter controlled airspace around major cities, and I am talking to atc at all times. They tell me where to go and report traffic to me. You can also go into major airports vfr without a flight plan providing you contact by radio the apropriate atc facility and have a transponder which sends out a code with your altitude and airspeed to the controllers. A flight plan is not hard to file and only takes a few minutes to do. I file from my home computer. If you are flying from a specific place, say Fort Wayne to Lansing Mich You could file one and some one would know where you were and atc will call traffic out. If you failed to show up some one will come looking for you. However if you were just out riding around like Fosset you would not need one. It would be like you filing a driving plan each time you went for a ride in the car.
    As for adhering to your plan,you file to go whichever way you want to go say Fwa to Lichfield vor then to Lan at 5000ft, atc may need you to go to Battle Creek then Lansing at 7000ft due to traffic. If you lose radio communication then you fly what you filed and atc will clear the path for you based on your rout.

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  14. brian stouder said on September 13, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks, Joe; interesting stuff.

    Other than as a paying passenger strapped into a hurtling piece of machinery, all I’ve ever ‘flown’ are computer simulations (not a lot of g-loads on those!)…and those were easy to takeoff, and almost impossible to land again, in one piece and where you were supposed to.

    At COSI in Columbus, you can ‘fly’ a dead-stick space shuttle landing…I crashed the thing four times before I got the hang of it!

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  15. MarkH said on September 13, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    MichaelG, I just saw that footage on YouTube, and it’s pretty devastating, especially for you, I’m sure, since you knew those people. My question is, how experienced a pilot was he? He had to know he had two strikes against him: low air density from high temps, and at or above, weight limits. So, why choose to take off DOWNWIND?

    Brian, I will admit that my computer addition weakness, other than the internet and subsequent visits to NN.C, is Microsoft Flight Simulator. Other than the lack of G-Forces, of course, and while not COMPLETELY accurate in input response, it’s a great way learn much about piloting an aircraft. And with so many downloadable aircraft from different websites, it keeps things interesting.

    What I really find fascinating is the inclusion of all known and registered airfields in the world, and that’s virtually ALL of them, public and private. Right across the the main highway into Jackson from my house is Melody Ranch Airstrip, (WY31). It’s private, short and gravelled. I’m always testing to see the largest aircraft I can take off and land from there. 737’s are out, but a Lear can be done. I wouldn’t try that in real life though (!).

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  16. Sue said on September 13, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Marquess of Blandford – isn’t he a descendant of Consuelo Vanderbilt, who was kindasorta married off by her mother to a previous marquess when those impoverished English titleholders were coming across the pond heiress-hunting at the turn of the last century? There is a recent biography of Consuelo, (a good one, too) – has that one crossed your nightstand?

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  17. MichaelG said on September 13, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Mark, the pilot of the A36 had something over 10,000 hours in all. He had flown jets in the military and had several thousand hours in the aircraft that he crashed. The airstrip is called Cameron Park and is in the foothills at about 1300 feet. He took of downwind toward rising ground because the winds were minimal (every bit does count, though) and the ground rises more steeply in the other direction. Who can say what is in somebody’s mind when they make the decisions that we all say we would never make. Downwind. Overweight. Density altitude of I don’t know what. Even then things wouldn’t have been so bad if they hadn’t hit the fence and flipped. They would have wiped out the plane but nobody would have been killed. I didn’t know the pilot well. I have only met him a couple of times and that several years ago. The guy I knew was the one who died. The pilot later said to another friend of mine that the plane “just didn’t want to fly.” They were on their way to Baja to go diving. They had all their gear on board. I do know this: Things happen fast.

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  18. MarkH said on September 13, 2007 at 7:43 pm

    I hear you, Michael. Multiple hours at the yoke does not make things foolproof, certainly. Stuff happens. Also, not seeing what was at the other end of the runway, and therefore not knowing what dictated the pilot’s choice in calm winds now gives me pause.

    Sad nevertheless.

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  19. basset said on September 13, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    reminds me of the time four of us went to the Talladega race in a Cessna 172, must have been twenty years ago… it was the one where Bobby Allison tore out a big chunk of front-stretch fence and nearly went into the crowd.

    anyway, at the time and it may still be true, that strip was only controlled two days a year, on race days… controller came in with portable radios. you’re supposed to call in half an hour out but there was so much traffic that we had the strip in sight and still hadn’t been able to say anything. about that time the controller said, and I remember it word for word…

    “everybody just pick one out and follow him in.”

    so after we nearly got rear-ended by some kind of turbo Piper twin (“Who’s that on final?” “We are.” “No, we are, get out of the way!”) which blew over us and landed halfway down the strip, we finally got it on the ground and an FAA inspector showed up, badge and all. no problem or anything, just doing a spot license check, we were good.

    he told us they’d busted another 172 with four student pilots in it the day before… for taking off into the pattern. (this is the aero equivalent of four kids with learners’ permits driving up an interstate ramp the wrong way and into traffic.)

    inspector said they went straight to jail.

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