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Archive for the category “BBC headlines”

BBC Headlines: Crisis! Loo Shortage!

We begin with the ever-conscientious British Parliament: MPs take on the cistern. Apparently the public toilets in England need some overhauling.

The best part about that article, though, is one of the pictures embedded in it:


Caption: Phyllis Starkey is on a mission to solve Britain’s loo shortage

That poor woman, forever associated with “Britain’s loo shortage.” Maybe when you google that, you will get Phyllis Starkey’s face…?!?

This next one just shows you that I’m becoming desensitized to the BBC’s terse headlines style. The headline is ‘Policeman praised for mud rescue’. Nope, he did not rescue the mud as this headline seems to imply. He rescued two children from the mud. Prepositions! A dying breed.

When all else fails, the Phoenix tries shake and sprinkle.

And last but not least, the disabled bowler avoids prison, but the lollipop man attacker is imprisoned. Tough luck on that last one.

BBC Headlines: Getting Eaten by Dragons

Ah the weekend. Full of wonderful, weird stories from the BBC.

Like this one, which goes into detail about how likely you are to be eaten by a komodo dragon if you wash ashore on an island, dehydrated and near death. Not likely, if there’s only one or two and you have enough strength to pelt it with stones. Good to know!

And this one: Cancer boy’s stories help charity. Seriously?!?! Cancer boy? This kid survives a terrible disease and writes two books, the money from which he donates to a charity, and all you can come up with is CANCER BOY?!?! I would have at least thrown in some alliteration: ‘Cancer boy chronicles case for charity cash’ has a very nice ring to it.

This one takes a minute to unpack. The headline is: Stab death of porn charge ex-Pc. What’s going on here, you ask? Ok. A former police constable who was up on charges of child pornography was stabbed to death. But I don’t know how you’re going to figure that out from the headline, which is weird and garbled.

I wish there was a picture for this one: Kitten rescued by vacuum cleaner.

And finally for those panda-porn aficionados out there: Giant panda sex secrets revealed. Oh yes, there is video.

BBC Headlines: Oh, Blah.

This picture pretty much sums up how I feel about the BBC website:

You have to read this whole story: Red faces over ‘blah’ drug answer. Someone actually responded to a government request about drugs in prison by writing “Blah.” And it “only occurred in the version sent to journalists.” Someone out there is generating material for the Absurd/Alliterative Headlines Department…

BBC Headlines: Children Brush Alone

This is very troubling: Many children ‘brush teeth alone.’ Unsupervised teeth-brushing is a huge crisis nowadays.

Update on the ear-biter is here. He’s going to jail, obviously. And disturbingly, the article reports that he “invited bus passengers to photograph the severed part.” Yipes!

And finally, sausage saves knife accused woman. Because in this age where our heroes are increasingly discredited, the sausage can still stand as a beacon for morality and courage.

BBC Headlines: Monkey Puzzle Tree

Right away, let me just bring your attention to the headline that BBC Stars are not paid too much. Instead, I would like to argue that the BBC headline-writers are not paid enough!

I mean, granted, this is seven words so a bit longer than the formula, but you can’t deny this is seven words of brilliance: Man bit off and hid friend’s ear. Succinct yet chilling. And of course, this is from Wales.

More bits of poetic brilliance:

Dirty hospital practices revealed!

Church in the sea goes electric.

And frankly, I know you were on tenterhooks about this one, but the monkey puzzle tree decision is due. So calm down already!

They’re on to me

I check the BBC News – Wales site so often that I got asked to do an opinion survey. Clearly, they’re on to my frequent cruising for another piece of gold from the Absurd/Alliterative Headline Department. Soon, I’m sure I will be recruited to join their elite ranks.

Meanwhile, the story labeled ‘Strong winds wreck campsite tents’ was the number one Welsh news story on Wednesday. Really, you guys? That was number one? You had nothing better to read about?

And there was Anger over exploded garage mess. I should think so!

Nice bit of alliteration here: New reef brings surf safety fears.

And last but not least, somebody call Arnold Schwarzenegger. Skynet is being built in Britain.

BBC Headlines: Monkey Brains/Robot Arms

Credit to Martin Roberts, who found and alerted me to the ‘Monkey’s brain controls robot arm’ story AND video on the BBC science page right now.  I can think of nothing better than bringing together the monkey and the robot in this incredibly awesome way.  

If the Ricky Gervais podcasts were still going on, I’m sure that would make it into “Monkey News.”  

BBC Headlines: Cake Poison Woman

I’m sure when Carlos Santana penned his magnum opus, “Black Magic Woman”, he never imagined that I’d be sitting at my desk humming the tune to the BBC headline about the “Cake Poison Woman.”

I’ve been following her saga since April 2nd, when I learned that the Cake poison woman pleads guilty. (Please note the picture of the cake in question, plus the caption which informs you that “blobs of the poison are clearly visible in the cake.”)

Well, today our long transatlantic nightmare finally comes to a close. “Poison cake woman spared prison”! Hurrah! Details are here.

Sadly, no more pictures of the cake in question and its little green blobs.

BBC Headlines: The Beavers are Back!

Of course, front and center, there’s a cute-cat-in-Japan article. Millions are dying from famine, natural catastrophe and senseless civil war all over the place, but it is the cat conductor on the railways that matters!

Fancy dress man ‘killed by punch’. At first, I thought it was the drink punch, but no, it is the throwing-a-fist punch. The worst part? He was dressed like a Ghostbuster.

Try to say this one quickly five times: Barbecue embers sparks grass fire.

Science probe for space pistols.

Beavers to return after 400 years. Um…where have they been all this time???

BBC Headlines: Pet Skunk Stink & Dead Fly Case

One of my favorite things to do online is a quick perusal of the BBC website for its more unusual (read: absurd) headlines. For some reason, they stick to a very strict 5-6 word headline limit, which can result in some strangely cryptic and brilliant headlines. I started this years ago when a friend of mine got me hooked on it, but recently I started keeping records of the best ones from each day. I’ve just been sharing them with two coworkers, but it seems like it is time to keep them as a part of my blog. Thus, we’re going to start the “BBC Headlines” label and throw it open to the general public.

Before I get into the headlines of this week, though, let me show you why this is worth doing. Here are some of the “best” ones we’ve found recently:

From April 7th, an example of their commitment to alliterative effect: Drug dog suspended for duck death

From April 18th, about a queer smell coming from Germany: Pong in the air is Euro-Whiff (My coworker and I actually put this to music, so we can sing the line “pong in the air is euro-whiff..” Its quite catchy. Credit: Meghan Roe)

From April 23rd, an example of the wonderfully cryptic tone in the 6-word style: No sex for all-girl fish species (Credit to Martin Roberts for that one.)

I’ve often speculated that there are some disgruntled, underpaid journos at the BBC who come up with these headlines as a way to mitigate the mind-numbing boredom of covering the local news. I like to call them the Alliterative/Absurd Headlines Department. Whenever there’s a story about a drunk man cutting off his pet snake’s head or an inflatable pig going loose at a concert, they send it over to the A/A HD in order to get a 6 word piece of gold out of it. Let us enjoy their daily work….

Recent headlines:
Hairdresser loses dead fly case. (Not the tragic story of a loss of a box full of dead flies as you might imagine. Credit: Martin Roberts)

Council kicks up pet skunk stink. (They love the smell so much, they just kept kicking it.)

Paint chemicals ‘may harm sperm.’ (On the main page, this head line is “paint chemicals may hit sperm,” which I think adds a little something more, don’t you?)

Bus drivers take saliva samples. Ok, with all due respect to the BBC, you guys could have done so much better with this one. The article mentions that they get ‘spit kits.’ C’mon guys, that one was ripe for a headline! Like: “Bus drivers armed with ‘spit kits'” or “Spit no more on the bus” or something. The Absurd/Alliterative Headline Department at the BBC is definitely phoning it in on that one.

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