department of corrections, 2007

futureatlas.jpgIt has been a while since I visited Regret the Error, a compendium of journalistic pratfalls, but its year-end prizes, the Cronks, are right up there with the Ig Nobel awards. I particularly liked:

In the May 25 “Explainer,” Michelle Tsai asserted that an eight ball is about 10 lines of cocaine. While the size of a line depends on personal preference, most users would divide an eight ball into more than 25 lines.

I’m sure the Slate editorial staff researched this issue thoroughly.

And this Correction of the Year winner:

Following the portrait of Tony and Cherie Blair published on 21 April in the Independent Saturday magazine, Ms Blair’s representatives have told us that she was friendly with but never had a relationship with Carole Caplin of the type suggested in the article. They want to make it clear, which we are happy to do, that Ms Blair “has never shared a shower with Ms Caplin, was not introduced to spirit guides or primal wrestling by Ms Caplin (or anyone else), and did not have her diary masterminded by Ms Caplin.”

The secret to juicy corrections, apparently, is to write a piece so full of outrageous and unfounded rumors that you have an automatic sequel in the works. Then there’s the correction that makes you wonder just what it is they are smoking at New Scientist (and can I please have some):

Several readers complain that the dancing cow illustrating Feedback, 20 January, appears to have six teats. It was of course drawn as seen by an intoxicated fellow dancer.

Personally, I’d like to give Time Magazine’s FISA follies an Incorrect Corrections award – but Wired already did that.

photo courtesy of  futureatlas.

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