Eating the menu, sucking eggs, and the Five Ws

I recently read an article by Nick O’Neill on his website called ‘How Forbes stole a New York Times article and got all the traffic’. O’Neill examines the comparative successes of the same article published in two prestigious papers under different titles - predictably, the one with the more grabbing title (the Forbes version) did significantly better in terms of hit rates than the other (New York Times) article.

... Because 'doubleplusgood' is so 1984

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell gets stuck into the impoverishment of our language - how we're replacing nuanced adjectives like 'awesome' with 'double-plus-good'. This advertisement on Elizabeth Street in the city struck me as a perfect example: we're no longer saying "this anti-perspiration and deodorant is powerful shit" - instead, we're saying 'double strong'.

Chimera and Bellerophon on the big screen

In the interests of full disclosure, I first learned about the mythical figures Bellerophon and the Chimera through (the rather disappointing) Mission Impossible II. In the film, biochemist Dr. Nekhorvich splices together “strains of influenza to create a cure for all influenzas.” Like the authors of Greek Mythology, he needed to engineer the ultimate enemy – a super-bug named Chimera – to let their greatest hero – the vaccine, aptly named Bellarophon – shine: “Every search for a hero must begin with something that every hero requires; a villain. Therefore, in a search for our hero, Bellerophon, we created a monster Chimera.”