7
Jan 09

BBC Planetomorphosizing Bollocks

FT + Proven By Science1 comment • 224 views

In the old days on FT, when we had a regular science column, we mostly used to post links to the BBC News website and be snarky about their rubbish sicence reporting. WHY DID WE EVER STOP?

Look at the following paragraph regarding the growth of the planet Jupiter taken from the BBC News Science and Environment page (it is bad enough science has to share with environment and is hived off from Technology but…)
“The planet Jupiter must have gained mass fast during its infancy, according to astronomers.”

(I know, to me that’s a sentence but on the Beeb website its a paragraph. In bold.) Anyway that sentence is the justification for the following headline for the article:

BABY JUPITER’S HUGE WEIGHT GAIN

Shall we count the errors in this headline. Not only are they equating a planet with a child, but they make the classic mass/weight error. This would be a childhood which lasted a few million years too. All rolled up into some sort of scare story about how planets are OBESE these days. Such scare stories are the bread and butter of the online news industry and drives hits. Though I clicked on it because I thought it was about the massively fat child of Horton Jupiter of They Came From the Stars (I Saw Them) – FT’s live band of the year in 2000.

(That link does not quite express how impressed Tom was with them in 2000 – sorry.)

Comments

  1. 1
    Martin Skidmore on 7 Jan 2009 #

    I love the fact that they describe forming in anything from 2 to 5 million years as “extremely fast”.

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