Sunday, December 20, 2009

Year End Stuff: Errors, Corrections and Ideas

  1. Craig Silverman in Regret the Error: Crunk 2009: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections. The runner-up is from an academic publication:

    British Medical Journal:

    During the editing of this Review of the Week by Richard Smith (BMJ 2008;337:a2719,doi:10.1136/bmj.a2719), the author’s term “pisshouse” was changed to “pub” in the sentence: “Then, in true British and male style, Hammond met Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, in the pub and did a deal.” However, a pisshouse is apparently a gentleman’s toilet, and (in the author’s social circle at least) the phrase “pisshouse deal” is well known. (It alludes to the tendency of men to make deals while standing side by side and urinating.) In the more genteel confines of the BMJ Editorial Office, however, this term was unknown and a mistake was made in translating it into more standard English. We apologise for any misunderstanding this may have caused.

  2. NYTimes' Year in Ideas featuring, among other things, such geeky stuff as: the Polymath project ("Massively Collaborative Mathematics") and the use of the Google's page rank alorithm to model species extinction. A couple of Ig Nobel-worthy things have also made it to the list: cows with names produce more milk, and an empty beer bottle is a sturdier weapon than one with beer in it.