Thursday, 7 January 2010

Media horse shit

This side of the world I still don't watch TV because most of the programming is poor, and only the odd series piques my interest. Especially when the news tries to report on anything remotely scientific. Like the story where two tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate went missing. On both Global and CBC I was astonished to hear Ammonium Nitrate described as an 'explosive'.

What utter bollocks these ill educated media types spout. Ammonium Nitrate's primary use is as fertiliser, a nitrogen 'improver'. Only when mixed with the correct proportions of fuel oil does it become ANFO, a low grade explosive. ANFO based devices are more like the old fashioned 'sugar and weedkiller' mix. More an unstable compound than a proper 'explosive'.

FFS! Does no one in news 'reporting' do any fact checking any more? Lots of things can be made to go 'bang', but they're not definitively 'explosives'. Under the right conditions, even foodstuffs can detonate. Like the 'great custard explosion' at General foods in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK in 1981 (I am not making this up) fine atmospheric corn flour dust built up at the plant making the excellent Birds Custard powder and 'flashed'. Apparently it blew out a section of wall and concrete floor at the plant.

Even when the RCMP reported that there was no missing fertiliser, just a clerical error, the anchor people still talked of 'possible terrorist threats' to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver based on a non existent 'theft'. Talk about a non story. Must have been a really slow news day.

Stuff this, I'm off dirt biking this weekend. One of my neighbours is loaning me a Kawasaki 650 to play around on, and I'll dig out my old motorcycle jacket (With full body armour) in case of tumbles. I deserve some fun. Anything's better than watching vacuous crap on TV.

1 comment:

George Saint said...

Bill, you're completely right of course and I remember the custard factory explosion, the pictures were superb.

The problem with the media is they need to make money to survive and the only way that's going to happen, since they're not going to be able to force you to pay them for the drivle they spout, is to sell advertising space. Now the only way they can sell that space is if they can show they have a large audience and the only way to do that is to tell sensational stories.

Here's the problem, they concentrate on and over-report the sensational, disaster-based or doom laden stories when they find them and when they can't find them they twist and spin whatever story they are able to find until it fits the same category. That's why people like you and the rest of the Blogosphere are so valuable, simple stories of simple things, some good some bad, sprinkled with thoughts and opinions, telling real life experiences.

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