January 12, 2010

Headline writing 101: get the reader’s attention

Filed under: Health, Humour, Media — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 12:51

For a perfect example of how to grab the (male) reader’s attention, pay heed to Lester Haines:

Women to ‘chest drive’ Bulgarian airbags
‘Simulated breast prosthesis’ – sport before you import

As you’d imagine, based on the headline, there are images in this article that might be unsafe for certain work environments.

Islam4UK to be banned?

Filed under: Britain, Law, Religion — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 07:25

The BBC reports that the group Islam4UK will be banned under the Terrorism Act:

A radical Islamist group that planned a march through Wootton Bassett will be banned under counter-terrorism laws, Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said.

Islam4UK had planned the protest at the Wiltshire town to honour Muslims killed in the Afghanistan conflict.

The government had been considering outlawing the group — Islam4UK is also known as al-Muhajiroun.

A spokesman for Islam4UK told the BBC it was an “ideological and political organisation”, and not a violent one.

Mr Johnson said: “I have today laid an order which will proscribe al-Muhajiroun, Islam4UK, and a number of the other names the organisation goes by.

The strength of the government’s move may be judged by the next statement in the report: “It is already proscribed under two other names — al-Ghurabaa and The Saved Sect.”

So, Islam4UK will be “banned” . . . in the sense that the organization has to come up with another alias, but the group itself will suffer no other hardship? Perhaps I’m missing the point of this little exercise.

European Court of Human Rights may be good for something after all

Filed under: Britain, Europe, Law, Liberty — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 07:11

A twitter update from BBC News (titled, interestingly, “BREAKING NEWS – PLEASE CLONE”), links to this sure-to-be-updated report:

Stop-and-search powers ruled illegal by European court

Police powers to use terror laws to stop and search people without grounds for suspicion are illegal, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.

The Strasbourg court has been hearing a case involving two people stopped near an arms fair in London in 2003.

[. . .]

Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows the home secretary to authorise police to make random searches in certain circumstances.

But the European Court of Human Rights said the people’s rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated.

The court said the stop and search powers were “not sufficiently circumscribed” and there were not “adequate legal safeguards against abuse”.

“You should not obey every sign you see”

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Cancon, Liberty — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 07:03

I’m not even a skater, but I thoroughly agree with Rob Roberts Peter Kuitenbrouwer on this:

Toronto’s biggest skating rink is now (unofficially) open for your winter pleasure.

Please ignore the City of Toronto’s yellow plastic signs, fastened to trees and posts around Grenadier Pond in High Park, which read, “Danger. Ice unsafe. Keep off. Municipal Code #608.”

The affirmation on these signs is false, as hundreds proved this past weekend when we piled onto the city’s largest pond. Some cross-country skied. Some walked dogs. A photographer from a community newspaper got on to take pictures. One young man who had a thick Russian accent brought an ice drill and bored eight holes (the ice is about 25 cm thick) and sat down on his cooler to fish.

Mostly, we skated: people shoveled off five beautiful hockey rinks along the 1.2 km-long expanse of ice, linked by ice lanes. Shinny was never so glorious. Yesterday I skated again, joined once more by skaters, skiers and walkers.

Flaunting the municipal signs doesn’t bother me; I explained to my son (who is seven) that, “you should not obey every sign you see.”

Update: Corrected attribution to the actual author of the piece. I must say that the National Post author attributions are sometimes rather confusing. The page currently says the piece is by Rob Roberts, but elsewhere on the site, Chris Selley refers to it as Peter Kuitenbrouwer’s article. Selley also perfectly encapsulates the municipal government’s preferences: “Just do what the government says and no one gets hurt”.

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