Recycled obituary? Slate‘s designation for an old article being run again is “recycled”, they say “Previously published Slate articles made new”. Perhaps they should have made an exception for this item last week:

Leon Despres, RIP
The author of Slate‘s “Diary of a 100-Year-Old Man” dies at 101.
Leon Despres | recycled | Thursday, 6:03 PM ET

Guy Rundle

Citizen journalism one point, evolutionary instincts for survival nil. Over the weekend there was a massive gas explosion in Moscow that led to an inferno, injuring five people and raising questions about Russia’s aging energy infrastructure and the sanity of Russian civilians. One of the most interesting issues with the explosion, Harvard University’s Neiman lab pointed out on Twitter, can be seen in this video footage. Notice how people are not all running from the explosion, many are walking towards it, recording the scene on their mobile phones:


Citizen journalism gets some points here, but what does this say about human instincts for survival? — Eleri Harris

What’s that on Prince Frederiks’ neck? From the Sunday Telegraph:

A) A cleverly disguised bodyguard standing behind him. B) A blueberry DanishC) A Photoshop malfunction.

Hobnobbery and our Mary. This was in the May 9 edition of the Fremantle Herald, an independent weekly delivered to around 120,000 letterboxes throughout Fremantle and surrounding suburbs. Thank goodness they didn’t misspell hobnob as hobknob, as it appears the artist isn’t the only one looking forward to meeting the pretty Princess Mary:

The happy hour we had to have. Some silver lining in the GFC from the Australian Youth Hotel in Sydney:

Proposal for Press Council revamp. The Australian Press Council is facing a 33 per cent budget cut and the biggest structural shake-up in its history as its newspaper publisher backers share the pain of the economic crisis. Publishers including News Limited, Fairfax Media and APN News & Media last week issued a joint submission to the print watchdog outlining major changes to its membership and functions to cope with the proposed cuts. News Limited group editorial director Campbell Reid tabled the proposal at the council’s meeting on the Gold Coast on Friday. The publishers want to slash industry contributions to the council from $880,000 this financial year to less than $600,000 in 2009-2010. — The Australian

British advertiser make saying sorry the cool thing to do. Sorry, Elton John sang, seems to be the hardest word. But no longer for advertisers. In the last few days Marks & Spencer and the London Evening Standard have decided that large advertising campaigns displaying contrition are the best route to win over the public. In the case of M&S a national press advertising campaign with the headline “We boobed” told women it was dropping its unpopular policy of charging more for larger bra sizes. — Guardian

Saberi’s lawyer in Iran confident of appeal. A lawyer for a jailed American journalist in Iran said Sunday he was optimistic that an appeals court will reduce her eight-year prison sentence for allegedly spying for the United States. Roxana Saberi’s lawyer talked to reporters after his 32-year-old client’s five-hour closed-door appeals hearing. He said he was allowed to defend Saberi and expects the court will make its ruling in the coming days. “I am hopeful and optimistic that there will be a remarkable change to her verdict,” Abdolsamad Khorramshahi said outside the courthouse. — New York Times

Giant water-hating duck hawks Oasis drinks. Mother London’s latest work for Oasis drinks is weird. Mother sets this new ad in a Japanese dorm room, where one female student is somewhat suggestively feeding Oasis to another on the bed. A couple of parental types (university employees?) storm in, furious that the teens aren’t drinking water and accuse them of being under the spell of a giant water-hating duck. But the mere mention of the duck, aka Rubberduckzilla, summons the creature to the scene, where it proceeds to destroy everything around it — except for the adoring girls, who snuggle up on its beak.


The tagline remains the equally absurd “Oasis. For people who don’t like water.” WTF? — AdFreak

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey