Friday, June 16, 2006

Alternative Headline Generation Exercise

First, this wonderful story of a food technology breakthrough, with the title bestowed by Political Gateway. Then, we'll see if we can come up with any alternative headlines...


Lawn-mowing accident leads to new pizza

DES MOINES, Iowa, June 13 (UPI) -- In a strange turn of events, a Des Moines, Iowa, radio personality reportedly has invented no-dough pizzas, an idea spawned from a lawn-mowing accident.

The Des Moines Register said WHO's Van Harden came up with the idea of making his pizza crusts from a cheese base after losing his desire for bread.

Two years ago, Harden got one of his feet stuck in a lawn mower and after his hospital stay he found himself without an appetite for bread, the newspaper said.

The Register said Harden's change in appetite may somehow have been due to difficulties doctors ran into when attempting to wake him from anesthesia after his surgery.
"The doctors can't explain it," Harden told the Register.

Two Hy-Vee stores in Des Moines sold 221 of his new pizzas with their cheese-based crust over the weekend, with the product soon making its way into a dozen other Iowa stores.

The 12-inch pies cost $8 apiece and have been described as perfect for individuals who are gluten intolerant or on Atkins diets, the Register said.

Political Gateway's "Jockstrip" column, 14 June 2006.


Suggested alternatives:

Des Moines Man Loses Desire

Link Between Lawnmower Accidents And Innovation Proven

Doctors Puzzle Over Post Traumatic Dough Aversion

"Radio Personality" Syndrome Untreatable Say Iowa Doctors

...actually, the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Crook-eating Car

"Within the next month, Prince George’s police plan to start using 'bait cars' — ordinary-looking vehicles that entice thieves to break in and then hold them captive inside."
The Gazette, Maryland, 25 May 2006

My advice to would-be car thieves is to look carefully through the driver's side window. Is there a great big shiny hook sticking up through the upholstery? Then maybe you want to think about moving on.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Big Idea: SpareChangeSat

Human beings in western nations each drop an average of two pennies on the ground every day of the year. But only 50% of people stoop to pick up their fallen change. That means that in the UK alone, some sixty million pence, or £600,000, is lost to the nation's gutters every twenty four hours. To put that in perspective, it's enough to fund three hospital beds (with sheets) or one royal yacht (without sheets).

Most of the world's lost change remains inaccessible to even the most modern technology. Global companies with the engineering muscle to find oil in the unlikeliest places are defeated by the change exploitation problem, throwing their hands up in defeat and avoiding direct eye contact.

That's where SpareChangeSat comes in. A network of satellites engirdling the globe use pin-sharp optical imaging and shape recognition algorithms to spot coins on the surface of the earth, "tag" them, and alert subscribers to their locations. For a small annual fee (which works out at about £5 per day), customers can receive text messages to their mobile phones telling them where the nearest penny is to be found. It's then a question of "first come, first served".

The company behind SpareChangeSat, Sequinator Industries of Lidchester, UK, has vowed to donate a proportion of operating profits to the funding of a gigantic polysterene cup to be placed at the mouth of the Thames. This monument to inward investment is intended to show a more flexible attitude to European business, balancing the much-loved Land's End "Open Legs" statue facing America.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Google Buys Famed London Street

The web's premier search engine - and world's grooviest brand - today announced its long-awaited transition to the physical world with the purchase of a street in central London. Goodge Street will be renamed Google Street in a typically low-key ceremony on July 1st.

"Goodge already contains 83 per cent of the letters it needs to become Google," said a company spokesperson. "We share so much DNA with Goodge Street that it's hard not to believe we are already related somewhere along the line."

Commentators are confused about the search king's surprise move, citing "poor fit" between the online behemoth's world-straddling operations and the west end artery. But storeowners along the popular boulevard are already equipping their windows with hyperlinks ahead of the formal rebranding.

"This shows that London is a truly global city that exists in cyberspace as well as in my mind," said mayor Ken Livingstone.

Rumors that eBay is poised to buy the nearby British Museum were dismissed by company officers today. "We already own all the world's oceans," said a spokesperson, "and we're still digesting them."

Monday, June 12, 2006

How Quotations Evolve

I would say to Radio 1, “Do you realise some of the stuff you play on Saturday nights encourages people to carry guns and knives?”
- David "Dave" Cameron, Conservative Party leader, June 2006.

I would say to Radio 1, “Do you realise some of the tracks you air on Saturday nights encourage people to wear platform soles?”
- Edward "Ted" Heath, Conservative Party leader, May 1974

I would say to the Light Programme, “Do you realise some of the tunes played by your bands on Saturday nights encourage people to believe in a future of unrestrained consumerism, at a time when all our sinews are required in the rebuilding of our once great country?"
- Anthony "Tone-Def" Eden, Conservative Party leader, January 1956

I think your new semaphore service is the best thing since the Corn Laws. Well done, that man!
- Robert "Copper" Peel, Conservative Party leader, November 1836