Good, Bad, and Ugly

Reader reaction to Reuters news

He wasn’t the President…


UN climate talks progress on aid for poor nations

POZNAN, Poland, Dec 12 (Reuters) – U.N. climate talks made progress on Friday towards launching a fund to help poor nations adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as floods, droughts or rising sea levels, after two weeks of deadlock.

Former U.S. President Al Gore won the biggest applause of the two-week conference with a speech predicting a far more active U.S. climate policy under President-elect Barack Obama after President George. W Bush.

Al Gore is not a former U.S president. He served for eight years as vice-president under Bill Clinton.

Joe V.

Not surprisingly, a number of readers noticed this one. We corrected: GBU Editor

Portable water?


Astronauts work on space station water recycler

“We want to get this system running as soon as possible so we can process urine and verify that we have good portable water coming out the other side,” said station flight engineer Sandra Magnus during an in-flight interview.

Should portable not be potable? As in… drinkable?

James W.

Of course. We corrected: GBU Editor

Following a space-to-Earth news conference on November 21, 2008 members of the International Space Station and Space Shuttle Endeavour crew posed for a group portrait on the orbital outpost. Astronaut Donald Pettit appears at photo center. Just below Pettit is astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshin-Piper. Clockwise from her position are astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Steve Bowen, Eric Boe, Chris Ferguson and Michael Fincke, along with cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov, and astronauts Sandra Magnus and Gregory Chamitoff in this photo released by NASA November 22, 2008. REUTERS/NASA

Wine reference causes ferment…


Green Living: Going raw sparks life change — and a movie

Norwood said eating raw did not have to be dull. Wine is distilled not fermented so is raw and you can get raw chocolate. You may wish to revise this sentence, as wine is most certainly fermented.

Matthew P.

Nobel Prize winner?


Live Earth show to help boost solar energy

nobel-ipcc-180.jpgThe proceeds from the concert will go to the “Light A Billion Lives campaign,” supported by Nobel Prize-winner Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the United Nation’s Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

It is factually incorrect to claim that Rajendra Pachauri is a Nobel Prize-winner. It is also bad journalism.

Stardust memories…


Stardust evidence points to planet collision

stardust-220.jpgWriting in the Astrophysical Journal, the team at UCLA, Tennessee State University and the California Institute of Technology said it spotted the dust orbiting a star known as BD +20 307, 300 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Aries.

Your story, the title of which is the subject of this e-mail, says that the stardust around a double star system is 300 million light years away. I’m afraid that distance is outside of our galaxy and 100 million light years beyond the next galaxy. Planets have only been detected within our Milky Way galaxy which is only 100 thousand light years across.

First color television?


Tech fair makes room for refrigerators and washers

color-television-240.jpgFRANKFURT (Reuters) – More than 60 years after its debut, one of the world’s oldest consumer electronics fairs is venturing into new territory this week by making room to showcase washers, dryers, stoves and other household appliances.

At the IFA fair in Berlin — where former German Chancellor Willy Brandt turned on the world’s first color TV in 1967 — television sets remain a major attraction but they may come built into a refrigerator.

A story in two minutes?


Side effects mar Elan, Wyeth Alzheimer’s trial

CHICAGO, July 29 (Reuters)- Keenly awaited details on Elan and Wyeth’s new Alzheimer’s drug bapineuzumab show it raised the risk of a potentially serious side effect, especially in people with a genetic risk of the disease, the companies said on Tuesday.

I have thought long and hard about how Reuters released this story at 5:02 p.m. when the data itself were released at 5:00 p.m. This was a deeply complex clinical study, and the results have a myriad of implications.

Bad choice of photos



Why do you illustrate this story with an image of an obese woman? No woman, whatever her size, is at risk for prostate cancer.


A good point. We dropped the photo: GBU Editor

Too much dirt


Martian soil appears able to support life

lander-200.jpgThe 1 cubic meter (35 cubic feet) of soil was taken from about 1 inch below the surface of Mars and had a pH, or alkaline, level of 8 or 9. “We were all flabbergasted at the data we got back,” Kounaves said.

The correct measure is approximately 1 cubic centimeter. A cubic meter is nearly as large as the craft itself.

Car that runs on water?


Petrol pricey? Japanese invent car that runs on water

water-160.jpgTOKYO, June 13 (Reuters Life!) – Tired of petrol prices rising daily at the pump? A Japanese company has invented an electric-powered, and environmentally friendly, car that it says runs solely on water.   

Genepax unveiled the car in the western city of Osaka on Thursday, saying that a litre (2.1 pints) of any kind of water — rain, river or sea — was all you needed to get the engine going for about an hour at a speed of 80 km (50 miles).