Archives for posts with tag: fun

The American Copy Editors Society doled out awards for best headlines of the year Thursday, highlighting what peers deemed exemplars of “the quality of copy editing amid dwindling resources, tighter deadlines and more work.”

In the spirit of copyediting greatness, this week’s One for Fun is a headline contest.

April 15 Update: In the spirit of Tax Day (in the U.S.) the entry deadline has been extended to April 18.

The rules:

  • Entries must be posted in comments by April 16 April 18, 9 p.m. Pacific Time.
  • Write one headline per story. (Hit Ricochet with your best shot.)
  • Entries with fewer (or more) than three headlines will be disqualified.
  • Headlines must make sense on their own — no relying on a dek/drophed/subhed for additional context. If you’re having trouble visualizing why, look at this.
  • Headlines must be no more than 60 characters long. (Use this to check your character count.)
  • The usual standards of news-appropriate language apply. No obscenities.
  • One entry per person.

The instructions:

  • Post your entry in comments and include your email. I need a way to contact you if you win.
  • Use the format:
    1. (headline)
    2. (headline)
    3. (headline)

The judging: Entries will be evaluated on appropriateness, understandability, keywordiness and clickability (interesting beats boring). Additional details on how judging will be conducted TBA.

The prize: A $25 gift certificate for Threadless, ’cause who doesn’t want a really cool T-shirt?

The stories:

  1. Several conservative groups, including the American Family Association, are asking Marriott International Inc. to stop giving hotel guests the option of ordering pay-per-view movies with strong sexual content. (full text)

  2. Six Maasai warriors in London for Sunday’s marathon saw the city from 450 feet yesterday and could not resist the chance to show their appreciation with a song. (full text)

  3. If you have recently seen a petite woman, 162 centimetres tall and 50 kilograms, trying to pile on the pounds by pulling a makeshift sled of tyres across the soft sands of Sydney’s beaches, you have probably met Flip Byrnes, great-granddaughter of Frank Hurley, the legendary Antarctic photographer. (full text)

Good luck to all entrants!

Downtown Toronto will go dark at 8 p.m. Saturday as citizens turn out the lights to observe Earth Hour, a World Wildlife Fund campaign to raise global awareness of the human impact on the environment.

The Toronto Star staff produced a map of participants, but apparently was overwhelmed by the response and didn’t map all 1,163 places.

Nevertheless, it appears the area stretching from York to East York is going to be very, very dark.

Toronto Star Earth Hour Map

Toronto is just one of 26 flagship cities that will take part in the event. The Star is preparing readers for their hour of darkness with special coverage, which began with the breathtaking “Airsick” video (posted here in January).

It would have been fun and useful to have a separate map or map overlay of events instead of text listings by neighborhood.

Still, kudos to the staff for spending time on a project that serves its community.

More information can be found on the Earth Hour site and, of course, there’s an official Flickr pool.

Yes, I realize this was first posted last Friday. And yes, I realize the story is about the demise of pubs where journalists would congregate to talk to sources and each other. But it’s a good piece (though the London segment was lame) and it’s the weekend.

While the video focuses on the longtime hangouts that have had to close due to a loss of patronage, I wonder where journalists are going now to congregate and unwind? Post your favorite bar and news organization affiliation in comments or send me an email — I feel a mapping opportunity coming on.

Meanwhile, here’s “Journalism Watering Holes Disappearing” from MarketWatch.

Not everyone is grousing in newsland.

I recently mentioned the launch of, an anonymous rant site for news people fed up with their jobs.

Just a few days ago, Denver Post programmer Joe Murphy accentuated the positive by launching upbeat confessional site

Though there aren’t nearly as many posts, many of them include names and links. In addition, Murphy has a spinoff post that suggests other as-yet unclaimed domains, including and IwishIwasajournalistbutIgotintoPRinstead(.com).

There is something to smile about amid the chaos and cutbacks.

(via Meranda Writes)

Poynter Online announced an inspired competition this morning: the Valentine’s Day Short Writing Contest.

You will be limited to three lines of text (one or two is acceptable), and a total of 10 characters, as in “Hubba hubba!”

You may enter in any one of three categories (or all three):
Journalism love: “Nice Lede!”
Presidential candidate love (or hate): “Huck – a – bee.”
Or generic love or lust (rated PG-13, please): “My space?”

Create a heart and send the screen grab to by Feb. 13.

Enter early, enter often. Additional details are on Poynter.

This just in from TrendStarks:

Google and Twitter are partnering to track Super Tuesday around the country. A live interactive map plots tweets.

Pretty cool.

Original post from Google.

This Sunday is the biggest U.S. TV broadcasting event of the year.

It’s not the Grammys, the Emmys or the Oscars — it’s the Super Bowl.

This year, the event also looks to be a huge online ad-play as well, though many of the Web spots will posted for free, according to

AOL plans to make the ads available “soon,” but marketing consultant Ian Schafer came out of the gate today with an early peek of all the clips he could find.

Also, PCWorld reports HeyNielsen will use its youthquake focus group to rate and rank the ads. The results should be interesting.

Sam Zell, soon to be owner of the Tribune Co., makes his own holiday presents for select friends and he’s got a website to prove it.

The 2007 gift isn’t up yet (of course) but you can see the music boxes that play songs with his original lyrics from years past.