1 in 7 children globally lives with ‘toxic’ air, study finds

About 300 million children — roughly 1 in 7 worldwide — live in areas with “toxic” levels of air pollution, according to new research from the United Nations Children’s Fund.

from the Washington Post

Adults do not seem to much care

they’re poisoning all the earth’s air.

When their children cough,

adults only scoff:

“Go put on your wool underwear!” 


What should you do if you see a creepy clown? Internet responds with #IfISeeAClown

As reports of eerie clown sightings pop up around the country, resulting in school closures and investigations, many are saying enough is enough.

Over the weekend, Philadelphia school district officials and police said they were investigating creepy clown threats made against local schools on social media.

Likewise, The Spring Independent School District in Houston issued a security statement on Sunday night after receiving creepy clown threats against students and teachers.

from USA Today 

Creeping around, scaring minors,

clowns are condemned by hardliners.

So if they give fright,

just shoot ’em on sight;

especially if they are Shriners. 


A dog in a bonnet’s okay

More than one-third of social media users are worn out by the amount of political content they encounter, and more than half describe their online interactions with those they disagree with politically as stressful and frustrating.

from the PEW Research Center 

A dog in a bonnet’s okay.

The Cubs’ victory’s a parfait.

The weather I’ll view,

but anyone who

still posts politics I will slay!


In Orem a shiny red nose

This week, the Orem Police Department in Utah said officers have answered dozens of queries from residents asking if they can “shoot or take action against someone that is dressed up as a clown.”

from the Wall Street Journal 

In Orem a shiny red nose

is license to quickly dispose

of any jester

before they can pester

the populace with their droll clothes. 


The Washington Post will get some help from robot journalism technology to present its Election Day coverage next month.

The Post experimented with artificial intelligence coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics in a system developed in-house called Heliograf.

During the Olympics, the “automated storytelling” system would generate short, multi-sentence updates, including which countries had won medals. Heliograf also tweeted results and blogged on The Post’s website.

from Forbes

Who needs an expensive news staff

when you can use Heliograf?

Reporters are slated

to soon be outdated;

machines will have had the last laugh. 


Ten thousand smiles are fading

BANGKOK—As Thailand waits for its new king to take the throne, a shift toward authoritarianism in the country is gathering speed.

from the Wall Street Journal 


Ten thousand smiles are fading

as the kingdom of the Thais
is held hostage by the men
with guns and artful lies.
Democracy is promised
but delivery is slow.
The people now grow tired
of the military’s show.
Royalty and commoners
will someday stand together,
all the rascals to kick out
and break this unjust tether.

Another profession is dead

When we asked people to rate the creepiness of different occupations, the one that rose to the top of the creep list was — you guessed it — clowns.

from the Washington Post

Another profession is dead;

the experts have got in our head.

The clowns we adored

are now much abhorred.

Who now wants a nose that is red? 


The human touch is fading in our media reports

For the uninitiated, “bots” are robots, and robo-journalism, or automated journalism, has become more than a trend.

The Associated Press (AP), Thomson-Reuters, Bloomberg News, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times have used them in recent years to crunch numbers in formulaic writing of repetitive business reports, weather forecasts and sports news.

from the Huffington Post

The human touch is fading from our media reports/Algorithms now give us our weather and our sports/Reporters are superfluous for grinding out the pap/It is done much better by a conscientious app/Technology will soon produce all of our daily news/and journalists will be assigned to shine each others shoes.  

Journalism on trial in Virginia

The most disheartening indictment of journalism isn’t coming from Trump’s fiery stump speeches. It’s unfolding quietly in a federal courtroom in Charlottesville, where a University of Virginia administrator is suing Rolling Stone magazine.

In its second week, the defamation trial has exposed a constellation of inexcusably sloppy reporting techniques, flawed fact-checking and a naive reliance on an alleged sexual assault victim’s incredible tale, out of some sort of misplaced belief that no one would lie about such a horrible act.

from the Virginian-Pilot


Reporters who might fabricate

a story do not hesitate

to turn a blind eye

to sources that lie

(If they think they can post it on Slate)


Credit-Card Scammers Flock to Online Shopping

More than 7.5% of online merchants’ revenue is eaten up by the cost of actual fraud and costs associated with fraud-prevention tools . . . 

from the Wall Street Journal

When shopping online, bear in mind

the stuff for which you never signed.

Hackers are swimming

in loot, by the trimming

of you from the data they’ll find.