The Pointlessness of News

When I posted about the astronaut attempted kidnapping story the other day, I hadn’t realised it had already become a major global story. Now Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner asks: Why?

I realize the story represents a sort of perfect storm of media stickiness — a female perp and a female victim, lust, revenge, NASA, pepper spray, and of course the diaper — but I have to confess that I am overwhelmed that this has become such a round-the-clock story. Who cares, and why? They were even talking about the story on the two ESPN shows I saw pieces of last night (SportsCenter and Pardon the Interruption); in each case, the anchors sheepishly acknowledged that the story had zero to do with sports but… they simply couldn’t resist.

With 63 comments so far, there’s plenty of interesting ideas. Well worth the read. The highlights for me…

Continue reading “The Pointlessness of News”

Astronaut charged with attempted kidnapping

Police photo of astronaut Lisa Nowak

This astronaut didn’t have The Right Stuff, it seems. Or maybe she had too much of it. The photo at right is US Navy Captain Lisa Nowak, 43, who flew a shuttle mission to the International Space Station last July.

But on Monday she was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping and other counts, after she allegedly drove 900 miles and donned a disguise to confront a woman she believed was her rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot.

The ABC story apparently finds it important to mention that “Nowak raced from Houston to Orlando wearing diapers so she wouldn’t have to stop to urinate, authorities said. Astronauts wear diapers during launch and re-entry.”

Thanks to Richard for spotting this one!