Monthly Archives: November 2013

Headlines — are they clear?

funny-headlineHeadline writing is something I do every week.

Since I write for a small, weekly paper (Berthoud Surveyor), I am required to supply a headline with each article.   In most cases, the editor uses the  ones I provide.

I also take the photos for the story and add cutlines to them. (This is what you probably call a caption.)

Another local paper has a confusing headline recently.  

It said, “Eating nuts tied to lower risk of death.”  This lead some readers to opine that no matter how much you lower the risk of death, it is going to happen.

It turns out the article says “Regular nut eaters were less likely to die of cancer or heart attack.”

It is always a good idea to match the headline to the article contents

Here are some examples from the web of other interesting headlines

Drunk gets nine months in violin case

Local high school dropouts cut in half

Juvenile court to try shootig defendant

Federal agents raid gun shop, find weapons

Complaints about NBA referees growing ugly

Panda mating fails: veterinarian takes over

Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers

Have you seen any misleading headlines?


Upcycle, recycle and downcycle

upcycle_vs_recycleUpcycling is a term I came across recently. And no, it does not mean to ride a bike up a hill.

The definition of upcycling–a process that can be repeated in perpetuity.  It returns materials back to a usable form without degrading the latent value of the material.

Upcycling is very similar to recycling.  In upcycling, the new item of better or equal value.  There can be no downgrading of the original product.  The process of upcycling must not pollute.

Recycling on the other hand, is a process of conservation and reduction of waste. The product being recycled usually undergoes a chemical process before it becomes something else.

To sum it up, recycling means the item will eventually end up in the trash.  On the other hand, upcycle never adds to the material in landfills and dumps.

For another day—there is also have something called downcycling and repurposing but that is for another day.

Thanks to Veterans

Veterans Day — I love it!


The Loveland Reporter-Herald published my letter thanking veterans.  I wanted to share it with my readers here.

Every other Friday, a group called Veteran Business Owners Network (VBON) meets at a local restaurant in Loveland.

Membership includes veterans from various eras, people associated with organizations helping veterans and those who just support veterans. Our annual golf tournament raised funds for returning vets who have needs.

At the last meeting, as we ordered breakfast, our server handed out boxes containing two muffins. She said, “The cook made too much batter and did not want to throw it away.” Since we meet regularly, the management gifted us these goodies.

I thought, “This will be a nice surprise for my wife.”

After the salute to the flag, introductions and discussion of upcoming events, we adjured.

One member–a former Navy pilot and six-year prisoner of war—mentioned that he “didn’t really need to eat these.” He offered them to any of us. Another member—career Army and Viet Nam vet—said, “I’m going from here up to the Fort Collins Vets Center, I’ll take them.” This center helps veterans with issues such as benefits, health care info, G.I. Bill information and much more.

The former POW passed his box of muffins down the table. In about two seconds, someone else relinquished his box. With no spoken words, everyone in attendance donated their windfall to share with veterans we do not even know.

My wife lost out that day, but some anonymous military veterans enjoyed a brighter day, I hope.

There is a popular Facebook picture showing soldiers in combat. The caption is,” Brothers don’t always have the same mother.”

Happy Veterans Day to my military brothers (and sisters.)

Lugubrious —doesn’t make me sad

definition_lugubriousLugubrious is a word that I don’t use every day–or every few days.

So, why do I bring it up today?

Last night, my wife and I phoned our two granddaughters.  As usual, we asked what they were eating for dinner and how school and other activities were going.

When we asked the older one about her spelling words, and any word that was challenging, she said LUGUBRIOUS.

On, did I mention that she is in the second grade?

Impressive–Maybe there is hope for some good spellers in the future.

Lugubrious (an adjective) means:

extremely mournful, dismal, gloomy, sad–sometimes in an exaggerated or ludicrous degree.

Origin:  1595–1605;  < Latin lūgubri ( s ) mournful (akin to lūgēre  to mourn)