Fantastic Headlines 50-52 – Innuendo Edition

February 7, 2011

Apart from headlines involving Ed Balls, this series has been free of smut. I’m afraid that’s about to end with this set of three headlines. But let’s face it: you only read this for the rude bits, right?

This headline, another found by Selina, is an oldie but a goodie:

Young Boys’ Wankdorf erection woe

The sub-editor just couldn’t resist, could he? I hope believe this refers to a Swiss football team.

Next up, Charlie has surpassed herself with this find:

Tee hee!

One gets the impression that those two headlines were deliberate, however. There’s a “nudge nudge wink wink” aspect to them. God alone knows what was going through the heads of the people who thought THIS headline was suitable for a daily newspaper:

It’s just so wrong. But so fantastic. Thanks to Jim at the Daily Maybe for drawing my attention to this post by David Schneider for that.

If you have any more Fantastic Headlines, please do let me know. It’s becoming a major cottage industry.

Fantastic Headlines 47-49: Not all is as it seems

February 4, 2011

Please keep these Fantastic Headlines coming in. I’m trying to group them by themes now. The theme for this batch is that they are all headlines from a story that is a little bit misleading.

The first of these stories came courtesy of my housemate, which was an article found in the Daily Mail:

How central heating is making you fat

Experts say many of us now keep our homes so cosy that we no longer have to burn as many calories to naturally warm up our bodies.

Everyone, quick! Turn off the heating. Shiver in the cold! That will burn off some calories.

This story appeared in the Daily Telegraph as well, with a less fantastic headline. Which is all well and good, except, according to an article on the NHS website:

The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail have reported the study accurately, but they both imply that the evidence for rising temperatures causing obesity is conclusive, which it is not.

Wait, it gets better.

the methods by which these studies were identified and selected for inclusion are not given. It may be the case that other studies not included may contradict their hypothesis.

So hang on: are you saying the results WEREN’T conclusive?

Overall, this review is not conclusive and does not prove that simply opening a window or turning down the thermostat will make people thinner.

I see.

A friend and fellow electoral reform campaigner Richard made me aware of this Sun article from a few years ago. It’s a work of utter genius:

Nazi raccoons on warpath

In case you were wondering, the Sun even provides us with a picture of what a Nazi raccoon would look like:

So, how exactly can these raccoons be classified as Nazis? Has “Mein Kampf” been translated into Raccoonish?

They are just across the Channel from Britain after marching through France, Belgium, Holland and Denmark in a furry blitzkrieg.

Hitler aide Hermann Goering had the US mammals introduced to German woods in 1934 to “enrich the Reich’s fauna”.

But numbers have soared and they are invading new territory, just like the Nazis did.


Anyway, enough of fun stories about fascist raccoons. This last headline is from Harry’s Place, and the latest target of their ire, Julian Assange:

Isn’t It Weird How Some People End Up Looking Like Their Condoms?

Er, um, well, I suppose so, but I’ve never really thought about it. Do people end up looking like their condoms?

Apparently pictures of Assange’s condom have been, er, leaked.

And the writer of that Harry’s Place post thinks that if you turn that picture sideways, it looks a bit like Julian Assange. He illustrated that point with the help of this diagram. I’m not really seeing the resemblance myself:

Well, I’m convinced. Assange must be guilty. Wikileaks is evil. And raccoons are fascist.

Fantastic Headlines 44-46

February 3, 2011

I am giving my thesis the last rites. It should be finished on Saturday, all being well, and I shall blog about stuff other than Fantastic Headlines. But I know the series is popular, so here’s a batch of some more.

Firstly, Selina has found another corker:

The origin of this story, which I found via Liberal Burblings, appears to be the Evening Standard. I must admit, it’s one of my favourite headlines so far this year.

Next, we can always rely on Sky News for shit stories, and so it proves once more:

Dog Doctor Diagnoses Bowel Cancer in Japan

Apparently dogs can detect whether someone has bowel cancer or not just by sniffing their poo. What fun that must be for them.

Finally, from Charlie, who is becoming a good source for silly animal stories:

Jumping rabbits in Harrogate for ‘grand national’ event

What more is there to add?

Fantastic Headlines 41-43: Cerebral Stuff

February 1, 2011

We’ve been trawling the tabloids for Fantastic Headlines these past few weeks. And let’s face it, it’s easily done. It’s more difficult to find Fantastic Headlines in more cerebral publications because they are less likely to cover silly stories, of the sort that lend themselves to Fantastic Headlines.

Which is why this headline, from the New York Review of Books, no less, caught my eye:

Hitler vs. Stalin: Who was Worse?

To be honest, I wasn’t aware that it was a competition. It also appealed to my sick  impish  odd sense of humour that it was styled as an “Alien vs. Predator” style competition too. The article itself is worth a read, even if it is understandably depressing.

The second article is on a similar subject:

The Trouble with Dictators

Again, this is Fantastic because it seems to state the obvious. Dictators are, to put it midly, rather bad. It’s like a headline saying that APPLES ARE FRUIT or PIERS MORGAN IS ACTUALLY A BIT OF AN ARSE. In other words, it’s another example of the banality of Fantasticness.

I found the last Fantastic Headline whilst doing my day job. I am a support worker for students with a disability, assisting them with their studies at university if and when they need it. Whilst helping Chris look through some archives of the Birmingham Post, to help with his dissertation, I found this beauty of a headline:

Claim by an electric hare inventor

This was a story from the Birmingham Post on Friday October 25, 1929. It does actually seem like someone invented an electric hare that, according to the article, was ‘capable of jumping over hurdles, wagging its tail and squealing’.

I didn’t take down all the details – because Chris was there to research the impact of the British Empire on Birmingham, not to find Fantastic Headlines (alas). But it seems the case was about a breach of contract between the inventor of this hare and one of his clients.

If anyone else finds some more Fantastic Headlines, please let me know through the usual channels. And they don’t have to be from the 1920s, either.

Fantastic Headlines 37-40

January 27, 2011

Here is the latest batch of Fantastic Headlines. Suggestions are coming in thick and fast now. Thanks to everyone who keeps sending them in. I like to think of it as Paperback Rioter’s contribution to The Big Society.

The first one I found on the Daily Express website. It’s about an ongoing court case that I’m not even going to try and summarise in a sentence:

Swingers’  club link to ‘firebug police love rat’

A “firebug police love rat” is surely not a description of a person, but four random nouns put next to each other. If you want to know what one is, you’ll have to read the article.

The next headline comes courtesy of Selina, and helps answer that often-posted conundrum: what happens if you’re walking in a forest and you’re attacked by a pack of wolves, and all you have to help you is some heavy-metal music?

Creed Song Saves Norwegian Boy From Wolves

The previous Fantastic Headlines on animal stories has prompted a couple of headlines. As ever, RedheadFashionista knows a fantastic headline when she sees one. The story itself is a quite serious one: the use of animals in cosmetic experiments, which is an issue that needs to be taken seriously. It’s hard to do that, however, with headlines like:

Why mice are being gassed so YOU can look younger

The Daily Mail is bringing attention to mice that are being gassed and having their backs broken in the name of cosmetics. Nice to see them standing up for animal rights, although by the sounds of “Now even spiders, squid and lobsters could have rights” and previously equating the concept of animal rights to “nonsense upon stilts”, this is a bit of a late conversion.

Lastly, this headline comes courtesy of Charlie, and it’s another animal story:

Live chicken thrown at KFC staff in Nuneaton

You’ll be pleased to know that although the chicken was a bit distressed, it didn’t suffer any harm.

Fantastic Headlines 33-36: Man Bites Dog special

January 24, 2011

As I mentioned in a previous Fantastic Headlines blog, “Man bites dog” is given sometimes as an example of what news is. It’s no surprise, then, that media outlets tend to cover “Man Bites Dog” stories because of the, ah, significance involved. Here are four of the favourite “Man bites dog” stories I’ve found:

Strangely, it seems to be poor old police dogs that keep being on the receiving end of a man’s jaw. For instance:

Man bites dog (and a policeman)

The sub-editor on this Connecticut website wanted to put a bit more vim into this Fantastic Headline, which is much more flowery than your standard “Man bites dog” fare:

Man sinks teeth into police dog

This Canadian news story tickled me:

Man bites dog biting dog

And finally, because it’s nice to end on a high, a story with a happy ending. I love the jokey exclamation mark on this, too:

Man bites dog and wins compensation!

As ever, if you find any Fantastic Headlines please let me know.

Fantastic Headlines 31 and 32

January 22, 2011

A couple more Fantastic Headlines for your titilation.

First up is this from the BBC. You don’t often expect to see “laser” and “pirate” in the same sentence, which is precisely why this headline is fantastic:

Laser Cannon set to blind pirates

Our second fantastic headline comes from an Australian news source. Picture the scene. Your country is being devasted by tragic floods. The rivers are swelling up, and people are fearing for their lives, their possessions and their family.

What in the name of Phil Woolas would make you do this?

River rescue as sex toy ditches rider

Of course, you’d just ride a blow-up doll down a stormy river. As you do.

Just in case you were thinking of trying that at home, a police spokesman has said in a statement that “blow-up sex toys are not recognised flotation devices”.

It’s good to be reminded of that occasionally.


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