In This Episode: A story in This is True struck me as an astonishing example of Uncommon Sense, so I thought I’d tell you about it to see some really out-of-the-box thinking, and provide some practical advice that could save your life. Here’s a hint: no one thinks they’re going to get lost and need rescue. Yet there are tens of thousands of rescues every year in the U.S. alone. What will increase your odds of being safe? Uncommon Sense.
An academic’s “history” of “Florida Man” makes some startling — and completely wrong! — claims about how the “Florida Man meme” got started online. No, it wasn’t in 2012, or even the “mid-2000s”!
“Florida Man” really is a thing, and apparently so is “Florida Vehicle” (which, to be fair, is just a vehicle with a Florida Man at the wheel). Such stories led the past two issues (and ended up as Story of the Week both times), so let’s take a closer look.
The lead story this week is mind-blowing …especially to me as a current first responder medic and former deputy sheriff. Here, I go through the incident step by step to show just how fast the deputy had to react — and make a life-altering decision along the way.
Two recent This is True stories demonstrate the “Streisand effect,” and this page brings those two stories together (plus a third from 5 years ago), and then leads to more commentary on the “effect.”
Let’s start with the first of the two recent stories, from True’s 8 December 2019 issue:
A story in this week’s issue needs a lot more room for explanation, not to mention a full-sized copy of the graph involved. First, let’s start with the story, from True’s 17 May 2020 issue:
I’m Sure You are Dying to Know the story behind this week’s extra-weird Headline of the Week (Issue #1310, 21 July 2019):
It was 50 years ago Saturday that Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong piloted the Eagle — the first manned lunar-landing spacecraft — to the surface of the moon.
Be careful what you ask for, since when an organization asks the public for input on what they should name something, they’re opening a Pandora’s box.
Another story that “can’t” go into the newsletter since it will trigger filters. This one isn’t “adult” in nature, but you’ll understand the filter issue when you read the story.
Actor Luke Perry Died today after suffering a “massive stroke” on February 27. I was alerted by Megan, my 39-year-old niece. She enjoys reading her local Crime Blotter (and posting funny entries she sees), and she, her dad, and I have a text group where we try to scoop each other on reporting about someone interesting who died. Now and then, I even get a good Honorary Unsubscribe out of it.
Today’s Randy’s Random Meme is My Take on recent headlines, like “Disregarding Health Warnings, Arizona Lawmakers Move Forward On Vaccine Exemptions For Kids” and “Texas Lawmaker Hays He’s Not Worried About Measles Outbreak Because of ‘Antibiotics’” and “Measles Returned To Costa Rica After Five Years By French Family Who Had Not Had Vaccinations” — which are all recent.
Update: The Restaurant Pho Keene Won!
Sometimes, I’ll Look at the Comments on a news site’s story that I use as a source for a True story. Not very often, since most news comments are a vast wasteland, but the comments on one of the Pho Keene stories I read caught my eye. The top comment was, “Who knew that Keene lacked a sense of humor?” And there was one response: “Anyone that lives here.” Let’s start with the story, from True’s first issue of 2019:
I was amused by the story of “Knickers” — I saw it online, but decided the “giant cow” story wasn’t really worthy of True …and then saw it again and again and again and again! (see photo below).
Note: I actually wrote this in January to explain the background on an item I had put up for auction. It was deleted once the auction was over, but a reader wanted to be able to point someone at the text because he thought it was interesting. So here it is. –RC
When it Comes to “Big” News Stories, I like to focus on some of the smaller points — the parts that illustrate the “thinking” aspects of the stories, or what should be the “lessons learned” from them. Hawaii’s “ballistic missile” incident is a perfect example. Let’s start with my take on it, from True’s 14 January 2018 issue:
I Get Google Alerts for my name. One recurring one had me baffled for a bit, and another more recent one made me laugh. First, I was baffled that several times per week, I get alerts saying you can get (“FREE!”) a bootleg ebook copy of my True Stella Awards book.