Last month, Mail Online was declared the most read news source in the world. We should celebrate this with some of the things that the Daily Mail lack: wit, humour and a first class bit of script. The script locally (i.e. your browser only – nothing criminal) hijacks the Daily Mail’s frontpage and injects it with randomised headlines. The script will remain installed until you remove it from the extensions menu (under options). Every single time the Daily Mail website is loaded you (or your unsuspecting Daily Mail enthusiast) will see the day’s Daily Mail homepage as normal except with randomly scrambled headlines. The result is a unique, computer generated satirical masterpiece, every single time you press refresh. The script is otherwise invisible and will work with Chrome or Firefox (sorry IE users).
The script doesn’t require any programming knowledge at all. If your target is using chrome it’s a one-click operation. If you’re using Firefox you’ll need to install Greasemonkey first (also a one-click installation). After you run the script you’re free to leave the scene, shutdown the computer and wait until your target loads the dailymail.co.uk all by themselves. You can refresh a hundred times and you’ll still be laughing (or crying).
PS: Hashtag #OccupyMailOnline
If you’re worried about running an unknown script, read the code for yourself in a text reader, it’s comedy gold.
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Neurobonkers is not responsible for what happens when you use this script or the consequences when your friend, coworker, or (if you’re very brave), boss finds out.
Check out my article in the New Journalist. I have decided to publish this piece with TNJ because they aspire to work under the three principles that the Daily Mail lack so severely, “accuracy, honesty and integrity”. See you after the jump.
Update (03/03/2012): More evidence that the Daily Mail can ruin your life from Thursday’s Daily Mail letters page:
This year, my nomination of the Daily Mail’s article “Just ONE cannabis joint ‘can bring on schizophrenia’ as well as damaging memory” won the award! The prize, normally reserved for the journalist authoring the piece, was awarded to Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, because of the number of errors in the headline which is the responsibility of the editor and is normally not written by the journalist writing the piece.
This allows the Daily Fail to continue to spew out complete nonsense without risk of reprisals, only last week publishing a piece misappropriating a death to cannabis, that the coroner explicitly stated was not due to cannabis.
To sum up the past couple of days:
- Nature, Time, the BBC and just about every other science publication and news outlet covered Dr. Nutt’s latest research and it’s promising findings for possible clinical use of psilocybin, provoking academic debate on the restriction on study of illegal drugs for clinical use.
- UK law took a small yet definitive step forward, reducing sentences for medical use of drugs, small time users and drug mules (Telegraph, Guardian, Sky, sentencingcouncil.judiciary.gov.uk/guidelines/forthcoming-guidelines)
- Richard Branson gave evidence at the Government’s select committee on drugs (Guardian, video – skip in about three minutes for the start, Branson’s blog).
- The legal developments are based on evidence emerging from states such as Portugal who have successfully decriminalised drug use and are reaping the benefits (rigorous, balanced analysis of the stats here).
So what did the Daily Mail run with today? This time my commentary is not even needed. I’ve simply taken the liberty of literally highlighting the blindingly obvious flaw in this ridiculous excuse for a news article.
Hughes CE, & Stevens A (2012). A resounding success or a disastrous failure: Re-examining the interpretation of evidence on the Portuguese decriminalisation of illicit drugs. Drug and alcohol review, 31 (1), 101-13 PMID: 22212070Follow Simon on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, RSS, or join the mailing list.
“There are 15 references, but they’re all about sex, not cancer.”
The paper makes the case that sexual frustration can result in genetic mutation but fails to provide any evidence to support the claim. The paper is a perfect case study of how not to do science. There are of course references, they just fail to be present for any of the fundamental arguments the paper makes, instead appearing to support those sentences that state the bleeding-obvious and the barely relavent.
I’ll wager a bet that this completely speculative research will be reported uncritically, as dramatic “findings” and of course, without a proper reference when the story is covered by the tabloids. It will be interesting (perhaps interesting is the wrong word) to see how the Daily Mail covers this story, in their ongoing quest to “classify inanimate objects in to two types: those that cause cancer, and those that cure it”, the Daily Mail have claimed cancer is caused by (amongst hundreds of other things): blowjobs, sex and of course.. teenage sex. I’m fairly sure they won’t turn down the opportunity to report a “shocking new finding” that turns the story around and throws breasts and nuns in to the mix!
Apologies to those of you who read my blog at work… this article is sooo never going to get through your web filter. Oh and I should probably add that there is certainly no conflict of interest here, I believe sex is great, cancer is terrible, and sexual frustration is, erm, most definitely best avoided. I wish I could write a piece championing this research, I really do. The science is just too, damn, bad.
Stuger, J. (2011). An Essay on Sexual Frustration as the Cause of Breast Cancer in Women: How Correlations and Cultural Blind Spots Conceal Causal Effects The Breast Journal DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-4741.2011.01206.xFollow Simon on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, RSS, or join the mailing list.
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