October 29, 2007

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Stupid HK things

Why does the SCMP insist on using the most inane breakout boxes in history, simply so they can have a number in large type in the middle of an article? Typically the number is a repeat of some factoid from the attached article. For example in today's world section the box says "The numer of cars it would take to produce the equivalent emissions in a year: 440,000" in talking about the California forest fires. The article has the same information in paragraph three...but the editors assume you won't get that far. How about this: number of useless factoid boxes with numbers in today's SCMP?

Secondly, what's with the idea of politicians standing by the road side and waving to speeding motorists? If that's how politicians here promote themselves then one needs to reconsider their marketing techniques. Have there been any wave inspired car accidents yet? Has anyone driven past and thought, "I like how he waves, he's the one I'm voting for"? And can breathing noxious car fumes for hours at a time be a good thing for those aspiring to rule over us?

posted by Simon on 10.29.07 at 11:37 AM in the Hong Kong category.


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I wrote about those silly number boxes a while back when they first introduced them. I agree - utter nonsense. How's your Mac, ready for Leopard?

posted by: HKMacs on 10.29.07 at 12:28 PM [permalink]

I keep hearing Leopard is buggy...also can't quite see the need to upgrade given

posted by: Simon on 10.29.07 at 02:19 PM [permalink]

Breakout box is that what it's called, or did you coin the phrase yourself? Either way, does the job of providing a label for these pesky things.

posted by: Ulaca on 10.30.07 at 12:13 PM [permalink]

I recently discussed the politician-by-the-roadside phenomenom with my colleagues: Apparently we have the Asian democracies of Japan and Taiwan to thank for this import.

Interestingly, a blog post at Freakonomics explains how local political parties are basically a waste of time - I might point this out to the election hopeful that stands outside my bus stop, on my way home.

See it here: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/do-political-parties-matter/

posted by: Richard H on 10.30.07 at 03:27 PM [permalink]

One doesn't need an economic study to realise that Hong Kong's political parties are a waste of time...but it helps.

I'd like to claim credit for calling it a breakout box, but I'm pretty sure that's what the media types call it. I'm hoping those same media types will soon discover another concept: "news".

posted by: Simon on 10.31.07 at 01:11 PM [permalink]

If only HK had "media types". Just youngsters who studied journalism & communications at Baptist College and become a reporter until something better comes along, like being an estate agent in a housing boom.

posted by: Ulaca on 11.01.07 at 11:28 AM [permalink]

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