Copspeak in reporting; Free Yankee Content; Pokemon Goes to Your Data; New Planet Found; Nano-technology Advance


The Press Deliberately Obscures Police Violence

In a 1946 essay, 'Politics and the English Language,' George Orwell famously decried the use of political language that served to hide wrongdoing by politicians and military leaders. Current examples of language-obscuring- actions exist as the military talk about 'collateral damage' rather than the deaths of uninvolved or innocent people. And who can forget Governor Nelson Rockefeller's famous characterization of a tax increase as a 'personal use fee.' This torture of language clarity continues as the news media unquestioningly use language that downplays and obscures police violence against citizens.

The term 'officer-involved shooting' describes an event in terms which 'vaguely allude to what happened without creating an emotional response.'   Orwell famously observed that such language 'is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.' And by referring to individuals as suspects or subjects rather than as victims, writers reduce the severity of the police action. To read more about insidious and sloppy language use, read the story at In our highly-charged, emotional culture, language matters. This link talks about 'copspeak' and the press use of public relations language without questioning the purpose of the terms used. This concept may also be applied to political reporting as well where it seems that many reporters serve merely as tape recorders rather than functioning as questioning correspondents who should   apply analysis and skepticism to their news reports. This link should become required reading in high school and college English classes taught by teachers unwilling to subject students to a clearly written text that uses college level diction [read difficult] found in the Orwell essay..

Yankee Magazine Provides Free Content on the Internet

Subscribe to Yankee Magazine and you pay $20 a year for timely articles about everything New England. Visit and receive a tidbit of valuable information for New England vacationers. This article describes 10 Maine restaurant versions of the famous lobster roll. Of course, the article never mentions the names of the lobster roll experts, so these picks may just be the personal choices of the magazine staffers. But read and enjoy anyway.

Pokemon Go Presents Huge Hack Risks

Gamers who signed up to play Pokemon Go through their Google Accounts on iPhones are at risk of data loss because the app now has full account access to your individual Google account. Apparently, the app can not only read your data;, inbox, calendar and search history, it can modify it. Oops! To read more about this threat, click on Be careful about what you download. So far, only iPhones appear to be vulnerable. Android phones do not seem to be affected by this security breech.

New Planet Found Beyond Neptune

Astronomers recently discovered a new dwarf planet beyond Neptune. The new planet is small, only about 700 kilometers in diameter and a single solar orbit takes 700 years. Scientists have temporarily named the new planet 2015 RR245. To learn more about this discovery, visit I think a more appropriate name for the new planetary body   is Fred. Planet Fred has a certain ring to it, don't you think?

Another Technology Advance

The US Department of Energy recently announced a nano-particle-like advance where Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists grew transistors and circuits only a few atoms thick. To learn more about this new technology, click on The article presents many esoteric science terms, but even the humanities majors will be able to understand the general ideas behind this new breakthrough. And so it goes