Rotten Research


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Rotten Research

Aquest tema està marcat com "inactiu": L'últim missatge és de fa més de 90 dies. Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta.

gen. 1, 2007, 8:18 pm

We now place before the group, a copy of The Afghan by Frederick Forsyth; G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 2006. (“Published by the Penguin Group” – London address, “Printed in the United States of America” and apparently not proof-read by any American.)

First, a quick quote from the dust jacket: “Combining meticulous research with crisp narratives and plots as current as the headlines, Forsyth shows us the world as it is, in a way few have been able to equal.”

OK, use that meticulous research to show us how things are, for instance, inside the CIA:
From page 46:

“...There was a tap on the door.
A young GS15 stood there with yet another delivery. General Service is simply a salary scale; a ‘15’ means a very junior staffer. Gumienny gave the young man an encouraging smile; he had clearly never been this high up the building before. Gumienny held out his hand, signed the clipboard to confirm receipt and waited until he was alone again.
The new file was a courtesy from the colleagues at Fort Meade....”

There are many million Americans who will find this a real hoot. Any current or retired government employee, or member of their families, etc, etc. Knows that GS15 is the highest Civil Service grade, just below the Senior Executive Service.

The worst part of this is that Forsyth’s erroneous information is completely gratuitous, doesn’t add anything at all to the story, and the “very junior staffer” is never heard from again.

gen. 1, 2007, 8:47 pm

There is nothing more annoying than knowing better than the author. my personal pet hate is the mink who was fed on nothing but veg in Dead Witch Walking

gen. 2, 2007, 9:44 am

A little off-topic, but it drives me crazy in movies and TV shows when they supposedly take place in NYC but are filmed somewhere else and I can't recognize any of the locations. And then I once watched some stupid movie on TV that included a scene of some high-fashion party in our Natural History Museum (dinosaurs in the background) but in later scenes at the same party they were in an art museum (paintings in the background). Do they think people aren't paying attention?

gen. 2, 2007, 9:52 am

Nope, it is just that most of the world doesn't live there, so doesn't care. :) If in a movie or something they have to through Jackie Chan through a window of a New York 24 hour shop, I doubt many people care what actual city it is in.

Editat: gen. 2, 2007, 9:57 am

Well, I didn't really mean did they think people outside NYC weren't paying attention or care (I'm not THAT parochial, it's just a personal annoyance). I meant the comment to go with dinosaurs in the background in one scene and art in the next -- there may be some, but I don't think most museums combine science and art.

gen. 2, 2007, 10:04 am

You mean the background in the same room is Tyrannosaurs one minute and Van Gogh the next?

That's a continuity screwup, sure, that's bad.

gen. 2, 2007, 10:05 am

The best one of those I saw recently was in an Avengers episode. Mrs. Peel was in a car, and from the closeup studio shot her clothes were one color, but on the outside car on the road shot another, and loud colors at that.

gen. 2, 2007, 12:11 pm

Shrug its not that unusual. You can go from a giant turtle to a monet. at the National Museum of Wales for example. but generally the bigger the musem the more specialised the exhibits and Dinosaurs epitomise big.

gen. 2, 2007, 12:34 pm

I just finished an overall fascinating book (that any fan of Baseball would love to read, by the way) called 'The Last Nine Innings'. In the midst of reporting every pitch and hit of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, the author expounds, for entire chapters, on everything from the training regimens of modern players to scientific efforts to help pitchers improve their game without hurting themselves - as I say, a fascinating book for any Baseball fan.

There were, however, a number of (to me) glaring errors - including having the Diamondbacks' right fielder repeatedly catch a fly ball in left field, incorrectly identifying the year several players joined the team and the number of times one had played in the World Series, and (most incredibly, to me) describing a key hit in the bottom of the ninth inning (incorrectly) as a fly ball to left, and then (correctly) in the next paragraph as a drive down the first base line.

I'm sure that many people will read this book and neither catch, nor care about, these errors...but they bugged me to the point that I'm going to be writing a letter to the author, in care of the publisher, asking that these points of fact be corrected in future editions.

Editat: gen. 2, 2007, 1:20 pm

Yes Strang how little things can bother us. Why did all the papers seem to call
Prescott's Beautiful straight left a Left hook?

gen. 2, 2007, 6:06 pm

5 Rebeccanyc, the only museum where I have seen both dinosaurs and paintings was in the National Museum of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar during a three-week holiday there some years ago. Not only did they have dinosaurs, but while we were there, the bones of one large dinosaur were laid out on the floor, being wired together for hanging. These were the real bones/fossils, not just molds or something! I could have walked away with a dinosaur bone if I was that sort of person (which I'm not).

During the same trip, my 5 year old daughter found a huge camel bone in the gobi desert, and we convinced her it was a dinosaur bone. It looked like something that Dino would have munched on in the Flintstones. Her total belief in it being a dinosaur bone was a bit awkward when we left the country. We packed it in the suitcase, and of course it showed up on the x-ray scan. the customs guy didn't speak much English and I don't speak any Mongolian, so we had a fairly 'caveman' type of conversation - a lot of grunting and pointing and one word explanations. He pointed to the suitcase and said "bone?" I said "yes, camel bone" but my daughter cried out "Dinosaur bone!". He stared at me for a tense moment, then burst out laughing and waved us through. *whew*

gen. 2, 2007, 6:55 pm

After retiring from the service, I was working as a security guard at the Superior Court while going to school, and on my first day manning the X-ray machine a gentleman's bag was shown to contain what appeared to be a human arm.

I said to him, "Excuse me, sir, but do you have a human arm in your bag"; he responded, "Why, yes, I do." It turned out that he was on his way to testify as a medical expert in a trial, and the skeletal arm was an exhibit.

I've always regretted that it was only much later that I thought of that great comeback line involving the Second Amendment...

gen. 3, 2007, 9:04 am


I'm laughing right now, picturing two 'civilized' people grunting and pointing at a bone. I think it would make an excellent short film.


Also a marvelous cocktail party story. I wonder if that guy also regretted not coming up with a Second Amendment line.

gen. 3, 2007, 10:47 am

#11, what a terrific vacation!

Editat: gen. 3, 2007, 8:06 pm

12 that pun is probably hardly ever used.
13, yes, especially since the bone was so stereotypically a bone - it had the two bulbous bits on each end.
14, it was just a wonderful holiday, quite magical. The gobi desert is incredible, the mongolian people wonderful, clever, friendly, educated and cultured. Also lots and lots of good vodka. The food, on the other hand... *quietly retches*.

gen. 24, 2007, 8:43 am

Here's one that's probably bad memory and bad editing/fact-checking. In Robert Stone's memoir, Prime Green, he writes "Around 1960, a New York wit compared the ambience of San Francisco to "being stuck in an elevator in Lincoln Center.""

This struck me as odd, so I looked it up. Ground was broken for Lincoln Center in 1959, but the first building (Philharmonic Hall) wasn't competed until late 1962, the second not until 1964, and the other buildings not until later in the 60s. So it would have been hard to have a feel for Lincoln Center as a whole "around 1960." On the other hand, maybe the word "around" gives him leeway.