Don’t believe everything you read in the ‘NY Times’

January 9, 2012

Education

Raise your hand if you find the mistake in this statement from the front page of the ‘New York Times’ website today:

“Some archaeologists and historians worry that the next generation to visit the moon might carelessly obliterate the site where man first stepped onto the planet in 1969.”

Yes, that summer school education has truly paid off. You caught the error easily – unlike the Times copy editor who let it pass and will probably have a note from his copy desk chief awaiting his arrival at work tomorrow.

The moon is not a planet, the note will say.

But for arguments sake, NASA says some moons take on characteristics of planets. “Like the Earth, our moon has a crust, a mantle and a core,” notes NASA lunar scientist Barbara Cohen.

Characteristics alone don’t let you make the cut, however. Remember, Pluto had a lot of planet stuff going for it. Then it got the boot from the planet list after scientists determined it actually served as a sort of moon for Neptune.

Meanwhile, our moon will be hanging in there as beautiful as ever – provided we don’t start dumping our beer cans, plastic cups and old washing machines on it.

“For me, the best thing about the moon is that it may not be defined as a planet, but it definitely acts like one,” says Lunar scientist Cohen.

For the Times story on moon preservation, go to:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/10/science/space/a-push-for-historic-preseration-on-the-moon.html?hp

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5 Responses to “Don’t believe everything you read in the ‘NY Times’”

  1. Andrew Jefferson Says:

    Exceptionally insightful thanks, There’s no doubt that your current readers could perhaps want way more reviews similar to this continue the excellent effort.

  2. Carroll B. Merriman Says:

    what “temptation?” don’t know read the SEC’s complaint and have been thinking about this one and something just doesn’t add up. first, what was this guy’s motive for obstructing an SEC investigation? there apparently was no financial or other incentive (or you can bet the SEC would have mentioned it), and this doesn’t exactly sound like a “star” client. so, did this “partner at an international law firm” just wake up one day and decide he wanted to obstruct an SEC investigation for the hell of it? wow! second, the SEC says that Tamen “knew” the disclosures weren’t in the PPMs. did he administer the offering? that would seem a little unusual. did he interview all of the investors to find out what they got? (isn’t that what the SEC is supposed to do?). this poor sap was probably just conveying what his client told him (and it doesn’t look like this client was any saint he supposedly managed to trick dozens of people into investing lots of money with him). third there were too many lawyers involved (at least 5 by the SEC’s count maybe more). doesn’t sound like the perfect plan for a “cover-up.” this guy wasn’t even responding to the SEC a lawyer at another firm was (“Attorney D”). why didn’t “Attorney D” just go get the documents from the client? did this guy even know when and what “Attorney D” was providing to the SEC? it doesn’t say. fourth, the SEC claims that Tamen initially resisted turning over the documents, but eventually turned over all of the documents after the SEC insisted. did this guy one day all of a sudden accept Jesus into his life and decide that he no longer wanted to obstruct the SEC? was he scared because the SEC was now “insisting” (instead of, maybe, simply “asking?” for the documents?). maybe he was just waiting to get his client to waive the attorney client privilege? finally, assuming this guy suspected his client was being less than truthful, what was he supposed to do? accuse his client of lying? tell “Attorney D” he thinks his client is lying? tell the SEC he thinks his client is lying? stop representing the client for “ethical” reasons? simply relay the information on to “Attorney D”? (this seems the most logical choice to me “Attorney D” is the one, after all, who is responding to the SEC). but damned if I know. finally, let’s not forget about that pesky little thing called the “attorney client privilege.” is it really appropriate for the SEC to seek information about document revisions from their target’s lawyer? really? doesn’t the lawyer have an obligation to at least advise his client of the privilege (even if not to assert it)? this would seem like a pretty good time for the client to assert the privilege.
    The SEC has said explicitly that they’re going to start coming down hard on attorneys in their investigations (Robert Khuzami devoted a whole speech to this in June). it seems that lawyers no longer have ethical obligations to their clients their primary obligation is to assist the SEC in their investigation of their clients. this case sounds like an unfortunate mix of a shady client, too many chefs in the kitchen, disregard for the attorney client privilege, and an over-zealous SEC. just some collateral damage. the government enters treachorous waters once they decide to target lawyers solely for “obstructing” an investigation (particularly when the lawyer apparently has no motive, and has nothing to do with the alleged underlying misconduct). the maryland district court just proved that in the recent case, US vs. Lauren Stevens.

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