The SMH … sigh

What is it about using commas for pauses, but not to separate dependent clauses

Unsurprisingly, African countries with their high rates of malnourishment and lack of access to clean water and affordable produce, populated the top 10 worst countries to eat in.

including when they are clearly needed?

The all-rounder dubbed the Big Show by teammates threatened his best production yet, hauling Australia back from 4-114 after the exit of Shaun Marsh (55) into what was looking by the minute a match-turning knock.

That article has a pearler even by the standards of sports journalism:

The ball after reverse-pulling Bresnan for another boundary a slightly more conventional pull brought him unstuck, ending up in the hands of Ravi Bopara at midwicket.

So the ball reverse-pulled Bresnan? Sigh…

And, of course, no sports article would be complete without a failure to recognise the existence of the collective singular:

Australia lead the series 2-0 heading into Sunday’s third match in Sydney.

It’s the content owners, stupid

More press surrounding the gouging of Australian customers. When will there be adequate realisation that Apple is in a different position from Microsoft and Adobe?

The price of music, movies, TV and apps on the App Store is set by the content owner, not Apple. Apple just takes a cut. Apple’s own software is priced effectively at parity given the exchange rate and GST (or free).

Not just impacted, but federally impacted

Oh dear…

Labor’s political woes federally impacted efforts by West Australian Labor leader Mark McGowan to defeat Premier Colin Barnett in Saturday’s poll, according to two senior federal ministers.

Impacted is an adjective, not a verb. Only three things can be impacted: teeth, broken bones and faeces.

While it is tempting to draw parallels between at least one of these things and federal politics, it is still not correct.

Chemistry in the news

See this article:

A POISONOUS plume of acid ”comparable to car batteries”

Huh? This does not make sense. Acid is not comparable to a battery. Although I think I know what he means …

”It is extremely acidic, comparable to car batteries,” said a senior research fellow, William Glamore, from the University of NSW.

… ah, that makes sense. As suspected, we are dealing with sulphuric acid, which is what is commonly used in car batteries.

Still, the pH is comparable to lemon juice, not conc sulphuric (but in a biological system, pH 2 is still a bad, bad thing)

Tests carried out by the university’s water research laboratory show alarming amounts of acid, with a pH level of two – compared with a normal level of seven – meaning the Manning River water is roughly as acidic as lemon juice.