Thursday, June 09, 2011

Bear-ly News

I noticed that the most popular story in Yahoo! News today was the the following Reuters article with the attention grabbing headline: "Flying Bear Kills Two Canadians in Freak Accident"

Now I don't want to make light of a tragic car accident that leaves two people dead, but I expected a far more interesting story if it was going to lead with such a sensational headline. I mean essentially the car hit a bear while traveling at a high rate of speed. It's obviously an appallingly unlucky break for such a collision to lead to fatalities and the unusual manner in which the bear's body ended up entering and exiting the car could be considered freakish in its uniqueness but to categorize the bear as a "flying bear" is just irresponsible journalism.

Many animals involved in a drive by collision are technically "flying" for varying periods of time. If I hit a deer or a moose or a possum at the right angle, I can claim to have been accosted by a "flying" variant of that species. If I pulled a hit and run on a drifter "I Know What You Did Last Summer"-style, would that be considered the vehicular manslaughter of a special flying man? The next time I see a headline about a bear that slips the surly bonds of Earth it better have been piloting a Piper Cub or was accidentally shot out of a cannon in a terrible circus mishap, or was the first of a new and terrifying breed of winged ursine.

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