New Territory Indeed | 802 Online

New Territory Indeed

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When I was a kid, I used to read the USA WEEKEND magazine each week. It came with the Sunday paper — in my case the Detroit News. It seemed fluffy in the late 80s and early 90s, but I think it's really taken a turn for the worse in recent years. I get it now with my Sunday Burlington Free Press, but I almost always recycle it, unread, along with the ridiculous pile of glossy ad fliers. This week, I dug it out for a look.

What did I find? On a page with the word "Science," in bold type in the upper left hand corner, an article entitled "Newly Charted Territory." The subhead reads: "With the discovery of a new 'planet' in our solar system, some people may wonder: Will this affect my horoscope?"

No, this is not an ad. It's actual editorial copy! From the nut graph: "Astrologers, the practitioners behind your trusted weekly horoscopes in the newspaper, are abuzz about how this new heavenly body could affect their craft. Would the addition of a new planet debunk traditional horoscopes and predictions? Could you think you're a Scorpio today, then learn tomorrow that Xena [the new planet] ruled your chart all along? Some of astrology's brightest minds weigh in on these questions and more for USA WEEKEND, and their answers may surprise you."

I pity the poor hack who had to write this and pass it off as "Science." Shame, shame, shame!

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