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[Comments] (1) Colin Powell the cat is running for president: This one's for Kris, who a long time ago pointed out that the headlines of "offbeat" news stories become orders of magnitude funnier if you shuffle the subjects and the predicates. Well, Kris has been feeling a little low lately so I thought I'd cheer him up by writing Dog Bites Dog (title a Sumana production), the script which does just that every five minutes. It's not as good as doing it by hand, but what did you expect?

I'm spookily intrigued by the possibility of applying this (very simple) algorithm to 'real' news headlines. But right now I'm more intrigued by the possibility of sleeping. Enjoy, all-night surfers and people on the other side of the world.

[Comments] (8) Pope remains in custody: I dreamed about RSS feeds and woke up too early, and got Dog Bites Dog running against a source of non-offbeat news. I'm debating whether to leave it up because it turns out shuffling is a headline mood multiplier: it makes "funny" headlines actually funny, but it makes depressing headlines really depressing ("Powell says US Jailed for Lying", "Life Won't Be Freed").

There are some good ones, though, like "Flying ants End Airbus Subsidies", "Ruling Resigns, Admits Gay Affair", and "Category 4 Charley Raises $2.4 Million Near Seattle". In recognition of this, I decided to just get it to not use the most morbid headline fragments. See what I've done? I'm already making the compromises that result in offbeat news in the first place.


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