Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It captures the imagination

One of the best reads on the 'net is MosNews, the Russian online gazette. Not necessarily because of its accuracy or reputation - on those issues we neither know nor care - but for its imagination. Consider, for instance, this headline and this illustration:

Bird Flu Virus May Infect One Third of World’s Population — Russian Expert

This gives you a sweeping sense of the historic perils that await humanity in the path of the H5N1 virus ... the pigeon that poops on your porch may be the instrument of your deliverance from this mortal coil.

And perhaps it's merely a matter of translation, but the same dramatic scope permeates the writing, as in the first two paragraphs of the story:
One-third of the world’s population might become infected with bird flu in a short period of time, Director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Virology Research Institute Dmitry Lvov said, according to Interfax.

“Any pandemic (flu) virus appears as a result of crossing between a human virus and a bird virus. A highly pathogenic monster emerges and it can affect up to one-third of the world’s population in a short period of time,” he said.
Pathogenic monster! That's good enough to name a band after.


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