scientologists in clearwater, deadly coconuts

A couple quick posts (busy day!):
Scientologists invade west Florida. Before I got my current gig here in Dallas, I considered taking the job of the reporter who wrote this story — Scientology writer for the St. Petersburg Times, a very fine newspaper. But then I realized I’d rather not live my life under the threat of lawsuits from crazy people. And I’d probably never get to meet John Travolta, anyway.
– On a bulletin board in a neighboring newsroom department, there’s a note tacked up that states: “More people are killed every year by falling coconuts than by sharks.” It’s a well meaning reminder not to blow isolated incidents out of proportion, as much of the press did last summer when a supposed rash of shark attacks made big, scary news — despite the fact they were still extremely rare.
Unfortunately, that little coconut “fact” is just wrong. Cecil Adams, among others, says so. I printed out that Adams column and posted it (in cognito) on the bulletin board last week as a factual counterpoint.
I came into work a couple days ago and found my posting had been taken down. The original anti-coconut posting remained. Some people just can’t handle the truth.

2 thoughts on “scientologists in clearwater, deadly coconuts”

  1. you should write a story on the alarming number of people being killed by falling coconuts, complete with all the dribble that accompanied the shark stuff (e.g. we’re invading their habitat, making ourselves easy pickins); only in this case: more sidewalks are being built beneath palm trees. humanity is encroaching on nature’s territory and the desparate trees are retailiating in the only way they can.
    then post it under that stupid shark quote.

  2. In May I was visiting friends who live between St. Petersburg and Clearwater, and they mentioned the new Scientology building and the cult’s ever-increasing power in the area. But it was still hard for me to take the whole thing seriously. Until Now.
    The St. Pete Times is a great newspaper, though. It’s held to the same high standards as always while the Miami Herald has taken a different road.

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