Featured in Features

It’s that time again. Here we take a look at what kind of B.S. Washington publications are putting in their features and lifestyles section. Sometimes they’re good. Often they’re not. But they’re always worth a look.

The questionable — In WaPo‘s Lifestyle section there’s a story by Emi Kolawole about the proliferation of animated GIFs (largely thanks to the restless minds at BuzzFeed) related to the Olympics. For those who don’t know, GIFs are the low-quality motion pictures that endlessly repeat 1 to 3 seconds of video. The following question is actually entertained in WaPo‘s story: “So, here’s the question, are the animated gifs cheating NBC — an end-run around its exclusive broadcasting rights?” That’s a good one and it’s exactly what I’ve been wondering to myself: Who needs NBC when you’ve got a grainy two-second clip of a Chinese gymnast falling down on loop right in front of you?! Fortunately, Kolawole aces her own quiz. “The short answer: no. NBC’s ratings are doing just fine,” she writes. Whew!

The consistent— Never one to disappoint, The Daily Caller‘s Taylor Bigler has crafted “The top 10 reasons to strive for 22 Olympic medals.” Sounds like it could be inspirational, but it’s actually a titillating photo slideshow of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps‘ model girlfriend.

The notable— In its cover story, WCP has a look at tap water and how it’s different from city to city. That’s not incredibly sexy, but Jessica Sidman, who wrote the story, spoke with a CIA food scientist (apparently those exist) and learned that food recipes are affected by the mineral content in tap water. That means depending on what city a recipe is prepared it, the final product can be vastly different.

The irresistibleWashington Examiner readers might have noticed not too long ago the publication has shifted content around. The staff editorial, once prominently placed on page two, has been buried in the back on page 27. In its former space is “Potomac Diary,” a daily feature with less purpose than an iron in Dave Weigel’s closet. Potomac Diary is nothing more than a collection of random, unbylined anecdotes submitted by people around the Washington area. For example, in today’s issue there’s a short story about a Golden Triangle worker downtown who cleaned the newspaper boxes at the corner of 16th and K streets. There’s another about a girl on the Metro who gawked at a fellow passenger aggressively swaying to music playing on his headphones. Pointless? Yes. Waste of space? Possibly. Do we read them anyway? Definitely.