The DNS servers seem to have made a terrible mistake today, and accidentally swapped the Daily Mail‘s site with that of the Apple app store. How else am I to explain the fact that today’s main science story is “Ugly Meter: The 59p iPhone app that tells you how good-looking (or not) you are“? There’s not really a lot to the story. Our intrepid friend “Daily Mail Reporter” downloaded the app and then input the faces of various celebrities into it, just to make sure we know “scientifically” who the most attractive X Factor judge is and what insults the app decided to throw at Christina Hendricks (according to the program, the ugliest person who has ever lived).
It should be reasonably obvious that attractiveness, being an extremely subjective quantity, cannot be measured by holding an iPhone up to an old back issue of the Mail, and that the app has all the scientific value of mobile phone X-rays and nude scanners (both links go to Youtube videos). In case you didn’t guess, the app simply generates a random number and then throws an insult at you. In other words Daily Mail Reporter didn’t even double check their results; they just found an old showbiz magazine, took some photos of it with a 59p program running on their phone, wrote some sneering copy about Brat Pitt, David Cameron and Christina Hendricks (because what articles these days would be complete without a Mad Men reference), clapped their hands and clicked “Publish” with the glowing satisifaction of a job well done.
That’s what journalism has become. iPhone apps and Mad Men. Good job, world, good job.