I often say that when used intelligently a bit of humour can help enormously with making some news more readable and digestible, especially for those of us who consume a lot of news. Of course it requires sensitivity – to avoid an air of flippancy when writing about very serious or upsetting subjects, for example – but sometimes it is appropriate (and can in fact help the reader to visualise the subject more accurately), even to quite unexpected subjects, like in this example from a Daily Galaxy article about the discovery of an Earth-like planet

…A collaboration between the COROT and HARPS systems has detected a rocky exoplanet five hundred light years away, a small stone ball less than twice the diameter and about five times the mass of Earth – giving it the same density as our place. Don’t imagine any aliens just yet though (or if you do, make them pretty heat resistant) – it orbits only 2.5 million kilometers from its star, sixteen times closer than even Mercury gets. The exoplanet’s “year” is thus shorter than our day – meaning that even if there is an asbestos-based civilization their economy is utterly devastated by birthdays…

Nice…

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