My thanks to the Knight Science Journalism Tracker for pointing out a “mea culpa” posted today by The New York Times’s Kenneth Chang regarding an error he made in an article last week about a new form of the element boron.
Responding to the Times’s printed correction, Late Night television show host Conan O’Brien parodied the mistake, in which Chang reported that there are only three pure forms of boron, rather than four. After proclaiming that he is generally an “easy-going” guy, O’Brien goes into a hilariously irritated and remarkably detailed explanation of the element’s four phases, complete with visual aid. “Stick to wine reviews and profiles of Liev Schreiber,” O’Brien advises the Times, “because when it comes to science, you’re nothing but a bunch of boron morons!” The clip is very amusing:Curtis Brainard writes on science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.