What is that unfortunate smell?

Photo: Zackmann08. Gnu Free Documentation License, Version 1.2.

Oiliness, Refugio Beach, 2015.

There was a distinctive smell at Refugio Beach. Someone called the fire department. Firefighters from Santa Barbara found a big old oil slick – “dark, black crude oil” – in the ocean. About a half-mile-long slick, Captain Dave Zaniboni told USA Today.

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Two surprisingly good corporate apologies

There have been a lot of quease-inducingly bad apologies lately. (We’ve shared a bunch on our Facebook page that we didn’t address here.) As a palate-cleanser, let’s look at a couple of good ones.

This is the original Amtrak logo from 1971.

This is the original Amtrak logo from 1971.

This has been the Amtrak logo since 2000.

This has been the Amtrak logo since 2000.

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I apologize for your provoking of me

Yay! Our principal ruined our graduation!

Yay! Our principal ruined our graduation!

At a high school graduation in Stone Mountain, GA, the principal forgot to call the valedictorian to speak. Belatedly, she tried to get the departing audience to come back. When they continued to file out, she sneered, “Look at who is leaving — all of the black people.” Video of the incident immediately hit YouTube and was picked up by local and then national media.

The principal’s first response, according to station WFAB, CBS46: Continue reading

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How did it happen? More on a lightly-reported story

It was a strange little story about a California school district’s outrageous practice. Happy ending when they backed down. There were apologies! But it all centered on a song so odd – downright archaic – that it called for some actual reporting. That turned out to be interesting.

A ten-year-old came home, upset about a song his fourth-grade class was supposed to sing. He asked his mother to write a letter saying he didn’t have to sing it.

Naturally, she asked him what was so terrible about the song. He didn’t want to tell her the lyrics. He said he’d bring them home the next day. Which he did.

His mother agreed – they’re awful. So awful she showed them to the tribal council.

Photo: Capricorn90. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Visalia, where this took place.

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Sexist scientist schmucks sorry-ish

This is Snarly today.

This is Snarly today.

Warning. I am crankier than usual right now. I’m still in a fury about serial domestic violence perpetrator Floyd Mayweather being protected by the entire city of Las Vegas and getting paid a gazillion dollars to beat someone up (at least that guy signed on for it) as well as about the general state of our planet, but I have 20 minutes before I have to meet my mom to see The Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder (FITTING); so I thought I’d tackle this vile wee bit o’ sexism covered by our pals at Retraction Watch and tipped to us by Sorrywatch reader/technical writer/martial arts badass/music writer Lisa Hirsch. Continue reading

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I’d rather take a bullet than apologize

Image: Thomas Hart. Public domain.

Benedict Arnold in 1776, when considered loyal to the American side.

Benedict Arnold is notorious as a traitor in the American Revolution. After fighting with distinction on the American side and being promoted to major general, things started going less well. He was injured at Saratoga (1777), passed over for promotion, saw others steal his credit, and fought legal battles with Congress over money. Congress also ignored his advice. (Tell me about it.)

He switched sides. Secretly. He was in command of West Point and plotted to turn it over to the British. The plot was discovered when a British conspirator was captured with relevant documents. Pursued by George Washington, Arnold escaped to a British warship.

The British made him a brigadier general, and gave him a reward, salary, and pension. He led British troops in Virginia and Connecticut.

But oops, he hadn’t switched to the winning side.

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Dalai Lama’s Apology for His Role in Her Hit and Run Left Her Speechless

Photo: Björn Appel. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Wiesbaden in 2005.

The 14th Dalai Lama visited California in 2001, talking about the Heart of Wisdom teachings. Our protagonist, whom I shall call Dr. P, attended a “reception-y” event at which the Dalai Lama spoke, and then headed out. As Dr P was leaving, the Dalai Lama was also leaving. In a hurry.

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Celebrity apology roundup! Five apologies, one post!


Bro! Dude! Bro! Dude!

Have any celebrities apologized for entitled narcissistic inappropro behavior recently?


1. Musclebound Marvel meatballs!

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Is this Vince Lombardi High?

Image: If from 1901, by Jean Marc Cote; if from 1910, by Villemard. Public domain (owing to copyright expiration).

From 1901 or 1910, startlingly prescient prediction of a classroom in 2000. Hard to tell which one of these kids complained about the Bible verses, but WE WILL FIND OUT.

Morning announcements over intercom. Not a highlight of my school days. At White Oak High School in Longview, Texas, principal Dan Noll likes to read Bible verses.

Such as: “Proverbs 15:8: The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him…A moment of silence.”

Kill me now.

Rather than gnaw off a forelimb to escape, an unnamed student recorded a few of Noll’s scriptural readings and sent them to blogger Hemant Mehta, of The Friendly Atheist.

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I am the very model of a meddling Major General

Photo: Adrian Pingstone. Public domain.

A-10 Thunderbolt. Remind you of anything?

Major General James Post was addressing the Air Force’s “Weapons and Tactics” conference. During Q&A someone asked about the future of the A-10 Thunderbolt plane, aka The Warthog.

“If anyone accuses me of saying this, I will deny it,” began Post. Much chuckling. Ha ha, just among the 350 of us officers.

He went on: “Anyone who is passing information to Congress about A-10 capabilities is committing treason.”

That threatening charge [“froze the room into stone silence,”] according to the John Q. Public blog.


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