Thursday, September 13, 2007

Email forwards. We all get them. Everything from Saving Baby John from Cancer, to raunchy jokes, to hilarious videos to "valuable" information regarding giant-sized Mars in the sky and poisonous spiders. On average I say I get about 5 emails per week that I'd classify as "Stupid Email Forwards." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some of these. I love watching the funny videos! Did you see the one with the people on the ginormous slingshot? HAHAHA! That was a riot. Some of these, I don't really care for. Now it's well known that I'm very skeptical of "what I hear." I've debunked such stupid things as prune juice in Dr. Pepper, poisonous Daddy Long Legs and balancing eggs on their tips during an equinox. Heck I'm a regular Myth Buster if you ask me.

In fact, just a few weeks ago I had a co-worker forward me an email forward because she knows that I'm skeptical of them and she wanted to know if it was true. The forward stated that in just a few days Mars would be the closest it has been to Earth in the last bajillion years and if you looked outside during the evening the planet would appear in the sky larger than the Moon!! "Wow!" I thought. That's pretty impressive and frankly pretty darn scary. For if Mars actually appeared that size in the sky, our planet would be in serious jeopardy! After some careful research I discovered that just a few years ago Mars was indeed the closest to our globe than it would be for hundreds of years to come, but that was a few years ago (which meant the circulating forward had been forwarding since nearly the dawn of forwards!) and while I'm sure Mars would have looked fantastic in a telescope, to the naked eye, the observer would have noticed nothing more than a puny increase in the planet's magnitude, nothing more.

Then last night I had a friend forward me one about a super-poisonous spider biting people on the caboose after camping out on the underside of toilet seats in a Floridian Olive Garden. A few things spiked my interest on this email. One, the only really poisonous spiders found in The States are the Black Widow and Brown Recluse, and even those would have a hard time killing an adult human. In fact I think the most poisonous spiders, the Brazilian Wandering Spider and the Six Eyed-Sand Spider, reside in Brazil and South Africa respectively, without either one really being small enough to hide under a toilet seat. So you can image I had a hard time even remotely believing the email. I took off on the Internet highway and discovered this email had been started back in 2002 , and it actually mimicked an email dating from 1999! Upon wiping the sweat from my brow I thought, "Whew, another stupid myth debunked."

Really my point here I want to make to my readers is to stop believing everything you hear, er read! Even if it comes from the mouth of your closest friend. Be skeptical of the world! I'm not saying everyone lies, but just put a little thought into what you listen to. If it seems a little far-fetched, it probably is. Don't be afraid to question and investigate! Regardless of what you hear about Wikipedia (pronounced wikee/pee/dee/ah, trust me, I know all about wiki, what it is, how to program with it and how it is pronounced), it is a fantastic tool (go figure huh?). Ask your other friends what they think of the matter. If all your friends believe one thing and you another, odds are you're wrong. Sorry to say that, but it's true. Finally don't trust any email forward! No matter how sympathetic, or pathetic it may sound, or appear, don't have a blind trust in what it says.

Of course I could really say the same goes for blogs and webpages, but then I'd have to make an amendment if the speaker, writer or forwarder is a genius and already a skeptic, like me. Well, let's just make that amendment anyway shall we?

1 comment:

DMM said...

you forgot my fav...forward this email and Bill Gates will pay you 5 gazillion dollars for each person you send this to...Now come on people, Bill Gates isn't going to pass out any stop sending those...