Saturday, September 22

Current, but Real?

I will begin my blog today by apologizing... I'm a bit behind. Now, those of you who know me know that I am always behind, but this time I really do have a valid excuse. My computer crashed. I turned it on, and all I got was a blank screen. Gaaaaaaaah! At least it happened AFTER two big deadlines this week. And yes, I back everything up. But I am now at the mercy of the geniuses at the Apple store to get me back on track. Please send your collective positive vibes that they will be able to restore my baby and that all parts and services are within my warranty agreement!

I'm on my DH's computer at the moment, coming to you live from Panera Bread because once he got back in town last night and I could steal his laptop, our Internet service went down!!! He was on hold for over an hour this morning trying to get it taken care of and I ran out of patience. Besides, I like Panera's turkey panini. :)

ANYWAY, the topic for this week, as you may have surmised, is current events. So I ask you, from where do you glean your current event information? I usually hear tidbits on the radio as I am carpooling kids around, then come home and look up the interesting ones on my computer. While I'm on the news sites (typically I hit NYT, CNN and MSNBC online) I scroll through the other top news stories for the day. Sometimes I'll watch Larry King while I'm matching socks or something. That seems to satisfy my need to know. It's plenty of news for me. And yet...

Well-meaning friends and aquaintences seem to feel the need to enlighten me on all sorts of news stories, delivered right to my inbox by way of forwarded stories and warnings. Anyone here glean their current event information from these things? (If so, we need to have a serious talk.)

The thing about those forwarded messages is (most of the time) the are just NOT TRUE. For example, I've received several warnings about antiperspirant causing breast cancer. Sorry, folks. I've been in the trenches. I'm rather vigilant about keeping up on current breast cancer information. Antiperspirant is not a factor. Another email warned women not to open their doors if they hear an infant crying, because some theives were going around with the sounds of babies crying recorded on a tape recorder and when the woman opened the door, BAM. Well, that's a clever idea, but again, not real. The sources quoted in the "news" blurb have never heard of the baby-crying-break-in-method. This week I got the 'Hilary Clinton defended the Black Panther murderers' forward. This one said it was verified by snopes. Cute. If anyone who received this email cared to go to the snopes site, they would find that the Clinton Defender story is listed on the site... and debunked (Hillary Clinton was not a lawyer at the time, but a student, protesting.) Oy, I've got dozens of 'em.

Point is, while these stories, warnings, pictures, anecdotes, etc. might seem interesting, important, plausible, whatever, they generally aren't worth reading, let alone passing along. Please, PLEASE if you feel the compulsion to do so, at least take thirty seconds to verify the information you're spending bandwidth on before you hit send. There are lots of great de-mything sites you can check. Among my favorites are snopes , truthorfiction and hoaxbusters.

What are some of your favorite email hoaxes that have come through your inbox?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Gerb, who, while she loves to read and write fiction, prefers her current event news to dwell in the real world


Sara Hantz said...

All the computer virus hoax warnings get me. Because you're never totally sure... and when you're a techie-illiterate like me it can be very scary!!!!

Alyson Noel said...

Ah, Gerb, so true and well said. I never read those forwards- and a thousand curses on those who send chain letters!

My condolences on your computer woes!

Kelly Parra said...

I'm always getting those irritating lottery or millions in an account in a far off country. haha! Hope your comupter is fixed soon! ~ k

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