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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Urban Legends Filling up Email Boxes

Yesterday I was reading a news story about the upcoming event of Mars being closer to the earth than it has been in 60,000 years. Supposedly it will appear brighter and larger than the moon. Sounds pretty cool, eh? Well, unfortunately, this story is a hoax. In 2003, Mars did indeed pass closer to earth than it had in 60,000 years, but it did not appear larger than the moon in the sky.

Email has become a way to pass on information of all sorts. Letters to friends, information about Disaster Relief efforts, advertisements (both wanted and unwanted), news and the ever popular legends. The above-mentioned email started out based in fact, but as it circled around the globe, someone forgot to stop it when the date was past. On one day I got sent the Mars email four times from four different people who knew what space buffs we are.

So, here is my suggestion to you. When you get emails in your box about Bill Gates giving away money, spectacular space events, children with incurable diseases and if you pass on this email a company will contribute money to their fund, missing children notices and anything that seems remotely off key, take a few moments and check it out at www.snopes.com . This site is a great place to check out the validity of email you have received. Do yourself a favor and your friends a favor, before you push that forward and send button, check it out! Otherwise, you may have a wiser friend emailing you back telling you that the email you just sent to the 100 people you know was a hoax.

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