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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Please Forward to the Recycle Bin

It is amazing to me how much false information gets absorbed as truth. Well, actually, it’s quite irritating really. Everyone, including high profile information authorities such as Dan Rather, seems to bypass the formality of making sure the information they are receiving is true. What’s even worse, this same information is passed on to others as validated truth.

Millions of people receive ‘tons’ of megabytes via e-mails in the form of forwarded messages. Pages and pages of internet text pass before our eyes and the amazing thing is that we absorb a lot of it! I am as guilty as the next person, but I have determined that I will try to be more discerning in the internet traffic that I contribute to. Of course, I am going to have to change a few habits and be a little slower at pulling that “forward e-mail” trigger. The biggest problem is that forwarding e-mails is just so darn easy to do.

Tonight I received a forward concerning Mars and its close orbit in relation to earth. This e-mail made several claims, one of which stated that Mars would appear to be as large as the moon to our naked eye. I like looking at the stars and stuff so the forward was interesting to me. In fact, the kids and I went camping this summer at a Texas park that had an observatory. It was really, really neat. I saw things (including Mars) that I had never seen before in my life. The experience was quite remarkable and very memorable. So what did I do with this e-mail? I forwarded that sucker on of course.

It was too late when I began to realize how *stupid* it was to consider that the planet Mars would appear that enormous in our night skies. For it to do something like that either Earth or Mars (perhaps even both) would have to be terribly off course! Talk about an astronomical calamity.

So, I am trying to rectify the situation here. Here in my little blog. The picture is from the Hubble website; and go to the NASA website for information about this interesting current event in astronomy. Enjoy viewing some real pictures and reading about some actual facts.



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