Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fell for a UL

As one who prides himself on being able to spot an urban legend at 50 paces, I feel like I should fess up on the rare occasion when I fall for one. So, here it is--I fell for this email claiming that "On August 27...Mars will be as big as and bright as ourmoon. It will be that close to the earth. Anyone alive to see it will not be alive when it happens again." I made a point of putting it in my calendar, and brought the kids out to see it that night. Not as big as the moon, but there sure was a bright evening star (aka, planet) in the sky. The next night, I told Beth about it, and took her out to see it. She started to put something about it in Facebook, then thought to check first and, sure enough, found it here in Snopes.

In hindsight, there is always at least one or two signal UL clues. In this case, the "as big as the moon" part is the giveaway. In rapidly reading the email, I did remark that, but semi-consciously dismissed it as modest hyperbole (like maybe as much area and brightness as the crescent moon).

1 comment:

  1. In the age of the internet and information overload, the amount of MISINFORMATION is overwhelming. I always try to stick to the moto of "Believe none of what you hear or read and half of what you see until you can prove it. Question everythinig."