JACK BATDORFF: Get the facts before forwarding that email

Okay, already!

I’ve had it!

Either Ma Nature is having the cramps.

Or the Weathercaster is hitting the ganja weed.

The hourly weatherman sez it’s sunny and hot outside.

My body sez this precipitation ain’t sun rays.  It’s a torrential downpour!

Wha’ goes?

In my next life I’m going to take a correspondence course and become a weather forecaster!

Anyway … thinking about weather makes me think about our world’s changing climatic changes.

So I Googled weather stories to see what I could find … AND I found this startling and scary AP report in the Washington Post.

Not only frightening … but a true concern for an potential impending world calamity!

I quote:

“The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.

Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.”

Oh yeh, I forgot to mention…this report WAS done by AP and WAS published in the Washington Post of November 2, 1922 … 93 years ago.

… AND has been sent to numerous posts WITHOUT the little fact that it was printed in 1922.

This brings us to a little procedure that has been a bur in my craw for some time … it’s called forwarding.

Forwarding is a common procedure of sending an article or event or notice that has been sent to your emai l… and you forward it to a group of your friends.

I’m sure you do it.  I do it.

The problem is most people DON’T check it out for validity.

And that’s where the rumor mill starts.

I cannot tell you how many times a day I get forwarded “factual”information …. that just isn’t.

It absolutely drives me crazy!

I’ve had people forward me items such as:

n The following McDonald’s sign:  “As an insurance measure due to in part a recent string of robberies, African-American customers are now required to pay an additional fee of $1.50 per transaction.”

n A picture of a sign outside a Dearborn, Mi. mosque: “Advancement of Islamic Agenda for America…”Allah Be Praised. America we will kill you all and nothing you can do to stop it.  Allah Be Praised.”

I have a difficult time believing that intelligent people will forward crap like this without checking it out.

BUT … some people just look at where the email came from, assume it is true…and forward it to all their friends.

There is a super FREE organization called Snopes.  They can be reached at www.snopes.com

You can check out the validity of ANY statement that is sent you … and they will tell you if it is True or False … and give you the background information behind the facts.

AND … if they don’t have the information, they will check it out for you … and let you know if it is bonafide or not.

So, the next time you get an email from a buddy that claims there is a secret movement afoot to lace the aquifer we’re getting our drinking water from with PCP….or … that it’s a known fact that the earth will implode in 2019 and the only survivors will be those that burrow in underground caverns lined with lead….or….that that it’s a known fact that lemons cure cancer….or….that the microwave makes a cool inexpensive way to charge your phone…or…that Tony Hawk, the skateboard king, has not only developed a hoverboard…but has been riding it to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future, Part !!.

For God’s sakes, BEFORE you send them on…CHECK THEM OUT!

It only takes a moment to hop on Snopes….and that moment will save you a LOT of embarrassment when it backfires and comes back that you forwarded something that wasn’t true.

Trust me on this one…

Oh Yeh, for the record…NONE of the above statements were true…and the last three made it into the biggest Facebook hoaxes of 2014.

Further, just so you know: Pluto is not a planet…again; the elusive British graffiti artist Bansky has NOT been caught; Beth is NOT coming back to The Walking Dead; “Friends” is NOT coming back on the air; Macaulay Calkin is NOT dead; Facebook is NOT going to charge you a monthly fee;  Diddy did NOT kill Tupac; Betty White IS still alive as IS Bill Cosby….and finally, for the record, you will NOT get seven years of bad luck if you fail to forward something….remember the snail mail annoyance?

Dah!

Have a good weekend.

And…Happy (and sane) Surfing!

And for the record, a tip of the hat to Tom Seager, who sent me a note with his memories of the infamous Party Line…many thanx Tom!!  Ah Yes…those were the days!

Jack Batdorff is the chairman of the Pioneer Group. Email him at jbatdorff@pioneergroup.com.

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