Monday, October 5, 2009

Everything on the Internet is True. Right?

The Internet is a great source of information. Unfortunately some people think that EVERYTHING they read online is the truth. Of course, that just isn't so.

Sometimes you find an untruth that doesn't hurt anybody. For instance I recently came across an entry over at the Internet Movie Database for the movie The Gift of Love. The entry claimed that this 1958 movie was filmed at Palomar Observatory and Highway 76. Naturally that got my interest up and I felt that I had to track down a copy of it. Alas, the movie was filmed at Lick Observatory and not Palomar. What harm was done from this? Not so much, I lost a bit of time and a few dollars tracking it down.

There are other things on the Internet that are just as untrue, but they can pose actual harm to people. Take for instance the false claim of an apocalypse for 2012. There is no scientific evidence behind any of the fantastic claims being made, yet many people are genuinely frightened. Why? Because there are lots of people on the Internet loudly spreading this hoax.

Thankfully there are also people out there telling the truth about what isn't going to happen in 2012. A great place, with truthful information about this non-event is the 2012hoax: Debunking the "2012 Doomsday" website. If you have concerns about 2012, or if you know people who do, take the time to visit their website.

And if you want to steer clear of the Internet on this one, pick up a copy of the November issue of Sky & Telescope magazine which has an article "The 2012 Doomsday Scare? What you need to know to set people straight."

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