11.17.2003 by , every Monday.
The internet is perhaps one of the great reflections of human culture. It is a freely accessible, two-way communications medium allowing people to interact with near-total anonymity. And barring a few strip clubs, that makes it unique. So it should come as no surprise that it allows us to view ourselves through a mirror darkly. It can be a dark and scary place. Viruses, worms, hackers, spam, flame wars, cyber-stalkers, spyware, frame drops, transaxles, ampmeters, galligaskins and epaulets are all words for which the average internet user doesn't know the definition or often spelling. This is why AOL and Symantec make so much money.
And if you use email at all, you've no doubt found in amongst the daily 43,674 ads for various pharmaceuticals and printer ink cartridges one of those endlessly forwarded e-mails that have several miles of forward headers on it and a subject line that reads something like “URGENT!!!1! READ THIS AND FORWARD IT TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND A FEW RANDOM EMAIL ADDRESSES BECAUSE THIS IS SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT NO KIDDING!!!” If you happen to actually read it, it's always a dire warning about how Microsoft has gotten a patent on email and will be charging you a toll for each email you send or how the new “Sucka” virus has ALREADY INFECTED YOUR COMPUTER and your Game Boy and toaster and will infect your kids EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY and the only cure is to buy discount Viagra from this “very respectable company.”
Another permutation on the endlessly forwarded email plague is those sent from your really ditzy friends that are stories about how the little boy with polio and cancer and smallpox and rubella and gangrene and AIDS and fin rot and feline leukemia and MSBlaster got so sick and ALMOST DIES but then a passing pastor followed the ghost of Abraham Lincoln into the hospital and converted the little boy's parents to Christianity and they all prayed and then the boy sat up JUST THEN and was COMPLETELY HEALED and told everyone how God smelled like rain and sounded like a Harley-Davidson and told him to tell everyone that the war in Iraq was HIS SPECIFIC WILL and that we all need to support President Bush NO MATTER WHAT and that column writers who write excessively long run-on sentences should be shot on sight. They'll also visit upon you lists of such things as “Ways To Tell You're[sic] Kitty Kat[sic] Is Spoiled” and “Little-Known Facts” that were apparently written by someone under the influence of discount Viagra based on the complete and total lack of factual content.
Now, I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of making the world's idiots work for you. And it is in this spirit that I introduce Project Glurge. The idea is simple- this column will contain a list of absurdly false “Little-Known Facts” that I want you, loyal reader, to copy and paste into an email with a header such as “READ THIS ITS COOL” and send it to all of your crap-mail forwarding friends. And if you'd be so kind, drop me a little line in the comment box below (or write to dan at tangmonkey.com) letting me know you did so I'll have an idea of how many seeds were planted. I'll watch my private inboxes (NOTE TO WOULD-BE SMARTASSES: Dan at Tangmonkey.com is not one of these) and when it comes back to me, I'll post a special blank with the elapsed time, total layers of forwarding headers, any changes and anything else of note. Let's make these people actually amuse us for once, hm?
Now if you'll excuse me, I have forward an email to ten friends so Microsoft and AOL will give money to this little girl dying of cancer.
Martha, Jeff sent me these and they are so interesting! I didn't know any of this! It really makes you think, doesn't it?
1.) A single wasp can produce up to three fluid ounces of honey per week.
2.) During the spring solstice, all mechanical clocks will lose three seconds. During the fall solstice, they gain them back.
3.) There is as much alcohol in a bottle of Robitussin DM as there is in three bottles of beer.
4.) There is a hidden Satanic symbol in every Garfield comic strip collection.
5.) Mixing equal parts of Coke and Pepsi fountain syrup will produce an explosive equal in power to the same volume of gunpowder. (remember, sugar and some acids are flammable)
6.) Every sixteen seconds, enough oil is sold in the United States to propel the mass of the Eiffel Tower to Mars.
7.) Bermuda actually got its name from Bermuda shorts.
8.) If you were to make a stack of every Beatles record ever sold, it would reach beyond the moon!
9.) Make a fist. That is the exact weight and size of your heart.
10.) Archaeologists have found Velcro in China.
11.) Mathematicians have discovered that the average depth of the ocean is equal to the estimated amount of water inside the bodies of every human being on the planet squared. Something to think about.
12.) Chocolate was the currency of the Aztecs.
13.) The harmonica is over 1700 years old.
14.) Hitler used the metric system.
15.) An armadillo could survive unprotected on Mars for three hours.
16.) Federal regulations require ice cream to be heated to 1000 degrees for six hours before it is considered fit for human consumption.
17.) Every glass of tap water contains approximately 25,000 different potentially deadly microbes.
18.) Jacques Chevrolet, founder of the Chevrolet Motor Company, was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
19.) The Madagascar Sleeping Bat lives for up to seven years, but is awake for only one day, when it mates.
20.) The U.S. Navy's Procedure Manual, which can be found on every ship with a crew of more than sixteen, includes instructions on what to do if a ship encounters a giant squid.
21.) Only three words in the English language have no vowels.
22.) Say “Yes, he has no gym shorts” aloud. You just pronounced an ancient curse in Arabic.
23.) The Japanese have no word for “Aardvark.”
24.) Superman was loosely based upon Jim Thorpe.
25.) Due to FDA regulations, every carrot shown on American TV must be plastic.
26.) No one has seen a Chinese Crying Sparrow in over fifty years.
27.) Abraham Lincoln invented the pogo stick.
28.) The blood of every human on earth contains detectable levels of Styrofoam, Teflon, and Hytraxtin-D, a chemical used in refining gasoline.
29.) The average human will unknowingly eat the equivalent of 6.7 cockroaches in a year.
30.) There are no fault lines in Canada.
31.) New York City police find an average of five severed human limbs in one year that will never be matched to any person living or dead.
32.) Every episode of “I Love Lucy” was shown somewhere on earth today.
33.) The ratio of cars on earth to people on earth is 6:1.
34.) The plastic thread used to hold the tag onto clothing is called a “Scromble.” There will be sixty tons of them produced this year.
35.) There are no ducks in France.
36.) The average pop star will produce 1.6 hits in his career before fading into obscurity.
37.) Gary Coleman is a licensed rescue diver.
38.) Every can of Diet Coke contains 1.2 milligrams of formaldehyde.
39.) There are eight known species of snake in Ireland.
40.) The Pentagon's email server crashes an average of three times per week due to spam.
41.) Smallest kingdom on earth: Farpoint Island in the south Pacific. It covers 6.3 square miles and has a population of 21. Primary industry: Fueling station for ships headed to Antarctica.
42.) Penguins are born without bills. They don't grow in until one year of age.
FORWARD THIS TO ALL YUOR'E FRIENDS!!