Thursday, December 21, 2006

Best wishes !

year 2007

I wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !



Don't forget to read these great Christmas myths and superstitions from around the world and see how the Mythbusters spend their Christmas .

See you in 2007 !

Shampoo cancer

girl washing her with shampoo
Myth : "Shampoo causes cancer"





True
or false ?







This is the message that's been freaking out people for several years.

Check the ingredients listed on your shampoo bottle, and see if they have substance by the name of Sodium Laureth Sulfate, or simply SLS. This substance is found in most shampoos, and the manufacturers use it because it produces a lot of foam and it is cheap. BUT the fact is that SLS is used to scrub garage floors, and it is very strong. It is also proven that it can cause cancer in the long run, and this is no joke. I went home and checked my shampoo (Vidal Sassoon); it doesn't contain it; however, others such as Vo5, Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, the new Hemp Shampoo .. contain this substance. The first ingredient listed (which means it is the single most prevalent ingredient) in Clairol's Herbal Essences is Sodium Laureth Sulfate.

So I called one company, and I told them their product contains a substance that will cause people to have cancer. They said,"Yeah, we knew about it but there is nothing we can do about it because we need that substance to produce foam. By the way Colgate toothpaste also contains the same substance to produce the "bubbles". They said they are going to send me some information. Research has shown that in the 1980s, the chance of getting cancer is 1 out of 8000 and now, in the 1990s, the chances of getting cancer is 1 out of 3, which is very serious. So I hope that you will take this seriously and pass this on to all the people you know, and hopefully, we can stop "giving" ourselves the cancer virus.

Don't forget, this is real and serious, after you have read this, pass it on to as many people
as possible, this is not a chain letter, but it concerns our health.

Relax, this is not true !

The SLS substance can be found in shampoos, soaps and other detergents and it is, in fact, a foamer. For those with a sensitive skin, the drying property of this substance can produce flare-ups of skin and/or irritation.

Quoted from Wiki.org :
Rumors have circulated widely on the internet that SLS/SLES are carcinogenic. They have spread through chain emails citing a fake report supposedly published by the Journal of the American College of Toxicology. No legitimate evidence can be found to support this claim. In response to the rumour, the Cosmetics Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA) and the American Cancer Society have confirmed it to be an urban legend
You can read more about this detergent here.

In an earlier post, I was pointing out some clues that give away a story like this but I never mentioned how you can actually recognize a phony story.
There are many types of myths but I'm going to stick to those similar to "shampoo causes cancer".

These crappy stories, that fill up you e-mail box, can be very persuasive, and they are all trying to convince you that the message it's sending to you is true (or not). Generaly, the mission for this rumors is creating panic, that's why most of these myths are about diseases, death, cancer, etc. caused by something one uses regularly. For example, shampoo causes cancer. Shampoo is used by lots and lots of people and cancer is something that lots and lots of people are afraid of. (can you see where I'm going? If not, then stop reading )
They all look the same.
The first part of the story (the header) includes a short description of what the message is about; some of those short descriptions come with sentences like "This is true !" . - Just like a fairy tale :) -
The middle part of the story includes the message. Now, this message contains lots of details and scientific terms(e.g. Sodium Laureth Sulfate), that usually confuses the average Joe, and come from one or a group of "experts" or from someone that claims he/she did some research and came up with the same verdict. For example :
"So I called one company, and I told them ... their product contains a substance that will cause cancer. They said,"Yeah, we knew about it but there is nothing we can do about it because we need that substance to produce foam."

The last part (the footer) comes with a reminder ("don't forget, this is serious..."), and somewhat of a request from the author, to help spreading it.

Don't forget, this is real and serious, after you have read this, pass it on to as many people as possible...

These are the basic key elements that help you recognize untrue stories.

Don't forget that nowadays, every story like this will certainly make it on the front page of every online or offline newspaper and you will hear about it.

Cheers !

Friday, December 15, 2006

AOL and Bill Gates giving away cash

AOL and Microsoft myth
"AOL users can recieve cash reward for forwarding a particular email to test a MSN/AOL tracking system."


Is it a hoax? Well... keep reading :-)

Here's a copy of the email claiming this :

THIS TOOK TWO PAGES OF THE TUESDAY USA TODAY - IT IS FOR REAL

To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages, But this is from my good friend Pearlas Sandborn and she really is an attorney.

If she says that this will work - It will work. After all, What have you got to lose? SORRY EVERYBODY.. JUST HAD TO TAKE THE CHANCE!!! I'm an attorney, And I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through with their promises for fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

Dear Friends; Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates sharing his fortune. If you ignore this, You will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an email beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it ( If you are a Microsoft Windows user) For a two weeks time period.

For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, You will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a check.

Regards. Charles S Bailey General Manager Field Operations

1-800-842-2332 Ext. 1085 or 904-1085 or RNX

292-1085 Charles_Bailey@csx.com Charles_bailey@csx.com

I thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks after receiving this email and forwarding it on. Microsoft contacted me for my address and withindays, I receive a check for $24,800.00. You need to respond before the beta testing is over. If anyone can affoard this, Bill gates is the man.

It's all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many people as possible. You are bound to get at least $10,000.00. We're not going to help them out with their e-mail beta test without getting a little something for our time. My brother's girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When i went to visit him for the Baylor/UT game. She showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid in full"

Like i said before, I know the law, and this is for real.

Intel and AOL are now discussing a merger which would make them the largest Internet company and in an effort make sure that AOL remains the most widely used program, Intel and AOL are running an email beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Intel can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period.


There is no article in the USA Today refering to this story, which claims that AOL or Microsoft or whatever is giving away tons of money.
I've searched the usatoday.com using their custom advanced search engine for many relevant keywords and phrases related to this message and it didn't return any results. You can try giving it a shot by clicking the following link : usatoday/archives/advancedsearch

So this means that "THIS TOOK TWO PAGES OF THE TUESDAY USA TODAY - IT IS FOR REAL" is not true. This is the clue that gives it away. You can even replace it with "Hey, I’m lying !" ... it makes no difference.

Further "investigations" leaded to popular urban legends reference pages like scope.com, urbanlegends.about.com, tafkac.org and so on ... you get the idea .

Another thing I found, during my "mythdigging", about this stupid story is that it's not that new. The original message was sent for the first time in 1997, unfortunately I didn't find the actual message of the email that generated this chain of reactions that still goes on today.

I can't imagine someone believing this crap these days. We receive lots and lots of emails all saying the same thing ... "if you forward this message to all your friends, my daughter/son, who is very ill, suffers from a extremly rare disease called 'Bogusanius Tumorus', will recieve 10 cents / message".

My advice is don't believe this kind of crap ! Read the news more often. These days, if some major company is giving away money then it will make it on the front page of every news website or newspaper for sure ! Don't forward the message, delete it !

Monday, December 11, 2006

Richard Hammond passed on

Richard Hammond hoax"The 36-year-old TV presenter Richard Hammond passed on three months after he crashed in a jet-powered car while filming for Top Gear."


True or false ?




Another celebrity rumor is "cloacking" the e-mails of thousands of people around the world, especially in the UK.

Hammond car crash(foto of the crashed dragster)

Richard "Hamster" Hammond crashed in a jet-powered dragster (see the picture above), three months ago, while shooting the new series of the famous auto TV show Top Gear.
He was doing 300 mph when it crashed and was seriously hurt. BBC NEWS published an online article about this giving some details of the unhappy event.

The dragster car he was driving was believed to have been travelling at about 300mph when it crashed.

Motoring expert Adam Rayner, of Fast Car magazine, said that at those speeds the driver would experience forces similar to those endured by fighter pilots.

"These cars accelerate at 6G - the force is breathtaking and stopping is a real difficulty," he said.

Former firefighter Dave Ogden, who runs private firm Event Fire Services, was one of the first people at the scene of the crash.

He said: "We were down there with Top Gear who were filming him trying to break the British land speed record.

"On the previous run, the car had just gone over 300mph but I am not sure if it had broken the record.

"They had just done one more run and were planning to finish when it veered off to the right.

"One of the parachutes had deployed but it went on to the grass and spun over and over before coming to a rest about 100 yards from us."

He said his crew and an ambulance that was already on the airfield rushed over and found the car upside down and "dug in" to the grass.

Mr Ogden said he felt for a pulse and heard Mr Hammond breathing before the emergency crews worked together to turn the car the right way up and then cut him free.

He added: "He was regaining consciousness at that point and said he had some lower back pain. But he was drifting in and out of consciousness a little bit."



He was treated for a brain injury at Leeds General Infirmary and has since made a "remarkable" recovery.

Hammond's severe injury had reduced him to a "child-like state" in which he became obsessed with Lego, which he said helped him recover.

He suffered short-term memory loss, became disorientated and also endured "excruciating" pain, for which he was prescribed morphine.

Filming on the new series of Top Gear was suspended after the accident, but has since resumed.


In the first two weeks after the crash, BBC announced that Richard Hammond was regaining conciousness and recovering amazingly fast from his brain injury and he even talked with Top Gear co-host, James May.

The recovery of Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond has been "absolutely remarkable", says the ambulance team which moved him to a Bristol hospital.
Mr May said it was not a long talk "but it was a conversation".
"I'm not a doctor but I am his mate and I believe that deep inside the Hammond I know is perfectly intact," he said.

Recently, BBC News published another article saying that he is well almost fully recovered from his brain injury and he will give an interview to Ross TV on BBC on 22 December, this year.

Hammond will be back in the studio in early 2007 when the first episode is broadcast.
He was voted People's champion of 2006 by
Metro.co.uk Awards.

In conclusion I'm happy to say that this rumor is not true and wish Richard all the best in the world and I'm looking forward to seeing the new Top Gear series !

Steve Irwin statue

Steve Irwin Crocodile-HunterThis is a copy of an e-mail petition claiming that "they" need 1000 signatures to build a 1:1 size statue of Steve Irwin, as a tribute to the one and only "Crocodile Hunter", and if you don't agree signing it, well ...then you are a jerk.
This is a petition to get a life size statue of steve irwin to be built in australia zoo with no charge 2 the Irwin family all we need is 1000 signatures if you dont sign you are disrespectfull to an aussie hero so please sign. When you are the 1000th signinture please send it back to:
[Email address removed]
[List of names removed]


True
or false ?

If this were actually true, I'm sure that it would cause a media event with officials announcing this petition. So ... this petition is fake !

(foto of a 12 feet long alligator captured by Steve Irwin)

Let's just let him rest in peace !

Later edit: I found the same thing on digg.com but with 1000 diggs instead of signatures. :)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mythbusters holidays fun


It's not a myth, but it's worth seeing it !
As Jamie said ...
We don't need a myth, we can just have some fun, it's Christmas !
... and I think he's right :-)

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Bill Gates' 11 must-follow rules

Myth Bill Gates

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this!

To anyone with kids of any age, here's some advice. Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair -- get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping -- they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Pure fiction. Bill Gates never gave a speech about this list of rules. Some of them are good to keep in mind though...

Friday, December 8, 2006

Internet "Clean-up Day"

internet cleanup myth
There's an e-mail circulating the net for a while that sounds something like this :









Subj: Internet Clean-up Day

THIS MESSAGE WILL AGAIN BE REPEATED IN MID FEBRUARY.
*** Attention ***

It's that time again!

As many of you know, each year the Internet must be shut down for 24
hours in order to allow us to clean it. The cleaning process, which
eliminates dead email and inactive ftp, www and gopher sites, allows for a
better working and faster Internet.

This year, the cleaning process will take place from 12:01 a.m.. GMT on
February 27 until 12:01 a.m. GMT on February 28 (the time least likely to
interfere with ongoing work). During that 24-hour period, five powerful
Internet search engines situated around the world will search the
Internet and delete any data that they find.

In order to protect your valuable data from deletion we ask that you do
the following:

1. Disconnect all terminals and local area networks from their
Internet connections.

2. Shut down all Internet servers, or disconnect them from the
Internet.

3. Disconnect all disks and hard drives from any connections to the
Internet.

4. Refrain from connecting any computer to the Internet in any
way.

We understand the inconvenience that this may cause some Internet
users, and we apologize. However, we are certain that any inconveniences
will be more than made up for by the increased speed and efficiency of the
Internet, once it has been cleared of electronic flotsam and jetsam.

We thank you for your cooperation.


It's funny but is it true of false ?


To answer this question you don't need to use a lot of brain :)

This rumor, myth, whatever you like calling it, is just absurd. There is no such thing as a "cleanup day" for the Internet. If each webmaster shuts down their web server there would be NO Internet to clean.
This kind of e-mails are usually forged with a famous signature (e.g. Google CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt) and can be very persuasive, so you might be confused at the begging.

My advice is just don't believe this crap.

Monday, December 4, 2006

The Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike cigarettes
" Lucky Strike cigarettes changed from a green package to a white one during the 1940s in order to aid the war effort. "

True or false?




The center of the 'bullseye' logo on Lucky Strike cigarettes is red now, but it wasn't always so. Although the general look of the packaging hasn't changed, the center dot used to be green. Why was it changed to red you ask? Well from what I hear it was changed during WWII. You see, just like many other things, paint was being used for the war effort, green being at a premium to paint tanks, for soldiers uniforms, and practically everything else. So Lucky Strike changed the color from green to red because green was in such short supply, and it remains that way to this day.

Actor Tom Hanks died ?

Actor Tom Hanks
" Actor Tom Hanks fell to his death while making a film in New Zealand "

True or false ?


Rumor has it that the well known hollywood actor Tom Hanks had an accident while working on his movie in the morning of 16th November this year .

The rumor circulated the internet via e-mail and on some bogus websites (that I wouldn' recommend visiting) . Here's a copy of the message :

Actor - Tom Hanks Falls To His Death In New Zealand

THIS STORY IS STILL DEVELOPING...

Actor Tom Hanks died while filming a movie in New Zealand early this morning - November 16, 2006.

Preliminary reports from New Zealand Police officials indicate that the actor fell more than 60 feet to his death on the Kauri Cliffs while on-set. Specific details are not yet available.

The accident occured at aproximatly 4:30 a.m. (UTC/GMT +12). Additional details and information will be forthcoming.

New Zealand, in recent years has grown in populariaty as a backdrop for Hollywood producers because of it's scenic and rugged landscape.

Recent movies filmed in New Zealand include The Lord Of the Rings, King Kong, and The Chronicles Of Narnia.

I am happy to tell you that this is not true (because Tom H. wasn't even in New Zealand on that day) and that he is well and alive and working on his upcomiing movie Charlie Wilson's War.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Pimp-my-home for Christmas


"Home Christmas light display synchronized to musical score."

True or false?

Well, you'll have to watch this movie to believe it!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Some Coke myths

Coca-cola myths

I've heard so many myths about the "amazing" Coke but never knew which were true and which weren't so I decided to do some research and find out (no, not by opening a can of Coke).

"You can dissolve corrosion just by using Coca-cola"
True?

"Only two people in the world know the secret formula"
Pure fiction

"Coca-cola wass considered anti-semitic"
This one is actually true, Coca-Cola was once considered anti-Semitic for refusing to do business in Israel.

"Coke comes from cocaine - Coca-cola contains cocaine"
Not any more but at the beginning of it's road, the secret formula did contain small amounts of cocaine to get people addicted so they can sell their crappy product in huge amounts. When asked, they denied it.

"Cola affects bone health"
This is true, the caffeine and phosphoric acid found in cola affects bone health.
When drinking a coke, don't think about vitamins.

"You can get high mixing Coke and Aspirin"
This is pure fiction. Also mixing Coke with any kind of antibiotics can't get you high, unfortunately :)

"It can dissolve a tooth over night"
No, this is not true.

"You can be addicted to cola"
Consuming cola in large quantities over an extended period of time it can create addiction because it contains caffeine, which is a drug.

"Cola can be used as a toilet cleaner"
False, it's just stupid.

"Cola can remove grease from your clothes"
Not true, also. This one I've tested myself.

"You can bake ca moist ham with a Coke"
True, apparently, but I don't recommend you to do so! Pur a half of litre of cola into a baking pan then put the ham in the same pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake.
30 minutes after, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a brown gravy. After ten more minutes the ham is ready.

"Originally, it was green"
I think everybody knows the answer to this one ... (true)

"Coke became carbonated by accident"
Not true.


Mythdigger's (friendly) advice : Lay off the Coke, it's just bad for you !

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