Arthur C. Clarke once said: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” An example of this came to me while watching Mission To Mars for the 3rd or 4th time the other day. Once again, I was struck by the awesomeness of it’s closing sequence.
I don’t care how “highly evolved” a person thinks he is, an encounter with beings that had supposedly caused our species to come into existence would have to be like encountering the Gods themselves. Talk about restoring your sense of humility!
While I haven’t exactly encountered any “Gods” lately, I have had a recent “humbling experience” that inspired me to write this article. I received an e-mail from a friend a while back describing an historic “close encounter” with the planet Mars that the Earth is supposedly about to have. I don’t recall what it was that reminded me of it, but I decided to look at it again so that I could mark my calendar. After all, who would want to miss such an historic event?
And that’s were I very nearly put my proverbial foot in my mouth – big time. I was so impressed with the images included in the e-mail, that it seemed as if I had found precisely the kind of “golden nugget” an astronomy geek “wannabe” like me should create a blog post around. So, with gleeful abandon, I rushed to get it published…
You know, I can’t really say what it was that inspired me to do the google search, although I tell myself it was to see if there were more interesting aspects to the story that I could have included. But the results of the search revealed “interesting aspects to the story” far beyond my expectations.
Apparently, this “hoax” e-mail gets updated and put back into circulation every year or so, just for the purpose of humiliating dumb-assed would be astronomy “know it alls” who fall for it. Imagine me screaming at my old hunk-o-junk to “Hurry up you slow piece of %&#$!” as I scrambled to delete the post from this blog.
I know my that friend had no knowledge of the illegitimate nature of the e-mail, but after all, the many “provocative” statements I’ve made here has already put my credibility on what some consider “shaky” ground.
I want ice water.