Come back each week for a new weigh-in, and feel free to suggest items for us to weigh.
(HEAVY = True, Average = Partly True, and Nil = False.)
On the Scale: Nostradamus predicted the attack on the World Trade Center.
In one of his hundreds of published quatrains, Nostradamus, the infamous “seer” of the 16th Century, warned of the September 11, 2001 attack on New York’s World Trade Center.
Veracity Weight: Nil. In fact, there is not a single documented case where a prediction by Nostradamus had later come true. Of more than 1,200 quatrains written by Nostradamus and purported to predict future events, absolutely NONE of them have predicted the future with any shade of detail. His vague wording has been retrofitted to more or less match events that have already happened, but as a prognosticator of any merit or credibility, Nostradamus fails miserably.
On the Scale: An Eclipse can blind you.
Every time a solar eclipse becomes visible somewhere on earth, warnings flare up that looking at an eclipse causes blindness.
Veracity Weight: Average. While looking at the sun – even while it is partially blocked by the moon as with a solar eclipse – may cause damage to your eye, cases of permanent blindness are extremely rare. HOWEVER, the longer you look directly at the sun, the more possible it becomes for you to develop damage to your retina called solar retinopathy. The damage could manifest itself as blurred vision, spots, or after-images, and could last hours or even years. But total blindness is not likely. Use caution and common sense when viewing an eclipse, using welder’s glass, customized sun filters, or the pinhole method (pictured).
On the Scale: The Internet is secure and private.
Many people believe that they are “invisible” when they surf the ‘net. To further this position, many people use services and programs to mask their identity and remain undetectable.
Veracity Weight: Nil. Simple programs can counter any identity masking that you may think you have. Furthermore, many public, private, and government entities record and archive your Internet activity.
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On the Scale: An actual Bigfoot was caught on film in 1967.
The famous film taken by Roger Patterson in 1967 purports to show an actual Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, swiftly walking away from the cameraman at Bluff Creek, California. Patterson claims the encounter was genuine, spontaneous, and frightening, accounting for the shakiness of the minute-long film.
Veracity Weight: Nil. Before Roger Patterson went on his camera expedition, he proclaimed that he was making a documentary on Bigfoot. Patterson then purchased an altered gorilla suit from respected costume makers Philip and Amy Morris to use as his Bigfoot costume for the documentary. The ape suit was worn by six-foot tall Bob Heironimus, an actor who also worked on an earlier Patterson film, who wore football shoulder pads under the suit per Philip Morris’ instructions. After seeing the footage, Patterson decided that it was convincing enough to pass off as real. Rather than spend more time and money to complete his speculative documentary, he instead milked the benefits of his hoax all the way to his deathbed.
On the Scale: George Soros uses Snopes.com to attack Republicans.
Emails and Internet articles abound that claim George Soros contributes to Snopes.com, which in turn promotes Liberal causes by reporting as truth false information against Republican initiatives, and covering up for Democrat misdeeds.
Veracity Weight: Nil. According to FactCheck.org, TruthOrFiction.com, and other hoax-busting organizations, the premier fact-vs.-fiction website Snopes.com is owned by a Californian named David Mikkelson and his Canadian wife, Barbara. These sites all agree that Mr. Mikkelson, who registered as a Republican in 2000, has never taken a public stand for or against any party or candidate. Further, Mrs. Mikkelson is not a U.S. citizen and cannot vote. Indeed, Snopes.com has proven to be absolutely neutral on political issues, and backs up all of its findings with meticulous research and verifiable evidence.
George Soros, the wealthy supporter of Liberal causes, has absolutely no connection with Snopes.com, which is completely self-funded through advertising sales.
On the Scale: Mitt Romney CNN story spreads virus.
Veracity Weight: HEAVY. This email did indeed spread a spybot virus, but don’t blame Romney or CNN!!! ALL emails that entice the user to click a link should be treated as suspect. If you don’t know the source: delete, delete, delete. And always have an updated anti-virus program on your computer.
On the Scale: The Vernal Equinox allows eggs to be balanced on their end.
The vernal equinox occurs on roughly March 21 each year, and many claim that objects such as eggs and brooms are particularly susceptible to the shift in the Earth’s orbit as to achieve a center of gravity that allows them to be balanced on end on that particular day.
Veracity Weight: Nil. Eggs, brooms and other objects can be balanced in exactly the same manner any other day of the year. It just takes the right object and a bit of patience. Try it today!