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Wednesday, February 28 12:00 AM ET

BBspot Mailbag

Now you too can enjoy my Inbox without the annoying spam. Every week I get some amazing e-mail. Some amazing because of the sheer cluelessness of the sender, some because of the time and energy that went into crafting them and some are just simply amazing.


BBelievers

It's good to see another story besides the Nigerian Billionaire and the Sony Music Executive getting some BBelievers. This week we have a new entrant in the BBeliever game, the giant germ-covered meteor heading toward Earth. The point of the story was to poke fun at all the "germs on your cell phone" or "germs on your kitchen sponge" stories that run on local news channels during rating sweeps. Some people missed that point...

From: Scott
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 1:06 PM
To: briggsb@bbspot.com
Subject: Recent article

I just caught your article on the meteor strike predicted for next year. Seems an asteroid the size of Alaska impacting earth would causae a bit more urgency and at least a little media attention.

Sure you have your facts right?

I replied that my article was researched extensively (that's not a lie, I looked up a lot of things just so I could misconstrue them). He retorted...

From: Scott
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 3:43 PM
To: Brian Briggs
Subject: RE: Recent article

Poorly done

NASA link showing no entry for the meteor named in the story

He sure showed me who's the smart one!

From: Charles
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 10:26 AM
To: briggsb@bbspot.com
Subject: Meteor Impact!?

Dear Mr. Briggs,

I just finished reading an editorial that you published on this web site I found, about a germ covered meteor that is thought to impact Earth next March. I went to NASA’s web site and I can not find that particular story. They did, however, talked positively about future plans of creating a station on the moon. Sir, I’m not a rocket scientist or an overly religious man, but what I can tell you is, I have enough common sense to figure out that something is not right here.

Either you didn’t note something correctly or that IF this could possibly happen, you offer no follow up solutions. To say NASA has developed a giant “Lysol missile” to kill the germs before impact is just plan stupid! You would think they (NASA or whoever) would come up with a better plan to totally take out the meteor, not just the germs. Now IF a germ covered meteor (the size of Alaska) is going to hit the planet, would you agree with me that this would be a global threat and either NASA or the governments of the world, would say something or find other ways to deal with the impending doom of Humanity. Would you agree that if man DID survive an impact of that magnitude, germs would be the least of concern? I know your not to blame, but your story shouldn’t sound like your saying this in passing, like “how’s your sister is doing” and “how’s the new job going?”, “oh by the way, a germ covered meteor the size of Alaska will impact the Earth next March obliterating all humanity have a nice day!”

Sir, I look forward to reading your column again and I hope to read a follow up story about this matter.

Thank you for your time.

Respectfully,

CHARLES

ENGINEERING DEP.

Here is my reply to him...

I feel that my coverage was fair and balanced. I think we can both agree that it would be ironic for someone to survive such an impact only to die of the "space flu." Isn't this a threat that NASA should be concerned with? You sound like an intelligent individual, so I think if you read a few more articles on my site that you'll have a better understanding of where I'm coming from. Thanks for writing in.

I haven't heard back from him.

Diggers also got in on the meteor story for the brief time it appeared on the front page. Here's a sample comment (more in the link)...

Over the millions of years many small meteors have hit us - so if space germs could kill us wouldn't there be evidence of airborn alien plagues?

Fark was kind enough to post the story with a "Scary" tag. That helped corral a few BBelievers there as well...

Uhh so *if* i giant meteor the size of Alaska does hit the earth, we are now more worried about killing the germs? Uhh i think logic-man and his side kick reason-boy are on vacation at the BBSpot. We would all die morans, everyone, you, me, your pet dog, the hooker on the corner.

The stupidity of this article befuddles me to the point of head asplosions.

Yeah, the stupidity of the article is just amazing. Riiiiiiight.

Finally, a non-BBeliever wrote in to point on the mistakes I made in the article...

From: Kevin
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 8:05 AM
To: briggsb@bbspot.com
Subject: The Germy Meteor

Brian.

Love the site, love your stories. I send people to them all the time. Your "Giant Meteor Heading Toward Earth Covered in Germs" story I sent to a friend of mine who's job it is to look for NEO's (Near Earth Asteroids), and I know he - like me - will find the main error in your article. A giant "meteor" heading for earth? Technically it would be a "meteoroid", or in the case of the "Alaska-sized" one in your story - an asteroid.

An object is only classified as a meteor when it's entered the earth's atmosphere - the streak of light you see in the sky. When it hits the ground, it's a meteorite.

Otherwise it's a great story.

My "mistake" was intentional. I wanted to cover it like local news would, and they'd never get their facts straight. Kevin agreed...

From: Kevin
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2007 10:57 AM
To: Brian Briggs
Subject: RE: The Germy Meteor

Okay, I think it's hilarious. I have run-ins with the media locally about science topics, and they can never get anything right, even if you spell it out to them in plain English.

I remember once talking to a reporter from the local press about the Northern Lights, and saying that "here in Michigan we have a better chance of seeing them than do people who live in the southern states."

He - in his article - quoted me as "in Michigan we can see the stars better than in any state in the country." Boy, did I get ribbed for that one.:)

What is he talking about? You mean I can't see the stars here better than anyone else?

Finally, someone doing research on the music industry wants to talk to the Sony music executive...

Hi there, i am writing my dissertation (course work) on the internets effects on the music industry and wondered if you could answer a few questions as i found your story fascinating?

look forward to hearing from you.

In the next message he wanted to clarify who he was writing to, so I told him the truth. He still wants to ask me a few questions. The future is bright.


Ghost Rider

One reader wrote in with a review of Ghost Rider which we panned in our trailer review...

From: Marvin
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007 1:15 PM
To: Brian Briggs
Subject: RE: ghost rider

OK... so I went last weekend to see the movie. And let me tell that I was pleasantly surprised about what I saw, and I'm not talking about the girl, which the Director manages to put her in very tight outfits. I think that the movie does a very good job of translating the character from comic book to film. Even some of the corny poses and phrases I remember from the comic are right there on the film, including the weird "superhero" angles but, unlike in the Hulk movie (which I hope you didn't watch) the poses and phrases work great here. Even the outfit for Ghost rider is EXACTLY the same as in the comic book. When was the last time you saw that in a movie? And you know? This is one of those times that the trailer does a very poor job of showing what the movie is really about. And those crappy FX you saw on the trailer? On the big screen they kick ass. Now, just so you don't think I'm JUST a geek, I want to point out that I'm a 30 something Literature graduate... so yeah, I know a little about good and worse movies. So I'm one of those educated geeks.

Anyways... that's my report.

If anyone else wants to share their opinion of the movie, send it on in.


Weekly Limerick

The winner of this year's Geek Limerick contest has volunteered to write a weekly limerick for BBspot. I haven't decided where to put it yet, so this week's I'll put in the Mailbag...

From: Seth

Though BitTorrent has plans to impress
With their new legal download express,
All the DRM'ed files
Won't bring users in piles,
Since most people won't pay more for less.


That's all for this week!

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