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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Mysterious and Marvelous

It’s mysterious and marvelous. Mysterious because most of us don’t have a clue how it works. Marvelous because of the good information at our fingertips, most of which we wouldn’t have access to otherwise. We’re talking about the internet. The World Wide Web.

In the pre-dawn this morning I read in the Namibian Sun (Google “Namibia” if you wonder where Namibia is) that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism there stated the situation in Omatjete in the Erongo Region where elephants have caused severe destruction, needs immediate attention . . . but the problem cannot be solved by destroying the elephants. I like elephants, so this was interesting.

Then I read in Merco Press, New Zealand, that scientists there have found a perfectly preserved 106-year-old fruitcake in a remote Antarctic hut that could have been left by the British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott. Fascinating . . . especially if you enjoy fruitcake.

Elephants and fruitcakes don’t jar the bones like the threat of countries with nuclear bombs does. But the point is the mysterious and marvelous. And we’ll add danger.

One of the dangers is believing everything one reads on the Web. Amidst all the worthwhile and true information on our screens, there is also the made-up stuff. And all too often it rises, like scum on a pond, to the top. So, one needs to be careful . . . to check . . . to verify. ESPECIALLY before passing it on like wind carrying airborne diseases. There are fact-check sites. Find them and use them.

An additional danger is slinging out statements (on Facebook, emails, etc.) that we later wish we hadn’t. Prudent practice would be to, first, craft writings carefully and courteously, and, second, to take a deep breath and reconsider before hitting the “send” key. Withholding might save a relationship.

Postscript on an anomaly. When speaking, www is almost always pronounced double-u double-u double-u. Nine syllables. To say “world wide web” is three syllables. Do we just like to hear ourselves talk?

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