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Vanessa Ng * 20 * 28th February * RVHS * NBS
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I dream of becoming a magician, a chef, a chocolatier, a fashion designer, a movie director, a DJ, a professional photographer and a stock market guru. I also want my very own candy outlet. (: My blog comprises photographs and random thoughts. I like to keep my blog happy and I'm easily inspired. It's nice knowing that people are reading, so thank you. :D

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    07 December 2010

    How the Media exaggerates

    You know what its like? That psychological experiment? Where Person A hears an interesting story from Person B, then Person A gets all riled up, and tells Person C a similar story, but maybe y'know, exaggerate a little to satisfy their mutual need for excitement? And then Person C passes the story on with exaggeration to Person D?

    Just like those funny impossible stories where you tell mum that you think there's an evil monkey in your closet lol.




    Here's a synopsis of how the media's constant exaggeration ended up in speculation of alien life form.

    Basically, one NASA biologist discovered that a certain type of bacteria can survive with arsenic (instead of your usual phosphorous, an element found in your DNA, life form on earth need ATP for energy), although it still prefers to survive in abundance of phosphorous. A NASA conference was to be in place sometime later, to discuss the possibility of the extraterrestrial existence of these earth-born arsenic-adapted bacteria, and whether they could actually adapt to arsenic (poisonous btw) on other planets. Is it possible that other planets with arsenic could house the same bacterial life for? That was sorta the main crux of the NASA conference.

    Soon after, some jackasses got hold of the news, and started spreading it. Every news agency that this piece of news bypasses gets an additional layer of lovely exaggeration and it snowballed.

    Soon newspapers began reporting that scientists ALREADY discovered life forms on other planets. And people began speculating. Lots of hyped up moments and tensions, and soon after, when they found out there was no actual discovery, people started blaming scientists for exaggerating the truth just to gain personal publicity. Truth is, they merely wanted to discuss about this arsenic bacteria thingie, and it was the media who exaggerated the truth. No further discoveries or whatnot.

    Oh well. Full article's here. Credibly written, by a professor of astrobiology. Its long though.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2010/dec/03/arsenic-bacteria-alien-life

    Moral lesson of the day:
    Don't ALWAYS believe news reports. Sometimes they can be a little... stretched. Just to gain your attention and sell well. Y'know. Always handle things with credibility in mind.

    No other interesting stories to share with you dear readers. Decided to post this because Vanessa told me about how other people found life forms on other planet. So I checked it out, and it turns out to be a false story. Don't be so gullible to believe the media man :)

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