Moving eclipses to the weekend, walking on water in the high street, and believing what you read on Facebook.
People do strange things, say strange things, write strange things and ultimately believe strange things.
Which is probably why other people also collect details of the strange things that others say, write and believe.
For example, if you are a member of the Republic of Facebook (in effect the biggest country in the world) you might have seen the odd person posting a note to the effect that Facebook is going to change all its privacy settings, so all your details will be available to anyone who wants to look.
The only way to opt out of this, the message goes on, is to post this message (the one warning of the change) and then Facebook will remove your details from the general abolition of its privacy rules.
Now there is plenty to consider odd in this. One factor worth contemplating is that Facebook makes money out of advertisers who want to reach its members. And so releasing all the data that it currently makes money from selling would seem to be verging on self-destructive.
But even if you let this slip by, you might contemplate the fact that cutting and pasting a warning note as being the only way to opt out of the general opt out, is even more bizarre.
And as it turns out, it was, of course, totally untrue.
Indeed Facebook is well known for oddities. In the run up to Halloween 2015 there was a constant re-publishing of a story that said that Halloween 2015 was the first year since 1666 (the year of the Devil, as you may know, or at least the Fire of London – which perhaps was the same thing) on which Halloween would fall on Friday 13th.
Except that Halloween falls on the last day of October. But who cares when the world is about to end!
Quasi-scientific stories replete with a multiplicity of scientific misunderstandings have also been quite common of late – and they don’t always need Facebook to get their audience.
In 2015 we had the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse, caused by the Earth’s shadow falling on the moon at a moment when the moon was at its closest point to Earth and thus seemingly bigger in the sky. The result was spectacular for anyone in England, where there was no cloud, who stayed up through the night to watch the event.
But that didn’t stop some Facebookers writing to complain that it was ludicrous to have such an event at 3am.
“This is just the sort of thing that can get children interested in science but having it in the early hours just causes tension in the household and disrupts the next day’s schooling.”
To which one can only say, “well, yes.”
Although I have a half suspicion that the person who wrote that story on Facebook had lived in Australia way back in 2003, at the time of a magnificent total eclipse of the sun.
All the phone-in radio programmes made the event big news down under, often giving out very important safety advice about not looking directly at the sun and wearing sun protection cream, as well as how to get to particularly remote locations (of which there are many in Australia) where the eclipse could be enjoyed away from industrial pollution.
However, not everyone took kindly to this advice as one listener called in to say that he was unhappy that the tourism authorities had organised the eclipse for a weekend when most people were at work. The listener criticised the decision as typical of the muddle-headed thinking that went on at the time in South Australia, and mentioned that the sooner the state government was voted out of office the better.
This collection of crazy cuttings from the press is one of the most enjoyable collections I have been introduced to by users of the Admiral Storage Facility, although I must say that the note taken verbatim from the BBC business unit’s documentary on Marks and Spencer really caught my eye most of all.
It said, apropos the difficulties the high street chain had got into…
“They began to think they could walk on water, and nobody can walk on water in the retail business.”
Reading that I was concerned that my customer might believe that there were people in the storage industry who would could actually water-levitate (if that is the correct term), and I was anxious to point out that I could not.
Assuring me that this was not the case my customer then showed me a letter from East Sussex County Healthcare which read thus
Following an audit of our outpatient clinics we have found a considerable amount of unattended appointments were for patients who were referred to us with memory problems.”
Now where was I?
If you have items that you wish to have stored in the Birmingham area, please do get in touch. We might be able to help, and if not, we may be able to tell you a funny story.
You can find more information on our facilities on our website at www.archive-document-storage.co.uk. Alternatively you can call us on 0800 810 1125.
Admiral Document Storage
Tel: 0800 810 1125