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Urban Legends - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Urban Legends
Technology has achieved a new depth. Since not every employee has email access at my office, the company periodically prints out important memos and fliers, distributing them by hand to each desk.

Today, I received a piece of spam. On paper. Which had been photocopied and distributed to every employee in this office (around 100). Paper spam!! Well, not precisely spam, but one of those Urban Legends that gullible people like to forward, perpetuating fear and paranoia. This one was telling us that cell phones can cause explosions at gas stations (false). It also mentioned that static electricity causes explosions too (some validity but greatly exaggerated).

To me, the email virtually screams Urban Legend!! I knew before I looked it up that it would turn out to be largely false. I don't know who authorized its photocopy and reproduction, but it was a total waste of the company's money and resources. It's really very embarrassing.

Not to mention annoying.
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Comments
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: February 24th, 2003 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gee, from the Texas Gas Service, on safety - if you smell gas
Do not use your cellular phone to call Texas Gas Service unless you are outside and away from the building. Using any type of telephone could ignite the leaking gas.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 24th, 2003 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Crazy. Sounds like paranoia and "CYA" sydrome to me!
bjorng From: bjorng Date: February 24th, 2003 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's quite a difference between a gas leak in a building (i.e. natural gas) and the relatively small amount of fumes emitted at a fuel pump. Both in terms of relative volatility of the vapor, the quantity in the air when they are "leaking", and the odds of something larger than a small flash being ignited by a cellphone spark. You also have the indoor vs. outdoor factor. But I'd imagine that the risk is fairly low in the NG scenario as well. Mobile phones these days don't have much non-solid-state stuff in them to arc across anyway. I figure you'd be more likely to set things off with a static discharge.
zenmondo From: zenmondo Date: February 24th, 2003 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not too long ago, there was a story on the evening news about this very thing! I always thought it was bull, but they had the video of these fires.

There are signs next to all the pumps that I see that tell you to turn off your cell phone. If I had one, I think I would use it on principle.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 25th, 2003 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Good for you...fight the system!!!
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