I only keep my Hotmail account so I can use it to sign up for online accounts - that way, when they sell my email address, all the spam goes to one place. The downside is that I have to go clean it out every month, but it gives me the opportunity for one of those little Interwebs guilty pleasures: clicking on the gossip links on MSN.
Today was a lot like most months - lots of advice on how to be a better breeding member of society - a whole special section on increasing sperm production and how to get your wife pregnant faster (seriously... this isn't one of those "wine and Barry White" as punchline jokes) - naked celebrity updates (I fail to see how Kim Kardashian posing nude is NEWS...), and why Britney Spears is "brave" for releasing the untouched versions of her heavily photoshopped magazine cover photos (seriously... brave. No mention, BTW, RE: ethics and retouching in the first place...).
So I eventually bored of the banal (10 minutes), and I clicked on a link about a guy who found a fragment of a meteor in his yard in Wisconsin and lent it to a university for two hours. They confirmed that it's probably real. Seriously... like... that was the ENTIRE article! It went something like "John Beeblefutzer found a peanut-sized piece of the Wisconsin meteor in his yard and lent it to a local university for two hours. Reaserchers say, since it's covered in burnt crap, it's probably real, you know, 'cause most meteors are covered in burnt crap. lolz." This from the Chicago Sun Times. Really.
I had to read it twice - thus wasting another 10 seconds of my day. And I found myself wanting more information about this meteorite (I don't watch much news), so I went to Youtube. If figured if anyone had a video, it would be there. The whole time, I had this gnawing sensation in the back of my brain about why that article even existed, and what 3-7 year old demographic might actually find it interesting or informative.
I found the following video on youtube:
Pretty cool. Green light... but it just hangs there! Then the video loops and all my questions were answered: The little red circle told me that I should have been watching the spectacularly bright, freakishly weird green light streaking across the sky - the other one is a street lamp. Silly me.
Seriously? Is this the state of journalism in 2010? We have to publish stories written at a third grade level about guys who lend burnt-peanuts to researchers who say things like "yep, looks like a meteor." And when showing truly jaw-dropping footage of a meteor streaking across the sky above a quiet neighborhood, we have to put a little red circle around it so (presumably) the same readers of the first article can actually identify what they're supposed to focus on?
I feel like I actually got dumber as a result of all this.
It might be time to switch to gmail.