Cold hard facts

I just received the February issue of 24×7. So I immediately tore it open and read the Antarctica article. A few inaccuracies jumped out: Antarctica is not larger than North America, but it is 11/2 times larger than the U.S.; Mt. Erebus is not the only live volcano, just the most active. Plus the Navy Chief who performed BMET services there for three years (’95-’97) would be surprised to hear there had been none for 10 years. 

But overall, quite an interesting and informative article. It correctly presents Antarctica as a unique place that poses many unique challenges, but also unparalleled experiences. And Tony deserves his 15 minutes of fame — it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Norman Wolfe
Manager of Health Services,
Raytheon Polar Services Co.
Englewood, Colo.

Who really made the mistake?

Several readers contacted 24×7 and complained about the December 1999 “You Gotta Love It” section of the Browser. They said the story about a housekeeper who unplugged a ventilator to run a buffer is a hoax. To that we must respond, “Maybe.”

The story was submitted directly to 24×7 by a source at National Public Radio who attributed it to the “Darwin Award” program, a group that verifies its winners. After 24×7 started getting calls, we contacted the Darwin folks ourselves and learned the buffer story was not among their “winners.” On the other hand, the story is not cited by any reputable hoax watcher either. So, while the tale cannot be verified at the moment as fact, neither can it be proved fiction.

Most amazing to us, however, is why any of our readers took the time to scrutinize, investigate and get worked into a lather over something printed under the title “You Gotta Love It.”