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A simple way to avoid being taken for a fool online

By Marcus Santer

I got an interesting email the other day.

One of those circular emails you’re supposed to send to everyone on your list.

I usually don’t bother reading them.

Simply delete and move on.

But this one was from as trusted source, so I checked it out.

I was glad I did.

It spoke about something I’d never heard of before, something I knew straight away I could use as the subject for a ZEN+ Daily.

Which I’m gonna do now.

Just not in the way I originally planned.

Let me explain…

The email was titled: Silver Pockets Full

And goes like this:

August, in 2015, will have 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens only once every 823 years. The Chinese call it ‘ Silver pockets full’.
So, send this message to your friends and in four days money will surprise you. Based on Chinese Feng Shui…..whoever does not transmit the message … may find themselves poor.

My first thought?

Wow, every 823 years, gotta let my readers know about this.

My second thought?

Better check it out first.

It’s a good job I did because a few minutes later I discovered this Silver Pockets Full email is phoney baloney.

There’s nothing rare about a month with 5 Fridays, 5 saturdays and 5 Sundays in it.

And there’s nothing rare about August with 5 of each in it.

The last one was August 2014.

Before that it was August 2008.

Truth is, any month with 31 days in it will have three consecutive days that appear five times in the month.

So the whole thing turns out to be a harmless piece of superstitious nonsense.

I say harmless, because it doesn’t put your health, wealth or safety at risk.

But that’s where the fun stops.

Because I see similar emails and articles on the Internet like this all the time.

Claiming to give you:

And so on.

You know what I’m talking about.

So the next time you read something and think: “Wow! That’s interesting…”

Make sure your second thought is: “I better do some digging before going any further.”

Visit Google Scholar and check any scientific references for yourself and look at what they really say, not what the writer of the article tells you they say.

It wouldn’t be the first time a real scientific study was used out of context.

Here’s a classic example:

Adelle Davis – one of the first popular writers on health fads – wrote a book called: Let’s Get Well

In the back you’ll find 2,402 references to back up its contents.

But when experts checked the references they found many of them had no data to support what she’d written.

You can read more about this subject here.

Now doing your own homework and research won’t always stop you from making mistakes and taking wrong turns…

But it will certainly improve your chances of taking the best course of action for you.

At the end of the day, you’re responsible for you.

And in the spirit of transparency… I do my best to be a reliable voice with a positive message but even I get it wrong sometimes.

Here’s an example.

I guess I should start everything I write with: “This is my best current understanding of X”

Because science is always changing and being updated.

Okay, time to wrap this up.

There’s a lot of BS out there online, but there’s also some gold.

And doing a little bit of homework can stop you wasting your hard earned cash and precious time on stuff that was never going to work for you.

Right, dog walk time.

Bye for now

Marcus

P.S. In my book: ZEN+ The Art and Science of Living Healthier for Longer you’ll discover:

If that sounds like something you might benefit from…

==> Buy your copy here <==