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Most people think they'll never fall for a scam. In fact, that frame of mind is precisely what con artists look for. Those who believe that they know better are often the last to raise their defenses when criminals are nearby. Yes, people lose money online. A lot of it. They wire cash to London, they can't help investigating the one-in-a-million chance they really are related to a dead prince from Africa, and they sometimes even travel to Nigeria to find out. Just in case.

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Snopes is a website discussing urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of uncertain or questionable origin. It is the best-known resource for validating and debunking such stories in American popular culture.


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Fact or Fiction?

Subject: Hippo Eats Circus Dwarf
"An Austrian circus dwarf died recently when he bounced sideways from a trampoline and was swallowed by a hippopotamus. Seven thousand people watched as little Franz Dasch popped into the mouth of Hilda the Hippo and th animal's gag reflect forced it to swallow. The crowd applauded wildly before other circus people realized what happened!"
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Subject: Stingray Migration: Gulf of Mexico
"Mass Migration of Golden Cow-nose rays
Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast of Mexico . The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters.
Gliding silently beneath the waves, they turned vast areas of blue water to gold off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Sandra Critelli, an amateur photographer, stumbled across the phenomenon while looking for whale sharks. She said: 'It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind."
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Subject: Coconut Crabs! Bigger than Trashcans!!
"Our friends in Australia sent us a picture of a Coconut Crab. This is pretty interesting.... Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world. It is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the contents.
It is sometimes called the robber crab because some coconut crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware from houses and tents.
The second photo gives you a good idea of how large these crabs are - a coconut crab is seeking food from a black trashcan."
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Subject: F1 Virus Warning
"The warning is valid. Microsoft has announced that because of a vulnerability in VBScript when using Internet Explorer in older versions of Windows, pressing the F1 key when on a specially crafted web page could install malware on the visitor's computer. The vulnerability is not present in Windows Vista or Windows 7. At the time of writing, Microsoft notes that they are not aware of any actual attacks that have use this method. "
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Subject: Giant George
Meet 'Giant George' the 7ft-long blue great dane who could be the world's tallest dog
Standing at nearly 43 inches tall from paw to shoulder and weighing a staggering 245lbs could this be the world's new tallest dog?
Pictured here in the parks of Tuscon , Arizona , George, a four-year-old blue great dane, looks more like a miniature horse than a dog.
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Subject: Gap Gift Certificate
Hi! My name is Janelle McCan, Founder of the Gap. I am offering thirty five dollar gift certificates to every seven people you send this to.
When you have finished sending this letter to as many people as you wish, a screen will come up It will tell you how much you Have earned in Gap gift certificates. Print that screen out and bring it to your local Gap store. The sales Clerk will give you your certificates and you can SHOP BABY!
This is a Sales promotion to get our name out to young people around the world. We believe this project can be a success, but with your help. Thank you for your support.
Sincerely,


Janelle McCan
Founder of Gap
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Subject: Save These Puppies

I just got this email from someone i work with! Does anyone need a Golden Retriever for free? They are adorable! If i wasnt allergic id take one. He better not put them down! If anyone is interested send me an email and ill forward it to them. Or contact the lady below.
Just in case you know anyone looking for cute puppies...Free puppies that will be put down if no one takes them... Do you know anyone who would want one? There are some golden retriever pups that need a home. Please contact her if you are interested.
Even if you're not interested, spread the word in order to save these puppies. If you are interested, or if you know anyone who would like a free Golden Retriever puppy (pictures attached), contact Mrs. Gaelle Wenger at gaellewenger@hotmail.com. If they do not get adopted, these puppies will unfortunately have to be put down

golden-retriever-puppies.jpg
Subject: You win a FREE XBox!
Greetings,
Your email address was entered into our November Microsoft X-Box promotional competition by either yourself or a friend, or perhaps a family member, at http://www.prize-giveaway.com This is a prize draw, you have actually won a brand new Microsoft X-Box Gaming Console! Your package also includes these top 5 games:
- Halo
- Metal Gear Solid 2

- Max Payne
- Splinter Cell
- Panzer Dragoon Orta
You are now invited to login to our website and claim your prize that you have already won. There are only 9 winners in total this month, out of thousands of emails, so do count yourself lucky!
We have provided the following web link for you, it is temporary and expires in 72 hours. If you do not login within this time, your winning shall unfortunately be returned to the prize pool.
Here is your link!
(LINK REMOVED)

On this page you will need to enter this pass code number to proceed: (Code Removed)
This is very important. Do not lose that number! Put in your address, and we will send your X-Box to you.
We hope that you will enjoy your new X-Box gaming console.
Congratulations on winning,


From Microsoft and the Prize-Giveaway.com team!
XboxBig.jpg


Subject: New Trick for Attackers
Know what money you are carrying! You will see why as you read!
Be sure every lady is aware of this. Share it with your wife and daughters. Know what money you are carrying. This was the first I have heard of a scheme like this.. I wanted to pass it along. Be safe! It is something very serious to pay attention to.
Criminals are coming up with craftier, less threatening methods of attack, so we have to be extra cautious. Read on.
I live near the Blue Mountains but I often work at North Ryde, staying with friends when I'm there. As you know from Australia's Most Wanted TV program, as well as the new media, there is a serial killer in the area. I just want to let you know about an "incident " that happened to me a few weeks ago, and could have been deadly.
At first I didn't go to the police or anyone with it because I didn't realize how serious this encounter was. But since I work in a jail and I told a few people about it, it wasn't long before I was paraded into Internal Affairs to tell them my story.
It was proximately 5:15 a.m. I had stayed with a friend there and was on my way to work. I stopped at the Caltex Station to get petrol. I got $10 petrol and a Diet Coke. I took into the store two $5 bills and one $1 coin (just enough to get my stuff).
As I pulled away from the store, a man approached my truck from the back side of the store (an unlit area). He was an approachable-looking" man (clean cut, clean shaven, dressed well, etc.). He walked up to my window and knocked. Since I'm very paranoid and "always looking for the rapist or killer," I didn't open the window I just asked what he wanted. He raised a $5 bill to my window and said, "You dropped this." Since I knew I had gone into the store with a certain amount of money, I knew I didn't drop it. When I told him it wasn't mine, he began hitting the window and door, screaming at me to open my door, and insisting that I had dropped the money!
At that point, I just drove away as fast as I could. After talking to the Internal Affairs Department and describing the man I saw, and the way he escalated from calm and polite to angry and volatile....it was determined that I could have possibly encountered the serial killer myself.
Up to this point, it had been unclear as to how he had gained access to his victims, since there has been no evidence of forced entry into victim's homes, cars, etc. And the fact that he has been attacking in the daytime, when women are less likely to have their guard up, means he is pretty BOLD.
So think about it...what gesture is nicer than returning money to someone that dropped it?????
How many times would you have opened your window (or door) to get your money and say thank you.... because if the person is kind enough to return something to you, then he can't really be a threat....can he????
Please be cautious! This might not have been the serial killer... but anyone that gets that angry over someone not accepting money from them, can't have honourable intentions. The most important thing to note is that his reaction was! NOT WHAT I EXPECTED! A total surprise! But what might have happened if I had opened my door? I shudder to think!

Forward this to everyone you know...maybe they can be as fortunate as I was!

P.S. Ladies, really DO forward this to EVERYONE you know Even if this wasn't a serial killer, he looked nice, he seemed polite, he was apparently doing an act of kindness, but HE WAS NOT A NICE PERSON!!! Men send it to all the women in your life. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. Make it a good one! Please forward to anyone you think might benefit from this story.
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Subject: Operation Yellow Jacket
Look out for MI-DOT trucks parked along the road or suddenly appearing behind you pacing you - it could be a Trooper driving the truck. Called 'Operation Yellow Jacket', each Michigan State Police District has a truck cleaned up and ready to go! These trucks have specially modified engines that can virtually catapult the truck from snow-plow speed to intercept speed in seconds. And when the engine boost kicks in, the warning lights automatically change from flashing yellow to the dreaded red and blue!

Starting March 1, 2009, Michigan will launch a 31 day speeding ticket frenzy. The state estimates that $9 million dollars will be generated in speeding tickets, with an additional $3.5 million in revenue for failure to wear a seatbelt. $1 million will go to pay state troopers overtime. There will be 47 state troopers on duty at all times patrolling the main intersections and highways with the highest rates of speeding.

They are the following:
I-75, especially from the Ohio line north to Woodhaven, and again from Auburn Hills to Flint
I-96 east and west in its entirety
I-275 north and south
I-675 north and south
I-94 east and west from Battle Creek to Jackson
I-696 east and west in its entirety
I-196 east and west
US-131 north and south
I-69 east and west from Lansing to Flint and again from Flint eastward to Port Huron.
I-69 north and south from I-94 to Lansing
M-14 east and west from I-94 to I-275
M-39 from I-94 to I-96
M-59, especially from Pontiac to Utica, and from Utica east
US-10 from Midland to Bay City
US-23 from I-96 to Flint
US-27 from Lansing to Mt. Pleasant

Quotas:
5 mph above the limit can justify a ticket and every state trooper is supposed to pull a car over and write a ticket every 10 to 20 minutes. They have issued 30 brand new unmarked Dodge Charger Police cruisers and canceled all vacation time. In addition, they are bringing in all of their part timers on full time for the month. This nonsense will conclude on April 1.
Driving Ticket fine increase in MI:
Starting on January 15th, the price of a ticket for violation of MI Law 39:3-29 (failure to show your driver's license, registration, or proof of insurance card at the time you are stopped) went from $44.00 to $173.00. Please make sure your vehicles have the proper documents in them. If you jump in the car to run to the store and forget your wallet with your license in it and you are stopped.... Oh well... you just spent $173. And the fine for not having all three documents is $519!!
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Subject: Credit Card Fraud

Hi everyone,

I want to let you all know that Frank and I have been the victims of credit card fraud this week and felt I should warn you all about the clever scam. It works like this:
Last Wednesday I had a phone call late morning from Express Couriers to ask if I was going to be home as he had a delivery for me. He said he would there in roughly an hour. He turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine. I expressed my surprise as I wasn't expecting anything like this and said I was intrigued to know who was sending me such a lovely gift. He said he was only delivering the gift and the card was being sent separately (the card has never arrived). There was a consignment note with the gift.
He went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol he has to charge the recipient $3.50 as proof that he has actually delivered to an adult, and not left it on a door step if the recipient is out, to be stolen or taken by children. This seemed logical and I offered to get the cash. He then said that the company required the payment to be by Eftpos so he's not handling cash and everything is properly accounted for. Frank was there and got his credit card and "John" swiped the card on this small mobile machine that also had a small screen upon which Frank entered in his pin number. A receipt was printed out and given to us.
Between last Thursday and Monday $4,000 was withdrawn from our credit account at ATM machines in the north shore area. It appears a dummy credit card was made using the details in the machine and of course, they had Frank's pin number.
The Bank has stopped our cards and I've been to the Police this morning, where they confirmed that it is a definite scam and many households were hit during the first 3 days of October.


So PLEASE be wary of accepting a gift you're not expecting especially if the card is not with it. We've all received gifts like this and would never dream that it could be such a despicable act. Please also let other female friends and relatives know. Hopefully, these fraudsters have ceased this activity by now but you never know. I wanted to warn all my friends.


P.S. I don't think I'll ever drink the wine - I'd probably choke on it!
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Subject: In Case of Emergency
East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign with the support of Falklands war hero Simon Weston and in association with Vodafone's annual life savers award.

The idea is that you store the word "I C E" in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency". In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them. It's so simple that everyone can do it.

Please will you also email this to everybody in your address book, it won't take too many 'forwards' before everybody will know about this. It really could help the emergency services in doing their job. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.
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Subject: Bugs in Ears
A little boy died because surgeons found ants in his brain! Apparently, this boy fell asleep with sweets in his mouth or near some sweets. Ants soon found the sweets and some made their way into his ears and then traveled to his brain. When he awoke, he wasn't aware of the ants in his brain. Later he was complaining of itchiness around his face. The boy was taken to the doctor but died before the doctor could diagnose his issues.
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Subject: Reverse PIN number to call police

I just found out that should you ever be forced to withdraw monies from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your Pin # in reverse. The machine will still give you the monies you requested, but unkown to the robber, etc, the police will be immediately dispatched to help you. The broadcast stated that this method of calling the police is very seldom used because people don't know it exists. It might mean the difference between life & death. Hopefully, none of you will have to use this, but I wanted to pass it along just in case you hadn't heard of it. Please pass it along to everyone possible.
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Subject: Telemarketers will soon call your cell phone
In just 4 days, cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketers and they will begin calling you. You will be charged for these calls on your cell phone bills. To prevent this, call the number below from your cell phone.
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Subject: Beware of Dryer Sheets
We always clean the link filter on our dryer after every load of clothes. We recently had a dryer repairman come to our house he took our lint filer over to our sink and ran hot water over it. How, this thing is like mesh--I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like--WELL....the hot water just laid on top of the mesh!!! it didn't go through it at all!!!
He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that's what burns out the heating unit. You can SEE the film, but it's there. He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long.....

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Microsoft and AOL Merger: Bill Gates Sharing his Cash

I'm forwarding a forwarded message...read on, it it works you may get $$ from Microsoft. Certainly Bill has enough to share-maybe today we'll be blessed financially!I am forwarding this because the person who sent it to me is a good friend and does not send me junk. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet company and in an effort make sure that Internet explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test. When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $5.00, for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $3.00 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $1.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a check. I thought this was a scam myself, but two weeks after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on, Microsoft contacted me for my e-mail and within days, I received a check for $800.00

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Protect yourself from you car's air conditioner
No wonder more folks are dying from cancer than ever before. We wonder where this stuff comes from but here is an example that explains a lot of the cancer causing incidents. Hmmm. Many people are in their cars first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, 7 days a week. As I read this, it makes me feel guilty and ill. Please pass this on to as many people as possible. Guess its not too late to make some changes
Car A/C (Air Conditioning) MUST READ!!!
Please do NOT turn on A/C as soon as you enter the car.
Open the windows after you enter your car and turn ON the AC after a couple of minutes.
Here's why: According to research, the car dashboard, sofa, air freshener emit Benzene, a Cancer causing toxin (carcinogen - take time to observe the smell of heated plastic in your car).
In addition to causing cancer, Benzene poisons your bones, causes anemia and reduces white blood cells. Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer. Can also cause miscarriage.
Acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50mg per sq.ft. A car parked indoors with windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene.
If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level.
People who get into the car, keeping windows closed will inevitably inhale, in quick succession, excessive amounts of the toxin.
Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver.. What's worse, it is extremely difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff.
So friends, please open the windows and door of your car - give time for interior to air out -dispel the deadly stuff - before you enter.

Thought: 'When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others.'
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New money does not have "In God we trust"
This new coin came out this month
The U.S. Mint hopes the redesigned $1 coin will win acceptance with
consumers.
It does not have In God We Trust on it. Another way of leaving God out.
Send this on and let consumers to decide if it will win acceptance or not.
I wonder who was behind this change!!!!

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Virtual Card Virus Warning
To All,

A new virus has just been discovered that has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive ever. This virus was discovered yesterday afternoon by McAfee. This virus simply destroys Sector Zero from the hard disk where vital information for its functioning are stored.

This virus acts in the following manner: It sends itself automatically to all contacts on your list with the title: "A Card for You".

As soon as the supposed virtual card is opened the computer freezes so that the user has to reboot. When the ctrl+alt+del keys or the reset button are pressed, the virus destroys Sector Zero, thus permanently destroying the hard disk. Yesterday in just a few hours this virus caused panic in New York, according to news broadcast by CNN.

This alert was received by an employee of Microsoft itself. So don't open any mails with subject: "A Virtual Card for You." As soon as you get the mail, delete it, even if you know the sender.

Please forward this to everyone in your address book. I'm sure most people, like myself, would rather receive this notice 25 times than not at all.
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Beware of the Lemon in your Drink!
Lemon With Your Drink? Restaurant Lemons Are Loaded With Germs

Beware the lemon in your drink. It could make you sick.
When restaurant workers place a lemon wedge on your glass of water, tea, or soda, they are apparently spiking your drink with germs.
A new study by a New Jersey microbiologist found nasty bacteria on two-thirds of the lemons that were tested from 21 restaurants.
"It was gross," said Anne LaGrange Loving, assistant science professor at Passaic County Community College."
Loving decided to do the study after noticing a waitress with dirty fingernails delivering a drink to a table.
"They put lemon in my Diet Coke, I didn't ask for it, and so I decided to do a study"
Loving and her team swabbed for bacteria as soon as drinks hit the table at restaurants all around Paterson, New Jersey.
"You would think they had dipped the lemons in raw meat," she said, referring to the high levels of bacteria that she found.
The swabs of lemon wedges revealed everything from high counts of fecal bacteria to a couple of dozen other microorganisms -- most of which can make you sick. They found bacteria on the rind and on the flesh of the lemons.
Health laws require lemons to be handled with gloves or tongs. But its common practice for waiters and waitresses to simply pop the little lemon wedge onto a drinking glass with their bare hands.
If an employee's hands aren't clean, however, then touching the lemons is likely to contaminate them with bacteria according to Loving.
This is not the first time that Anne Loving has gone looking for bacteria in unusual places. She did a study several years ago and found bacteria on communion cups.
"You'd just have to know me," she laughed. "I'm a germ freak."
But, Loving says, the results of the study point to a significant problem.
"People need to know that the lemons have bacteria on them that can make them sick."

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Celebrate National Cheesecake Day!
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Save a life, buy pink and white M&M's
Pass this on to all of your friends. There are many women out there who have breast cancer. Lets do all we can to support this cause. New Pink &White M&M's. The makers of M&M candies has teamed up with the Susan G. Komen
Breast Cancer Foundation to raise funds through the sale of theirnew "pink & white " M&M candies. For each 8-ounce bag of the special candies sold, the makers of M&M (Masterfoods) will donate 50 cents to the foundation. The next time you want a treat, please pick up a bag (now sold in stores nationwide) you will be donating to a great cause and satisfying your sweet tooth. Please pass on to all your family and friends. -- Thank you.
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Best Buy Return Fees
Best Buy has some bad policies....

Normally, I would not share this with others, However, since this could happen to you or your friends , I decided to share it.

If you purchase something from, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, JC Penny, Sears etc. If you return
the item with the receipt.. They will give you your money back if you paid cash, or credit your account if paid by plastic.

Well, I purchased a GPS for my car, a Tom Tom XL.S from "Best Buy". They have a policy that it must be returned within 14 days for a refund!

So after 4 days I returned it in the original box with all the items in the box, with paper work and cords all wrapped in the plastic. Just as I received it, including the receipt.

I explained to the lady at the return desk I did like the way it could not find store names. The lady at the refund desk said, there is a 15% restock fee, for items returned. I said no one told me that. I said how much would that be. She said it goes by the price of the item. It will be
$45.00 Dollars for you. I said, all your going to do is walk over and place it back on
the self! Then charge me $45.00 of my money for restocking!! She said that's
the store policy. I said if more people were aware of it they would not buy
anything here! If I bought a $2000.00 computer or TV and returned it I
would be charged $300.00 dollars restock fee!! She said yes, 15%.

I said OK, just give me my money minus the restock fee.

She said, since the item is over 200.00 dollars, she cant give me my
money back!!!

Corporate has to and they will mail you a check in 7 to ten days.!!
I said "WHAT?!"

It's my money!! I paid in cash! I want to buy a different brand..Now I have to wait 7 to 10 days. She said well, our policy is on the back of your receipt.


I informed him that I was going to e-mail my friends and give them a heads up on this stores policy, as they don't tell you about all there little caveats

So please pass this on. It may save your friends from having a bad experience of shopping at Best Buy.


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Water in Microwave a hazard to your health
I feel that the following is information that any one who uses a microwave oven to heat water should be made aware of.

About five days ago, my 26 year old son decided to have a cup of instant coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for but he told me he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup he noted that the water was not boiling but instantly the water in the cup "blew up" into his face. The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand but all the water had flew out into his face due to the buildup of energy. His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring. He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye.

While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this a fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc. It is however a much safer choice to boil the water in a tea kettle.

Please pass this information on to friends and family.

Here is what our Science teacher has to say on the matter: "Thanks for the microwave warning. I have seen this happen before. It is caused by a phenomenon known as super heating. It can occur anytime water is heated and will particularly occur if the vessel that the water is heated in is new. What happens is that the water heats faster than the vapor bubbles can form. If the cup is very new then it is unlikely to have small surface scratches inside it that provide a place for the bubbles to form. As the bubbles cannot form and release some of the heat that has built up, the liquid does not boil, and the liquid continues to heat up well past its boiling point. . What then usually happens is that the liquid is bumped or jarred, which is just enough of a shock to cause the bubbles to rapidly form and expel the hot liquid. The rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews when opened after having been shaken.

Please pass this on to everyone you know, it could save a lot of injury.
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