Anyone who looks at the blog header, or my Henry’s Web icon at the right, will know I like spiders. When I was younger (as in pre-teens and early teens), I read books about them and collected a few. That started while we were living in north Georgia, and continued in Guyana, South America, where I was able to collect a small Tarantula, between 4 & 5 inches across. I used to have a picture of it set on a towel with one inch colored squares, but I’ve lost that.
In any case, because of that interest, the picture to the left caught my attention immediately. Compare this beauty to the picture I have in my post Can You Identify This Spider?, a Golden Orb Weaver that set up shop near my office. Since then a number of them have done so, not to mention other varieties, and I try to leave an area for them that won’t get disturbed.
In any case, it should be immediately obvious that this “Angolan Witch Spider” is a fake. A rather nicely done fake, but still fake. Nobody should believe it for a minute. If you’re in doubt, you can always check Snopes, and in this case they actually have a picture of the spider that was quite artistically placed on the house, provided to them by the original artist.
It’s not that hard to avoid being scammed. In this case, it’s just fun, but there are plenty of scams both on the internet and elsewhere in real life. The first thing is just to stop, think, and apply logic. The internet is great at providing both misinformation and information. It’s simply great at passing “stuff” around. What type of stuff you discover is up to you.
There are those who want to blame the medium for the problems. The handwritten page, the printed page, the telephone, radio, television, and now the internet have each, in their turn, been blamed for spreading falsehood and immorality. But it’s people that do the bad things. The medium is just, well, the medium. And each change of medium also provides opportunities for truth, facts, logic, and dialog as well as all the negative stuff.
You just have to be willing to look for it!