Sunday, April 17, 2005

Plain stoopid

February 25, 2005 - From Indiatime website
Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me
For the last few weeks, Indian media including major newspapers and television stations have been singing praises of one Saurabh Singh, a village lad who had supposedly topped NASA's International Talent Discovery Exam. But the truth is now out. First of all, NASA gives no such exams. Secondly, Saurabh Singh hadn't appeared for any such talent discovery exam. But the Indian media, hungry for a national hero, grabbed the story, made it into a headline and are now back-paddling fast to correct their storyline.
About 8 years ago, Ramar Pillai, another local lad from India had similarly managed to con the entire national media as well as India's scientific community by claiming that he had manufactured liters of petrol from a plant. The herbal fuel story not only became a national headline, but also managed to make its way into the world's most prestigious science journals. The department of science supposedly had even started to make plans to build a demo plant to manufacture petrol/gasoline out of this plant.
Little has changed over a span of 8 years. In this day and age, when it takes literally seconds to verify any information available on the internet, the Indian media dropped the ball yet again. Fiberoptic networks and satellite links can't do much about stupidity. Can they?