Saturday, June 4, 2011

Misaddressed Emails

My Gmail account has been around since 2004 - about as old as you can get for a Gmail account. I registered early and was fortunate to get a short, easy-to-remember username instead of something long like brahmneufeld (see my Twitter account... not quick enough!) or sexy_surfer_dude2004@gmail.com.

A happy side effect of having a simple account name is that I get a lot of legitimate emails (not spam) that simply aren't supposed to go to me. In other words, people mis-address their emails to me, just like you could fudge an address on a letter and have it delivered to your intended recipient's neighbour.

Normally I send people a quick notice saying they've accidentally emailed me instead of someone else. But today I got an email that was so nonsensical that I had to do some fact-checking, too.

I received an email today from "Jesselyn" that she wanted to send to her family, containing this nonsense (click for bigger version):

Apparently this forward has been zooming around Facebook and email circles for a few weeks. This was the first time I got it, by accident.

I decided to do 10 minutes of research and respond to the sender and her recipients to set a few facts straight (click for bigger):
The text reads:

Hi, this email was accidentally sent to me, but it's factually incorrect!  
1) A July with 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays does not happen every 823 years. This happens every time a month with 31 days starts on a Friday, which is often. The last time this happened was in 2005, and the next time this will happen is July 2016. Source: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=july+2005, http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=july+2016 
2) The "add the last two digits of the year you were born to your age to get 111" trick only works if you were born between 1900 and 1999. If you were born in 1800-1899 the result is 211, if you were born between 2000 and today the result is 11.  
The more you know!™
Remember friends, don't pay heed to everything you read on the internet!