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View Full Version : A metor is coming and we're all going to die!



Captain Kidd
2004-Nov-19, 12:16 PM
At least according to one British teacher (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20041119/od_afp/britain_education_meteor_041119000654)... Well then again, maybe not, seems she was trying to motivate her class to "seize the day."

I've experienced my share of bad motivational speeches, but at least none of them promised imminent death.

2004-Nov-19, 12:18 PM
What a prat!! :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

dvb
2004-Nov-19, 12:27 PM
When do we start packing for the moon?

frogesque
2004-Nov-19, 12:27 PM
Gordon Bennet! #-o I trust she gets a severe wrist slapping if not a suspension over this. By all means debate the brevity of life and the positive aspects of living it to the full but to scare a bunch of impressionable kids ....less is no way to go about it.

Wally
2004-Nov-19, 12:27 PM
Geeeeesh!!! Sometimes, you gotta wonder about people. What the heck was this woman thinking??? Poor kids. . . :-?

Nicolas
2004-Nov-19, 01:15 PM
Hereby I have officialy made an international trademark of "we're all gonna die".

nananananana rich man! (Homer style dancing)

Zachary
2004-Nov-19, 06:18 PM
I'm sorry, but what unfathomably stupid kids, how could anybody swallow that? Seriously, 'young and impressionable' maybe, but now without an iota of rational thought either.

Nicolas
2004-Nov-19, 06:46 PM
Zachary that is so untrue.

First of all, the story is possible, I mean there are meteoroids and some large ones have hit the earth already. Secondly stories like this are in teh news regularly. Third certainly at that age the teeacher is considered an authority. If he ever adresses news in class, it must be big and important news, like a new war or something. There wouldn't be many children thinking "really, aren't you mlaking this up?" Nono if the teacher sais something like that, she is meaning it.

pghnative
2004-Nov-19, 06:48 PM
I'm sorry, but what unfathomably stupid kids, how could anybody swallow that? Seriously, 'young and impressionable' maybe, but now without an iota of rational thought either. :o :o :o :o :o
I think you're being unreasonable. They're only 13 or 14, an age that's still too young to be questioning authority.

Besides, the only reason to immediately doubt such an announcement would be the realization that astronomers would most likely observe such an asteroid with more than 10 days warning. But that is knowledge that I wouldn't expect many 14 year olds to have.

electromagneticpulse
2004-Nov-19, 08:56 PM
I'm sorry, but what unfathomably stupid kids, how could anybody swallow that? Seriously, 'young and impressionable' maybe, but now without an iota of rational thought either. :o :o :o :o :o
I think you're being unreasonable. They're only 13 or 14, an age that's still too young to be questioning authority.

I'm with Zachary, i'm 16 i was questioning authority at about 11 and all of my friends were. At 13 me and my friends staged a protest because they tried to ban us from going out for our lunch, seemingly stupid but we won and the meals they made were so poor they probably used the left overs in rat poison.

At 13/14 they should have known better then to start crying it's a bit pathetic and if the world was ending i don't think they would sit around crying when they could be going to see their family. So i put more of it on the kids then on the teacher.

Zachary
2004-Nov-19, 09:02 PM
I'm sorry, but what unfathomably stupid kids, how could anybody swallow that? Seriously, 'young and impressionable' maybe, but now without an iota of rational thought either. :o :o :o :o :o
I think you're being unreasonable. They're only 13 or 14, an age that's still too young to be questioning authority.

Besides, the only reason to immediately doubt such an announcement would be the realization that astronomers would most likely observe such an asteroid with more than 10 days warning. But that is knowledge that I wouldn't expect many 14 year olds to have.

Let's be realistic, 14 is definately old enough to be questioning authority, I'm a little offended that you think 14 year olds are so impressionable - I was 14 only two years ago and I never would have been duped with that nonsense.

Andromeda321
2004-Nov-19, 09:19 PM
I'm with Zachary, i'm 16 i was questioning authority at about 11 and all of my friends were. At 13 me and my friends staged a protest because they tried to ban us from going out for our lunch, seemingly stupid but we won and the meals they made were so poor they probably used the left overs in rat poison.

At 13/14 they should have known better then to start crying it's a bit pathetic and if the world was ending i don't think they would sit around crying when they could be going to see their family. So i put more of it on the kids then on the teacher.
I don't think the situation you're referring to is really in the same perspective as the situation described here. For example, I first learned about the Twin Towers being attacked on 9/11 in an assembly similar to the one described (15 years old at the time). It sounded incredibly unrealistic but never for a second did I think the teacher was making it up. Oh, and I was seriously sobbing by the end because I didn't know if a relative of mine was alright as well as a few other classmates of mine.
Seeing as this is a situation that is actually worse (whole planet destruction vs an attack on NYC) and I was a few years older at the time I don't blame those kids one bit. Plus think about it, what kind of teacher would really make up something like that and add a "just kidding" onto the end of it? Certainly none of mine ever have.

frogesque
2004-Nov-19, 09:21 PM
St. Mathews School, Manchester (http://www.st-matthews.manchester.sch.uk/st%20matts_prospectus/all.htm)

No comment given, implied or intended - Froggy

Van Rijn
2004-Nov-19, 09:33 PM
Let's be realistic, 14 is definately old enough to be questioning authority, I'm a little offended that you think 14 year olds are so impressionable - I was 14 only two years ago and I never would have been duped with that nonsense.

Maybe not, but many adults would. Are you familiar with the (very famous here) "War of the Worlds" radio show debacle?

http://www.transparencynow.com/welles.htm

There were regular disclaimers, it was very fanciful ... and many people believed it. One of the common problems with "April Fools" jokes is that they are too often believed. In the '80s, Byte magazine would have ridiculous tech stories, and they became more and more obvious (with comments like "contact April O'Neil, Joke Co. at Fool's Gold, NV") ... but the stories would show up in major newspapers anyway, assumed true. They finally had to give up. They just couldn't make them obvious enough.

At WWW.BBSPOT.COM a regular spot is email from "believers" even though it is clearly stated that this is satire and the stories are ridiculous. There are natural skeptics, but there are also many natural believers that often accept things uncritically.

The other side of this is that most people don't have a clue about astronomy or physics. They've seen the movies, though, and can certainly believe a story about an asteroid impact. And really, this story isn't far different from "Deep Impact" where the trajectory of the asteroid was somehow kept secret from the general public for a long time.

I'd very much expect many people to believe a story like this. If something like this happened in the U.S. it is very doubtful the teacher would ever teach again, the kids would be offered counselling, and there would likely be lawsuits.

[added minor editing]

Nicolas
2004-Nov-19, 10:15 PM
Protseting for going out at lunch OK, sitting down together against war OK. these are things for personal profit or "to change he world". (I'm NOT ridiculising these things). A teacher who tells a story that ain't totally rambling to 13y olds is something totally different. I NEVER doubted 9/11, and if I weren't into astronomy I wouldn't have doubted the meteoroid claim at age 13. there is a difference between "questioning authority" and questioning this kind of story from a teacher that is telling it like it is breaking news. Not some story she tells like "I once read somewhere that there might be a big asteroid coming towards us and it will once hit us..." Nono just "listen very carefully kids, I just watched the news during lunch and I have something to tell you..." 13 Y olds believe it in many many cases. This does not mean they're being stupid, the teacher is. What kind of authority will she be after this one. "are you making it up again teacher?".

electromagneticpulse
2004-Nov-19, 10:36 PM
I'd very much expect many people to believe a story like this. If something like this happened in the U.S. it is very doubtful the teacher would ever teach again, the kids would be offered counselling, and there would likely be lawsuits.

I can't believe that, its pathetic if you gave a child counselling after every little thing then they'll never make it past 30 without having serious stress problems and a lawsuit. I would shoot myself if people in England started doing ridiculous things like that.

I could count many things i could get money for, being called dumb/dyslexic when i was about 5 years old (i guess i should have been put in counseling) or my first teacher in secondary school was always swearing because he was one of the only good teachers in the school. He said "if your not old enough to hear the **** word (not F btw) then your not old enough to be in my class." I would agree with him if by 11 i'm not old enough to hear what adults hear then i shouldn't be working with electric saws/sanders vacuum formers etc.


I don't think the situation you're referring to is really in the same perspective as the situation described here. For example, I first learned about the Twin Towers being attacked on 9/11 in an assembly similar to the one described (15 years old at the time). It sounded incredibly unrealistic but never for a second did I think the teacher was making it up. Oh, and I was seriously sobbing by the end because I didn't know if a relative of mine was alright as well as a few other classmates of mine.
Seeing as this is a situation that is actually worse (whole planet destruction vs an attack on NYC) and I was a few years older at the time I don't blame those kids one bit. Plus think about it, what kind of teacher would really make up something like that and add a "just kidding" onto the end of it? Certainly none of mine ever have.

I was 13 at the time of 9/11 and i can tell you when we found out no one got into a state over it. Sure there was a bit of shock but everyone took it well within our stride because we got matured. It may just be my school that taught us to mature, but:

"Some of the children were 100 percent convinced they were going to die," the father of one child told the paper.

Its rediculous by the time i had reached 13/14 i knew not to trust what the teachers said because only a few you could actually believe. So i don't think the teacher is to blame, its either the kids or the whole teaching staff for not doing their jobs properly and actually growing the kids up for a real life in the real world.

And my god Id been told i was going to die since 1992 with all those damn dooms day prophecies that we even got told about in schools.

Captain Kidd
2004-Nov-19, 10:48 PM
Hmm, I 10 when the Challenger accident occured. Never thought that the teacher was doing anything other than telling the truth. After all, isn't that what teachers are suppose to do? Especially that student age range?


I was 13 at the time of 9/11 and i can tell you when we found out no one got into a state over it. Sure there was a bit of shock but everyone took it well within our stride because we got matured. It may just be my school that taught us to matureThen I guess you're more mature than most of the people I know. My wife, and most of her coworkers, were either crying or so highly aggitated that they finally closed for the day. I remember being 16 and invincible/nothing could phase me. (No offense meant there.)

When it was still going on (about 5 mintues after the second plane) a State Trooper and I were one the side of an Interstate (I was having some difficulty with a ladder I was hauling) and he was filling me in on what was going over the police bands with a very shocked/startled expression.

And I was in an elementary/middle school that day finishing up some of my business's work (I was the one that actually broke the news it to the school, their TV's had yet to be delivered, new school) and the kids were plainly frightened (heck I wasn't doing too good myself, one teacher kept hunting me down to give me updates of what was going on).

However, I think the "horror" and "many burst into tears" statements might be a bit of journalistic overkill, sensationalism basically.

Maksutov
2004-Nov-19, 11:11 PM
The British press have released the name of the teacher in question. A resident of Cheshire County, she is identified as "Mrs. Nana bmpbmp" who lives near the Nether Alderley Mill outside Macclesfield, not too far from the Lovell Radio Telescope, said the news wires.

Van Rijn
2004-Nov-20, 12:04 AM
I can't believe that, its pathetic if you gave a child counselling after every little thing then they'll never make it past 30 without having serious stress problems and a lawsuit. I would shoot myself if people in England started doing ridiculous things like that.


I didn't say I necessarily would agree with it - I said what would probably happen here. When a child is shot or something very traumatic happens in a school here, the students are usually offered counselling. They didn't normally do that when I was in school, but they do now. Obviously, we don't know the details here. It does seem clear she quickly realized she had made a horrible mistake, and the details would affect whether there would be a lawsuit, but would there be the potential for one in the U.S.? Absolutely.



I was 13 at the time of 9/11 and i can tell you when we found out no one got into a state over it. Sure there was a bit of shock but everyone took it well within our stride because we got matured.


This is a different subject really - but there is a personal component here. I live in California. I've never been in New York or the twin towers. I didn't know any of the people there. I am an adult male. I've been in some pretty bad situations and handled them calmly, and I always thought I could handle bad situations better than most. But when this happened it hit me like a ton of bricks. In private, I cried more than once. I know I was far from the only one. Many were weeping publically, and on that day I didn't see anyone that wasn't obviously hurting. The shock was immense. It isn't rational, but there it is.

The key point is: Just because you react one way, don't assume everyone else would react the same. They are not YOU.

In this case, I'm sure it was a terrible mistake. Nonetheless, I don't see this as being much different from falsely announcing a bomb is about to destroy the school. You JUST DON'T DO IT.

mickal555
2004-Nov-20, 03:27 AM
I'm sorry, but what unfathomably stupid kids, how could anybody swallow that? Seriously, 'young and impressionable' maybe, but now without an iota of rational thought either. :o :o :o :o :o
I think you're being unreasonable. They're only 13 or 14, an age that's still too young to be questioning authority.

Besides, the only reason to immediately doubt such an announcement would be the realization that astronomers would most likely observe such an asteroid with more than 10 days warning. But that is knowledge that I wouldn't expect many 14 year olds to have.

Heeyy I'm fourteen and I wish I was there I would have stood up and said no there isn't.
Besides I have rational thought and so do my friends ..... some of them do at least. I'm with electromagneticpulse and Zachary.


I didn't say I necessarily would agree with it - I said what would probably happen here. When a child is shot or something very traumatic happens in a school here, the students are usually offered counselling. They didn't normally do that when I was in school, but they do now. Obviously, we don't know the details here. It does seem clear she quickly realized she had made a horrible mistake, and the details would affect whether there would be a lawsuit, but would there be the potential for one in the U.S.? Absolutely

I don't think a child has ever been shot at a school here gezz there would be such a fuss youd get a lot more than counsiling.

BTW I do agree the teacher is a prat

John Jones
2004-Nov-20, 03:30 AM
I hate when that happens.

AGN Fuel
2004-Nov-20, 10:41 AM
The British press have released the name of the teacher in question. A resident of Cheshire County, she is identified as "Mrs. Nana bmpbmp" who lives near the Nether Alderley Mill outside Macclesfield, not too far from the Lovell Radio Telescope, said the news wires.

:lol: [-X

Makgraf
2004-Nov-20, 07:56 PM
Remember, just because everyone believes in something doesn't mean it's not true. :) I have a healthy distrust of authority, but I'm also not going to automatically disbelief them. If my doctor says I have cancer, I'm going to accept that. I'm not going to think that his next statement will be: "APRIL FOOLS! Hahaha, oh man the look on your face was priceless!" (Of course a little later I'd probably ask for a second opinion, but these kids didn't have later).

As people have said above most people are quite ignorant of astronomy (Which is why sites like this are so important!). If your only experience in these matters has come from Armageddon et al, you're going to believe that the gubbiment can cover up an asteroid that's about to destroy earth.

The comparison with 9/11 is slightly off because these kids are not hearing that x number of people somewhere else have been murdered. They are hearing that them, and their families, are about to die.

"Knowing" that they're about to die I wonder if there were any embarassing admissions along the lines of "I've always loved you, Julia!" or "I've been putting dirt in your lunch since grade 2."

Captain Kidd
2004-Nov-20, 10:39 PM
The comparison with 9/11 is slightly off because these kids are not hearing that x number of people somewhere else have been murdered. They are hearing that them, and their families, are about to die.I donno, one of the problems that schools (and parents) were facing afterwards is that young kids have a very active imagination and many were terrified that a plane was going to hit their house.

Absurb to an adult, but totally reasonable to a child.

electromagneticpulse
2004-Nov-21, 03:52 PM
I was 13 at the time of 9/11 and i can tell you when we found out no one got into a state over it. Sure there was a bit of shock but everyone took it well within our stride because we got matured.


This is a different subject really - but there is a personal component here. I live in California. I've never been in New York or the twin towers. I didn't know any of the people there. I am an adult male. I've been in some pretty bad situations and handled them calmly, and I always thought I could handle bad situations better than most. But when this happened it hit me like a ton of bricks. In private, I cried more than once. I know I was far from the only one. Many were weeping publically, and on that day I didn't see anyone that wasn't obviously hurting. The shock was immense. It isn't rational, but there it is.

The key point is: Just because you react one way, don't assume everyone else would react the same. They are not YOU.

In this case, I'm sure it was a terrible mistake. Nonetheless, I don't see this as being much different from falsely announcing a bomb is about to destroy the school. You JUST DON'T DO IT.

I know it isn't me but it is still the british educational system, 9/11 was shocking i admit that but breaking down in hysterics when you've just been told something shocking isn't the standard behaviour. The standard behaviour is shock and disbelief especialy when most of the children would have seen films like deep impact and armageddon, so if they are "just stupid kids" they are more likely to think we'll be fine then we will all die.

Oh and just for a heads up i've been told theres a bomb about to destroy the school a few times before, so did the BHS and longcroft highschool got one almost everyother week. Heck someone called in a bombscare so we could watch england play in the worldcup now that was a good bomb day :D


Obviously, we don't know the details here. It does seem clear she quickly realized she had made a horrible mistake, and the details would affect whether there would be a lawsuit, but would there be the potential for one in the U.S.? Absolutely.

Through the grapevine (so it may be false) i've heard mention of someone trying to take a dogfood company to court because their child had some dog food and got sick. Now ofcourse it got dismissed instantly because you just say child and dog food, you see why it should be dismissed.


Well i surgest we look at the bright side of this... the kids might become interested in astronomy :D

dgruss23
2004-Nov-22, 01:25 AM
At least according to one British teacher (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20041119/od_afp/britain_education_meteor_041119000654)... Well then again, maybe not, seems she was trying to motivate her class to "seize the day."

I've experienced my share of bad motivational speeches, but at least none of them promised imminent death.

Sometimes as a teacher you play a devil's advocate role to try and get the students to think. You might take a position on an issue that most students will disagree with and make a seemingly sincere effort to defend that position in order to get the students brains working. It seems
to me like that is the type of thing the teacher was attempting to do.

I've done something similar once for disciplinary reasons. Quite a few years ago I had a couple of students sneak out of lab before the period ended at the end of the day. So the next day I told my classes that an important piece of lab equipment had turned up missing. I made up a name that would sound believable to freshmen - titritic planometer - and told them that unfortunately, one of the pieces of the "planometer" was a metal that could be used as a component for detonating a nuclear bomb. I informed them that since the planometer had such components it was registered with the federal government and since not all students had been present in the class at the time it was discovered missing that the FBI would be interviewing students to determine what had happened to the planometer. They started asking me questions and I made up a description on the fly. They bought the whole thing.

By the time the class with the guilty students came in they already knew the story. I let the students off the hook at the end of the period ... and they weren't too scarred by it since as seniors they let me know it was one of their funniest memories from high school. The parents of the students that slipped out of class even thought it was funny.

So I'm not saying that the specific example she chose was the best way to get across her point, and it appears she quickly let them in on the "joke" when she realized they were very upset about it. It would've been much worse if she let them leave the school without realizing it was a joke. But sometimes you can use such approaches to make a point. Those students never left my class early again.

Makgraf
2004-Nov-22, 02:30 AM
The comparison with 9/11 is slightly off because these kids are not hearing that x number of people somewhere else have been murdered. They are hearing that them, and their families, are about to die.I donno, one of the problems that schools (and parents) were facing afterwards is that young kids have a very active imagination and many were terrified that a plane was going to hit their house.

Absurb to an adult, but totally reasonable to a child.
I could see a 7 year old thinking that, but I don't think that many 13-14 year olds out there thought Osama bin Laden was going to crash airplanes into their houses.


So I'm not saying that the specific example she chose was the best way to get across her point, and it appears she quickly let them in on the "joke" when she realized they were very upset about it. It would've been much worse if she let them leave the school without realizing it was a joke. But sometimes you can use such approaches to make a point. Those students never left my class early again.
But the fact that high school freshmen believed something as implausible as your story is just more evidence that people of similiar age (Freshman are 14 right?) would also believe an implausible story coming from an authority figure.

dgruss23
2004-Nov-22, 01:27 PM
So I'm not saying that the specific example she chose was the best way to get across her point, and it appears she quickly let them in on the "joke" when she realized they were very upset about it. It would've been much worse if she let them leave the school without realizing it was a joke. But sometimes you can use such approaches to make a point. Those students never left my class early again.
But the fact that high school freshmen believed something as implausible as your story is just more evidence that people of similiar age (Freshman are 14 right?) would also believe an implausible story coming from an authority figure.

Right, that was my point. Sometimes a teacher will intentionally try to get a group of students to temporarily believe something absurd for the purpose of making a point. The point might be instructionally oriented to get the students to think outside the box, it might be a disciplinary issue. It sounds like the teacher was trying to get the students to appreciate what they have.

The article said the teacher quickly explained it was a joke when she realized how upset the students were getting. Without being in the classroom for an extended period of time its hard to know what led up to the teacher making this particular choice. I think in this case the teacher was too extreme in her effort to make a point.