Evil (Information) Scientist

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Facebook saves Toronto woman from rabid bat

Posted by Nathaniel on September 23, 2007

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usHow can you not love a story like that? While not precisely library-related, this is still a nice little gem on evolving attitudes towards new technologies. The story begins a few weeks ago when a women dropped off a bat at the Toronto Wildlife Centre. After tests, it turned out that the bat had rabies and the health department understandably wanted to warn her, as Torontoist reports.

[S]o o they tried all their top-secret official government methods of tracking people down (apparently consisting of the “telephone book” and “Google”) but nothing panned out. So they did what any reasonable person would do and turned to Facebook […] and they quickly found her.

Official plague communication via Facebook! I’m sure that is something its creators never foresaw.

By the way, I, Nathaniel Stone, am on Facebook for the addicts in the room. I’ve broken my addiction, but I also post fun, non-1311-related things there too.

Torontoist – “Rabid Bat Terrorizes Toronto; Facebook Saves the Day”
“Bat / Murcielago closeup” by Sarahsanantonio (Image downloaded and posted under a Creative Commons license)


4 Responses to “Facebook saves Toronto woman from rabid bat”

  1. brianc said

    Although I’m not a Facebook or Second Life user (yet?), I find the concept of virtual community interesting because it’s a revolution in human interaction made possible by the Internet. It seems to me that no other society in history has ever been able to interact so extensively without actual physical contact. People who have common interests can get in touch very easily, wherever they might be (“I’m not the only one.”). At the same time, since the online persona can be completely fictitious, it may be affecting how we relate to others. It brings to mind the old French expression “À beau mentir qui vient de loin” (someone who’s from far away is free to lie about him or herself). My personal favourite on this theme is country singer Brad Paisley’s new song “I’m so much cooler online” (the video features Jason Alexander and William Shatner http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GcVnhNjWV0).

  2. Nathaniel said

    Please forgive me if I didn’t click on the country link. I catch your point there, however.

    Just like anything, there is a good side and a bad side as you point out. Good: lots of sharing and community (well, virtual community); bad: people lying about who they are and hiding their real motiviations (which is why I think people who post pictures of their kids online for everyone – and I mean everyone – to see are running risks. I think it’s not the technology, it’s how we use it.

    And I have my share of stories of people online being not exactly who they claim to be when met in person, but they’re not exactly appropriate for a class blog… 😉

  3. gord said

    A friend of mine who used to hang out in a chat room actually saved a woman’s life who was committing suicide. He realized from her IM that something was going on and called police long distance to alert them. When paramedics arrived she was unconcious but recovered in hospital. She was a single mom with 3 kids who felt at the end of her rope (all single parents have been there!) and just couldn’t go on. The reason i know som much about this is after this incident they started chatting online, he went to visit her and they ended up getting married!

  4. Nathaniel said

    Another example of the innovative use of technology for not one but two greater goods!

    I met my boyfriend via a Facebook set up arranged by a mutual friend. It’s a cliche and a novel use of technology all rolled into one.

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