The WHO Radio Wise Guys
Brian Gongol

The WHO Radio Wise Guys airs on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa on 1040 AM or streaming online at The show airs from 1 to 2 pm Central Time on Saturday afternoons. A podcast of show highlights is also available. Leave comments and questions on the Wise Guys Facebook page or e-mail them to

Short show again today, due to Hawkeye football, but here are two quick bullet points for your consideration this week:

Worst virus ever? No. If you've received an e-mail forward talking about the "worst virus ever," please restrain yourself from sending it along. Yes, there's a computer virus that circulates under the pretense of being a "postcard from a friend", but it's been around for a long time and the warning is badly overblown. In fact, the e-mail forward advises you to do unsafe things with your computer. Stay calm when you receive e-mail warnings, and in general, practice safe computing: Do your Internet browsing from a limited-access account, and if you absolutely must send out a mass e-mail, use blind carbon copies. And, of course, if you receive something suspicious via e-mail, don't open it!

As a side note, consider this: The e-mail forward we're talking about says "It's better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it." WRONG! Suppose you send an e-mail to 25 friends, and then each of them does the same, that message will have reached 625 people -- and if the message being forwarded was false, that means 625 people have been misinformed. If each of those 625 people forwards it again to another 25 people, then a full 15,625 will have been misinformed. That's a whole lot of misinformation to counteract, not to mention a whole lot of wasted time spent reading the message. When you think something sounds fishy, see if we've talked about it before, or ask us about it. We can't answer every question individually, but we'll try to talk about it on the air.

Ant travel. Ants don't get in traffic jams because they share information on their trips with one another. (Don't ask what the scientists who researched this were putting on their cereal in the morning...) That, however, could tell us a lot about how we humans could avoid traffic jams by sharing traffic data from our GPS-enabled cell phones.

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