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Birthday List Chain Email - Somebody Born Every Day

Email asks recipients to add their name and country to a birthday list before sending the message to all of their friends (Full commentary below.)

Completely pointless

Example:(Submitted, November 2005)

This is kind of cool! Out of all of the billions of people who live in the world, there has got to be somebody born on each date of the year. We are going to try to accomplish the task of seeing if we can fill the calendar up with a birthday on every day of the year. Add your name and your country next to your birth date to the list below. Then send this list to all of your friends, plus the person who sent it to you! Lets see if we can do it!

Remember, COPYING and PASTING this to NEW E-mail will keep it clean and make it easier to read than just forwarding it. If someone has already put their name in the slot of your birthday please just add your name beside and DO NOT DELETE THAT PERSON'S NAME! KEEP IT GOING Thanks!

January 1~~ [Names Removed]

January 2~~ [Names Removed]

January 3~~

January 4~~ [Names Removed]

[Continues to December]

The foolish chain letter shown above travels extensively via email and is also commonly posted to online message boards. The message asks that recipients add their name and country to the date on the list corresponding to their birthday before sending the message to all of their friends. Apparently, the purpose of the exercise is simply to fill up the calendar with at least one name for every day in order to illustrate that there is "somebody born on each date of the year". Of course, it goes without saying that somebody will be born on each day of the year. In fact, according to U.S. Census Bureau data for 2005, an estimated 356,000 "somebodies" are born each day. Curious web users can visit the worldmeters website to see continually updated daily figures for world births. In fact, there is a great deal of statistics pertaining to world population readily available. Clearly, there is no need to try to prove the very obvious fact that people are born every day by circulating a silly chain letter.

This exercise might be vaguely more interesting if there was some central mechanism such as a website that attempted to consolidate and display the collected information in permanent form. As it stands, there are likely to be thousands of separate versions of the message haphazardly crisscrossing around the world's inboxes. Although some instances of the message might manage to collect one or more names for each day of the year, many of those who participated are unlikely to ever get to see the completed list.

This chain letter might seem rather harmless and certainly it is a lot less malicious and disruptive than many other hoaxes. However, perpetrating the message by sending it onwards just wastes bandwidth for no good reason. These messages also add to the general dross that increasingly clogs our email inboxes. Given the inherent pointlessness of attempting to compile such a "birthday list", I'd suggest that hitting the "Delete" button in your email client would be the most appropriate way to handle this message.

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen