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LISTEN UP

The Internet recovered after a slow start to deliver news and information about the terrorist crisis. But the Internet also abounds with something else: rumors and fantasy.

Lycos Top 50, a search engine that rates sites by number of hits, offered a Top 10 list for last week and in first place was the Nostradamus Hoax, available at www.snopes2.com.

The site details an alleged 1654 prediction by Nostradamus citing the fall of "two brothers" or, as interpreted by many apparently, the destroyed World Trade Center towers. No truth to the rumor that Nostradamus also predicted the Buffalo Bills would dump Doug Flutie and keep Rob Johnson.

Satan also makes an alleged appearance at www.snopes2.com. A picture by a freelance photographer of the burning World Trade Center towers reportedly shows the image of Satan's face in the smoke.

"Seeing" demonic images at disaster scenes is old hat, but it has taken on new life on the Internet.

On a more serious note, one of the most famous photographs of the disaster featured three firefighters raising the American flag over the rubble of the destroyed twin towers. The photo was taken by Thomas E. Franklin for the Record of Bergen County, N.J.

The newspaper is offering free downloads of the picture at www.northjersey.com. Also, the paper will send a free copy of the picture to anyone who requests it. Details are available on the Web page.

e-mail:aviolanti@buffnews.com

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