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Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Housewife

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Platonic Poser, or Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
LJ Idol
This is my entry for LJ Idol, Topic 6: Urban Legends

Didja read the one about .. ?

Everybody knows that ..

Tell a friend!

Tell ten more!

Note to self: Don't read glurge when wearing mascara.

So here's the deal. I've become a Snopes-server for some of my dear friends. (No, not you!) Worse, how about the friends who pass along email prefaced with "I've checked this out on Snopes, so it must be true."

But I learned this week that leaning on Snopes can be a bit,
.. pause, rewind, reroll..
It's not that leaning on Snopes is lazy, it's that there may come a time when laziness is justly rewarded. That time for me was this week.

Animated GIF looping between Mr. Ed and a zebra, with a 2 second interlude of Llama for each loopI tend toward laziness myself. However, if it involves following very convoluted lines of inquiry, then tappety-tap wins out over laziness any day of the week. I felt both vindicated and a bit silly, when my deeper research on a Snopes article led to a forum discussion that pointed out the clues in the webpage. The voice-over in the page by Mr. Ed: "Maybe I didn't go to college, but I'm not stupid." The absurd pictures purporting to show the black-and-white representation of a color picture of a zebra. And finally, the link to "More information about this page." that explained the purpose of the hoax. Yes, Snopes itself is not beneath putting on its own hoax.

Maybe next time I'll respond with a more rational answer than a knee-jerk "read this article on Snopes that explains how this is a hoax." Maybe next time I'll simply ask my friend why they think it would be reasonable for this email to be reproduced another exponential times. Maybe I'll simply ask them if they have any idea how old Craig Shergold is these days, and whether he really cares for any more Get Well Cards?

Maybe next time I'll just hit delete.

XKCD logo
XKCD comic about Snopes.com

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Hee-hee-hee That's great. Urban legends about Myth Debunking. This is a classic in my book.

I just read that article last night. (And believed it because...why not.) Weird.

I believed it at first. After all, it's Snopes. But it bugged me. It just didn't make sense. So I looked around for any kind of confirmation. It was quite the surprise, really.

Loved the Mr. Ed article -- and bonus points for xkcd. :)

I found a forum thread through google that was discussing this article, and once they'd found the clear confirmation of intentional hoax, someone on the thread pulled out the xkcd comic. I linked to the comic and to Snopes, but not to the forum. The former are pretty clear about giving permission for linking onto other pages.

yeah I am a bit of a skeptic too -- usually by killing any chain emails that get sent to me.

Oh, I delete chain mails. But when my Mom first got online, I had to teach her about them. And about forwarding stuff, etc. She's almost the curmudgeon I am these days, but I still have a soft spot for my friends in her generation (either by age or net-experience).

The Urban Legend of Snopes, now that is one for the ages.

Yep. At first I could think how to write about it, but then I realized it was a great one to share.

Would you believe that I'd never ever heard of Snopes before this exact round in this competition? I feel like I missed a vital boat!

Heh. I don't even remember when I first heard about Snopes, but it was on some discussion list. Someone posted a link to a Snopes article to put someone straight about a computer virus scare, I think it was.

Another couple of useful sites are Straight Dope and Truth or Fiction.

Mighty handy links there. Thanks for cluing me in!

Love it, especially teamed with the comic strip!

Thanks. I had a real laugh at myself. :)

Hah! That's awesome that they would do that.

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