22 July 2010


You know that email you got about helping someone in the UK get a few million dollars out of a bank? Maybe you got an email about missing children or a prayer request for a dying child. Did you wonder if forwarding a message could really get you money from Microsoft?

Hopefully, you have also come across snopes.com. It is a site run by David and Barbara Mikkelson and it is a website to find out the truth about many urban legends on the Internet.

David Pogue did an interview with them on CBS News Sunday Morning segment. They revealed the origin of the name. Snopes is a family of characters in the works of William Faulkner. The Snopes were at the bottom of  "social ladder." The connection to the site's purpose? None.  It's short, easily remembered and distinctive and that's good for a site name and URL.

Which of these Net legends have any truth to them?  Answers at snopes.com

  1. Cellphone companies are going to make cellphone numbers available through a directory assistance service and that will pump your phone number to telemarketers. 
  2. In August, Mars is going to be so close to Earth that it will appear larger than any time in our lifetime. 
  3. Phil Collins told Jews to leave his concert.
  4. An email postcard that you get contains a virus.
  5. A Canadian lawyer left his money to whichever woman had the most babies in the decade after his death.

Next time someone tells you via email or in person that they are mad about the government taking "In God We Trust" off the new Presidential dollar coins, you can say, "Well, according to snopes...

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