Friday, March 6, 2009

Urban Legends

I read this article in this morning's Journal/Sentinel and found it so funny and so pathetic at the same time, I want to share it with you! How can people believe some of this stuff? On Monday one of my sisters forwarded an email to sign an online petition to Congress to STOP passage of a bill that would allow illegal aliens to collect social security, blah blah blah. Well, that would be a real trick, wouldn't it, since most illegals don't pay into the system and even U.S. citizens can't collect when they don't pay into the system the requisite number of "quarters"! Helloooooo! Do you really think your Senators and Congressmen would be stoopid enough to do that - worse than signing their own death warrants, hah! I get this junk in my email all the time, it's unbelievable what people read, believe, and pass on. Thank Goddess for I've got to say though, that beer pong game sounds intriguing... Oh baby, urban legends can be really coo coo Posted: Mar. 5, 2009 by Jim Stingl Life would be so dull without urban legends that rile us up and refuse to go away. A woman in Menomonie, Wis., is the latest to complain that a talking doll selling at Wal-Mart is trying to recruit children to become little Muslims. Lois Debee told her hometown Dunn County News last week that she thinks the doll says, "Islam is the light." To me it sounds more like, "Is mom in the lake," which probably proves I'm not nearly paranoid enough. Debee marched right down to her local Wal-Mart to raise a ruckus over the doll with the ridiculously long name, Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Cuddle & Coo. She found out they had pulled the dolls off the shelves late last year when this controversy erupted, but they found their way back., my favorite myth-busting site, says this is all nonsense. It cites an experiment by the not-well-known Gaston Gazette in which people unfamiliar with the hubbub were asked to listen to the doll. None heard a call to Islam. Mattel, which owns Fisher-Price, the doll's maker, issued a statement saying "Mama" is the only word the doll means to say. The rest is infantile babbling and cooing that Mattel says will be eliminated in future production. "Because the original soundtrack is compressed into a file that can be played through an inexpensive toy speaker, actual sounds may be imprecise or distorted," the company said. Don't tell the kids, but it sounds like their defense is essentially that the doll is badly flawed. Nonetheless, Dunn County News got an exciting headline out of the story: "Menomonie Wal-Mart pulls alleged pro-Islam doll from shelf." Once a story starts circulating on the Internet, it's hard to stop. No, it's not true that if you're feeling threatened at an ATM and you enter your pin number backward that it causes police to be dispatched, Snopes found. And, no, the owner of a Dunkin' Donuts in New York did not refuse to place a memorial flier for a U.S. serviceman in his shop or say it should be placed in a trash can "where the rest of our soldiers belong." And don't believe the video circulating on YouTube that says a camera and microphone are hidden in digital TV converter boxes, giving our nosy government access to the exciting events in our living rooms. Last week my wife passed along an e-mail from a friend about a family - unnamed, as was the location - that is losing its home and seeking a loving home for two pet Labradors, Cookie and Coco. A Milwaukee phone number was included below. A quick check with Snopes told me the plea, from a Los Angeles woman, originally was sent to a few close friends but went viral when it was forwarded by someone to a pet Web site. Don't worry, the dogs found a home. But the well-meaning Milwaukee woman who included her number on a Craigslist posting about the dogs told me she was inundated with calls. She was surprised to find it wasn't a local family in need of help. Fuzzy details help any Internet story gain strength. Finally, news reports recently cited a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that playing the drinking game, beer pong, can give you herpes. Fox News even demonstrated how the game is played. Beer pong, at most, can cause members of the opposite sex to appear more attractive. But the story about herpes, the CDC scolds, did not come from them and is not true.

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