Ultimate urban legends website

JohnS

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Check this out.
Some are funny and some are down right bizzare/scary.

For you Star Wars fans, check out the one about C-3PO's supposed penis on a Topps trading card

http://www.snopes.com/
 

Rob Gardiner

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John,

You've been on the internet since 2001 and just now discovered Snopes?


BTW I love their Disney section.
 

Zen Butler

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Hmm, I searched for LSD on snopes with a few results. I still can't seem to find if I'm "legally insane" or not. Can someone help?
 

Christ Reynolds

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i only discovered snopes a couple weeks ago, how do we know how true it is?

CJ
 

Casey Trowbridg

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I love this website, I've used this to debunk a few email forwards I've gotten, I don't check it as often as I used to, and I found out about it in 2001. I really like the 1 about the exploding Shark in Oregon.

I also recommend The Straight Dope which is also a good site for information.

As for how truthful snopes is, typically they list their sources on this stuff so if you really want to investigate you could.
 

Rob Gardiner

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Casey,


Yes!! They encourage both 1) critical thought and 2) research.



Rev. Dr. Zen Dogg,

These sources (with references) debunk that particular legend you're referring to. Variation: I heard that 7 hits made you ineligible for the draft (Gulf War I was heating up and we were in high school when this legend went around), but they would take a spinal tap to prove how much you've taken.

If anyone ever questions your sanity, just show them your postings in the silica and shizzle threads to put to rest any doubts.
 

Christ Reynolds

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cool. not like i was questioning, but as you can tell, i havent spent a lot of time there. they have a lot of good stuff, but i cant get into their layout. i dunno, i'm picky about stuff sometimes.

CJ
 

Dana Fillhart

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I normally don't mind going to Snopes to check up on something, but I still think they are either in the pocket of Disney or the content owners are biased toward Disney. The explanation for the word SEX in The Lion King used to say False, even though it was *blatantly* obvious what it was. Their current proclamation of "Undetermined" is laughable, as is their cop-out explanation ("The generally accepted explanation is that the letters were slipped in by a special effects group (to form the abbreviation "S-F-X")" -- yeah RIGHT!). And The Little Mermaid is no better -- while the explanation may or may not be true, they list it categorically as "False", and looking at the drawing (I've seen an original videotape cover a few years back and I'll tell you the object jumps out at you -- figuratively speaking of course
) I have a hard time understanding how Snopes could just accept Disney's explanation without a critical analysis or weight given to the sheer obviousness of the drawing.
 

Jed M

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I must be like you. Although I have used Snopes in the past, I find that about.com's urban legend section is just as informative as Snopes with a much better layout (menu down the side).
 
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I personally lost faith in Snopes after they didn't reply to a piece of info I sent them which, had they heeded it, would have changed one of their entries to the 'proven' category. Even if they disagreed, a reply would have been considerate.
 
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Rob, I suspect I was being a little petulent yesterday and a bit unfair to Snopes.

The issue in question concerned the urban legend about a group of students training a lecturer through conditioning to stand in a waste paper basket (or similar) by smiling and nodding whenever he moved near the bin during lectures.

The story in this form is highly improbable, but it has a grain of truth in it. The original anecdote was related by B.F. Skinner [for those wot don't know - a famous psychologist who spent his life studying conditioning] who described how he got an opponent of his theories to make a chopping movement of his arm during a lecture attacking Skinner. Skinner was in the audience, and smiled and nodded every time the arm was moved.

The anecdote is not, to the best of my knowledge, written down anywhere, but it is very well known amongst academic psychologists, and Skinner used it more than once to my certain knowledge in interviews, because I heard him use it. Furthermore, my doctoral supervisor worked with Skinner and said it was an anecdote he often produced.

Now this isn't written proof, but it isn't 'I once heard a friend say that they'd heard ...' evidence either. I'm perfectly happy that Snopes didn't want to use it, but a reply would have been nice (or perhaps a note in the relevant entry asking if anyone has a written reference to the anecdote).

I dunno, maybe in retrospect I was being a bit unfair on Snopes.
 

Dave Poehlman

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I'm sorry, if I'm doodling and I inadvertently draw a penis, I'm going to say "oh my, I've drawn a penis!". Especially since this one is [rant]smack dab in the middle of the picture!!![/rant]
 

Rob Gardiner

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Andrew,

That's a great story and I think there should be some acknowledgement of it on their site.
 
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Rob,
Kind of you to say so.

Actually, the conditioning trick really does work. I didn't learn of it until I was a postgraduate student, otherwise I think I could have greatly enlivened boring undergraduate lectures ...

However, whilst not encouraging my own students to do it, I might possibly have on occasions used the trick at conferences. :b
 

Joshua Clinard

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I love snopes. I use it to debunk many hoax e-mails I get. I send a link to the authors of the e-mails. I find that all of their Disney stuff is pretty darn accurate. I do not believe for one second that the leaves in Lion King spell out SEX. The animators would have no reason whatsoever to do a thing like that. If you look at the end of the credits, you will see that SFX is indeed the name of the effects company.
 

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