Snopes

20 April 2004

Recently I’ve been falling asleep to the joys of Snopes, the urban legend web site. Most urban legends seem self-evident to me. Still, there are times I’m suckered by a tall tale. What’s more, Snopes lists stories that sound like urban legends but aren’t.

Some of my favorite urban legends are:

Multiplying your dog’s age by seven will produce its equivalent in human years. This is an example of a myth that had me snowed. I believed it to be true. One human year is not equivalent to seven dog years, though. (It’s more like one to five, though it actually varies depending on stage of the animal’s life.)

The race horse Seabiscuit was the biggest newsmaker in America in 1938. This myth did not have me snowed, however. It’s the result of the kind of sloppy reporting that makes me angry; there’s no need for people who no better to try to pass this off as fact. The claim set off all sorts of BS buzzers in my head, and I never believed it for a second. Snopes is there to prove me right in this case.

On average, men think about sex every seven seconds. Not even close. “54% of men think about sex every day or several times a day” — and the rest think of it less often. I’ve heard this “fact” bandied about many times over the years, and though it sounded wrong, it seemed plausible enough (I’m in the 54%, several times) that I never tried to argue with it.

Snopes has scores (hundreds?) of myths to explore, most of them false. It’s worth a look if you’ve time to spare. Or if you’re gullible.

Comments


On 21 April 2004 (08:10 AM),
mac said:

guest weblogger???



On 10 September 2004 (09:08 AM),
raygill52 said:

I just stumble to this site by chance. it kept my interest. also made me think about, a time I heard that if you boil bay leaves in water, it turns into some kind of poison. my question is this true or false.
I’ll be back, to visit this site again. also I will share my new found knowledge among friends.
thank you raygill52



On 10 September 2004 (02:05 PM),
Tiffany said:

Bay leaves are edible. Maybe you are thinking of oleander leaves. They look similar, but are poisonous.



On 11 September 2004 (04:09 PM),
Dana said:

Um.

WTF?

Political blogspam?

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