Sunday, February 10, 2008

Urban Legends have fascinated me for quite some time. I relate urban legends to ghost stories told around the campfire, it leaves me wondering as to whether there is truth or not in these stories. With the advent of Photoshop and other photo enhancing products, pictures that are now circulating the web and email have drawn my attention to as whether or not they are real.
One of the websites that I visit is I find that I can usually decipher whether a current legend or rumor I have heard is true or not. For example, I heard on the radio and the announcer was serious, that if you were ever to be forced to withdraw money from your account via an ATM, that you could enter your PIN backwards and it would immediately dispatch the police to your location and still give you the money. This turned out to be false and being the information was given out via the radio, how many people could have and did receive bad information? A quick check of this website as well as others could have cleared this up.
So, what exactly is an urban legend? According to, an urban legend are "stories that are either funny and/or contain horrifying content that may or may not be true. They spread quickly, and often have many different variants." This site also provides great information on current urban legends and their origins. They give great information on how to verify concerns you may have regarding these urban legends. For example, there was a rumor circulating that UPS uniforms were being purchased and used by terrorists. This rumor was deemed false and the site even gave phone number to UPS if a reader had a concern.
Urban legends have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. I know I spend more time than I should reading this sites, but there are probably a lot worse things I could be doing.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Spam, and I am not talking about the delicous Hormel deicacy that comes in a can. I am talking about Spam, the unsolicitated emails that seem to arrive by the hundreds in my inbox everyday. If you are like me, spam has caused me to miss important emails that I have deleted thinking they are spam. Spam has forced me to that point, if I don't recognize who an email is from it goes straight to the garbage and then deleted.
Another issue I have recently run into with spam is how certain internet providers like AOL automatically direct emails to the 'junk' folder. Part of my job is to email an electronic newsletter on a weekly basis to approximately 900 employees. I do not have time to try and take the many calls from the employees who do not get the newsletter and determine why they are not receiving it. This is a direct impact caused by spam that forces many internet providers and email services to direct the alleged spam away from the users. This has become a very frustrating aspect of emailing as a form of communication. This is also why I believe in the Boulder Pledge.
One of the site's I visit is It provides a nice amount of information on the fight against spam.

Hazen,Scott.(2008). Fight Spam On The Internet. Retrieved February 3, 2008.