In December of 1997, a Michigan man received a letter from the Department of Environmental Quality informing him that he was prohibited from the 'Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files show that no permits have been issued. .... The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris dams and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all unauthorized activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the strewn channel.'
He replied: 'Regarding Your Dam Complaint.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Aug 9, 2012 -
Last year, an archivist at Dartmouth College discovered a forgotten scrapbook
donated to the school by Robert L. May, the writer and illustrator of the original story of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", documenting the origins of the now-classic holiday story. The book was written in 1947 on commission from Montgomery Ward's, which was looking for a Christmas promotional item. Detailed in the scrapbook are May's list of possible names for the character, including "Rollo", "Reginald", "Romeo" and you-know-what. Ward's actually turned over the copyright to Rudolph to May, who became a millionaire when, two years later, his brother-in-law Johnny Marks
wrote the song which became a huge hit for Gene Autry
. Snopes.com adds more details to the tale
, including debunking the myth that the song was written by May to comfort his daughter while her mother lay dying.
posted by briank
on Dec 24, 2011 -
A dress code
at the polls? Many
states have 'electioneering' laws in place that can be broadly interpreted to mean that clothing with political messages is not allowed. Snopes put a page up
advising voters to check with their board of elections. Some election officials
have released statements attempting to clarify
[pdf] the enforcement of their state's electioneering laws, though those statements aren't legally binding. Other election officials are suing
to keep the broad definition of electioneering in place. If rules are interpreted to include campaign shirts and buttons, you will likely need to cover the item up, remove it, or otherwise conceal it. [more inside]
posted by cashman
on Oct 6, 2008 -
My Wife, The Coffee Table
Geocities Original (with awful Google Adsense ads covering the text on the right).
While I feel bad for the guy losing his wife at such a young age, I'm not sure that having her interred for all eternity in the living room isn't just a little damned creepy. Especially if he started dating again.
"Some of his friends and relatives, filled with fear, stop visiting Jeff. His true friends respected his decision and continue visiting him." No mention of whether his true family respects his decision and visits him still.
But if you think this is how you'd like to spend eternity or how you'd like your loved on to spend eternity then go hit up CasketFurniture
(who now have a cool casket shaped pool table
too), previously discussed in the Blue 1st here
and again here
posted by fenriq
on Dec 13, 2004 -
There's a lot of scammin', griftin', and chicanery going on in the world and Snopes
has always been there, but they usually take some time to do their investigations. But for the quick hit, they've just launched a new daily scam page
carrying just that day's latest scam news from around the country. It's really amazing how many major scams take place every day
, and it helps to know how to spot a scam when you hear about it.
posted by mathowie
on Apr 10, 2004 -
The Skeptic's Dictionary
is a wonderful resource for all sentient individuals: 'A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (and how to think critically about them
)'. It's where I send people when they start telling me nonsense.
It is also a jolly good read: try the entry for natural
, for example. And some entries, like the entry for IQ and race
, verge on the profound.
There is a print edition, but the extensive internal and external site linkage makes reading the collection online a particular joy. While The Skeptic's Dictionary has been referred to before
on MeFi, the link made the site out to be a cornucopia of Urban legend-style oddities, like Snopes
. Which I thought was a shame: not dissing Snopes, but the Skeptic's Dictionary delivers a firm grounding in critical thinking as well.
This post is dedicated to all of my relatives who chipped in to buy shark cartilage
tablets and several fifty-dollar pamphlets full of testimonials
after my father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and who probably still think the worse of me for not contributing to their folly.
posted by chrisgregory
on Feb 6, 2004 -
LA County, leading the charge: Equipment vendors who do business with Los Angeles County received a message in November 2003 from the county's Internal Services Department (ISD) informing them that "based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County," labeling or describing equipment with the term 'master/slave' is no longer acceptable.
the slashdot comments
posted by sixtwenty3dc
on Nov 25, 2003 -
Get on the love train
and ride the singles car
: "Thousands of New Yorkers are now forwarding an anonymous e-mail to each other informing them that from now on, every first subway car has been declared 'the singles car.'"
Any New York Mefites want to claim responsibility for this?
posted by mr_crash_davis
on Sep 5, 2002 -
Break the Chain
has all kinds of nifty resources for stopping the neverending flux of chain mail wandering through your e-mail box, though if you're like me, you'll probably just read through the chain archives for their amusement. A nice companion to Snopes
for your hoax-debunking needs.
posted by headspace
on Jan 13, 2002 -
Terrorists Target malls on 10/31 hoax
I have received seven e-mails today about the 'mall attack' and I have had enough. I am sorry, but now is not the time to blindly forward on anything about terrorism without checking the facts. Even a simple Google search will prove most hoaxes false.
The only thing we have to fear is 'forward this to all your friends.'
The FBI has something to say about this also.
posted by DragonBoy
on Oct 12, 2001 -
Urban Legend, I choose you!
Pokemon is being banned in several Muslim countries because of rumour that it is anti-religious. What's your favorite urban legend that resulted in widespread societal changes? (You need not limit yourself to religious edicts . . . an sort of change made by people in power because of an urban legend will be fine.) Why do you think that urban legends have this power? What does this say about human cognition?
posted by iceberg273
on Apr 24, 2001 -