Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Doubt It

Have you gotten the email with the power point presentation telling you how rhythmical coughing can act like self-administered CPR t0 keep you alive during a heart attack while you're waiting for medical help?

What about the touching story of how Lee Marvin was wounded at Iwo Jima -- and his sergeant, also wounded, was Bob Keeshan --who later became Captain Kangaroo?

This same story went on to say that Mr. Rogers, yes, the one with the Neighborhood and the cardigan "was a Navy Seal, combat proven in Vietnam with over twenty-five confirmed kills to his name. He wore a long-sleeved sweater on TV to cover the many tattoos on his forearm and biceps. He was a master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat, able to disarm or kill in a heartbeat."

Okay. I might have let the Lee Marvin/Captain Kangaroo thing slide. But Mr. Rogers . . . ?

I doubt it. So this is when I go to -- dispeller of myths and rumors. And yes, Lee Marvin was a Marine and served in the Pacific during WWII -- but he wasn't at Iwo Jima. Neither was Bob Keeshan, who joined the Marines too late to see any action in WWII.

Mr. Rogers was never in the military. And coughing for a heart attack? Not recommended unless you've received very specific training in the technique. Otherwise, you could make things worse.

Snopes is the place to go when you receive any of the thousands of emails that get forwarded. I've been taken in many a time -- on this very blog I posted the one about Mars being closer to Earth than any time in the past many years; I posted a list of things women should do if they're attacked -- and then when some friend gently pointed me to Snopes, I had to do an uh-oh followup post.

Snopes is a wonderful resource when you get one of these hard-to-believe tales or one of those breathless Forward to everyone you care about warnings. It's also a fun place to browse.

That warning about criminals in the US using burundanga soaked business cards to incapacitate unwary victims?

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Pat in east TN said... is a great site that has set the record straight for me many times.

Martin H. said...


I must investigate
Thanks for mentioning it in your post. Thankfully, I don't get to many emails of that type. But now I've said it, I'm bound to get dozens!
How is the snow situation there?

Vicki Lane said...

Yes, indeed, Pat! It's taken a while but now it's almost a reflex for me to check Snopes.

Martin -- It looks as if the snow is over -- now it's just cold and disagreeable. We didn't get more than four inched but it turned to sleet and now there's a bit of an icy glaze. A day to stay put.

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

I love I use it often to dispel gossip! HA! I see the power is still on! :)

La Petite Gallery said...

I can't imagine how I have missed your blog. My first visit, I think...
When I heard J.D.Szalinger died I
said to myself, great next post. Woke up and forgot it.
I will try Snopes and also get your book. I had a summer hotel in
Saluda N.C. for 8 yrs.and believe me up in those hills are some spoooky people..

Vicki Lane said...

Yes, Carol, we still have power and just now, the sky is blue! Hurrah!

Welcome, Yvonne! Yeah, there are quite a few different sorts here in the mountains -- perfect fodder for a writer of mysteries!

I see you're in Maine -- we spent a little time in Castine one summer and adored it. So different from the mountains but a similar feel in some odd way. The flowers were my favorites -- wild lupines especially.

Susan D said...

But what about the picture? Please tell me it's Mr. Collins annoying Elizabeth Bennet, because if that guy is supposed to be a hero, uh, not so much.

Vicki Lane said...

Hi Susan, Thanks for stopping by! I checked your blog and must say that your writing spot is the stuff of dreams. And you're a fellow Sister in Crime! Cool.

Re picture --I forgot to put in the attribution. So, the painting is by Henrietta Rae (English -1886) and its title is Doubts: An ingenue hesitating to accept the proposal of a roue. The painting currently resides in Christchurch, NZ.

It does have a Jane Austenish quality to it. But surely Mr. Collins would never have dressed like that. Maybe Frank Whatshisname who so disappointed Emma.

Tammy said...

Hi Vicki,
There are certain people that evidently delight in sending forwards. I don't get the notion of it, but it seems to bring them enjoyment. I have about three people that send me forwards and many are the same ones. Sometimes I delight in sending them back with the notation--check's false! Most are just amusing, but there is some real damage in some of them, if you take it at face value. Much like gossip. Thanks for the post--it's a great site and everyone needs to know there is a centralized place to 'check things out'.

Tipper said...

I like snopes too-just think if all those crazy emails were true-yikes!

Vicki Lane said...

Much like gossip, indeed, Tammy. Tantalizing to listen to but it jsut ain't always so!

I really like Snopes, Tipper. They analyze these things -- what part is true, what isn't -- and they document their facts.

Vagabonde said...

I love Snopes and I used it so much when I was at work. People there would send me pretty nasty emails about France – like the one where the American soldier comes back to France years later and they ask for his passport and he replies that the first time he was in France fighting the Germans the French did not ask for his passport – and the email says – there was silence. Well this is not a true story; it was invented by some Conservative during the Iraq war and was sent to thousand people through emails because he wanted to give bad press to France. I received many emails like that. One writer of jokes for Jay Leno was (is I imagine still) a French basher and loves maker jokes or having Jay quote things making the French look bad. I always go to Snopes to see if what he says is true and usually it is not. It also is good to check for emails sent by super patriot US citizens who send emails like you mention about Iwo Jima. Other types of emails is like the one about the little girl dying of some disease and you have to send money or pray for her – not true. Snopes is very helpful.

Vicki Lane said...

Boy, was that whole French-bashing thing intensely embarrassing to me as an American.

"Freedom fries" -- give me a break! And if we'd only, like France, had the good sense to stay out of Iraq . . .

Susan D said...

thanks for your welcome, Vicki. I wish I could access that cabin year round, bur right now I'm in the city, with a somewhat different view. Not bad, just different.

Capri said...

Additional hoax-busting sites are and and for other sites that deal with the problem of chain letters, has a lot of stuff people should read to make them think twice about forwarding junk. smashes chain letters through creative writing and goes way against the current trend on the net. Instead of Christians passing on chain letters, it's Christians breaking them - in particular, me. I've got just about every rant on there from the time I started writing out my feelings at getting these infernal annoying pieces of bogus junk, and I want the world to know that there is such thing as a Christian and a non-left as well as non-far-right person who cannot stand forwards and will tell it like it is without being a God-basher or otherwise tasteless about it.

Vicki Lane said...

Well, Susan, it still looks like a great place to be, even part time.

And thanks for the additional links, Capri! Fortunately, I don't get many chain letters any more, ever since I just started deleting them, in spite of all the good fortune I was missing. They are, indeed, a pain.