You've seen that commercial -- and I can't even remember what it's advertising -- with the woman who says "It's true...I read it on the Internet."
We don't believe everything we read or hear, right?
Made me think of those urban legends. What's an urban legend, you ask? According to Merriam-Webster, an urban legend is an often lurid story or anecdote that is based on hearsay and widely circulated as true.
The Library has quite a few books on urban legends, or urban folklore as the library catalog likes to say. One of them you might want to check out is Ngaire Genge's Urban Legends: The As-Complete-As-One-Could-Be Guide to Modern Myths. It's cool to figure out whether those legends are really true...or totally false!
I had always heard a "rumor" that there is a private club in Disneyland. When I went there a few years ago, I searched high and low for this private club. Couldn't find it. But then I asked my Disneyland expert, Amy, and she confirmed that one does exist! It's called Club 33 and it's in Disneyland's New Orleans Square. And not that I can't trust everything Amy tells me, but I checked snopes.com just to make sure; it's true. There is a private club in Disneyland. Who knew!?!
Then I started thinking about other things I've been told over the years. Are they really true or just some silly made up story? You probably remember being told by a parent or other adult not to swallow your chewing gum because it takes 7 years to pass through your digestive system. It freaked me out completely the first time I accidentally swallowed a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. That thing was going to be inside my digestive system for 7 years? OMG! So I went to snopes.com to check this out.
Whew! Not true. You can find the explanation for the debunking of this childhood myth here. (But it's still not a good idea to swallow gum.)
If you're wondering what this snopes.com thing is, let me explain. Snopes.com is a website which researches urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of unknown or questionable origin. It is a well-known resource for validating and debunking such stories in American popular culture.
I think there's a good lesson here: don't believe everything you hear. You can always check snopes.com or, novel thought, visit the library and do the research on your own! Every library branch has a reference section filled with dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a whole bunch more.
And if you need another reason to visit the library, check out the calendar of events for exciting programs at a library near you, or if you want to volunteer to be a Summer Book Buddy at the Cesar Chavez Central Library, give me a call at (209) 937-7012.
Have a great week!