Tuesday, May 31, 2005


The main reason that this urban legend originally grabbed my attention was while getting information for an essay I was writing. I was searching for Polybius a Greek historian (and apparently he was also a cryptographer) and noticed on wikipedia that there was an alternate entry that said "for the video game of urban legend." The article seemed worthy of a break, so I clicked the link. Here is the link to the wikipedia entry about the Urban Legend Polybius…


Also got a coinop.org entry that is kind of interesting...


And of course at the bottom of the Snopes roundup is a small write up about the urban legend...


Overall I think it is interesting that such an odd story has lasted this long (the story is circa 1980's). "Men in Black" going to collect information from some crazy video game that can cause amnesia is a pretty tall tale, however I can see how the early 80's and late 90's video game youth culture explosion could have triggered some parents and even kids to wonder about "these machines" and "their true origins."

And never forget it is US vs. THEM.

Deep Throat Revealed???

Vanity Fair reports that former FBI official Felt was Deep Throat

We have spent years speculating about who Deep Throat is/was and have been told time and time again by Woodward and Bernstein that the identity of this mystery man/woman will not be revealed until after he or she dies. So why now all of a sudden would Felt come forward to reveal his identity? Is Felt really 'Deep Throat' or is this just a media made legend?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Bless you?

Okay, I know this pertains not to the past blogs in this class, but a conversation about sneezing came up recently and I felt the need to bring it up here.
Does it intrigue any one else that we seem to have maintained this custom of blessing people after they sneeze? I understand the polite factor of the "excuse me," "bless you," "thank you" routine, but why use words with religious connotations?? Do we actually have the power to bless people?
All sarcasm and irreverent humor aside, snopes has some things to say about this topic:

Additionally, I was perusing the web and found this entertaining, short article:
There were no dates so I do not know if this is true or still on the books...anybody know? Or is that just a really dumb question...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Creation of British nationalism and why we hate the French

This article is a little long and dry, but it's an interesting article about nationalism, if you want to skim. Basically, it argues that British nationalism (as opposed to English, Scottish, or Welsh nationalism and regionalism) was only possible after the unification of 1707 because Britain became embroiled in wars with the French from the 1690s-1815. Colley makes two points, that people identified themselves as British because they were in the military and thus people, and men in particular, spent time with other people who were not from the same region or country. In short, what they had in common was Britain, not England or Kent. Also what they had in common was being Protestant, and being against the French. Before the French were the perpetual enemy, an English Anglican could see the Welsh as the Other, or the Presbyterians as the Other. The wars made those in the Isles unite against the Other of the French and the Catholics. This may explain why many Catholic Ireland, not officially incorporated until the nineteenth century, never felt part of the United Kingdom and continued to resist and define their nation as Ireland. This links Irish nationalism with Catholicism. It also explains Ameican antipathy towards the French, who we haven't been at war with since 1763 (why do we call French fries freedom fries, but not still call sauerkraut liberty cabbage? we were at war with them a whole lot more recently). America, was after all, founded by people who may at times have felt incorporated by the British national identity. Just a little summary of what I got from the article if you don't want to read it yourself.

Also, since the link I posted is through JSTOR, you may not be able to access it from an off-campus computer without logging in first. Info for the article: Linda Colley "Britishness and Otherness" Journal of British Studies

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Another "driver behind you with lights" legend

My mother in law just forwarded this along. She'll probably be a good source throughout the class for email urban legends. The following is cut and pasted directly from the email.

Subject: Its about the *677 feature on cell phones

I knew about the red light on cars, but not the *677.

It was about 1PM in the afternoon, and Lauren was driving to visit a friend. An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on. Lauren's parents have 4 children (high school and college age) and have always told them never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather wait until they get a gas station, etc. Lauren had actually listened to her parents advice, and promptly called *677 on her cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not pull over right away.

She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop behind her. The dispatcher checked to see if there were police cars where she was and there weren't, and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back up already on the way. Ten minutes later 4 cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes.

I never knew about the *677 Cell Phone Feature, but especially for a woman alone in a car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car.

Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a "safe" place. You obviously need to make some signals that you acknowledge them (i.e. put on your hazard lights) or call *677 like Lauren did. Too bad the cell phone companies don't generally give you this little bit of wonderful information.

Speaking to a service representative at "Bell" Mobility confirmed that *677 was a direct link to Police Dispatch. So, now it's your turn to let friends know about *677.

Send this to every woman you know, it may save a life.

Has anyone ever actually heard of Bell Mobility? When I dialed *677 from my own phone, I got 3 beeps and then nothing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Missouri Schools Listed In Cheating Inquiries

looks like students aren't the only ones cheating in schools....


Monday, May 23, 2005

Testing, testing, testing

Check one