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Xref: info.physics.utoronto.ca alt.answers:4828 alt.folklore.urban:164421 news.answers:30430 Path: dog.ee.lbl.gov!usenet From: twcaps@tennyson.lbl.gov (Terry Chan) Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban,news.answers,alt.answers Subject: alt.folklore.urban Frequently Asked Questions [Part 1 of 4] Followup-To: alt.folklore.urban Date: 7 Oct 1994 20:55:42 GMT Organization: Department of Redundancy Department Lines: 152 Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu Expires: 31 October 1994 Message-ID: <41774@dog.ee.lbl.gov> Reply-To: TWChan@lbl.gov (Terry Chan) NNTP-Posting-Host: 128.3.12.117 Summary: Urban legends supported, challenged and debunked Please read before posting to AFU Archive-name: folklore-faq/part1 Last-Modified: 94/10/7 Version: 2.50 7 October 1994 Official Usenet Alt.Folklore.Urban Frequently Posted Legends "I will set down a tale...it may be history it may be only a legend, a tradition. It may have happened, it may not have happened. But it could have happened..." -- Mark Twain [via Christopher Neufeld] TABLE OF CONTENTS TO THIS AND THE OTHER PARTS OF THE FAQ LIST Part 1 - Introduction to the newsgroup and the FAQ list. [This document] PART 2 - General administrative and other notes on urban legends (ULs) and the newsgroup (e.g., bait for for "trolling.". PART 3 - Major Categories of ULs Covered in the FAQ: PART 4 - Credits and some references =========================================================================== 1. INTRODUCTION TO THE FAQ POSTINGS FOR AFU: The newsgroup alt.folklore.urban (AFU) is devoted to the discussion and debunking of urban legends and other related issues. This is Part I of the Frequently Asked Questions/ Frequently Posted Legends list for AFU. Frequency: ---------- The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list for alt.folklore.urban is posted approximately twice a month to the alt.folklore.urban, news.answers, and alt.answers newsgroups with an expiration date approximately one month from the date of posting. If the FAQ is not available on AFU at your site, check the other newsgroups mentioned above. Anonymous FTP: -------------- The four part FAQ for alt.folklore.urban is also available via anonymous ftp at rtfm.mit.edu. You can retrieve them by grabbing the following files: /pub/usenet/news.answers/folklore-faq/part1 /pub/usenet/news.answers/folklore-faq/part2 /pub/usenet/news.answers/folklore-faq/part3 /pub/usenet/news.answers/folklore-faq/part4 E-MAIL: ------ If you do not have anonymous ftp access, rtfm.mit.edu can send the FAQ to you via email. Send an e-mail message to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu, subject ignored, and the body containing: send usenet/news.answers/folklore-faq/part1 send usenet/news.answers/folklore-faq/part2 send usenet/news.answers/folklore-faq/part3 send usenet/news.answers/folklore-faq/part4 CATHOUSE: --------- The FAQ and various sundry information are also available via anonymous ftp from cathouse.org (128.174.184.32) in the /pub/cathouse/urban.legends subdirectory and is also mirrored at balder.nta.no (128.39.1.8) in the /pub/alt.folklore.urban subdirectory. Thanks to Jason Heimbaugh (jrh@dixie.aiss.uiuc.edu) for his efforts in maintaining this archive. WWW/Mosaic: ----------- For the net.privileged, Andrew Condon (afcondon@dsg.cs.tcd.ie) has generously made some initial cuts at making the AFU FAQ available via World Wide Web (WWW). The URL is: http://www.dsg.cs.tcd.ie:/dsg_people/afcondon/AFU/AFU-FAQ.html The ideal web-access binary for accessing the WWW-version of the FAQ is Mosaic. You can use anonymous ftp to grab a copy of a Mosaic binary from NCSA. The site name is ftp.ncsa.uiuc.edu. There are versions for most platforms inlcuding Sparc, SGI, Dec, HP, and even PC and Mac. The WWW version of the FAQ is still under development and if you are particularly interested in a particular item, you would probably be well-advised to cross-check it with the versions noted in rtfm.mit.edu or *.answers are noted above. 2. INTRODUCTION TO THE NEWSGROUP AFU This is alt.folklore.urban -- the newsgroup where nonsense is revered as an artform, and debunking has been taken to new heights. The group has broadened its god-given mandate from a place for discussing urban legends (ULs) to a place for confirming or disproving beliefs and facts of all kinds, including origin of vernacular ("The whole nine yards", "Sniping like a bald giraffe"), common scientific fallacies, obscure points of history, stories of pranks, the location of Foucalt's pendulums, Why "Space 1999" was better than "Star Trek: TOS," "What types of salmon are there?" and so on. In other words, it's a great place to get a reality check on anything that "a friend" told you, or to compare notes about odd things. Bear in mind though that the FAQ tries, in its own confused way, to focus more on UL relevant topics. As a result, you will find items in the classic urban legend mold (e.g., food contamination legends), as well as old wives tales, and other oddball facts, trivia, and stories. =========================================================================== An urban legend: * appears mysteriously and spreads spontaneously in varying forms, * contains elements of humor or horror (the horror often "punishes" someone who flouts society's conventions). * makes good storytelling. * does NOT have to be false, although most are. ULs often have a basis in fact, but it's their life after-the-fact (particularly in reference to the second and third points) that gives them particular interest. =========================================================================== The AFU Frequently Asked Questions List has been maintained by Terry Chan since July 1991. It's inception and spirit was due to the efforts of Peter van der Linden in February 1991. COPYRIGHT STUFF: ---------------- This Frequently Asked Questions List is a publication of AFU, Inc., a wholely owned subsidiary of Old Hat Enterprises, Inc. Please contact Terry Chan at TWChan@lbl.gov or Peter van der Linden at linden@eng.sun.com for licensing and duplication rights. Copyrighted 1991-94. All rights reserved by Terry Chan (twchan@lbl.gov). -- Energy and Environment Division | Mail: twchan@lbl.gov Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory | Berkeley, California USA 94720 | No, please, after you...

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