I'm sure no one reading this blog ever forwards crazy urban legends and hoax stories along to their friends...and I'm sure you know to check such rumors at Snopes.com if someone else sends one of them to you.
So, have you ever wondered what the story is behind Snopes? I was (really) sitting in the barber shop the other day, and I happened to pick up a Reader's Digest (really!) and came across this article about David and Barbara Mikkelson, the indefatigable researchers behind Snopes.com.
I learned from the article that Snopes and the Mikkelsons are responsible for a few coinages themselves, one of which is the now oft-encountered fauxtography, meaning a fake picture intended as a hoax. (Snopes even has a category for "Fauxtos" on the site directory.)
The one I really like is slacktivism, the act of passing on a cautionary email supposedly to raise awareness or warn or educate others without bothering to first find out whether it's true. Entirely too much of that going on.
Featured Comment by eric s: "I suspect that the image is from Why Paint Cats, not the other way around.
"I think one is a sendup of the other, but one can never be too sure."
Featured Comment by Chris Crawford: "I actually took an Art History class in college back in the late '90s when I was working on my BFA that used Why Cats Paint as one of the textbooks! We had to write a paper comparing the way that book described the cats' painting and the way that our other textbook (Johnathan Fineberg's Art Since 1940: Strategies of Being) presented modernist paintings."