As we all know, for all the wonders that the Internet has to offer, it also makes available its fair share of misinformation. This is most often seen in the ridiculous stories and urban legends that periodically make their way across the Web and into our e-mail inboxes. As a measure of the craftiness with which many such tales are constructed, occasionally even major media outlets are fooled by false stories circulating across the Internet. I expect that many readers when confronted with a dubious story that just doesn’t quite make sense do what I do, which is to go to Snopes.com (www.snopes.com) and see if the matter has been debunked or validated,
The Snopes site, which has been doing its thing for about the past 15 or so years, is entertaining to peruse even if you are not then trying to sort fact from fiction. So, it’s fitting, that Snopes — like much of the entertainment industry below the 49th parallel, which, unbeknownst to many Americans, is actually stealthily populated by an inordinate number of Canadians — is run by a husband and wife team, one of whom, Barbara Mikkelson, is a Canadian citizen. I like the idea that one of the best Web sites devoted to setting the record straight on Internet nonsense is animated, at least in good measure, by the down to earth Canadian sensibility.