For years, have used this handy-dandy website to check out emails that I got that sounded too good- or too bad-- to be true. Touted as an urban legend site, one can use this to research any email forward you get that you want to see if it is true, false.
Since this site also discusses many items that do not fit the traditional definition of "urban legend" (e.g., trivia, rumors, hoaxes, common misconceptions, odd facts), one single rating system must be able to classify various types of entries". ....
As a result, the colored bullets SNOPES uses to classify items have slightly different meanings depending upon the nature of the entries being rated. Below are expansive definitions of the colors' meanings taken form the Snopes website.
White bullets are the ones most commonly associated with "pure" urban legends — entries that describe plausible events so general that they could have happened to someone, somewhere, at some time, and are therefore essentially unprovable.if there is no evidence that the events occurred before the origination of the legends.
Green bullets are used for two distinct types of entries: claims that are demonstrably true, and urban legends that are based on real events.
According to the Snopes website- "For the former, 'demonstrably true' means that the claim has been established by a preponderance of (reliable) evidence; for the latter, a green bullet indicates that the legend described is based on an actual occurrence.
Yellow bullets generally describe disputed claims — factual items which the available evidence is too contradictory or insufficient to establish as either true or false. This category also includes claims that have a kernel of truth to them but are not literally true as stated. Some legends also fall into this classification when it cannot be determined whether the legends preceded similar real life events, or vice-versa.
Red bullets mark claims which cannot be established as true by a preponderance of (reliable) evidence. Some urban legends are also placed into this category because they describe events too implausible to have actually occurred, or too fantastic to have escaped mention in the media of the day.
Multi-colored bullets identify claims which are a mixture of truth and falsehood.
The top 3 searches on the day I check the site were Barack Obama, Postcard Virus and Cell Phone Popcorn.
So when in doubt, check it out AT SNOPES. It is maintained by a husband and wife team- run by them with "no sponsorship" only ads and is supposed to be well researched and unbiased.
It has been around since 1995- and I have been using it since 1997.
All the get money if you forward from Bill Gates, cake inscriptions, gas boycotts and numbers to dial on your cell phone are discussed!
And just go browse around the categories for some interesting reading.......
in your spare time....