Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998 00:00:20 -0500

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                             THE ATLAS WEB WORKSHOP ALPHA TEST LIST

Every major college in the world has one course that puts fear into
the hearts of even the burliest of men (or women, for that matter).
Most students call these "weeder" courses because they have a nasty
tendency of weeding out the -- how can I put this? -- 'academically
challenged.'  In some colleges the weeder course is freshman physics
or calculus.  At the University of Alabama, it is GBA 490 -- Strategic
Management (a.k.a. "the Business Strategy Game").

GBA 490 is the "exit exam" for all business students at the University
of Alabama.  You must have the course to graduate, and to pass the
course you must remember (and use) everything you have learned in your
previous 4 years at the University.  In effect, GBA 490 is the
business school's undergraduate equivalent to "comps" (comprehensive

Your fearless bus driver made the mistake of not only enrolling in GBA
490, but enrolling in it during the summer term where four months of
material is crammed into a five week session.  I am not exaggerating
when I say I have spent an average of 12 hours a day, 7 days a week,
for the past 3 weeks studying for this class.  And there are still two
more weeks left in the semester.  :(

Anyway, that's the reason why this post is, well, about 7 days late.
I promise I haven't forgotten you, and I also promise to catch up on
my missed TOURBUS posts when (and if) I ever finish GBA 490 (better
known as Dr. Thompson's "Strat-TUTOR Death March").

On with the show.  I want to thank the folks at (see
today's bus logo) for sponsoring today's post (and for sponsoring what
seems to be a gigzillion of our previous posts over the past couple of
years).  I also want to welcome a new sponsor whose support made this
week's post possible:

-----  FREE RECIPES!  ----   FREE RECIPES!  ----   FREE RECIPES! -----

    World Wide Recipes delivers free recipes by e-mail every day.
A complete gourmet menu every week. To subscribe send a blank e-mail
message to - or visit our web page.

-------------------  < >  -------------------

And now, on with the show ...


Two weeks ago I sent you a huge email letter chock full of information
to help you combat some of the Internet's biggest urban legends.  That
letter contained stuff about the Bill Gates email tracing program
hoax, the Free Shoes from Nike hoax, and the "dying kid" hoaxes that
have been floating around the Net for years.

Unfortunately, while the concept behind the TOURBUS Urban Legend
Combat Kit was sound, its execution was lacking.  Instead of putting
all of the urban legend debunking information into one, long email
letter, it would have been much more convenient if I had broken the
information into a bunch of different email letters, each focusing on
a particular urban legend.

So, earlier today, I did just that.  The *NEW* TOURBUS Urban Legend
Combat Kit is a collection of individual email letters, each of which
focuses on a particular Internet urban legend or hoax.  The letters
are free of charge and are yours to do with as you please.  My hope is
that the Combat Kit will help you quickly fire off a canned reply to
anyone who sends you an urban legend or hoax.

To retrieve all of the email letters that are in the *NEW* TOURBUS
Urban Legend Combat Kit, just send a new email letter to


with the command


in the body of your email message.  That's it!  Within minutes, you
should receive all of the Urban Legend Combat Kit's letters.

Keep in mind, though, the Urban Legend Combat Kit is a work in
progress.  Right now, it only includes letters that debunk the Bill
Gates Email Tracing Program Hoax, the Procter & Gamble Satan-
worshiping hoax, the Free Shoes from Nike hoax, the Craig Shergold
Urban Legend, and the American Cancer Society hoax.  I'll be adding
more letters to the Combat Kit in the weeks to come, and I will tell
you how to retrieve these new letters in a future TOURBUS post.

As a matter of fact, here is a list of future Combat Kit letter topics
that are on my "to-write" list:

     - The 9-0-# telephone scam (which only affects business phones)
     - The "kidney harvesting" scam
     - The Neiman Marcus $250 cookie recipe urban legend
     - The email virus hoaxes (Good Times, Win A Holiday, Join the
       Crew, etc.)
     - The Bud Frogs screensaver virus hoax

If you can think of anything else you'd like to see added to the
Combat Kit, let me know.  After all, these letters are for you.  :)


When and if I ever finish GBA 490, I am going to have a BUNCH of free
time on my hands.  I guess it would be a good idea for me to use some
of that free time to actually write the Web workshop that I have been
promising to write for the past 4 years.  :)

So, I am looking for a couple of people who are willing to help me
alpha test my new Web workshop.  When new products are developed, they

go through several stages of testing.  The first step, called "alpha
testing," usually involves a small number of industry experts who are
shown a rudimentary product and who then offer suggestions on ways
that the product can be improved.  The second step is called "beta
testing" and it involves a larger group of people who stress-test what
is by then a pretty well developed product to make sure the product is
free of defects and is ready for public consumption.

I guess what I am looking for are people who are willing to review my
outline and lesson first drafts and tear them to shreds, pointing out
the stuff that I need to delete or add.  In other words, I need a
group of GBA 490 professors.  :P

Seriously though, I am looking for a small group of people who are
willing to give me some guidance as I try to take my Web workshop from
vaporware to reality.  I can't pay you anything -- the workshop will
be free, and I am a poor college student -- but I have never been shy
in giving credit where credit is due.  If the thought of reviewing my
pedagogy and sloppily written first draft lessons excites you, send an
email letter to


with the command


in the body of your email letter.  The alpha tester's list will be
pretty quiet for the next couple of weeks, but once I am finished with
GBA 490 the list traffic should pick up.

By the way, if you are interested in helping me beta test my Web
workshop, stay tuned.  We'll talk about the workshop's beta test list
in a future TOURBUS post.


ON-AH (noun/verb).  Respect.
Usage:  "On-ah your mama an papa."

[Special thanks goes to me for today's wurd]

You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at

  For info on my book "Atlas for the Information Superhighway"

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  (\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
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