Date:         Fri, 16 Apr 1999 00:43:21 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS -- 15 APRIL 1999 -- NARA/HIV Needle Rumors/LSD on Pay
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   NARA / HIV Needle Rumors / LSD on Pay Phones
Howdy, y'all!
Next week, your fearless bus driver (along with fellow Squirrel Hunt
team members Lee Overstreet, Wolfe Kincaid, and Heather Headrick) will
be speaking at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference in Macon,
Georgia.  If you are in that neighborhood, feel free to drop by and
visit us at the Centreplex Convention Centre on Wednesday, Thursday,
or Friday!
TOURBUS remains free thanks to the financial support of our sponsors.
I want to thank the folks at "A-LOCK," "CandyDirect," and ""
for making today's journey of our little bus of Internet happiness
possible.  Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank
them for keeping TOURBUS on the road!
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On with the show ...
Our first stop today is at the United States National Archives and
Records Administration (NARA) at .
NARA is an independent Federal agency that helps preserve US history
by overseeing the management of all Federal records.  Through NARA's
Web site, you can search through 390,800 descriptions of NARA's
holdings and even access digital copies of 114,121 selected textual
documents, photographs, maps, and sound recordings.
One of the most user-friendly parts of the NARA web site is its online
exhibit hall at .
The exhibit hall is a continuously-updated collection of featured
documents.  For example, here are just a few of the exhibits that are
available as of 15 April 1999:
     - Portrait of Black Chicago.
       A collection of images of Chicago in the 1970s taken by
       Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John H. White.
     - Powers of Persuasion-- Posters from World War II
       A collection of 33 American war posters.
     - American Originals
       A selection of some of the most significant and compelling
       documents from the National Archives holdings.  [There are
       actually two American originals exhibits: one at and one at  Both are
Don't overlook the "featured documents" section on the left-hand side
of the exhibit hall page.  Squirrel Hunt participants will remember
that the answer to a recent Hunt question came from one of these
featured documents.  :)
After a while, you will probably want to start finding historical
documents on your own.  Fortunately, NARA offers a powerful search
engine at .
The search engine will let you search through all of NARA's 114,121
digital documents.  Using the search engine, however, takes a little
getting used to.  Here is what you need to do:
     1. Go to
     2. Click on "NAIL Digital Copies Search"  [I am going to assume
        that you only want to search for documents items that you can
        view on your screen].
     3. Type in the keyword(s) you want to search for.
        Search" only tells you how many hits the search engine can
        find.  "Display Results" actually shows you the hits.
     5. Browse.  :)
By the way, NARA also has an online gift shop at 
but their selection is pretty sparse.  For example, while you can find
a "We Can Do It" Rosie The Riveter sweatshirt in the gift shop, they
offer nothing with the "When you ride alone you ride with Hitler"
poster on it.  :(
Educators should check out NARA's "Primary Sources and Activites" page
This page contains documents and teaching activities pertaining to
over a dozen different topics, including:
     - The Amistad Case
     - Women's Suffrage and the 19th Amendment
     - The Zimmermann Telegram of 1917
     - The U.S. Recognition of the State of Israel
Educators with quick access to purchase orders or school district
funding (HA-HA-HA!) should also check out NARA's classroom
publications page at
This page has ordering information for five NARA books that will help
you integrate NARA's holdings into your curriculum.
Finally, I do have one small bit of bad news: NARA's Web Site will be
closed for maintenance on Sunday, April 18, 1999, between the hours of
6:00 am and 6:00 PM EST (which, now that daylight savings is in place,
is GMT -4 ... I think).
Needles To The Left, Needles To The Right
Since early 1998, rumors have been circulating around the Internet
that HIV-infected needles are being left in places such as movie
theatre seats, pay phone coin return slots, and even pay phone
headsets.  According to the United States Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), "[t]he majority of these reports and
warnings appear to have no foundation in fact."  In fact, the CDC
"is not aware of any cases where HIV has been transmitted by a
needle-stick injury outside a health care setting."
It is important to note that the CDC in Atlanta has been closely
monitoring the AIDS/HIV epidemic since the early 1980s (back when
the disease was still known as "Kaposi's Sarcoma/Opportunistic
Infection -- KSOI").  If the CDC says that there have been ZERO
instances of needle-stick HIV infection outside of the health care
environment, you can pretty well take that information to the bank.
So, most of the HIV needle prick stories floating around the Net
right now are outright hoaxes.  The movie theatre pin-prick story is
just the latest version of an urban legend that was
     rampant in the New Orleans area in the 1930s.  Toothsome young
     girls were told to beware of the Needle Man.  Young ladies were
     strictly instructed to sit at the end of the aisle in
     moviehouses, not in the middle, lest they attract the attention
     of white slavers working in pairs who would sit down beside the
     girl, one on each side, inject her with morphine, and carry her
     out of the theatre and into a life of shame.
That's not to say that there aren't some rather nasty things in
movie theatre seats or pay phone coin returns.  It is conceivable
that someone could put a used needle in either.  But, despite
Internet warnings to the contrary, that just doesn't seem to be
Ignore the warnings about used needles in movie theatre seats and
pay phone slots.  These warnings aren't worth the paper they're not
printed on.  If you want to send your friends a warning that will
really help them, tell them that
     [a]nyone who is injured from a needle stick in a community
     setting should contact their physician or go to an emergency
     room as soon as possible.  The injury should be reported to the
     local or state health departments.
For more information on this subject, take a look at the CDC's
recent needle rumor press release at .
Barbara Mikkelson has also written two wonderful articles on the pin
prick rumors.  The first, titled "Pin Prick Attacks" can be found at 
and the second, titled "Slots of Fun," can be found at .
For A Quick Buzz, Press 9 Now
In what is probably the silliest urban legend since the Chinese
Turkish Gypsy Testicle Harvesting story [which is still my favorite],
Netizens are being warned to beware of pay phones because
     a new form of gang initiation is to go find as many pay phones as
     possible and put a mixture of LSD and Strychnine onto the
Yeah, right.  Before we squish this latest Internet rumor, let's go
over a few facts:
     1. It is a well-known fact that (at least here in the States)
        many gang members are also habitual drug users.  Heck, Stanley
        "Tookie" Williams, surviving co-founder of the "Crips" gang
        and current resident of San Quentin's death row, recently
        wrote a book titled "Gangs and Drugs" that talks about the
        relationship between gang membership and drug use.
     2. According to the US Office of National Drug Control Policy,
        drug users are more frequently involved in crime and are more
        likely to have criminal records than nonusers.  As drug use
        increases, so does the number of crimes a person commits.
     3. According to the 1991 joint study of Federal and State prison
        inmates, over 30% of Federal and State inmates incarcerated
        for burglary, and 27% of the inmates incarcerated for robbery,
        committed the offense to get money for drugs.
        [ , table 5]
So, for the gang initiation story to be true, we have to assume that
drug-using gang members who (at least in part) are willing to steal
and rob to support their habit are now going around WASTING drugs.  I
hate to be rude, but on what planet is this supposedly happening?
As you can probably guess by now, the LSD/Strychnine pay phone story
is yet another Internet rumor.  You can find out more about this rumor
-- including why LSD/Strychnine on a telephone keypad probably won't
do anything to you at all -- in Barbara Mikkelson's "Payphone Poison"
article at 
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   NARA / HIV Needle Rumors / LSD on Pay Phones
EMERSON (phrase).
Usage: "Emerson fine lookin' tars ya got on yer truck there, Leroy."
[Special thanks to Mitchell Hall for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================

   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
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