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A program explaining urban legends, those stories that circulate on the Internet warning about dangerous or disgusting situations, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday [NOV. 12] in the Linscheid Library instruction room on the library's main level.

Librarian Angie Brunk said she organized the program after hearing rumors circulating about restaurants serving dog or cat meat in their dishes.

Dr. Pat Bohan, associate professor of environmental health science, will discuss the scientific angle of such rumors, pointing out the health and safety inspections that are conducted regularly. Adjunct instructor Kara Cloud will discuss the folklore angle -- why people tell such stories, how long they've been circulating and the need to perpetuate them.

"A little research will prove 99.9 percent of these stories are false," Brunk said. "There are some stories we get every year, and they often have underlying racist or sexist meanings."

Urban legends have just enough detail to seem plausible, she said, but are vague enough that the source can't be traced. Brunk will talk about ways to determine whether the stories are true or urban legends.

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