Misconceptions, Half-Truths, and Lies, Lies, Lies

The internet is a rich source of unverified speculation, baseless rumors and agenda-serving fabrication: no surprise there.  Ever since the widespread of adoption of Web 2.0, commentary, blogs and microblogs reconfigured the web into a vast wiki: user-sourced and generated, largely on the honor system.  That’s rarely a good thing (BP’s offshore safety standards anyone?), particularly to anyone accustomed to accepting information at face value–which is also rarely a good thing.

This is where snopes.com comes in.  If you haven’t already bookmarked this site, do it now.  It began about fifteen years ago as ‘The Urban Legend Reference Pages’–a site developed by Barbara and David Mikkelson dedicated to dispelling myths and providing real information on all sorts of topics.  As the web grew, so did the demand for their curious and obsessive fact-finding.  Today, readers submit all sorts of conjecture: about Nigerian inheritances, the war records of Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers, the new Pepsi can that eliminates ‘under God’ from our National Anthem…

The only real reason I mention snopes is that I got an email this morning about the many uses of WD-40.  This particular message closes by claiming that remarkable product’s main ingredient is fish oil.  All in all, it was rather mindblowing.

After a quick check on Snopes, I was it was also not entirely true.  What is true, is that this remarkable petroleum-based spray lubricant can serve a mind-blowing amount of uses.  Those that have been confirmed as fact are:

  1. Protects silver from tarnishing.Element 79, Chicago Advertising, Dennis Ryan
  2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
  3. Loosens stubborn zippers..
  4. Untangles jewelry chains..
  5. Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
  6. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
  7. Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
  8. Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
  9. Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
  10. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
  11. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
  12. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
  13. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
  14. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
  15. Keeps rust from forming on saws, saw blades, and other tools.
  16. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
  17. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell)
  18. Removes all traces of duct tape.
  19. If you spray WD-40 on the distributor cap, it displaces moisture allowing cars to start.
  20. It removes blackscuff marks from t he kitchen floor!  UseWD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring.  It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.  Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
  21. Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!

By the way, the email list was twice as long, but these are the only ones verified.  You’re welcome.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79


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