Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.
Claim: A little boy named Anthony Parkin, dying of leukemia, sent a message out on the Internet asking people to keep forwarding it so that some small part of him would live forever.
Origins: It was touching, heartbreaking . . . and not at all true.
Subject: My dying wish
My name is Anthony Parkin, and you don't know me. I'm 7 years old, and I have lukemea. I found your name using gopher, and I would like for you to carry out my dying wish of starting a chain letter. Please send this letter to five people you know so I can live forever.
Thank You very much
That's the text of an e-mail many people received. Went straight to the heart, it did. So little was asked . . .
Other than having to field inquiries about the non-existent Anthony Parkin since 1999, the Mayo Clinic knows nothing about him. He's certainly never been a patient there. Someone's prank kept them hopping, though: they had too many phone calls to answer and too many e-mail messages to reply that took time away from their real business of medical research.
Barbara "not only am I in favor of chain letters, I think they should lock 'em up and throw away the key" Mikkelson