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Old 2006-02-14, 01:48   Link #1
Love Yuui
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Lightbulb The Most Popular Myths in Science

Formatted, for your pleasure.
---

Most Popular Myths in Science

Do the Hairy Knuckle Shuffle
---

Believe it or not, these are only my selections. Yes, there are more.

I know, it's horrifying.

Shall we begin?

---

It takes seven years to digest gum



While it may prove a bit more difficult to break down than organic foodstuffs, chewing gum gets no special treatment from the digestive system. Doctors figure this old wives' tale was invented to prevent kids from swallowing the rubbery substance.

The Great Wall of China is the only manmade structure visible from space



There are several variations on this folkloric statement, and they're all quantifiably false. Astronauts can spot the Great Wall from low-Earth orbit, along with plenty of other things like the Giza pyramids and even airport runways. But they can't see the Wall from the Moon.

Humans only use 10 percent of their brains



This media darling has been around for at least a century. Fortunately, it's just not true. MRI imaging clearly demonstrates—with fancy colors no less—that humans put most of their cerebral cortex to good use, even while dozing.

Adults don't grow new brain cells



Much of a human's crucial brain development happens during childhood, but it isn't all downhill from there. Studies have shown that neurons continue to grow and change well into the adult years.

Water drains backwards in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Earth's rotation



Not only is the Earth's rotation too weak to affect the direction of water flowing in a drain, tests you can easily perform in a few washrooms will show that water whirlpools both ways depending on the sink's structure, not the hemisphere.

Animals can predict natural disasters



There is no evidence that animals possess a mysterious sixth-sense allowing them to predict natural disasters. Their keen senses of smell, hearing, and sharp instincts alone are enough to send them scattering for the hillsides during a hurricane or tsunami. And even so, animals often die during natural disasters, so if they do have some sort of sixth sense, it's not worth much.

A penny dropped from the top of a tall building could kill a pedestrian



A penny isn't the most aerodynamic of weapons. A combination of its shape and wind friction means that, tossed even from the 1,250-foot Empire State Building, it would travel fast enough merely to sting an unlucky pedestrian.

A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's



Despite a habit of licking things no human would dare, Fido's mouth is often touted as scientifically more sterile. Truth is, oral bacteria are so species-specific that one can't be considered cleaner than the other, just different.

Men think about sex every seven seconds



Males are driven to reproduce, evolutionarily speaking, but there is no scientific way of measuring to what extent that desire consumes their everyday lives. Thankfully, for world productivity as a whole, seven seconds seems a gross overstatement, as best researchers can tell.

Lightning never strikes the same place twice



In fact lightning favors certain spots, particularly high locations. The Empire State Building is struck about 25 times every year. Ben Franklin grasped the concept long ago and mounted a metal rod atop the roof of his home, then ran a wire to the ground, thereby inventing the lightning rod.

A falling cat will always land on its feet



Studies have demonstrated that, when dropped from most heights, cats will land gracefully on their feet. Results change only with cats dropped upside-down from a height of one foot or less. We're not suggesting you try this at home.

Yawning is "contagious"



Empirically, this is tough to deny; perhaps you'll yawn while reading this. The real question is whether there's actually something physiological at work here, and the answer is likely yes: even chimpanzees mimic each other's yawns.

Eating a poppy seed bagel mimics opium use



Purveyors of this urban legend call on a popular Seinfeld episode for support. It turns out there's truth behind the comedy: tests suggest ingesting just two poppy seed bagels may produce a positive result for opiates on a drug screen.

There is no gravity in space



Blame the term "zero-gravity" for this common misconception. Gravity is everywhere, even in space. Astronauts look weightless because they are in continuous freefall towards the Earth, staying aloft because of their horizontal motion. The effect of gravity diminishes with distance, but it never truly goes away. Oh, and while we're at it, it's also untrue that space is a vacuum. There are all kinds of atoms out there, albeit sometimes far apart (and this thin gas adds to the collective gravity budget, too!)

Chicken soup can cure the common cold



Cure is a strong word, but science suggests Moms around the world are still right in forcing spoonfuls of chicken soup down their kids' throats. Studies have found that the broth actually contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce congestion.

Seasons are caused by the Earth's proximity to the sun



The Earth's distance from the sun during its yearly elliptical orbit actually has little effect on temperature. It's the angle of the Earth's tilt—toward the sun in the summer for the Northern Hemisphere and away in the winter—that dictates climate.

The "Five Second Rule"



Having an arbitrary rule justifying the consumption of food dropped on the floor within a certain time frame is convenient, especially when said food is a brownie. Unfortunately, tests (and logic) confirm that germs will stick to most foods right on contact

---

Oddly, I have retained more of these little factual trinkets than I would have liked. Which makes me sad.

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle. ;D
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Old 2006-02-14, 02:45   Link #2
aahhsin
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I could read all of that, but I rather watch "Mythbusters" on the discovery channel.
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Old 2006-02-14, 03:11   Link #3
Love Yuui
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aahhsin
I could read all of that, but I rather watch "Mythbusters" on the discovery channel.
...

...
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Old 2006-02-14, 09:17   Link #4
Komataguri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aahhsin
I could read all of that, but I rather watch "Mythbusters" on the discovery channel.

what he said


atleast they blow the crap up afterwards
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Old 2006-02-14, 09:53   Link #5
Rachy
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Actually that was very interesting thanks much!

ive never heard of mythbusters..*shrug*
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Old 2006-02-14, 09:57   Link #6
npal
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Well, Mythbusters are nice, but there's nothing wrong with getting it all in one spot.
And I don't believe they've done EVERYTHING.
It's nice someone took the time to post some common myth stuff here.
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Old 2006-02-14, 12:23   Link #7
Shay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by npal
Well, Mythbusters are nice, but there's nothing wrong with getting it all in one spot.
And I don't believe they've done EVERYTHING.
It's nice someone took the time to post some common myth stuff here.
I agree. Though I still say a penny dropped from the Empire state would kill the hell out of you.
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Old 2006-02-14, 12:38   Link #8
Nightbat®
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Yuui
[SIZE=1]
Men think about sex every seven seconds



Males are driven to reproduce, evolutionarily speaking, but there is no scientific way of measuring to what extent that desire consumes their everyday lives. Thankfully, for world productivity as a whole, seven seconds seems a gross overstatement, as best researchers can tell.
Certainly not true!

I only think of sex once a day, ....the whole day long
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Old 2006-02-14, 16:47   Link #9
Animizzle
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Darn my eyes and call me sally. So that was a mirage back then in that shower in Brisbane?

It feels like my life has been one big lie...
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Old 2006-02-14, 17:53   Link #10
Lina Inverse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Yuui
Humans only use 10 percent of their brains
This media darling has been around for at least a century. Fortunately, it's just not true. MRI imaging clearly demonstrates—with fancy colors no less—that humans put most of their cerebral cortex to good use, even while dozing.
I know quite a lot of humans who most certainly don't even use 10% of their brains

Also, I'll agree with Nightbat on the sex thing!
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Old 2006-02-14, 18:03   Link #11
Catgirls
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Well, besides the somewhat odd formatting of the first post, there were some interesting articles on that site. Thanks for the read. I'll add one of my own that I stumble across recently. It's more of a nutritional science myth, then a pure scientific myth.
Quote:
The Vitamin C Myth

There's no doubt that Vitamin C is good for you. But, contrary to popular belief, a mega-dose of Vitamin C is not an effective cold remedy.
It's a short NPR story about how mega doses (200 milligrams and up) of Vitamin C are worthless in fighting, preventing or lessening the affects of the common cold or flu. Folk medicine and marketing have kept the myth alive that a mega dose of vitamin C helps fight off a cold.
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Old 2006-02-14, 18:20   Link #12
Mr_Paper
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I'm a bit confused... Why is that site titled 'Popular Myths in Science,' when most of the things on it are incorrectly applied euphemisms or old wive's tales? While the facts presented are interesting, if not often bland and occasionally bording on common sense, not one of those 'myths' has basis in the scientific community.

It's fun and all, but the name could use some serious work. >.>

Last edited by Mr_Paper; 2006-02-14 at 18:32. Reason: Out, damned typo! Out!
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Old 2006-02-14, 18:30   Link #13
Pippin4242
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I thought it was fascinating. And to answer your question Mr Paper, if I may be so presumptuous, most of the myths touted looked like the sort of thing idiots like me take to be science without a second thought.

*~Pips~*
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Old 2006-02-14, 20:03   Link #14
KaneDragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Yuui
Humans only use 10 percent of their brains



This media darling has been around for at least a century. Fortunately, it's just not true. MRI imaging clearly demonstrates—with fancy colors no less—that humans put most of their cerebral cortex to good use, even while dozing.
And it just doesn't make evolutionary sense to have such a big, resource-hungry brain if it hardly gets used... But then, that is just a theory...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Yuui
Adults don't grow new brain cells



Much of a human's crucial brain development happens during childhood, but it isn't all downhill from there. Studies have shown that neurons continue to grow and change well into the adult years.
And doesn't neural growth affect mood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Yuui
A penny dropped from the top of a tall building could kill a pedestrian



A penny isn't the most aerodynamic of weapons. A combination of its shape and wind friction means that, tossed even from the 1,250-foot Empire State Building, it would travel fast enough merely to sting an unlucky pedestrian.
I think I remember a television program about this for the Empire State Building, and this old woman was talking about how the wind blew all the change into this balcony-thing on one of the lower levels, and she was horrified at the notion of trying to kill pedestrians...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Yuui
There is no gravity in space
But there is no spoon. o_O
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Old 2006-02-14, 20:52   Link #15
mantidor
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The cat one was so obvious.
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Old 2006-02-15, 00:15   Link #16
Aristophanes
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Yawning is so contagious...well it was in high school assembley anyways...
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Old 2006-02-16, 12:40   Link #17
Ambience Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Yuui
Formatted, for your pleasure.
---

Most Popular Myths in Science

Do the Hairy Knuckle Shuffle
---

Believe it or not, these are only my selections. Yes, there are more.

I know, it's horrifying.

Shall we begin?
---
-POST EDITED-

Oddly, I have retained more of these little factual trinkets than I would have liked. Which makes me sad.

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle. ;D
Not bad-- it made for a fun 10-minute read before class, so thanks for the little updates

Haven't quite gotten around to reading the article itself, but I'm sure it'll be interesting. ^^
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Old 2006-02-25, 11:33   Link #18
Aoie_Emesai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Yuui
[

Believe it or not, these are only my selections. Yes, there are more.

I know, it's horrifying.

Shall we begin?

---

It takes seven years to digest gum



While it may prove a bit more difficult to break down than organic foodstuffs, chewing gum gets no special treatment from the digestive system. Doctors figure this old wives' tale was invented to prevent kids from swallowing the rubbery substance.

[...snip...]

---

Oddly, I have retained more of these little factual trinkets than I would have liked. Which makes me sad.

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle. ;D

I watch mythbusters too, but I read all of your too. If you watch the history channel and the discovery channel enough, you already know all these.
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Last edited by Catgirls; 2006-03-17 at 17:31.
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Old 2006-03-17, 17:28   Link #19
daflecta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aoie_Emesai
If you watch the history channel and the discovery channel enough, you already know all these.
Yeah.... but I don't.
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Old 2006-03-18, 03:40   Link #20
Cz
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You know... interesting tidbits, but I don't see what relation some of those pictures have with the respective statements.
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