Monday, 3 May 2010

Urban Myths I Thought Were True

Up to date with revision, but not helped by the fact that I spent a fair bit of time this evening procrastinating on snopes.com. While on there, I came across a few myths that are entirely false, but I'd previously thought were true. Also vice-versa.

Anyway, here's a selection of five:

1. Coca-Cola Ads Are Why Santa Wears Red
This is actually one I'd believed for a while, mostly because I'd heard it from so many difference sources, and it seemed so plausible. The idea being that Father Christmas actually wore green and white until Coca-Cola started using him for their festive adverts, and changed him to wear red and white to fit their brand colours. Apparently this is not true, and Santa's red attire was long established before Coke started using it.

2. We Only Use 10% Of Our Brains
Again, a really old and widely stated "fact". And again, completely false. Which, really, when you think about it with any real detail makes complete sense. We wouldn't have evolved to have brains that are 900% larger than they need to be.

3. Tapping A Shaken Drinks Can Will Stop It Exploding
It's true, the John Dorian three-tap method doesn't work. Or at least, any minimal benefit that it'll give will be massively overshadowed by the benefit of just waiting ten or twenty seconds before opening it.

4. "Good Luck, Mr Gorsky!"
Words apparently uttered by Neil Armstrong on the first lunar mission, in reference to his neighbour, Mr Gorsky, whose wife he overheard saying would give him a blowjob when "the Armstrong kid next door walks on the moon". Again, an urban myth where any sort of  proper thought would lead you to think it's probably not true, but I swear I've read this story told in proper books and stuff, and I thought it was true.

5. Battleship Tells Lighthouse To Change Course
Another one that isn't true under sceptical thought and scrutiny, but again I've heard it told by so many people at so many different times that I just sort of figured it was something that actually happened sometime. I've even heard that story at a church service (I guess not everything you hear at church is true...).

The final one is that you don't swallow X spiders per week/month/year/lifetime, which I'd already figured probably wasn't true, mostly because experimental evidence for that would be pretty difficult. What I didn't know however was that it was a deliberately made to be spread around the internet, basically to see how many gullible people believed it. Apparently a lot, because I've heard the spider-swallowing statistic in various forms from a fuckload of people.

So yeah, a blog post I figured people would maybe find interesting, and now you can all be smarmy and make comments about how you knew all along that these things weren't true and I'm clearly just a gullible fuckface.

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