Category Archives: Myths and Misconceptions

Does Cranberry Juice Get Rid of Urinary Tract Infections

cranberry-juice

Matt asks: Does cranberry juice really help with urinary tract infections? The short answer is probably not according to recent research on the subject, though of course there are certainly many who swear by this method of getting rid of / preventing urinary tract infections (UTI’s) and there are good theories behind why cranberry juice could potentially help. In the […]

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5 Common Misconceptions About George Washington

george-washington

Today I Found Out has teamed up with Jeremiah Warren to show his awesome “trivia” related videos here. I hope you enjoy his videos as much as I have. Bonus George Washington Facts: George Washington was taphephobic (irrationally terrified of being buried alive).  On his death bed, he told his attendants “I am just going.  Have me decently buried and […]

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The Way a Soldier’s Horse is Portrayed in an Equestrian Statue Has Nothing to Do With How The Soldier Died

emperor-marcus

Myth: The way a soldier’s horse is portrayed in an equestrian statue indicates how the soldier died. This myth, perpetuated by many a tourist guide the world over, simply isn’t true. (Not unlike how tourist guides around the equator will often tell you that what hemisphere you’re in effects the way the water swirls down the toilet or drain.  They’ll […]

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Alcohol Does Not Help Prevent Hypothermia, It Actually Makes It More Likely

drinking

Myth: drinking alcohol warms your body and can be used to prevent hypothermia. In fact, drinking alcohol helps lower the core temperature of your body.  This myth likely got its start thanks to the fact that drinking alcoholic beverages will make you feel warmer as your blood/alcohol level rises. As the Director of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Iowa, […]

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You Can Survive Being Exposed to the Near Vacuum of Space for About 90 Seconds With No Longterm Damage

Col. Joseph Kittinger's record breaking jump from 19.47 miles up

Myth: The instant you’re exposed to the near vacuum of space, you’ll lose consciousness, your blood will start to boil, and you’ll explode. (Other variations on this myth include you freezing near instantly from the extreme “cold” of space.) In fact, so long as you don’t try to hold your breath, which would result in your lungs rupturing and thus […]

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CPR Does Not Require “Mouth To Mouth”

CPR

Myth: Proper CPR technique should include frequent use of “mouth to mouth” in between compressions. In fact, the 2010 guidelines set out by the American Heart Association (AHA) do not recommend breathing for someone while performing CPR (and not for your health, as you might think, but for the person experiencing cardiac arrest’s chances of survival). If you’re a person […]

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Helicopters Won’t Just Drop Like a Rock if the Engine Dies, They are Actually Designed to Be Able to Land Safely This Way

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Myth: Helicopters will drop like a rock when the engine shuts down. In fact, you have a better chance at surviving in a helicopter when the engine fails than you do in an airplane. Helicopters are designed specifically to allow pilots to have a reasonable chance of landing them safely in the case where the engine stops working during flight, […]

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John F. Kennedy’s Statement “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” was Not Interpreted as “I am a Jelly-Filled Doughnut”

A Berliner Doughnut

Myth: John F. Kennedy blundered in one of his most famous speeches, saying in German “I am a jelly-filled doughnut” instead of what he meant (in the figurative sense) “I am a person from Berlin”. As German professor Reinhold Aman stated about this: “Ich bin ein Berliner means ‘I am a Berliner’ or ‘a male person/native of Berlin’ and absolutely […]

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Marilyn Monroe was Not Even Close to a Size 12-16

marilyn-monroe

Myth: Marilyn Monroe was a size 12-16. From Roseanne Barr stating, “I’m more sexy than Pamela Lee or whoever else they’ve got out there these days. Marilyn Monroe was a size 16. That says it all”, to Elizabeth Hurley stating,  “I’ve always thought Marilyn Monroe looked fabulous, but I’d kill myself if I was that fat…I went to see her […]

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Abner Doubleday Did Not Invent Baseball

General Abner Doubleday and His Wife

Myth: Baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday This myth has been widely spread since 1907 and even today is sometimes presented by such people as Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.  The fact of the matter is there is no record of Civil War General Abner Doubleday having anything to do with baseball.  This includes Doubleday himself never mentioning it […]

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Split Infinitives are Not Incorrect Grammatically

dictionaries

Today I found out split infinitives are not incorrect grammatically. As mentioned in the recent Star Trek “to boldy go” article (check that out here), the majority of modern English grammar guides list split infinitives as being perfectly acceptable.  This has also been the case, not just in modern usage, but throughout most of the history of the English language […]

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The Term “Scot Free” Does Not Come from the Dred Scott v. Sandford Supreme Court Case

DredScott

Myth: the term “scot free” has its origins from the Dred Scott v. Sandford U.S. Supreme Court Case. “Scot free”, also sometimes written “scotfree”, “scot-free” or, incorrectly, as “Scott free” actually pre-dates the Dred Scott Supreme Court ruling in 1857 by a very large margin (having been around since at least the 11th century). Another common misconception is that the […]

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The Word “News” Does Not Derive from the Four Cardinal Directions (North, East, West, South)

compass-rose

Myth: the word “news” derives from the four cardinal directions. While this potential origin of the word news seems plausible enough, it isn’t true.  The truth is, the word news can be traced back to late Middle English around the 14th century as a plural for the adjective “new” or “new thing”.  This is a somewhat rare instance of an […]

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