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6 feet under, and other misconceptions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Samr, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Samr

    Samr
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    From the article:

    "There's no minimum safe depth at which a body must be planted – burial depth can vary from 1.5 to 12 feet, sometimes even deeper. Individual jurisdictions specify their own minimum depths, but most are nowhere near six feet...In low-lying wetland areas like New Orleans, Miller noted, a grave dug six feet deep would likely fill with water. Graves in such locales are typically less than two feet deep, reducing (but not eliminating) the coffin's chances of gradually floating toward the surface."

    link

    Focus: What are some other commonly-held misconceptions?
     
  2. Frank n Beans

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    Here is a Wikipedia entry full of common misconceptions that I thought was pretty cool. One of my favorites had to do with Napoleon.

    "Napoleon Bonaparte was not especially short. After his death in 1821, the French emperor's height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet. This corresponds to 5 feet 6.5 inches in modern international feet, or 1.686 metres."

    It's amazing how common knowledge Napoleon's height is and it's false. I never had heard this elsewhere until this article.
     
  3. ghettoastronaut

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    There are people who think that news is an acronym of north, east, west, south.

    People think that the Romans changed the day of Christmas to coincide with the festival of the sun god. Because the Romans, who of course spoke English, decided to pun the holiday of the son of god with the sun god.
     
  4. thevoice

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    A couple of light-hearted misconceptions:

    Mis-Conception: Vancouver has never won the Stanley Cup.

    Truth: The Vancouer Millionaires Won the Stanley Cup in 1915.

    Misconception: Counting Cards is Illegal.

    Truth: It's not illegal. It's just frowned upon - Like masterbating in an airplane. (From the Hangover)
     
  5. kuhjäger

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    That I am German. I just lived there for a year.
     
  6. Kubla Kahn

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  7. Ganimedes

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    I've been watching way too much QI:

    Flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp or crayfish.
    (They're not, they eat a kind of blue/green algae that has a high carotene content.)

    Moses was given ten commandments by God on the mountain.
    (He was given 14. Altogether, in that particular book of the bible, there are 600+ commandments.)

    Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the globe.
    (He died on that voyage, Juan Sebastian Elcano who took over for him did though.)

    If a plane passes over a group of penguins they'll arch their necks to follow it's path and inevitably fall over.
    (No. Just no.)

    Hair continues to grow after you are dead.
    (It's not the hair that grows, it's your skin shriveling up and shrinking that gives this illusion.)

    Champagne was invented in France.
    (The bubbles were added in England and later on refined in Champagne, France.)

    "You can have any color you want, as long as it's black." All model T Fords were black at first.
    (They came in 3 colors initially, later on they were all made black.)
     
  8. ghettoastronaut

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    Dentists don't have the highest professional suicide rate. There actually isn't much data on dentists and suicide rates. That said, female physicians attempt/commit suicide at a rate 4.5 times higher than the normal population (male physicians only slightly more than the general population). That's a myth that was started in the 1930's and persists to today.

    Viagra doesn't cause erections; once an erection starts, it keeps it from deflating.
     
  9. bebop007

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    I too watch far, far too much QI

    - Brides don't walk down the aisle, they actually walk down the central passageway

    - Old West gunslingers only chambered five bullets. Since the safety did not exist the hammer rested on the empty chamber to prevent misfires

    - This might be more commonly known and I'm just an idiot, but Oktoberfest actually takes place primarily in September and only occasionally spills into October.

    - Condensation nuclei is the reason champagne is fizzy not carbonation

    - Modern Champagne, on a related note, can be credited more to the British than the French. Given the immense pressure inside a bottle of champagen, only the British were able to properly bottle it given that they produced glass in metal stoves (as opposed to France's woodburning stoves) which produced more resilient bottles

    - A vomitorium is actually a passageway in an ampitheater people used to exit or "spew" out of after a performance

    - The number of the Beast is actually 616
     
  10. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

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    From the wikipedia link:

    <a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_death" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_death</a>

    WTF?? People in South Korea, a developed, first-world country believe this?? Including medical professionals and police detectives??
     
  11. Dcc001

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    I've posted this before, but I never miss an opportunity to try and change people's vernacular.

    Misconception: You may use the words 'concrete' and 'cement' interchangeably.

    Truth: Cement is an ingredient in concrete, much like flour is an ingredient in cake. To say, "He hit his head on the cement block," is as stupid as saying, "I would like a piece of chocolate flour, please." Don't do it.
     
  12. BL1Y

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    One of my favorites is the supposed first words spoken on the moon, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." It sounds great, but if you think about it, what does "one small step for man" mean? It's not "one small step for a man," which would make sense. It's one small step for man, meaning mankind, which makes the phrase "That's one small step for mankind, one giant leap for mankind." ...That's incredibly lame though.

    The truth is that the phrase spoken was the one that made sense. Neil Armstrong actually said "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." The "a" was garbled a bit in the recording, so it's incredibly hard to hear, but recently sound engineers have been able to restore the audio and you can hear the correct phrase.

    Another pet misconception of mine is that the famous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit was frivolous. The coffee was served at 180-190F, the woman received burns to 16% of her body (3rd degree on 6%), and McDonalds had received 700 complaints in the previous 10 years about the temperature of its coffee. While the woman did spill it on herself, McDonalds served her a dangerous product.

    Also, trucks do not get better fuel efficiency with the tail gate down or removed. The tailgate does create drag, but it also creates a sort of bubble of slow-moving air, over which faster moving air travels, making the car act as though it were round in back. Putting the tail gate down or removing it gets rid of this effect and makes the car less aerodynamic. (The mash tailgate is actually the best option, as it still creates the bubble, but is also lighter weight.)

    I have actually had a teacher tell us to use "news" to remember the directions. So, it's actually true that some people use it as an acronym. It's just a shitty acronym because they're out of order. The better one is Never Eat Shredded Wheat.

    Likewise, a lot of people learn HOMES for the Great Lakes, which also has them out of order. Super Man Helps Every One is better, as it lists them from West to East and from largest to smallest.

    Your computer mouse does not get its name from its mouse-like shape. The earliest mice looked more like joysticks, and the name comes from the way the cursor moves on the screen.

    Barbeque is not a grill. Barbeque is not a sauce. Barbeque is not a picnic. Barbeque is meat that is grilled in a confined space that traps smoke.

    I always heard the story the other way around, that Christians moved Christmas to coincide with the Saturnalia. Almost certainly true given that Jesus was born in the Spring.

    And now finally, the misconception to end all other misconceptions:

    Greedo Shot First.

    I think we all know the truth.
     
  13. carpenter

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    Here in America, were only smart things happen, lumber is mis-sized.
    Go into a lumber yard and measure a 2x4. Not quite two inches by four inches is it?
    When it's first cut it's actually cut to 2x4, then it's dried and planed. You end up with a 1-1/2 by 3-1/2.
    Doesn't sound as cool as 2x4 huh? That's because, as Americans not only are we smart, we're cool.
    Like Fonzie.
     
  14. BL1Y

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    Oh just shut up and eat your quarter pounder.
     
  15. DrFrylock

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    Not quite. According to NASA:

    So one guy, through dubious techniques, believed he had found evidence of the 'a' hidden in the waveform of the audio. However, nobody else seems to be able to verify this. You certainly can't enhance the sound CSI-style and hear it. Armstrong prefers the 'a' to be included in parentheses when the quotation is written. There's certainly something very human about the fact that perhaps the most historic event in the history of life on our planet began with a flubbed line.

    On that note, I was recently reading one of Buzz Aldrin's books (maybe one of the new ones for kids?) and he left it out. That's some hardcore passive-aggressiveness right there.
     
  16. bebop007

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    If you want to get ultra technical, the first words actually spoken on the Moon were "Contact light", by Buzz Aldrin.

    I think most of us know the vast majority of Thomas Edison's claims to fame are entirely bullshit since he essentially bullied or stole most of his inventions and innovations from guys like Nikola Tesla, Heinrich Göbel, and Joseph Swan. At the very least, he wasn't a huge racist like Ford.

    Also, the curative properties of certain moulds was discovered by Ernest Duchesne, decades before Fleming.

    The actual inventor of the telephone is somewhat for debate. Reading about Antonio Meucci is quite interesting anyway.
     
  17. Volo

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    Wow...just wow.

    FOCUS: The Roman candle was invented in China.
     
  18. ghettoastronaut

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    LSD, known as "acid" by the kids, is not actually an acid. Despite the fact that it's chemical name is lysergic acid diethylamide, it's a weak base.
     
  19. Allord

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    Uhhh, Ahem-hem-HEM!

    The algae produce the red carotene for the purpose of capturing sunlight, shrimp/krill/crabs/etc consume said algae, which is how these creatures commonly turn red. THEN the consumption of the shrimp, which are red because of the algae, causes the pink pigment in flamingos.

    Technically there's nothing wrong with saying "Flamingos are pink because they eat so much shrimp", since it's true. It is more accurate to say that the red coloring originally comes from algae, but it would be a greater misconception to imply that flamingos eat algae directly.

    Interesting factoid: in the open ocean the deeper you go the more advantageous it is to be red, since red sunlight is the poorest visible wavelength at penetrating water. Conversely at the very surface of the water being red makes you into an obvious silhouette. Crustaceans at the surface have a gene that codes for a protein that specifically binds to carotene and changes the wavelength of light it reflects to blue instead of red. That's right, tiny crustaceans at the surface waters are blue instead of red. You know how you sometimes get blue lobsters? It's a mutation that reactivates the gene that originated from these surface crustaceans.

    Spoiler'd for high resolution
    [​IMG]

    Interestingly enough, the act of boiling the carotid-protein complex denatures and disassociates the protein from the carotid, meaning that if you boiled a red lobster and a blue lobster you'd wind up with two lobsters the same shade of red.

    Anyway, to the point. This amused me. (From Frank n Beans' Wiki link)

    I can just see a naturalist drop kicking a small animal off a cliff then turning to the camera and saying "See how stupid he is? He walked right off that cliff!"

    Oh, animal cruelty. How funny you should not be, and yet you are.

    Edit: From the article on White Wilderness:

    Wow, really, Disney?

    You made a serious documentary and not only did you manhandle the wildlife causing unnatural behavior, and were too lazy to actually go to the location so you just faked it and hoped no one would notice, but you didn't even get the fucking species correct? AND this film got an academy award?

    Wow. Just...Wow.

    Just goes to show it's not reality and the truth that's important, it's flashy camerawork and the pointless deaths of thousands. THAT's real moviemaking.
     
  20. Stealth

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    Jesus Christ was actually born somewhere between 6 -4 BC