Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Common Misconceptions

  • French fries probably originated in Belgium. The name comes from the cooking term “to french” which means to cut food into strips, hence they are “frenched and fried”.

  • Entrapment law in the United States does not forbid police officers from going undercover, or from denying that they are police. It is a common misconception among persons engaged in low-level crime that if an undercover police officer is asked, “Are you a cop?” that they must reveal themselves to avoid entrapment.

  • Modern spacecraft returning from space do not suffer a communications blackout. While the heated atmosphere in front of the spacecraft prevents direct communication with Earth, and in the early days of the space programs of the world indeed meant that no communication was possible during reentry, systems like the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System have removed this problem.

  • When a meteor lands on Earth (after which it is termed a meteorite), it is not usually hot. In fact, many are found with frost on them.

  • Shaving does not cause hair to grow back thicker or coarser. This belief is due to the fact that hair wears down over time, whereas, immediately after it has grown back, it has had no time to wear. Thus, it appears thicker, and feels coarser due to the sharper, unworn edges.

  • Hair and fingernails do not continue to grow after a person dies. Rather, the skin dries and shrinks away from the bases of hairs and nails, giving the appearance of growth.

  • Koalas are not bears. They are not even placental mammals; they are marsupials. The giant panda, however, is a bear, while the red panda is closely related to raccoons.

  • # The claim that a duck’s quack doesn’t echo is false.

  • It is not true that earthworms can become two worms if you cut one in half. An earthworm can survive being bisected, but only one half of the worm can survive. If one cuts the worm too close to the saddle (the fat pink section where all of the worm’s vital organs are located) then the worm may die.

  • Airplanes flying long distances between two places usually take less time flying west-to-east than east-to-west, not because of the earth’s rotation directly, but because airlines tend to profit from natural air currents called jet streams. (I never even gave that “earth spinning” theory a thought…but it sounds logical.)

  • Nowhere in the Bible is the fruit eaten by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden referred to as an apple. The fruit is called the “Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” (from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) and not identified as a known species.


Anonymous said...

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The Look said...

Wow. I really enjoyed this. I especially liked the fact about hair and nails not growing, and the shaving fact. Thanks.

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