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Fun With Myths

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posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 08:11 AM
Easter seems like an appropriate time to drop this little diddy. The purpose of this thread is to inspire discussion and dispel myths. I hope others will share a favorite myth and attempt to dispel it with an erudite source or two. ( It might be a myth to even attempt to direct this thread as once I hit the send button it will undoubtedly assume a life of its own.) Stories, legends and myths abound in topics pertinent on ATS. (Politics, Religion, Conspiracies, UFO’s etc.) I suggest their origins are often derived from either intentional or unintentional sources. ( Sinister: revisionists, rewriting history, dis-info / Innocent: rumors, heresy and hearsay.) I invite you to dust off your favs and share. (You must wait an hour to go swimming after eating, self satisfaction leads to blindness etc.)

As someone who is often mis-diagnosed as having “Napoleon Complex” I humbly offer mine:

MYTH: Napoleon was short.

( He was, in fact, around 5’6” or 5’7”. He was often surrounded by the tallest soldiers to protect him. I suggest he was the tallest chap in Munchkinland, but not eligible for dwarf-tossing.) Serious links below:

Some generic quotes:

"History is a set of lies that people have agreed upon" - Napoleon

“Mankind will always interpret the facts of life in the light of their convictions and beliefs.” - Unknown

“Myth’s are often more satisfying to us than the truth, which explains their longevity and resistance to facts: we want to believe that they’re true.” -Scott Berkun ( The Myths of Innovation)

“Impressions received in child hood cannot be erased by the soul” -Frederick the Great, King of Prussia

“Time is long and ignorance is even longer.” - Me

Myths in General:

Napoleon’s Height:

Napoleon complex:

Now I have to go prepare for this sacred day before I begin biting off the ears of hollow chocolate bunnies.


[edit on 12-4-2009 by kinda kurious]

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 10:03 AM
reply to post by kinda kurious

Hiya KK,
I suppose a good myth is that we only use 10% of our brains. For those that accept this figure the next step is inevitable...Wow! Imagine what we could do with the rest of it?!...That's how psychics work!...We know more about the surface of the Moon than our own brains etc etc etc
I know a couple of people that believe evolution is finite and will end when we start using ALL of our brain.

Anyways, it isn't true. We use most of our brains constantly and even whilst sleeping. A couple of links for anyone interested........

"It turns out though, that we use virtually every part of the brain, and that [most of] the brain is active almost all the time," Gordon adds. "Let's put it this way: the brain represents three percent of the body's weight and uses 20 percent of the body's energy."
Do People Only Use 10 Percent Of Their Brains?

Snopes: The Ten-Percent Myth

If humans only use 10% of their brains, what is the other 90% doing?

posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 10:14 PM
Sorry to bump my own thread. But I honestly thought it might have received more replies. My snarky rants in the boards has probably "alienated" me. Pun intended.

Anywho today I discovered another myth.

I often use the word "doozie" or "doozy" to describe something grand and had always assumed it was a derivation of the Duesenberg automobile from the 1920's.

Now It's true origin seems in doubt.


posted on Apr, 27 2009 @ 10:20 PM
reply to post by kinda kurious

Hope I'm not taking this in another direction, but I believe that there is a lot of truth in myths, some basis in fact.

One can read the mythological myths of say, Mars - the god of war. And you can also read of his two steeds.

Now I find that odd, as the two moons of Mars weren't discovered, I believe, until the end of the nineteenth century.

Now how in hell did the Romans have any idea about the two "steeds" pulling Mars round about?

posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 01:34 PM
reply to post by dooper

Mars had two sons, which is where the names came from. He was also accompanied into battle by the Goddess Enyo, and Mar's attendants, Trembling, Fear, Dread, and Panic.

Favorite myth? That hair and nails continue to grow after death. In reality, it's the skin shrinking that gives the appearance.

posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 01:45 PM
Got some popular misconceptions -do they count?

What is the name of the tallest mountain in the

Popular Misconception~ EVEREST.

Answer~ Mauna kea,the highest point on the island of Hawaii.
The inactive volcanoe is a modest 4,206m(13,799 feet) above sea level,but when measured from the seabed to its summit,it is 10,200m(33,465 feet)high-about three quarters of a mile taller than Mount Everest.
As far as mountains are concerned,the current convention is that the 'highest' means measured from sea level to summit:'tallest' means measured from the bottom of the mountain to the top.
So while Mount Everest,at 8,848m(29,029 feet)is the highest mountain in the world,it is not the tallest.

What man made artifacts can be seen from the moon?

Popular Misconception~ GREAT WALL OF CHINA

Answer~ No human artefacts at all can be seen from the moon with the naked eye.
The idea that the Great Wall is the 'only man made object that can be see from the moon' is all pervasive,but it confuses 'the moon' with space.
'Space' is quite close.It starts about 100km(60 miles) from the earth's surface.From there,many artificial objects are visible:motorways,ships on the sea,railways,cities,fields of crops and even some individual buildings.
However,at an altitude of only a few thousand miles after leaving earth's orbit,no man made objects are visible at all.From the moon-over 400,000 km(some 250,000,miles)away-even continents are barely visible.

How many galaxies are visible to the naked eye?

Popular Misconception~ ONE

Answer~Four although from where you are sitting you can only see two: and one of those is the Milky way(the one we're in).
Given that there are estimated to be more than 100 billion galxies in the universe,each containing between 10 and 100 billion stars,its a bit disappointing.In total only four galaxies are visibile from earth with the naked eye-In the northern hemisphere its the Milky way and Andromeda(M31) and in the Southern hemisphere you can see the large and small Magellanic Clouds.

Who invented the telephone?

Popular Misconception~ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL

Answer~Antonio Meucci.
An erratic,sometimes brilliant,Florentine inventor,Meucci arrived in the USA in 1850.In 1860,he first demonstrated a working model of an electric device he called teletrofono.He filed a caveat(a kind of stopgap patent) in 1871,five years before Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patent.
In the same year,Meucci fell ill after he was badly scalded when the States Island ferry's boiler exploded.Unable to speak much English and living on the dole,he failed to send the $10 required to renew hid caveat in 1874.
When Bell's patent was registered in 1876,Meucci sued but to no avail.

How many senses does a human being have?

Popular Misconception~FIVE

Answer~At least nine.
The five sense we know about-sight,hearing,taste,smell and touch and then:
6 Thermoception: the sense of heat (or its absence) on our skin.
7 Equilibrioception: our sense of balance-which is determined by the fluid-containing cavities in the inner ear.
8 Nociception: the perception of pain from the skin,joints and body organs.
9 Proprioception: the unconscious knowledge of where our body parts are without being able to see or feel them.

What did feminists do with their bras?

Popular Misconception~ BURN

Answer~Arguably the most influential feminist protest in history occured at the 1968 'Miss America' beauty contest in Atlantic city,New Jersey.
A small group of protesters picketed the pageant and proceeded to toss their high heel shoes,bras,curlers and tweezers into a 'freedom trash can'.
What they didn't do was burn the their bras.They wanted to but the police advised that it would be dangerous while standing on a wooden boardwalk.
The myth of bra burning began with an article by a young New York post journalist called Lindsay Van Gelder.
She mentioned the protesters were planning to burn bras,girdles and other items in a 'freedom trash can' and the headline writer took it a step further and called them bra burners.
The headline was enough to create a media frenzy,journalists across America seized on it without even bothering to read the story.

What did Nero do when Rome burned?

Popular Misconception~PLAY THE FIDDLE

Answer~The fiddle wasn't invented until the fifteenth century.
He wasn't actualy there at all and was 56 KM (35 miles)away at this seaside holiday home.When told the news,he raced back to Rome and took personal charge of the fire fighting duties.
As for his attributes he invented ice cream,was a transvestite and played the lyre,harp and bagpipes.

Whats the most likely survivor of a nuclear war?

Popular Misconception~COCKROACH

Answer~Cockroaches have been around for a lot longer than we have(about 280 million years) but would be one of the 'first' insects to die in a nuclear war.
A human dies at 1000 rads
A cockroach dies at 20,000 rads.
A fruit fly dies at 64,000 rads.
A parasitic wasp dies at 180,000 rads.
But the king of radiation resistance goes to the bacterium 'Deinococcus Radiodurans' which can tolerate a whopping 1.5 million rads(except when frozen when it's tolerance doubles).

How many states are there in the USA?

Popular Misconception~50

Answer~Technically ,there are only forty six.
Virginia,Kentucky,Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are all offically commonwealths.
This grants them no special constitutonal powers.They simply chose this word to describe themselves at the end of the War of Independance.It made clear they were no longer 'royal colonies' answering to the king,but states governed by the 'common consent of the people'.

Who was the first to claim the earth goes around the

Popular Misconception~COPERNICUS

Answer~Aristarchus of Samos,born 310 BC.
Not only did Aristarchus suggest the earth and planets travelled around the sun,he also calculated the relative sizes and distances of the Earth,Moon and Sun and worked out that the heavens were not a celestial sphere,but a universe of almost infinite size.
He studied at the Lyceum in Alexandria and is described as a man who was 'knowledgable across all branches of science'.He also invented the hemispherical sundial.
Copernicus(1,800 later) was certainly aware of Aristachrus because he credits him in the manuscript of his epoch making 'On the revolutions of heavenly spheres'.
However,when the book was printed in 1514,all mentions of the visionary Greek had been removed,presumably by the publisher,nervous of it undermining the book's claims for originality.

What was James Bond's favourite drink?


Answer~Not the vodka martini.
A painstaking study of Ian Flemming's complete oeuvre has shown that James Bond consumed a drink,on average,every seven pages.
Of the 317 drinks consumed in total,his preferred tipple was whiskey by a long margin,he drinks 101 in all(58 bourbons and 38 scothches)-Bond only opts for his supposed favourite drink 19 times.

What shape is a raindrop?

Popular Misconception~TEARDROP

Answer~Spherical,not teardrop shaped.

Where is the driest place on earth?

Popular Misconception? SAHARAH DESERT

Answer~Antarctica.Parts of the continent have seen no rain for two million years.
The Sahara gets just 25mm(1 inch)of rain a year.
Antartica's average rainfall is about the same,but 2 per cent of it,known as the Dry Valleys,is free of ice and snow and it never rains there at all.

How many states of matter are there?

Popular Misconception~FOUR - SOLID, LIQUID, GAS, PLASMA ?

Solid,amorphous solid,liquid,gas,plasma,superfluid,degenerate matter,neutronium,strongly symmetric matter,weakly symmetric matter,quark-gluon plasma,fermionic consendate,Bose-Einstein condensate and strange matter.

What is a rhino's horn made from?

Popular misconception~HAIR

Answer~A rhinoceros horn is not made out of hair-its made out of tightly packed strands of keratin fibres.Keratin is the protein found in human hair and fingernails,as well as animal claws and hooves,bird's feathers,porcupine quills and the shells of armadillos and tortoises.
Rhinos are the only animal to have a horn that is entirely made from keratin;unlike those of cattle,sheep antelopes and giraffes who do not have any bone core.

Who is America named after?

Popular misconception~AMERIGO VESPUCI

Answer~Not the Italian merchant and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci,but Richard Ameryk,a Welshman and wealthy Bristol merchant.
Ameryk was the chief investor in the second transatlantic voyage of John Cabot-the English name of the Italian navigator Giovanni Caboto whose voyages in 1497 and 1498 laid the groundwork for the later British claim to Canada.He moved to London from Genoa in 1484 and was authorised by king Henry to search for unknown lands to the west.
On his little ship 'Matthew',Cabot reached Labrador in May 1497 and became the first recorded European to set foot on American soil,predating Vespucci by two years.
Martin Waldseemuller's great map of the world made the assumption that the name derived from a Latin version of Amerigo Vaespucci's first name but the only place the name 'America' was ever used was Bristol.
Vespucci never reached North America at all(all the early maps and trade were British), nor did he ever use the name America for his 'discovery'.
New countries or continents were always named after the surname so America would have become Vespucci land (or Vespuccia) if the Italian explorer had consciously given a name to it.


posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 03:05 PM
reply to post by karl 12
Hiya Karl,

How many galaxies are visible to the naked eye? Popular Misconception~ ONE Answer~Four although from where you are sitting you can only see two: and one of those is the Milky way(the one we're in). Given that there are estimated to be more than 100 billion galxies in the universe,each containing between 10 and 100 billion stars,its a bit disappointing.In total only four galaxies are visibile from earth with the naked eye-In the northern hemisphere its the Milky way and Andromeda(M31) and in the Southern hemisphere you can see the large and small Magellanic Clouds.

Don't forget M33, Triangulum Galaxy, as featured in Star Trek Next Generation

The other galaxy of the local group that is visible to the naked eye is the spiral M33 in Triangulum at a distance comparable to that of Andromeda. It too is a spiral galaxy, but it is smaller than Andromeda and therefore is harder to see.
The Local Group
of Galaxies

posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 03:56 PM
Kandinsky - dang, good call

I'm going to get on to QI and tell them their researchers have got it

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