Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Say It Isn't So...Well, It Isn't!

It wasn't THAT long ago that folks were sure that the sun revolved around the earth, the flat earth, that is. It seems we continue to believe things that are probably (if not proven to be so) not true, and we repeat them with the fervor of new converts. However, any time we see such beliefs dispelled, it's a bit disappointing, and we find ourselves questioning the authenticity of the source. I came across an article written by Melissa Breyer for Mother Nature Network that attempted to dispel some of the most commonly-held misconceptions, and I immediately began wondering about the credibility of her sources. However, it is my duty to report at least some of the more startling disclaimers she has made.

1. Vikings wore horned helmets. Despite the fact that the belief that they DID has become so ingrained in our culture through Wagner, the movies, and professional football, it appears that such head coverings were worn on special occasions, and never into battle.

2. George Washington had wooden false teeth. I've never given this story much credence anyway, but it IS interesting to find that he did have four pairs of false teeth: a gold set, a set made from hippo ivory, a set made from lead, and a set constructed of human and animal teeth. I'm still not certain of this one.

3. People lose most of their body heat through their head. I guess it makes sense to believe this since we know for a fact that heat rises. However, Breyer's assertion is that heat flows outward through the most exposed surface; therefore, on a cold day, a bare head isn't nearly as heat-sapping as an exposed arm or leg.

4. Sugar will lead to hyperactivity among kids. Mothers everywhere swear that this is true, but the Journal of American Medical Association reviewed 23 separate pieces of research and make the claim that sugar does NOT cause any kind of overactivity in children or anyone!

5. A dog's age is accurately calculated by multiplying it by 7. This is one hallowed truth that has been espoused forever...but, it's not right. According to Breyer's research, the correct way to compare a dog's age with that of humans is  to subtract 2 years from the dog's age, multiply that number by 4,  then add 21 years to it. So, a dog that is 10 years old would, instead of being the equivalent of 70 in people years, would be merely 53 years old...hardly middle aged!

Mind you: I'm not passing all of these off as fact unlike Copernicus. It just seems that some of them are logical ideas that we've never really considered.
If it's cold out tomorrow, I'm going out with a wet head just to test another one of the so-called facts.


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