‘It’s a common misconception that money is every entrepreneur’s metric for success. It’s not, and nor should it be’ – Richard Branson
I’ve written before about how I have a habit of ‘reckoning’ things. Like I reckon that people who live with each other become immune to each other; if Dave gets a cold I rarely catch it and vice versa. I have no scientific fact to base this on. It’s just what I reckon. So much so that a couple of my ‘reckons’ have turned into full blown misconceptions. That couple thing being one of them. The fact I was in Byker Grove is another.
So, it’s made me think about some other common misconceptions. And I did a bit of research into them. When I say research what I actually did was read my favourite Wikipedia article; A List of Common Misconceptions. And I’ve picked out a few of my favourite to share with you along with my own wry, witty commentary which you’ve grown to love over the years…
Waking sleep walkers doesn’t harm them
Whilst at best, waking a sleepwalker might cause them to panic or feel a little disorientated and it’s advised to gently guide them back to bed to avoid waking them up completely, it won’t cause them to have a heart attack or a stroke or cause lasting brain damage.
Swimming pools do not change colour if you pee in them
Very obviously a myth invented by parents to stop their kids pissing in public pools but there isn’t, nor has there ever been a chemical that changes colour if you pee in a pool. Apparently, there was a chemical trialled in the states that turned the water cloudy when it reacted with urine, but it also reacted with saliva and sweat, so created some embarrassing false positives.
It doesn’t take 7 years to digest chewing gum
This is not only false, it’s embarrassingly false. It doesn’t take 7 years to digest chewing gum because you actually can’t digest it at all and as such you pass it through your internal system even quicker than most foods that have to be broken down. The boffins at kidshealth.org reckon there’s a less than 24 hour turnaround time from mouth to toilet.
Humans have way more than five senses
Science nerds are starting to say these days that we actually have 7 basic senses. So as well as sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, they reckon it’s about time balance and proprioception (awareness) were off the bench too. There are, however, other science dorks who think temperature, pain, sense of hunger and thirst and sexual stimulation (whey hey!) should also be included as primary senses. So there.
Shaving doesn’t cause your hair to grow back thicker
It’s a complete fallacy that shaving your legs makes the hair grow back thicker, probably started by beauticians who wanted you to get them waxed. The theory goes that your hair probably just feels thicker because it’s stubbly, and the root of the hair is always the thicker end anyway, once it’s grown into a plaitable length your leg hair should actually be quite fine (depending on your genetics)
Alcohol doesn’t make you warmer
Much as I am a believer of wearing your ‘beer coat’ on a night out. Being morts doesn’t actually make you any warmer. Alcoholic drinks create the sensation of warmth as they cause blood vessels to dilate and stimulate nerve endings near the surface of the skin with an influx of warm blood. I’m starting to think that science poindexters are starting to insinuate that booze isn’t actually all that good for you?
There is no scientific correlation between hand size and penis size
Hahahahahahaha I’m not touching this one (no pun intended). But this may be good news or bad news depending on which way you lads have been spinning it.
Sexy time before a big sporting event won’t ruin your performance
I reckon some athlete’s partner once was trying to get jiggy before a big race and the athlete just didn’t fancy it so made up this lie about it affecting their performance. This is another chewing gum situation where in fact the opposite is more true. Having a bit of how’s your father before a big sporting event is likely to release any extra built up testosterone you have (in men and women), making you calmer, more relaxed and more level headed; so likely to perform better.
People don’t only use 10% of their brain
Some of us use much less (fnar fnar!). No, the truth of the matter is the 10% myth came about due to many people’s lack of confidence or feeling that they were unfulfilled, therefore not tapping into their brain’s full potential. The cerebellum is the largest part of the brain and controls movement, co-ordination and balance, so that’s working almost 24 hours a day. It’s true that you’re never using all your brain all the time, but you are using most of your brain all the time. Mine’s just full of useless boyband facts though which means I’m using 100% of mine all the time, naturally.
Scientifically, no one is better than anyone else
On average, you don’t have any qualities or abilities that are better or worse than anyone else. Most people are prone to Illusory superiority which means most of us overestimate our own abilities and judge other people based on what we perceive to be true or not. So scientifically we all have strengths and weaknesses in different areas and need to be nice to each other, mmm’kay?