Friday, June 29, 2007

Myth or Fact?

Last week we got TWO whole days of free cable! It was great while it lasted. It must have been left over time from the last tenant. But, of course it was too good to be true and only lasted a few days. But, it was a great few days. We had a few channels that we watched the most... one being The Discovery Channel. We esp. like the show Mythbusters. I love when the show is about one those myths or facts that you have heard all your life and have always wondered if it's true. So, here are a few of the myths that you may have heard about at some time or another:

1. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can kill them?
True! Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine (a compound related to caffeine), which can sicken and kill family pets. Three factors determine how toxic the sweet stuff will be to a particular animal: the type of chocolate, the size of the animal and the amount of chocolate ingested.

2. The combined weight of all the world's ants is equal to that of all the humans on earth? (I haven't heard this one before, but thought it was interesting!)
True! What ants lack in size, they more than make up for in sheer numbers. According to renowned entomologist E.O. Wilson, there are an estimated 10,000,000,000,000 ants on earth, and their combined weight is equivalent to the entire human population. That's roughly 1.6 million ants for each person.

3. Did Seinfeld have it right... poppyseeds can cause you to fail a drug test?
True! Opiate drugs, such as heroin, morphine and codeine, are made from the seeds of opium poppies. The poppy seeds used in baked goods often come from the same or a similar type of poppy. Several people have lost their jobs solely because they ate a poppy-seed muffin or bagel for breakfast before taking a drug test. As a result, the test is being revised to account for this eventuality.

4. A poinsetta plant is highly toxic and can kill a child or pet who eats it's leaves?
False! A study by Ohio State University and the American Society of Florists fed rats high doses of pulverized poinsettia leaves, which failed to kill them or even cause any side effects. A 50-pound child would have to ingest more than 500 poinsettia leaves to exceed the doses given to the rats. While it's still not a good idea to eat poinsettias, or any other houseplants, the worst that could happen to your child or pet is an upset stomach.

5. Students who take the SAT are automatically awarded 400 points for spelling their name correctly?
False! The scorers of the SAT do not award points for being able to spell your own name — nor do they penalize you for misspelling it (although perhaps they should).

6. If you go swimming less than an hour after you eat, you will get stomach cramps and can drown?
False! Not once has a drowning death been attributed to "swimming with a full stomach." Yes, swimmers can develop cramps in the water, but few are the result of eating right before swimming. And unless you can't swim, no cramp would be serious enough to prevent you from swimming to safety.

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Pop said...

The one about swimming after eating has been perpetuated by mothers and grandmothers for years, maybe centuries.

Is it true that if you make funny faces when you shouldn't that your face will get stuck in that position for the rest of your life or that if you cross your eyes, they can get stuck that way? Those are some more myths that mothers and grandmothers have foisted on us.

Tom said...

Pop, Mythbusters were contemplating testing those myths, but decided it was just not worth the chance of having a funny face or crossed eyes for the rest of their lives.