It's Oscars time. Somebody wake the Grouch.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Science Myths or Not?

LiveScience.com has created a page of the most beloved science myths. This is sort of like when Zamfir plays the world's most beloved melodies on the Pan Flute, only without all the breath noises and saliva. Well, most of the saliva. Scientists are fairly moist people.

Unfortunately, just as with Pluto, they got it all wrong. Most of the myths included aren't even myths, as LiveScience.com suggests they are true at least in part. Even the actual myths are far more complex than the simplistic scientists will let on.

Here are just a few corrections:

  1. LiveScience says: Chickens can live without a head. According to the brainy gits, at least one specimen forged on for 18 months. Ha! That's nothing. Donald Trump's head was surgically removed and replaced with a polystyrene version -minus the brain, which was considered expendable - over 12 years ago. Which, of course, explains the hair.
  2. LiveScience says: Water does not drain backwards in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Earth's rotation. I don't know about the Earth's rotation, but water does too drain backwards. Stand in Bristol and watch the water drain. Then stand in Canberra and do the same. The unimaginative chaps at LiveScience say they are exactly the same, but in Canberra, you are completely upside down from how you are in Bristol! Dullards.
  3. LiveScience says: Humans use much more than 10% of their brains. First of all, it should be pointed out that we are talking about averages here, and not the hyperintelligent types that brain researchers tend to focus on. Second, brain scans are tosh where brain usage is concerned. Those brain scanners are simply overloading from the extrasensory waves put off by extraterrestials living in my neighborhood, the same waves that are constantly setting off my car alarm.
  4. LiveScience says: Poppy seed bagels can create a positive drug test. Don't sugarcoat it LiveScience! I once ate a poppy seed bagel and was high for a fortnight. I thought I saw rabid weasels coming out of Howard Dean's forehead. Stew told me that was nonsense and that they were badgers. He didn't even have a bagel.
  5. LiveScience says: A penny dropped from a very tall building would not kill any pedestrians below. Depends on the penny, doesn't it? How about this one? Or, what if the edges of the penny have been sharpened and dipped in a highly lethal poison derived from various plants found in the Amazon rainforest? Just asking.
  6. LiveScience says: A falling cat will not always land on its feet if it is dropped from a foot or less. What they left out from their little experiment is the following redacted clause from the end of that sentence: "...if the cat has first been tied up with Sellotape, bound with ropes, blindfolded, and fed 12 ounces of corn mash liquour." A fairly significant omission, don't you think?
  7. LiveScience says: Men probably do not think about sex every seven seconds. I have to agree with this one. It's obviously less than that. John F. Kennedy reportedly thought about sex once every 0.132 seconds, which made eating and sleeping quite difficult.
  8. LiveScience says: The five second rule about whether you can eat food that has fallen on the floor or not is false. This really depends on the food, doesn't it? Day old chips? Possibly up to seven years. Porridge? Less than a millisecond.
  9. LiveScience says: Animals cannot predict natural disasters. I give them half and half on this one. They argue that some animals are killed in natural disasters, so this is proof that they can't predict them. However, haven't these hypothesising web geeks ever heard of stupid animals? Also, what about those poor animals born without the gift? However, it is true that some animals cannot predict disasters. They can only predict when food will be in perfect range of their greedy, ravenous little snouts. I should add that in terms of theories of natural selection, this is a much more useful ability.
  10. LiveScience says: It does not take seven years to digest gum. Ha! Double Ha! Doublemint Ha!! It not only takes seven years, but if you're a particularly gassy person, you'll be surprised at where you'll find yourself blowing bubbles from. According to a friend of a friend of a friend, etc... Dick Cheney does this as a party trick.

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