All Questions

9
votes
1answer
395 views

Do performance based scholarships increase grade inflation?

For instance, in this wikipedia there is the (un-cited) criticism that a specific scholarship has led to grade inflation. HOPE has been blamed for increased levels of grade inflation in Georgia ...
28
votes
2answers
9k views

Do non-FDA approved “male enhancement” pills work?

The airwaves and Internet are full of advertisements for "male enhancement" products: magic pills "guaranteed" to enlarge your penis and increase your sex drive. For example, ExtenZe, perhaps the ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

Are programmers likely to be musicians?

It's a common belief in the coder world: many programmers are also (talented) musicians. It was certainly true in the places I've worked as a programmer, and I have been a professional musician and a ...
77
votes
3answers
47k views

Is it possible to “die instantly”?

Lots of times, when some great tragedy occurs, one often hears journalists and bystanders alike softening the blow of having some person die by saying something like "at least they died instantly" or "...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Was the mathematical genius of Gauss discovered at school?

It is often said that the genius of Carl Friedrich Gauss was first discovered when his teacher told the students to calculate the sum of all integers from 1 to 100 to keep them occupied and young ...
16
votes
1answer
871 views

Do silicone breast implants cause health problems?

An article in Business Week Magazine (June 10, 1991, but can't yet find a link) kicked off a debate that raged throughout the 90's. It stated that silicone breast implants manufactured by two Big ...
15
votes
2answers
388 views

Japan's earthquake and the Earth's axis

I've been hearing a lot lately about how Japan's massive earthquake moved the Earth or changed its axis by 1°-4°. I personally feel that this is not possible, but I don't have nearly enough knowledge ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Does gargling salt water reduce incidence of flu?

Many of the more dubious health sites promote gargling salt water (or peroxide) and swabbing the nasal cavity as a 'natural' prevention for catching the 'flu. Is there any science behind this? I ...
41
votes
3answers
5k views

Does urine heal jellyfishes' sting?

It is a common myth that, if you're stung by a jellyfish, then pouring urine on the wound is an effective way to treat the injury or ease the pain. That belief is deeply entrenched in the American ...
141
votes
4answers
23k views

Can you only trace a phone call if they don't hang up?

In movies and television shows, you often see law enforcement (or hacker types) attempting to trace a phone call that they have received. The typical scene plays out with one party trying to keep the ...
56
votes
1answer
40k views

Is it a good idea to drink your own urine in a survival situation?

Image Source In Man vs. Wild the host Bear Grylls claims you should drink your own urine to avoid dehydration. Among the many other interesting feats he has done: The show has featured stunts ...
29
votes
2answers
3k views

Is the Moon young?

According to Dr. Thomas G. Barnes the Moon is much younger than claimed by the mainstream scientific community, by many orders of magnitude. The Giant impact hypothesis, one of the primary ...
18
votes
1answer
8k views

Are cramps and muscle soreness caused by Lactic Acid?

I commonly hear that muscle cramps are caused by lactic acid. For instance, this article indicates: Another cause of muscle cramps can be the build up of lactic acid in the muscles. However, ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Did Charles have Lady Diana murdered?

Apparently, the English monarchy had the motive and the opportunity: In 1997, Princess Diana (Princess of Wales) and Dodi Fayed (son of Mohamed Fayed, owner of the Ritz Hotel and Harrods) were ...
1
vote
1answer
667 views

How much daylight does daylight-saving save? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the scientifically established effects of Daylight Saving Time? If we did not have daylight-saving, then would the days still be longer in the summer? If not, then ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Would avoiding the eating of meat stop global warming? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is being a vegan more environmentally friendly than otherwise? Would it be sufficient for people to stop eating meat to stop global warming? I've heard that the process to ...
46
votes
4answers
8k views

Do men think about sex every 7 seconds?

I'm sure most of us have heard at least a variation of this myth. Unfortunately I failed to find the original source. Was there actually a study that claimed this? A lot of the sites debunking this ...
15
votes
1answer
884 views

Fighting fire with electricity. Plausible?

The article "Fighting fire with volts: How water hoses could be replaced with electric wands" gives exciting news about possible new way of extinguishing fire, researched by Ludovico Cademartiri, Ph.D....
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Can a society become unhappier with an increase in wealth?

People like to claim that less developed countries are happier, because they live the simple life and stronger family ties. We've all heard the saying: Money can't buy you happiness. Which is easy ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the most realistic estimate for how far the Vikings could have explored the western hemisphere?

There is at least one proposal that Vikings sailed around the northern coast of Canada and made it as far south along the west to reach Vancouver Island. (Image taken from the link in the previous ...
42
votes
1answer
28k views

Was the Great Sphinx of Giza originally an Anubis?

Does Robert Temple's book The Sphinx Mystery: The Forgotten Origins of the Sanctuary of Anubis have any support in the academic community? For those of you unfamiliar with his theory, here's a quote ...
54
votes
3answers
45k views

Can black people, on average, jump higher than white people?

Most people hear this in one form or another at some point in their life, especially those kids who play basketball. Even videos of white guys who have excellent jumping ability stress the fact that ...
22
votes
2answers
8k views

Is nuclear fusion energy as safe as its proponents claim?

With my limited knowledge of the process of nuclear fusion energy, this seems like one of the most promising methods for producing huge amounts of energy, with relatively very low risk, once ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

How can we know meteorites found on Earth came from Mars?

ALH84001 is a famous meteorite found in Antarctica. Scientists have since claimed that (1) this meteorite came from Mars (along with several other meteorites), and (2) that it contained evidence of ...
36
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a gold stockpile at “Fort Knox”?

I heard an interesting conspiracy theory recently with the basic idea that there isn't a gold stockpile at "Fort Knox" (anymore or ever). With the level of security so great there and reportedly few ...
102
votes
5answers
15k views

Is the Earth 6000 years old?

Dr Kent Hovind, a noted American Young Earth creationist, claims that the Earth is only 6000 years old. When I was growing up, I was taught in school that dinosaurs come from at least millions of ...
21
votes
1answer
13k views

Does drinking water upside-down help cure hiccups?

I was under the impression that drinking water upside-down worked for curing hiccups (when they worked) merely due to a placebo effect, or at the very least didn't work any better than just drinking ...
50
votes
2answers
14k views

Does the “sugar high” exist at all?

I've heard numerous times that eating1 a high quantity of sugar will give you a "sugar high" or "sugar buzz" The high one gets after consuming large amounts of sugar. Also called a "sugar rush." ...
45
votes
1answer
4k views

Are participants in stage hypnosis part of the show?

Are the volunteers actually part of the performance (i.e. paid or in other ways compensated) to perform like chickens etc., or is it actually possible to hypnotize people in the short space of time ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Does organic food have more vitamins than nonorganic food?

Aside from the issue of pesticides there's the claim that organic food has more nutrients, vitamins and minerals than nonorganic food: Organic food is known to contain 50% more nutrients, ...
19
votes
3answers
8k views

Is the coldest part of the day an hour after the sun comes up?

Popular lore states that generally the lowest temperature of any given day occurs an hour after sunrise, because it takes some time for the heat from the Sun to reach Earth. But, it only takes about ...
15
votes
1answer
924 views

Does coffee cause children to grow slower?

One of the things claimed by several adults when I was little is that coffee would stop me from growing so I wasn't allowed to drink it, is there any truth to that claim? It doesn't seem completely ...
42
votes
2answers
5k views

What's wrong with processed food?

Jamie Oliver always talks about how processed food is awful, and we should stop eating it. By processed food he means food which is pre-prepared and contains additives. He instead insists that food ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Am I contagious before I'm symptomatic?

Whenever someone is ill with a cold or flu, the 'fact' always seems to be brought up that you're contagious before you start exhibiting symptoms - coughing, sneezing etc. Many people with flu are ...
26
votes
4answers
4k views

Was the world life expectancy only 30 years at 1900?

In this article, About.com article on Life Expectancy they claim: In 1900, the world life expectancy was approximately 30 years I've also the same claim elsewhere. However, this doesn't jibe with ...
18
votes
1answer
6k views

Does changing your pH balance change your mood?

I have read that eating more alkaline foods and changing your pH balance reduces stress and anxiety. For example, see Eat a Lemon, Feel Less Stressed: Stephanie McClellan, MD, and Beth Hamilton, ...
17
votes
1answer
807 views

What is the reason that the moon appears larger on the horizon?

According to the Wikipedia article Moon illusion, it has apparently been "proven" that the moon's larger appearance at the horizon is, indeed, an illusion, and not a magnification of some kind. I ...
130
votes
1answer
18k views

On 9/11, was Building 7 destroyed in a controlled explosion?

There have been a lot of claims made about the circumstances surrounding the events of 9/11 and Building 7 in particular. The central claim regarding Building 7, that I have heard personally, is that ...
70
votes
6answers
6k views

Does circumcision lead to a net increase in quality of life?

I was recently surprised to learn that many Americans have been circumcised even though their parents had no religious motivation to go through with it. This in strong contrast with my home country ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Kindergarten drug dealers

A common myth says that drug dealers make drug-laced candies or pills and give them off to children outside schools. For example, Examples of the drug-mixing strategy also include candy laced ...
52
votes
3answers
6k views

Is Barack Obama a natural born US citizen?

In this Politico Article dated 8/5/10 the results of a poll taken on President Obama are discussed: The poll of 1,018 adults shows 27 percent of Americans believe the president was “probably” ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

Are there public laws dealing with extraterrestrial contact?

UFO theorists claim that there are US laws preventing people from investigating or contacting aliens. From "Alien Contact Laws- $5,000 Fine And Imprisonment" at http://www.unexplainable.net/artman/...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Activism Effective?

When I'm freezing my hands giving out fliers, I have to wonder: Am I actually making an impact? Are there specific forms of activism which are more effective than others? Does it just preach to the ...
8
votes
2answers
17k views

Do copper jewellery stains indicate illness?

People wearing copper jewellery quite often have black/green/dark blue stains on wrists and fingers. Articles like this say that these stains are related to a person's metabolism. And appear because ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Do automobile manufacturers make parts wear out and break easily, just so they can make more money?

It is sometimes heard that automobile manufacturers design low-quality parts that wear out or break easily, so that they can make money on the repair or replacement of these parts. I believe this to ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do we not have vehicles that meet or exceed the MPG ratings of vehicles that were available in the 1990s

I'm seeing some conspiracy theories making the rounds which claim that car-manufacturers are intentionally making cars that aren't as fuel efficient as they used to be. They often point to the Geo ...
16
votes
1answer
788 views

Is bad posture bad for anything other than your back?

As a musician, I've had a fair amount of tuition on posture. One in particular, who was teaching Alexander Technique said that bad posture could cause seemingly unrelated complaints, as slouching ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Is yawning contagious across species?

The Mythbusters have "confirmed" the contagiousness of yawning between humans and this study concludes it may be part of a neural network involved in empathy. This hypothesis is supported by ...
193
votes
1answer
19k views

Is popping your knuckles bad for you?

I pop my knuckles fairly frequently, and I have been told on several occasions that doing so is bad for your joints. Is this true? Have there been any medical studies on this?
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Platinum fuel saver

I've heard on the radio advertisements for a product called the Platinum Fuel Saver, that they claim that if you use it, you will increase fuel efficiency by 25%. What kind of data is there to support ...

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