All Questions

15
votes
2answers
4k views

Do men have a monthly cycle?

I recall reading an article, many years ago, in the New Scientist concerning a study into the effect of the lunar cycle on men. It was suggested that some men showed a physical response, such as a ...
20
votes
2answers
1k views

Can memory tricks work?

I've investigated memory systems over the years and find them interesting. One of the common themes is that you should associate the thing being memorized with something that you already know. The ...
31
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there economic data to suggest whether or not trickle-down economics provides a net increase in standards of living?

One of the chief arguments for Reagan's fiscal policy of trickle-down economics was "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy." Essentially that by ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Does dowsing (aka Water Divining) work?

Also known as water divining, the more general term is dowsing. Practitioners claim to be able to detect minerals and even specific objects. I first became interested in dowsing in my teens, when the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Do ley lines exist in the landscape?

The alignment of ancient sites (1500+ years) in the landscape is said to be evidence of ley lines. In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, it is said that many Saxon churches and pre-Christian monuments ...
18
votes
4answers
808 views

Can animals detect earthquakes through low radio-frequencies?

Every time there is a tsunami, we hear about animals fleeing to high ground and avoiding death. I've read some articles that suggest ELF/VLF sensitivity warns the animals, as they can effectively "...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

Do those hologram bracelets do anything at all?

Bracelets such as Energy Force and Power Balance bracelets claim to improve balance, agility, strength, etc. The demo at the health expo seemed pretty convincing but how can it possibly work?
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the Atkins diet work?

The official (theirs) description is here Wikipedia here My question is, does this diet lead to substantial weight loss, say a 25% reduction for an obese male, without any serious adverse side ...
10
votes
2answers
405 views

Ash Wednesday History

I recently read a blog that stated: Ash Wednesday is a relatively late addition to the Christian liturgical calendar, first surfacing in the tenth century according to accounts written in the ...
10
votes
1answer
882 views

Do solar flares increase the probability of an earthquake?

So, with Japan in the news today, weird theories about earthquakes are at the forefront again. The theory that solar flares are correlated with earthquakes came up, so of course I tried to find some ...
22
votes
1answer
853 views

Can Functional MRI be used to determine if someone is lying?

To my knowledge traditional lie detectors don't really detect lies but rather blood pressure, pulse, etc. and can be fooled with sufficient self control. What about Functional MRI? Can FMRI be used ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Are lethal injections painless?

It is often claimed that lethal injections are a painless and humane method of applying the death penalty. Do lethal injections result in either no, or minimal, pain?
38
votes
5answers
10k views

How accurate are fingerprints at identifying somebody?

In the movies, fingerprints identification always works, with no mistakes. How close is this to reality?
26
votes
1answer
2k views

Are crop circles man-made?

Every summer in England crop circles make the news for a few days. But journalists never really attempt to "solve" the question of who is responsible. source Are crop circles man-made? How?
16
votes
3answers
961 views

Has there been an increase in the frequency of seismic activity? [closed]

First it was New Zealand, now Japan -- two major earthquakes in a span of less than 2 months. Cults could use this opportunity to sell their end-day stories. Joking aside, is there any scientific ...
29
votes
2answers
991 views

Is graphology grounded?

In France Graphology is still actively used by some recruiters in order to attempt to evaluate applicants' personality from their handwriting (therefore covering letters in France are still ...
15
votes
1answer
547 views

Are there any “exercises” for your eyes that will help with near or far sightedness?

There are different sites purporting to have exercises that reduce or eliminate the need to wear glasses. Are there any such exercises that have been proven to work?
15
votes
1answer
941 views

Do antidepressants work?

I've been seeing occasional studies go by about the use of anti-depressants in treating depression. Some seem to imply that they are at least over-prescribed (which may in itself not be all that bad, ...
24
votes
2answers
35k views

Can using an air conditioner while sleeping be harmful?

When I used to live in Japan, the summers were really too much for me, especially when going to bed. The strange thing is that all the (Japanese) people would strongly advise me against leaving the ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Any validity to palmistry?

Unlike fortune-telling techniques, palmistry (or palm reading) has a potential connection with reality. Are there any studies that relate any personality traits to shapes of the hand, or lines?
94
votes
4answers
34k views

Can bullets fired into the air kill a person when they fall?

Lately, I've been watching the Libyan civil war in the media, and both sides in the conflict often celebrate success by firing their AK-47s into the air. Not to say that firing guns into the air is ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there any other studies (besides the discredited Wakefield studies) that have found a link between vaccination and autism?

Wakefield's study from 1998 is now refuted as fraudulent, however there must have been subsequent research by others looking for a link between vaccines and autism. Did any of this research find a ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there any research done on tattoos and their relationship to sexual activity?

Question came up in a conversation where one associate indicated that they thought tattoos on women were "slutty" and others took offense. The argument was that: when have you ever met a woman with a ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Will introduction of a minimum wage increase unemployment?

In economics, you commonly hear the clear that a minimum wage law will reduce employment. Is there empirical evidence that either supports or debunks that claim?
72
votes
6answers
5k views

Do violent video games cause violent behavior?

I have been following this question casually over the past couple of years, and it seemed to me that there was no strong consensus either way on the subject. However, I recently read an editorial from ...
23
votes
3answers
887 views

Are the claims of chiropractors independently verifiable?

I've had problems with back-pain in the past, and as a result, I reluctantly went to a chiropractor. It's hard to tell if going to the chiropractor helped my problem, or if they went away on their own....
36
votes
2answers
3k views

What does Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tell about a person?

Does Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tell something objective and predictive about the persons decision making tendencies? In other words, can a Myers-Briggs score give you useful information about what ...
46
votes
3answers
23k views

Does staring at the sun cause significant, permanent harm?

Of course, I think I can safely assume if an eye is left pointing directly towards sun for a long period of time it does get major damage. However, staring at the sun also hurts very quickly. That ...
77
votes
6answers
8k views

Do mobile phones have anything to do with brain cancer?

Is there evidence for a correlation between the use of mobile phones and the occurence of brain cancer? If yes, is there also evidence for causality?
24
votes
1answer
9k views

Did sailors mistake sea cows for mermaids?

I've heard theories that mermaid sightings were the result of sex-starved sailors mistaking manatees, dugongs or Steller's sea cows for beautiful women. History.com claims Columbus did this, "How I ...
82
votes
6answers
10k views

Is homosexuality innate?

There is a widespread belief that one chooses to be a homosexual, and that people can successfully overcome such feelings. On the other hand, some scientific studies have shown that finger length may ...
13
votes
1answer
475 views

Can drilling for geothermal energy trigger a major earthquake?

I remember reading about this geothermal project being cancelled due to concerns over (relatively) small seismic events caused by the drilling. Have there been any instances of, or reasonable ...
54
votes
1answer
19k views

Can standing in front of a microwave oven give you cancer?

I was heating up some lunch in the microwave oven at work a few weeks ago, and peered into the window to see if my soup was bubbling yet. At that point a coworker walked into the lunch room and ...
24
votes
5answers
880 views

Profiling in criminal cases

Criminal profiling is very popular in fictional crime shows, but also used in reality. A profiler uses the known data about the case to create a profile of the person that commited the crime. This ...
30
votes
1answer
7k views

Can running a fan while sleeping in a closed room cause death?

It is a widely held belief in South Korea that you can suffocate if you leave a fan running in a closed room while you sleep. Is there any truth or science behind this? (See Wikipedia on Fan Deaths)
12
votes
2answers
716 views

Is global economic production sufficient to feed, clothe and educate everyone?

Is there enough food produced annually to provide a subsistence diet for the entire population of Earth? (Bonus points for data involving shelter, clothing or education.) This question was inspired ...
10
votes
1answer
735 views

Can Melatonin lead to a result in weight loss?

Recently, someone mentioned he had started taking melatonin at night, and in the afternoon. At night is common as it helps some to sleep. He began taking it during the day to see if there would be an ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Anaesthesia awareness: fact or myth?

It is usually phrased like a horror story: a patient feels like being trapped in a corpse, unable to move or scream and feeling intense pain, but surgeons continue to operate not noticing that patient ...
34
votes
1answer
4k views

Can swimming after having eaten make you drown?

Some people, including my mom, believe that it's very dangerous to bathe after having eaten without waiting approximately 1 hour (the amount of time depends on what you have eaten). I have two ...
71
votes
1answer
19k views

Is food cooked in a microwave oven harmful for the health?

A colleague of mine just made a comment about cooking food in a microwave oven. According to him it is considered to be harmful to one's health. Is it true?
35
votes
4answers
6k views

Can we grow enough crops to feed all people on Earth?

Vegetarianism is heavily promoted. But let's say all people on Earth stop eating animal products. Can we grow enough crops so all people on the Earth are provided with enough healthy, nutritious food? ...
5
votes
1answer
533 views

Are there any viable shortcuts to stop smoking?

A variety of treatments are purportedly available to aid in quitting smoking. What are effective, scientifically proven ways to quit smoking? In particular, is any treatment significantly better ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Does it take 200L of water to make a latte?

I just saw this Youtube clip that claims it takes 200L of water to make a latte. Is that true?
15
votes
3answers
883 views

Do antioxidants have health benefits?

I recently read an article on Yahoo (but have seen them other places) that claim antioxidants are very important and have health benefits. One article even talked about antioxidants ability to ...
31
votes
1answer
4k views

Can an average person be involuntarily hypnotised?

Often hypnotism is accomplished by convincing an audience member to play along, or by selecting out someone who is suggestible. Can an average person be involuntarily hypnotised? Update: Let us ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Do food additives (“E Number”) cause hyperactivity?

E numbers are number codes for food additives that are used in the European Union. Some of the substances are banned in some countries while still allowed in others - see E110, E122, E129, etc. Some ...
28
votes
1answer
1k views

Has anyone died from tampered candy at Halloween?

Year after year parents are bombarded with all of the risks of trick or treating. Razor blades in apples, poisoned candy, etc. Even the CDC warns against eating anything homemade or before a parent ...
133
votes
2answers
16k views

If you shave or wax, will the hair grow back stronger or thicker?

Many people believe that if you shave or - especially - wax your legs, arms, chest, pubic hair or armpits then the hair will grow back stronger, or thicker, or more black, or more rapidly, or any ...
103
votes
6answers
14k views

Is smoking weed bad for your health?

Some people believe that smoking marijuana (without any tobacco) is harmful to your health and may cause problems. Examples of things I've heard weed supposedly causes: All the health problems of ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Is talking and driving more dangerous than any other type of distraction?

Are there any studies that demonstrate that talking on a cell phone is more dangerous than any other type of distraction? Yes, it seems clear that talking on a cell phone is a distraction, but for ...

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