All Questions

476
votes
4answers
47k views

Does torture work well as an interrogation technique?

Wikipedia's Effectiveness of torture for interrogation says, Torture has been used throughout history for the purpose of obtaining information in interrogation. Some arguments say that it is an ...
392
votes
2answers
244k views

Was the experiment with five monkeys, a ladder, a banana and a water spray conducted?

I've found the following picture online. It is about the moral/paradigm behind consistent behavior. Click to enlarge. The image text says A group of scientists placed 5 monkeys in a cage and ...
287
votes
7answers
33k views

Did Jesus live?

Regardless of whether you believe or not... What is the non-Biblical evidence regarding his existence around the time he is commonly thought to have lived? That is, are there other historically ...
239
votes
1answer
97k views

Has Stack Overflow saved billions of dollars in programmer productivity?

John Carmack is a renowned developer and CTO. His Twitter account has over 100,000 followers. On the occasion of Stack Exchange's 5th anniversary, he quipped on Twitter: [... Stack Overflow] has ...
238
votes
2answers
37k views

Do bigger or more monitors increase productivity?

There is a ton of anecdotal evidence that adding more screen estate (more or larger monitors) leads to an increase in productivity, especially for programmers. For example, where I work, all ...
219
votes
4answers
26k views

Does hot water freeze faster than cold water?

Is it true that hot water freezes faster than cold water and if so, what practical applications have there been found for this phenomenon?
213
votes
2answers
31k views

Has man walked on the Moon?

Is there any concrete, solid proof of this space odyssey? Is there a way that I personally have a look a it? Let's say, with a nice telescope ?
191
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?
188
votes
1answer
19k views

Are these claims about Japan’s health system true?

The series of claims in the image below has been getting shared around Facebook and are posted from the "Illuminati Exposed" page. The claims are in the image but I've listed them here 100% of ...
187
votes
1answer
26k views

Did the Twitter account Fifndhs predict the exact World Cup results ahead of time?

There was a feeling of exhilaration and excitement on Twitter, with the Twitter account @FifNdhs called “FIFA Corruption” seemingly having predicted the final result of the World Cup final hours ahead ...
184
votes
1answer
20k views

Is this news article from 1912, essentially explaining climate change, real?

I found this image on reddit, and I'm wondering if this is real? Was this actually published over 100 years ago? Transcription: Science Notes And News COAL CONSUMPTION AFFECTING CLIMATE ...
180
votes
2answers
33k views

Does the President of the United States have the ability to deploy nuclear weapons at will?

I heard this claim back during the Bush years, and recently I've been hearing it again. Here's a quote from a New Yorker article. I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes ...
179
votes
7answers
24k views

Did people think the Earth was flat?

I've heard it numerous times, that in the old days people thought that the world was flat. Most commonly I heard this in connection with the voyage of Columbus, that he believed the earth to be a ...
178
votes
4answers
28k views

Will a mother bird abandon her young if touched by a human?

Welcome to installment #2 of my "the science of animals falling" series of questions.... I've heard it said many times since childhood that if you are to find a baby bird on the ground which appears ...
175
votes
1answer
18k views

Do cats always land on their feet?

Assuming a fall from a survivable height, will a cat always land on its feet? Has this been studied? Is there real data to back it up?
169
votes
4answers
24k views

Does a webpage with a black background save energy?

Blackle is a search engine that claims to save energy because it uses a black background. Is there any evidence to back up their claim that a website using a black background will save energy, and if ...
165
votes
4answers
37k views

Does YouTube delete video dislikes?

On some YouTube videos, particularly highly downvoted ones, I often see comments asserting that their dislikes on the video are being deleted, either by YouTube or the channel itself. From the ...
163
votes
2answers
28k views

Is Google using ReCaptcha as a free source of human-intelligent labour?

Having worked at the Amazon Mechanical Turk for a long time, I find that some ReCaptcha questions are very similar to the 1c tasks there. Identify this, identify that. A search shows that several web ...
158
votes
1answer
20k views

Did NASA invest a million dollars in the research of a space pen, when the USSR simply used a pencil?

I encountered this picture of the "Russian space pen" from the MIT Museum gift shop myth http://dailyfailcenter.com/sites/default/files/fail/d073c3d5cf3a.jpg When NASA first started sending ...
157
votes
1answer
32k views

Is it illegal to own a rabbit in Queensland unless you're a magician?

From all that is interesting How Bunny Rabbits Took Over Australia — And What The Government Is Doing About It In Queensland, Australia, it’s illegal to own a pet rabbit unless you’re a magician. ...
155
votes
5answers
27k views

Would the top 100 men in most physical sports beat each of the top 100 women?

In The Ancestor's Tale, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins makes the following statement about sexual dimorphism: Our sexual dimporhism is moderate but undeniable. Lots of women are taller than ...
152
votes
9answers
13k views

Is closed-source code more secure than open-source?

My computing teacher told us that closed source software is more secure than open source software, because with open source "anyone can modify it and put stuff in." This is why they do not want to use ...
152
votes
4answers
22k views

Does being cold increase your chances of catching the common cold?

"Everyone knows" - a scary statement - that you get "a cold" from being cold. Now it seems to be a fact that you don't, because you get a cold from a (rhino)virus, not from the temperature. But is ...
150
votes
5answers
30k views

Was Einstein a poor student?

I've heard this repeatedly over the years, that Einstein was bad at math, that he was bad at history, that he was dyslexic. I also read somewhere in my youth that some of the " bad at math" stuff was ...
147
votes
4answers
30k views

Did Donald Trump say that “global warming was a hoax invented by the Chinese”?

In the Presidential debate of 26th September, Hillary Clinton claimed that "Donald Trump said that global warming was a hoax invented by the Chinese" . Trump replied several times "I did not say that"....
147
votes
2answers
23k views

Do victims of rape have biological defenses that prevent pregnancy?

Pro life Rep. Todd Akin, who is running for Senate in Missouri, recently said: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Needless to say, this ...
146
votes
3answers
27k views

Do wind turbines consume more energy than they produce in a lifetime?

A rumor in my region states that a wind turbine consumes far more energy while being built and setup than it can produce in a lifetime. The debate is about modern, freshly built turbines in ...
145
votes
4answers
27k views

Was pink a boy color and blue a girl color prior to the 20th century?

A recent essay in the New York Times by Claire Cain Miller, entitled How to Raise a Feminist Son, claims that: Until the mid-20th century, pink was the boy color and blue was for girls. It, in ...
143
votes
1answer
20k views

Are there 96 million workers in the US who want a job and can't get one?

On Wednesday 11 Jan 2017, US President-elect Donald Trump claimed in a press conference that: There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder. And ...
142
votes
6answers
26k views

Are people of Nordic Nations “happier, healthier” with “a higher standard of living overall than Americans”?

Ernest W. Adams wrote in the answer to the question "Why are people so negative about Nordic nations, especially Sweden?": There are a lot of right wing Americans who have been preaching for the ...
142
votes
7answers
16k views

Do human activities contribute to climate change?

There is lots of evidence that I have seen showing correlation between human activities and climate change but what evidence is there to support causation?
140
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
138
votes
4answers
38k views

Did Yuri Gagarin end up in critical condition after coming back to Earth due to the missing magnetic field?

My friend's mother is about to undergo some treatment in magnetic field therapy for osteoarthritis and he is trying to verify if this is useful as claimed, or if this has any harmful effects. The ...
138
votes
4answers
24k views

Is the USA murder rate at a high? Specifically is it at a 45 year high?

Current US President Donald Trump is on record as repeatedly saying that "The murder rate is the highest it's been in I guess 45-47 years." Is that true?
138
votes
1answer
22k views

Did the @POTUS Twitter account use a picture from Obama's inauguration for its cover image?

There's an image going around Facebook claiming that the @POTUS Twitter account is using an image from President Obama's inauguration. Is this true? Where is the original image from?
136
votes
2answers
31k views

Are violent video games a better explanation of school shootings than access to guns?

This site already has a question on the general relationship of video games and violence. But the recent Florida school shooting has raised a more specific set of claims that deserve to be addressed. ...
136
votes
1answer
26k views

Is this a ship-shipping ship, shipping shipping ships?

This image has been making the rounds on the internet, with the following caption: This is a ship-shipping ship, shipping shipping ships. The obvious question being: is this statement correct or ...
135
votes
2answers
27k views

Do solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than nuclear-power plants?

From Slashdot: A new study by Environmental Progress warns that toxic waste from used solar panels now poses a global environmental threat. The Berkeley-based group found that solar panels create ...
134
votes
4answers
21k views

Did Republicans take 10 of 13 Congressional seats in the 2018 North Carolina general election with roughly the same number of votes as Democrats?

This image has been shared on social media Transcription: Gerrymandering in North Carolina 1,747,742 votes for Democrats = 3 Congressional seats 1,638,684 votes for Republicans = 10 ...
133
votes
1answer
62k views

Is one not able to tweet “Get Better.” because it's something Dorsey's father used to say?

I've tried to tweet "Get Better." (without the quotes) a dozen times now, and it keeps not showing. A friend of mine told me that, while in high school, Jack Dorsey's (the creator of Twitter) father ...
133
votes
2answers
27k views

Do the Finnish have a word for getting drunk alone in your underwear?

Urban dictionary (and many other articles on the internet) claim that the Finnish word "kalsarikännit" means: to drink by yourself at your house in your underwear with no intention of going out I ...
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 ...
132
votes
1answer
28k views

Did Amazon pay $0 in taxes last year?

Background I saw this article saying that Amazon paid $0 in corporate income tax last year. Is this true or just phrased to sound like they are getting away with paying nothing? Here's the article: ...
129
votes
4answers
24k views

Are some oceans so remote that the closest person is in the space station?

I was listening to BBC news radio last night - 18th day of May 2017 and I heard this guest who was campaigning for people to stop dumping trash in the oceans. Probably not the same very words but ...
129
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 ...
128
votes
4answers
42k views

Was Opportunity's last message to Earth “My battery is low and it's getting dark”?

On February 13 2019, NASA announced that Opportunity - a Mars rover launched in 2003 with an intended longevity of three months - was likely to be dead. In the wake of this event, and the outpouring ...
126
votes
3answers
28k views

Was ISIS created by the USA?

I hear many folks talking about the founders of ISIS and they say that USA created it to make chaos in the Arabic countries. Mark Danner in an episode of Talking Heads by Vice News "In effect the ...
125
votes
2answers
16k views

Do consumer computers include components that can connect to the internet when the computer is apparently turned off?

I have seen many claims that devices such as laptop computers contain components that can "connect to the internet" even when the main device is powered off. The implication is that such devices could ...
123
votes
4answers
92k views

Is the Ballmer Peak real?

There is a myth saying that having a BAC in the 0.129% - 0.138% range can improve your cognitive abilities. This effect is called the Ballmer Peak (a reference to Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft) and ...
121
votes
5answers
23k views

Do atoms exist?

There are plenty of examples of people doubting ([1], [2], [3], [4], [5]) or denying ([6], [7], [8]) the existence of atoms. Is there any compelling evidence for the existence of atoms? Has anyone ...

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