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25 votes
3 answers
3k views

Will global warming reduce available oxygen?

I saw a friend "like" this news article on Facebook which claims that phytoplankton would stop oxygen production: "If the world’s oceans warmed by 6 degrees Celsius—a realistic possibility if ...
Chad's user avatar
  • 643
23 votes
1 answer
3k views

Does using a laptop on your lap lower your sperm count?

It is sometimes claimed that using a laptop on or in proximity of testicles can result in a lower sperm count. This Health.com article claims: Can a laptop computer really affect a man’s ability to ...
eat_a_lemon's user avatar
20 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)?

Promoted by Jim Humble, Miracle Mineral Solution is claimed to cure a wide range of ailments. But what exactly is it, chemically speaking?
Richard Stelling's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
8k views

Is the ninth wave the largest?

This famous painting by Ivan Aivazovsky is called The Ninth Wave: Wikipedia tells about the origin of the name: Both English and Russian titles refer to the nautical tradition that waves grow ...
Quassnoi's user avatar
  • 4,363
20 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is this new study on cell phone / cancer connection legitimate?

Insanely related: Do mobile phones have anything to do with cancer? I was just sent THIS article, which claims that a new study does show a link between brain cancer and cell phones: This new study ...
Hendy's user avatar
  • 21.7k
20 votes
3 answers
3k views

Recommended alcohol drinking quantity: are they just making it up?

From an NHS website: To lower your risk of health problems, the NHS recommends that: men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 ...
Dave Hillier's user avatar
  • 1,514
20 votes
2 answers
7k views

Does smoking cigarettes cause lung cancer?

My friend is a smoker. His dad is a doctor. Both claim there is no firm proof that cigarettes cause lung cancer. This article makes a similar claim -- in particular that smoking cigarettes is not ...
samthebrand's user avatar
  • 4,740
19 votes
2 answers
16k views

Is drinking hot water more beneficial during hot weather?

I heard from various sources since I was growing up that during hot weather one should drink warm or hot drinks and during cold weather one should rather drink cold drinks, but a quick google found no ...
Sebastian Godelet's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does a dairy-free diet reduce autistic behaviour?

PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) suggest the existence of a link between milk consumption and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (see here on the PETA website). More research is needed, ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 2,001
17 votes
1 answer
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, ...
eat_a_lemon's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Do Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) create dirty electricity which can impact health?

According to this CBC Be Green report: 'CFLs [Compact Fluorescent Lamps] produce what is called "dirty electricity".' In an environment with dirty electricity, diabetics blood sugar will climb. It ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 144k
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does (diet) soda cause tooth decay?

I've often heard and read that soda causes tooth decay; most often the reason involves the sugars present in the soda being converted into acids which wear out the enamel. I'm curious if there is ...
zzzzBov's user avatar
  • 533
12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Backwards masking in music

It was alleged by opponents to rock and heavy metal that the artists would include hidden satanic messages in their songs that would become audible when playing the song backwards. It was further ...
Lagerbaer's user avatar
  • 12.3k
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are more babies born during full moons?

I've heard from multiple sources -- a simple google search will confirm -- that significantly more babies are born during full moon periods. Are there any studies supporting or disputing the ...
Sklivvz's user avatar
  • 78.8k
0 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is SARS-CoV-2 a biological weapon released by the US military?

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that is the cause of the disease COVID-19. Some people have questioned the origins of the virus. RadioFreeEurope reported on March 5, 2020 on a claim by an Iranian ...
user avatar
178 votes
4 answers
28k 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 ...
user avatar
113 votes
4 answers
40k views

Is a woman who dresses sexually suggestively more likely to get raped?

There was a recent controversy about a police officer who is reported to have suggested: Women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like a “slut.” If we leave out the derogatory word and focus ...
Christian's user avatar
  • 33.8k
109 votes
2 answers
29k views

Do expensive, "premium" speaker cables make a difference?

I was tempted to go drop $8500 on these awesome speaker cables so I could be like Whiplash (see customer pictures), but I'm curious, if I use them for my audio system, will they actually make a ...
Nick T's user avatar
  • 3,806
101 votes
6 answers
40k views

Does America not lead the world in mass shootings?

According to an OpEd in the NY Post by John Lott and Michael Weisser that cites a report by the Crime Prevention Research Center, America doesn't lead the world in mass shootings. "Of the 86 ...
James G.'s user avatar
  • 1,922
96 votes
3 answers
20k views

Are there any perceptible differences between the sound quality of 192 versus 320 kbps MP3 files?

I have friends that are very picky when it comes to MP3 bitrate, and will always look for the 320 kbps version of a file. However, I have never noticed any differences, they sound the same to me. I ...
Mihai Rotaru's user avatar
  • 4,143
77 votes
5 answers
18k views

Were people shorter in the middle ages?

In many castles or museums you'll find medieval armor, belonging to a knight. Those are often very small compared to the average human nowadays. I've heard this explained multiple times as being due ...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
  • 43.7k
74 votes
6 answers
8k views

Did the National Rifle Association (NRA) block research into statistics related to gun control?

About 30,000 Americans die every year from gun-related deaths (a number likely to exceed those dying from automobile-related accidents very soon if trends continue). About 1 in 3 of those are ...
matt_black's user avatar
  • 56.2k
71 votes
3 answers
21k views

Did Moses live?

Moses is, arguably, the most significant prophet in Judaism and is credited with leading the enslaved Jewish population out of Egypt and into the promised land. Aside from the Torah, are there any ...
Scott Mitchell's user avatar
64 votes
1 answer
23k views

Did Donald Trump say republicans are the dumbest voters in the country?

I saw this image going around Twitter lately: If I were to run, I'd run as a republican. They're the dumbest group of voters in the country. They love anything on FOX News. I could lie and ...
Seth's user avatar
  • 833
59 votes
3 answers
12k views

Was there 100% turnout and 100% Obama support in Cuyahoga County in 2012 Presidential Election?

The Tea Party Facebook page posted this Monday night. Is it accurate that: There are exactly 900135 registered voters in Cuyahoga County Ohio for the 2012 predidental election There were 900135 ...
Chad's user avatar
  • 9,159
54 votes
1 answer
11k views

Did COBOL have 250 billion lines of code and 1 million programmers, as late as 2009?

In 2009 COBOL turned 50 years old. It got some publicity with claims, which I find rather hard to believe: "Cobol hits 50 and keeps counting" article in the Guardian. According to David ...
vartec's user avatar
  • 26.7k
51 votes
3 answers
143k views

Is it unsafe to swim during a lightning storm?

I was cautioned by mom that I mustn't go swimming when there is lightning; the theory is that it is more likely for lightning to hit you when you are in the water. Is this fear justified?
Graviton's user avatar
  • 3,356
51 votes
3 answers
6k views

Do rich companies pay little/no corporate income taxes in the United States?

It's a fairly common "fact" that if you make enough money, that you can hire lawyers who can hide all of your money, so that you end up paying little to no tax. Is this true?
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
49 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does decriminalizing drug use lead to less drug use?

While listening to the RSA talk Addiction: What to Do When Everything Else has Failed I'm reminded of an article in the Times from 2009 about Portugal's decriminalization of drugs. The Cato paper ...
Kit Sunde's user avatar
  • 18.6k
49 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is there a "red shift" in U.S. elections — a significant shift to republican votes between polls and voting? Does this imply fraud?

This questions on Politics SE introduced me to the concept of the red shift. In short, the claim of a red shift boils down to a statistically significant difference between outcome of final exit polls ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 17.9k
47 votes
4 answers
7k views

Is it possible to reliably examine if a girl is a virgin?

Amnesty International wants the Egyptian military to stop the practice of rounding up all the female protesters to investigate if their hymens are unbroken as a virginity check: An Amnesty ...
Kit Sunde's user avatar
  • 18.6k
45 votes
1 answer
52k views

Do dolphins have homosexual "blowhole" sex?

In his comedy act, Ricky Gervais shows examples of homosexuality in nature, all of them from the book "Biological Exuberance, animal homosexuality and natural diversity" by Bruce Bagemihl. One of the ...
SIMEL's user avatar
  • 33.3k
45 votes
2 answers
22k views

Does honey ever go bad?

I have read that honey never spoils. Is this claim true? If so, what is it about honey that can cause it to remain edible for thousands of years?
jrdioko's user avatar
  • 1,727
45 votes
2 answers
6k views

Is Genetically Modified food safe to consume?

What's the truth surrounding the popular idea that genetically modified food is dangerous to consume? There's entire websites and institutions dedicated to popularizing the alleged dangers of eating ...
Django Reinhardt's user avatar
44 votes
6 answers
6k views

Are different prices in wines justified by taste?

According to the BBC, Wine costing less than £5 a bottle can have the same effect on the palate as those priced up to six times as much, a psychological taste challenge suggests. My skeptic sense ...
Sklivvz's user avatar
  • 78.8k
44 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can microwaved water explode?

Some time ago I read a warning that microwaved water can "explode" under certain circumstances. There was one case as an example where someone heated water in the microwave, took it out and then it "...
Mad Scientist's user avatar
  • 43.7k
43 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is IQ hereditary? If so, to what degree?

The movie Idiocracy suggests that intelligence is hereditary; this idea has also been perpetrated by German author Thilo Sarrazin, who claims that due to the higher fertility of Islamic immigrants and ...
Lagerbaer's user avatar
  • 12.3k
42 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is it dangerous to have several vaccines at the same time?

As a parent, I often hear people say that they think it's bad for their children to have several vaccines in one go. Some parents pay for some vaccines to be given separately, and I wondered if there ...
anansias's user avatar
  • 1,461
41 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is stretching beneficial after exercise?

A quick internet search on stretching reveals that, if physiologists were a bit more belligerent, the question of whether or not to stretch after exercise is something actual wars could be fought over....
Lagerbaer's user avatar
  • 12.3k
40 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is monosodium glutamate (MSG) bad for you?

Anecdotal evidence blames the consumption of MSG for several symptoms such as headache, nausea, weakness, heart palpitations etc. Most migraine literature cites MSG as a potential trigger (example) ...
Flash's user avatar
  • 501
39 votes
3 answers
47k views

Is this map of Israel-occupied territory accurate?

There's an image going around Facebook, showing Israel's occupied territory over the last few decades: I have seen at least two people (both Christian Zionists) criticize this map as "very biased" ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 15.6k
39 votes
3 answers
5k views

Are 1 in 5 college women raped?

In this article, it is claimed that 1 in 5 college women are raped (at least around the 2013-2014 time period). I have heard the claim repeated from other sources (such as the BBC, which was ...
user avatar
37 votes
1 answer
16k views

Does planting during different lunar phases affect growth?

I have recently had some potatoes that were said to benefit from being planted at an advantageous time because of the lunar cycle. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently "it is quite ...
Jeremy French's user avatar
37 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is water fluoridation harmful?

There’s a controversy going around whether the benefits of water fluoridation outweigh the potential harms. What is the evidence for the harm this may cause and what evidence supports the health ...
KMoraz's user avatar
  • 887
36 votes
2 answers
267k views

How many almonds does it take to get cyanide poisoning?

I was at lunch today and the conversation turned to almonds and their cyanide content. One co-worker said almonds contain a lot of cyancide and the number of almonds that can kill you surprisingly low....
Coomie's user avatar
  • 8,511
35 votes
3 answers
8k views

Are any notable biblical characters historical figures?

Are any of the *main** characters who appear in the Bible that are real historical people, their existence supported by multiple sources. In addition do their actions in the Bible support or ...
Richard Stelling's user avatar
35 votes
3 answers
14k views

Do Russians drink as much alcohol as their stereotype suggests?

It's a widely held stereotype that Russians drink a lot of alcohol. Is there any research supporting or refuting this belief? Possible metrics I can think of (though you're welcome to add more) can ...
user5341's user avatar
  • 31.3k
34 votes
2 answers
29k views

Pirates with a prosthetic hook: Lore or Truth?

Was it common practice for pirates to replace a lost hand with a prosthetic hook? Or was this lore perpetrated by fiction and Hollywood? It does seem like a reasonable choice, since a hook is a ...
Oliver_C's user avatar
  • 48k
33 votes
5 answers
6k views

Were the Wright Brothers the first to fly?

I'd say it's a commonly held belief that the Wright brothers were the first to achieve controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than air human flight, as it can be found in most history books. ...
Monkey Tuesday's user avatar
33 votes
1 answer
6k views

Do nice guys finish last?

xkcd #513 Friends  by Randall Munroe You might think this is something men parrot to justify their lack of luck with the ladies, but ask any androphile and we'll tell you there's just something about &...
Patches's user avatar
  • 8,152

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