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19
votes
1answer
3k views

Do airplanes release biological or chemical agents, forming trails?

Since the topic of the week is conspiracy theories, here's one that I've had re-iterated at me a few times. Supposedly these white stripes after airplanes is created by airplanes releasing biological ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Has global mean temperature at sea level increased since 1900?

It is generally accepted that the Earth's global mean (average) temperature has varied throughout history. Given the difficulties of accurately measuring and calculating temperatures across the ...
18
votes
2answers
5k views

Is poisoning possible from preservative on orange zest?

I've heard that you can get poisoning from cakes that contain orange zest from the preservative sprayed on the outer surface of oranges before transportation from tropical countries to our shops. Is ...
62
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
47
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
42
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
42
votes
3answers
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) ...
41
votes
3answers
6k views

Are electronic cigarettes a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes pose as a replacement of cigarettes. It is claimed that they help in quitting smoking. They do come in flavors, and in various levels of nicotine. But, are they less harmful? Do ...
39
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
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)
30
votes
2answers
21k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
14k views

Do dairy products cause phlegm to build or thicken?

It is a common advice, perpetuated by many parents, and even some doctors, that if you have a cold, you should avoid dairy products, because they cause phlegm to build up or thicken. See e.g. Foods ...
30
votes
4answers
2k views

Do magnets have verifiable effects on humans?

Do magnets have statistically significant effects on humans? Some example claims are in the Wikipedia article on Magnet therapy. Which says: Practitioners claim that subjecting certain parts of ...
28
votes
1answer
90k views

Do ion bracelets work?

I recently came across a new kind of sports enhancement bracelet. Apparently it emits positive ions that are good for you. The bracelet is also a watch. There are credible scientific studies on ...
25
votes
3answers
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 ...
25
votes
2answers
3k views

Is a coin toss fair?

I've just seen a referee use a coin toss to decide who will start a match which got me thinking, coins aren't perfectly symmetric. Our euro coins have the value on one side, a country specific image ...
24
votes
1answer
14k views

Was there a giant red-haired race in North America?

The other day, I saw a show on the History channel about "giant skeletons" being found in North America. It also said that, for some reason, these findings have been hidden from people, maybe due to ...
24
votes
2answers
12k views

Has 99% of the western continental Europe banned water fluoridation?

I keep seeing this claim about the unpopularity of water fluoridation parroted. Despite dental pressure, 99% of western continental Europe has rejected, banned, or stopped fluoridation due to ...
22
votes
1answer
6k views

Is rape a crime about violence and power, or a crime of passion?

Adam Carolla, from the popular radio show Loveline, and in the Guiness Records for the most downloaded podcast of all time made the following claim (1 min mark): rape is not a sexual crime, you ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Are 95% of Ashley Madison dating site's accounts male?

The hackers who procured and recently published Ashley Madison's internal databases, the so-called "Impact Team," have claimed that the accounts in the databases were predominantly, in fact "90-95%" ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Do you feel pain in a life-threatening situation?

Let's say you are in a war-situation, and both you and your opponent are out of bullets. When I was in the army, I learned that the most efficient way to kill your opponent would be to kick him in the ...
18
votes
2answers
5k views

Does wifi stunt cress growth?

A couple of weeks ago there were reports of an experiment by schoolchildren that appears to demonstrate that wifi router radiation adversely affects cress. There's been time now for the leading ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Do investment managers pick stock portfolios better, on average, than monkeys throwing darts?

Many individuals believe they can make significant quantities of money by stock trading. Much of the financial services industry wants the public to believe that it can take our savings and, by the ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Are anti-smoking advertisements in actuality promoting smoking through use of reverse psychology?

Years ago, I had a friend who was both a heavy smoker and a noted contrarian. One day as we were driving past a large anti-tobacco billboard he told me he thought that telling smokers not smoke was ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Is this “whites killed by whites” diagram wrong?

I found the following diagram on twitter: (Sorry for not giving the source: I don't know how to link there.) The diagram gives the impression that if you're a white person (in USA), then you're ...
13
votes
1answer
965 views

Are the IPCC climate change models overestimating sensitivity to carbon dioxide?

A recent report in The Register suggests that we might be currently overestimating the degree to which the world will warm with increasing carbon dioxide. Climate sensitivity is, crudely, the slope ...
8
votes
1answer
974 views

Do aluminum-based antiperspirants cause cancer?

Some people claim that the aluminium in antiperspirants can cause cancer. For example, Mercola.com: Putting on antiperspirant is a routine part of most people's day, and you may not think much ...
35
votes
3answers
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 ...
32
votes
2answers
7k views

Do THC or other cannabis compounds cure/slow cancer?

I see this popping up on my Facebook feed quite a lot (to be fair, it's usually the same 3 people): Claims that evidence has shown that marijuana/cannabis/THC/other cannabinoids can have a positive ...
26
votes
4answers
46k views

Does homeopathic zinc (Zicam) help with the common cold?

I'm sick, and my friend had me buy store brand Zicam to help with it. Looking at the bottle after taking it, I thought the ingredients were written strangely. "Zincum Aceticum 2x", it says, when I ...
25
votes
2answers
4k views

Is the human menstrual cycle related to the lunar cycle?

I've heard that the female menstrual cycle follows a pattern of the lunar cycle, mostly as an evolutionary adaptation so that menstruation (and hence detectability by predators because of the smell of ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Are African Americans victims of a disproportionate number of police killings?

Many people are currently arguing that African Americans are being killed by police disproportionately to their percentage of the US population. An example of the claim is given at Mapping Police ...
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 ...
18
votes
1answer
7k views

Does sleeping with our heads pointing towards north pose any health risks?

Does sleeping orientation (pointing one's head in a specific direction) has anything to do with any health problems(even minor ones)? If Earth's magnetic field has any detrimental effects on our ...
15
votes
2answers
926 views

Does regular handwashing with antibacterial soap prevent disease?

I recently heard from a preschool teacher that they now have kids wash their hands many times throughout the day. When they enter the classroom, before they eat, after they eat, after playing on the ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Are people getting smarter or stupider in North America?

I've heard that people are complaining everyone are getting dumber because of popular culture and the Internet. I read an article in cracked that said people are actually getting smarter because of ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Were chemical weapons used in the civil war in Syria by the Assad regime before 2014?

From Erdogan: Assad using chemical weapons in Syria at The Jerusalem Post: Turkish Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that the regime of Syrian President Basher Assad has used ...
10
votes
1answer
648 views

Is there any scientific explanation for this trumpet noise from the atmosphere?

According to this Daily Mail article, there have been recordings of trumpet like noises from the atmosphere. However, nobody knows the cause of it. However, as it is from the Daily Mail, I am taking ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Does an Erikson handshake induction induce a cataleptic trance?

One element of misdirection used by magician Derren Brown is to apparently place subjects into a catatonic state with the use of flashing lights or physical manipulation of the hands or arms. For ...
58
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
35
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
30
votes
1answer
14k views

Is running the engine for five minutes before driving beneficial for the car?

There is a belief among a lot of people that you should start your car and leave it on for 5 minutes before moving it in the morning. Is this practice good for the car in any significant way, or it is ...
30
votes
1answer
4k views

Did Trump's inauguration draw the largest ever audience to a US inauguration?

Referring to Donald Trump's inauguration, the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, claimed This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the Obama administration halt processing of Iraqi refugees back in 2011?

From "Muslim ban" hypocrisy: Left quiet when Obama also halted visas by Andrew Bolt: But why was the Left silent when the Obama administration refused to issue visas to Iraqis for six months? ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

6-meals-a-day strategy

It is commonly suggested, in the body building world, that the following eating strategy rises metabolism and inhibits the production of fat tissue: Eat a substantial meal every 2 to 3 hours (six ...
20
votes
1answer
18k views

Does eating greasy foods 'help soak up alcohol'?

I've heard that eating greasy foods while drinking or while hungover is good because it helps 'soak up the alcohol'. This is common advice it seems while drinking. Is there any truth to it?
18
votes
2answers
10k views

Did Hitler support zionism?

According to Ken Livingstone (UK Labour politician, former Mayor of London), Hitler supported Zionism: Evening Standard: Mr Livingstone told BBC Radio London he had never heard anyone in the party ...
15
votes
1answer
6k views

Does a dog's brain secrete the same substances when it sees its owner as humans do when in love?

The following statement is doing to the rounds across the social web: When a dog sees its owner, its brain secretes the same substances as ours when we are in love It is usually accompanied by an ...
14
votes
1answer
8k views

Can defibrillation revive a flatlined patient?

Wikipedia notes that the technical term for flatline is asystole and adds this comment: Despite defibrillation commonly appearing on medical dramas as a remedy for asystole, it is usually not done ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Are the vast majority of medical procedures routinely used by physicians ineffective and unproven?

An organization called Freedom Health Canada makes an extraordinary claim on their website, which can be found here. “Scientifically controlled clinical trials have shown that only 10 -20 % of all ...

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