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21
votes
2answers
24k views

Does plucking/epilation impact hair growth?

I've recently encountered the idea that plucking an area of hair (say, with tweezers) causes the hair to grow back thicker/denser/stiffer etc. yet I remain skeptical. This concept is rampant with ...
22
votes
1answer
12k views

Can any EMF detector detect ghosts?

It has been my understanding that EMF detectors are used for a wide variety of applications. For example, EMF detectors can be used to measure electrical leaks in microwave ovens as well as ...
52
votes
3answers
18k views

Can people feel somebody is watching them?

I think most of us is familiar with this feeling. You can tell someone (who stands behind your back) is staring at you without any physical evidence. Is it possible or is it just a matter of ...
34
votes
1answer
4k views

Are atheists strongly underrepresented in US prison communities?

This popularly referenced survey gives statistics about the number of atheists in US prisons. It suggests just 0.21% of the prison population is atheist. There are more scientologists! This is ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Earth Crust Displacement real?

I've seen the topic of Earth Crust Displacement (a.k.a. Pole Shift Hypothesis) brought up various times in science-fiction stories and at least one movie (2012). The idea is that somehow the crust of ...
49
votes
2answers
9k views

Is there a high chance of being raped in US prisons?

If there is anything one takes away about US prisons from television and movies, it is that there is a really high chance of you getting raped in the shower or in some other dark place. Now, I don't ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Is depression a disease?

I got this question after reading this: http://worldradio.ch/wrs/news/wrsnews/basel-study-shows-positive-side-of-depression.shtml?24427 When a person is depressed, is it because the brain is ...
10
votes
2answers
15k views

Does rubbing a dock leaf on a sting from a stinging nettle help to reduce pain?

I was always told this as a kid, and have been told it again recently. I'm skeptical, do they actually have any medicinal properties?
108
votes
3answers
33k 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

Was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle responsible for the Piltdown Man hoax?

Was the genius behind Sherlock Holmes also behind one of the most infamous forgeries in history? source:roystoncartoons.com In what could be described in retrospect as basically a shallow grave near ...
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Is replacing paper towels with electric hand dryer blowers beneficial to the environment?

I'm sure paper towels don't harm the forests, because they are made from reforestation crops. So using them only harm trees that were already destined to being cut. I found this article that tries ...
46
votes
1answer
70k views

Does oxygen get you high enough to keep you calm during a plane crash?

Does oxygen get you high? If so, is the effect strong enough to keep the average person placid during a plane crash? From the movie Fight Club: Tyler Durden: [pointing at an emergency ...
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Is banning plastic bags beneficial to the environment?

There's always this big talk about plastic bags, but how much can you compare banning them to other measures? Bottomline: Is it worth the whole media coverage about this issue, or is it just a ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Does long-term use of MDMA (“Ecstasy”) cause cognitive impairment?

The MDMA page of Wikipedia currently states: A meta-analytic review of the published literature on memory show that ecstasy users may suffer short-term and long-term verbal memory impairment—with ...
35
votes
1answer
10k views

Does consuming different types of alcohol make you more sick than others?

A common saying about drinking is this: Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Sometimes this is followed by: Liquor before beer, you're in the clear. Is there any merit to this? Assuming ...
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Do dogs commit suicide at Overtoun Bridge?

Over the last 50 years, many dogs have jumped to death from Overtoun Bridge in Scotland for no apparent reason. There are many popular explanations for this weird phenomenon. According to one of them, ...
7
votes
1answer
612 views

Not recycling vs air travel - which is worse?

Sorry for a catchy title. I am basically interested in some way of comparing the (non-CO2) pollution from plastics and other toxic materials that are being thrown on a landfill to that of air travel. ...
21
votes
1answer
15k views

Does drinking alcohol through a straw make you drunk quicker?

It is said that drinking alcohol through a straw gets you drunk faster. For example, The Drunk Pirate I have absolutely no scientific explanation for why drinking alcohol through a straw gets you ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the container that soda is in affect the flavour?

When I was a kid, a friend and I had a list of favourite containers for soda (specifically Coca Cola). We said that it tasted the best when coming out of a glass bottle and the worst from a plastic ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

Does Pakistan harbor terrorists?

In wake of the recent killing of OBL, Pakistan has been accused of supporting and harboring terrorists. Neighboring old-time foe India has long accused Pakistan of using terrorism as an instrument of ...
8
votes
1answer
429 views

Do peer-reviewed journals enhance the quality of scientific research?

It's a quite popular claim among scientific communities that real science is that which is published in peer-reviewed journals. However, good science is about theories that can be tested, evidence ...
32
votes
1answer
8k views

How does deja vu work?

If you've ever had that fleeting, mysterious sense that something new -- a city or person you’re seeing for the first time -- is somehow familiar, that you’ve been there or known them before,...
122
votes
3answers
18k views

Do elevator manufacturers purposefully provide a door close button that doesn't work?

I've read the above factoid many times, but sources are conflicting as to whether or not its true; that is, some say there's a set timer on door openings and closings that can't be budged by pressing ...
35
votes
1answer
4k views

Does the Dvorak keyboard increase typing speed?

I've read somewhere, I can't seem to find it now, that in an experiment involving people learning to type, that the Dvorak keyboard didn't have a tangible typing speed benefit in comparison to the ...
23
votes
1answer
6k views

Do hotels omit the 13th floor?

(Image source) Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. But do (western) hotels cater to this phobia by skipping/omitting the 13th floor? This USA Today article (2007) quotes J.W. Marriott Jr., ...
32
votes
2answers
2k views

Was Osama Bin Laden responsible for 9-11?

I know he admitted it or something in one of his earlier videos, but aside from that, do we have any actual solid evidence he ordered the September 11 attacks? Like if he hadn't of admitted it, and ...
9
votes
1answer
455 views

Does lean mass aid burning calories?

I recently watched a science video in which the presenter argues that having more lean mass aids burning more calories. The below is the summary of what she said: Having more lean mass means more ...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Mother's Day an invention of florists?

I've just heard someone claim that Mother's Day was an invention of florists, with the aim of selling more flowers on that day. Is there any evidence that the flower-selling industry is responsible ...
6
votes
1answer
900 views

Was Osama Bin Laden Dead Since 2002?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpBPVkpmoeg&feature=related The above video claims that Osama was killed a while back, and that all the tapes released since then are fakes by the US Govt. Is there ...
3
votes
1answer
896 views

Can an ovulation calculator increase your likelihood of getting pregnant?

An ovulation calculator is something that apears on most pregnancy and baby sites on the internet. Searching for the term "ovulation calculator" on Google produces over 2 million results. This "tool"...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

Did car and oil companies actively try to suppress electric cars' development?

According to some (e.g. the documentary film Who Killed the Electric Car?), car and oil companies have actively tried to suppress electric cars' development. Electric cars seem to have technological ...
14
votes
1answer
664 views

Are there health benefits from traditional massage therapy?

I used to get a massage in China once in a while, but when I went for one here in the USA the place was full of homeopathy, mineral spays and other junk. It is almost enough to put me off the whole ...
24
votes
1answer
967 views

Is pain lessened by swearing?

Earlier today, during one of my many home improvement projects ("experiments" may be a more appropriate term) I struck my thumb with a hammer. Without thinking, I released a reflexive string of ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Does brain mass have any correlation to intelligence?

According to many (I cannot find a source at the moment), Albert Einstein's brain weighed less than average. It is a common belief that there is no correlation between brain mass and intelligence. Is ...
9
votes
4answers
842 views

Do toilets that require squatting reduce birth complications in women?

When I was travelling in France, I encountered toilets without toilet seats. Essentially they require the user to squat. I was told that as a result, French women had fewer birth complications. Is it ...
12
votes
1answer
22k views

Does drinking milk and orange juice together cause digestion problems?

I was once having a milky coffee at a cafe and I ordered an orange juice. The waiter told me that I should wait until I've finished my coffee, because drinking milk and orange juice together causes ...
18
votes
1answer
17k views

Did there use to be a law that made attempted suicide a capital offence punishable by hanging in Britain?

This one seem to be all over trivia lists, but I'm having trouble finding a reference to anything credible. The claim goes something like this: According to a British law passed in 1845, [attempted]...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Do new loudspeakers require a “break-in” period?

Foreword I've lifted this from audio.stackexchange.com where it hasn't seen a lot of discussion. It's a question that interests me though so I thought I'd post it here, verbatim, and see what comes ...
14
votes
5answers
7k views

Does the theory of evolution contradict the second law of thermodynamics?

I was reading about the Law of Thermodynamics, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics really interested me because the Law apparently stated that in any isolated system, the entropy of that system will ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Subway magnetic fields and laptop hard drives

I just heard a story of a guy who took the subway to transport his company's off-site data back-ups for storage. When the time came for restore after a disaster, the data was corrupt and erased. ...
28
votes
1answer
3k views

Is smoking hookah safer than smoking cigarettes?

A couple of years ago, at a party, I was invited to partake in some hookah smoking by some friends. Going by memory, I remember the hookah being a ornate metal contraption that somehow "filtered" the ...
7
votes
1answer
565 views

Is there any reason behind oxygen-free cables?

...other than to make you spend more money, of course. Do oxygen free (99.999% or sometimes even more) cables have any plausible effect on an audio system? What about video systems, and even digital ...
8
votes
1answer
392 views

Are all HIV tests based on antibody analysis?

I heard the claim that all HIV tests are exclusively based on identification via antibodies. Supposedly, no HIV test that's used on patients works via sequencing the RNA of the virus. Do any AIDS ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

Do Zerona laser treatments have any effect on fat reduction?

Zerona is a laser based non-invasive procedure that claims to reduce fat in targeted areas. They also appear to be FDA approved. However, I have seen claims that the FDA approval is not based on any ...
16
votes
1answer
5k views

Are people more likely to give honest responses to surveys when anonymous?

We obtain a great deal of data about trends in sensitive and personal topics through anonymous surveys. For example, in a science writing class I'm taking, the professor showed us results from an ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

New Coke was a conspiracy to boost sales of Classic Coke

It is claimed that New Coke was a conspiracy to boost sales of Classic Coke. The company intentionally changed the formula, hoping consumers would be upset with the company, and demand the ...
87
votes
1answer
18k views

Is masturbation bad for one's health?

This question has probably been asked by almost everyone at some point in their lives. But the answers we receive vary from "it is very good" to "it is very bad". I can understand that becoming ...
29
votes
3answers
4k views

Do either men or women have higher pain tolerance than the other?

Traditional folklore suggests women have a higher pain tolerance than men. I have seen a few sites suggesting otherwise. Naturally, plenty of anecdotal accounts of wussy men or women get tossed around ...
38
votes
1answer
18k views

Is watching television in the dark harmful to your eyes?

This is obviously related to a few answered questions already here, namely: Does watching television damage the eyes? Is it harmful to your eyes to read in dim light? But the following question is ...

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