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39
votes
1answer
7k views

Can people read much faster than 400 words per minute?

While investigating the topic of speed reading for a school project, I came across this Slate article. The general idea (which I encountered in most articles I read which discussed this topic) would ...
17
votes
1answer
821 views

Does having a pet help to cure your depression?

According to the community based website Curetogether spending time with a pet helps people with depression. Is there peer reviewed research that makes the same recommendation?
35
votes
3answers
25k views

Is there a correlation between penis size and race?

I recently saw this video, where among other things they claimed that there is no correlation between penis size and race. Is this true? I don't remember everything about the video. It was animated, ...
31
votes
2answers
3k views

Can anything be 'more hydrating than water'?

Some sports drinks, and even vegetables claim to be 'more hydrating than water'. What does this even mean? How is 'hydration' even measured? If I ate enough cucumbers could I survive without ever ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Are Fair Trade products guaranteed to be 'fairer'?

I was wondering about Fair Trade foods/products (products carrying the international certificate) as I have never seen an actual policy or standards on how much farmers/producers get paid. Is there ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Did we have a “global cooling” 40 years ago?

I was reading Superfreakanomics and the book argues that we had a global cooling period 40 years ago? Is that claim accurate?
20
votes
2answers
45k views

Does taking whey protein make you gain muscle?

See the following claim, for example: What are the reasons I should supplement with whey protein? To build muscle mass To speed recovery time Reduce injuries related to working out ...
28
votes
1answer
10k views

Did any satanic cult ever commit organised ritual murders or sacrifices?

In Manhattan Beach, CA in 1983 members of the McMartin family were accused of a variety of abuse charges against the children in their care. It was reported that the children: "were ...
64
votes
3answers
9k views

Is the depiction of nudity or sex harmful to minors?

In other words, are the censorship & ratings of movies and other forms of art based on something more than nothing? ;) Or, in a broader sense, I am questioning the very widespread belief that kids ...
49
votes
1answer
5k views

Did pirates talk the way they are currently portrayed?

Where did the common pop-culture way of portraying pirates (yarr!) come from? Did pirate captains commonly have birds on their shoulders?
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Is stage hypnotism a trick? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are participants in stage hypnosis paid stooges? I ask this after watching a recent Derren Brown (UK stage magician and hypnotist) TV program in which he sets out to ...
8
votes
1answer
9k views

Is Prince Harry the son of James Hewitt?

Similarity between the Prince and James Hewitt have always been questioned and strengthened after Princess Diana's affair with James was confirmed. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1167157/...
38
votes
4answers
6k views

Do Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian kids? [closed]

My Arabian friend showed me a video of a child getting shot. He also gave me some links after a quick search: The Independent: I watched an Israeli soldier shoot dead my two little girls Just Read ...
20
votes
2answers
10k views

Is the Kinect IR laser safe?

The Microsoft Kinect uses an IR source (laser or just diode?) to project a pattern in order to get 3D data on what it's looking at. As low-power IR is invisible and intangible, many people have ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

Has the birth certificate recently uploaded to whitehouse.gov been digitally altered?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf This is the one. I tried asking in my normal channels (hacker news, IRC) but am getting bombarded with ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Is the hydrogen peroxide therapy harmful?

I'm receiving advertising (from my friends) about hydrogen peroxide therapy (oxygenated water, I think). They affirm that this treatment is a low-cost therapy based on a natural oxygenating ...
5
votes
1answer
343 views

Is physiotherapy effective in reducing repetitive strain injury (RSI) complaints?

I believe (by anecdotal experience) people are regularly advised to visit a physiotherapist when they experience repetitive strain injury (RSI) complaints. But have physiotherapeutic exercises ...
36
votes
2answers
6k views

Is alcohol for consumption tested for carbon-14 radioactivity to be considered legal?

I just viewed this interesting video about radioactive ethanol from plants as opposed to non-radioactive ethanol from crude oil. In it, the professor says he's heard it's illegal in the USA to sell ...
42
votes
2answers
4k views

Is ball lightning real?

Over the ages there have been many accounts of ball lightning. Some accounts from Wikipedia are as follows: One of the earliest descriptions was reported during The Great Thunderstorm at a ...
24
votes
1answer
1k views

Are artificial hormones in beef something to worry about?

I've been trying to research whether artificial hormones fed to beef cattle are harmful to the consumer, and just can't seem to find any source that I can rely on. There are a lot of people out there ...
25
votes
1answer
12k views

Jump from building: die from shock induced heart failure before hitting the ground?

In my childhood days there was this proposition/myth that claimed there is a big chance that you'd die from a shock induced heart failure (hart attack/cardiac arrest) before hitting the ground, when ...
15
votes
1answer
467 views

Are commercial language proficiency tests reliable indicators of language skills?

In my university, you must take TOEFL in order to graduate. It is not cheap. My English composition teacher told me that the test doesn't represent real English skills. But I got even more shocked ...
38
votes
1answer
4k views

Is spontaneous human combustion possible?

An article from Ireland dated January, 2011 shows that spontaneous human combustion (SHC) remains a hot topic among paranormalists. Spontaneous human combustion has been defined as: Spontaneous ...
18
votes
1answer
8k views

Does staring at a flame slow brain activity?

I was looking for an answer to this question on the tubes and I was amazed to discover an impressive set of completely crap answers to this question. Photo by kayaker1204. Creative Common License. ...
24
votes
1answer
4k views

Does “stripping the skin's oils” with soap or shampoo cause the skin to produce more oil than normal?

A dubious Wikipedia article makes this claim, which I've seen numerous times before, in various forms: Using shampoo every day removes sebum, the oil produced by the scalp. This causes the ...
41
votes
1answer
8k views

Can I get high using binaural beats?

Some sites claim that you can get high using binaural beats: All I-Doser doses are tested by a panel of users who consider themselves experienced in binaural beat modification. A dose is not passed ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

Did the Swiss not produce anything of importance aside from cuckoo clock?

Today's claim to be skeptical about comes to us from a fairly infamous speech in a movie "The Third Man ": in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

Do dogs know when their owner is coming home through some form of telepathic link?

My friend cited a study by Rupert Sheldrake which ran an experiment over several years that video taped dogs, showing that dogs knew when their owner was coming home due to some psychic link. He ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Does bilberry improve eyesight?

There is a rumor that eating bilberries improves eyesight or, at least, helps to maintain it. Is it true?
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Do trees shed their leaves in autumn?

Growing up, we were regularly taught in geography about the different seasons and how most trees would shed their leaves in autumn, while evergreen trees do not shed their leaves. However, I live in ...
30
votes
2answers
90k views

Does baking soda remove odors?

I have always been told that an open box of baking soda will "absorb" odors and make a fridge smell less. I have even seen people with three boxes in one fridge. My question is whether there is any ...
21
votes
1answer
4k views

Which is more effective at removing germs, washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizers?

I know this question is similar to the one posted about hand washing with either cold or warm water, but I hope it can stand on its own. If not, I'll delete. Hand Sanitizers Alcohol and water are ...
37
votes
2answers
7k views

Do emotionally-driven tears release toxins from the body?

Sometime ago I'd heard someone trained in child psychology claim that crying for emotional reasons (as opposed to getting something in your eye for example) released toxins from the brain and/or body. ...
34
votes
4answers
6k views

Is warm water more effective than cold water for washing one's hands?

When washing my hands, I was always told to use warm soapy water. However, is there any chemical or biological reason why warm soapy water is more effective to cold soapy water when trying to ...
18
votes
1answer
6k views

Does a fish pedicure do any good?

I've always wondered if a fish pedicure (where people let fish nibble on their feet to remove dead skin) actually has any real discernible benefits for the amount of time that people put their feet in ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Do secret societies that wish to bring about a new world order still exist?

Do secret societies that wish to bring about a new world order still exist? Who are they, what evidence points to their existence today, and what are their overall goals? Also, who are the foremost ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

Does garlic repel mosquitoes?

I have heard claims that garlic repels mosquitoes. Specifically, this site claims that Eating a diet heavy in onions and garlic can make you unattractive to mosquitoes. Is there any evidence ...
10
votes
1answer
34k views

Do solar eclipses cause harm to pregnant women?

There are so many articles in the internet that say going out during a solar eclipse causes harm to pregnant women. Is this claim true? Why did this myth come in the first place? This is from a BBC ...
22
votes
2answers
6k views

Is the IKEA catalogue being distributed in more prints than the Bible?

According to IKEA The 2010 edition [of the catalogue] is the world’s third most printed publication (next to the Bible and Harry Potter) But Martin Roth wrote an article in 2002 where he was ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Has Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier found experimental evidence for homeopathy?

Every month I peruse magazines like Fate and Atlantis Rising, and over the last few month there's been a lot of self-congratulatory chatter about the fact that Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier has ...
10
votes
1answer
500 views

Is there evidence that using handwriting increases empathy?

Quite often I hear claims that all else being equal a handwritten letter triggers more empathy in the reader compared to a printed letter so it's sometimes beneficial to use handwriting. See for ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Are diet sodas as healthy as drinking water?

Looking at the side of any diet soda, you can see 0 calories, 0 fat, 0 sugar, and tons more zeros. Does this mean that diet sodas are actually somewhat HEALTHY? Or at least not at all bad for you?
22
votes
1answer
6k views

Was impersonating an Egyptian once a capital offense in England?

This site claims that: Serious crimes, such as murder, rape, or impersonating an Egyptian were given the death sentence in England. Is that true?
7
votes
1answer
605 views

Evidence for Bond Vigilantes?

In the last two years, economists and financial pundits have been arguing whether Bond Vigilantes (see also this question) exist, and if they do, if their actions are significant enough to pose a ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

Are there no atheists in foxholes?

As Merlin Mann once said, There are no atheists in foxholes and firmware updates. Okay, scratch the firmware part, but you see the core sentiment expressed quite commonly. I've never fully ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Do bar-codes contain “The Number of the Beast”?

I've encountered lots of people and some other sources that claim that every bar-code contains the number 666 and is therefore "The Number of the Beast"? The first thing a scanner looks for when ...
35
votes
1answer
22k views

Reading while lying down is more strenuous (unhealthy) for eyes

My friend heard that reading while lying down is more strenuous (unhealthy) for eyes. I like reading in bed (books, tablet). Is there some study that confirms this hypothesis? I use two positions (...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Do we need “hot” breakfast food?

In Russia, a commonly accepted "brosience" fact was that people (or at least children) should eat hot types of food for breakfast (e.g. that oatmeal or fried eggs are better than a sandwich or cereal)....
13
votes
1answer
42k views

Chickens that lay eggs twice a day

I have heard that chickens can actually lay multiple eggs in a single day. Is this possible? I know that leghorn hens usually lay eggs every 25 hours or so (for an annual total of about 280-320), ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Is some level of radiation “good for you”?

"With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably ...

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