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19
votes
1answer
1k views

Is quicksand deadly?

A classic movie threat: quicksand that will ensnare you and kill you by drowning. [Still from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull] It's in countless movies and TV, but does quicksand ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Does Baywatch-style CPR work?

It's a common movie scene. Someone falls in a large body of water and drowns, losing consciousness. Our hero rescues the victim, gives 10 seconds of CPR, emits various imprecations to the tone of "...
8
votes
2answers
700 views

Have Vegemite, Marmite and other yeast extracts been banned in Denmark?

Have Vegemite, Marmite and other yeast extracts been banned in Denmark? Background: I've heard this being claimed in the news, but there was a false report of it being banned in the United States ...
29
votes
3answers
7k views

Is empowerment of women a cure for poverty?

It is stated that giving women equality and control over their reproduction reduces the poverty in any community. Christopher Hitchens: "We already know the cure to poverty...it's quite simply, ...
16
votes
2answers
6k views

Did Evan Longoria save a reporter with bare-hand catch?

Here's what I'm talking about. There are a lot of opinions whether it's fake or not, I really don't know! What are the chances that one (even a professional player, let alone common mortals) can ...
18
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
14k views

Can humans have extra vertebrae without noticing them?

In an answer to How important is it that a person be able to touch their toes?, someone said that they found out they had an extra vertebra from their chiropractor. I'm skeptical about their specific ...
28
votes
1answer
20k views

Can kangaroos walk backwards?

Source From Exploring Nature: They cannot jump backward because of their thick, muscular tail. Their long feet and heavy tail also make walking impossible, forward or backward. The ...
17
votes
1answer
33k views

Can one use microfiber cloths and products to “clean without chemicals”?

There's a company called Norwex, started in Norway and now in other countries including Canada and the US, which claim its products "Clean without Chemicals": Our line of cleaning products will ...
16
votes
1answer
927 views

Does addressing the issues focused on by the Broken Windows theory have a measurable impact on crime?

These are excerpts from what could be considered the source for the Broken Windows theory (emphasis added): [A]t the community level, disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked, in a kind ...
8
votes
2answers
437 views

Is the placebo effect effective?

I've seen many studies comparing proposed cures to placebo, but what about any studies actually investigating the effectiveness of placebo effect itself? So, has there been any study as to the ...
45
votes
3answers
4k views

Does legalizing prostitution lead to an increase in human trafficking?

This is a common argument against the legalization of prostitution, and I'm curious if there's any truth to the claim that human trafficking actually increase when prostitution is made legal.
13
votes
2answers
11k views

Can you get drunk with Vodka vapour using a humidifier?

Can one get drunk with Vodka vapour using a humidifier? As it was shown in a Simpsons episode.
23
votes
1answer
2k views

Did an ostrich pull off its own head?

In The Runaway Brain by Christopher Wills, the author illustrates the fact that ostriches aren't too bright by saying that an ostrich has been recorded as getting tangled in the fork of a tree, ...
46
votes
4answers
69k views

Can anything remove fingerprints from your fingers?

Here's where it gets interesting; I don't mean erase them from an object, I mean from your fingers directly. Some people claim there is a way to do it, some people claim it's impossible. I have a ...
9
votes
1answer
11k views

Is eating oranges during a bout of flu bad for you?

I know that oranges contain vitamin C and eating them can prevent colds and flus. However, recently, I caught a bit of flu, and during this period of illness, I once wanted to eat oranges. But I was ...
35
votes
3answers
3k views

Is secondhand smoke dangerous?

There seems to be little doubt in public opinion that second hand smoke is dangerous, and I can see why. But many smokers have claimed to me that it is not dangerous at all and it is all media hype. ...
24
votes
2answers
15k views

Are passengers inside cars protected from lightning because of the tires?

It's a common statement that passengers of a car are protected from lightening while inside because the car has rubber tires (which are insulators). An alternative theory often put forward is that ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Can a hypnosis audiobook induce epileptic seizures?

I noticed a warning on a hypnosis/self-help audiobook that read as follows: Warning: This audiobook contains powerful techniques. Do not listen if you suffer from epilepsy. My inclination is ...
15
votes
2answers
898 views

In movies, the hero is often nursed to health by sponging his face with a wet rag. How true is this to actual history?

We've all seen this type of scene before in period dramas; think Gladiator or The Last Samurai. We have a valiant hero, killing many men on the field of battle. After dispatching hundreds, in ...
9
votes
1answer
575 views

Is it always harmful to tell a depressed person something that equates to “toughen up” or “make more effort”?

AFAIK this is quite established in both US and Japan (and I guess in other countries, too), and I myself have faithfully followed this advice whenever I had interaction with a depressed person. I ...
19
votes
1answer
78k views

Does laying LCD screens flat harm them?

Some colleagues told me recently that you should not lay LCD screens (e.g. TVs and computer monitors) flat. They should never be put face down horizontally, but kept vertical, or they may go bad. If ...
11
votes
1answer
440 views

Has there ever been a thorough search of Loch Ness (for the Loch Ness Monster)

The burden of proof is on the people who believe they have sighted the Loch Ness Monster to prove it exists with verifiable evidence, however it would be possible to remove all doubt by thoroughly ...
6
votes
1answer
21k views

What is the average number of legs per human?

Someone told me that the average number of legs in the human population is less than 2, because there are more amputees than those with multiple limbs. I found it odd at the time (a statistics teacher ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Is a barcode misread less frequent than cashier giving out the wrong change?

Both issues are hard to measure statistically because very few will pay attention to it, and if it ever happens, the persons involved will quickly correct it and try to hide it from others. However, ...
41
votes
1answer
40k views

Can a blow to the base of the neck cause unconsciousness? (i.e., “Karate…CHOP!”)

Relating to Are one-hit knockouts possible? : It was a common trope in the 60s for heroes to knock out evildoers with a open-handed chop to the base of the neck (preferably accompanied with a high-...
10
votes
2answers
579 views

Are plane cabins particularly unhealthy environments?

Obviously, the risk of airborne transmission of disease increases based on proximity, but are airplane cabins particularly more unhealthy than, say, train cabins? Is there something (e.g., air ...
24
votes
1answer
2k views

Can we determine the percentage of statistics made up out of thin air?

Comedian Stephen Wright once joked that 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. Recently, Arizona Senator and notably stubborn Jon Kyl provided us with the most famous example of just such ...
69
votes
3answers
20k 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 ...
10
votes
0answers
4k views

Will putting peanut butter or butter on a cat's paws help them to not get lost?

It is a common wives' tale that putting peanut butter (or sometimes just butter) on a cat's paws will help a cat not get lost in a new environment. Advocates of this give many varying reasons why it'...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

Do elephants like to get drunk?

While answering the question about elephants and mice, I was reminded of a clip I saw on The Big Bang Theory. The common lore is that they eat the fermenting fruit of the Marula Tree. But that makes ...
27
votes
1answer
4k views

Is it possible to obtain current indirectly from power lines?

Can one obtain a sufficient amount of energy for a household's needs by indirect means (induction or otherwise) from nearby high-voltage power lines? Are there any documented cases of such attempts (...
38
votes
3answers
15k views

Is Kiva a scam?

Or, at least, has a questionable business model? Kiva is a website/organization that allows private persons to give micro-loans out to (very) small businesses in developing countries. Their idea ...
32
votes
1answer
5k views

Are (wild) elephants afraid of mice?

Source I have heard from people working in zoos that the myth of elephants being afraid of mice is not true. Here is a short video of a zoo elephant clearly not caring about a mouse. I don't find it ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Are Nielsen TV ratings accurate?

I remember I read somewhere that the US Nielsen rating was calculated by something like 25,000 households. That sounds extremely small compared to the number of people that actually have TVs. What's ...
119
votes
13answers
19k views

Has one vote ever made a difference?

My friend told me that he doesn't bother voting any more in elections, because "it's not like one vote ever made a difference." I will vote when I can and I think it is important, and although I share ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Is sleep training a form of neglect or harmful?

Some people claim that "crying it out" is harmful. For example, the article on PhD Parenting states that crying it out is harmful to a child. I've heard others suggest that it's neglectful. I expect ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Are shopping centres busier when it rains?

My old house mate told me this. And when I went to the shopping mall recently, I realized it was raining and it did seem unusually busy. I would've thought it'd be the opposite. If it's raining, I'd ...
11
votes
1answer
910 views

Does using ethanol fuel save money, and is it better for the environment?

In the last couple of years, petrol companies have started offering petrol with 10% ethanol in them, presumably at a cheaper price than normal unleaded. However, I've noticed (although this is just ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Do Open-Plan Offices have productivity advantages?

There are quite a few studies debunking the effectiveness of Open-Plan Offices (sometimes named Open Space), such as this study by the Queensland University of Technology. However, I wonder whether it ...
-6
votes
2answers
6k views

Have any transitional fossils (missing links) been found?

When animals evolve, they go into transitional states, when they were still in the process of evolving and haven't reached its complete change. There are bound to be organisms in the transitional ...
32
votes
1answer
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 &...
29
votes
2answers
13k views

Can ants lift 50 times their weight?

I've encountered this one many times over the years, mostly in those "useless facts" books and sites such as the one here. In fact, it's been one of those bits of trivia I seem to have ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Does 'Rubber Necking' happen after an accident?

When two cars get into an accident the cars around them need to slow down to avoid hitting the cars involved in the collision. This causes a backup in traffic. People have often told me that traffic ...
53
votes
3answers
10k views

Does the color temperature of a computer screen affect sleep patterns?

There's a little tool called f.lux that claims: During the day, computer screens look good — they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at the ...
11
votes
1answer
9k views

Do all modern laptops have traceable GPS? [closed]

I have heard that by law (assuming US law) all modern laptops must have built in GPS. Presumably than, your laptop could be tracked down if it were stolen. This seems unrealistic, however, I've read ...
21
votes
2answers
15k views

Are one-hit knockouts possible?

After stumbling upon a video of a guy getting knocked down in one hit, I did some quick research and couldn't conclude if this is a myth or not. The video in itself is very a compelling evidence for ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

Has anyone ever hacked into a traffic control system to change the stoplights?

This is a relatively common trope with regards to the powers of hackers in film: Someone hacks into the "Traffic Control Center" and gains instant access to all stoplights in an area. This includes ...
14
votes
2answers
9k views

Could climate affect Aisha's age of sexual maturity?

Critics of Islam state that Muhammad had sex with Aisha bint Abu Bakr when she was nine years old, and that this was sexual abuse. One defense made against the claim is that women become sexually ...
27
votes
5answers
4k views

Does CO₂ cause Global Warming?

I know there is global warming, and I know that it is caused by human activity, but is carbon dioxide the cause of it? I read somewhere that apparently increase of CO₂ doesn't cause the increase in ...

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