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37
votes
4answers
7k views

Can regular cold showers reliably improve health?

I have encountered anecdotal claims that the act of taking a cold shower fairly frequently (e.g. once a day) improves health, or at least, reduces susceptibility to illness. Is there any scientific ...
47
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster “on par” with Chernobyl?

Many news organizations (e.g. CNN, Huffington Post, etc) are referring to the Japan incident as something as severe as Chernobyl, i.e. a nuclear event with International Atomic Energy Agency rating "7"...
44
votes
3answers
6k views

Is leaving a computer running better for it than turning it on and off?

Among some computer users I've heard the claim that turning a computer on and off reduces the life of the computer, here's an example of this claim. In this claim, it is believed that turning the ...
32
votes
1answer
3k views

Organic food is worse for the environment because it requires more land than non-organic food

I've heard that organic crops and husbandry are worse for the environment than non-organic equivalents because in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers much more land is required for an organic ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

Are big corporations the biggest beneficiaries from farming subsidies?

I've heard that big companies are the biggest beneficiaries of agricultural subsidies (in the US and other western countries). This would to me seem to be the opposite of the intention of those ...
51
votes
3answers
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?
51
votes
3answers
6k views

Demonstrable and repeatable examples of evolution

Are there examples of evolution that can be demonstrated as proof that evolution occurs and is a useful mechanism for making predictions? Some examples that come to mind include: Animal husbandry (e....
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
344 views

Does orthodontic work cause (or contribute to) TMJD issues?

I've experienced significant TMJD issues, and I know several other people who have also had TMJD issues. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD or TMD), or TMJ syndrome, is an umbrella term ...
45
votes
2answers
106k views

Does Red Bull Energy Drink contain sperm from a bull?

I heard this claim and burst into laughter assuming it was a joke, but the person said he was being serious. Is this true that Red Bull contains bull's sperm?
11
votes
2answers
617 views

Do CFLs irradiate ultraviolet rays in a harmful intensity?

Someone I know complains that Fluorescent lamps are "burning" her skin. I searched for sites that confirmed this and I found: The safety of energy-saving light bulbs is under review over concerns ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Does potassium alum soften the burning sensation after shaving?

A friend of mine suggested me to use a wet alum stone after shaving. Is this efficient?
15
votes
1answer
750 views

Do CFLs have a significant impact on your light bill?

I just moved into my own apartment, and I've taken quite an interest in being as energy-efficient as possible (simply because, hey - I'm paying the electricity bill now!). I've been wondering - are ...
35
votes
2answers
5k views

Death by lack of sleep — is it possible?

I had an argument with a friend in college who claimed that it was possible to remain awake with little to no detrimental affects for an arbitrarily long period of time. I am wondering, has anybody ...
56
votes
1answer
8k views

Is squeezing pimples bad for you?

I've always been told, or notice others being told, or hear it in popular media, that squeezing pimples or blackheads is somehow "bad" for you. Certainly, when there is a chance that the skin breaks, ...
61
votes
4answers
4k views

Have several hundreds of thousands of people died because of the Chernobyl disaster?

The Wikipedia article on this is littered with [citation needed] and a commenter on hacker news linked to it while stating: Chernobyl cost several hundred thousand lives. Let's hope and pray ...
22
votes
1answer
3k views

Does the temperature of the water when you shave affect your pores?

I have heard from a number of people advice that using hot water either before or during shaving "opens your pores" to give you a closer shave. (As discussed on a makeup site, The Art of Shaving, and ...
20
votes
1answer
982 views

Is there any scientific evidence that this illusion illustrates which side of our brain we use?

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/weird/the-right-brain-vs-left-brain/story-e6frev20-1111114577583 the newspaper article makes the claim that if you look at the image and the dancer is spinning ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Can one die of fear?

Is it scientifically possible for someone to die of fear? I'm sure someone can be scared enough to have a heart attack or something, but is it possible for the brain to shut down as a defense ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there existing technology to make it rain or to dissipate clouds?

I heard (example article) that the Chinese government caused it to rain before and during the Olympics to reduce pollution levels. Does reliable technology currently exist that could trigger rain ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Has any government been farming human organs?

Is there any solid evidence that any country's government has been engaged in and has been proven to have farmed human organs for sale on the black market?
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Were “Ancient Astronauts” or extra-terrestrials responsible for the construction of Stonehenge?

There is a theory which seems to continue to percolate (e.g., Erich von Daniken is still active, though I don't know if he still advances this idea in particular) which claims that Stonehenge required ...
4
votes
0answers
313 views

Has anyone ever died because they went swimming to soon after eating? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it true that bathing after having eaten can make you drown? There seem to be a widespread belief that going swimming after eating is really bad. How stuff works has an ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Do weather changes affect arthritis?

My father always claims he knows when a storm is coming by the pain in his knee. It turns out he might not be as crazy as I thought. Many people with arthritis report varying pain levels as a result ...
12
votes
1answer
620 views

Can humans smell if a book has been opened?

From a story about Richard Feynman: Then I looked at the bookshelf and said, "Those books you haven't looked at for a while, right? This time, when I go out, take one book off the shelf, ...
66
votes
1answer
10k views

Does having late or heavy dinner make you fat?

Of course, taking calories in general tends to make one fat. My question is whether, relatively speaking, having heavy dinner has more probability of making you fat than, say, heavy lunch. And whether ...
40
votes
1answer
5k views

Did the 1938 radio broadcast of 'The War of the Worlds' lead to mass hysteria?

I've heard it so many times that I considered it a fact. (Image Source) In 1938 Orson Welles' radio adaption of H.G.Wells' The War of the World incited a nationwide panic: All across the United ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Mr. Brainwash a hoax?

I just finished watching Banksy's documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, about Thierry Guetta (a.k.a. "Mr. Brainwash"), an eccentric filmmaker who followed the street art scene until eventually ...
30
votes
1answer
11k views

Were 1200 black soldiers massacred at Camp Van Dorn in 1943?

In 1998 a book was published called The Slaughter: An American Atrocity by Carroll Case. It alleged that in June of 1943 at an Army base in Mississippi 1200 black soldiers were massacred by white ...
78
votes
5answers
5k views

Is Wikipedia reliable?

I ask this question because in school, students are always told "do not quote wikipedia" or that "Do not believe everything you see on Wikipedia, we are teachers and we know when something is wrong ...
14
votes
2answers
707 views

Are most published results relying on measures of statistical significance likely to be false?

This article, linked to by Glen, claims most published results are false. The argument is based on an analysis of how papers relying on statistical significance analyse and report their statistical ...
35
votes
2answers
6k views

Has increased computer use led to increased myopia?

According to ABC News and this Ophthalmological study there has been a significant increase in the number of people with myopic eyesight over a recent 30 year period. From the ABC article: There ...
41
votes
2answers
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....
25
votes
1answer
3k views

Does the NSA build backdoors into encryption algorithms?

There was a lot of suspicion around the design of the Data Encryption Standard (DES) encryption algorithm, which is not used any more for its lack of security, regarding the NSA's involvement in its ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Do abortions cause breast cancer?

Conservapedia's sub-article on Abortion and Breast Cancer claims that there is an undeniable link between breast cancer and abortions: The vast majority of scientific studies have shown that ...
33
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Are religious people happier?

This video discusses the idea that religious people are happier. Are there: any sources that support or contradict the claims? any scientific papers that address the issue?
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Are safety belts in planes meant for safety?

I was travelling by air today, and I realized that there's an important difference between safety belts in cars and planes. A safety belt in a car moves from the chest on one side to the hip on the ...
22
votes
2answers
32k views

Did Hitler design the VW Beetle?

It if often cited that Adolf Hitler designed the VW Beetle. Is there any truth to this myth, did he perhaps commission it? It seems strange that a car supposedly designed in the 30s could have been ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Is sun protection clothing a real alternative to sunscreen?

I was reluctantly dragged along to do clothes shopping in Singapore today and all over the place they advertised clothing that has supposedly been coated with some form of UV protection. As far as I'm ...
19
votes
2answers
51k views

Can eating rhubarb kill you?

I've heard that rhubarb leaves are poisonous, and that you can even die from rhubarb poisoning. Is that true?
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 ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

Is spanking an effective form of discipline for children?

I have heard many claims that spanking is ineffective for disciplining kids? Is there any research to confirm or deny this?
29
votes
2answers
26k views

Does sexual abuse lead to homosexuality?

An article on the website for the organization Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment (H.O.M.E.) claims that sexual abuse has been shown to lead to Homosexuality: It is a well-documented ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Is sucking thumbs unhealthy?

It is "common" knowledge that sucking your thumb (for little kids) is a "bad habit. Is there any truth to this, and is it just a bad habit or actually unhealthy for you?
53
votes
2answers
6k views

Does recycling create more pollution than it prevents?

My city, like many, has a recycling program, which I believe is supposed to reduce pollution and create some positive economic activity. But I've heard many people argue that recycling programs are a ...
26
votes
2answers
4k views

Does “photographic memory” exist?

I've been told that because I can remember shapes and objects well, and describe them in detail, I have a "photographic memory". However, I looked it up (briefly), and it seems scientific consensus is ...
29
votes
2answers
4k views

Has homeopathy ever passed a double-blind study? [closed]

Has there ever been a double-blind study of homeopathy in which the null hypothesis was rejected? I'm not looking for a blanket validation. Just a single study where the null hypothesis (that there ...
60
votes
4answers
7k views

Do you eat a certain number of spiders whilst you sleep?

Over the course of your life time, the average person eats X spider/insects/whatever whilst they are sleeping. X tends to vary according to who you ask. Is this just an urban legend?
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners?

It's a common advice to find out whether a child is a auditory, visual or a kinesthetic learner. For some, auditory input is most valuable; others rely upon a visual style. Still others learn ...

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