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14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is fluoride toothpaste dangerous?

Is there any proof that the amount of fluoride that commonly used in toothpaste is unhealthy?
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  • 32.5k
28 votes
1 answer
6k views

Do ghosts exist?

Ghost themed shows and ghost tours in some cities probably make ghost-related entertainment products a multi-million dollar industry. A ghost is supposedly the spirit of a deceased person who rises ...
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  • 11.3k
18 votes
1 answer
28k views

.50 cal bullets killing people without hitting them, via pressure wave or some other mechanism

There is a persistent myth, even among military members, that certain types of rounds can kill a human without actually impacting. Myths like "it can snap your neck as it passes by" or "it can tear ...
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18 votes
2 answers
5k views

Interpreting body language from a photograph

The other day I was browsing the TMZ website and they had a section that had pictures of celebrity couples being analyzed by a "body language expert". In essence, the guy was supposedly telling if ...
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  • 1,073
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is "going into shock" a real medical condition, or a journalistic flourish?

I was reading about the recent horrific I-95 bus crash when I came across a sentence that made me realize how much I dislike the way newspapers and TV journalists use the word "shock". I should ...
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  • 3,753
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Was kissing punishable by death in 16th century Naples?

According to Dr Karl: And in 16th century Naples, in Italy, kissing was an offence that carried the death penalty. Is that true?
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  • 10.1k
23 votes
5 answers
3k views

Have there been any credible reports of unidentified flying objects?

A unidentified flying object is just that—a flying object that has not been identified. There need not be evidence of alien hi-jinx. My criteria for a credible UFO report would include: ...
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  • 8,044
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are alien visitors in Area 51?

Area 51-themed TV specials appear on US cable TV from time to time, often times even appearing on educational TV networks. These shows often feature interviews with people who claim to have seen ...
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  • 11.3k
48 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

This question is not about nutrition. I am not asking whether the kinds of foods that people typically have during breakfast (esp. cereals) are healthier than other foods. The claim is often made ...
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  • 1,004
5 votes
2 answers
533 views

What are the plausible ways in which acupuncture might work for minor pains? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there any evidence for acupuncture being an effective treatment? I sometimes have back pain and some numbness / pain in one leg. They're nothing to worry about and I ...
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  • 1,073
15 votes
2 answers
4k views

Do men have a monthly cycle?

I recall reading an article, many years ago, in the New Scientist concerning a study into the effect of the lunar cycle on men. It was suggested that some men showed a physical response, such as a ...
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22 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can memory tricks work?

I've investigated memory systems over the years and find them interesting. One of the common themes is that you should associate the thing being memorized with something that you already know. The ...
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31 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there economic data to suggest whether or not trickle-down economics provides a net increase in standards of living?

One of the chief arguments for Reagan's fiscal policy of trickle-down economics was "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy." Essentially that by ...
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  • 11.3k
28 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does dowsing (aka Water Divining) work?

Also known as water divining, the more general term is dowsing. Practitioners claim to be able to detect minerals and even specific objects. I first became interested in dowsing in my teens, when the ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do ley lines exist in the landscape?

The alignment of ancient sites (1500+ years) in the landscape is said to be evidence of ley lines. In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, it is said that many Saxon churches and pre-Christian monuments ...
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18 votes
4 answers
845 views

Can animals detect earthquakes through low radio-frequencies?

Every time there is a tsunami, we hear about animals fleeing to high ground and avoiding death. I've read some articles that suggest ELF/VLF sensitivity warns the animals, as they can effectively "...
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24 votes
1 answer
4k views

Do those hologram bracelets do anything at all?

Bracelets such as Energy Force and Power Balance bracelets claim to improve balance, agility, strength, etc. The demo at the health expo seemed pretty convincing but how can it possibly work?
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  • 351
21 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does the Atkins diet work?

The official (theirs) description is here Wikipedia here My question is, does this diet lead to substantial weight loss, say a 25% reduction for an obese male, without any serious adverse side ...
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10 votes
2 answers
425 views

Ash Wednesday History

I recently read a blog that stated: Ash Wednesday is a relatively late addition to the Christian liturgical calendar, first surfacing in the tenth century according to accounts written in the ...
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10 votes
1 answer
898 views

Do solar flares increase the probability of an earthquake?

So, with Japan in the news today, weird theories about earthquakes are at the forefront again. The theory that solar flares are correlated with earthquakes came up, so of course I tried to find some ...
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22 votes
1 answer
879 views

Can Functional MRI be used to determine if someone is lying?

To my knowledge traditional lie detectors don't really detect lies but rather blood pressure, pulse, etc. and can be fooled with sufficient self control. What about Functional MRI? Can FMRI be used ...
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16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are lethal injections painless?

It is often claimed that lethal injections are a painless and humane method of applying the death penalty. Do lethal injections result in either no, or minimal, pain?
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  • 10.1k
38 votes
5 answers
10k views

How accurate are fingerprints at identifying somebody?

In the movies, fingerprints identification always works, with no mistakes. How close is this to reality?
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  • 10.1k
24 votes
1 answer
3k views

Are crop circles man-made?

Every summer in England crop circles make the news for a few days. But journalists never really attempt to "solve" the question of who is responsible. source Are crop circles man-made? How?
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16 votes
3 answers
980 views

Has there been an increase in the frequency of seismic activity? [closed]

First it was New Zealand, now Japan -- two major earthquakes in a span of less than 2 months. Cults could use this opportunity to sell their end-day stories. Joking aside, is there any scientific ...
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  • 3,359
29 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is graphology grounded?

In France Graphology is still actively used by some recruiters in order to attempt to evaluate applicants' personality from their handwriting (therefore covering letters in France are still ...
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  • 1,312
16 votes
1 answer
673 views

Are there any "exercises" for your eyes that will help with near or far sightedness?

There are different sites purporting to have exercises that reduce or eliminate the need to wear glasses. Are there any such exercises that have been proven to work?
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  • 1,097
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do antidepressants work?

I've been seeing occasional studies go by about the use of anti-depressants in treating depression. Some seem to imply that they are at least over-prescribed (which may in itself not be all that bad, ...
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26 votes
2 answers
36k views

Can using an air conditioner while sleeping be harmful?

When I used to live in Japan, the summers were really too much for me, especially when going to bed. The strange thing is that all the (Japanese) people would strongly advise me against leaving the ...
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  • 1,073
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Any validity to palmistry?

Unlike fortune-telling techniques, palmistry (or palm reading) has a potential connection with reality. Are there any studies that relate any personality traits to shapes of the hand, or lines?
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98 votes
4 answers
37k views

Can bullets fired into the air kill a person when they fall?

Lately, I've been watching the Libyan civil war in the media, and both sides in the conflict often celebrate success by firing their AK-47s into the air. Not to say that firing guns into the air is ...
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  • 11.3k
23 votes
4 answers
4k views

Are there any other studies (besides the discredited Wakefield studies) that have found a link between vaccination and autism?

Wakefield's study from 1998 is now refuted as fraudulent, however there must have been subsequent research by others looking for a link between vaccines and autism. Did any of this research find a ...
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17 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is there any research done on tattoos and their relationship to sexual activity?

Question came up in a conversation where one associate indicated that they thought tattoos on women were "slutty" and others took offense. The argument was that: when have you ever met a woman with a ...
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18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Will introduction of a minimum wage increase unemployment?

In economics, you commonly hear the clear that a minimum wage law will reduce employment. Is there empirical evidence that either supports or debunks that claim?
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  • 32.5k
80 votes
6 answers
7k views

Do violent video games cause violent behavior?

I have been following this question casually over the past couple of years, and it seemed to me that there was no strong consensus either way on the subject. However, I recently read an editorial from ...
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  • 2,383
24 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are the claims of chiropractors independently verifiable?

I've had problems with back-pain in the past, and as a result, I reluctantly went to a chiropractor. It's hard to tell if going to the chiropractor helped my problem, or if they went away on their own....
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  • 2,389
37 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tell about a person?

Does Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tell something objective and predictive about the persons decision making tendencies? In other words, can a Myers-Briggs score give you useful information about what ...
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  • 6,061
46 votes
3 answers
23k views

Does staring at the sun cause significant, permanent harm?

Of course, I think I can safely assume if an eye is left pointing directly towards sun for a long period of time it does get major damage. However, staring at the sun also hurts very quickly. That ...
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88 votes
6 answers
9k views

Do mobile phones have anything to do with brain cancer?

Is there evidence for a correlation between the use of mobile phones and the occurence of brain cancer? If yes, is there also evidence for causality?
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26 votes
1 answer
16k views

Did sailors mistake sea cows for mermaids?

I've heard theories that mermaid sightings were the result of sex-starved sailors mistaking manatees, dugongs or Steller's sea cows for beautiful women. History.com claims Columbus did this, "How I ...
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  • 38.5k
86 votes
6 answers
11k views

Is homosexuality innate?

There is a widespread belief that one chooses to be a homosexual, and that people can successfully overcome such feelings. On the other hand, some scientific studies have shown that finger length may ...
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  • 8,044
13 votes
1 answer
511 views

Can drilling for geothermal energy trigger a major earthquake?

I remember reading about this geothermal project being cancelled due to concerns over (relatively) small seismic events caused by the drilling. Have there been any instances of, or reasonable ...
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54 votes
1 answer
21k views

Can standing in front of a microwave oven give you cancer?

I was heating up some lunch in the microwave oven at work a few weeks ago, and peered into the window to see if my soup was bubbling yet. At that point a coworker walked into the lunch room and ...
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  • 1,761
24 votes
5 answers
956 views

Profiling in criminal cases

Criminal profiling is very popular in fictional crime shows, but also used in reality. A profiler uses the known data about the case to create a profile of the person that commited the crime. This ...
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  • 42k
31 votes
1 answer
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)
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  • 565
12 votes
2 answers
762 views

Is global economic production sufficient to feed, clothe and educate everyone?

Is there enough food produced annually to provide a subsistence diet for the entire population of Earth? (Bonus points for data involving shelter, clothing or education.) This question was inspired ...
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10 votes
1 answer
750 views

Can Melatonin lead to a result in weight loss?

Recently, someone mentioned he had started taking melatonin at night, and in the afternoon. At night is common as it helps some to sleep. He began taking it during the day to see if there would be an ...
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  • 757
15 votes
3 answers
1k views

Anaesthesia awareness: fact or myth?

It is usually phrased like a horror story: a patient feels like being trapped in a corpse, unable to move or scream and feeling intense pain, but surgeons continue to operate not noticing that patient ...
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  • 3,409
34 votes
1 answer
4k views

Can swimming after having eaten make you drown?

Some people, including my mom, believe that it's very dangerous to bathe after having eaten without waiting approximately 1 hour (the amount of time depends on what you have eaten). I have two ...
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  • 2,783
69 votes
1 answer
20k views

Is food cooked in a microwave oven harmful for the health?

A colleague of mine just made a comment about cooking food in a microwave oven. According to him it is considered to be harmful to one's health. Is it true?
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