"The idea that Medieval people drank beer or wine to avoid drinking bad water is so established that even some very serious scholars see no reason to document or defend it; they simply repeat it as a settled truth. In fact, if no one ever documents the idea, it is for a very simple reason: it's not true
posted by jedicus
on Feb 27, 2014 -
so the moral of the story is
always wear a condom
you are going to have to resort to an impromptu skull c-section
with a shovel
Myths Retold. [more inside]
posted by KathrynT
on Mar 2, 2011 -
- a charmingly animated short in which people talk about childhood misconceptions about sex and childbirth. More on childhood sex misconceptions from Dan Savage 1
. (pretty tame clip, but possibly NSFW) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive
on Apr 13, 2009 -
Class Mobility within America
- The mythology surrounding Horatio Alger
is a powerful force within American culture: the idea that anyone can pull oneself up by the bootstraps to become financially successful. Surprising research
by statistician Miles Corak
shows that Americans have no more income mobility than Europeans — contradicting cultural presumptions of egalitarianism — and even less than Scandinavian countries, despite their heavy taxation. Marketing slowly meets reality
in the American Dream...
posted by AlexReynolds
on May 15, 2005 -
The Skeptic's Dictionary
is a wonderful resource for all sentient individuals: 'A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (and how to think critically about them
)'. It's where I send people when they start telling me nonsense.
It is also a jolly good read: try the entry for natural
, for example. And some entries, like the entry for IQ and race
, verge on the profound.
There is a print edition, but the extensive internal and external site linkage makes reading the collection online a particular joy. While The Skeptic's Dictionary has been referred to before
on MeFi, the link made the site out to be a cornucopia of Urban legend-style oddities, like Snopes
. Which I thought was a shame: not dissing Snopes, but the Skeptic's Dictionary delivers a firm grounding in critical thinking as well.
This post is dedicated to all of my relatives who chipped in to buy shark cartilage
tablets and several fifty-dollar pamphlets full of testimonials
after my father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and who probably still think the worse of me for not contributing to their folly.
posted by chrisgregory
on Feb 6, 2004 -
Over the years, there have been more than a few misconceptions about Macs. Now Apple take's a look at some of the most popular ones.
posted by riffola
on Jan 31, 2002 -
Eight Sword Myths
by Glenn Pettit is a relaxing unobtrustive and straight-forward read for those who like to collect, brandish, or just stare in awe at c-c-c-cutlery
. And who doesn't? This document dispells certain modern misunderstandings but also tips a hat to timeless legend itself.
posted by ZachsMind
on Dec 6, 2000 -
Four out of 10 people mistakenly believe
it is possible to get HIV by sharing a drinking glass or being coughed or sneezed on by an infected person. The survey, released Thursday, was conducted by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It's scary that so many people are still so ignorant of what
causes HIV-AIDS," said Marty Algaze, a spokesman for
the Gay Men's Health Crisis. "Almost 20 years into this
epidemic, it's disturbing that people think you could still
get it from casual contact."
posted by jhiggy
on Dec 1, 2000 -