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Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Common Myths

I'm a big fan of Mythbusters, The Straight Dope, and Snopes. There is so much pseudoscience and common bull floating around that it's nice to have easily accessible repositories of experimental and authoritative evidence.

That being said, I'm going to point you at a lad rag who compiled a top 10 list of commonly held misnomers. Even dubious sources get it right on occasion.

To save you a trip to their site, I've compiled the list here:

10: Birds do not blow up if you feed them uncooked rice. The reason you don't throw rice at weddings is because those tiny grains are slippery when applied to the smooth rock steps commonly found at church entrances.

9: Napoleon wasn't short. He was 5 foot 6 inches, the average height for a Frenchman in the 1800s. Due to the tall stature of his soldiers and British propaganda, Napoleon will forever be comically small.

8: Hair does not grow darker and thicker after you shave it. New hair hasn't been sun bleached yet, and body hair tends to get thicker as you age. A popular myth among adolescence, the truth is that we just don't have much control over hair growth.

7: You're supposed to burn witches, but the Salem witches were hung. In 1692, burning was forbidden in Massachusetts. All Salem witches went to the gallows except for Giles Corey, who refused to enter a plea and was crushed to death.

6: In space you experience micro gravity, not zero gravity. Astronauts are in a constant state of falling with only their forward momentum keeping them aloft. This should be taught in every science class, but I imagine physics isn't everyone's strong suit.

5: Marie Antoinette is attributed the cruel "Let them eat cake" quote. This was another propaganda slurring during the peasant uprising. The line actually originated from Jean-Jacques Rousseau when Marie was only 10, and even then he was writing about an event that occurred a decade before her birth.

4: What man made structure can you see from space? The Great Wall! Well, kind of. Its earth colored bricks actually makes it very difficult to detect. The US interstate system is much more visible from low orbit.

3: Thomas Edison industrialized the light bulb. He figured out how to create them cheaply and market them. Warren De la Rue is the actual inventor of the first sealed light bulb.

2: Humans use considerably more than 10% of their brain. Magnetic imaging has documented vast sections of brain activity during complicated tasks. People just like to believe that they have massive untapped potential.

1: 54% of men think about sex a few times a day. The rest spend less time contemplating coitus. Of course it's more fun to accuse men of digressing every 7 seconds.

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STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
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Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Infernal35/8/2007
Shadowrun25/9/07
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
BioShock18/21/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
CellFactor?2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Mythos??
Overloard??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
OkamiPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?