Milk Myth?


“Milk increases mucous.”


Ruling:
False. It is just a placebo effect.

Analysis:
According to the study Relationship between milk intake and mucus production in adult volunteers challenged with rhinovirus-2, the test subjects ‘who believe “milk makes mucus” or reduce milk intake with colds reported significantly more cough and congestion symptoms, but they did not produce higher levels of nasal secretions.’ The researchers concluded that no statistically significant overall association can be detected between milk and dairy product intake and symptoms of mucus production in healthy adults, either asymptomatic or symptomatic, with rhinovirus infection.

See other: Mythconceptions?

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Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of radio, was the great-grandson of the inventor of Jameson’s Irish whiskey.

The German Staubsauger and Dutch Stofzuiger, both literally translate as ‘dust-sucker’ to mean vacuum cleaner.

Victorian pantomimes starting at 7pm often did not finish until midnight.

In 2014, a pair of underpants donated by the mayor of Brussels was stolen from the Brussels Underpants Museum.

Between 1939 and 1945, World War II claimed an average of 1256 lives per hour; between 1934 and 1945, Holocaust claimed an average of 169 lives per hour.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Alcohol Myth?


“Cooking removes alcohol.”


Ruling:
Mostly true. The rate by which alcohol is burned off depends on the method of cooking.

Analysis:
Studies show not all the alcohol is burned off: if a dish is left to simmer for hours, most of the alcohol will go away; but after 20 minutes of simmering, up to 50 percent of it can stick around. Flambéing leaves even more alcohol behind, and even less of it escapes during baking, because the alcohol has to work its way out of the batter.

See other: Mythconceptions?

Boiling Myth?


“Adding salt to water makes it boil more quickly.”


Ruling:
Mostly false. Depends on the nature of the salt.

Analysis:
Merely adding some salt to regular water will only make a difference in large quantities. However, it is true that salt water boils more quickly than regular water. If you look at the heat capacity of salt water, you will find that it is less than pure water. In other words, it takes less energy to raise the temperature of salt water 1°C than pure water. This means that salt water heats up faster and eventually gets to its boiling point first.

See other: Mythconceptions?

Sushi Myth?


“Sushi means raw fish.”


Ruling:
False. Erroneous translation.

Analysis:
Though sometimes also translated as ‘vinegared rice’, sushi means ‘sour rice’ and does not always feature fish. Nowadays, sushi is first and foremost a rice dish, which can include vegetables, cooked fish, raw fish, poultry, or other proteins.

See other: Mythconceptions?

On Seizing the Moment


“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”

– Erma Bombeck

On Metaphysics


“Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a thirty-thousand-page menu, and no food.”

– Robert M. Pirsig