Popular Facts That Aren’t Actually True

Fun fact: not everything your parents tell you is true. In the age of information, we’ve discovered that many tidbits widely regarded as common knowledge are actually misconceptions. These popular “facts” are assumed to be true because of how pervasive they are throughout society and how they’re passed down from generation to generation. The following are just some myths we’ve been told our whole lives.

Swimming after you eat will not give you cramps

Did your parents ever warn you about Waiting at least 30 minutes after eating before getting back in the pool? I know mine did. One of the most popular facts is that the blood going to your digestive tract after eating steals the blood needed to keep your arms and legs pumping during swimming. This results in severe cramps and possibilities of drowning.

Mark Messick, MD, a doctor at Duke Primary Care says that this common belief is unfounded. According to Messick, the body does supply extra blood to aid in digestion, but not enough blood to keep your arm and leg muscles from properly functioning. Your biggest danger related to eating and swimming is probably a minor cramp.

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Oranges are not actually named after the color orange. It’s the other way around.

Which came first, the fruit or the color?

Although not quite as profound as the chicken and egg debate, many people have debated the origins of “orange”. While both scenarios are plausible, it is a common belief that the popular fruit was named after the color. But after following the etymological trail, we know with certainty that the fruit came first, by at least 300 years. The word first appeared in Anglo manuscript describing the fruit as a “pure orange” while the first use of the words to describe the color is noted in the 16th Century. If it weren’t for orange (the fruit) we would probably know the color as geolurēad (yellow-red).



E-Cigarettes Bad for You

To vape or not to vape? New research and experts weigh in on whether e-cigs really are a safe cigarette alternative.

Vaping sounds cool, almost futuristic, and thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio, Katherine Heigel, and other sexy celebs seen inhaling the vapors of e-cigarettes, it’s like the new hookah. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, in 2016, 15 percent of adults had used an e-cigarette and more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days.

But since there’s no tobacco, these newfangled e-cigs are totally safe, right? Not exactly—the new way of lighting up may still do serious harm to your body, experts warn. (FYI: “Vaping” is the same as smoking an e-cig. Electronic cigarettes can also be called “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” “tank systems,” and “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” or ENDS.)

What are e-cigarettes, exactly?

Instead of inhaling smoke as with regular cigarettes, users of e-cigarettes inhale vaporized liquid (or aerosol) made up of a mixture of water and nicotine as well as other substances sometimes added for flavor and texture. There are now more than 7,000 different electronic cigarette liquid flavors, says Holly Middlekauff, M.D., a cardiologist at UCLA Health and researcher who’s published several papers on the effects of electronic cigarettes.

So are e-cigarettes bad for you?

Older models (that often looked like cigarettes and were called “cigalikes”) likely dispensed the least amount of aerosol, says Middlekauff, but newer, fancier models (“mods”) allow users to change the resistance and voltage of the device. This is bad news because, for one, they deliver a much larger volume of aerosol, says Middlekauff. “Second, in some instances, you can dial up the temperature at which the liquid is heated, and research shows that hotter temperatures are more likely to generate carcinogens or cancer-causing substances.”

Yes, e-cig vapor has a much lower content of carcinogens than old-fashioned combustible cigs do, but that’s not where the e-cigarettes health risks end. Most e-cigarette liquids still contain nicotine—an incredibly addictive substance, says Middlekauff.

The flavor of the e-cig liquid you’re puffing may play a part too. With so many flavors on the market, only a small portion has been tested, says Middlekauff, but preliminary research shows that certain flavoring chemicals may have serious health consequences; for example, the flavoring chemical diacetyl can be found in high concentrations in many e-cig liquids (from butterscotch and strawberry to tequila and ranch dressing).


Contracts must be in writing.
No. An oral contract can be enforced unless there is a specific law (e.g. statute of frauds, Home Improvement Act) that requires that type of contract to be in writing to be enforceable.

It’s always best to cooperate with the police and tell them what they need to know.

It is best to not talk to the police until you have talked to your attorney.

You can beat a breathalyzer by putting pennies under your tongue or eating peanut butter before taking the test

There is no shortage of rumored tricks to mess up breathalyzers. They do not work. The way to avoid failing a breathalyzer is to not be legally drunk.

If the police ask to search me (or my home or car) and I refuse, they will think that I’m guilty.

This is probably true–the police likely will think you’re guilty. That is not a good reason to consent to a search. Here’s the deal: in this situation, the police already think you’re guilty. Do not consent to a search and make it easier for a court to actually find you guilty.

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