Friday, May 16, 2008

MAY 16, 2008

There's a lot of misinformation floating around out there... and it's gotten to the point where it's sometimes tough to separate the fact from the fiction. Here are SIX things you might think are true... but actually aren't.

1) You accidentally swallow eight spiders a year.

The idea here is that while you're asleep, spiders crawl inside your mouth, which... if you go by the numbers... happens about once every six and a half weeks.

This rumor's actually been around since the '50s, but it didn't get kicked into high gear until 1993 when a "PC Professional" columnist named Lisa Holst decided to prove that people will believe anything they read online.

So Lisa wrote a column presenting this statistic as fact, then spread it all over the Interweb... but it's not true.

2) You only use 10% of your brain.

This rumor was born out of the discovery that the brain can survive after pieces of it are surgically removed. Over time, the idea that a person could survive without a full brain was misinterpreted to mean the brain only uses a fraction of its potential.

People probably buy into this myth because they like the possibility that they could be 90% smarter than they already are... but it's just not true.

3) You have to wait 30 minutes after you eat before swimming.

Your mom might have told you this one... that if you don't let your food digest before jumping in the pool, you'll cramp up and drown. The idea's that your stomach needs so much oxygen for digestion that your muscles don't get the oxygen they need to swim.

The truth is your body gets enough oxygen to swim regardless of whether you just ate. And actually, getting into the water after you eat has no more effect on your body than if you were to take a walk after eating... and how often does that make you cramp up?

A ridiculous new survey by The Soap and Detergent Association asked adults what clean surface in their house made them the happiest. Here's what they found:

--3% said clean mirrors made them happiest.
--7% said a spotless sink.
--12% said clean windows.
--15% said a clean shower.
--20% said clean countertops.
--And with 21% of the vote each... shiny floors and a clean toilet tied for the cleanest surface that made American adults the happiest.