Thursday, May 15, 2014


Misinformation #1:

Lots of people think that Charles A. Lindbergh was the first person to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean, but he wasn't.  In fact, he was the 67th man to make this flight!  The reason his flight was so famous was because he did it alone.  The very first nonstop flight was made in June 1919, by John William Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown.

Alcock and Brown

They flew a two-engined Vickers from St. Johns, Newfoundland to Ireland.

Vickers Viking G EAOV
©IWM (Q73276)

Misinformation #2:

Eating fish is supposed to give you more brain power because fish has a lot of phosphorus, and that is the same stuff the nerve tissue in the brain is made of.  But there are other foods that will also give you phosphorus, such as meat, poultry, eggs, and milk.  So fish is not the only "brain food," and it might not even be the best.

Misinformation #3:

When you see pictures of holy persons such as saints, you often see a round thing above their heads.  The common name for one of these is a halo, but really it should be called a nimbus.  This is because a halo can be any sort of glowing disc, like for example, what you see around the sun during an eclipse.  But a nimbus specifically means the radiance that surrounds a godlike figure.

Misinformation #4:

If you fall off a boat, and somebody throws one of those ring things out to you, that ring is not called a life preserver.  The correct name for it is ring buoy.  A life preserver is what most people call a life jacket.  However, if you are drowning, my opinion is that you should grab anything that anyone throws out to you, even if you don't know the proper name for it.  At least that's what I would do!

Misinformation #5:

Many people have the idea that when the book Moby Dick was first published, readers were indifferent about it, and the critics were hostile.  Which caused the author, Herman Melville, to quit writing.  But this is not true.  The fact is that Moby Dick got a lot of attention, and 3 out of every 4 reviews was positive.  Mr. Melville went on to write a few more books.

Some of the delayed reaction to the novel was less positive, unfortunately.  Then a fire at the publishing house destroyed several hundred copies of Moby Dick, but not the plates it was printed from.  This is when the author decided to retire, and not sooner.


Misinformation #6:

Warts are not caused by handling toads.  But maybe you already knew that.  What some people don't know is that warts are caused by a viral infection, and they are contagious.  You get them from another person, though, and not from a toad.  There are as many as 10 varieties of warts.  Usually, they go away after a few months, but sometimes they can last for years.  Or they might keep going away and coming back, which can be really annoying.

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