Saturday, 29 October 2016

10 Real Facts That Sound Made Up (Part 2)

Or strictly speaking, nine real facts that sound made-up and one that actually is made up.


Back from the dead.
A Dagenham & Deadbridge fan.
This week's blog post features another round-up of strange sounding facts, but once again I've included one fake 'fact' in the list.  See if you can guess which one it is...

1) Premature condolences


Back in 1993, non-league football side Congleton Town FC were forced to cancel a minute’s silence to mourn the death of the club’s oldest fan ... when the allegedly dead fan walked into the ground!


2) "Hmm, how much wrapping paper do I need?"


In the early days of the US Parcel Post Service, at least two children were sent by post.  This prompted the Postmaster General to issue a regulation making the sending of children in the mail illegal.


3) Who wants to live forever?


The turritopsis dohrnii breed of jellyfish is biologically immortal.

A jellyfish, enjoying it's 4,583rd birthday.


4) "Was this patient the amputation or the appendicitis?"


As incredible as it sounds, requiring a surgical team to answer 19 simple questions before an operation such as “Do we have the right patient?” and “What operation are we performing?” has been proven to reduce deaths by more than 40% and complications by one third.


Save money on your shopping budget by using this
simple psychological trick to flavour your food.

5) Subliminal flavouring


If you stick your tongue out and pretend to shake a salt cellar onto your tongue, seventy percent of people will actually taste salt.  This is because the brain files the motion of shaking a salt cellar in the same area of the brain as the taste of salt and so there is a degree of overlap between the two experiences.


6) The secret of eternal youth?


If you go for a drive in your car for an hour, you will have aged ever so slightly less than if you had just sat at home watching television.


7) Ostentacious bird gatherings


A group of flamingoes is known as a 'flamboyance' of flamingoes.


8) "What a vacuum has joined together, let no man pull apart."


If two pieces of metal touch each other in space, they become permanently stuck together.


9) Four fingered success!


Japanese parents often buy their children a Kit Kat before important exams.  This is because of the similar sounding Japanese expression, 'kitto katsu' which means, 'I hope you succeed!'

"May you succeed in all your goals."
Except dieting goals, presumably.


10) Controversial words


In ancient Greek the word 'idiot' meant anyone who wasn't a politician!




Once again, nine of the above facts are true, but one is made-up.  See if you can guess which one is the fake 'fact', then scroll down the page to see if you were right...















The fake fact was number 5.  If you stick your tongue out and pretend to shake a salt cellar onto your tongue, you won't taste salt.  You will, however, look like an idiot!  Or if you're an ancient Greek, a non-politician!

All of the other facts were indeed true.  Here's a brief explanation for each fact...


1) Premature condolences


Fred Cope was the 'deceased' football fan in question and not surprisingly he had 'a few funny looks' when he walked into the ground.  He explained, 'It wasn't until I saw the programme that I realised why.  I've been bad over the last week ... but not that bad!'
Minute's silence for fan who hadn't died yet.


Nowadays, modern parcels are less controversial.

2) "Hmm, how much wrapping paper do I need?"


In case you’re wondering, the parents of the two children sent by post didn’t wrap them up in a parcel or anything like that.  They just stuck the appropriate amount of stamps on their jacket and then the kid had to ride in the mail carriage of the mail train, along with all the other letters and parcels.


3) Who wants to live forever?


The turritopsis dohrnii jellyfish has the ability to transform its cells, time and time again, into its immature polyp state.  However, it can still be eaten by predators or fall victim to diseases, so it's not totally immortal, and instead the term 'biologically immortal' is used.  In effect it will never die of the ageing process, but it can still be killed by environmental factors.


4) "Was this patient the amputation or the appendicitis?"


I found it both shocking and unbelievable that asking the question 'Which patient are we operating on?' could actually save lives, but the research was carried out by a team led by a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, so you would have to assume the findings are reliable.  As a further point of note, implementing a simple questions checklist was found to save lives in both developing and insdustrialised countries.
Simple questions improve hospital safety


Salt...
The inspiration for a childish
trick to play on your mates.
.

5) Subliminal flavouring


This salt 'fact' was the bluff.  Although totally made-up, it's nevertheless an amusing trick to play on your friends.


6) The secret of eternal youth?


Just to be clear, we're talking nanoseconds here, so going for a drive in your car is far from being the secret of eternal youth.  The full explanation of why you age slightly less when you travel at speed is quite complicated, but to sum it up, time bends due to differences in gravity or velocity, so the faster you go, the slower time goes.
The secret of eternal youth?



7) Ostentacious bird gatherings


A group of flamingoes can also be known by other names such as a flurry, a stand or a flock, but a flamboyance is also a correct term and also the coolest in my opinion.


This coin wouldn't stick together with another
coin in space, due to its oxidised coating.

8) "What a vacuum has joined together, let no man pull apart."


Metals sticking together in space is due to a process known as 'cold welding'.  It works because when atoms of the same type are in contact with each other in the vacuum of space, there is no way for the atoms to know that they are supposed to be part of separate pieces of metal.

However, back on Earth the atmosphere creates a thin layer of oxidised material on the surface of each metal, so the atoms know they are not part of the same pieces of metal.
Cold welding


9) Four fingered success!


If I was a Japanese kid I would argue that ‘kitto katsu’ definitely sounds closer to 'Kit Kats(plural) rather than ‘Kit Kat’ (singular) and therefore it would make more sense for my parents to buy me multiple kit kats for good luck, rather than just one solitary single Kit Kat.

The fact that Kit Kats are associated with good luck in Japan seems to have really helped their popularity, and the Japanese public can 'enjoy' a variety of different Kit Kat flavours such as wasabi, sweet potato, ginger ale, and even soy sauce!
Kit Kat: The lucky chocolate bar available in a variety of flavours


10) Controversial words


In ancient Greek the word 'idiot' did indeed refer to anyone who wasn't a politician.  All I can say for this one is how times change!

. . . . . . . .

You can find more strange and unusual facts* in the ebook 'True Or False: A Light-Hearted Collection Of 100 Facts And Bluffs' which is available for kindle from Amazon:
True Or False: A Light-Hearted Collection Of 100 Facts And Bluffs


* And also a few bluffs.

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.