Stories/Jokes: Believe it or Not

Common Fallacies

So much of what we take for granted as being true, upon greater scrutiny, ends up being just plain false. Collected here are some punctured myths, misinformation and fallacies.

  • Sauerkraut didn’t originate in Germany as many people mistakenly believe. It got its start in China about 1,000 years before it became popular in Germany.
  • Lenin wasn’t Lenin’s real name. It was one of 151 pseudonyms Vladimir Ilyich Ulanov used during his lifetime.
  • Venetian blinds were invented in Japan, not Venice.
  • It might surprise you to find out men are far more likely to be moved to tears by music than women.
  • Most precious gems are actually colorless. Their color comes from impurities in the stone that act as pigmenting agents.
  • Short Line, of Monopoly fame, wasn’t actually a railroad. It was a bus company.
  • The London Bridge has never fallen down.
  • Those who do public speaking don’t stand behind a podium. They stand behind a lectern. A podium is the platform or stage on which a speaker stands.
  • Smokey the Bear didn’t always have that famous name. Originally, he was Hot Foot Teddy.
  • Although people think otherwise, a newborn baby can’t shed tears.
  • The Douglas Fir isn’t a fir—it’s a pine tree.
  • Buttermilk doesn’t contain butter.
  • It’s widely believed that Orville Wright became the first person to be killed in a plane crash. Actually, on September 17, 1908, U.S. Army Signal Corps lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge became the first when he and Orville fell from the sky in Wright's airplane at Fort Meyer, Virginia.
  • Tennessee Williams wasn’t born in Tennessee. He was born in Columbus, Mississippi.
  • Shooting stars aren’t stars, of course. They're meteors.
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