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The ‘We only use 10% of our brains’ myth


In an article in The Atlantic, Sam McDougle traces the origin of the often repeated belief that "you only use 10 percent of your brain." He writes: "According to Sam Wang, a neuroscientist at Princeton and the author of Welcome to Your Brain, the catalyst may have been the self-help industry.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 22


July 22, 1931: Mr. A.A. declared man with shortest name On this day, Mr. A.A. (first name Aaron) was declared to be the man with the shortest name in the United States, following the death of H.P.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 21


July 21, 1959: Jacqueline Gay Hart Disappears Hart, a 21-year-old heiress, disappeared from Newark airport and was the subject of a nationwide search for two days until she turned up in Chicago's Grant Park, claiming she had been abducted by two men who drove her, bound and gagged, to Chicago.

Fried Chicken Oreos


Fried Chicken Oreos are not a real thing. The photo of a bag of them that went viral this week was a fake.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 20


July 20, 1971: The National Review Hoax The conservative National Review magazine released a set of documents that it claimed were secret government papers dealing with the war in Vietnam.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 19


July 19, 2002: The Case of a Phony 9/11 Survivor On this day, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported the inspirational story of Daniel McCarthy, who had just been wed in Lake Tahoe.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 18


July 18, 1938: Wrong Way Corrigan On this day, Douglas Corrigan landed at Baldonnel Aerodrome in Ireland after a solo, 28-hour flight across the Atlantic.

Milkybar Pareidolia


While watching the World Cup, a British lawyer (Robin Jacobs) was eating a Milkybar and noticed that the design imprinted on the bar includes a phallic shape that he believes is inappropriate for children.

Full Contact Skydiving


Full Contact Skydiving is defined (according to the website that promotes it) as "a mixed martial art combat sport occurring in the free-fall portion of a standard skydiving jump." But no, it isn't real.

Shark in Lake Ontario


A video released last week showing a group of fishermen having an encounter with a shark in Lake Ontario has proven to be a hoax.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 17


July 17, 1842: The Feejee Mermaid Inspired by the arrival in the city of a "Dr. J. Griffin" who claimed to have the body of a mermaid in his possession, New York City papers all ran mermaid pictures (supplied to them by PT Barnum), showing the creatures as seductive ocean maidens.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 16


July 16, 1866: The Calaveras Skull At the July 16, 1866 meeting of the California Academy of Science, Josiah Whitney announced the recent discovery of a skull that he believed to be evidence that humans had been in North America for millions of years.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 15


July 15, 2002: New Elements Faked A team of researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory published a short statement in the journal Physical Review Letters retracting its earlier announcement that it had successfully created two new elements, ununoctium and livermorium (Nos.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 14


July 14, 1992: Portofess Father Anthony Joseph showed up at the Democratic National Convention in New York City with his portable confessional booth ("Portofess"), mounted on the back of a large tricycle.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 13


July 13, 1855: The Silver Lake Sea Serpent Two boys and five men fishing on Silver Lake in New York reported seeing a "horrid and repulsive looking monster" swimming in the water.

Missing: Pregnant Tarantula Named Penelope


On Thursday, someone posted flyers around Brooklyn alerting everyone that their pregnant red rump tarantula named Penelope had gone missing.

Hair Curl Pareidolia


Kristin Kissee recently posted on Facebook a photo of her hair as it looked growing back from chemo and radiation back in November 2011.

Spielberg Slaughters A Triceratops


Last Sunday, Facebook user Jay Branscomb posted a picture of director Steven Spielberg posing with a triceratops, with the comment, "Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 12


July 12, 1947: Van Meegeren Confesses Han van Meegeren, on trial in the Netherlands for selling to the Nazis a painting by Johannes Vermeer (considered a national treasure), defended himself by confessing that the painting wasn't actually by Vermeer.

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: July 11


July 11, 1947: Twin Falls UFO Hoax The FBI, Army Intelligence, and police all responded to a report of the discovery of a "flying saucer" in the yard of Mrs.


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