Tag Archives | myths
When I was a kid, I remember being terrified about going to junior high school. My mom told me that kids were going to try and force me to do drugs. I wouldn’t be safe at recess, or in the halls. They were going to hold me down and force drugs down my throat.
It wasn’t until later that I realized how totally ridiculous this was. People either possess drugs because they like them and want to take them to get high, or because they want to sell them and make money. There is no instance where someone has drugs with the plan of jamming them down some 7th graders throat. No way that happens.
This was the first, but not the last, time that I was lied to about drugs. Here are 10 other lies I’ve heard over the years.
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Rithika Merchant (1986) deals with creating mosaics of myths that question received histories that are available to us throughout culture. An inherent feminism exists in her decoration undermining the minimalism of modernity that views a woman just as a muse.
In 2008 she graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design in New York. She has studied painting and conceptual practice at the Hellenic International Studies In The Arts in Paros, Greece. In 2008 she was a resident at the Convento Sao Francisco Mertola in Mertola, Portugal.
Misconceptions is weekly show where the folks at Mental Floss debunk common misconceptions. This week, Elliott discusses some misconceptions about sleep.
Ah, innocent times past … Matt Simon reminisces about the wonderful Vegetable Lamb of Tartary in his “Fantastically Wrong” column for Wired:
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They say that money doesn’t grow on trees, but technically it does grow on a plant. Our greenbacks, you see, are 75 percent cotton. If you haven’t actually seen a cotton plant before, here’s how it works. It’s a remarkable little shrub, with a bundle of leaves at its base and a long stem shooting skyward. And at the top of this stem is a lamb, which swings around hopelessly like a furry tetherball.
Or so goes the story of the bizarre Vegetable Lamb of Tartary. Also known as the barometz, derived from the Tartar word for lamb, this was a useful little creature that Europeans in the Middle Ages–aware that cotton was a thing that arrived from India, yet unaware exactly how it grew–decided was the source of their newfangled threads.
Have you noticed you can’t go far this Christmas season without seeing the krampus, a devil-like consort to Saint Nicholas? All of the sudden, the devilish fellow seems to be everywhere.
But it is far less likely that you have encountered another Christmas-time mythic character, that of Frau Perchta. She makes the Krampus seem amiable to boot.
Perchta asks,”have you been weaving your flax little girl? Have you been good? Are you eating the awful gruel and fish that are to be consumed on my holiday?” If the answer is no, the poor children are disemboweled, and their insides are stuffed with straw and stones. So, you know. Don’t mess up. By comparison to the two of them, Saint Nicholas’ ‘present’ of coal seems benign.
We may wonder what the sense is in these dark figures, during a time that we mistakenly assume should be lighthearted and merry.… Read the rest
As I grew up in a family of alcoholics with not terribly distant Native American roots, I heard a lot of things about North America’s indigenous people and alcohol. As it turns out, none of it was true. I never claimed any kind of American Indian identity, considering such disingenuous coming from a white guy from the suburbs who draws his heritage from plenty of sources both known and unknown. Anyway, here’s an interesting piece about Native Americans and alcohol, courtesy of Today I Found Out:
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It is a sad truth that Native Americans suffer from alcoholism at rates far higher than those of other ethnic groups. While many causes likely contribute to this problem, some of those most commonly espoused, including lack of prior exposure to alcohol and genetic predisposition, are oft-repeated misconceptions. In fact, well before Europeans began to colonize the Americas, Native Americans were putting on a nice, polite buzz.
Was anything we learned in school true? Next it will be revealed that Benjamin Franklin never flew a kite with a key attached to the string in a storm.
via Business Insider
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Thomas Edison did not try 10,000 times before inventing the light bulb, nor did he labor in a dusty workshop by himself.
That’s according to David Burkus, author of “The Myths of Creativity,” who says America’s favorite innovation story may have been the result of a tremendous publicity push.
In his book, Burkus debunks the popular tale of Edison and what he calls the “lone creator myth.” His claim? That we love the story of the solo-genius, the starving artist, the one brilliant man against the world — even if it’s not always true.
In the case of Edison, Burkus argues that the famous creator didn’t invent the light bulb so much as perfect it, with the muscle of a massive publicity machine behind him.
The John Titor story is one of my favorite modern myths: A time traveler from a war-torn future Earth visits the past to collect a few needed computer parts. Along the way, he offers a countdown of harrowing future events that will lead to the dystopian United States that he calls home, always with the caveat that these things may not happen in this particular timeline. Titor disappeared as mysteriously as he appeared, and to this day, some corners of the internet continue to debate who he was.
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This is our planet’s bleak future: a second Civil War splinters America into five factions, leaving the new capital based in Omaha. World War III breaks out in 2015, starting with Russia and the U.S. trading nukes and ending with three billion dead. Then, to top it all off, a computer bug delivers where Y2K sputtered, destroying our world as we know it.
Ancient oracles approached the ancient portal and received hallucinations and visions from the noxious fumes belching forth, reports Discovery News:
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A “gate to hell” has emerged from ruins in southwestern Turkey, Italian archaeologists have announced. Known as Pluto’s Gate — Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin — the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition.
Historic sources located the site in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now called Pamukkale, and described the opening as filled with lethal mephitic vapors. “This space is full of a vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death,” the Greek geographer Strabo (born 64/63 BC) wrote.
The site revealed a vast array of broken ruins once it was excavated. The archaeologists found Ionic semi columns and, on top of them, an inscription with a dedication to the deities of the underworld — Pluto and Kore.