Sunday, 3 May 2015

365 Things People Believe That Aren't True - reviewed by Susan Price

"'Sharks kill more humans than any other animal.'

          Sharks kill about five people a year.  Vending machines kill over twice that many. (They're notoriously sneaky.)
          Humans kill 100 million sharks annually...

'Brazil nuts are nuts.'
          Brazil nuts are seeds.

'Cashew nuts are nuts.'
          Cashew nuts are sprouts.

...Peanuts are beans...Coconuts are drupes... walnuts are fruit, coffee 'beans' are seeds...

          Bananas are berries (and don't grow on trees.) Strawberries are not berries, they are fruit, as are raspberries and blackberries

          But watermelons, pineapples and avocados are berries. Don't ask why..."

          A final quote from this very entertaining book:-

"'The most dangerous animal in Australia is the shark.'
          No, it isn't, and it's not a scorpion, snake, spider or crocodile.
          It's the horse.... The second most dangerous is the cow.  Third? That's the dog. Sharks kill slightly more people in Australia than cats."

          I enjoyed finding out how much of what I know is bunkum, and may download the other collections - but it has to be said that my brother - who has been learning about aircraft all his life - took strong exception to James Egan's claim that the mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance was solved within four years of her flight going missing.
          Not at all, says the brother. He agrees that there is no 'mystery.' Scores of small planes have been lost over the Pacific, due to bad weather and pilot error, and they still are lost, despite our vastly more sophisticated aircraft.
          However, he doesn't accept that there is any good evidence for Egan's claim that the scrap of fuselage and the skeleton discovered on a remote islet four years after Earhart was lost, was her.  There wasn't enough of either to make any identification. It might have been her - it might have been another pilot.

          Still, it's always good to have a little doubt thrown on what you've always believed.  And to be reminded that you shouldn't believe everything you read, even if it's telling you not to believe...

          I fall back on the old proverb: 'Believe nothing - until it's officially denied.'

365 Things You Believe That Aren't True