Everyone Knows These 10 Scientific Facts. The Problem Is, They’re Not Facts.

You may very well love science, but do you actually know anything about it? What are its favorite movies? How many slices of pizza it will eat when in a judgement-free zone? … No? I knew you didn’t really know science. You probably believe a lot of things that aren’t true. Many people accept these myths as “scientific fact,” but they are just fluff. These are some of the most common scientific misconceptions (and you probably believe most of them).

1. You can get arthritis from cracking your knuckles. – Untrue, but it might give your mom a heart attack if you keep doing it while she’s trying to focus on driving.

2. A penny dropped off the top of a tall building will kill someone if it hits them in the head. – It would tumble too much for it to ever fall fast enough. If you really want to kill a bystander, drop a large bill and watch them get trampled.

3. Our behavior is affected by a full moon. – Nope! You were just being your true jerk self that night.

4. It takes seven years to digest swallowed gum. – As if. Even a chewed up stick of Big Red can’t wait to get away from you.

5. We only use 10% of our brains. – Sorry, but we use 100% of our brains. Which is too bad, because it would have been so money if we only used 69%.

6. Antibiotics will get rid of a virus. – Antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses. If you want to kill a virus, you’ll need a wooden stake–wait…

7. A dark side of the moon exists. – There is no dark side, you dummies. The moon might not seem like it rotates, but it’s always twirling, twirling, twirling on its axis, albeit slowly.

8. The Brontosaurus is a dinosaur. – There’s no such thing as a Brontosaurus. Which means Fred Flintstone was probably eating Apatosaurus ribs in that reality show he and his family were on.

9. “Sugar Highs” are real. – Giving kids too much sugar won’t make them hyperactive. They’d wreck your house even if you gave them baby carrots. Especially if you gave them baby carrots.

10. Lightning never strikes the same spot twice. – It’s just not true. The Empire State Building gets struck by lightning about a hundred times a year–and you’re not going to accuse a National Historic Landmark of lying now, are you? I didn’t think so.

(via iflscience) As famed chemist The Notorious B.I.G. once said, “If you don’t know, now you know.” Don’t feel bad about being kept in the dark, though. Most people have fallen for these “facts,” hook, line and sinker. Help others correct their misguided beliefs by sharing this post.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/science-myths-debunked/

For Some Strange Reason, There’s An Airplane Inside Of This Hotel

In every hotel, there are some mysteries that are…well…best left unsolved. But Redditor yasbo found something inside his hotel that defies all explanation — a room designed to look like the interior of an airplane, complete with first-class seats and compartments to store fake luggage!

And you thought the sounds coming from the next room over were weird…

I looked it up, and Cloud 9 is not a real commercial airline. Not at all. Yet the Cork International Hotel in Ireland keeps a room designed to look like the inside of one of the fictitious airline’s planes.

The plane-themed room is filled with seats that are also massage chairs. For your entertainment, they always have a movie going.

It is eerily detailed.

There are even overhead compartments.

You can pretend to adjust the air on the fake console above, or even have an oxygen mask dropped on you!

I wonder what the view is like.

Why? Just…why?

A few Redditors believe that an airline may use it as a training facility for flight attendants, but this isn’t actually true. The Cork International Hotel says that the space is merely an airplane-themed room designed for businessmen to “relax.” Because what’s more relaxing after a long flight than tricking yourself into thinking that you’re still on an airplane?

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/hotel-plane/

13 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Listening To Music

There’s a reason you can’t get that one song out of your head.

1. Listening to sad music provokes more nostalgia than sadness.

FOX

A study published last year in PLOS One looked into why people seek out and actually like listening to sad music.

People in the study reported that sad music brought up “a wide range of complex and partially positive emotions, such as nostalgia, peacefulness, tenderness, transcendence, and wonder,” write the study authors.

Surprisingly, nostalgia, rather than sadness, was the most frequently reported emotion.

2. Repetitive choruses are the key to a hit song.

Joseph Nunes at the University of South Carolina looked into what makes a song commercially successful in a paper published last year in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

“Once you got on the hot 100, the more you repeated the chorus, the more word repetition, the less complex the song, the better it did,” Nunes told NPR earlier this year.

In fact, for each extra repetition of the chorus “a song’’s likelihood of making it to Number One, as opposed to staying at the bottom of the Billboard chart, increases by 14.5 percent,” Nunes and his co-authors wrote. There is a limit, though. Nunes and his colleagues saw a “ceiling affect”, above which more repetitions harmed, instead of helped, a song’s chances.

3. The “mere exposure effect” makes us like certain music just because we hear it a lot.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

But, crucially, there’s a point at which it then really really starts to grate – and you get an inverted-U graph like the one above.

In an essay at Aeon, Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, director of the music cognition lab at the University of Arkansas, explains why repetition makes us like music: “People seem to misattribute their increased perceptual fluency – their improved ability to process the triangle or the picture or the melody – not to the prior experience, but to some quality of the object itself.”

Basically, hearing a song you’ve heard before makes you feel clever, because your brain has already figured it out.

4. The mere exposure effect might also explain why Christmas music is so divisive.

The “mere exposure effect” could have something to do with our love/hate relationship with Christmas music. We get exposed to a ton of it in a very short amount of time, which can take us all the way up the inverted-U graph and down again very quickly.

At the beginning of December, you might be feeling pretty good about hearing some festive tunes, but by the end you’re likely to be burnt out.

5. We mishear lyrics because of the powerful role expectations play in our hearing.

In the 1950s a Harper’s magazine writer coined the term “Mondegreens” for misheard lyrics, in reference to a Scottish folk song in which she heard the words “Lady Mondegreen” instead of “laid him on the green”.

This happens because the meaning we create from songs doesn’t come entirely from what we hear.

“There’s a piece of what we understand that comes from the sound that comes in our ear,” Mark Liberman, a linguist at the University of Pennsylvania, told PRI last November, but “there’s a piece of what we understand that comes from the expectations in our brain”.

6. You might be more likely to keep mishearing a lyric if you find the incorrect version amusing.

A study published in PLOS One last year argued that the wittier you find your misheard version, the more likely you are to keep hearing it.

(Oh, but in “Blank Space” Taylor Swift definitely does sing “Starbucks lovers”, I’m sorry you are all just wrong.)

7. “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls is officially the UK’s catchiest song.

Scientists collected data from 12,000 people in an online game called Hooked on Music, created in collaboration between researchers and the Museum of Science and Industry (Mosi) in Manchester.

People were played clips, selected from more than 1,000 of best-selling songs since the ’40s, and had to indicate once they recognised the song. The average time it took to recognise a song was five seconds.

But the Spice Girls’ debut single “Wannabe” took people an average of just 2.29 seconds to recognise, according to the BBC.

8. Album sales in a particular genre of music go up as the music gets simpler.

“This can be interpreted as music becoming increasingly formulaic in terms of instrumentation once commercial or mainstream success sets in,” say authors of the study that was published in PLOS One.

9. People get chills listening to all different sorts of music.

Summit Entertainment

Ever got goosebumps when listening to your favourite music? It turns out that it’s not the type of music that dictates whether you’ll get chills, but how much you’re into it.

A paper published in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science found that musical preference didn’t make a difference when trying to predict whether someone is likely to get chills when listening to music.

In fact the study, which involved 196 mostly young adults from the University of North Carolina, found that “openness to experience” was the biggest predictor of who would get chills when listening to music. Openness to experience is a factor that predicts how much someone is into music, explains Williamson in a blog post about the paper. Essentially, this means that if you’re really into your music, whatever that music is, you’re likely to get the occasional shiver down your spine.

10. Music that gives you chills might make you more generous too.

Research published last year in the journal Frontiers In Psychology found that people were more likely to choose to give money to others if their favourite chill-inducing was playing. If music that they said they didn’t like was playing instead, they gave significantly less money. Just 22 people took part, so take the results with a pinch of salt, but it’s an intriguing finding.

11. Songs that get stuck in your head are called “earworms”.

Victoria Williamson, a researcher at the University of Sheffield, has researched why a certain song gets stuck in your head. Earworms can have several triggers, she explained to the BBC in 2012.

Some are obvious: having heard the song recently and repeatedly can contribute. But so can seeing a single word that reminds you of that song (for example, Williamson says walking into a shoe shop called Faith led to George Michael’s song of the same name being stuck in her head all afternoon).

Even stress can trigger an earworm. One participant in an online survey Williamson organised got a song stuck in her head during a big exam when she was 16 – then at every stressful life event since then it reappeared, even years later.

12. The best way to get rid of an earworm might be to get a different song stuck in there.

Buena Vista

Trying to specifically not think about a particular thing is very hard, and tends to make you think more about it that you would have otherwise. So just thinking your way out of an earworm is not going to work.

Here’s some information that might help, though: Recent thoughts are likely to come back if you aren’t actually finished with the thought, according to a paper in Applied Cognitive Psychology. This fits with a different study published in PLOS One, in which some people report that playing your earworm all the way through, either in real life or in your head, can get rid of it.

If that doesn’t work, one way to game the system is to listen to specific music you don’t mind having stuck in your head. Then at least you can choose your earworm.

13. Cows produce more milk when listening to relaxing music.

BC DAIRY ASSOCIATION

And finally… as reported by the BBC in 2001, listening to relaxing music can lead to cows producing more milk. The study involved 1,000 cows being exposed to fast, slow, or no music for 12 hours a day over a nine-week period.

When listening to the slow music (e.g. “Everybody Hurts” by REM) the cows produced 3% more milk per day than when they listened to fast music (e.g. “Space Cowboy” by Jamiroquai).

“Calming music can improve milk yield, probably because it reduces stress,” Dr Adrian North, who carried out the study, told the BBC.

According to Modern Farmer, music is something the dairy industry had been playing about with before the psychologists got involved too. Dairy farmer Kristine Spadgenske from Minnesota told them: “At our farm you can always tell when the radio is not on because the cows are way more jumpy and less likely to come into the parlor.”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kellyoakes/im-just-gonna-shake-shake-shake-shake-shake

What These People Spotted In The Sky Over The Weekend Has Everyone Freaking Out

More often than not, seeing strange lights in the sky fills people with terror. Sure, it might not be a UFO, but seeing bizarre lights isn’t usually a good sign. From what movies tell us, it usually means that something bad is about to happen.

Well, residents in Los Angeles saw a bright light moving through the sky over the weekend. Panic immediately ensued. People started speculating about what it could mean just as quickly as it appeared.

Is this a UFO, a meteor, or something a little more nefarious?

Source: Missile test explosion sparks scare in California by ianhouser on Rumble

Military officials say that it was just an unarmed missile test, and that the whole thing went according to plan. This explanation hasn’t convinced conspiracy theorists, though.

Even celebrities have their reservations! Judging by the look of these tweets, they’re sufficiently freaked out, too.

(via Elite Daily / CNN)

Apparently, the light was from a missile test off of the USS Kentucky, but some people still believe that it was something more malevolent. I can’t say that I blame them. This is exactly how the government would react if they were trying to cover up an alien invasion!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/la-light/

10 Gross Things You’re Doing Right Now. Yes, You And YES, Now.

What can’t our bodies do? They convert food into energy. They move us around. They give us lots of enjoyment (as well as a little frustration, probably). We live with our bodies every day, and do our best to make them look presentable.

But there’s only so much one can do to disguise the fact that the body is, in fact, pretty amazingly gross. Don’t worry. There’s nothing wrong with you. These things are normal and natural, even if they weird you out.

Get to know yourself better:

1.) Eyelash mites

Ed Reschke/Getty Images

They feel pretty when you put on mascara, too! Eyelash mites, or Demodex folliculorum, are tiny guys camping out at the base of your eyelashes, with as many as 25 to a follicle. That sounds like a lot, but they’re tiny and harmless, only causing allergic reactions in people with sensitivities. Wave hello when you look in the mirror.

2.) Mucus

iStock/Thinkstock

Mucus is just a fancy word for snot. While snot is usually associated with noses and sinuses, it’s found in the mouth, throat, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. There’s more mucus present when you have a cold, but it’s always there; your body produces up to 2 liters of the stuff on a daily basis.

And for good reason. Mucus is a lubricant. Without it, your mouth, nose, throat, and organs would dry out. You know how awful it is when your throat and nose feel dry? Thank mucus for helping you not feel like that all the time. Mucus also catches dust, pollen, dirt, or whatever else gets into your body through breathing. Mucus keeps these foreign substances from irritating the lungs and other organs. Hooray for mucus!

3.) Acid

Photo Quest Ltd./Science Photo Library/Corbis

Your stomach produces hydrogen to digest food, which mixes with the chloride in there and creates hydrochloric acid (HCl). This acid is found in commercial fertilizers, dyes, and the process known as fracking. It’s strong enough to dissolve metal, so how come it’s nice and contained in your stomach? Thank your pal mucus for that. Mucus coats the stomach’s lining and protects it from breaking down by the acid.

4.) Vomit

iStock/Thinkstock

When you think about it, vomit is just undigested food when it’s not inside your body anymore. The average stomach holds about three quarters of a gallon of food and beverages, and you know when you’ve reached your limit because you feel queasy. There’s a “vomit center” in your brain that flips the switch and makes you toss your cookies. Food-borne illness, regular illness, pregnancy, and medical treatments like chemotherapy all induce vomiting. And, you know, too much partying. In the cases of food-borne illness and partying, vomiting is a defensive reaction, meant to get harmful substances out of your body as soon as possible. If you don’t have to vomit, the food passes through your digestive system and becomes…

5.) Poop

iStock/Thinkstock

Everybody poops! Your body takes the nutrients it needs from the food you eat. It gets rid of whatever it doesn’t need. Your intestines are at a combined 25 feet long, about the length of an average garden hose, and full of poo. Aside from unneeded food, stool is also made of other waste from our body, including mucus, dead cells, bacteria, and water. Normal poop is about 75% water. Most people get rid of 3 to 8 ounces every day.

6.) Tonsil stones

PoodlesRock/Corbis

Your tonsils have pockets, provided you still have them. These pockets collect dead cells, mucus, and bacteria, forming a charming substance that hardens and become tonsil stones, or tonsilloliths. People with chronic tonsil issues have a higher chance of getting these. They also seem to appear more in people who have chronic dry mouth. Some people won’t notice them, and some may feel discomfort. They can also cause bad breath. You can easily remove them with a swab or by rinsing the mouth, and prevent them by keeping your mouth clean and hydrated.

7.) Gas

Du Cane Medical Imaging, Ltd./Getty Images

Yes, farts. The average person burps or farts 14 to 23 times a day. Human gas is composed of carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, as well as methane and sulfur. Our “natural gas” is mostly caused by swallowing air, although gassiness can also occur after eating certain foods. Known gas-inducing culprits include sugary and high-fiber foods (as well as beans and broccoli, as you probably know). Food allergies and digestive sensitivities also contribute to gas.

8.) Earwax

iStock/Thinkstock

Don’t dig around in your ears too much because it’s gross. Also, ear wax (or cerumen) is your friend. This waxy substance secreted by glands in your ear prevents dust and sometimes bugs from getting in your ears. Ear wax also keeps the ear canal lubricated and contains antibacterial properties. Look, if it didn’t have a purpose, it wouldn’t be there, okay? Get your fingers out of there.

9.) Bacteria

Visuals Unlimited/Corbis

The average human body is home to about 10 times as many microbial cells as it is human cells. A study shows that nearly three pounds of you, on average, isn’t you, but your own population of bacteria. Your body is its own ecosystem, and home to lots of friendly little guys. About 100 trillion little guys, to be specific. You’re a universe! Many of your inhabitants are quite helpful, too, providing you with aid in digesting food and fighting off the 1% of bodily bacteria that can cause disease or infection. So love your microbes! They love you. At least 99% of them do, but that’s a pretty good approval rating.

10.) Fatty deposits

Jodi Jacobson/Getty Images

Also known as lipomas, fatty deposits are simply deposits of fat. They are fat cells growing and storing fat in a weird place. They’re usually painless and harmless, and always kind of squishy.

If this makes you feel like a terrifying beast of grossness, don’t worry! This is happening to everyone on the planet right now. Your boss, your crush, and the celebrities you idolize experience these bodily happenings. They’re just like you: icky and full of critters. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

Read more: http://viralnova.com/control-the-urge-to-start-scratching/

Megamouth Shark Washes Up On A Philippine Beach And It’s Kind Of Cute

If it’s named after a DreamWorks character, it has to adorable, right?

1. As you may or may not have heard, a rare megamouth shark washed up ashore in the Philippines.

Google

People have been like, “OMG SO SCARY” and “JULES VERNE FEVER DREAM TBH,” but it’s kind of adorable actually?

2. Ready? This is what it looks like.

The dead megamouth shark was found in Pio Duran, Albay. It was nicknamed “Toothless,” after its resemblance to the character in the How to Train Your Dragon movies.

3. See? Cute!

Twitter: @SharkDevocean / DreamWorks Animation

4. But really, for a one-ton, fifteen-foot long creature from the deep, it’s really not all that bad.

Reuters / Via Rhaydz Barcia

Megamouths feed primarily on plankton in the deep sea, using its bioluminescent mouth (read: glowing jaws) to attract its prey. There have been 15 sightings of megamouths in the Philippines — second only to Japan — and Toothless is reportedly the 66th time a megamouth has been found.

5. (Just a reminder that the megamouth shark rubs fins with creatures like this, so it could be worse.)

 

6. Even scientists have difficulty believing that it’s a real creature. The species has been sighted so rarely that some still classify it as a cryptid.

The megamouth Toothless was brought over to the Philippines’ Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to be examined and preserved.

7. R.I.P. Toothless.

H/t ABS-CBN.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattortile/good-night-toothless-old-friend

5 Things We Learned From The Fourth Episode Of NPR’s “Invisibilia”

You’re more tangled with those around you than you think. Find out what you missed on this week’s top podcast on iTunes.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

For their six-part podcast, Invisibilia hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller examine the invisible stuff that shapes us.

This week, we dipped our toes into types of networking that don’t involve webinars and awkward cocktail hours. Here are some enlightening facts from the fourth episode, “Entanglement.”

1. Scientific entanglement goes completely against our intuition.

NBC / Via gifsoup.com

If the word “quantum” makes your brain pillbug into itself, hold onto your hat! Quantum entanglement is immensely complex, but it’s the stuff of sci-fi movies.

Say you have one atom hanging out at one end of the table. At the other end, you have another atom. It’s something that goes against common sense, but get ready: Scientists can make both atoms do the same thing even though they’re apart. Even the researchers admit to not really understanding it.

The U.S. government is funding a computer network that would allow info to travel from point A to point B without being cracked, and so far scientists have successfully done it at a distance of 88 miles.

2. Entanglements don’t just stop at atoms: They happen to people, too.

In the episode we meet a woman named Amanda who has a rare neurological condition called mirror-touch synesthesia.

You may have heard of other forms of synesthesia, or when senses intertwine, like seeing color when listening to music. Mirror-touch is like a form of hyper-empathy: When Amanda sees someone touch ice, her fingertips feel cold; she sees a hug, a warm tingle goes down her spine, and so on.

3. Mirror-touch synesthetes also mimic others’ emotions.

If Amanda witnesses someone cry, her brain manufactures that feeling, too. And so to get through the day, she learned to focus on people who were the most serene in the bunch.

Even a simple trip to the grocery store becomes neurologically taxing. Whereas we can ignore the wailing babies or overlook a bored cashier, a couple of hours out is so intimate for Amanda, she crashes hard with what she terms “the sleep.”

4. And it might be because a part of their brain is depleted.

Universal Pictures / Via naomuack.blogspot.com

You are you, and I am me, right? Seems simple. But what exactly moors the separation of yourself as an individual from others?

It’s a region called the temporoparietal junction, and less gray matter in that area can lead to blurring between yourself and others so much that you treat others’ bodies as your own, neuroscientist Michael Banissy told Spiegel and Miller.

After being a chameleon for years, Amanda vowed to leave the house less to sharpen the focus on her family.

5. Our faces leak micro-expressions all the time.

Candid Camera / Allen Funt Productions / Via youtube.com

Humans are wired to sync up. We mirror others’ behavior all the time, from our posture to the our inflections. We’ll even start breathing as one around a group conference table, says Banissy.

We also constantly broadcast split-second nonverbal clues about how we’re feeling. These emotional contagions are called micro-expressions — and that means like Amanda, each of our outings is eroded into its distinctive shape by those around us.

If you missed the episode, listen to it over at NPR or subscribe here.

Catch up with our recaps below or our interview with the hosts.

Episode 3, “How to Become Batman”
Episode 2, “Fearless”
Episode 1, “The Secret History of Thoughts”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kasiagalazka/invisibilia-episode-four-entanglement