Test Your Knowledge: Scientific Misconceptions
by Staff
There's no shame in admitting that we don't have all the answers. But there is a little shame when we're spewing scientific nonsense to our friends and colleagues. Test yourself to determine what so-called "science" you've misunderstood for years.

Everyone knows gross things happen after people die. Which of these things does NOT occur after death?

  • your skin shrivels
  • you release methane gas
  • your fingernails grow

What part of your body loses heat the fastest?

  • head
  • feet
  • neither

Can a healthy person get the flu from the flu vaccine?

  • yes, getting the flu shot means running the risk of getting the flu
  • no, but you might get a wee bit tired or achy
  • no, but you can get all sorts of behavioral disorders

Where are the salty taste buds on your tongue located?

  • We only know where the sweet taste buds reside.
  • Somewhere toward the back left side.
  • There is no "zone" for different tastes on your tongue.

The big bang theory does NOT:

  • tell us how the universe inflated
  • tell us how the universe began
  • tell us that the universe is cooling

How does the Coriolis effect explain why toilet water swirls in different directions, depending on the hemisphere?

  • It explains that planetary rotation would make water swirl differently.
  • It explains why our perception of water swirling depends on the Earth's rotation.
  • It doesn't explain a darn thing about toilets in either hemisphere.

How many senses do you think you have, not counting spidey?

  • None. I'm a monster who feels nothing.
  • Five. Duh, forever.
  • There are actually a lot more senses than the usual touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing.

When can lightning strike the same spot twice?

  • Any time it hits -- lightning often hits in more than one place in one strike, too.
  • Lightning will only strike once, in one place.
  • Only when Iron Maiden is on the stereo.

Why is summer so hot?

  • The Earth is closer to the sun in the summer.
  • To remind us how nice it is to drink a cold beer on a balmy afternoon.
  • The angle of the sun allows for the most direct hit of light.

What is a decent strategy to prevent a cold?

  • take a megadose of vitamin C
  • stay out of the cold
  • stop touching your face