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Thread: Urban Myths

  1. #1
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Urban Myths

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Myths which spread like wildfire, possibly for several generations, all the while having no basis in fact.

    Here's a couple to kick-start the thread.

    Placing grass clippings around the trunk os a tree as fertiliser. Trees absorb through the roots, not the trunk, and the practice may instead cause rot. Yet, people see others do it, so think it's what should be done ...the result? Myth.


    Wind gives the skin "wind burn". It can't. No such thing.

  2. #2
    Member Caneurysm's Avatar
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    Plucking out/waxing/shaving hair will make it grow back thicker and faster. Ironically the reverse is actually more true (for plucking/waxing) as in the process of tearing the hair out of the follicle you are more likely to create dormancy in the papilla (the root bulb like thing at the very base of the hair).

    In the words of the wonderfully witty Descartes

    “Common sense is the most widely shared commodity in the world, for every man is convinced that he is well supplied with it.”

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    You're right about plucking/waxing, but I think that shaving does cause regrowth of hair that isn't as fine as it was. No idea about speed though.

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Wind gives the skin "wind burn". It can't. No such thing.
    Partly true - even if it isn't the source, the effect can be the same.

    Discovery Health "How Windburn Works"

    For my contribution, the idea that unplugging appliances or switching off those at the socket outlet saves power (bonus points for those that believe that switching off empty socket-outlets saves power). Even with 4 years' worth of formal qualifications I still can't convince my Mum that it's a waste of time and effort and annoying as hell.

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    I think the appliance thing has two roots - one is the fear with which the older people were taught to respond to electricity - as part of the cautionary wisdom, making sure to turn things off was seen as necessary. And in a house with kids, it isn't a bad idea - if they pull out the cord the socket is dead if they decide to go probing.

    The other source of the issue is the electronics gear that runs Standby circuits - when power bills skyrocket it is an easy step to seeing the little light as an expensive option and the switch-off behaviour carries over to toasters and the like.

    I wonder how long a standby circuit has to run these days to compensate for the decreased life span of expensive equipment from the constant on/off cycles?

    I'm not sure if it is urban myth or not but I wonder how many people actually think punching the pedestrian crossing button 100 times will make the light change faster? The motorised version are the 'cfreepers' at the lights - do they REALLY think moving forward 15cms will help make the lights change for them?

  5. #5
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Poker machines pay out more according to how much money you've loaded into them (a hangover from the days of illegal pokies)

    (My eyesight is very bad, so forgive typos here) Masturbation makes you blind

    The liver is a repository of toxins and wastes and must be "cleansed"

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    [QUOTE=I'm not sure if it is urban myth or not but I wonder how many people actually think punching the pedestrian crossing button 100 times will make the light change faster? The motorised version are the 'cfreepers' at the lights - do they REALLY think moving forward 15cms will help make the lights change for them?[/QUOTE]

    That reminds me of someone I know. She thinks that the house will warm up faster if she cranks the furnace thermostat way up past the comfort zone. She does the same thing with the heater or air conditioner on the car. I can see where that approach works on a car with the old style heater and air conditioner controls that don't have an actual temperature setting. But with the digital controls, it makes no difference.

  7. #7
    Member Caneurysm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    but I think that shaving does cause regrowth of hair that isn't as fine as it was. No idea about speed though.
    As a qualified hairdresser that practised the craft for 7 years I can assure you that it is not true. Hair once formed is simply a very hard form of keratin, which is a protein based dead cell. Cutting a strand of hair is not like cutting a tree branch or chopping a weed where you are cutting something that is still actively alive; it has no impact whatsoever on the hair itself, nor does it magically send a message to the body to in some way respond or compensate. As shaving is just another form of cutting, the myth that it somehow changes the way the hair regrows is completely false.

    One possible reason that people have held this belief for so long is likely due to the nature of the cut made on the hair itself. When someone cuts or shaves a piece of hair, they make an aggressive horizontal slice through the centre of the hair (think of how you slice a cucumber); however when hair is left to its natural devices, over time the end of the hair burrs and splits and so the end becomes tapered. This has the effect of making the hair feel softer on the end, conversely, when hair is freshly cut it can feel much rougher/sharper on the end.

    Myth busted :P
    habahabanero, taco and Dragunov21 like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joes View Post
    That reminds me of someone I know. She thinks that the house will warm up faster if she cranks the furnace thermostat way up past the comfort zone. She does the same thing with the heater or air conditioner on the car. I can see where that approach works on a car with the old style heater and air conditioner controls that don't have an actual temperature setting. But with the digital controls, it makes no difference.
    If you have a poorly tuned PID, doing this turn on the element faster/for longer and thus get you to temperature faster.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Journeyman's Avatar
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    @Caneurysm - Off topic a bit I know, but over the years I've had a number of women tell me they wished they'd never started shaving their legs because once they did it was more visible and thicker. Is that just a product of the slice effect you talk about? One gf was in her early 30's when she first started (she moved to the smoke and felt she needed to 'clean up' for her executive job) and said nobody ever noticed she didn't do her legs until she started shaving.

    Admittedly it's only hearsay, but there's been 4 or 5 over the years say the same thing.
    [/off topic]

  10. #10
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    I must admit, when I get in a car on a hot day, the aircon goes on low till it starts to give cooler air, then it goes maximum cold and 4 on the fan. It may not be so but it sure FEELS like the car cools faster...
    That reminds me of someone I know. She thinks that the house will warm up faster if she cranks the furnace thermostat way up past the comfort zone.
    Maybe she thinks the thermostat makes the flame bigger if it is cranked up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    I'm not sure if it is urban myth or not but I wonder how many people actually think punching the pedestrian crossing button 100 times will make the light change faster? The motorised version are the 'cfreepers' at the lights - do they REALLY think moving forward 15cms will help make the lights change for them?
    The pedestrian crossing thing irritates me, probably because I'm a qulified Electronic Engineer

    Actually, depending on where you are in the intersection moving may help, sometimes the induction pads don't trigger properly, that said though, most of the edgers are already past the pad...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hildy View Post
    If you have a poorly tuned PID, doing this turn on the element faster/for longer and thus get you to temperature faster.
    Thermostat, dude.

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    "digital controls".

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Speaking as a qualified HVAC tech, digital would typically refer to binary or on/off control, as distinct from analogue 0-100% signals (rather than digital/analogue being used to denote the technology used to provide control). The majority of domestic digital temp controllers do not employ PID control.

    If you want to argue it further, PM me.

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    Urban Myths

    Quote Originally Posted by jbrewster View Post
    The pedestrian crossing thing irritates me, probably because I'm a qulified Electronic Engineer

    Actually, depending on where you are in the intersection moving may help, sometimes the induction pads don't trigger properly, that said though, most of the edgers are already past the pad...
    And often the buggers are so poorly calibrated they don't work at all for motorcycles. So if you see a biker rolling back and forward on the spot, swearing into his helmet, now you know why!

  16. #16
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    The 9/11 attacks were really perpetrated by the US government

  17. #17
    Member Caneurysm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    @Caneurysm - Off topic a bit I know, but over the years I've had a number of women tell me they wished they'd never started shaving their legs because once they did it was more visible and thicker. Is that just a product of the slice effect you talk about? One gf was in her early 30's when she first started (she moved to the smoke and felt she needed to 'clean up' for her executive job) and said nobody ever noticed she didn't do her legs until she started shaving.

    Admittedly it's only hearsay, but there's been 4 or 5 over the years say the same thing.
    [/off topic]
    Yeah I hear you, I have fielded this question literally thousands of times as it is a very commonly held belief. The scientific reality is however that once the hair forms in the follicle it is already dead. Before we even see it poke out the surface of the skin, the hair cells have been long dead and cutting them has no impact. To draw a similar correlation, we don't mistakenly believe that when we trim our nails (also another form of hard keratin) they will grow back thicker and or faster.

    I think in the instance of your gf and other women who perceive a difference it is simply the combination of a number of factors.

    1. The aforementioned horizontal cut of the hair shaft.
    2. Newly formed hair is yet to be affected by sunlight and wind and thus is the naturally darkest it will ever be
    3. In the same manner that people mistake the moon as being larger when its closer to the horizon, when hair first comes through, the contrast is more startling
    4. People have unstable/bias memory and usually don't accurately remember the original instance.
    5. It's entirely possible that people did notice her hair prior to her shaving but felt socially awkward about bringing it up, as they respected her lifestyle choice

    ...and in the interests of keeping this on topic, I guess my third point is also another common myth. That the moon/sun is larger when it first appears on the horizon. This is a fairly obvious one, its just an issue of having a reference point rather than when its floating high in the sky with nothing to compare it against.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caneurysm View Post
    Yeah I hear you, I have fielded this question literally thousands of times as it is a very commonly held belief. The scientific reality is however that once the hair forms in the follicle it is already dead. Before we even see it poke out the surface of the skin, the hair cells have been long dead and cutting them has no impact. To draw a similar correlation, we don't mistakenly believe that when we trim our nails (also another form of hard keratin) they will grow back thicker and or faster.
    Here're two things that make me wonder though; a dude in highschool shaved a square patch on his shin once a week for a couple months to test it; after that he let it grow back and the regrowth was noticeably darker and a lot of follicles appeared to have multiple hairs growing from them (2 or 3). The other is that when I was in my early teens I got bored in the shower and shaved the down off my left butt-cheek. (just let that slide, please) it no longer grows as down but as less-fine hairs (compared to the right which is still downy). That was ten years ago and has been corroborated by an unaware party. :P

    I'm not trying to say that that's proof, but it is weird, right?

  19. #19
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    I'm not trying to say that that's proof, but it is weird, right?
    I would say the whole story is all rather half-assed
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  20. #20
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Bummer! :-)
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    The other is that when I was in my early teens I got bored in the shower and shaved the down off my left butt-cheek. (just let that slide, please) it no longer grows as down but as less-fine hairs (compared to the right which is still downy). That was ten years ago and has been corroborated by an unaware party. :P

    I'm not trying to say that that's proof, but it is weird, right?
    Your right, very weird.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    3:

    tencharacters

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    The other is that when I was in my early teens I got bored in the shower and shaved the down off my left butt-cheek. (just let that slide, please) it no longer grows as down but as less-fine hairs (compared to the right which is still downy).
    What did the rest of the team think at the time?

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    Senior Member Bernsbrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    What did the rest of the team think at the time?
    They were too busy on the Brazilian conga line to notice.

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    As a lifelong car-nut one of my favourites is the misconception that it's beneficial to the car to get into it on a cold morning and rev the guts out of it for the first 30 seconds after starting to "warm the motor up".

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    giggled like a schoolgirl... Half-arsed, bummer, team and conga line... giggled like a schoolgirl...

    The other car one is similar - in modern cars it is apparently OK to start a cold car and head off down the road instantly... and that has nothing to do with needing a major overhaul in less than 75,000kms.

    EDIT: OK, that's just wrong - I type in (without the dots) L.M.A.O AND R.O.T.F.L and the forum changes it to giggles like a schoolgirl... I'm a 58yo burly bloke - I do NOT giggle and if I did it would NOT be like a schoolgirl... le sigh...

  27. #27
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    As a lifelong car-nut one of my favourites is the misconception that it's beneficial to the car to get into it on a cold morning and rev the guts out of it for the first 30 seconds after starting to "warm the motor up".
    o_o

    Wow...

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    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    Journeyman...for what its worth, Andy figured if members can't be bothered typing out the full meaning of all the acronyms then he'd have some fun with auto correct.

    We get a good laugh I have to admit.

    And we have to get a laugh every now and then.

    Sorry that its at your expense!

    Well...maybe not so sorry...

    Then again...just a little bit.

    Or not.

    I don't think I giggle like a schoolgirl either. But I have to admit, its pretty funny reading it.
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  29. #29
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoota_gal View Post
    Journeyman...for what its worth, Andy figured if members can't be bothered typing out the full meaning of all the acronyms then he'd have some fun with auto correct.

    We get a good laugh I have to admit.

    And we have to get a laugh every now and then.

    Sorry that its at your expense!

    Well...maybe not so sorry...

    Then again...just a little bit.

    Or not.

    I don't think I giggle like a schoolgirl either. But I have to admit, its pretty funny reading it.
    Especially when you don't realise it was done by autocorrect. I thought it was a meme, or slang that I, as a 20 y/o did not understand... :/

  30. #30
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoota_gal View Post
    Journeyman...for what its worth, Andy figured if members can't be bothered typing out the full meaning of all the acronyms then he'd have some fun with auto correct.

    We get a good laugh I have to admit.

    And we have to get a laugh every now and then.

    Sorry that its at your expense!

    Well...maybe not so sorry...

    Then again...just a little bit.

    Or not.

    I don't think I giggle like a schoolgirl either. But I have to admit, its pretty funny reading it.
    FWIW I thought it was hilarious.

  31. #31
    Super Moderator scoota_gal's Avatar
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    There's another acronym...haha...can't wait to see what becomes of that one Yelta!

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    :I had a laugh: This was :.l.o.l.: I tried a number of standard ones to see what doesn't work.

    I was on a forum that, for some reason, wouldn't allow 'poon' - it replaced poon with 'thingy' so you'd get a teasthingy of sugar in your coffee and Reece Withersthingy had much to live down...

  33. #33
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journeyman View Post
    :I had a laugh: This was :.l.o.l.: I tried a number of standard ones to see what doesn't work.

    I was on a forum that, for some reason, wouldn't allow 'poon' - it replaced poon with 'thingy' so you'd get a teasthingy of sugar in your coffee and Reece Withersthingy had much to live down...
    There's a restaurant in London called 'Poons'...I giggle like schoolgirl when I pass it.

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    "You're more likely to get bitten by a person than a dog"... scary.

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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    The myth abut creeping forward at a Stop Light has some basis in fact as some are controlled by sensor pads under the surface. If you are not close to the line you do not trip the sensor. This is in Queensland I am not sure whether they use them in other states

  36. #36
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Yeah, they all use induction loops for off-peak, but I think he means the guys that watch the light timings and creep forward as theirs are about to go green (sometimes halfway out into the intersection).

  37. #37
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flaminstuff View Post
    "You're more likely to get bitten by a person than a dog"... scary.
    Surely the only way to test this is to treat both a person and a dog with a similar level of disrespect. I suspect the aphorism is probably true (very much unfortunately for many animals).

    EDIT: Case in point....Luis Suarez.



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