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  #1  
Old 05-06-2012, 12:51 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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The Most Wrong You've Been For the Longest Time

I've been wrong about so many things it's hard to pick one, but I was reminded of this when I saw one of JFK's bodyguards being interviewed yesterday.

As you may recall, when JFK was shot and the motorcade started speeding up, Jackie started crawling out on the trunk of the (roofless) car they were riding in (and a Secret Service man ran up and pushed her back into the seat). I was 10 years old, and I just assumed that she was trying to get the hell out of there. Since it was kind of dumb to try to jump out of a speeding car, I also assumed that she had panicked, and wasn't very brave.

It wasn't something I thought about frequently, but the fact remains that I didn't have a very high opinion of her courage for the next 30 years or so.

Then one day I happened to be reading something about the assassination, and I learned that the last shot had blown a fairly big chunk of JFK's skull onto the trunk, and that Jackie, at great personal risk, was crawling out there to retrieve it, in hopes it would help the doctors save his life. In other words, it took not only a lot of courage, but incredible coolness under fire to attempt to do exactly the right thing just a split second after something totally unexpected and traumatic happened.

So I owe her a huge apology, and I was as wrong as wrong can be for some 30 years.

Has anybody been wronger longer?
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2012, 02:56 PM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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Tantalizing topic. I tend to repress things I was wrong about and then cling tightly to the updated and more-nearly-correct version as if it were my version all along.

I have been corrected here often enough that it's hard to point to one that stands out over all the others.

But I will be thinking about it and try to get back to you. I suspect it may have to do with geography, family history, or sports trivia.

Your example is hard to beat!
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  #3  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:04 PM
Corcaigh Corcaigh is offline
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Until I was about 12, I thought God was a man who lived in America. Or somewhere. A town called Heaven anyways, and the only place that I knew outside of the UK and Ireland was America, so he must live there.

Because I'd not seen him walking down the street.

I was a bit thick when I was a youngling...

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Old 05-06-2012, 03:05 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Corcaigh View Post
Until I was about 12, I thought God was a man who lived in America.
Sadly, many idiots in the US still believe this.
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  #5  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:57 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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Back in the eighties, I confidently predicted that when Kim Il-sung died, his son Kim Jong-il would be unable to hold on to power and would soon be overthrown.
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  #6  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:14 PM
nudgenudge nudgenudge is offline
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I suspect that the OP is some kind of stealth JFK conspiracist who is attempting to soften us up before the big reveal. "As you may recall", my ass. He knows perfectly well that every detail has been discussed thousands of times.
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  #7  
Old 05-06-2012, 06:42 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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Originally Posted by nudgenudge View Post
I suspect that the OP is some kind of stealth JFK conspiracist who is attempting to soften us up before the big reveal. "As you may recall", my ass. He knows perfectly well that every detail has been discussed thousands of times.
If your post is a joke, consider me whooshed.

If it isn't, then it is.
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  #8  
Old 05-06-2012, 06:50 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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Here's the Zapruder film, if anybody else thinks I'm making this up.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...36943704944166
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  #9  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:07 PM
Lakai Lakai is offline
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I thought I knew what it would feel like if I were under the influence of my emotions. Turns out it feels just like when you're not under the influence of your emotions.

I was an emotional train wreck my whole life and I had no idea. Now I keeping thinking that every thought I have could have been compromised somehow. Similar to a mild version of Winston Smith at the end of "1984."
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2012, 03:07 AM
Namkcalb Namkcalb is offline
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General stupidity.
  • Citric acid is the same as vitamin C (asorbic acid)
  • Newark and NYC are the same place. (They aren't)
  • No insect poison can hurt a human (Spider-hunter wasp).

Big stupidity.
  • The moon landings were most likely faked (I stopped believing this when the Japanese space agency took pictures of the lander from lunar orbit)

Last edited by Namkcalb; 05-08-2012 at 03:08 AM..
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2012, 04:25 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
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Being quite young in the 1990s I remember being told in about 1996 that the USSR no longer existed...
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2012, 05:39 AM
Mean Mr. Mustard Mean Mr. Mustard is offline
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I was in my early twenties before I learned that that Manhattan neighborhood was not pronounced Greenwich Village.

In my defense, Bob Dylan pronounced it that way in an early song.


mmm
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  #13  
Old 05-08-2012, 05:41 AM
Heracles Heracles is offline
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All right, and this is meant quite rationally/respectfully: for most of my life I've believed that religious people were less intelligent than atheists (for most definitions of intelligence). And that the famously brilliant people of the past held religious views for fear of persecution.

I've seen a few counterexamples these past few years: some fairly stupid atheists and some modern, intelligent believers. I'm still trying to sort out the implications, while remaining quite atheistic myself. I know full well that we'll probably never get statistics on this. But if there's a correlation, at the very least it's much weaker than I thought.

Please, let's not start a debate on this.

Last edited by Heracles; 05-08-2012 at 05:44 AM..
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2012, 05:48 AM
Heracles Heracles is offline
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Oh, and on a lighter note, I believed professional wrestling was for reals until my roommate and best friend pointed out the obvious fakeries, when I was about 18 or 19.
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  #15  
Old 05-08-2012, 06:08 AM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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I totally believed for the last 20 years or so that Aung San Suu Kyi was a graduate of my alma mater and I told this to a number of people.

She is not.
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  #16  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:03 AM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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I did actually use Algebra in real life; it had a purpose after all.

Years after insisting in high school that I was going to be a journalist and, therefore, would have no useful purpose for algebra, I was faced with a situation in which I needed to use it. I was working customer service for a car rental company. A customer had rented a car at a nearby airport and drove the car a whopping 8 miles, kept the car for a day, and then drove it back. He'd been charged for a full tank of gas. Despite it being a mid-sized car, the customer and I agreed that there was no way driving 16 miles would empty the tank.

I pulled the rental agreement before his, his rental agreement, and the one that came after his -- to verify exactly how many miles he'd driven. I went to the fleet department to get the specs on how many gallons of fuel that particular car would hold and the average in-town mileage for that car. I had to calculate how much gas he probably had used on his whopping 16-mile journey, then I actually had to set up an equation to calculate how much of a refund he was owed. He'd been charged for a full tank of gas and had actually used about 1/8. I turned in my documentation to accounting and they cut a check for 7/8 of a tank of gas (at our company's going rates, which were ridiculous, being a car rental company, of course). Dude got his refund. I immediately dashed off a letter to my high school algebra teacher and apologized to her for giving her so much shit in class back in the 80s. "I am so sorry. I was wrong. It turns out I really did need to use algebra in the real world. Please tell your other creative-brained students this story so they will know that they cannot possibly know what practical purposes this knowledge will have for them later on down the road."

Note: I haven't used algebra since then, in the sense of, "Oh, I need to set up an equation and solve for X!" Nor have I graphed a line, for any reason.

Last edited by Dogzilla; 05-08-2012 at 10:04 AM..
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  #17  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:35 AM
bup bup is offline
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Snopes cleared up a few stupid beliefs I had, as has Cecil. It's hard to remember exact ones.

I know I believed "this bill is legal tender for all debts, public and private" meant that a business had to accept cash until Cecil wrote about it.

I believed the drugged Halloween candy stories my mom told me until well into adulthood, and Snopes.

I believed Austria was part of the Eastern Bloc from the time I read The World According to Garp until I went to Europe (a six-year timespan).
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  #18  
Old 05-09-2012, 01:41 AM
Incubus Incubus is offline
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When I was a kid, I had read The Time Machine. Or at least I thought I did. Later, I was in an upper division Literature class and we were discussing the book. Me, being an arrogant ass, didn't even bother to read it since I had read it dozens of times. I was mentioning a chapter and everybody was asking me what the hell I was talking about.

Later that evening I checked the old copy of the book, and apparently it was some sort of adaptation of The Time Machine. Apparently this other author just shoehorned in an extra chapter full of stuff that was ultimately just filler. Boy was I embarassed
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:26 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is online now
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Can't think of anything seriously wrong, but for about 30 years I thought American school years were January-to-December, just like my school years were in New Zealand, and you just had a long break over summer right in the middle of it.

It's only since about 2003 that I started to put my disparate thoughts together and figure it out.
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  #20  
Old 05-09-2012, 08:16 AM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is offline
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Originally Posted by nudgenudge View Post
"As you may recall", my ass. He knows perfectly well that every detail has been discussed thousands of times.
Not all of us are ancient enough to "recall" anything about it.
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  #21  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:05 AM
Corcaigh Corcaigh is offline
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Originally Posted by DMark View Post
Sadly, many idiots in the US still believe this.
teehee!



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Originally Posted by nudgenudge View Post
I suspect that the OP is some kind of stealth JFK conspiracist who is attempting to soften us up before the big reveal. "As you may recall", my ass. He knows perfectly well that every detail has been discussed thousands of times.
TBH I didn't know that Jackie was crawling after a part of JFK's scalp until someone said something about it ooh 20 odd years ago...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Heracles View Post
Please, let's not start a debate on this.
Oh, thems fighting words mister!

*sits back and waits for someone else to throw the first punch*



My mother thought the USS Enterprise was a real spaceship for years. I think we finally convinced her it isn't.
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  #22  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:16 AM
bup bup is offline
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My mother thought the USS Enterprise was a real spaceship for years. I think we finally convinced her it isn't.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise was real, although it never went into space.

For a long, long time, from my 7th birthday, when my parents told me, until sometime into adulthood, I believed the canard about all your body's cells being replaced every 7 years, so you had no cells in common with yourself from 7 years ago.

I also believed brain cells never get created after birth. I believed those things concurrently, though they were never in my mind at the same time.

The people who raised me still believe all that stuff - you only use 10% of your brain, you should drink 8 glasses of water a day (and coffee doesn't count, nor anything else that is mostly water). I guess they believe because they're old, and that's what old people do.

Check under your cars at the mall before you open the door. There have been guys who wait under cars to grab your legs and then kidnap you!
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  #23  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:50 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by Corcaigh View Post
TBH I didn't know that Jackie was crawling after a part of JFK's scalp until someone said something about it ooh 20 odd years ago...
Hell, this is the first I heard of it.

I, too, just assumed she was just trying to crawl away. Never affected my impression of her, but it just would never occur to me that crawling back to retrieve the portion of someone's skull or brain would be something to do in that situation. Of course, now that I think about it, crawling would just make you a bigger target, but I never really thought about it.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-09-2012 at 09:51 AM..
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  #24  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:57 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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I think Jackie mentioned this [crawling for a piece of skull] in some of the recordings that aired in the 20/20 special "Jacqueline: In Her Own Words."
BTW, she pronounced her own name as "zhock-a-LEEN" (sorry, don't know IPA).

Last edited by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker; 05-09-2012 at 09:57 AM..
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  #25  
Old 05-09-2012, 11:10 AM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
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Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
I did actually use Algebra in real life; it had a purpose after all.

Years after insisting in high school that I was going to be a journalist and, therefore, would have no useful purpose for algebra, I was faced with a situation in which I needed to use it. I was working customer service for a car rental company. A customer had rented a car at a nearby airport and drove the car a whopping 8 miles, kept the car for a day, and then drove it back. He'd been charged for a full tank of gas. Despite it being a mid-sized car, the customer and I agreed that there was no way driving 16 miles would empty the tank.

I pulled the rental agreement before his, his rental agreement, and the one that came after his -- to verify exactly how many miles he'd driven. I went to the fleet department to get the specs on how many gallons of fuel that particular car would hold and the average in-town mileage for that car. I had to calculate how much gas he probably had used on his whopping 16-mile journey, then I actually had to set up an equation to calculate how much of a refund he was owed. He'd been charged for a full tank of gas and had actually used about 1/8. I turned in my documentation to accounting and they cut a check for 7/8 of a tank of gas (at our company's going rates, which were ridiculous, being a car rental company, of course). Dude got his refund. I immediately dashed off a letter to my high school algebra teacher and apologized to her for giving her so much shit in class back in the 80s. "I am so sorry. I was wrong. It turns out I really did need to use algebra in the real world. Please tell your other creative-brained students this story so they will know that they cannot possibly know what practical purposes this knowledge will have for them later on down the road."

Note: I haven't used algebra since then, in the sense of, "Oh, I need to set up an equation and solve for X!" Nor have I graphed a line, for any reason.
While it's far more likely that the person checking in the car messed up, an unscrupulous person could rent a car and sit in it with the engine running and the AC on all day (making business calls or something), drive only 16 miles, and turn it in with a nearly empty tank.
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  #26  
Old 05-09-2012, 12:41 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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I believed that the events described in the book Sybil (about a woman with 16 personalities), especially the horrific child abuse scenes, were all true from the time I first read the book in the late '70s until a few weeks ago, when I read Sybil Exposed. It is surprising how much of an influence the original book had on my worldview, and what a difference it made to me to know the truth.
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  #27  
Old 05-09-2012, 01:03 PM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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Originally Posted by SmellMyWort View Post
While it's far more likely that the person checking in the car messed up, an unscrupulous person could rent a car and sit in it with the engine running and the AC on all day (making business calls or something), drive only 16 miles, and turn it in with a nearly empty tank.
True, but what would be the motive for that?

ETA: It was clear from the following rental agreement that the car had been checked out to the next guy with approximately 1/8 of a tank less than full. This corresponded to the renter's story that he'd only used about 1/8 of the tank. Had the next person checked the car out with an empty tank, your theory would have warranted further investigation.

Last edited by Dogzilla; 05-09-2012 at 01:04 PM..
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  #28  
Old 05-09-2012, 01:10 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Hell, this is the first I heard of it.

I, too, just assumed she was just trying to crawl away. Never affected my impression of her, but it just would never occur to me that crawling back to retrieve the portion of someone's skull or brain would be something to do in that situation. Of course, now that I think about it, crawling would just make you a bigger target, but I never really thought about it.
Well, I seriously doubt she was thinking super-clearly.
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  #29  
Old 05-09-2012, 01:21 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
In other words, it took not only a lot of courage, but incredible coolness under fire to attempt to do exactly the right thing just a split second after something totally unexpected and traumatic happened.
I wouldn't call that "exactly the right thing to do." JFK was dead the instant that bullet hit him in the head. Trying to gather up chunks of his skull in the hopes the doctor can patch it all together isn't a rational reaction, it's a shock reaction to a terrible event. "Exactly the right thing to do" would have been to get down in the footwell and cover your head, not expose yourself to more bullets to save a man who's already dead.

I don't mean that as a criticism, incidentally. I wouldn't expect anyone in that situation to react rationally, and it's to her credit that her first thought was to help her husband, rather than to protect herself, but I don't think that's a good example of "coolness under fire."
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:26 PM
bup bup is offline
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I wouldn't call that "exactly the right thing to do." JFK was dead the instant that bullet hit him in the head. Trying to gather up chunks of his skull in the hopes the doctor can patch it all together isn't a rational reaction, it's a shock reaction to a terrible event. "Exactly the right thing to do" would have been to get down in the footwell and cover your head, not expose yourself to more bullets to save a man who's already dead.
I disagree. I don't think it was her call to decide her husband's case was hopeless.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:37 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Embarrassing: I can recall arguing with my sister, insisting to her that the chocolate confections called "truffles" are made out of mushrooms.

Science and mythology: Arguing with my Mom that YES THERE WAS TOO such a thing as dragons. Not NOW of course, but you know, back in the ancient times, when dragons and dinosaurs roamed the earth. Stalked off in a huff to find scholarly books with reconstructions and fossilized dragon bones so I could prove her wrong.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:45 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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I disagree. I don't think it was her call to decide her husband's case was hopeless.
Yeah, I've looked at the film closely, and I can't find an EEG in the back seat. Nobody can know the absolute best course of action a split second after something like that happens out of the blue, but as I said, she attempted to do her best with the facts at hand. I think most people would have either ducked, or just started screaming.

Last edited by TonySinclair; 05-09-2012 at 02:49 PM..
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  #33  
Old 05-09-2012, 02:52 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
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General stupidity.
Big stupidity.
  • The moon landings were most likely faked (I stopped believing this when the Japanese space agency took pictures of the lander from lunar orbit)
You're the first person I know of who admits to that (other than people on the Art Bell show or something), so kudos for your honesty. May I ask why you thought they were faked?

Last edited by TonySinclair; 05-09-2012 at 02:53 PM..
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  #34  
Old 05-09-2012, 03:14 PM
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There were a lot of things I believed until my 20's.

Like a lot of people, I believed the poison and razor blades inside of Halloween candy or apples.

Also, I could have sworn that vacuum was spelled vacume.

Doing a Google check, apparently vacume is the spelling used in Ontario & Quebec. I'm an American who has never been to Canada, but maybe I saw that spelling somehow when I was a kid and it stuck with me.

And for the most stupid. For a long time I thought that there was something called a lemon-lime. I mean, I knew about lemons, but I had never heard of just a lime. I saw a lot of ads for things like Sprite and 7-Up and didn't realize they were talking about a soft-drink that combined the flavors of two separate fruits .
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:15 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Eh, that's okay, my 14 year old nephew a few months ago in the grocery store asked what was up with the green lemons.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:03 PM
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Makes me feel a little better.

Oh, I just thought of another one. Until a year or two ago I had only heard of aborigines referring to native or indigenous Australians. I didn't know that it could be used for other indigenous peoples.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:10 PM
Whammo72 Whammo72 is offline
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General stupidity.
  • Citric acid is the same as vitamin C (asorbic acid)
DOH!

Last edited by Whammo72; 05-09-2012 at 05:12 PM..
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  #38  
Old 05-09-2012, 05:56 PM
Heckity Heckity is offline
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Doing a Google check, apparently vacume is the spelling used in Ontario & Quebec.
FWIW, I've lived in Ontario my whole life and I've never, ever, seen vacuum spelled that way.
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  #39  
Old 05-09-2012, 06:08 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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I disagree. I don't think it was her call to decide her husband's case was hopeless.
If you're picking up chunks of someone's skull, then its hopeless. You don't need to be a doctor to figure that one out.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:34 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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If you're picking up chunks of someone's skull, then its hopeless. You don't need to be a doctor to figure that one out.
Tell that to Gabby Giffords...
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:09 PM
Nobody Nobody is offline
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FWIW, I've lived in Ontario my whole life and I've never, ever, seen vacuum spelled that way.
What about Quebec?
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  #42  
Old 05-09-2012, 09:18 PM
Namkcalb Namkcalb is offline
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All right, and this is meant quite rationally/respectfully: for most of my life I've believed that religious people were less intelligent than atheists (for most definitions of intelligence). And that the famously brilliant people of the past held religious views for fear of persecution.
I used to think the same thing
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Originally Posted by bup View Post
For a long, long time, from my 7th birthday, when my parents told me, until sometime into adulthood, I believed the canard about all your body's cells being replaced every 7 years, so you had no cells in common with yourself from 7 years ago.

I also believed brain cells never get created after birth. I believed those things concurrently, though they were never in my mind at the same time.
You mean they are not true???
The canard I believed/believe is that everything but the brain renews itself every seven years.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namkcalb View Post
The moon landings were most likely faked (I stopped believing this when the Japanese space agency took pictures of the lander from lunar orbit)
You're the first person I know of who admits to that (other than people on the Art Bell show or something), so kudos for your honesty. May I ask why you thought they were faked?
It's was mostly a simple all-or-nothing error. I generalised that since the photos were suspect, the whole project many times bigger than the photos was suspect.

I ignored all the tens of thousands of people who worked on it, the technologies they produced and the radiation the astronauts received, all because the photos were likely taken pre-launch.

I ignored the silence of the soviets, as I thought they didn't want to seem sore losers, but I could not ignore the silence of the JSA, as they were a neutral party, with much to gain from a new rush to the moon.

It's a similar error to creationists claiming evolution is false just because some species are missing a missing link.
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  #43  
Old 05-09-2012, 10:21 PM
Heracles Heracles is offline
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What about Quebec?
Nope, sorry, the English-speaking part of Québec spells vacuum the usual way, AFAIK.

In local French, we don't use the word at all: a vacuum cleaner is properly called un aspirateur, and in everyday speech it's une balayeuse; the physical absence of gas is called le vide.

Last edited by Heracles; 05-09-2012 at 10:22 PM..
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  #44  
Old 05-09-2012, 10:28 PM
Idle Thoughts Idle Thoughts is online now
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I think I believed in Santa until I was about 10.

I seem to remember thinking that Chicago was a state for the longest time (until age 15 or so).
Even today, Chicago just SOUNDS like a state, you know?
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:51 PM
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When I was around 11 or so I saw a video of John Lennon singing give peace a chance. For some reason the beard and long hair made him look kind of old to me, so for a while I thought that he and the other beetles were in their 60s in the late 60's / early 70's.
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  #46  
Old 05-09-2012, 11:06 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Up until about college age, I was 100% convinced that UFOs, Roswell, Area 51, grey aliens, crop circles, etc. were completely real. Then I actually started reading into everything and realizing it's all a bunch of BS.

ETA: Also, Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, and everything like that. If the current History Channel had been around 10 years ago, I never would have turned it off.

Last edited by enalzi; 05-09-2012 at 11:10 PM..
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:12 PM
JWT Kottekoe JWT Kottekoe is offline
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I thought there was a city named La Hoya that I'd never seen mentioned in print and another city named La Jolla that I'd never heard anyone talk about.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:18 PM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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All the way into my late 30's, I mistakenly believed that the "hoi polloi" referred to the elite rather than the proletariat as it actually does. Good thing that I had few opportunities to use it in speech or print.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:54 PM
moejoe moejoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar Mundane View Post
All the way into my late 30's, I mistakenly believed that the "hoi polloi" referred to the elite rather than the proletariat as it actually does. Good thing that I had few opportunities to use it in speech or print.
Until this very moment.
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  #50  
Old 05-10-2012, 12:39 AM
EvilMinion EvilMinion is offline
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As a kid in the '80s I used to think that all post-WW2 bombs were nuclear, and so when the US bombed Libya in 1986 I thought that meant Libya was wiped off the face of the earth.
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