Top 10 Historical Myths of All Time

signingEveryone has heard them, myths that have been told so often that they are perceived as true. Sir Isaac Newton was hit by an apple, Marie Antoinette stating “Let them eat cake!”, and many, many more. Here are the top 10 historical myths of all time:

1. Eve ate an apple

This may be slightly controversial but nowhere within the bible does it mentioned that Eve specifically ate an apple. Within the text, the “forbidden fruit” is simply mentioned as “the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden.” Potentially it could have been an apple, but with so many fruit trees in the world, who can say for sure.

2. Disney drew Mickey

Often Mickey Mouse is credited to Walt Disney, however, the true creator was Disney’s top animator, Ub Iwerks. Iwerks single handedly drew Mickey’s first short, Plane Crazy, in 1928. All of that said, Disney did play the voice of Mickey once sound films began and that is probably when the connection was made.

3. Van Gogh cut off his ear

While portions of this myth are somewhat true, it is not entirely true. Van Gogh suffered severe mental illness during his short lifetime and after a fight with another artist, Gauguin, he cut off his ear, and then committed suicide. Ok, so yes, he did cut off his ear, but he did not, in fact, cut off his entire ear. In the end Van Gogh only sliced off his left lobe. Still awful and painful, but not the whole ear.

4. Witches were burned at the stake in Salem Massachusetts

While there were the witch trials in 1692 that led to the arrest of 150 people of which 31 were tried and 20 eventually executed, none of them were burned at the stake. Instead, the regular method for dealing with the witches was by hanging.

5. Napoleon was small

Everyone has heard of the term “Napoleon complex” which is owed to the belief that Napoleon Bonaparte was particularly ambitious to compensate for being so small. While Napoleon certainly didn’t tower over many men, he was in fact still 5′ 7″.

6. Magellan circled the globe

Unfortunately, poor Ferdinand Magellan only made it halfway around the world prior to being killed by natives in the Philippines. Juan Sebastian Elcano completed Magellan’s trip the rest of the way around the world.

7. Rome burned and Nero fiddled

There is an old myth that Emporer Nero started the Great Fire of Rome in 64 A.D. and then began to play the fiddle as Rome burned. This would be highly inaccurate as the violin was not invented until 1600 years after the Great Fire.

8. Shakespeare wrote Hamlet

This is another that will probably come across rather controversial with hardcore Shakespeare devotees. While Shakespeare is regarded as the greatest playwright to have ever lived, most of his plays are in fact adaptations of earlier stories. Hamlet was based off of an old Scandinavian story.

9. America gained independence on July 4, 1776

While the Declaration of Independence was signed on this date the war waged on for another seven years before America had true independence from England. The actual date is September 3, 1783 when the Definitive Treaty of Peace was signed.

10. The electric light was invented by Edison

There is no argument that Edison is known as the world’s greatest inventor, however, he did not invent the electric light. In fact, four decades before Edison’s birth the English scientist Sir Humphry Davy invented arc lighting using a carbon filament. Edison’s contribution to this invention was to create a filament that would burn for more than 12 hours before breaking.


Five Crazy Lawsuits (that actually happened)

Judge!We’ve all seen them, those unbelievable lawsuits that somehow end up going to trial. Often we wonder what the plaintiffs are thinking! Yet occasionally, they win, spurring others to sue as well. Here are the some of the craziest lawsuits of all time:

1. Trapped in the Garage

In 1998, Terrence Dickson of Bristol Pennsylvania was in the middle of robbing a house when he decided to exit through the garage. After entering the garage he went to lift the door but found himself unable due to a malfunctioning automatic door opener. He attempted to return to the house but was also unable as the door had automatically locked as he came out. Dickson ended up stuck in the garage for 8 days while the family was away on vacation, all the while surviving on Pepsi and dog food. When the family returned he sued the homeowner’s claiming he underwent severe mental anguish. The case went to court and he was awarded $500,000.

2. The Mother/Son Con

Kathleen Robertson sued a furniture store in January 2000 after having broken her ankle tripping over a toddler. Kathleen stated that the toddler was running wild and she was awarded the hefty sum of $780,000. The real kicker is that the misbehaving toddler was her own son.

3. Cruise Control Is Not Autopilot

In November of 2000 a Mr. Grazinski was awarded $1,750,000 after crashing his brand new Winnebago motor home. Mr. Grazinski after taking off on his trip in his brand new home on wheels, set the cruise control and then left the driver’s seat to go make himself a cup of coffee in the back. The motor home crashed, and Grazinski sued Winnebago stating that they had not specifically pointed out that he could not get up to go make a coffee while driving. He was also awarded a brand new Winnebago. The company quickly updated their handbooks just in case someone was this dumb in the future.

4. Don’t Sue the Messenger

A Michelle Knepper, of Vancouver Washington sued the phone company after a doctor she selected from the book turned out to be a dermatologist instead of a plastic surgeon. Knepper herself selected the doctor and chose to go ahead with her liposuction procedure even though the man was unqualified to conduct such a proceedure. Afterwards, Knepper faced complications and stated she never would have chosen the doctor had she known he wasn’t board certified to conduct the liposuction. In the end she won $1.2 million plus another $375,000 for her husband whom complained of “loss of spousal services and companionship.”

5. Glued Together

Bob Dougherty had no clue what he should have expected when he decided to take a trip to the restroom in a Home Depot. As he sat to take care of his business, he quickly realized that some deviant had smeared glue on the seat ensuring that the next occupant would stick to the seat and be unable to leave. Home Depot claimed the incident was not their fault and offered him $2,000. Mr. Dougherty was not pleased with their offer and called it “insulting” and went on to file a suit demanding $3 million.


Five Misconceptions About Facebook

facebookLike everyone else, you’ve been sucked into Facebook. Who could resist the constant stream of selfies, insecurities, and cat videos? Beyond all of that enjoyment there have been a few interesting news articles lately that have raised some concern about privacy issues within the company. Here are the top 5 evil schemes of Facebook.

1. Posting a notice on your account will protect your privacy

In the last year or so there have been various privacy notices floating around the site with the perception that if you post it you can copyright your material and protect your privacy. As nice as this would be, it is untrue. When you sign up for Facebook you sign away the rights to anything you post on the site. The only real way to protect yourself is to leave Facebook.

2. Facebook will use your personal photographs in advertising

The answer to this one is unfortunately true but may not be quite as intrusive as you think. Yes, they can and will use your main profile photo if they choose and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you look very closely there is a clause in the fine print when you sign up for the site that allows them to do so. However, they will not use photos from your other albums. I guess maybe that is slightly reassuring.

3. New Facebook “Identify music and TV” app could listen to and record your personal conversations

The main goal behind this app is to be able to have it identify music and TV shows that are on while you’re making a status update. The downside to this is that there is the potential that Facebook could be continuously listening and recording your conversations while you are unaware. Facebook have given a press release stating that they do not listen or record any conversations, but given their past record of privacy abuses, it’s hard to know if they should be trusted.

4. Your account may be pirated

While not necessarily Facebook’s fault, it is still a slight concern when visiting the site. Believe it or not, there are those out there that will steal all of the information you’ve been posting and create a whole new persona on Facebook using your photo and name. Need any more of a reason not to share every little detail of your life on a social network?

5. Facebook’s ad campaigning

While this sounds perfectly harmless at first it is important to look at how Facebook is already directly targeting each of us with their ad campaigns. Like many other sites on the internet it is not uncommon for them to keep a record of all our searches and interests as a means to better cater towards items we may like to purchase. While this can seem helpful to a certain extent. Who doesn’t like seeing a fantastic pair of shoes on the side of the page, and then a pair of jeans you’ve been looking at but haven’t bought? While the ads may seem harmless they hint to a deeper issue involving our personal privacy.