Nothing is worse than knowing that you’re wrong. I take that back – getting stabbed is probably worse than knowing you’re wrong, but that’s probably why you get stabbed in the first place.
Regardless, I try to learn something new every day, and I want to pass learning on to you, because nothing is better than learning something new.
…unless it’s not getting stabbed. Not getting stabbed is pretty decent.
Anyway, here are some fun facts that your childhood taught you that were incorrect:
#5 – EARTH, WATER, FIRE, WIND AREN’T ELEMENTS
They’re compounds. You may already know that this is the case with these – in which case go ahead and skip to #4 – but some of us grew up with toys that were full of lies or teachers that were apparently just making stuff up until their next smoke break rolled around…otherwise known as “recess”.
For instance, check out Battle Beasts:
These were action figures that were made to represent the “elements” earth, wind, water and fire. It was kind of like Transformers where you’d open your animal, rub the little thing on their chest (Giggity) and see what symbol you had and what element the animal represented – thereby building your army of horrible action figures that your mom probably hated spending money on.
Battle Beast toys were my first exposure to the elements and it was wrong, just look:
There is nothing for fire, water, air or earth. That’s because they’re really compounds:
Fire – Carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen
- Water – Hydrogen and oxygen
- Wind – Nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon and hydrogen
- Earth – Pretty much everything else
The reason that they’re sometimes referred to as elements is because of the Greek Philosophy on such. Today we break them down into actual elements and disassemble the compound. Back then an element was simply something that you needed to survive – water, fire, earth, wind and dogs.
#4 WE HAVE MORE THAN 5 SENSES
EXCEPT, we have a shit-ton of senses. They may sound nit-picky, but there are also senses such as
- Thermoception (sensing of hot and cold)
- Proprioception (knowing where your limbs are)
- Equilibrioception (balance)
- Magentoception (magnetic fields)
…and many, many, many others. I get it, pressure and itch could technically be touch, but I didn’t invent them, I got them here. You have to admit though, it’s pretty hard to argue that balance and thirst can’t be senses. Just ask this girl, her sense of thirst is off the charts.
#3 HITLER WASN’T GERMAN
By now everyone has learned that Adolf was quite the artist and had he gotten accepted into art school, we probably never would have experienced one of the biggest examples of shitty human-being-ness to ever exist in the holocaust.
What you probably didn’t know is that Hitler wasn’t even German, he was Austrian.
His dad died when he was 13, and his mother died when he was 17 or so. After her death, Adolf made ends meet by selling his art on postcards and began studying politics.
In 1913, Hitler moved to Munich, Germany to avoid military service in Austria and the rest is history. Go figure.
#2 JAPAN DIDN’T FIRE THE FIRST SHOT AT PEARL HARBOR
December 7, 1941 is the day that Japan woke up the United States with a storm of bombs, torpedoes, gunfire and mini-subs. That’s right, mini-subs.
It is widely accepted that 5 mini-subs were dropped off near Pearl Harbor by a bigger submarine…spawning off like some kind of evil slug with the goal to infiltrate the holding bay of the U.S.S. Arizona and other battleships, shoot their two torpedos then die. Japanese were famous for that kind of stuff in the 40’s.
The thing is, we don’t know if one actually made it through. What we do know, is that one of these subs was shot and sunk by the U.S.S. Ward around 6:30 a.m. on December 7th. That is significant because the Japanese fighter planes didn’t arrive until 7:55 a.m.
What’s that mean? It means that America fired the first shot, nearly an hour-and-a-half before the main battle commenced.
#1 YOU CAN SURVIVE IN SPACE WITHOUT A SUIT
But that’s not exactly how it happens, nor do you instantly freeze on one side due to the immense chill of space and burn on the other due to the sun baking you worse than Cheech & Chong.
Basically, up until the 90-second point, you can be put back into pressurization and have some ill effects for a while, then return to normal. It’s been done on dogs and even a real incident involving a human.
The only thing to keep in mind is your lungs. Due to the rapid decompression, if you were to hold your breath while your suit decompresses and is exposed to space, your lungs will explode…that part is true.
So remember, if you’re ever stuck in space naked and have an EMT on standby and get saved within 90 seconds, you’ll have one helluva story on what you did last weekend as long as you exhale.