Over the years, I've heard my fair share of old wives' tales, and assorted misconceptions. What disturbs me most is how some of these are actually ingrained into our society to the point where they've been widely believed, even when science and common sense has debunked them. In my continuing quest to help people live rational lives, I hereby debunk the following erroneous suppositions.
Myth #1: Don't swim for an hour after eating. You'll get cramps and drown.
This is the biggest fraud perpetrated against society as a whole. It's something I'm sure you were told growing up, and something that people for generations have accepted as fact. The truth is, you are not any more likely to get a cramp one minute after eating than you are an hour (or ten hours) after eating.
Myth #2: If you want a cherry tree to produce sweet fruit, soak the pit in sugar water before you plant it.
This is actually something professed by the Agricultural Gurus of the USSR. It is as fake as it sounds, and it just goes to show the sort of backward, superstitious thinkers that ruled behind the Iron Curtain!
Myth #3: If a woman eats a lot of sugar while she's pregnant, her baby will be addicted to sugar.
Okay, this one is very much akin to the previous myth in the realm of superstition. It is totally bogus. Sugar isn't crack cocaine. You don't get "addicted" to it, and a mother can suck down as much sweet stuff as she desires while pregnant. It won't make the baby any more or less loving of the white granules.
Myth #4: Your blood is actually blue inside your body. It only turns red when it is exposed to the air.
Well, if you are a Smurf this might be true, but for those of us who are more than three apples tall, our blood is red, even in our veins. I heard someone try to justify this position by explaining that the blood turns red when you get cut because of the oxygen in the air, but this makes even less sense. One of the blood's functions is to haul oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body, so it already has plenty of oxygen in it.
So, there are four really erroneous myths that should be exposed for all to see. Do your part, and spread the word.