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Dec 18 / Jonathan

Everything you know is wrong

Also: sugar doesn’t make kids hyperactive; snacking at night doesn’t make you fat (at least not any more than snacking elsewhen); hangover cures are bunk; poinsettias aren’t poisonous; and suicides don’t rise over the holiday period.

The paper is available at the British Medical Journal.

Guardian: Scientists debunk myth that most heat is lost through head

When it comes to wrapping up on a cold winter’s day, a cosy hat is obligatory. After all, most of our body heat is lost through our heads – or so we are led to believe.

Closer inspection of heat loss in the hatless, however, reveals the claim to be nonsense, say scientists who have dispelled this and five other modern myths.

The myth is thought to have arisen through a flawed interpretation of a vaguely scientific experiment by the US military in the 1950s. In those studies, volunteers were dressed in Arctic survival suits and exposed to bitterly cold conditions. Because it was the only part of their bodies left uncovered, most of their heat was lost through their heads.

And via a Guardian blog,

It’s not the first time Vreeman and Carroll have questioned common beliefs. Last year, they discredited a clutch of other oft-repeated statements, including that our hair and fingernails continue to grow after death; that shaved hair grows back faster; that reading in dim light ruins your eyes; and that we only use 10 percent of our brains.

via Yves Smith

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