Plausible lies and false truths  FEB 18 2005

While wandering around the Natural History Museum in London, I came up with a little game** that I'd like to try out on you all. The challenge is to come up with a statement that's difficult to tell whether it's true or false, but is definitely one or the other. So, we're looking for really plausible lies or truths that seem false. Here's an example (from the Museum):

Due to the Coriolis Effect, the spirals in sea shells from the northern hemisphere grow counter-clockwise while shells that grew in the southern hemisphere spiral clockwise.

Sounds plausible enough, but is it true? Do you have any facts that seem false or lies that seem true?

** This can't be a novel idea...anyone seen this kind of thing somewhere before?

There are 109 reader comments

erat10 18 200510:10AM

I don't know if this qualifies. It's an oldie but goodie, though, so I'll offer it:

It's quicker to go to Chicago than by bus.

Sure, it's goofy, but is it true or false?

(Sorry, it's the first thing that popped into my mind... I'll try to come up with something better. :)

Doug12 18 200510:12AM

I once got an elaborate story into the high school newspaper about the history of peaches. I wrote that peaches used to be covered with thick, black, pubic-esque hair, and the Pilgrims created the lightly fuzzed modern peach through careful selective breeding.

jkottke22 18 200510:22AM

I wrote that peaches used to be covered with thick, black, pubic-esque hair, and the Pilgrims created the lightly fuzzed modern peach through careful selective breeding.

Ha! That's an excellent one.

Matt32 18 200510:32AM

I'd say false. I'm sure it only affects things that are moving rather than things are growing, for example weather systems and water flowing down the plughole. Of course you could say that a growing shell is moving, but I doubt the Earth's rotation would have an effect on it.

Colin37 18 200510:37AM

There's a board-game version of this, it's called "Balderdash", and can be a lot of fun if you have an even mix of clever and gullible people.

http://www.drumondpark.com/rules/absolutebalderdash.html

Here's one for you:
A due to unique acoustical properties, a duck's quack will not echo.

Derek46 18 200510:46AM

Re: The Coriolis effect, my wife (a meteorologist) informs me that it actually only affects things on the scale of large weather systems -- it has no effect on water draining. I found a good explanation here:

http://www.ems.psu.edu/~fraser/Bad/BadCoriolis.html

It's a very old joke, but I once convinced a friend that 'gullible' wasn't in the dictionary... I had some meandering story about it being invented by Shakespeare and never officially accepted (by who? she didn't ask :)

Peter Orosz46 18 200510:46AM

(anybody with a geneticist for a father enjoys an unfair advantage on the Museum sample question)

Here's mine:

Before refrigerator trucks were invented, slaughtered animals had to be eviscerated before transport. Leftover bits of internal organs - especially hepatic tissue - greatly increased the chance of the meat spoiling. On the other hand, a properly gutted and cleaned animal could be kept in dry linen for almost a day (depending on the weather, of course), and transported to its destination unspoiled. Hence the word "deliver".

Scott46 18 200510:46AM

Colin,

There's a sort of updated Balderdash called Malarkey. It revolves around obscure trivia ("Why do donuts have holes in the middle?"), wherein the idea is to fabricate an answer. Every player has a go (With one player having the REAL answer) and everyone votes at the end. Scoring is a little obscure (We usually do away with it altogether), but it's a good party game. Sort of hard to find, try Ebay.

Half the fun is watching people try to not lose it (Why do bathtubs have those little safety drains? My stammered reply: In case of...emergency)

(Why do donuts have holes in the middle? Bakers used to have small shops, putting a hole in the middle allowed them to stock them on a spindle and save room. Right? Nah,yo) (Parenthetical madness!)

mark47 18 200510:47AM

Do you have any facts that seem false or lies that seem true?

These are always interesting. It's why people enjoying reading articles by Malcolm Gladwell, for example. A lot of his stuff is social psychology research which sounds contrary to common sense.

Hans52 18 200510:52AM

In Berlin there's a radio quiz about that on Radio Eins. The player has to choose in up to 6 cases if something is right or false. Mostly the invented scenarios are heavy to tell if...

emily54 18 200510:54AM

Colin, you just blew my mind. *quack*

My ideas, in McSweeneys-esque list form:

- The U.S. Postal service will deliver your letter with the stamp at any corner of the envelope, not just the traditional 'upper right' spot.

- Chocolate is a mineral.

- Left-handed people are better at folding laundry.

- Nabokov's original ending to 'Lolita' featured an elopement to Las Vegas, but his wife made him change it.

- Sharpie markers can write on ice cubes.

kingbenny57 18 200510:57AM

I love the great physics one: If you have a duck inside a box and it's flying, then when you lift the box, you don't feel the weight of the duck.

Brad Lauster03 18 200511:03AM

This isn't exactly difficult to prove/disprove, because you can just look at a map, but here's my statement - a good one for current and former residents of the San Francisco Bay Area:

Berkeley is, in fact, west of Santa Cruz.

Wild11 18 200511:11AM

milk was originally discovered by a group of Belgian farmers who were actually attempting to fit saddles to cows rather than use the more expensive equine steeds to traverse the long distances their farms covered. They initially used it to lubricate the cogs and gears in their farm machinery before chance led to a fortuitous accident in one of the farmers knocking his can of lubricating milk into his mug of grated Belgian chocolate whilst over-reaching to 'milk' a particulary rusty spring. Rather than try and filter the milk out, he drank the lot and the rest is consigned to the annals of modern history.

To this day, milk is enjoyed around the world, not as a lubricating medium, but as a tasty and nourishing beverage.

mark15 18 200511:15AM

I love the great physics one: If you have a duck inside a box and it's flying, then when you lift the box, you don't feel the weight of the duck.

Or if you have a weight hanging from a string while flying on a plane; if the plane banks, the weight will continue pointing toward the floor.

The nice part about these is that you don't actually have to know whether they're true or not. I'm usually accidentally telling half-truths, anyway.

Ciaron17 18 200511:17AM

There was (maybe still is?) a game show on TV in the UK called "Call My Bluff" where each team has to make up plausible-sounding definitions of obscure words:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_My_Bluff

Cory23 18 200511:23AM

I'm going to say true.

My local newspaper, Star Tribune in Minneapolis, runs a column with a bunch of news stories from around the world (some that are so wacky and out of this world, they have to be made up right?) and you are supposed to pick the one story that was made up.

It's always fun to see how sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Great idea jk, can't wait to see what others have come up with.

Whoopie G27 18 200511:27AM

Hollywood Squares!

Henning27 18 200511:27AM

In Germany there is a board game called "Nobody's Perfect", where like in "Call My Bluffs" the players must make up definitions for obscure terms.

The player who can bullshit the most people into believing their definition wins the round.

Leah29 18 200511:29AM

dude, there's a tape series and a set of books with this sort of thing too. It's called "Imponderables," and it's close to the description of Malarky. The tapes are great fun for a road trip; three contestants on the tape make up answers, there's a little music while all of you spit out an anwer, and then they explain the correct answer. It makes for good car competition.

tbit43 18 200511:43AM

To be a party pooper, I would have to disqualify the Milk one as we all have common knowledge of goats being milked in biblical times, long before there was a Belgium or saddles.

Wild44 18 200511:44AM

Belgians predate biblical times.

as do saddles.

Chaz Larson48 18 200511:48AM

We used to play a form of this in high school, called the "Dictionary game". Pick a word at random out of the dictionary, and everyone has to make up a definition. The definitions are read and voted on. Each player receives two points for choosing the actual definition, and one point for each person who chooses their definition as the correct one.

MS57 18 200511:57AM

True or False: From the southern hemisphere the waxing moon looks like a C while from the northern hemisphere the waxing moon looks like a backwards C.

Mike Rundle01 18 200512:01PM

Starbucks coffee cups are actually semi-translucent, letting 5% of light hitting their surface pass all the way into the cup.

jake07 18 200512:07PM

Yeah, I was just gonna say Balderdash myself. It's a fun game. It's fun mixing it up, creating random funny responses or creating a response that could almost be plausible. I've tricked my friends plenty of times.

But then again, I once tricked them in college with an odd story. The school was short on dorm rooms so they converted some "study rooms" that were pretty big into dorm rooms.

I had only just met them recently, but I made up a story of how I got plastered and wandered into a "study room" with a girl for some fun. Only it was a converted one and we got caught by one of the residents.

I guess I said with a convincing straight face cause they were all just staring at me for a while and one finally said, "how did you get outta that one?"

Johnny Mac11 18 200512:11PM

For more great radio fun along these lines, listen for Says You, the number one reason I agree to do errands on saturday nights (when it airs in my area)

Ben12 18 200512:12PM

In a way, this reminds me of the Critical Reasoning and Reading questions on the GMAT. ETS tries their best to suggest an answer that is 'almost' right. Fortunately, GMAT statements can be reasoned through to find the best answer of 5 possible choices.

Karen14 18 200512:14PM

The melting of the North Pole makes no difference to the sea levels around the globe. It's just a thick ice sheet floating on top of the Arctic Ocean. Same principle as ice cubes in a drink. Your glass don't overflow when the ice melts.

(I've even had ingineers staying op all nigh debating this)

Alex Wiltschko15 18 200512:15PM

The extreme version of this was actually a math theorem, by Kurt Godel, a contemporary and friend of Albert Einstein. There's two parts, they're called the Incompleteness Theorems, and in the early 20th century they turned mathematics on its head, and put the field of Logic on the academic map.

A Google Search:
http://www.miskatonic.org/godel.html

Brief description:
There's always a statement, in any formal system, that can't be definitively stated to be true or false.
Here's a cool allegory:
Crazy cannibals capture you, and say they're going to kill one of two ways. Either they burn you alive or make you watch Citizen Kane until you're so sick of classic films that you kill yourself. The way they determine which fate you will suffer depends on the next sentence you say: if you say something true, you will be burned, and if you say something false, you will suffer the Kane treatment.
So what do you say to save your hide?
You say "I will not be burned alive."
If they burn you, what you said is false, and so they should have Kaned you, but if they Kane you, what you said is true, and they should have burned you. Oops!
True or False? Yes.

Rab18 18 200512:18PM

There is a famous TV show in Britain entitled Call my Bluff in which the panel of 3 are given a strange word to describe, only one of the descriptions is true of course and the contestant must pick the correct definition. Not exactly the same, but a very close relation.

creepy dude18 18 200512:18PM

Thiss sentence contanes three errors.

martin27 18 200512:27PM

The Great Pyramids of Egypt are really octahedrons with only an upper half showing above the sands.

bayat32 18 200512:32PM

Cats may draw back their lips and grimace when they smell a scent. This behavior, known as the Flehmen reaction, is because heavy scents irritate cats' highly sensitive sense of smell.

Jeff35 18 200512:35PM

There's another board game of this variety, called "Fact or Crap".

Neil37 18 200512:37PM

There's a brilliant little museum in Los Angeles called the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which is devoted to specious artifacts, some of which are authentic and others of which are fabricated by the curator, who also happens to be an installation artist. There's not way to tell which ones are real or invented.

Behold the stink ant of the Cameroon!

Cole40 18 200512:40PM

I always play something similar to this when we I get Chinese with people. When you eat your fortune cookie everyone reads of their fortunes but you can make things up for your fortune and everyone guesses whether or not it was made up or not.

Justin43 18 200512:43PM

Possible reason for donuts having holes in the middle: The middles were soggy when the creator finished his creations and his kids would always poke out the soggy dough. He just started creating them this way. heh

coolmel47 18 200512:47PM

"there is neither creation nor destruction, neither destiny nor free-will;
neither path nor achievement; this is the final truth." - Ramana Maharshi

talk about tetralemma! :)

Björninn57 18 200512:57PM

In Iceland there's a board game called Fimbulfamb, which is pretty much like Larson's "Dictionary game". The point system is a little bit more complex, as is the gameplay, but basically it revolves around coming up with plausible explanations for obscure and outdated Icelandic words. Of course any example I could give you would be pointless, since those of you who speak Icelandic probably already know the game, or have at least heard of it.. But since it's remotely connected to what the post was about, I thought I'd mention it anyway.

And no, this is not yet another statement "that's difficult to tell whether it's true or false".

Bob58 18 200512:58PM

Cats may draw back their lips and grimace when they smell a scent. This behavior, known as the Flehmen reaction, is because heavy scents irritate cats' highly sensitive sense of smell.

Not entirely true. They do it to bring the scent to the Jacobsen's organ in the roof of the mouth, which assists them in the smelling process.

Bob00 18 2005 1:00PM

By the way, NPR has a Saturday morning game show based on current events called "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," which includes a segment similar to all of this. The three panelists each read a highly implausible news story, and the contestant has to choose which one is real.

Suzy15 18 2005 1:15PM

If you mention a research study as evidence of your point and add the name of an institution source, i.e., "A recent University of Michigan study found that pet dogs know within two hours when their gestating owner will begin labor, " most people will believe anything. (See Clifford C. Clavin, Jr., 1982-1993)

jojo20 18 2005 1:20PM

T or F:
A polar bear's fur isn't white - rather it's translucent, and appears white due to the layering of the fur and the black color of the polar bear's skin.

Along the duck-in-a-box meme -
T or F:
You have a helium balloon tethered to the center console in your car. When you accelerate the balloon will move into the front cabin (opposite the direction you expect) because the helium in the balloon is lighter than the air in the car's cabin, which is being rushed to the back of the cabin.

Patricio López35 18 2005 1:35PM

2% of Global Warming is produced by the heat from light bulbs and street lights.

Soy38 18 2005 1:38PM

If your knees hinged forward rather than backward chairs would have two legs rather than four.

Dan Herwig47 18 2005 1:47PM

Before refrigerator trucks were invented, slaughtered animals had to be eviscerated before transport. Leftover bits of internal organs - especially hepatic tissue - greatly increased the chance of the meat spoiling. On the other hand, a properly gutted and cleaned animal could be kept in dry linen for almost a day (depending on the weather, of course), and transported to its destination unspoiled. Hence the word "deliver".

Actually, the word "deliver" stems from the word delivery. The word delivery is a result of old horse-drawn "livery" services that would deliver goods to homes and business before modern transportation. With the advent of the automobile, "de-livery" services sprung up, touting the benefits associated with modern transportation.

Los50 18 2005 1:50PM

The egg came before the chicken.

crazymonk56 18 2005 1:56PM

Doesn't snapple do this on their bottle caps?

martin56 18 2005 1:56PM

Re: De-liver

Liver really is the proper word in "beat the living daylights out of".

The original phrase is "beat the liver and lights (i.e. lungs) out of"

Sheep liver and lights is an essential ingredient in good haggis.

bluegirl18 18 2005 2:18PM

actually, both deliver and livery come from the same latin root, liberare, which means "to release" or "to hand over."

and speaking of releasing, true or false: during the second world war, the united states attempted to develop "incendiary bats"--yes, flying rodents armed with little firebombs--to drop on german cities.

ken34 18 2005 2:34PM

My favorite is that 85.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Donnie40 18 2005 2:40PM

Million Dollar Baby was filmed in 38 days.

Dan42 18 2005 2:42PM

There's no such thing as a straight line.

Chris09 18 2005 3:09PM

One time I put a sign over the fax machine at work and it said that "the fax machine is now voice enabled... please speak the fax number you wish to send to."

Lots of people tried it.

Pete11 18 2005 3:11PM

A deer can reach orgasm by rubbing its antlers on the ground.

mark13 18 2005 3:13PM

Here are a couple:

- Saying that someone is a "spitting image" of someone else is incorrect. The correct term is that someone is a "spit and image" of someone else.

- Bears don't hibernate, but turtles do.

annette13 18 2005 3:13PM

Honey can never go bad.

barlow23 18 2005 3:23PM

Human activity is responsible for the global warming that has been measured.

j.30 18 2005 3:30PM

Honey can never go blind.

Flatout Freak36 18 2005 3:36PM

I have no pants on.

Armin37 18 2005 3:37PM

> Here's one for you: due to unique acoustical properties, a duck's quack will not echo.

The myth revealed:

http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/acoustics_world/duck/duck.htm

Nicholas42 18 2005 3:42PM

Fox's new show House M.D. was originally based off of Doogie Howser, but after the hollywood execs got their hands on it, fans protested until they changed the name from Howser MD to House MD.

1) How did Doogie grow up to be so disgruntled?
2) Why did he start practicing a different branch of medicine?
3) Who was the flunky that screwed up this otherwise great idea?

Bruce08 18 2005 4:08PM

Our good man Richard Feynman offered the following question: You have an S-shaped lawn sprinkler - an S-shaped pipe on a pivot-and the water squirts out at right angles to the axis and makes it spin in a certain direction. Everybody knows which way it goes around; it backs away from the outgoing water. Now the question is this: If you had a lake, or swimming pool-a big supply of water-and you put the sprinkler completely under water, and sucked water in, instead of squirting it out, which way would it turn? Would it turn the same way as it does when you squirt water out into the air, or would it turn the other way?

philip r13 18 2005 4:13PM

the ocean is blue only because it reflects the sky.

Richard32 18 2005 4:32PM

The word vinegar comes from vin negra -- meaning literally, black wine.

Nathan Logan45 18 2005 4:45PM

A skunk will not spray you, no matter how much it is provoked, as long as it smells vinegar (opening a bottle of which will be enough to keep the little beastie subdued).

katie46 18 2005 4:46PM

T or F?

cow farts are depleting the ozone layer

Dave Rhoden55 18 2005 4:55PM

I heard "spirit and image", rather than "spit and image."

Sunny02 18 2005 5:02PM

Fact or Fiction:

Dropping a penny from the Empire State Building can crack a skull.

Jonathan D. Nolen12 18 2005 6:12PM

The opening scene of the novel Prague by Arthur Phillips contains a game similar to this. The characters sit around a cafe and tell each other lies. Over four rounds of the game, you have to tell three lies and one truth. You get points by correctly guessing which of the other's statements are lies and which ones are true. You also gain points by successfully deceiving the other players. Their statements were more interpersonal in nature, but still, a very funny scene. (And a pretty entertaining book.)

Shahid21 18 2005 6:21PM

Eating too many carrots not only makes your skin a hue of orange, but also makes your hair curl up.

Uhh...yeah.

Ray25 18 2005 7:25PM

The emergency number 911 was created because in the age of rotary dials on telephones, you wanted people to be deliberate in dialing the first number (to avoid false alarms from kids just dialing, for example, where 111 would be a likely sequence) but once this step was done, then you want to use the numbers for the quickest dialing--hey, we have an emergency here! Remember that rotary dials require the dial to return back to its original position. Hence, 9 (deliberate) 1 (quick return) 1 (quick return).

Of course, now in the age of touch pads, this logic no longer applies, but the 911 sequence is now embedded as part of our cultural systems.

ess52 18 2005 7:52PM

These are great.

All I've got is a couple of fake urban myths.

A) When you see a Christ fish on a car, if it's pointing to the left, those people are Satanists.

B) John Coltrane wrote the theme to the Jetsons, and he put "Chopstix" in the tune to show his contempt. Manfred Mann included "Chopstix" in "Blinded by the Light" as homage.

A friend of mine once went around telling people - or talking loudly within earshot of strangers at a concession stand with dark blue plastic straws - about the responsible recycling technique of making drinking straws from medical waste - such as used brain shunts and catheters - but making the medical-waste straws a special color so they could be easily collected and discarded if there was a recall for safety reasons.

I know of a couple of profs who include insane "facts" in lectures to make sure students are doing the reading. (e.g., by the time of her death, Emily Dickinson weighed 382 pounds and they had to remove a wall of the house to get her body out.)

Some friends and I tried to plan a dinner with fake ethnic cuisine, but one of the friends ratted us all out. We had gone to the trouble of making print-outs of fake web pages.

Nick Douglas52 18 2005 7:52PM

Isn't it 999 in England?

tomcosgrave22 18 2005 8:22PM

Here's a good one, although I think we all know the answer by now...

"There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq".

Alex Cabrera06 18 200510:06PM

I'm liking the recent LiveSTRONG one

An american medical journal ran an article about a chemical manufactured in China that has been found to a carcinogen. Ironically, this is the chemical used to bond the rubber in the Nike LiveSTRONG bracelets that are used as a means for fund-raising for cancer research.

I secretly hope it's true, because I absolutely love irony.

Alex Cabrera08 18 200510:08PM


Quote

Here's a good one, although I think we all know the answer by now...

"There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq".

End Quote

It would be so nice to read a story for once on any blog where neither the author nor someone commenting made some sort of dimwitted Iraq/Bush/War comment

Todd21 18 200510:21PM

Dogs can't look up.

Nicholas48 18 200510:48PM

In the early 90's, Jitney Jungle, a grocery chain based out of Mississippi, experimented with pirate-themed grocery stores. The buggies were shaped like ships and the cash register was a treasure box. The bag boys even had pirate uniforms. There were half a dozen stores that were part of the experiment (most prominently in Lucedale, MS). While they showed early success, a merger with Delchamps developed a corporate culture that was less receptive to the idea. After some negative press, CFO Brian Beckles was fired, and the stores were all returned to themeless super market status.

Ray06 19 200512:06AM

To Nick Douglas:

Yes, I think the emergency number there is 999. I know it is 999 in Hong Kong since the 1960's when I was there and it was still a British Crown Colony. So the 11 part may be the American adaptation.

Bevedog17 19 200512:17AM

Quote
It would be so nice to read a story for once on any blog where neither the author nor someone commenting made some sort of dimwitted Iraq/Bush/War comment
End quote

Uhh...false?

Martin19 19 2005 2:19AM

Fametracker.com has had a brilliant feature for years that is a variation of this. It's called "the Asterisk." (Clicking on the asterisk link gets you a cute little pop-up that says "Has the ring of truth -- but that's all!")

What they do is about once a week slap up a list of five or six "facts" that sound entirely plausible -- but are completely made up. I'll make up a few right now (but FT's are much better):

* Val Kilmer's great-uncle is the poet Joyce Kilmer; due to a decades-old rift, if you mention his great-uncle in Val's presence he will leave the room without a word.

* Forest Whitaker has a severe phobia of peanut butter.

* David Duchovny has a clause in all of his contracts that stipulates that his schedule must be clear so that he can attend all Minnesota Timberwolves home games.

* Tea Leoni has had the chicken pox fourteen times.

Etc.

Chris Rummel21 19 2005 4:21AM

Here is one I was told in Britain some years ago:

The one and really obvious thing being different between men and women is the womans "womb" when being pregnant - hence the words "man" and "womb-man" which changed to "woman>".

Don't know whether that is true or not...

nick23 19 2005 6:23AM

You don't know what you will know in the future.

Richard45 19 2005 7:45AM

Nick Douglas, yes, it is 999 in England - but 911 also works, in case any American tourists get into trouble and don't know the right number.

We have also started spelling 'doughnuts' as 'donuts' for similar reasons.

John Nick34 19 2005 9:34AM

A version of this happens muscially in the song "Cemetry [sic] Gates" by The Smiths off 'The Queen Is Dead.'

Morrissey and a friend play a game in which they recite a line from literature (rather than stating a questionable fact).

On lift of the lyrics:

***

You say : "long done do does did"
Words which could only be your own
And then produce the text
From whence was ripped
(some dizzy whore, 1804)

***

Leave it to Moz to take it and make it all fancy. ^__^

Fobu39 19 200510:39AM

Hmm, I just made this one up, let's give it a whirl:

Is it possible to make a sentence without using ANY linking words?**

**For example, "a", "and", "at". Forgive me if my English is so bad that these are not actual linking words.

MacDara45 19 200510:45AM

It would be so nice to read a story for once on any blog where neither the author nor someone commenting made some sort of dimwitted Iraq/Bush/War comment

You're just sore that you didn't think of it yourself ;o)

Justin57 19 200510:57AM

katie: Cow farts do deplete the ozone layer. My freshman biology teacher told us, so it must be true.

Dropping a penny from a building won't kill you. It was proven false on the show Mythbusters.

Pau Garcia i Quiles42 19 200511:42AM

There are lots of this kind of questions at The Skeptic's Dictionary and Snopes

AkaXakA48 19 200511:48AM

I like Kottke.org.

Seems plausible right?

Brent56 19 200512:56PM

Magnets can harm refrigerators.

It may be perpetual motion, but it will take forever to test it.

nex31 19 2005 1:31PM

nope, the idea isn't novel, i'd said the dictionary game is very similar.

the first unbelievable fact that comes to my mind is that there are some species where members of one sex are hundreds or even tens of thousands (!) of times _larger_ then those of the other. i could look up two if anyone's interested, but right now i'm too lazy.

David Kornahrens43 19 2005 1:43PM

I don't know any of those lines. I heard on a website before a listing of them.

"The chicken came before the egg".....that could be one of those in a way. No one can prove that it's not.

Mike50 19 2005 4:50PM

There's a TV show in the UK called "QI" (standing for Quite Interesting), where the quetions are so hard the (celebrity (usually comedians)) contestants aren't expected to give the correct answer, just an interesting one. One of the rounds is called General Ignorance, where a question with an obvious answer is asked, but the obvious answer is incorrect.

E.g. "how many moons orbit the Earth?", where the obvious answer is 1, but the answer required was 2, as a new moon, Cruithnie (sp?), had just been discovered. In the second series, the same question was asked, but 2 was the wrong answer, as yet another moon had been discovered.

Martin04 19 2005 6:04PM

Actually, there was a clasic show on BBC TV from the 1960's onwards, called 'Call My Bluff', which was based on a US radio show called 'Says You!' (which, in turn, was loosely based on a very early BBC radio show called 'My Word!') - where the object of the game involved two teams of three contestants who were challenged to derive a plausible description for an unusual or rarely-used word.

One of the contestants would be telling the truth, whilst the other two would be bluffing.

Points were scored for teams who guessed correctly.

AkaXakA05 19 2005 6:05PM

Fobu: Stop!

(That's the sentance. To make a sentance, you need a verb, and that's it.)

AkaXakA05 19 2005 6:05PM

Fobu: Stop!

(That's the sentance. To make a sentance, you need a verb, and that's it.)

Dan26 19 2005 6:26PM

Microsoft Works...

No, sorry you said sounds plausible!

Pixelgeist10 19 2005 9:10PM

Christo’s and Jean-Claude’s gates are not art but crap we can see from space.


(Guessing what you type now; heheh.)

brandin51 19 2005 9:51PM

This sort of seems like the board game, Balderdash, to me.

Shahid51 19 200510:51PM

I'd say the egg came before the chicken. Why? Since you eat the egg for breakfast and the chicken for dinner!

j.01 20 2005 2:01AM

If you rub two pieces of polyester together fast enough, the friction created fuses them together.

The Pageman05 20 2005 7:05AM

1. it's impossible to lick your own elbows
2. there are no English words that rhyme with "orange"
3. there are no English words that ryhyme with "silver"
4. whether the sun revolves around the earth or the earth revolves around the sun is a philosophical question. geocentric proofs exists for every heliocentric proof.
5. Erwin Schrodinger really had a cat and he wished he never met it.
6. There is an easier way to prove Fermat's last theorem using n-dimensional cubes which does not resort to the Wiles-Taylor approach
7. 9 out of 10 people who read this will try to lick his own elbow :P

Richard38 20 2005 7:38AM

David Kornahrens says:
"The chicken came before the egg".....that could be one of those in a way. No one can prove that it's not.

He actually couldn't be more wrong:

According to (correct) evolutionary theory, chickens evolved from earlier birds. There earlier birds (which might be the ones which caught the worm) still laid eggs. It's impossible to state categorically when the first chicken appeared, but one thing's for certain: it hatched from an egg.

So the egg actually came before the chicken.

Richard Cater, The Friends of Charles Darwin

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

kottke.org

Front page
About + contact
Site archives

Subscribe

Follow kottke.org on Twitter

Follow kottke.org on Tumblr

Like kottke.org on Facebook

Subscribe to the RSS feed

Advertisement

Ads by The Deck

Support kottke.org shop at Amazon

And more at Amazon.com

Looking for work?

More at We Work Remotely

Kottke @ Quarterly

Subscribe to Quarterly and get a real-life mailing from Jason every three months.

 

Enginehosting

Hosting provided EngineHosting