Quote of the Week

Take a shower, shine your shoes/ You got no time to lose/ You are young men you must be living/ So go now you are forgiven.
-The General, Dispatch

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

French Fries Aren't From France and Other Things You Thought You Knew But Didn't

This all started when I was watching the fireworks at the Wharf in Salem, MA. And when stuff starts in Salem, one of the freakiest places for stuff to start in the known and unknown cosmoverses, you know shit just got real.

Okay... I'm nuts.

Let me start over.

This all started when I was watching the fireworks at the Wharf in Salem, MA. Now, if you are like me, you weren't really watching the fireworks (which sucked this year anyway. Damn recession.), you were listening to the orchestra. And while listening to the orchestra (who were amazing, by the by.), who were playing the 1812 Overture, I pondered how one of the songs that is most recognizable on the day of the United States Independence...isn't American in the slightest. For those of you who don't know, the 1812 Overture was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Who was Russian. And he wrote the 1812 Overture about Russia's defeat of the British in the War of 1812. Nothing to do with America at all.

This got me thinking. (Shock, I know. Don't keel over. I'm about to blow your mind.) I began thinking about things that I thought I knew but probably didn't. And, well this is the product of that. *Side note - all of these claims I'm about to make totally check out. Google any of them if you want to if you don't believe me. But you should believe me, because I'm awesome.

Here we go.

L.'s List of Things That You Thought You Knew But Really Didn't

1. French fries are from France - A big, fat old lie sandwich. French fries originated in Belgium. They are only called "French" fries because of the way that they are cut. If you notice, steak fries aren't called steak french fries, and waffle fries aren't called waffle french fries. In conclusion, French fries aren't French. Besides, how could the French, inventors of snobbery and escargot, have invented something as delicious as the French fry? Never thought of it that way, have you?

2. Napoleon was short - False. And false again. Napoleon has been said to have clocked in at 5'2". What people fail to mention when they say this is that measurement is in French Feet. Which, like the French, are different from the rest of the world, and possibly very stupid. Just kidding. Anyway, when converted to American feet, Napoleon stood about 5'6", or 1.69 m. He was short by today's standards (about Daniel Radcliffe's height. I'm not a stalker at all.), but Napoleon was just a regular joe back in the day. So having a whole complex named after him for being short is just complete bullcrap because Napoleon wasn't that short. Remember that the next time you see Daniel Radcliffe. Napoleon Pose!

3. Peanuts are nuts - Are you nuts? (I'm so punny). Peanuts, while being delicious and nutritious, are a legume. Nuts right? (This is just way too fun. So many puns! Oh, look, I rhymed!) Other famous legumes include: beans, peas, soy, carob, etc. (Not going to lie, I have no idea what carob is.) So think about that. Peanuts are not a nut. Our world is insane.

4. That red stuff in your raw meat is blood - Not going to lie, I always thought that it was blood too. That is why I had seriously considered going vegetarian, because the stuff grossed me out. Now, I can't go vegetarian for health reasons, but I can rest easier because that icky stuff is mainly water. Crazy, right? It is just water. The substance that makes the water look red is a protein called myoglobin. Most, if not all of the blood is removed from the meat after the slaughter. If you pardon my phrasing. So I'm not evil. The red stuff isn't blood.

5. Seeing red makes bulls mad - Bologna. Seriously. Bulls are dichromatic, or in layman's terms, colorblind, for lack of a better term. Red doesn't stand out particularly well to bulls or enrage them. It is the motion of the cape and the matador's stupid costume that cause bulls to charge. I joke. It isn't the cape at all. Anyone caught wearing this thing should be gored to death on a horn. Anyway, cape or no cape, matador or no matador, bulls can't see red, therefor it doesn't make them mad.

6. Your hair and fingernails continue growing after you die - While this is one reason crazies back in the day believed in the real deal vampires, this one is totally false. What really happens is that your skin dries up (because you aren't drinking water because you're, um, dead) and shrinks back, giving fingers and hair the appearance of growth, but not actual growth. Don't be dumb.

7. You have five senses: Taste, Touch, Sight, Smell, and Sound - While this is what every little kid is taught, thanks to Aristotle (<---true fact), this isn't quite true. This is a half truth. As a human, you have way more senses than a measly five. Give yourself some credit! And no, it isn't cool stuff like ESP, but it is pretty darn cool when you think about it. Some of the cooler ones: Proprioception-knowing where your body is. Itch your foot. Did you have to look to find your foot? No, right? You just knew where it was without thinking. That is proprioception. Thermoception-the temperature relative to you. This is especially handy when maintaining homeostasis. Heehee, science. Nociception-in short, pain. Knowing where and how much something hurts in your body. Equilibrioception-balance and gravity as relative to you. This handy-dandy sense keeps you on your feet. If you aren't me. I was born without equilibrioception. It is a sad, and mostly true fact. But aren't those cool? Who knew you have more than five senses? Well, mostly everyone, on a subconscious level. But now you know what they are called. And they have some badass names, am I right?

8. You only use ten percent of your brain - falsefalsefalsefalseFALSE. If you were only using ten percent of your brain at any given time, you would have to be a human vegetable. While it is true that neurons typically fire in smaller groups, you use them all. If you didn't, I would be very scared. In short, YOU USE YOUR BRAIN. A LOT.

9. Schizophrenia is the disease where you have multiple personalities -That would be Multiple Personality Disorder, my friends, and that is nothing like schizophrenia. I really don't want to explain both so here is a link to each of them: Schizophrenia, Multiple Personality Disorder (It says dissociative identity disorder on the Wiki page, but Dissociative and Multiple are the same disorder) Suffice it to say, when you call someone a schizo, you aren't calling them the right insult. Unless you are.

10. Using Theory in the Theory of Evolution means that is just a hunch - well, for all of you Bible huggers out there, theory in the scientific sense means that an idea has been postulated, tested, tested again, tested again, and why don't we test it seven more times just to be sure? Theories in science are hypotheses that have been proven, for lack of a better word. So yeah, evolution is a theory, but a basically proven scientific one. And anyone who says that we evolved from chimps is a monkey's uncle. Chimpanzees are humanity's cousins, but we didn't evolve from them. Way back in the family tree we have a common ancestor, but the butt sniffing primates and us are in no way super close. So rest easy.

Hey, the last one you got two for the price of one! Ain't I a sweet, kind, caring soul? Obliterating the stupid ideas that some of us just believe? I'm an angel. And I'm awesome. And a narcissist.

And I'm out.

What do you think you know but now that I've piqued your interest are going to go find out you don't know?

Tell me! I love knowledge like fat kids love Mickey D's!

Anyway, parting joke(s):

It is always darkest before the dawn. So, if you are going to steal your neighbor's lawn furniture, that would be the time to do it.

Big sopping kisses!




  1. I was actually taken completely by surprise by numbers 2-6. I had already know that about #1. I guess you could call me a French fries expert. #7 I actually did know because my eighth grade science teacher told me about it. He said one of the senses was visceral, which involves changes in mood. Did you know that your stomach changes colour with your mood?

    #8 I have to disagree with. I don't know if it's exactly 10%, but my dad's a major in psychology, and I love reading psychology books as well, and I think it's commonly agreed that humans only use a fraction of their brain. That's why there are rare but bizarre accidents in brain chemistry that result in people having abilities something like Rain Man. I was reading an article about this guy from Japan who remembers literally everything that's ever happened to him. Those people, by some miracle of nature, have been given the ability to use a part of their brains unused by the average human being.

    #9 I knew again, because of my dad. A schizophrenic threw a TV at him once.

    #10 I knew already but was delighted to read, because I hate when fundies say that evolution means that people are descended from monkeys.

    Great post! By the way, I did post your guest post on Death Is Like a Lemon. Thanks so much!

  2. Very interesting.

    I checked out the Napolean Pose.
    He clearly had no friends with fashion sense. I mean, what good friend would let you appear in public like that? :D

  3. hahaha i loved this.
    and it actually made me feel smart cuz i knew about a couple of these from before.

    i like your blog :)


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