Childhood misconceptions

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Kurushimi
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Kurushimi » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:42 am UTC

A good way to fly is to have one strong guy throw another strong guy and have the thrown guy throw the other guy back and repeat.

Or, better yet, since cars are made of metal, hang a strong magnet in front of your car to get infinite forward motion.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby 123 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:52 am UTC

I can imagine a car with a stick pointing outwards with a magnet on it...
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby scarecrovv » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:36 am UTC

I was a REALLY inquisitive kid. I was constantly asking my parents questions, and testing things out myself when possible. While I usually think back on this as a good thing, it has sadly left me with few stories to tell about hilarious childhood misconceptions.

However, for a long time, I thought that Japan was right next to India. See Bangladesh on a map? That was Japan. Don't ask me why I didn't bother reading the label. I can't really remember how I came to believe this, but I think the process of figuring out where Japan really was probably was part of learning about World War II.

Also, building an atom bomb was easy if you had all the materials. The only reason I hadn't nuked the school yet was because I didn't have any weapons grade plutonium. I'd read about it! The diagrams weren't too complicated, and I understood why they worked. I'd even seen a documentary! What could be so hard about it?

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby folkhero » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:29 am UTC

When I was very young, I found out that my uncle was living in Canada. I was really worried because if he wasn't in the United States, then the country he was in was communist with an evil king. I must have been about 3, and the Berlin wall was still up, so the us vs. them commies mentality was still strong, I just didn't realize that "us" included more countries than the United States. The king thing must have come from my knowledge about the American Revolution.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:07 am UTC

123 wrote:I can imagine a car with a stick pointing outwards with a magnet on it...

There was an april fools car advert I saw recently, where the company had created a new feature on their cars. They had placed a powerful electromagnet under the bonnet, and this would pull your car towards the car in front of you, thus saving fuel.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Giant Speck » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:23 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
123 wrote:I can imagine a car with a stick pointing outwards with a magnet on it...

There was an april fools car advert I saw recently, where the company had created a new feature on their cars. They had placed a powerful electromagnet under the bonnet, and this would pull your car towards the car in front of you, thus saving fuel.

Seems like nothing more than the concept of drafting, only with magnets.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Antimony-120 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:When I was very young, I found out that my uncle was living in Canada. I was really worried because if he wasn't in the United States, then the country he was in was communist with an evil king. I must have been about 3, and the Berlin wall was still up, so the us vs. them commies mentality was still strong, I just didn't realize that "us" included more countries than the United States. The king thing must have come from my knowledge about the American Revolution.


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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Sandry » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:15 pm UTC

When I was younger, I bit my nails pretty constantly. My parents tried many things to persuade me to stop, I'm pretty sure including teaching me that if you swallow your bitten fingernails, they'll end up embedded in your liver forever.

Anyhow, that lesson didn't work - I kept on biting my nails, but would be careful not to swallow them whole. /:
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Magnanimous » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

I used to think that jaywalking meant walking across the road at an angle other than 90 degrees.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Gopher of Pern » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:33 am UTC

Magnanimous wrote:I used to think that jaywalking meant walking across the road at an angle other than 90 degrees.


This. I'm still not entirely sure what jaywalking is, as I don't think its a crime in Australia.

Sandry wrote:When I was younger, I bit my nails pretty constantly. My parents tried many things to persuade me to stop, I'm pretty sure including teaching me that if you swallow your bitten fingernails, they'll end up embedded in your liver forever.

Anyhow, that lesson didn't work - I kept on biting my nails, but would be careful not to swallow them whole. /:


Yeah, I still bite my nails too, but only my pinky nails. I'm weird that way.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby shinybaby » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:43 am UTC

i used to bite my nails when i was wee... then i woke up one day and my nails were too long and i didn't know what to do! i have no idea how i stopped biting them, but i was some disconcerted to find that i had! i don't know when normal people learn to cut their nails, but i'd never done it before high school! o.O
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:07 am UTC

Gopher of Pern wrote:I'm still not entirely sure what jaywalking is
Here, let me Google that for you.

Says [citation needed] a lot for the Australian section, though.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby phlip » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:10 am UTC

Gopher of Pern wrote:This. I'm still not entirely sure what jaywalking is, as I don't think its a crime in Australia.

Generally crossing the road when it's not allowed, I think... crossing at traffic lights when the light is red, or in the middle of the street somewhere, where there isn't a crossing.

I think it's illegal here to cross at a red light, or some random place that's near a crossing (because that's more unexpected to the drivers than crossing at the crossing, or crossing in the middle of nowhere where no crossings are nearby). Not certain on either count though, and not sure if it's called "jaywalking" here or if that's just an American term.

[ninjedit] It seems my understanding squares with that Wikipedia article, so at least if it is a misconception, it's one shared with at least one Wikipedia editor...

SlyReaper wrote:There was an april fools car advert I saw recently, where the company had created a new feature on their cars. They had placed a powerful electromagnet under the bonnet, and this would pull your car towards the car in front of you, thus saving fuel.

I think that could work to some extent... not sure the energy to run the magnet would be less than the energy to power the wheels, but it could work. Of course, the amount of fuel you save would be much less than the extra fuel the car in front has to burn to keep from being dragged back...

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby OBrien » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

shinybaby wrote:i used to bite my nails when i was wee... then i woke up one day and my nails were too long and i didn't know what to do! i have no idea how i stopped biting them, but i was some disconcerted to find that i had! i don't know when normal people learn to cut their nails, but i'd never done it before high school! o.O

I'm 21 and have never stopped. I know quite a lot of adults older than me who haven't either. It seems to be socially acceptable nowdays.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:22 pm UTC

Man, if you people figure out how to stop gnawing your fingernails to nothing, uh... pass it along?

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Goldstein » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:14 pm UTC

I too need tools to deal with Sellotape.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Sandry » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:45 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Man, if you people figure out how to stop gnawing your fingernails to nothing, uh... pass it along?

/31 sun revolutions, plus a few lunar orbits

Things that have helped me (though I still occasionally relaspe):
Moving away from home (lower stress = less nail chewing. Half of my relapses are visits to my mom.)
Knowing I have something coming up for which I want to look my best = a few weeks where I don't fiddle with them
And sadly - reading less. The other half of my relapses seem to be nervous reaction from identifying with a protagonist who is in danger, or having some sort of emotionally fraught scene or something.

Sadly, though I have things at my disposal like painting my nails, that leads to *increased* nail biting for me. I have this weird perfectionism thing where as soon as the polish is uneven or chipping, I gnaw it off with my teeth.

...I have problems. /:
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:52 pm UTC

Hm.. I haven't lived at home in over 10 years, and ... I.. don't actually give a shit about my personal appearance beyond being "presentable" which I often define as "not nude".

As for reading less... I think I'm reading less now than I ever have in my life. So, as for the reasons, I just need to lower stress maybe. And find something where both my hands are in use, probably, as I notice that I'll start in on them when I'm doing something that only requires one hand, like browsing the internet or cooking.

And as for fingernail painting, foul taste and shoddy appearance didn't stop me 15 years ago, so I doubt it'll work today.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby El Spark » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:19 pm UTC

Until I was in college, I was under the impression that you couldn't get a sunburn if you had a pane of glass between you and the sun.

As it turns out, that is not true.

Also, ow. Worst sunburn ever.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Marbas » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:37 pm UTC

When I was a little one, I was apparently under the impression that people are like vampires, and that the only things that could kill you were poison or getting your head cut off.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:10 pm UTC

El Spark wrote:Until I was in college, I was under the impression that you couldn't get a sunburn if you had a pane of glass between you and the sun.
It's certainly not impossible to get sunburned like that, but glass lets through only a tiny fraction of the UV light that hits it, so it is equivalent to quite a high SPF in terms of sunburn prevention.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:55 pm UTC

Sure. But 8-10 hours under it will still give you a lovely burn. At least, that's what happened to me on that car trip. Having one arm sunburned is interesting.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby The Scyphozoa » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:31 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Man, if you people figure out how to stop gnawing your fingernails to nothing, uh... pass it along?

/31 sun revolutions, plus a few lunar orbits

I didn't stop until I got braces. Now that they're off, the habit has remained broken.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Menacing Spike » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:49 pm UTC

Fingernails: don't wash your hands. Manipulate money, genitals, and smelly food.
Problem solved!

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby TimelordSimone » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:59 pm UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:Manipulate money, genitals, and smelly food.

Sounds like a fun party!
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby the_bandersnatch » Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:02 pm UTC

I thought it was the instructions for a new game.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby kernelpanic » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:02 pm UTC

scarecrovv wrote:The only reason I hadn't nuked the school yet was because I didn't have any weapons grade plutonium.

But you did have RDX and detonators?
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Arancaytar » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:28 am UTC

Magnanimous wrote:I used to think that jaywalking meant walking across the road at an angle other than 90 degrees.


True in Germany. Sort of. I'm not making this up.

German traffic law wrote:Pedestrians must cross motor lanes quickly, by the shortest path perpendicular to the lane, and paying regard to traffic. Where traffic demands, pedestrians are obliged to traverse only at crossings and traffic lights. When traversing at a crossing, any markings and traffic lights are to be adhered to.


(This also seems to say that crossing a red light is illegal, while crossing at a good distance from the red light is okay as long as there is no traffic. Which sounds a bit strange.)
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Midnight » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:37 am UTC

Menacing Spike wrote:Fingernails: don't wash your hands. Manipulate money, genitals, and smelly food.
Problem solved!

Washing my hands is the way I avoid those conflicts, cause I'll bite regardless.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Mumpy » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:50 am UTC

Lose your two front teeth and have a temporary bridge put in place of them, making sure to break the dentist glue that hold them in place. The strength of the nails will now be enough to push back against your teeth pressing the bridge into your gums, this hurts enough to make you realise what you're doing so you stop. (this doesn't counter effective use of canines, unfortunately)

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Zarq » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:25 am UTC

Arancaytar wrote:
German traffic law wrote:Pedestrians must cross motor lanes quickly, by the shortest path perpendicular to the lane, and paying regard to traffic. Where traffic demands, pedestrians are obliged to traverse only at crossings and traffic lights. When traversing at a crossing, any markings and traffic lights are to be adhered to.


(This also seems to say that crossing a red light is illegal, while crossing at a good distance from the red light is okay as long as there is no traffic. Which sounds a bit strange.)


About the same thing in Belgium.

And why is that strange? How else would you cross a road that has no traffic lights?
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby El Spark » Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:10 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Sure. But 8-10 hours under it will still give you a lovely burn. At least, that's what happened to me on that car trip. Having one arm sunburned is interesting.


This.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby EmptySet » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:36 am UTC

Zarq wrote:
Arancaytar wrote:
German traffic law wrote:Pedestrians must cross motor lanes quickly, by the shortest path perpendicular to the lane, and paying regard to traffic. Where traffic demands, pedestrians are obliged to traverse only at crossings and traffic lights. When traversing at a crossing, any markings and traffic lights are to be adhered to.


(This also seems to say that crossing a red light is illegal, while crossing at a good distance from the red light is okay as long as there is no traffic. Which sounds a bit strange.)


About the same thing in Belgium.


I think a lot of countries have a bit saying you need to go straight across the road. It's to prevent idiots walking almost parallel to the road or weaving around everywhere, thus blocking up traffic and causing accidents.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Hyst » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:43 pm UTC

scowdich wrote:
Tucker wrote:They can't see me...I can't see them!

Wasn't that caboose? On topic, didnt read the whole topic yet, but, as a kid, I always used to beleive some bizzare stuff. Like, That I was magic, but waiting for my powers to awaken, Then, That the matrix was real, and I was like the one, but was waiting to be given The Misogyny Kool-Aid. Yeah. I was a strange kid. :|
Oh! I forgot, I also thought that asphalt and such was made out of actual stone, and that one drop of lava was enough to make a chain reaction turning everything into lava. :|

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:07 am UTC

I can't remember if I posted these before, so here goes:
I used to think that when a cop says "you have the right to remain silent", it's his way of asking you to keep your mouth shut.

Sanskrit=sandscript. As in, a writing system that was written on sandstone tablets.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:13 am UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:Sanskrit=sandscript. As in, a writing system that was written on sandstone tablets.


I had this one too.

I also thought east germany were the same as the nazis, and were puzzled as to how why they had lost half their country.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Duban » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:47 pm UTC

Frequently when I was young my mom would ask if I wanted to go out and get chicken with her and we'd come back and the three of us would eat, myself my mom and my dad. She would say "Do you want to get daddy chicken?", but there was a bit of a misunderstanding. What she meant was

Do you want to get "daddy" chicken.
What I heard was
Do you want to get "daddy chicken".

For years I thought "daddy chicken" was the name of the fast food restaurant we stopped at. What probably led to the confusion is the fact that I always insisted that adding “y” to the end of words like mommy, daddy, horsey, etc was childish and said everything the proper way. It never occurred to me she would use the word daddy in this context.

Other than that I was always asking questions and luckily my parents always did their best to oblige me. I understood that a child was the result of two parents, I got the basic theory behind Darwinism, etc. It never occurred to me to ask how two parents made a child though.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Burning » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:42 am UTC

I remember being told my Scottish relatives were coming over to visit and thinking I wouldn't be able to communicate with them. Because, of course, only people from the United States can speak English.

When a friend of mine was in third grade, her brother told her that the country Canadians come from is called Canadia. She didn't realise this was wrong until she tried to correct our Canadian teacher on the "proper" way to pronounce it. The same friend also thought "vagina" was just another way to say "Virginia."

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Giant Speck » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:22 am UTC

Burning wrote:When a friend of mine was in third grade, her brother told her that the country Canadians come from is called Canadia. She didn't realise this was wrong until she tried to correct our Canadian teacher on the "proper" way to pronounce it. The same friend also thought "vagina" was just another way to say "Virginia."

When I was in the tenth grade, I had a geography teacher that pronounced Myanmar as "Malomar", thought that Chechnya was located in the Ukraine, thought that the Ukraine was not an independent nation, and that Tijuana was located along the Rio Grande River.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:44 am UTC

The Ukraine independence thing... I mean, that did happen in '91, so there is that...

The rest of it, though... what the hell?
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