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(PennLive)   There are many old wives' tales with some fact and some fiction, how many of them are true?   (pennlive.com) divider line 63
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13856 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Oct 2012 at 12:35 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-07 11:02:25 AM
All of them and none of them.

You can't really have a "true" firsthand eyewitness account of anything. Not by objective scientific standards, anyway. So if you're talking about second, third, or even later handed accounts they're simply not reliable. Hearsay.

On the other hand all good stories, even pure fictions such as the Discworld, contain truths. Be it a moral lesson, aphorism, or just a good feeling of realism there's always something to be gained from a story worth telling.

So I'll play the elf card and say both yes and no.
 
2012-10-07 11:06:01 AM
Old wives' tails sound wrinkly.
 
2012-10-07 11:07:11 AM
Oops, I was thinking of urban legends. English fail.
 
2012-10-07 11:09:54 AM
Baking soda and vinegar made into a paste really does make a wasp sting stop hurting.
 
2012-10-07 11:38:20 AM
If it's actually true it stops being an old wives' tale, so therefore, hardly any of them are true at this point. They've either been explained by science or disproved. A thousand years ago, the ratio was probably more even.
Suppose someone told you "If you get water cold enough, it turns solid." Do you even consider saying, "Oh, that's just an old wives' tale"?
 
2012-10-07 11:44:00 AM

CreamFilling: If it's actually true it stops being an old wives' tale

 
2012-10-07 12:36:32 PM
If only there were a show to test if myths are true...
 
2012-10-07 12:40:58 PM
Sugar causes acne?

That's news to all the dermatologists out there saying that it's bacteria in nature.
 
2012-10-07 12:46:15 PM
Once, my face did sorta 'stay that way': Bell's Palsy
 
GBB
2012-10-07 12:46:27 PM

Rowena: If only there were a show to test if myths are true...


heatherjosephwitham.files.wordpress.com
"Ya, this was my job for all of 1 season. Not bitter."
 
GBB
2012-10-07 12:47:16 PM

douchebag/hater: Sugar causes acne?

That's news to all the dermatologists out there saying that it's bacteria in nature.


yeah... bacteria feeding off the sugar oozing from your face.
 
2012-10-07 12:49:18 PM
"Wear a coat or you'll catch cold."

My pers. fave
 
2012-10-07 12:49:56 PM
Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.
 
2012-10-07 12:52:12 PM

Corn_Fed: Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.


Put the f*ckin Mentos into the coke bottle and get out of the way.
 
2012-10-07 12:53:13 PM

ArcadianRefugee: CreamFilling: If it's actually true it stops being an old wives' tale


Nah. It only needs to be not something directly observable (besides being a tale told by old wives). Though if it becomes widely accepted enough it can get a promotion to common knowledge.
 
2012-10-07 12:55:50 PM

Corn_Fed: Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.


While I tend to agree with your statement, my understanding was that they did more rigorous science "behind the scene" - it may well be hokum but just though I'd contribute that little chestnut.
 
2012-10-07 12:57:02 PM
It's not actually bad luck to open an umbrella indoors, unless the room is really crowded, and then it's only bad luck for the people around you. Also, swallowed gum will not stay in your stomach for seven years.
 
2012-10-07 01:00:32 PM
I spent two years in Eastern Europe and heard some whoppers.
1. The open window of a vehicle will make you sick because of wind passing across your face. Riding on a motorcycle? No problem.
2. If a woman sits on bare concrete, no matter the season, her ovaries will be damaged. Yup, they really said this.
3. Beer is not alcohol. This is TRUE.
4. Homemade alcohol is safer than store-bought. I have no memory of drinking store-bought and getting sick, so it must be true.
5. Sleeping on a sofa bed that has a beam running down the center is good for your back. The pillow-top beds sold in expensive stores will give you arthritis.
6. Washing coins as regular currency devalues them, because it removes their "history" (as in germs and dirt).
7. Drinking cold water will make you sick, and cold beer is good for curing a sore throat.
I spent months trying to convince the students I taught that all of these were bs, but it was hopeless.
 
2012-10-07 01:01:17 PM
Well. if I trust anyone's input, it's certainly The Holy Spirit Health System's Dillsburg Family Health Center.
 
2012-10-07 01:03:00 PM
I had some old wife tail last night, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies...
 
2012-10-07 01:03:18 PM
You could week old blistering, runny, openly oozing poison ivy blisters and smear those open wounds onto someone's open mouth and face and the only repercussions will be a bad taste in somebody's mouth.
 
2012-10-07 01:04:23 PM

WhippingBoy: I had some old wife tail last night, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies...


meh, me too.

*yaaah*
*sigh*
 
2012-10-07 01:07:56 PM

bjmidkiff2: I spent two years in Eastern Europe and heard some whoppers.


I have one phrase that tops all of those:

FAN DEATH.
 
2012-10-07 01:11:04 PM
All of them, if you ask your wife
 
2012-10-07 01:15:43 PM
Is it actually unsafe to be in a pool during a lightning storm?
 
2012-10-07 01:17:47 PM

SexOnTV: Is it actually unsafe to be in a pool during a lightning storm?


Of course not. Don't you know the water forms a makeshift Faraday cage around you? I know I read that on the internet somewhere...
 
2012-10-07 01:18:09 PM

tonguedepressor: WhippingBoy: I had some old wife tail last night, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies...

meh, me too.

*yaaah*
*sigh*


*feeble high-five*
 
2012-10-07 01:18:38 PM

bjmidkiff2: I spent two years in Eastern Europe and heard some whoppers.
[...]
4. Homemade alcohol is safer than store-bought.


That one is plausible.
 
2012-10-07 01:18:43 PM

Corn_Fed: Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.


oblig xkcd:

imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-10-07 01:35:03 PM

Ishkur: Corn_Fed: Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.

oblig xkcd:

[imgs.xkcd.com image 599x524]


Yeah, I don't get the butthurt about Mythbusters, either. I mean, seriously. We're not testing for extremely accurate results, or to determine topics that need a million controls. A lot of the scientific experimentation, for the types of things they test, are sufficiently like Galileo dropping two balls from the tower of Pisa.

If everything has to be so scientifically rigorous as to force nearly impossible standards on fairly messy topics, then I can see why people stop listening to science and want something else to believe in. After all, it's much easier to have faith when the alternative requires so much extra crap that you'd spend all of your time trying to do the book keeping.
 
2012-10-07 01:59:46 PM

bjmidkiff2: I spent two years in Eastern Europe and heard some whoppers.
1. The open window of a vehicle will make you sick because of wind passing across your face. Riding on a motorcycle? No problem.
2. If a woman sits on bare concrete, no matter the season, her ovaries will be damaged. Yup, they really said this.
3. Beer is not alcohol. This is TRUE.
4. Homemade alcohol is safer than store-bought. I have no memory of drinking store-bought and getting sick, so it must be true.
5. Sleeping on a sofa bed that has a beam running down the center is good for your back. The pillow-top beds sold in expensive stores will give you arthritis.
6. Washing coins as regular currency devalues them, because it removes their "history" (as in germs and dirt).
7. Drinking cold water will make you sick, and cold beer is good for curing a sore throat.
I spent months trying to convince the students I taught that all of these were bs, but it was hopeless.


And those that still believe these things are true will always tell you again and again in that annoying whining fire-siren or braying donkey voice.

My mother was convinced that wearing wet socks when she was a little girl caused her 'rheumatism' (arthritis). She claims the 'dampness gets in your bones'. Even though every doctor she saw told her that it was nonsense.

My wife still will not go out with wet hair because it causes 'pneumonia'. Worse, she has convinced my daughter this is true, too.
 
2012-10-07 02:06:43 PM

Corn_Fed: Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.


25.media.tumblr.com  

/sorry
//couldn't help myself
 
2012-10-07 02:08:05 PM
The problem with the ginger ale thing... Nobody seems to make a real ginger ale anymore. Even our beloved Vernors here in Michigan has turned into ginger-flavored pop, thick with HFCS and fake flavors. Chances are your "ginger ale" is about as "ginger" as Will Smith.
 
2012-10-07 02:17:46 PM

Kit Fister: Ishkur: Corn_Fed: Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.

oblig xkcd:

[imgs.xkcd.com image 599x524]

Yeah, I don't get the butthurt about Mythbusters, either. I mean, seriously. We're not testing for extremely accurate results, or to determine topics that need a million controls. A lot of the scientific experimentation, for the types of things they test, are sufficiently like Galileo dropping two balls from the tower of Pisa.

If everything has to be so scientifically rigorous as to force nearly impossible standards on fairly messy topics, then I can see why people stop listening to science and want something else to believe in. After all, it's much easier to have faith when the alternative requires so much extra crap that you'd spend all of your time trying to do the book keeping.


I'll just leave these two videos here.
 
2012-10-07 02:38:47 PM

ZeroCorpse: The problem with the ginger ale thing... Nobody seems to make a real ginger ale anymore. Even our beloved Vernors here in Michigan has turned into ginger-flavored pop, thick with HFCS and fake flavors. Chances are your "ginger ale" is about as "ginger" as Will Smith.


Reed's Ginger Brews are made with real ginger. It's a bit expensive to order online, but if there's a Trader Joe's near you, they often have it.
 
2012-10-07 02:41:10 PM

CygnusDarius: Kit Fister: Ishkur: Corn_Fed: Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.

oblig xkcd:

[imgs.xkcd.com image 599x524]

Yeah, I don't get the butthurt about Mythbusters, either. I mean, seriously. We're not testing for extremely accurate results, or to determine topics that need a million controls. A lot of the scientific experimentation, for the types of things they test, are sufficiently like Galileo dropping two balls from the tower of Pisa.

If everything has to be so scientifically rigorous as to force nearly impossible standards on fairly messy topics, then I can see why people stop listening to science and want something else to believe in. After all, it's much easier to have faith when the alternative requires so much extra crap that you'd spend all of your time trying to do the book keeping.

I'll just leave these two videos here.


So, your point is?
 
2012-10-07 02:46:59 PM
"Step on a crack,
and OJ will kill your waiter and slice your neck."
 
2012-10-07 02:56:08 PM
Wet head = cold things always mistifies me.

In the winter, it's rainy/snowy cold, the air is dry and you're crowded around with people.

A) Crowded with people = germs passing more freely/easier
B) Dry air = dried out mucus membranes
C) Inclimate weather = taxes the body reserves more leaving you more susceptible to illness.

Back in the day, what probably happened was people went out and got cold and wet (no gortex then, remember?) and then got very chilled. Once you're chilled it's hard to warm up without a hot shower. (Again, depending on the time frame that may not have been available.) So they changed clothes and sat shivering in front of a hot fire with some soup and waited to warm up.

Now, if you have never had the pleasure of trying to warm up that way, let me tell you, it can take a while. You're also quite tired when you finally do get warm and it's not unusual to need a nap. It's perfectly reasonable to have someone in this state be more susceptible to the viruses around the house, than the person who's been inside all day, warm, rested and well fed.

TL:DR: Cold weather doesn't cause the virus, but getting seriously chilled can definitely leave you more susceptible to coming down with one.
 
2012-10-07 03:07:43 PM
I am still looking for more pictures of the NYC guidance counselor.
 
2012-10-07 03:25:34 PM
If you flick a booger it'll always land on the back of someone wearing white.
 
2012-10-07 03:26:08 PM
Step on a crack and break your back.
 
2012-10-07 03:26:59 PM
You can't get smallpox if you've had cowpox was once an old wive's tale........ until someone proved it true.
 
2012-10-07 03:37:13 PM
Killing turkeys brings winter.

/sorry, its been a bad weekend
 
2012-10-07 03:38:00 PM

Kit Fister: So, your point is?


I think that, in order to at least show people a bit of desire to become scientists/engineers, we should make them as heroes -and not the bad guys- in movies and series, and to enforce that with an empirical approach you can achieve more than just guns blazing and kill everyone in sight.
 
2012-10-07 03:39:38 PM

OneNightStand: Killing turkeys brings winter.

/sorry, its been a bad weekend


And if a groundhog sees his shadow, it ends winter.

/I think that's what Westeros needs
//A whole bunch of groundhogs
///You know, to end winter
 
2012-10-07 03:43:37 PM
"Stop that Junior! You're going to go blind!"

"Gee Mom, can't I do it 'til i need glasses?"
 
2012-10-07 04:07:01 PM

CygnusDarius: Kit Fister: So, your point is?

I think that, in order to at least show people a bit of desire to become scientists/engineers, we should make them as heroes -and not the bad guys- in movies and series, and to enforce that with an empirical approach you can achieve more than just guns blazing and kill everyone in sight.


Wait...the Detroit story is a little bit higher on Fark's.
 
2012-10-07 05:04:51 PM
Eating KFC fried chicken ALWAYS gives me a couple of pimples on my face. Even moreso, if I drink Pepsi with it. Must be the grease bubbling out of my pores.
 
2012-10-07 05:36:18 PM

redheededstepchild: You can't get smallpox if you've had cowpox was once an old wive's tale........ until someone proved it true.


Wasn't Edward Jenner's original smallpox vaccine derived from the cowpox bacterium?
 
2012-10-07 06:01:36 PM
FTA: "Grandma sang the praises of chicken soup, cod liver oil, carrots and an apple a day...."

i.imgur.com
 
2012-10-07 06:01:57 PM

flushdepot: "Stop that Junior! You're going to go blind!"

"Gee Mom, can't I do it 'til i need glasses?"


I'm over here,Pops
 
2012-10-07 06:23:00 PM
Dryer sheets deter wasps. Dryer sheets also deter elephants. See any elephants?
 
2012-10-07 07:33:26 PM

bjmidkiff2: I spent two years in Eastern Europe and heard some whoppers.
1. The open window of a vehicle will make you sick because of wind passing across your face. Riding on a motorcycle? No problem.
2. If a woman sits on bare concrete, no matter the season, her ovaries will be damaged. Yup, they really said this.
3. Beer is not alcohol. This is TRUE.
4. Homemade alcohol is safer than store-bought. I have no memory of drinking store-bought and getting sick, so it must be true.
5. Sleeping on a sofa bed that has a beam running down the center is good for your back. The pillow-top beds sold in expensive stores will give you arthritis.
6. Washing coins as regular currency devalues them, because it removes their "history" (as in germs and dirt).
7. Drinking cold water will make you sick, and cold beer is good for curing a sore throat.
I spent months trying to convince the students I taught that all of these were bs, but it was hopeless.


you must've been in Russia. The ovaries one is one of my favs
 
2012-10-07 07:35:32 PM
Old wives tales I remember from childhood:

Wash your clothes on a holiday; wash someone out of your family.
The Christmas tree must come down before January one or all occupants of the household will have bad luck for a year.
Never hunt wearing a hat that has been on the bed that day.
Be generous to others on your honeymoon; stinginess on the honeymoon brings bad luck to the marriage.
If you make fun of a disabled child, you will have a child with a similar disability.
January one requires the following meal: Collard greens, for wealth; black-eyed peas, for luck; sweet potatoes, for health.

We also had chicken soup for colds, ginger ale for stomach aches, and clear liquor (think vodka) for coughs. Everything else was treated with vinegar and/or honey. It is a miracle we didn't die.

I never give my children alcohol or any medication with alcohol in it. I use chicken soup and ginger ale, but they also go to the doctor. We follow two of the old wives' tales I've listed above. I make sure the Christmas tree is down before the first of the new year and I serve the traditional New Years' Day meal. My husband is from up North and he hates it, but the kids like black-eyed peas and love sweet potatoes. They do try to get out of eating the collards. They would utterly replace their green vegetables with Doritos if I let them get away with it.
 
2012-10-07 08:08:10 PM
bigheadface you must've been in Russia. The ovaries one is one of my favs

Very close: Ukraine
 
2012-10-07 08:49:01 PM

Lunaville: My husband is from up North and he hates it, but the kids like black-eyed peas and love sweet potatoes. They do try to get out of eating the collards. They would utterly replace their green vegetables with Doritos if I let them get away with it.


Try chard instead of collard greens. I'm a pretty big fan of greens but collard greens taste disgusting.
 
2012-10-07 11:53:28 PM

Lunaville: Old wives tales I remember from childhood:

Wash your clothes on a holiday; wash someone out of your family.
The Christmas tree must come down before January one or all occupants of the household will have bad luck for a year.
Never hunt wearing a hat that has been on the bed that day.
Be generous to others on your honeymoon; stinginess on the honeymoon brings bad luck to the marriage.
If you make fun of a disabled child, you will have a child with a similar disability.
January one requires the following meal: Collard greens, for wealth; black-eyed peas, for luck; sweet potatoes, for health.

We also had chicken soup for colds, ginger ale for stomach aches, and clear liquor (think vodka) for coughs. Everything else was treated with vinegar and/or honey. It is a miracle we didn't die.

I never give my children alcohol or any medication with alcohol in it. I use chicken soup and ginger ale, but they also go to the doctor. We follow two of the old wives' tales I've listed above. I make sure the Christmas tree is down before the first of the new year and I serve the traditional New Years' Day meal. My husband is from up North and he hates it, but the kids like black-eyed peas and love sweet potatoes. They do try to get out of eating the collards. They would utterly replace their green vegetables with Doritos if I let them get away with it.



Actually, a lot of those have been shown to be more than legitimate by real science. Honey has chemicals (some of the same ones used in prescription cold syrups) that make it an effective painkiller and cough suppressant. Lemon juice will cut the mucus in a throat and help it drain. Alcohol acts as a cough suppressant, and tea is generally healthy- a hot toddy is, scientifically speaking, better than a lot of modern drugs in addressing a cough. Tone down or leave out the liquor for kids or mornings.

Using ginger to settle a stomach or soothe a throat is legitimate too. The chicken soup has no particular medical value though, apart from being warm and tasty, and most claims about vinegar are bunk.


aerojockey: Lunaville: My husband is from up North and he hates it, but the kids like black-eyed peas and love sweet potatoes. They do try to get out of eating the collards. They would utterly replace their green vegetables with Doritos if I let them get away with it.

Try chard instead of collard greens. I'm a pretty big fan of greens but collard greens taste disgusting.


I love 'em, but I'm much more receptive to bitter and earthy flavors than most Americans seem to be these days. I really do think that the soda and fat filled diet many people have trains their palettes.
 
2012-10-08 07:47:27 AM

cptjeff: ... The chicken soup has no particular medical value ...


You sure about that?
 
2012-10-08 08:00:19 AM
For all the people bashing mythbusters.....very little of what they do needs the kind of rigorous testing that you people seem to want.
For example: Will gas tanks explode when you shoot them?
The conclusion was no, they used a variety of ammunition/rifles/gas tanks/etc to test this out. Sure, maybe in a 1/10,000 scenario, with a specific weather condition, gas tank, and bullet combination, they could have manage to get a decent fireball, moving the result from, busted to improbable. But for all practical intents and purposes, they proved it to be a bs movie falsehood. That is what they are doing. They aren't claiming it to be fool proof science, or at least I don't take it that way. It's more of a.....yeah, that doesn't really happen/couldn't happen/will happen, kind of thing, for most of their experiments.
 
2012-10-08 10:04:14 AM
Peeing in the shower cures/ prevents athlete's foot.

Windex to take the itch out of an ant bite.

To prevent pregnancy, eat an apple...

...instead.
 
2012-10-08 10:06:15 AM
children's hot toddy:
honey (for kid's 3 and older only due to botulism bacteria risk)
orange juice (lemon juice)
hot water or red or lemon zinger tea

the great thing about this is you can give it to them all day long. Snuggle them up on the couch in a warm blanket, hand them the remote and let them watch tv. I give them some (children's) Mucinex and (children's ) Tylenol tablets to take with it too. That is probably the only really effective medicines in most OTC drugs anyway.

/adult hot toddy add a good dash of vodka...take aspirin instead of tylenol
// I add enough vodka to the hubby's so he takes a nap when he's sick. It's good for everyone!

///as kids we used to get hot toddy's and Blackberry brandy for earaches, sore throat's and colds: knocked us all right out
 
2012-10-08 10:21:17 AM

Mstreemn: children's hot toddy:
honey (for kid's 3 and older only due to botulism bacteria risk)
orange juice (lemon juice)
hot water or red or lemon zinger tea

the great thing about this is you can give it to them all day long. Snuggle them up on the couch in a warm blanket, hand them the remote and let them watch tv. I give them some (children's) Mucinex and (children's ) Tylenol tablets to take with it too. That is probably the only really effective medicines in most OTC drugs anyway.

/adult hot toddy add a good dash of vodka...take aspirin instead of tylenol
// I add enough vodka to the hubby's so he takes a nap when he's sick. It's good for everyone!

///as kids we used to get hot toddy's and Blackberry brandy for earaches, sore throat's and colds: knocked us all right out


I forgot for younger kids or if you don't have honey, you can use their favorite fruit preserve: cherry or apple are good. The pectin and sugar coats the mucus membranes like honey does

/I got a terrible cold traveling in Northern China; one of the local ladies made me a pork broth and noodle soup with lots of salt, chilis, garlic,onions and ginger. Made my nose run profusely but I felt so much better after that. She also said drink lots of hot rice water, tea, room temperature beer and take a slug of Baijiu (sorghum alcohol ) as needed/before bed. I think every culture has some form of "chicken" soup when sick cure
 
2012-10-08 02:57:30 PM

Corn_Fed: Sadly, Mythbusters fails on most counts. It does not feature good science, or proper experimentation. Anyone who draws conclusions from the ridiculously small sample sizes, and insufficient controls for variables, is only fooling themselves.


It's a TV show, not a scientific journal. i.e. lighten up, Francis.

/enjoy MB
//occasionally yell at the TV when they are particularly unscientific
///but yeah it's just a TV show
 
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