Wired's Fact and Fiction

Fiction: If you fall into quicksand, you'll be sucked under and die.
Fact: You'll only sink up to your waist.

Fiction: Sitting too close to the TV will ruin your eyes.
Fact: It causes fatigue but no permanent damage.

Fiction: Earth's rotation causes bathtubs, sinks, and toilets to drain clockwise in the northern hemisphere, counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Fact: They can go either way in either hemisphere. The shape of the basin and the direction of the incoming flow overwhelm the minuscule effect of planetary spin.

Fiction: Benjamin Franklin's kite was struck by lightning.
Fact: The kite picked up electricity from the air, causing an arc between Franklin's hand and a key tied to his end of the string.

Fiction: A penny dropped from the top of a skyscraper can kill someone.
Fact: It could never pick up enough velocity to kill, just to bang you up a little.

Fiction: Swimming after you eat will cause cramps and lead to drowning.
Fact: There is a very slight risk of cramps, but only for vigorous swimmers.

Fiction: A drunken teenager can tip over a sleeping cow.
Fact: It would take several semisober people and a paralyzed cow. Anyway, cows sleep lying down.

Fiction: There's a dark side of the moon.
Fact: The entire lunar surface receives sunlight during the moon's monthly orbit around Earth.

Fiction: Swallowed chewing gum takes seven years to digest.
Fact: Gum is not digested. It passes through the gastro-intestinal system, usually within 24 hours.