Who Knew?

The truth about some of life's strangest notions

Whether they're things your elders used to tell you to make you behave, or just little anecdotes passed down through time, I got to wondering: If you swallow gum, will it sit in your body for 7 years? If I sit too close to the t.v. would I really go blind like Mom used to say? While we may never know just who or where some of these ridiculous notions came from, I've found the answers that help debunk the myths.

Q: How long does chewing gum stay in your stomach?

A: It seems doctors don't condone the idea becaue it COULD cause digestive problems, but say gum will simply pass through your system like everything else.

Q: Does sitting too close to the T.V. really damage your eyes?

A: "Prior to 1968 or so some sets emitted excessive X-rays, but that problem has now been eliminated." So no damaging rays are actually given off from the set that can hurt you. However, sitting too close to the TV could strain your eyes. Some eye doctors recommend that you sit no closer than five feet from the TV screen, but this precaution is merely to prevent eye fatigue.

Q: Is Fido's mouth really cleaner than mine?

A: All dogs lick themselves. Some eat their own feces. Humans (most of 'em, anyway) do not. So how in the world can the mouth of a canine be cleaner than that of a person? Simple -- it can't. There is a grain of truth to the myth. Although the mouth of a typical dog is full of bacteria, it's "species specific." So, if a dog were to lick a person, most of the germs wouldn't transfer.

Q: Is there any truth to the "5 second rule" about food that falls on the floor?

A: Studies find it depends on the food and the floor you drop it on. Contrary to what you might expect, the number of bacteria on "wet" foods like cheese actually decreased the longer the food was on the floor. Bacteria on Gummy bears and cookies dropped around a university campus were relatively bacteria-free, until exposed to E.Coli-contaminated floors. That took less than 5 seconds to spread onto the food.

Q: How did the Easter bunny become part of a religious holiday?

A: The Easter bunny we know today was influenced by German traditions dating back to the 1500s. German children believed that the Oschter Haws (a magical rabbit) would leave them a nest of colored eggs at Eastertime if they were good. Pennsylvania Dutch settlers brought this tradition to America in the 1700s.

Q: If I'm making a funny face will it really stay that way? (This was Lindsay Shively's question... guess she made a lot of faces in her younger days. And by younger I mean just this morning...)

A: Nope. The muscles in the face, called mimetic muscles, go from soft tissue to soft tissue, unlike muscles such as the quadriceps, which go from bone to bone. That means you cannot put enough resistance on them to train, tone, or build them in any way, says Lawrence Reed, M.D., a spokesperson for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. So Mom’s funny-face theory is baloney.

(Answers courtesy Ask.Yahoo.com)

What are some things you've heard and always wondered if they are true?

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