Modern Mythology

The Need for Questioning Knowledge: Ribs as a Case Study

Lately I have had two different conversations in which people with college educations confidently asserted that men and women have a different number of ribs.  I generally blame this on the state of public education here in Georgia (US state version), but how does bad information like this get propagated? …

Modern MythologyScience

Modern Mythology: Turn on Your Brain

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Aug. 1, 2011, but the movie Lucy has sadly brought this myth back into vogue. Modern Mythology is a Teen Skepchick feature in which we try to cut through the woo so you can make informed decisions. If you have any questions, …

FeminismModern MythologySkepticism

The Not So Beautiful Game Step 2: In Which a Good Stiff Motivational Speech Might Be in Order

I continue reading Neil Strauss’ The Game.  Step 2 is Approach and Open.  Are you ready?  Are you ready for this?  Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? In this section, we abandon our frame narrative for some point in the past When it All Began (TM).  Our intrepid …

Mental HealthModern MythologyPop CultureSkepticism

The Not so Beautiful Game Step 1: An Uncompelling Frame Narrative Stigmatizes Mental Illness

I have started reading Neil Strauss’ The Game.  I have heard this is the defining literary work of the pick up artist movement/subculture/whatever and while I have heard a lot of bad comments about it, I have never actually read it.  With the exception of Twilight, I do attempt to …

Dear SasquatchModern Mythology

Dear Sasquatch: Do we sweat a liter of water at night?

Dear Sasquatch: My mom insists that I keep a glass of water by the bed each night to drink when I wake up, to avoid dehydration. She says that we lose a liter of water a night just through sweating. Is this true?   —Brynne P.

Modern MythologySkepticism

Dear Sasquatch: If we dream we die, do we actually die?

Dear Sasquatch: Is it true that if you die in your dreams, you will die for real? Like have a heart attack or something? —Pari S.

Alternative MedicineModern Mythology

Modern Mythology: 8 to 10 Glasses of Water a Day

Health and diet websites and books, not to mention endless email forwards, tout many unproved (and some downright erroneous) health benefits of water. Some of these are easy to be skeptical of, such as the claim that drinking two glasses of water in the morning “activates” the internal organs. As …

MathModern Mythology

Modern Mythology: “Ancient” Chinese Gender Charts

Numerology makes its way into modern mythology in so many ways that you almost don’t even see it anymore until you start looking. Mathemagical claims are in everything from personality tests to weird coincidences to Ancient Chinese Gender Charts.