*"Everyone Knows..."*
By: Warlord
February 2007
(Updated As Needed)

No One likes having their Sacred Cows Gored, But when it's not true, it's not true....

"Everyone knows" that Lemmings commit suicide when the population density gets too high, they do this by jumping off cliffs into the sea...

According to www.snopes.com - Lemming suicide is fiction. It was invented by a Disney movie. Contrary to popular belief, lemmings do not periodically hurl themselves off of cliffs and into the sea.

Disney's "White Wilderness" was filmed in Alberta, Canada, which is not a native habitat for lemmings and has no outlet to the sea. Lemmings were imported for use in the film, purchased from Inuit children by the filmmakers. The Arctic rodents were placed on a snow-covered turntable and filmed from various angles to produce a "migration" sequence; afterwards, the helpless creatures were transported to a cliff overlooking a river and herded into the water. White Wilderness does not depict an actual lemming migration - at no time are more than a few dozen lemmings ever shown on the screen at once. The entire sequence was faked using a handful of lemmings deceptively photographed to create the illusion of a large herd of migrating creatures.

Nine different photographers spent three years shooting and assembling footage for the various segments that comprise White Wilderness.

"Everyone knows" that Hundreds Of Thousands of people have died as a result of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident in Russia's Ukraine region. Unknown numbers of people have died from various cancers since then, and even their Children are dying from Cancers, or are horribly deformed due to genetic mutations.

Except that in 2006, 20 years after the Chernobyl Disaster, (To quote from the CDC linked report): "a group of eight UN agencies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization, assessed the damage in a study incorporating the work of hundreds of scientists and health experts from around the world"...

It turns out that less than 50 people have died, even 20 years later, as a result of the accident at Chernobyl... Almost all of the deaths occurred during the initial blasts, or due to massive radiation exposure among rescue workers during the Emergency Response to the incident. The Thyroid cancers we see in documentaries about the incident are 99% curable world-wide. The recovery rate is even higher in Countries with better health-care facilities like the USA, Russia, etc. The children we see with Thyroid cancer don't die from it. Furthermore, "even among the nearby population, there was neither evidence of decreased fertility nor of congenital malformations that could be attributed to radiation exposure. There is also no evidence of increased rates of leukemia or other cancers"
(Link From CDC and WHO: http://www.estatevaults.com/bol/archives/2011/03/18/the_most_danger.html)

You will also hear that the Chernobyl Disaster happened when the radioactive core "Melted through the bottom of the Steel Containment Vessel", and that it irradiated an area of over 100 miles so badly that no one will even be able to approach it for thousands of years to come...

..Again, Not true.. None of it.

Reactor Number 4 at Chernobyl had no steel containment vessel, it was simply housed in a partially enclosed concrete structure, designed to hold water (much like a swimming pool), in the center of the main building. Workers walked by it, and over it, daily during routine inspections. The reactor depended on being submerged in purified water at all times for radiation shielding. When they lost the cooling water, they lost the reactor.

Even after the Disaster at Chernobyl, the remaining nuclear reactors at the power facility remained up and running for many years, providing power to large parts of Soviet Ukraine. Workers were taken to the facility in buses for their shifts, and instructed to remain inside the concrete buildings which housed the other reactors to protect them from the "increased" radiation outside. These employees received less radiation per year than could be expected during a chest X-Ray. A current effort underway hopes to reclaim much of the area around the old power plant after the #4 reactor building is permanently sealed in 2013.

What "Everyone knows" about Chernobyl simply is not true...

"Everyone knows" That a Camel's Hump is where they store water..

..it is not.. A camel stores water in it's bloodstream, it's hump is a fat reserve for food, not water.

"Everyone Knows" that it takes 7 years for swallowed chewing gum to pass through your digestive system (Please, Get real.. Your body treats it like any other waste)

"Everyone knows" the quote that the Straw-man does once he's given his "Brain" by the Wizard of Oz is Pythagoras Theorem. "The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side."

Actually, it's not.. that was a blooper, it's a right triangle... Pythagoras Theorem states, "The square of the Hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the squares of the two remaining sides"

Or "A Squared + B Squared = C Squared" Another of those things "Everyone Knows" that's simply not true.

"Everyone knows" that shaved off hair grows back darker and thicker.. AND that hair keeps growing after you die.. All of this is untrue...

"Everyone knows" if you go swimming within an hour after eating, you'll get cramps and possibly drown... ('Fraid not)

"Everyone knows" that "Skin-So-Soft" by Avon is an effective Mosquito repellant.. it is not.. even though thanks to the Urban legend, Avon now makes a version containing a small percentage of DEET that does repel mosquitoes somewhat... And forget Dryer sheets, B-1, Vanilla from Mexico, plants, etc etc.. the only thing proven to work is DEET, and the more the better, 100% DEET is best.. it fell out of Favor after another urban legend started floating around that Soldiers were dying from DEET... this started after ONE soldier had an Allergic reaction to what the military Doctor Thought might be "DEET"... or it could have been a reaction to several other things he used that day... Whatever, 100% DEET is now back on the menu, and people aren't dying in droves.

"Everyone knows" That Betsy Ross sewed the American Flag for George Washington... Nope... Historians think that Francis Hopkinson (a member of the Continental Congress, a heraldist, a designer of the Great Seal of the State of New Jersey, one of the designers of the Great Seal of the United States, and a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence) actually designed the FIRST American Flag... but the famous flag everyone THINKS was sewn by Betsy Ross was actually sewn 30 years later than the MYTH says... The MYTH is even taught in some Schools, there are books and US .gov websites devoted to this MYTH... The Betsy Ross MYTH is based solely on oral affidavits from her daughter and other relatives, which were made public in 1870 by her grandson, William J. Canby, in a paper read before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania... Some historians call her grandson "One of the best P.R. People ever".

Mary Young Pickersgill is actually the flagmaker of the famous banner, hoisted over Fort McHenry, that everyone thinks was sewn by Betsy Ross.

"Everyone Knows" that a welding spark hitting a butane lighter in your pocket will cause the lighter to explode with the force of a stick of dynamite... (Sigh)... OSHA and the Mythbusters disproved this one... Not Happening.

"Everyone Knows" that putting the tailgate of your pickup truck down on the Highway saves Fuel because there's no drag from air hitting the tailgate when it's in the raised position.. FALSE.. Many studies (and Again, My Favorite, The Mythbusters) have disproved this.. it actually wastes gas as the air flowing over the top of your truck presses down on the lowered tailgate and simulates weight on the back tires.. when the tailgate is up, a bubble of air forms in the bed of the truck, and moving air then flows over the top of that air-bubble and on off the truck.. it saves fuel to drive with the tailgate up... But for those that haven't tested it, it "Seems logical" that air would hit the raised tailgate and cause drag...
Starting to see why we don't believe in "It seems logical that ____"?
The Position of your tailgate could make the difference between getting to your retreat, and running out of gas, when you thought you were saving Fuel...

As you can see, "What everyone knows" is often found to be wrong.. that's why we, At Alpha/Rubicon, Test Everything. That's why we strive to have even the most basic skills and preps tested and verified before we put them out on any of our Preparedness pages.

This also allows us to get rid of Wrong information, work with new information we discover during testing, and even apply new technology to old ideas, coming up with better ways to do old tasks or preps.

We have found that much of what many "Survivalists" believe, and even teach, is flawed information that someone just took for granted was true. It may not be true at all, or there may be a much better way to do things now. The examples are endless, but chances are very good that what you think you know about Preparedness topics is incorrect to some degree..

We are constantly reevaluating everything we think we know, and certainly everything we teach. It's why our way of Disaster preparedness saves lives... we get our information from experts that do the things they write about every day.. we also get our facts from people that have lived through disasters, people that work in disaster preparedness organizations, and survivors of actual long (and short) term disasters. Our members write from Experience, not from "What seems logical" (ArmChair thinkers), or "What everyone knows" (we all groan when we hear someone say "Everyone Knows ____")

When things get bad, it's not the time to find out that what you thought was true (and probably spent a lot of money on), simply is not true, and doesn't work.

(Special Thanks To Snopes.com, Wikipedia, And MythBusters)

All materials at this site not otherwise credited are Copyright 1996 - 2007 Trip Williams. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for personal use only. Use of any material contained herein is subject to stated terms or written permission.