1,000 Common Delusions
And the Real Facts Behind ThemBook - 2006
The real truths behind what we think we know.
Certain "facts" are accepted as absolute truths. But are they indeed so? 1,000 Common Delusions debunks these persistent myths. From the stories of the ancient world to religion and sports, here are the real facts about common fallacies that have long been assumed to be true. Organized by theme -- history and politics, natural sciences and technology, society and everyday life, Earth and the universe, and others -- here are some examples:Delusion . Stone Age humans lived in caves. Truth . They lived in huts and tents. The caves, decorated with hunting scenes and animal pictures, were used for ritual ceremonies. Delusion . Geishas are always female. Truth . They are professional entertainers, and the first ones were exclusively male. Delusion . Marie-Antoinette told her subjects to eat cake. Truth . When Marie-Antoinette was still a child, a fictional princess in a story said, "If they have no bread, let them eat brioches." Later this was attributed to Marie-Antoinette. Delusion . A frightened ostrich will bury its head in the sand. Truth . An ostrich lays its head on the ground to detect vibrations. If its young are threatened, however, it will play dead and draw in its neck. Delusion . The Hundred Years War lasted 100 years. Truth . The clash between France and England actually lasted 114 years, from 1339 till 1453. Delusion . Bagpipes were invented in Scotland. Truth . They were introduced into the British Isles by Caesar's legionnaires and originated in Asia Minor.
The myth-shattering truths in this intriguing book will shock, surprise and amuse readers. Fully indexed, it is a welcome resource -- and sure to be the final arbiter in many disagreements.