Rumor Flies

We got the sauce

Rumor Flies comically addresses the origins, evolution, and veracity of your favorite rumors, myths, and misconceptions. Tune in for more research, stories, and unsolicited commentary! Participation encouraged.

Filtering by Tag: snapple real facts

Snap Judgment #33: DEM BONES!

SNAPPLE FACT #1388: Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete

Snap Judgment 05032018.jpg

Verdict: True

As with most of our facts here, this requires a caveat. The straight and simple is that the strength of a femur, the longest and most durable bone and our body, depends on the angle of the pressure that is applied to it. At its weakest, the average femur will break from about 20 lbs. of force applied to it at a 90 degree angle. Not much.

This is why car crashes and failed trampoline tricks usually result in the majority of femur breaks. However, at its most ideal load-bearing condition, which is top to bottom of the bone, the femur can withstand 899 pounds of force. This is one of the reasons some extremely morbidly obese people can still move freely. The femur has tons of weight accounted for. This is mainly due to the femur’s light-weighted fibrousness (lots of pores) and flexiblity. These factors make it 12x stronger than a proportionally sized piece of concrete. But that’s not all…

 

Femur are stronger than steel!

Proportionally by weight, at least. This is actually why a lot of structures like bridges and building frames aren’t just solid walls of metal. Bones are so efficient at staying light weight and yet still durable that some of our own infrastructure is built upon their properties. It’s efficient, cost effective, and arguably aesthetically pleasing. Though, I do kind of want to see a bridge of bones. That weird?

-Ryan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlz8O4VMO4o

http://interesting-shocking-facts.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-human-thigh-bone-is-stronger-than.html

Snap Judgment #32: No Stompies in Germany

Snapple Fact #1366: In Denmark, citizens have to select baby names from a list of 7,000 government-approved names.

Verdict: True

So as it turns out, many countries have specific laws as to what you can and can't name your kids. Some are pretty obvious, such as no slurs or generally offensive names, but the laws get a lot more interesting as you dive in a little deeper. Denmark, as it turns out, is just particularly strict, while many countries vary pretty wildly. 

Let's start with the initial subject of this Snapple "real fact" - Denmark. Denmark does indeed have a list of approximately 7,000 government-approved names. One can apply for special permission through their local church, then the government reviews it. They are so strict that they actually reject 15-20% of submitted names. A few banned names: Anus, Pluto, and Monkey. 

According to the earlier linked Mental Floss article, here are a few rules of note:

  • Names must indicate gender 
  • Creative spellings of approved names are largely not allowed
  • Last names can't be used as first names and vice versa
  • Part of the rationale is to protect "rare Danish last names" 
Image source

Image source

 

In 1982, Sweden enacted the "Naming Law," which was originally designed "to prevent non-noble families from giving their children noble names," but it has since evolved. First names can't be offensive or "cause discomfort" for the individual bearing it, you can only change your name once, and you must keep at least one of the original names you were given if you do change your name. A few banned names: Metallica, Superman, Veranda, Ikea, and Elvis. Interestingly enough, they specifically allow "Goole" as a middle name, and Lego is an approved name. 

The US has its own federal naming laws, but it also varies wildly from state to state. Some states ban obscenities, some states (such as Kentucky) have no name laws at all, and in some cases, courts interpret the right to name a child whatever the parents' want as a matter of Free Speech (1st amendment clause) and Due Process (14th amendment clause). California actually doesn't allow for diacritical marks (ex. José, Noël), and some states limit the number of letters a name can have for record-keeping purposes. 

To close it out, here's an article from Business Insider that lists some interesting banned names by country! Enjoy, and if you live in Germany, do not name your kid "Stompie." 

 

Thumbnail image source

 

 

Snap Judgment #30: You don't look like Yourself

Snapple Fact #971: Charlie Chaplin failed to make the finals of a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.

Image source.  Singapore's The Straits Times, 10 Aug 1920, "How Charlie Chaplin Failed":

Image source. Singapore's The Straits Times, 10 Aug 1920, "How Charlie Chaplin Failed":

Verdict: Maybe?

I chose this one because I had heard it before as well, unlike many of the more absurd "Snapple Real Facts" we've covered so far. It is pretty well documented. As the above image shows, this actually was reported on at the time it allegedly happened and spread very quickly, probably because of the popularity of Chaplin. 

During Chaplin's 40-film career, especially in the beginning, there were actually many of these "Chaplin look-alike contests." So "The Tramp" himself decided to throw his hat, mustache, and cane into the ring. The results were disappointing. From "The Straits Times"

Lord Desborough, presiding at a dinner of the Anglo-Saxon club told a story which will have an enduring life. It comes from Miss Mary Pickford who told it to Lady Desborough, “Charlie Chaplin was one day at a fair in the United States, where a principal attraction was a competition as to who could best imitate the Charlie Chaplin walk. The real Charlie Chaplin thought there might be a chance for him so he entered for the performance, minus his celebrated moustache and his boots. He was a frightful failure and came in twentieth.

According to the Albany Advertiser, he placed 27th out of 40. While the numbers vary a bit from article to article, the key points are clear: He's a garbage cosplayer. 

Image Source

Image Source

 

Now for the real question: Is it real? The above discrepancy in how he did, as well as an inability to corroborate the initial report, has presented some issues. As it turns out, many of the papers were just repeating what they heard at the time from each other. From the linked Open Culture article: 

When one researcher asked the Association Chaplin to weigh in, they apparently had this to say: "This anecdote told by Lord Desborough, whoever he may have been, was quite widely reported in the British press at the time. There are no other references to such a competition in any other press clipping albums that I have seen so I can only assume that this is the source of that rumour, urban myth, whatever it is. However, it may be true."

So as much as I LOVED finding the original papers and thought this would definitely prove the myth, it turns out this is most likely a case of early newspapers simply running with a story without verifying it. Chaplin never confirmed it, the source of the story can't even be confirmed to exist, and people simply ran with it. It may very well just be an urban legend that started almost a century ago. 

Thumbnail source

Snap Judgment #32: No Stompies in Germany

Snapple Fact #1366: In Denmark, citizens have to select baby names from a list of 7,000 government-approved names.

Verdict: True

So as it turns out, many countries have specific laws as to what you can and can't name your kids. Some are pretty obvious, such as no slurs or generally offensive names, but the laws get a lot more interesting as you dive in a little deeper. Denmark, as it turns out, is just particularly strict, while many countries vary pretty wildly. 

Let's start with the initial subject of this Snapple "real fact" - Denmark. Denmark does indeed have a list of approximately 7,000 government-approved names. One can apply for special permission through their local church, then the government reviews it. They are so strict that they actually reject 15-20% of submitted names. A few banned names: Anus, Pluto, and Monkey. 

According to the earlier linked Mental Floss article, here are a few rules of note:

  • Names must indicate gender 
  • Creative spellings of approved names are largely not allowed
  • Last names can't be used as first names and vice versa
  • Part of the rationale is to protect "rare Danish last names" 
Image source

Image source

 

In 1982, Sweden enacted the "Naming Law," which was originally designed "to prevent non-noble families from giving their children noble names," but it has since evolved. First names can't be offensive or "cause discomfort" for the individual bearing it, you can only change your name once, and you must keep at least one of the original names you were given if you do change your name. A few banned names: Metallica, Superman, Veranda, Ikea, and Elvis. Interestingly enough, they specifically allow "Goole" as a middle name, and Lego is an approved name. 

The US has its own federal naming laws, but it also varies wildly from state to state. Some states ban obscenities, some states (such as Kentucky) have no name laws at all, and in some cases, courts interpret the right to name a child whatever the parents' want as a matter of Free Speech (1st amendment clause) and Due Process (14th amendment clause). California actually doesn't allow for diacritical marks (ex. José, Noël), and some states limit the number of letters a name can have for record-keeping purposes. 

To close it out, here's an article from Business Insider that lists some interesting banned names by country! Enjoy, and if you live in Germany, do not name your kid "Stompie." 

 

Thumbnail image source