How Too Much Media Made You Ignorant


Today, truth can be a slippery slope. There is more “truthiness” out there than actual truth, and even responsible news media has been guilty of implying things that are untrue simply because news items are quick and brief and don’t go in depth regarding the background information. In order to know all the real facts involved on a certain subject you have to do your own research. There are many, many common myths prevalent today that are not caused by “fake news” but simply because there isn’t the time to cover all the background information in order to fully understand the underlying concepts.

I’m going to use a quiz format to cover myths and misconceptions people commonly have, just because they rely on quicky news stories and don’t research the background information. Well, here goes:

Most terrorists attacks that occur in the US are done by:

A. Islamic terrorists

B. Left-wing radicals

C. Right-wing radicals

The answer is: C.Right-wing radicals. Right-wing terrorists have killed nearly twice as many Americans as Islamic terrorists. Of course some of you are objecting so here’s a link just to verify:


Most of the poor in the US are:

A. African-American

B. Hispanic

C. White

The answer to this one is C.White. While the percentage of poor by race would have Native Americans in first, Hispanics second, and African-Americans in third, by sheer number Whites have more poor than nearly all these groups put together. Those who want to “crack down” on welfare for racist reasons are actually cracking down mostly on fellow whites. Verification:


Life expectancy in the US is steadily:

A. Going up

B. Staying about the same

C. Going down

This one is an extremely complicated and troubling fact, but life expectancy is steadily going down in the US! There is no clear answer as to why, but it is certainly something to be concerned about. While life expectancy is going up in other countries, in the US life expectancy is on the decline. Many news commentators blame the opiod crisis, but it is much more complicated than that. Deaths from improper medical procedures, improperly prescribed or taken medications, traffic accidents, and crime are also increasing. The root cause seems to be, in general, the American way of life.


When it comes to cholesterol:

A. Bad cholesterol causes heart disease

B. Good cholesterol prevents heart disease

C. Cholesterol is cholesterol. It is all good and has nothing to do with heart disease

The answer is C again. In fact, Time magazine did a cover story apologizing about previous articles titled “We Were Wrong About Cholesterol”. Cholesterol is an anti-oxidant that fuels your brain and nervous system and most professional athletes now have high-cholesterol diets to maximize their performance. Your body makes it’s own cholesterol and most of the cholesterol in your blood is produced internally. In fact, if your cholesterol gets too low you will have memory and cognitive problems, experience a lack of coordination, put yourself at high risk for cancer, damage your liver, or even die.


The best way to prevent getting the flu is:

A. Getting the flu shot

B. Take large amounts of vitamin C

C. Washing your hands frequently and carrying around a hand cleanser

I don’t know why the media stresses A so frequently but rarely, if ever, mentions C. Could it be that pharmaceutical companies are the media’s number one source of advertising income? One thing is clear – with the rampant spread of flu this year, the tried and not-so-true method of just getting a flu shot isn’t working. In 2017-2018 we are having the worst flu epidemic in decades even though people getting flu shots is higher than ever. With reports that the flu shot is only about 10 percent effective, 9 out of 10 people who rely on the flu shot have wasted their time. Washing your hands frequently and using a hand sanitizer whenever you touch the door handles in public places, or even when touching the gas pump, is over 90 per cent effective in avoiding the flu. So why isn’t the media pushing this method?


When it comes to evolution:

A. It’s no longer a theory, it has been scientifically proven

B. It’s still a theory

Well, I expect to receive a lot of flak on this. I am NOT a religious zealot who believes in Adam and Eve. There is enough anecdotal evidence to believe evolution is true, but because we have only been doing science for a few thousand years, it can’t be scientifically proven. According to the scientific method there must be observation, and we just haven’t been around on the planet long enough to observe evolution in process. So it has to be B. I am going to defer to an atheist group who also agrees, and so definitely not because of biblical influences.


Fluoridated water:

A. Is proven to be absolutely safe

B. Can give you cancer

C. We just don’t know if it can give you cancer or not

I have a reverse osmosis water system in my house because, fluoride aside, I am avoiding the chlorine in tap water due to digestive sensitivity. There are a lot of websites that tell you of the dangers of fluoride and we all wonder how trustworthy they are. The American Dental Association claims it is perfectly safe. So why am I saying C? Because that is the opinion of the American Cancer Society and I tend to think of them as higher authority on all things regarding cancer. The American Cancer Society asks for more research to be done before they can draw a conclusion.

There is also this statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) “evidence was inadequate to draw conclusions one way or the other.

Whenever the media refers to the question, they refer to the American Dental Association. Why not refer to the American Cancer Society? Or the World Health Organization? The ACS has asked the ADA to run scientific tests on fluoride to prove it, one way or the other, once and for all. And the ADA has declined. Although there are thousands of government funded research studies into various health issues, the safety of fluoride is not one of them. The controversy will continue until the research is done, but it looks like the research is not going to be done anytime in the foreseeable future. This is unfortunate. But I have reverse osmosis water so I won’t worry too much.

Next question …


Particles from a standing sneeze:

A: Can travel up to 30 feet and hang in the air for hours

B: Can travel up to 15 feet and hang in the air for minutes

C. Can travel up to 6 feet and fall out of the air almost immediately

I’m pretty surprised that even CNN got this one wrong and their medical correspondent Sanja Guptka “blew it.” CNN repeatedly reported A – I have no idea where they got their information. The answer, according to the experiments done on the Discovery Channel’s show MythBusters, was C. According to their experiments on high-speed camera, the A scenario was busted and they concluded you won’t get a cold or a flu from a sneeze unless you were in close proximity to the sneezer. What they did find, using dye colored water, was that making physical contact with an infected person, such as shaking hands or even bumping into them, caused the dye to transfer. That is why it is so important to wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizers in public places, especially before touching your mouth, nose, or eyes, and definitely before eating. But don’t believe me – watch this video and see it with your own eyes:


Let’s go with our next media myth. A night out drinking alcoholic beverages:

A. Kills brain cells and you can never grow new brain cells

B. Doesn’t kill brain cells, but you can never grow new ones.

C. Doesn’t kill brain cells and, if you exercise and eat right, you can grow new brain cells

Even I thought it was A until I did my own research. The answer is C. The brain is a lot more resilient than we think and it actually requires a stroke or injury to the brain to kill brain cells. and

Which of these is the most expensive?

A Human blood

B Printer ink

C Chanel Number 5

This actually came up as a question on Jeopardy and the Jeopardy crew got it wrong by saying printer ink is the most expensive liquid in the world. The most expensive liquid is a certain type of scorpion venom used in medicine, but of these 3 it’s once again C. What does Chanel Number 5 actually cost to make? It’s a secret, but when the Sharks from the show Shark Tank were discussing it, Kevin O’Leary commented that perfumes have the highest markup versus cost to produce of any consumer product. And while most people donate human blood for free, it’s expensive because of the cost to store it and the FDA requires blood to be used within 42 days.


And let’s end this on a downer. According to the National Safety Council, other than from disease, how is the typical American most likely to die?

A Car crash

B Suicide

C Exposure to a dangerous substance

Once again, I have to emphasize that frequent hand washing not only is your greatest defense against disease, it is your greatest defense against accidental poisoning. With that said, this time C is second place. The answer is B. I guess we’re really not that happy of a country.

But C is still ahead of A, car crashes. With frequent hand washing you don’t have to worry that there is some virus or bacteria that doesn’t even have a vaccine. There are flesh-eating viruses and bacteria than can kill you. MRSA for example, is a flesh-eating bacteria that is fairly common, has no vaccine, and a friend of mine was hospitalized for weeks and is still recovering from MRSA. Likewise, you can come into contact with poisons even at home. Many poisons can get on your hands from contact and will have no symptoms until you touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, and even then not show any symptoms until it is too late. You may not even have known it was toxic. Many common household products contain dangerous poisons. The solution is frequent hand washing. Even a hand sanitizer might not work against a poison you have touched. Your car may remind you to buckle up (mine even turns off the radio if I don’t), but all you have against toxic substances is what mommy always told you – wash your hands!

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