The Earthquake Increase Predicts End Times Legend

Many people see an increase in natural disasters as a sign of the end times coming. As floods, earthquakes and hurricane traumatize peoplearoundthe world, there are those who ascribe these events to a time of Armageddon. And as many end-time enthusiasts have noted, the frequency of earthquakes the world is experiencing are increasing.

Their proof is in the increased number of earthquakes that they are being made aware of when compared to the number they were aware of in past times. But the facts do not support this thesis. In fact, according to geological societiesfromseveralnationsaroundthe world, the number of earthquakes happening each year is decreasing.

This is in line with what is known about tectonicplates. These massive plates beneath the earth’s surface shift every now and then, which causes earthquakes to occur. But manyof them, once they shift, settle into place, never to shift again. There are volatile areas such as the San Andreas Fault that are prone to constant shifts. But for the most part, earthquakes are appearing less regularly.

The reason some people may believe their frequency is headed in the other direction is because of the prominence and ubiquity of international news sources. Now earthquakes and other phenomena can be reported on more easily. The information is more available to the public, and it may see like many natural disasters are more rampant.

images1This would be like saying more bathrooms are disrepair than ever before because of the increase in bathroom renovations. But the fact is, this service is now more commonly available and cheaper than it has been in the past, thanks to technological advances. Bathroom renovations are not a sign that houses are being made more poorly.

And an increased awareness of earthquakes does not reveal that they are becoming more frequent.…

Death by Maintenance Worker

Here is an urban legend that gets around, and it has been told in many different ways. It’s the same basic story, but it’s been passed around and even published as news in several different variations.

One variation goes like this:

In a medical ward in South Africa, on a ward dealing with very ill patients, it was noted that patients in the same room passed away around the same time each night. No one could figure out what was causing them to die, and the pattern continued for several weeks.

It was always around the same time, and it was always in the same room. Concerned family members and medical staff asked that something be done. So the hospital posted someone to watch the room, and at the time when the deaths occurred, they saw a maintenance worker enter the patient’s room, walk over by the patient’s bed, and unplug the medical equipment.

images1Then the maintenance worker plugged in a robot vacuum cleaner and began to clean. This may have been something you heard as a punch line- that someone would accidently kill someone just to use a vacuum cleaner. It’s the ridiculousness of the notion that people are being killed by an unwary worker who just need sot vacuum that really sets this one of as a legend more than a factual story.

But there is actually plenty of evidence to suggest that this incident began as something similar and was greatly embellished. It traces back to a German story where a maintenance worker did unplug a patient’s medical equipment, but no one died.

The story has been reported as factual in a number of publications over the decades, but it is obvious they all originated from the same false tale and have only managed to get into print because of their ridiculousness.…

The Flying Myth: Do Electronics Interfere with Plane’s Computers?

One of the most prominent instructions you receive upon boarding a plan is to turn off your electronic devices. For most people, it’s enough to know that they’ve been told to do so, so they comply. But those who have dug a bit deeper know that the air safety boards have warned passengers that their electronics can interfere with the operation of the plane’s sensitive electronics.

The interference could be enough to cause a plane to crash, the computers to malfunction or the flight controls to not work like they should. After all, these are very delicate instruments, and it might not take much to disrupt them. But is there truth to this claim, or is it just an urban legend?

Actually, there is no definitive correlation between the use of handheld electronic devices and malfunctions with plane equipment. Just because your television makes an odd sound when your phone rings does not mean that the plan will plummet to the ground because you are sending a text.

While some interference can occur, there is no evidence to suggest that any of it is in anyway hazardous or that is poses a images1threat to the operation of the plane. It is likely this rule was put in place to keep any interference from possibly occurring based on unfounded fear rather than any actual proof.

In fact, there is so little evidence to support the claim that the FAA is talking about getting rid of the rule altogether. If that’s not proof that the interference legend is blatantly false, then we don’t know what is. So if you are worried that the only way to travel in style and text at the same time is in your chauffeured car, then you may not have to worry about that pretty soon. It could be that your airplane ride could be just as technology friendly as the chauffeured car in the next year or two.


Earthquake Safety Myths Examined

Many people have been taken in by so-called experts who claimed to have important earthquake safety information to share. The charlatan Douglas Copp was spreading notionsthat every building has a safety zone during an earthquake and that every car has a safety zone as well during such circumstances. Let’s consider these types of advice and see if they hold up.

The Triangle of Safety

There are known to be locations within buildings called “triangles of safety”. These are zones where the rescue workers search first when they are looking for survivors. They know these locations will likely not be affected by the earthquake as badly as other areas of the building.

But the problem with going straight for these zones as soon as an earthquake starts is that no one can accurately predict where these zones will be. It’s different for each quake and each building, because no two quakes are the same and most buildings are built differently from one another. And during an earthquake, large parts of the building can move. So what would be the safe zone after the quake may not have been very safe during the quake. This myth is just that- and you would be better off leaving the building or going down to the subbasement rather than trying to find a zone of safety.

Vehicle Safe Zone

This notion of a safe area extends to vehicles during an earthquake as well. Some have claimed that you can lie down beside your car and be protected from the quake. You can look at many after-quake pictures and see that the areas right beside the vehicle are clear of debris. That’s because the vehicle might have deflected the debris that feel directly on top of it. The debris would likely fall off the other side of the car, but at an incline, so as not to be directly beside the car.

images1But what those who talk about safe zones don’t take into consideration is that the vehicles can shift or tip over during a quake. This can cause whatever is near them to sustain damage. Lying next to your vehicle is never a safe option during a quake, since the movement of the car and the ground can become unpredictable.

Preparation Is Better Than Urban Legends

You are better off making preparations before a quake than you are trying to find mythical safe zones. You can have tree services clear the trees away from your house. This ensures that when an earthquake occurs, the tress won’t fall on your home. You can also reinforce your basement to make certain it can protect you from your house’s collapse in case of an earthquake.…

Deciphering Urban Legends

We’ve all heard that story from our uncle or father or crazy relative that sounded just a little off. Then later we heard the same story from someone else who probably didn’t even know that first person. They were probably telling an urban legend- a story based on facts, but distorted by time, retellings and the storyteller’s desire to impress the hearer.


The important thing to keep in mind with all urban legends is that there is likely a grain of truth in there. Rather than dismissing the entire story, try to discern what is true and what is not. Often the parts that are the same are the ones that seem the most grounded in reality and that are repeated from version to version. Often the differences between tellings of the same urban legends are embellishments by the author.

So when you hear claims that a dietary supplement like Garcinia caused a relative to lose 50 pounds in a month, understand that there may also be portions of the story missing. Perhaps in addition to the Garcinia, your relative was exercising furiously and eating nearly nothing at all. Or maybe the relative only lost 25 pounds that month, but managed 50 over time and just shortened the time period to make it sound more incredible.

There is certainly value in urban legends, but there’s some danger to spreading them around as well. Many of them are meant to scare people into being afraid of certain animals or kindsof people. They can cause undue fear or overreaction among community members.

While urban legends such as the Loch Ness monster are laughable to some people, to others they are cautionary tales that keep them away from the water. While it is possible that someone saw something resembling a monster at some point in the loch, the idea has spread to enough people that when they see something unknown on the loch, they assume it must be the monster. Urban legends have a way of distorting people’s receptions of reality and causing them to see things in a way that they would normally not.…

Is a Spaced-Based Solar Collector Really Being Built?

One of the urban legends floating around over the past few decades is that of a space-based solar energy collector. The idea is that a solar array would be shot into space or constructed in space. The details haven’t all been worked out, obviously.

But the idea posts that solar energy would be collected by this array and then transferred somehow back to the earth.

The theory postulated that many different countries are considering this idea. The US and Australia are at the forefront of these rumors because of their interest in solar power. But the real problem with this theory is not whether it is happening but whether it makes sense for it to even happen at all.


As of now, there just isn’t the technology available to make this work. While placing a collector in direct view of the sun, and far closer to it than the Earth would be, makes sense to a layperson, it doesn’t make sense to someone who understands the science of it.

The tech required to pull off a collector of this sort and to transfer its energy back to the Earth in any economical fashion just does not exist yet. It would cost more to build the array and transfer that energy back to us than it would to just build collectors down on Earth.

There’s another thing to consider as well- the energy the collector pulls from the sun would not be as concentrated as what we would get down on Earth. That’s because the Earth’s atmosphere acts like an amplifier for solar energy. It concentrates the energy and makes it more useful to us that it would be to the collector.

So is this urban legend really true? Who knows if it will happen in the future, but that’s the real answer here. No country with worthwhile scientists is going to launch a project like this at this time. It just doesn’t make sense. In a few decades, there might be ring of truth to this notion.…

The Tale of the Dog Choking on Fingers Examined

We’re looking at urban myths and trying to find the truth to them, if it can be found. Now we turn our attention to the rather well-known one involving a dog choking on human fingers.

The Story

It starts in Sydney, Australia, when a woman takes her dog to the vet’s office because she came home to find him choking. She goes back home and gets a call from her vet telling her to get out of the house. The dog has human fingers lodged in his throat. In some instances of the story, the woman goes upstairs to find a burglar sprawled out on the floor, missing some fingers. In other versions, the thief is passed out behind the garage doors.

But is it really true?

Examining the Facts

This story seems to have first appeared back in 1981, with similar versions popping up all over the world- Australia, Japan, the United States, etc. Each one has their own variations on the details, but the basic pitch is the same. The odds of all of them being true are pretty slim, but it is likely they originated from a single true version. They seem to have spread because of the innate fear of a homeowner, particularly a woman, encountering a thief in their own home. This is the kind of story that gets passed around as a cautionary tale. People tell stories similar to this all the time that they heard from an uncle or a friend of a friend, and the odds are better than the real story is much tamer. But the teller knows it has a better chance of being repeated if the details are spiced up or made more gruesome. It’s nearly impossible to say whether or not this story is true, but many of the versions of it have a number of logical errors. One of the biggest errors is the way that one version recounts the vet telling the woman he will take care of the dog later. A real vet knows that a choking problem is possibly a fatal one and he wouldn’t have waited to look at it. So once again, there is probably a true story in there, but it is likely buried under some exaggerated details.…