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Do facts, truth, honesty and reality SCARE you? Look away now. (Disconcerting Facts, list #3)

4 years ago
We all like to think we "know" certain "facts of life" which are reliable and, simply unalterable common sense.
But, occasionally, you learn something that makes you do a double-take: in such moments you undergo a "WTF" experience. Try these on for size.

(Not for the squeamish or the timid or the superstitious! If you're very, very scared of facts and truth and reality and honesty, just look away NOW!)
  • The Dow hit 20,000 in 2018, the highest value in its history. Stock markets around the world are currently at all-time highs. The last time stock markets were trouncing all previous records was …in 2008, during the weeks before Lehman Brothers collapsed and the Great Recession began.
  • What time do the currency exchange markets close every day in New York? What time do they close every day in Tokyo? What about Paris and London? Yep: money never sleeps. The money markets stay open 24 hours a day, every day.
  • Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are the only two men who've ever walked on the Moon - right? Wrong. Between 1969 and 1972 a total of twelve men (so far no women) set foot on the Moon.
  • A "rest room" not a place to go when you want to put your feet up and relax - it's where Americans take a dump.
  • Antonio Meucci registered his invention of a voice-communication telephonic device with the US Patent Office in 1871, five years before Alexander Graham Bell registered his own patent for a telephonic device.
  • There's no aitch in aitch. The correct pronunciation of the letter "h" is /eɪtʃ/ .This will come as a surprise to some native speakers of English among you, but I assure you, when you spell the words "how" or "her" or "hotel" (etc), you really ought not to be pronouncing an "h" sound.
  • In July 2016 Michael Caine changed his name, officially, by deed poll to: Michael Caine. (Up until July 2016, Caine had, all his life, always used his birth-name, Maurice J Micklewhite, on his passport and on all other official documents).
  • Have you ever seen that old movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? How much older, do you suppose, the "Grandpa" actor (Lionel Jeffries) was than his "son" (Dick Van Dyke)? In fact, Van Dyke was two years older than Jeffries.
  • There are more bacteria living on your skin (forget about inside your body, just ON your skin) than there are humans living on the whole of Planet Earth.
  • Do you ever tell wilfully ignorant people not to "bury your head in the sand"? Maybe you've heard somewhere that that's what ostriches do when an attacker approaches. Ostriches do no such thing: when in danger, they flop to the ground and spread out, seeking protection from the camouflaging effect of their natural colour blending with the colour of the sand.
  • The smallest city in England is the City of London (population 9,401; area 1.12 square miles). The City of Westminster, where Parliament and UK government offices are located, is a neighbouring city within Greater London. The conurbation known as Greater London is not a city (don't be fooled by Mayor Sadiq Khan's mis-use of that word).
  • Spanish politicians occasionally talk boldly and implausibly about how the UK should "give back" Gibraltar to Spain. But Gibraltar is the "property" neither of Spain nor of the UK: it belongs to Gibraltans, just as all territories belong to the people who live there. There will never be any question of "re-negotiating" the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) while the Gibraltan people continue to insist they want to remain a UK territory (in the 2002 referendum, 98.97% of voters opted to remain within the UK).
  • Do you ever "read between the lines"? Stop. Never do that. All you're doing is, literally, analyzing blank spaces and making up stuff that isn't actually being said and is all about your prejudices, and nothing to do with what the other person wrote.
  • Thatcher and Reagan are often characterized as having been "right wing" leaders, but their economic policies were, in fact, grounded in classical liberalism.
  • Most "socialist" political parties around the world are, in fact, social reformist parties: their policies are focused on developing a "mixed" economy, not a socialist one.
  • Evangelical Christian "faith healing" seems to work, in some cases. There are a great many examples of sufferers of cancer and other diseases who have made a full recovery from their illness, and have gone on to live active, healthy, productive lives and who attribute their renewed healthfulness to The Power Of The Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, to date the total worldwide number of amputees whose limbs have subsequently re-grown as a result of their faithful prayers,and/or as a result of being touched by a "faith healer" currently stands at exactly ZERO.
  • The political editors of CNN, the New York Times, The Washington Post (and, occasionally the BBC and Al Jazeera) all meet secretly on a Skype call 3 or 4 times per week in order to co-ordinate their "fake news" articles aimed at falsely making the greatest, wisest, strongest President in America's history look like an orange-haired, orange-skinned, incompetent, bumptious, bungling buffoon who is such a lamentably inept businessman that he's declared bankruptcy on 6 separate occasions as well as being the only casino owner in human history who has ever achieved the insurmountably difficult task of losing money in that industry.
(Alright, alright! I made that last one up, just for fun (although the details about Trump's serial failure as a businessman are all entirely factual) - but, hey, it could be true, right?! ...And it very well might be true! My challenge to you, fellow Verblingers: do a bit of research to confirm or disprove my hypothesis, then come back and let us know your results! ...Just for fun!)
Do YOU know any more "disconcerting truths" which might surprise or shock us? Please share them here!
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