Tag Archives: True or False?

Movie Titles Lost in Translation

Fact: Superbad is called Supercool in Mexico, Argentina, and Peru.  It goes without saying that no one language translates word for word into another language and then back again without losing (or sometimes gaining) a new meaning along the way. This is true for Spanish, which shares a subject-verb-object word order with English. It is especially true for translations(…)


Could This be Hungary’s Greatest Invention?

  Fact: The Rubik’s cube is a Hungarian invention   When Erno Rubik first created the best-selling puzzle in history, he was not actually thinking about toys or making millions of dollars; rather, he was trying to solve a structural design conundrum: “How could the blocks move independently without falling apart?” This was his initial(…)


Desert Deserts, Rock of Rocks & Other Arabic Tautologies!

Fact: Sahara is an Arabic word that literally means “desert” Sahara, in fact, does mean “desert” in Arabic. Thus, one might say that Sahara Desert actually translates to “Desert Desert.” Oh, the foolish people who named this one, right? Wrong. If that were the case, then Mississippi River, or “Big River River,” the Connecticut River,(…)


The Fashion of Norway’s Fiercest

Fact: Vikings did not have helmets with horns. This is true, if we are talking about Viking warriors. Most Viking warriors either wore no helmet at all, or they wore what history might refer to as a “biodegradable” helmet made of leather. While there is some historical and archaeological evidence suggesting that Viking-era religious leaders may(…)


Dynamite in Small Packages: Japan’s Amazing Literacy Rate

Fact: The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100% Yes, it is true that overall, Japanese literacy is near 100%. In fact, this is why a language spoken by only one country with no colonial influence and only a few isolated pockets of emigrants throughout the world can be categorized as one of the top 10(…)


Disney Lied! A Breakdown of the Greek Gods

Fact: In the Disney movie Hercules, the only character without a Greek name is Hercules As the good little students of world history that we are, many of us will remember that the Romans borrowed the basic concepts for most of their gods, heroes, and indeed religion from their antecedents and compatriots, the Greeks. While we(…)


Germany: Land of Beer, Sausage and… Gummy Bears?

Fact: Gummy bears were invented by a German. Most people would probably think that Gummy Bears are an American invention; it could be because of the 1980’s animated television series “Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears”. Perhaps, we link this candy to the United States because they are commonly used as toppings for frozen yogurt(…)


French Kisses, Fries and Toast Explained

Fact: French toast was not invented by French people. It’s true – French toast is a recipe that significantly predates France as a country. Originating sometime before the 4th century AD in Rome, so called “French” toast began as a way to not waste stale bread, instead soaking it in milk and fresh eggs and(…)


Fortune Cookies and… Piñatas?

Fact: The piñata was invented in China Like many world traditions, the piñata was not actually invented in the country that made it most famous. Though most associated with Mexico, the piñata is actually believed to have been invented in China. Commonly in the shape of an ox or cow and originally filled with seeds,(…)


Ludicrous Lawsuits: Batman Sues Batman

Fact: The mayor of Batman City, Turkey wants to sue Warner Brothers for royalties from the film. Batman, to most people, could be defined as our favorite caped crusader, who lives in the shadows, punishes criminals and keeps the cities safe as “a silent guardian, a watchful protector”. But to the residents of a city(…)