EVERYDAY MYTHS

There are certain aspects of everyday science that we think of as fact, but in reality may be pure urban legend. In this section, you can learn about some of the everyday science myths you may encounter.
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What are some practical uses for solar energy?

High material costs and relatively low efficiency have held solar energy back as an alternative to fossil fuels. But that hasn't stopped people from finding some practical everyday applications for solar panels.

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  • 10 Tips for Telling Fact From Fiction

    10 Tips for Telling Fact From Fiction

    You know you can't believe everything you see or hear. But between the misinformation on the Internet and our natural propensity to believe what we're told, it can be hard to tell fact from fiction. Here are 10 ways to avoid being conned. See more »

  • 5 Sickest Teleporter Accidents Ever

    5 Sickest Teleporter Accidents Ever

    It's hard to imagine life (especially sci-fi life) without teleportation until something goes wrong. Horribly wrong. These five accidents will make any time you've spent in the telepod seem really tame. See more »

  • Are courtesy flushes useful -- or healthy?

    Are courtesy flushes useful -- or healthy?

    It may shock you, but there's never been a widespread study conducted on the sanitation or the necessity of the courtesy flush. Can this practice inflict grievous bodily harm on your hindquarters -- and the environment? HowStuffWorks weighs in. See more »

  • Are solar car battery chargers effective?

    Are solar car battery chargers effective?

    Imagine waking up one morning to find yourself unable to get to work due to a dead car battery. You won't have to do that if you have a solar car battery charger -- but how well do they really work? See more »

  • Can aerogels help clean up toxic spills?

    Can aerogels help clean up toxic spills?

    When big spills hit our environment, scientists think the best sponge is the one made out of aerogel, a substance that's a cross between a slice of Jell-O and a brick of smoke. Why are aerogels so good at cleaning up some of our worst messes? See more »

  • Can crash test dummies really simulate human injuries?

    Can crash test dummies really simulate human injuries?

    A simple doll can't tell a researcher whether a car crash resulted in a broken bone, a cracked rib cage or skin abrasions. Crash test dummies, on the other hand, are sophisticated enough to simulate such injuries. See more »

  • Can God and science co-exist?

    Can God and science co-exist?

    Does God exist? The existence of science would lead some to say "no" -- and vice versa. However, some of the world's leading scientists are trying to reconcile these two wildly disparate belief systems. See more »

  • Can our brains see the fourth dimension?

    Can our brains see the fourth dimension?

    Most of us are accustomed to watching 2-D films with flat images. But when we put on 3-D glasses, we see a world that has depth. We can imagine existing in such a world because we live in one. What about another dimension altogether? See more »

  • Can solar energy power everyday objects efficiently?

    Can solar energy power everyday objects efficiently?

    Even though they've come down in price, solar panels are still expensive and somewhat inefficient. And then there are cloudy days. Can solar panels ever replace fossil fuels for our everyday needs? See more »

  • Can you make a power station out of a tarp?

    Can you make a power station out of a tarp?

    To anyone familiar with the solar panels of the past, the possibility that a tarp could turn solar energy into electricity is pretty amazing. Could your next high-tech tent provide shelter and energy? See more »

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