Posts filed under ‘Despite Popular Belief’

Is Japan’s Coastline Longer Than Australia’s?

By Chad Upton | Editor-in-chief

I often come across the statement that Japan’s coastline is longer than Australia’s.

Although Australia has more than 20 times more land area than Japan, Japan actually has a longer coastline according to the World Factbook. The World Factbook, published by the CIA, lists Australia’s coastline at 25,760 km (16,007 miles) and Japan’s at 29,751 km (18,486 miles).

japan_australia

As you can see in the graphic above, Japan fits comfortably inside of Australia. So, how is it possible that it has a longer coastline? (more…)

May 30, 2014 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

The Sun is Green

By Chad Upton

I know, the sun doesn’t look green. But, keep in mind the sky looks blue and we know it’s not really blue. The sky appears blue for the same reason some people’s eyes look blue — an optical illusion known as the Tyndall effect.

sun is green

When scientists measure the wavelength (color) of the sun, the peak output is in the transition area between blue and green (about 500 nanometers). So, technically, the sun is green-blue. But, why doesn’t it look green? (more…)

May 17, 2013 at 2:00 am 3 comments

You Cannot See the Great Wall of China from Space

By Chad Upton | Editor

Before we could even go to space, the myth was the great wall is visible from the moon. Ever since we got to space, astronauts have been looking for it.

GreatWallOfChina

Mathematically, the wall would have to be at least 70 miles (110 km) wide to be seen from the moon with unaided eyes. Since the wall has a maximum width of 30 ft (9.1 m), this is easily dismissed as myth. The moon legend came from a 1754 letter by William Stukeley; his remarks on the massive size of the wall could have been literary hyperbole. But, some people took it literally.

In his defense, there have been a few claims that the great wall can be seen from low earth orbit — as little as 100 miles (160 km). A number of astronauts have claimed they have seen it. Even the European Space Agency claimed it was visible and published a picture. A week later they issued a press release indicating it was actually a river and not the Great Wall of China.

NASA claims it, “generally isn’t [visible], at least to the unaided eye.” Mathematically, it’s the same answer, unless you have 20/3 or better vision. But, according to the Journal of Optometry, “Not even the best of human eyes at a simple glance could see the Great Wall of China from Space.” That’s because the anatomy of the eye limits vision to an acuity no greater than 20/9. So, 20/3 is impossible.

The gaza pyramids on the other hand are about 22 times wider than the Great Wall of China; they are visible from low earth orbit.

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Photo: Keith Roper (cc)

Sources: wikipedia (Great Wall of China), Journal of Optometry, NASA

April 4, 2013 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Military Contractors Built Flying Saucers

By Chad Upton | Editor

I’ve been writing Broken Secrets for a little over 3 years and UFOs are something I wanted to cover at some point. It’s a difficult subject; there’s so much information, mostly poor or difficult to confirm information and little that seems reliable and interesting. But there are also some little gems that are compelling and enlightening.

cutaway

A UFO is simply an Unidentified Flying Object. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s alien — just that you’re not going to find someone who knows what it is or be willing identify it if they are one of the few who may know.

In May of 2011, the public got an unplanned unveiling of the US Military’s “Stealth Hawk” Helicopter when it was damaged during the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. Technically, it’s still a UFO since we don’t know exactly what it is — educated guesses are that it is a heavily modified Sikorsky MH-60M Black Hawk. (more…)

January 16, 2013 at 2:00 am 5 comments

We Don’t Lose Most of Our Heat Through Our Heads

By Chad Upton | Editor

Winter hat, stocking cap, beanie or toque; whatever you call it, it keeps your head warm. But, it doesn’t necessarily keep you warm.

An old US Army survival manual suggested wearing a hat since “40 to 45 percent of body heat” is lost through your head. This recommendation is thought to have come from a military experiment over 60 years ago when participants were dressed from neck to toe in Arctic clothing, but no headwear. Over time, this has snowballed into “most” heat is lost through our heads. (more…)

November 27, 2012 at 2:00 am 1 comment

Point Blank Range Can Be Over 100 Yards

By Chad Upton | Editor

The phrase, “point blank range” is frequently used in tv shows and news reports to indicate a shot was fired within an short range (usually a few yards or meters).

While that usage is accurate, the phrase is rarely used to describe shots from further away that are still point blank range.

You see, Point Blank Range simply means: a distance at which the shooter does not need to compensate for gravity by adjusting the elevation of their weapon.

Due to the velocity of the projectiles, some weapons and ammunition have a point blank range of over 100 yards (91m). Due to recoil, some cannons can shoot over 1000 yards without elevation compensation; therefore they have a point blank range of over 1000 yards (914m).

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Photo: calflier001 (cc)

Source: point blank range

September 25, 2012 at 2:00 am 4 comments

Sugar Does Not Make Children Hyper

By Chad Upton | Editor

I’ve only been a dad for a few weeks, so I can’t provide any anecdotal evidence on this one. Thankfully, a much more scientific source is available. The British Medical Journal has published a study that concludes: sugar does not make children hyperactive.

Of course, we’ve all heard this myth. There are even some parents who give their kids pixie stix, hoping it will give them more energy: (more…)

May 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm 10 comments

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