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Paul Beardsley
2005-Mar-22, 12:48 PM
There's a lovely moment in The Simpsons when Springfield are re-enacting the American Civil War. Homer says to Apu that he ought to take part as they could do with a few more Indians. Apu's reply is along the grounds of, "I don't know where to begin to correct you!"

So, what's the wrongest statement you can make?

I've got a starter, but I'm sure others can do better:

"The Earth's magnetic core is not a bar magnet, as most scientists believe, but a horseshoe magnet, as evidenced by the van Halen belts."

LTC8K6
2005-Mar-22, 01:05 PM
You'll never top the stuff at Zetatalk. GLP as well. :lol:

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-22, 01:25 PM
The tele-evangelists would give them a good run. Their combination of marketing hutzpah and preying on the ignorant is deadly.

Nergal
2005-Mar-22, 01:40 PM
How wrong can you get?

The smart-alec in me wants to reply, "If you have to ask..." #-o

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-22, 03:40 PM
"Willmaaaaaa.....", in the flintstones

technicaly that's prettymuch wrong because fred wouldn't have a body with which to make that sound as humans hadn't evolved in the(Jurassic?) period that the cartoon is set in, which always erks me about the program.

Sheki
2005-Mar-22, 04:56 PM
Well, there is this great quote from Charles Babbage that comes to mind:

"On two occasions I have been asked … 'Pray Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."

I wouldn't claim that it describes the "wrongest" thing that could ever have been said, but it's pretty funny nonetheless.

Sheki

Eta C
2005-Mar-22, 05:05 PM
Of course, as anyone who's read one of my posts knows, Wolfgang Pauli gave the ultimate answer for someone who's really, massively, incorrect.

mopc
2005-Mar-23, 04:59 AM
Once - I swear its true - a few years ago on an obscure news program here in Brazil, I heard the commentator say about some space news:

"this is the greatest thing since Louis Armstrong said the earth is blue" #-o :lol:

I'm not making this up, he actually said that. It's impossible to be that wrong, yet nothing is impossible on TV when it comes to being pathetic.

"I see trees of green, red roses to, I see them blue"... maybe that's where he mixed things up!!! :lol:

Stregone
2005-Mar-23, 06:27 AM
http://img66.exs.cx/img66/1481/cnnshuttle8px.jpg (http://www.imageshack.us)

Enzp
2005-Mar-23, 07:43 AM
Well, yeah, that's a pretty good one.

Did they return before they left?

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-23, 07:49 AM
Once - I swear its true - a few years ago on an obscure news program here in Brazil, I heard the commentator say about some space news:

"this is the greatest thing since Louis Armstrong said the earth is blue" #-o :lol:

I'm not making this up, he actually said that. It's impossible to be that wrong, yet nothing is impossible on TV when it comes to being pathetic.

"I see trees of green, red roses to, I see them blue"... maybe that's where he mixed things up!!! :lol:No, second verse --first line "I see skies of blue and clouds of white" lyrics (http://www.mathematik.uni-ulm.de/paul/lyrics/louisa~1/whataw~1.html) But it's skies not earth... :-?

Paul Beardsley
2005-Mar-23, 11:38 AM
The Babbage and the Louis Armstrong examples are exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. Keep them coming, please!

And made-up ones are welcome too.

The space shuttle one, whilst easy enough to correct, is nonetheless priceless!

Fram
2005-Mar-23, 12:02 PM
The paper ran an article yesterday about Jules Verne, because he died 100 years ago. Near the end, they claimed that Verne believed Dreyfuss to be guilty, even after he was declared innocent in 1906.

Today, they apologized, as of course Verne was already dead by then... #-o

LTC8K6
2005-Mar-23, 03:10 PM
http://www.zetatalk.com/science/s59.htm

A NanZeta classic.

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-23, 03:26 PM
http://www.zetatalk.com/science/s59.htm

A NanZeta classic.

Newton would have been proud...!!!! :-?

mike alexander
2005-Mar-23, 11:01 PM
Over the years I've lost the reference, but I swear I read it in the paper:

"We do not know what altitude the plane was at when it crashed."

Nicolas
2005-Mar-23, 11:16 PM
Over the years I've lost the reference, but I swear I read it in the paper:

"We do not know what altitude the plane was at when it crashed."

I suppose attitude got transformed into altitude in one of the reporting steps?

Evan
2005-Mar-23, 11:18 PM
Well, I've never been wrong so I can't really answer the topic question.

mike alexander
2005-Mar-24, 12:18 AM
How wrong can you get?

When I went to New York for the first time (my first time, she was born there) with my fiancee, we split up for the morning (for reasons I cannot now remember) and agreed to meet at the NY Public Library at lunchtime. Being a bit of a rube, I asked the address, and learned it is at 6th Avenue and 42nd St., and you can't miss it.

Sometime in the early afternoon, she found me doing a random walk in midtown. I explained to her that, despite the directions, I had not been able to find the library because I could not find 6th Avenue. 3rd, Lexington, Park, 5th, Avenue of the Americas, 7th 8th..... where did they hide 6th Avenue?

The expression on her face remains in memory yet green. But she married me anyway, possibly because I could make her laugh.

AGN Fuel
2005-Mar-24, 12:33 AM
"Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein....."

Evan
2005-Mar-24, 01:05 AM
1943: I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. (Thomas Watson of IBM)

Enzp
2005-Mar-24, 05:52 AM
OK, I'll share. I swear to God this is true.

When I was growing up I had heard the term Bush Bavarian, and never thought much about it. I assumed it referred to some sort of aboriginal Europeans, and forgot about it. It would surface now and then, receive little thought and fade back away. It wasn't until I was out of college that one day I looked at the can of beer in my hand and read "Busch Bavarian Beer" that I realized what a dodo I had been.

I still have the mental image of somewhere in Europe, fur clad hunters with spears. Hunting a cold one, no doubt.

Maksutov
2005-Mar-24, 06:17 AM
Then there was the report issued by the Associated Press in 1961 that UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, who was on a diplomatic mission, had landed in the Congo. Only problem was the report was issued before Hammarskjöld died in a plane crash in the Congo (under what are still mysterious circumstances). (http://www.sjwill56.ukonline.co.uk/interest.htm)

The AP and those newspapers, etc., that had used the report went into panicky damage control. And, as is usual with the media, AP claimed it wasn't wrong, but instead had been confused by tight security and a case of mistaken identity. :roll:

EvilBob
2005-Mar-24, 06:47 AM
A very old one, but still a goodie....
Dewey Defeats Truman (http://www.temple.edu/history/images/deweytruman.jpg)

Paul Beardsley
2005-Mar-24, 09:37 AM
Wasn't there some female US senator - I forget her name - who said, "Trees are the greatest source of pollution."

The statement is easy enough to put right, but it's just so wrong it practically warps space.

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-24, 10:21 AM
Wasn't there some female US senator - I forget her name - who said, "Trees are the greatest source of pollution."

The statement is easy enough to put right, but it's just so wrong it practically warps space.
I know Ronald Reagan said something very much like that.

Added: Ah, here it is.

"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do." (1981)

Sheki
2005-Mar-24, 05:09 PM
Ok, here is a "wrong" one that I made up (just for the fun of it) over my lunch break. It is pretty long, but I think it is worth the read. Take a deep breath and enjoy:

"Regardless of what many university professors may think and teach on the matter, Don Goldman was not fired from his position as Chairman at the National Arts and Science Academy (NASA) because he was unable to keep Vice-President Eisenhower’s hoaxed Apollo moon landings in the 1980’s, a secret. Nor was it because he stole millions of dollars that the government was going to spend on social programs and loaded it onto a bunch of spaceships and then crashed them into Venus. And it certainly was not because he challenged the crew of the only remaining Star Shuttle to attempt to land their ship at 18 times the speed of light, and without a sufficient amount of protective foam tiles in place to keep the ship afloat once it reached the moon (with all 8 astrologers on board being seriously injured as a result).

No, the real reason that Mr. Goldman left was that his “fatter, bigger, saucers” technology threatened too many “pork barrel” projects (such as “Spaceship One”), making them difficult to rationalize before senior government bureaucrats. Indeed, many had begun to ask “why pay for expensive new heavy lift vehicles like the X-43A, that use expensive 50-year old rocket technology, when all of our commercial and tourism missions are being so successfully accomplished using the X-33?” So, for entirely political reasons, rather than losing their pork barrel projects, the House of Representatives Budgetary Working Group decided to eliminate Mr. Goldman and his highly effective management philosophy, by voting him out of office."

Sheki

Evan
2005-Mar-24, 06:38 PM
1939: The problem with television is that the people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen: the average American family hasn't time for it. (The New York Times)

1903: The most important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplemented by new discoveries is exceedingly remote. (Albert Michelson)

1876: This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us. (Western Union memo)


1959 Before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to Britain, to India or Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail. (Arthur Summerfield, US Postmaster General)

1968 What the hell is [a microprocessor] good for? (Robert Lloyd of IBM's Advanced Computing Systems Division)

1977 There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home. (Ken Olson of Digital Equipment)

1986 By the turn of this century, we will live in a paperless society. (Roger Smith of General Motors)

Gramma loreto
2005-Mar-24, 06:48 PM
Well, quite some time back in this thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=64275#64275), I remarked about a woowoo who thought HAARP operated in Alaska's summer months because the skies were very dark then.

On a lighter note, there's always a joke shared among my avionics coworkers, and perpetrated upon the electronically naïve...

"Did you know, if you reverse the polarity on a microwave oven, you can freeze food really fast?"

Celestial Mechanic
2005-Mar-24, 06:48 PM
http://www.zetatalk.com/science/s59.htm

A NanZeta classic.
Maybe she was channeling Aristotle that day ... :lol:

Makgraf
2005-Mar-25, 06:15 AM
Wasn't there some female US senator - I forget her name - who said, "Trees are the greatest source of pollution."

The statement is easy enough to put right, but it's just so wrong it practically warps space.
I know Ronald Reagan said something very much like that.

Added: Ah, here it is.

"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do." (1981)
I've heard that Reagan said that as well, but I'm not sure if he did. I mean I heard that during a visit to Latin America Dan Quayle said "I wish I'd studied Latin in my youth so I could converse with you in your native tongue" (which he didn't say). Or I heard about how Bush senior was flumuxed by a simple groccery scanner (also not true). Or how Al Gore lied about being the inspiration for Love Story (he didn't).

I'd love to see context for that quote, or indeed where it's from (a brief googling shows 1980 and 1981). I checked the New York Times database and it couldn't find any mention of the quote. I'm pretty confident that he never said it and what people are referring to is this quote:
"Approximately 80 percent of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation."
Which people then characterized as "Reagan's saying that tree's cause more pollution than cars!". Which then became the quote.

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-25, 08:59 AM
Wasn't there some female US senator - I forget her name - who said, "Trees are the greatest source of pollution."
The statement is easy enough to put right, but it's just so wrong it practically warps space.I know Ronald Reagan said something very much like that.
Added: Ah, here it is.

"Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do." (1981)I've heard that Reagan said that as well, but I'm not sure if he did. I mean I heard that during a visit to Latin America Dan Quayle said "I wish I'd studied Latin in my youth so I could converse with you in your native tongue" (which he didn't say). Or I heard about how Bush senior was flumuxed by a simple groccery scanner (also not true). Or how Al Gore lied about being the inspiration for Love Story (he didn't).
I'd love to see context for that quote, or indeed where it's from (a brief googling shows 1980 and 1981). I checked the New York Times database and it couldn't find any mention of the quote. I'm pretty confident that he never said it and what people are referring to is this quote:
"Approximately 80 percent of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation."
Which people then characterized as "Reagan's saying that tree's cause more pollution than cars!". Which then became the quote.
Yeah, to give the expanded version of what I've seen, I've seen it as "The American Petroleum Institute filed suit against the EPA [and] charged that the agency was suppressing a scientific study for fear it might be misinterpreted... The suppressed study reveals that 80 percent of air pollution comes not from chimneys and auto exhaust pipes, but from plants and trees." And that version usually carries a dateline of 1979, not 1981. While I have some doubts that this quote was ever stated by him directly, in so many words, on account of this confusion, it seems likely that he said something very much like it, in the very late '70s or early '80s.
And much, much less likely, that it was some female US Senator who said it, ever.

Obviousman
2005-Mar-25, 10:15 AM
How wrong can you get?

When I went to New York for the first time (my first time, she was born there) with my fiancee, we split up for the morning (for reasons I cannot now remember) and agreed to meet at the NY Public Library at lunchtime. Being a bit of a rube, I asked the address, and learned it is at 6th Avenue and 42nd St., and you can't miss it.

Sometime in the early afternoon, she found me doing a random walk in midtown. I explained to her that, despite the directions, I had not been able to find the library because I could not find 6th Avenue. 3rd, Lexington, Park, 5th, Avenue of the Americas, 7th 8th..... where did they hide 6th Avenue?

The expression on her face remains in memory yet green. But she married me anyway, possibly because I could make her laugh.

I'm sorry, but I don't see the humour in that. I'm Australian, and have never been to New York.

Where did they put 6th Ave?

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-25, 10:49 AM
How wrong can you get?
When I went to New York for the first time (my first time, she was born there) with my fiancee, we split up for the morning (for reasons I cannot now remember) and agreed to meet at the NY Public Library at lunchtime. Being a bit of a rube, I asked the address, and learned it is at 6th Avenue and 42nd St., and you can't miss it.
Sometime in the early afternoon, she found me doing a random walk in midtown. I explained to her that, despite the directions, I had not been able to find the library because I could not find 6th Avenue. 3rd, Lexington, Park, 5th, Avenue of the Americas, 7th 8th..... where did they hide 6th Avenue?
The expression on her face remains in memory yet green. But she married me anyway, possibly because I could make her laugh.I'm sorry, but I don't see the humour in that. I'm Australian, and have never been to New York.
Where did they put 6th Ave?
You know, I don't know squat about the layout of NY streets myself, but I still find that terribly amusing from someone with your username. http://www.ghiapet.homeip.net/images/rotfl.gif
Added: Hint:
5th, Avenue of the Americas, 7th

Eroica
2005-Mar-25, 11:34 AM
... I could not find 6th Avenue. 3rd, Lexington, Park, 5th, Avenue of the Americas, 7th 8th..... where did they hide 6th Avenue?
So, is Park Avenue 4.5?

Sigma_Orionis
2005-Mar-25, 11:47 AM
Awwww NO!!!!!! Harry Potter creeps in again! :lol:

Actually my 'the massively wrong' episode was done by myself in 1979 when I saw Visicalc (the first spreadsheet) for the first time, I said "why do I need a program to do calculations if I can just write a program to do it?"

My only excuse is that I was about 16 at the time :lol:

or how about Reagan's "Microphone Testing" exercise:


My fellow Americans, I'm glad to announce that I have just passed a bill outlawing the Soviet Union, bombing begins in five minutes......"

I just heard this: my sister was at a lecture at her university and she heard someone shout "Turn on the Lights, I can't hear you" :lol:

Editted for spelling errors

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-25, 04:20 PM
I did hear once(radio or tv) that the doctor who attended to the first automobile accident said something like, "let's hope nothing like this ever happens again.", although I cant find a quote on google.

Evan
2005-Mar-25, 04:33 PM
Umm, I lived in New Yawk for a time a long while ago. I had the same problem finding 6th Ave. I can relate.

The problem is that New Yorkers refuse to call it "The Avenue of the Americas". They still (AFAIK) still call it 6th Ave. It was renamed from 6th Ave.

Obviousman
2005-Mar-25, 09:09 PM
Ah! Now it makes sense - although I think the poster was correct all along. If it's called Avenue of the Americas, then when talking to someone who does not know the city it should be reffered to as such.

It's like me telling someone who has never been to my city before to meet me at the lot where Sparky's Garage used to be.

Obviousman
2005-Mar-25, 09:15 PM
My favourite is:


"The atomic bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert on explosives."

Admiral William D Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Roosevelt, March 1945

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-25, 09:19 PM
My favourite is:


"The atomic bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert on explosives."

Admiral William D Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Roosevelt, March 1945

perhaps he thought that the atom bomb was a kind of cheese!! :)

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-25, 11:13 PM
The NASA problem report forum just told me that "2users are viewing this message 1guest and 0anonimous)...

Donnie B.
2005-Mar-26, 06:56 PM
I just heard this: my sister was at a lecture at her university and she heard someone shout "Turn on the Lights, I can't hear you" :lol:
Maybe the person has synesthesia.
:P

Candy
2005-Mar-26, 07:29 PM
I just heard this: my sister was at a lecture at her university and she heard someone shout "Turn on the Lights, I can't hear you" :lol:
Maybe the person has synesthesia.
:P
Off topic: I sometimes [edit - make that often] get so tired, that I can't hear. I find myself reading lips to understand what a person is saying. I know, I'm weird. :D

WaxRubiks
2005-Mar-26, 07:35 PM
I just heard this: my sister was at a lecture at her university and she heard someone shout "Turn on the Lights, I can't hear you" :lol:
Maybe the person has synesthesia.
:P
Off topic: I sometimes [edit - make that often] get so tired, that I can't hear. I find myself reading lips to understand what a person is saying. I know, I'm weird. :D

perhaps this is how the Apollo conspiracy started, "conspiracyy?" , "No , FLYSPRAYY", "WHAT", (sound of loudmachines in background)