Albert Einstein did not fail mathematics in school. Upon seeing a column making this claim, Einstein said “I never failed in mathematics… Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus.” Einstein did however fail the entrance exam into the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School on his first attempt in 1895, although he was two years younger than his fellow students at the time and scored exceedingly well in the mathematics and science sections
John F. Kennedy’s words “Ich bin ein Berliner” are standard German for “I am a Berliner.” An urban legend has it that due to his use of the indefinite article ein, Berliner is translated as jelly doughnut, and that the population of Berlin was amused by the supposed mistake. The word Berliner is not commonly used in Berlin to refer to the Berliner Pfannkuchen; they are usually called ein Pfannkuchen.
The functional principle of a microwave oven is not related to the resonance frequencies of water, and microwave ovens can therefore operate at many different frequencies. Water molecules are exposed to intense electromagnetic fields in strong, non-resonant microwaves in order to create heat. It should be noted the resonance frequencies of water are about 20 GHz, which would be much too large to penetrate common foodstuffs effectively. Microwave ovens work on the principle of dielectric heating and not vibration.
Sharks can actually suffer from cancer. The misconception that sharks do not get cancer was spread by the 1992 Avery Publishing book Sharks Don’t Get Cancer by I. William Lane and used to sell extracts of shark cartilage as cancer prevention treatments. Reports of carcinomas in sharks exist, and current data do not allow any speculation about the incidence of tumors in sharks.
Human blood in veins is not actually blue. In fact, blood is always red due to hemoglobin. Deoxygenated blood has a deep red color, and oxygenated blood has a light cherry-red color. The misconception probably arises for two reasons: 1) Veins below the skin appear blue. This is due to a variety of reasons only weakly dependent on the color of the blood, including light scattering through the skin, and human color perception. 2) Many diagrams use colors to show the difference between veins (usually shown in blue) and arteries (usually shown in red).
It is not true that air takes the same time to travel above and below an aircraft’s wing.This misconception, sometimes called the equal transit-time fallacy, is widespread among textbooks and non-technical reference books, and even appears in pilot training materials. In fact the air moving over the top of an airfoil generating lift is always moving much faster than the equal transit theory would imply.