Legislation and crime
- A common misconception is that you must wait at least 24 hours before filing a missing person's report, but this is rarely the case; in instances where there is evidence of violence or of an unusual absence, law enforcement agencies often stress the importance of beginning an investigation promptly.
- Entrapment law in the United States does not require police officers to identify themselves as police in the case of a sting or other undercover work. The law is specifically concerned with enticing people to commit crimes they would not have considered in the normal course of events.
- It is frequently rumored that the expression "rule of thumb", which is used to indicate a technique for generating a quick estimate, was originally coined from a law allowing a man to beat his wife with a stick, provided it was not thicker than the width of his thumb. In fact, the origin of this phrase remains uncertain, but the false etymology has been broadly reported in media including The Washington Post (1989), CNN (1993), and Time magazine (1983).
Food and cooking
- Searing meat does not "seal in" moisture, and in fact may actually cause meat to lose moisture. Generally, the value in searing meat is that it creates a brown crust with a rich flavor via the Maillard reaction.
- Some cooks believe that food items cooked with wine or liquor will be non-alcoholic, because alcohol's low boiling point causes it to evaporate quickly when heated. However, a study found that some of the alcohol remains: 25% after 1 hour of baking or simmering, and 10% after 2 hours.
- Sushi does not mean "raw fish", and not all sushi includes raw fish. The name sushi refers to the vinegared rice used in it. Sushi is made withsumeshi, rice which has been gently folded with rice vinegar, salt, and sugar dressing. The rice is traditionally topped by raw fish, cooked seafood, fish roe, egg, and/or vegetables such as cucumber, daikon radish, and avocado. The related Japanese term sashimi is closer in definition to "raw fish", but still not quite accurate: Sashimi can also refer to any uncooked meat or vegetable, and usually refers more to the dish's presentation than to its ingredients. The dish consisting of sushi rice and other fillings wrapped in seaweed is called makizushi, and includes both "long rolls" and "hand rolls".
- Microwave ovens do not cook food from the inside out. Microwave radiation penetrates food and causes direct heating only a short distance from the surface. This distance is called the skin depth. As an example, lean muscle tissue (meat) has a skin depth of only about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) at microwave oven frequencies.
- Placing metal inside a microwave oven does not damage the oven's electronics. There are, however, other safety-related issues: electrical arcing may occur on pieces of metal not designed for use in a microwave oven, and metal objects may become hot enough to damage food, skin, or the interior of the microwave oven. Metallic objects that are designed for microwave use can be used in a microwave with no danger; examples include the metalized surfaces used in browning sleeves and pizza-cooking platforms.
- Swallowed chewing gum does not take seven years to digest. In fact, chewing gum is mostly indigestible, but passes through the digestive system at the same rate as other matter.