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Contrary to Popular Belief: More than 250 False Facts Revealed

3.44  ·  Rating Details  ·  187 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Isn’t it time you knew the honest-to-goodness truth? We’ve all come to believe hundreds of “false facts”—myths that we’ve blindly accepted as truth, misconceptions that we’ve ignorantly retold to others—Contrary to Popular Belief provides an instant remedy for your pounding head full of misinformation, giving you quick relief with enlightening and entertaining facts.

Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 11th 2005 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2005)
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Aug 15, 2008 Ginny rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: only the extremely bored
There was some interesting trivia here, some facts I already knew, some I was fascinated to learn.

HOWEVER, their take on the Bible is 100% incorrect!!!!!! Every "fact" they claimed to make about the Bible was dead-on wrong, especially Isaiah 7:14. If you look at the original Hebrew IN ITS CONTEXT(which I have, under the tutelage of a Hebrew scholar), it is clear that the only translation that makes any sense is "virgin." A "young girl" becoming pregnant is not only NOT a prophecy, it's like fore
Jesse Markus
Dec 01, 2013 Jesse Markus rated it liked it
Eh. I'm happy anytime there is myth-busting in the mainstream, and maybe this little Hallmark book will encourage people to think more critically about what they've been told. But it often feels like the author is just reaching, relying on technical, nitpicky distinctions in order to claim that such-and-such is false. Plus, most of the info in this book pertains to trivia about history, geography, and zoology. I'd have liked it if the book tackled some of the more outrageous claims that people e ...more
Cricket Muse
Apr 24, 2014 Cricket Muse rated it really liked it
Quite fun! Not a deep read--one of those quick flippers that add a smile to the day. Here are some of the gems:
*SOS does not stand for Save Our Ship--it actually is a matter of three dots and three days signaling "mayday"
*The Grimm Brothers compiled fairy tales--they did not write original ones
*Misquoted line example: from Hamlet it's actually: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio."
*Mistaken inventions: the Egyptians invented papyrus, not paper
*Historical mis-facts: Mrs O'Leary's cow did not
Apr 07, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: bea-read-it
B., age 10, loves to pick up this book and read bits of it quite frequently. It is sometimes illuminating and often nit picky but something about it fascinates her. We found this book for free and I did edit it before handing it over to her because there are some things I wasn't ready for her to read about it (Monica Lewinsky and the stain, etc.) was one. Ew. Even I don't want to read about that.
Aug 09, 2015 Jen rated it really liked it
I liked learning the facts behind a lot of things I thought were true, but some of the section headings were misleading (ex: stating that Leonardo da Vinci didn't paint the Mona Lisa sounds like someone else painted it, but then the author goes on to explain that the actual title of the painting is La Gioconda).
Joseph Rizzo
Dec 09, 2014 Joseph Rizzo rated it liked it
I love books like this that delve into the greater detail of our collective misunderstandings. There is usually much more to the story than what is commonly accepted and believed. There are a few “facts” in here that I would challenge but other than that, it is highly entertaining and informative.
Mark Montgomery
An Interesting book showing what we is a True Fact is actually False.
(From the Blurb on the back of the book)
>Leap year does not occur every four years.
>The ostrich does not bury its head in the sand.
>Ship captains cannot perform marriages at sea.
>Sound does not travel at the speed of sound.
>The needle on a compass does not point to the North Pole.
>And more two hundred other bits of conventional
"wisdom" that are complete bunk.
Mar 24, 2011 Sara rated it liked it
I picked this book up as a stocking stuffer and ended up reading it myself. It is a collection of various facts that are commonly held to be true, when many of them are in fact incorrect. Some examples are the rumor that Adolph Hitler used to make a living painting houses and hanging wallpaper, SOS does not in fact stand for Save Our Ship, strawberries are not in fact strawberries, and George Washington wasn't the first president following the Revolutionary War. Some of the information provided ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Julie rated it liked it
Fun facts such as Alaska is the eastern most state in the U.S. and Noah did not take 2 of each animal on the Ark. Nice, quick read.
Oct 13, 2011 Simon rated it liked it
This book could stir up quite a conversation amongst firm believers and skeptics of some the most factual materials in history.

Its a book that was written to disturb the quiet peace of our world. The book is a shit-disturber to say the very least, while I liked learning this new perspective, I still stick to my guns and fall in with everyone else who wishes to stick with the stuff we were taught growing up. I will stick with popular belief on most of the stuff brought to light in this book.
Mar 03, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
Recommends it for: pandas, vampires, ostriches
Recommended to Kate by: the strawberry
Shelves: miscellany
Jesus was not born on December 25:

In 336 C.E., the Western Church decided to celebrate December 25 as Jesus's birthday (officially adopted by Bishop Liberius of Rome in 354 C.E.), to usurp the popular Roman pagan feast of Natalis Solis Invicti ("birthday of the unconquerable sun"), honoring the Persian sun god Mithras.

The island of Atlantis did not sink into the ocean:

Plato's most famous student, Aristotle, said only one thing about Atlantis: "He who invented it also destroyed it."
Jan 20, 2014 Hilary rated it liked it
Trivia buffs will enjoy this one-factoid per page gift book.
Jun 16, 2008 Kirsty rated it it was ok
This book was ok. Some of it was interesting, some of it not so much. I think the problem was that it much of it was very American and so I hadn't heard the 'popular-belief' side of the story! I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more if I was living in the U.S. There were some interesting facts in there that most people would relate to, but there just wasn't enough to keep me interested.
Dec 25, 2012 Valerie rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, humor-trivia
Just got this today as a stocking stuffer. I am a history buff and also enjoy random trivia (though don't expect to see me on Jeopardy anytime soon!) so I thought this was neat. Most of the myths presented here have already been debunked so this isn't that original. Still, it's a quick and fun read. Perfect for showing off at parties.
Oct 31, 2008 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Great little book to read while waiting in line or simply for fun. So many facts we have always believed to be true turn out to be untrue. This one is a good time. Even if you are of superior intelligence, there is bound to be a few snippets in here, that make you say" I didn't know that."
Dec 23, 2014 Renice rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Umm.. Idk, I've honestly read better. The good point about it is that there were actually cited sources for the facts. Some books that I have read lacked a works cited or reference section.
Apr 06, 2014 Tracy rated it really liked it
It's a nice coffee table book. It's the type of book you see at others home and can't help but to pick it up. Whether heard before or new to hear, it's very interesting to me.
May 24, 2011 Hans rated it liked it

As an avid fan of random facts this book was an entertaining bathroom read. It helped me get some of my facts straight that now I can pass on to the likely chagrin of others.
Mary JL
Mar 30, 2011 Mary JL rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Trivia/fun facts fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found at a book sale
Shelves: non-fiction
I like trvia and fact books. This was okay--there are better ones around. Still, a quick, fun easy read. A nice gift for the trivia fan s amoung your friends.
Jun 03, 2015 Jesse rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, misc, borrowed
Short, sweet, simple, and fun. A good read for any trivia junkie or if just want to know some fun and revealing information about common misconceptions.
Mar 25, 2013 Matthew rated it it was ok
Shelves: lunchtime-reads
It's been my life long dream to become the next Cliff Clavin. This book brought me that much closer to my goal...
Nov 11, 2012 Molly rated it really liked it
I love when people correct "common knowledge", so you can imagine how much I love this book :)
Dec 22, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
fast easy read, i liked it.
Abraham Ray
Apr 30, 2015 Abraham Ray rated it it was amazing
good book of random facts about stuff you thought was true!
Debra Beckman
Jun 20, 2013 Debra Beckman rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book for all kinds of conversation starters
Mar 29, 2013 Dawnmarie rated it it was ok
not as good as I thought it would be
Aug 10, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Should be renamed "Splitting Hairs"
Mar 19, 2009 Kevin marked it as to-read
Shelves: history
250 false facts revealed
Jul 06, 2009 Tanya rated it it was amazing
A cute book with over 250 "did you know facts" about things you though you knew but didn't.
Aug 09, 2011 Sofia rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-history
Lots of fun.
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Joey Green, a former contributing editor to National Lampoon and a former advertising copywriter at J. Walter Thompson, is the author of more than fifty (yes, fifty) books, including Contrary to Popular Belief, Clean It! Fix It! Eat It!, the best-selling Joey Green's Magic Brands series, The Mad Scientist Handbook series, The Zen of Oz, and You Know You've Reached Middle Age If...—to name just a f ...more
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