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When i was younger I thought "the speed of light" was the time taken for the lights to come on after you had pressed the switch.
I concluded that is was pretty quick, and that flourescent tubes were slower than ordinary bulbs
I used to believe that it might be possible sometimes to land on your own shadow when jumping. I'd try this occassionally for a few years.
I asked my teacher what protons were made of and when he said "quarks" I thought he said "cork" and for a long time after that I thought that cork was the fundemental substance of the universe and that the cork on wine bottles were made of "pure" matter.
I used to think you could yell into a bag or jar and trap your voice...but it would only work if closed it fast enough.
my friend used to have this "technique" for jumping off stuff. until he was about 13 he thought if you jumped off a high building and stayed close to the wall on the way down, you could push off with your feet right before you hit the ground and roll and you would live. he never tried it so unfortunately he's still alive.
I used to believe that when you yawn you risk floating. As is gravity wouldnt be able to hold onto you, the strange thing was, im sure I can remember watching tv and watching a program about yawning can cause you to float away into the sky.
I used to belive that the only factor that made a difference to how well a sailboat sailed was how pretty the sail was. As far as I could understand, any boat with a plain white sail --even a million dollar yacht-- couldn't possibly sail well.
I once asked my friend if he knew what kept everything down on the ground (meaning gravity). He said it was because the tables and chairs were so heavy that they held everything down.
When I was about four or five, I was fascinated by the way my bedroom would get lighter as I tried to get to sleep. The door was always left ajar and I surmised that the light floated round the door like clouds. When people used to talk about the speed of light I thought it was about 6 feet per fifteen minutes. I have a BSc now!
When I was quite youg (couldn't have been over 3 or 4) we watched a documentary on black holes with Stephen Hawking in it. This was before he had his robo-chair, so he siply spoke the best he could at the time and was subtitled. Now my sister and I both couldn't read at this time, so we were put off by this, and one of us asked why he spoke that way. "It's because a black hole sucked out his voice," Dad joked. My sister and I believed him explecitly... a few years ago we were talking and we remembered this, and confronted Dad. He claimed not to remember.
I used to think that if a near-sighted person held a mirror and viewed the reflection of a distant object, they should have no trouble seeing the object in perfect focus. After all, they're looking at the mirror, and it's only a foot or so away.
My sister has an excellent design for a spaceship.
First take a house and tip milk all over it (milk is actually an excellent form of glue), then find out exactly how fast the house is moving, from Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle, it now follows that the house could be anywhere in the universe.
Note: The reason you have to first tip milk all over the house, is to glue the house up and stop yourself from suffocating if you end up in deep space, rather than on some inhabitable planet.
I used to believe that people turned off the plug sockets to stop the electricity escaping and electrocuting people.
I believed this until I experimented by waving my hand in front of a plug socket that was on end experienced none of the effects of electrocution.
I was always scared to walk over bridges, especially wooden ones. I thought that they would collapse on me (probably got this idea from watching too much disaster tv or something). One day, when I refused to walk over a bridge, my mom told me to walk across where the nails were, cause underneath the nails were the beams that held the bridge up, so if the bridge collapsed I would still be standing on the beams and be safe. This made perfect sense to me and I never had a problem again. I guess it never occured to me that the beams would probably fall too. The funny part is, I'm now 20 years old and I still find myself walking on the nails whenever I cross a wooden bridge. :)
When I was young. One of my friends came up with a way to send signals faster than the speed of light.
It went like this. If you have a pole long enough (i.e. from the earth to the moon) and you jolted the pole on earth. The pole would instantaneously be jolted on the moon, thus sending a signal faster than the speed of light.
Oh How we argued for years over that one :D
When I first learnt about atoms, for some reason I thought that if you shot a gun. You would be killing thousands of atoms as the bullet shot through the air.
When I was a young boy, I believed that when I step on a wire, the electrons would not move.... Now I am an IC designer ;-)
When i was like 6 or 7 i was on a family vacation in cape cod and we decided to go on a whale watch. I was on the top deck with a good number of other people. When a whale came into view all the people of course would go to one side. the waves where making the boat dip back and forth. I thought this was caused by all the whale watchers standing on one side. So to avoid capsizing the boat i would run to the other side and try to balance us out. Needles to say i didn't see very many whales on that tour.
Once when I was much younger I had recieved a helium balloon for my birthday. After playing with it, I popped it. I quickly grabbed a nearby bucket and held the ballon over it waiting for it to leak out. After all, my mom said it was filled with gas.
I used to wonder why rockets were launched to the moon during the day when the moon was only around at night. Eventually I figured it out -- rockets weren't instantaneous, so by the time they got to the moon it would be night time.
There was another impressive logical leap after this, but I don't remember it. Probably for the best...