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I used to believe that you could get cancer from looking in the microwave while it was running.
I used to think that giant electricity generating windmills were actually giant propellers that kept the earth spinning in the right direction.
I used to believe you couldn't burn food in a Microwave Oven, because it works on the idea of rubbing water molecules past each other, right?
And if we cooked something enough for it to dry out, there wouldn't be enough water molecules to keep the food up to a burning temperature -- self correcting!
Well, I'm not a great cook, but I've met someone recently who doesn't understand why you can't simmer something in a microwave oven over an afternoon, without it turning hard, salty, & sometimes burning (honest!)
I used to believe that if you left a lightswitch inbetween fully on and fully off that the switch would shortly burst into a shower of sparks and flames, burning your house down.
My father worked in an auto parts plant and would tell us about the dirty, oily machines and vats he had to work around. One time he was talking about a conversation he had with his co-worker about being assigned to a particularly unwelcome task, and he said, "You don't want to work near that machine, there's oil snakes and all sorts of things down in there!"
Being a little kid, I didn't realize he was just being facetious with his co-workerl so for quite a few years, I believed there were actually "oil snakes" that lived among the machinery he worked on. I don't know why I thought an auto parts factory would have snakes in the machinery, guess I just never thought about it...
I believed that when my big brother recored my music tapes I got for christmas, that it would take all the music off my tape, and put it on his, leaving me with a blank tape. Of course I used to get in a strop, and just throw the tapes away when he had finished with them.
My dad told me that there was a little guy in the vacuum machine that ate the dirt. I felt so bad for him, trapped in there all alone, that I cut the vacuum bag with scissors. Daddy walked in to find me covered in dirt, searching frantically for the little guy.
When I was a kid, I believed "2001: A Space Odyssey" was filmed on location at Skylab, and that Skylab looked just like the space station in the movie.
When I was a boy living in England I though I could re-charge flshlight batterries by wrapping some wire around a battery and inserting the ends of the coli into a live light socket. When I tried this I was rewarded by a loud bang and shower of sparks which caused me to fall off the step ladder. Later I tried the battery in a flashlight and was happy to see a very dim orange glow on the bulb filament.
When I was little, my family had a stereo system with the speakers standing upright. This is the way it was set up all through my childhood. I used to believe that if the speakers were put on their sides, the music would come out sideways.
My father (who at near 80 doesn't really qualify as a kid anymore) knows one thing about computers: they can only put out what has been put in in the first place. So he once told me he couldn't understand how the computer programmers could know beforehand what text I would want to write one day.
When we passed a construction site once, where everyone's gone home but the machines are still there, my brothers told me they were still working, the machines just moved really slowly. I believe this for a few years until I saw a crane and bulldozer moving for real, and was blown away.
I always thought we would be living in space pods and fly around pods like the Jetsons in 2000. This is not the case.
I didn't understand what a microphone was, and thought the mics and brown microphone covers used by performers on Top of the Pops during the late 1980s were actually gigantic bulbs of chocolate, put there in case the singers became hungry. But I'm alright now...
I first saw a piezzo-electric gas-oven lighter when visiting some of my parents friends. They (the adults) thought it'd be fun to pretend that it was a space-gun and that one of these friend used to be a astronaut. I am sure I remember telling all my friends back at school about my astronaut friend and his gun...
I used to think that little elves lived in my computer and that when the computer was turned off they were sleeping. The computer was right outside the bathroom, so whenever I tried to go to the bathroom I would tiptoe past the computer and if I made a noise I would hide because I was afraid they'd be mad at me for disturbing their sleep.
When I was young, my older brother told me that there were tape recorders that could record voices and more expensive tape recorders that could record music. If you tried to record music with a less expensive voice-recording tape recorder, you would play back silence. We were very lucky that we had one of those expensive, music-recording tape recorders!
I used to believe that to use a microphone you had to put a special device in your mouth which made your voice very quiet so that the microphone could 'pick up' the sound. I think this belief came from when I went to a circus when I was younger and the ringmaster leant over to speak to someone next to him without using the microphone and I couldn't hear his voice (even though he was about 25 foot away!)
I remember being scolded for not shutting the refrigerator door all of the way. Somehow I came to believe that if I didn't shut the refrigerator door all the way that it would eventually stop closing. I would test this theory out by leaving the refrigerator door slightly ajar and then quickly running in a circular path throughout the house (out one kitchen door and in another)back to the refrigerator to see if the door was any harder to shut.
My father-in-law, who is his 50's, has recently got himself hooked up to the internet. Every night, before he goes to bed, he unplugs the main power supply and disconnects the modem. The reason? To stop the computer merrily browsing on the web all by itself and running up a huge phone bill. I swear this is true.