Articles on Myths

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Don’t fret if your kids are starting to doubt Santa’s magic. Coming to disbelieve is not particularly distressing for them and most come to their own conclusions.

The science of saying goodbye to Santa

When your kids stop believing, it's probably harder on you than on them.
In 2014, in, a small town in northern Israel, Christian worshippers gathered next to a statue of the Virgin Mary, that they said ‘weeps’ oil. AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

What is behind belief in weeping Virgin Mary statues

Throughout Catholic history, miracles have been attributed to Virgin Mary's power. She is understood to cry not only over the sins of the world, but over the pain she experienced in her earthly life.
Three of the 12 rescued boys in their hospital beds. Thailand Government Spokesman Bureau via AP

Inside the sacred danger of Thailand’s caves

A scholar, who has conducted research on the Thai caves in which 12 children were recently trapped, explains their power and appeal, including the rituals and myth surrounding these sacred sites.
What do we really know about homelessness in the U.S.? Dmytro Zinkevych/shutterstock.com

Busting 3 common myths about homelessness

Are most homeless mentally ill? Is it inevitable that a society will have homeless people? A researcher digs into the real data on homelessness.
Fairy tales are extremely moral in their demarcation between good and evil, right and wrong. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

Essays On Air: Why grown-ups still need fairy tales

Why grown-ups still need fairy tales. The Conversation, CC BY22.8 MB (download)
We consciously and unconsciously tell fairy tales today, despite advances in logic and science. It’s as if there is something ingrained in us that compels us to see the world through this lens.
Mount Mazama, a volcano in Oregon. Indigenous stories preserve tales of its eruption more than 7,000 years ago. Shutterstock.com

Friday essay: monsters in my closet – how a geographer began mining myths

Old stories from around the world tell of drowned islands, volcanic eruptions and upheavals to the land around them. Increasingly we are realising these tales preserve actual memory, often from thousands of years ago.
Informal settlements in Cape Town only use 4.7% of the city’s water. Flickr/Blackwych

Cape Town water crisis: 7 myths that must be bust

There are a number of myths surrounding Cape Town's drought, one of them being that the city saw the crisis coming but didn't prepare for it.
Prometheus statue at Rockefeller Center, Manhattan. The inscription behind it is a paraphrase of Aeschylus that reads: “Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends”. Wikimedia

Internet of Things: between panacea and paranoia

How the idea of a hyper-connected society could quickly go from utopia to dystopia and why neither scenario is likely to last.
Joining a family can be awkward: Are you supposed to act like a father? Should you discipline the kids? 'Man' via www.shutterstock.com

Navigating the tricky waters of being a stepdad

Stepfathers often enter a family unit with certain expectations about what their role should be. They're usually wrong.
You don’t have to be overweight or obese to have type 2 diabetes. Igor Chus/Shutterstock

Four myths about diabetes debunked

Many diabetics experience stigma as a result of their condition. Knowing a bit more about the diabetes can dispel some of that stigma.

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