Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Wikipedia, Clearing Up Misconceptions

I'd like to read that Wikipedia page in twenty years. I bet half the entries are about erroneous notions from the present version of the page. Still, there are some true ones, probably:

The notion that goldfish have a memory of only three seconds is false. They have been trained to navigate mazes and can recognize their owners after an exposure of a few months. It's politicians that have a memory of three seconds.

OK, I may have added that bit about politicians. But the rest is true. So, apparently, is this:
The claim that a duck's quack does not echo is false, although the echo may be difficult to hear for humans under some circumstances.

So, if you want to record an echoing quack, you don't have to kick the duck at regular intervals with each kick being a little less severe. (unless he, you know, has been just asking for it)