Can a Pregnancy Test Detect Testicular Cancer?

Injection NeedleClaim: A pregnancy test can be used to detect testicular cancer because the cancer excretes beta-HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), the same hormone used to detect pregnancy.

Status: TRUE (sort of)

In November, 2012, a redditor uploaded this rage comic showing a positive pregnancy test from his male friend. The Reddit community posted tons of comments letting the redditor know the positive test may indicate testicular cancer. The redditor uploaded a follow-up comic a couple of days later to thank Reddit for the comments and to say his friend did indeed have testicular cancer, but would be okay because it was caught early.

Well, it turns out this story is true, according to several news sources. However, the story has created a misconception. Many people have jumped to the conclusion that using a pregnancy test is a good way to screen for testicular cancer. According to Dr. Ted Gansler, director of medical content for the American Cancer Society, few men have enough HCG levels sufficient to produce a positive result using a home pregnancy test. Also, some forms of testicular cancer do not produce HCG at all.

According to the American Cancer Society, the first sign of testicular cancer is usually a lump on the testicle. The ACS does not currently have a recommendation on monthly self exams because they have not been studied enough to show they reduce the death rate from testicular cancer. They do state every man should decide for himself whether or not to examine monthly.

For more information regarding detecting testicular cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

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The Daily Legend is Looking for Guest Writers

Hello everyone! It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted any new stories. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to write as often as I would like. To help bring some fresh storied, I’m allowing submissions from guest writers.

If you are interested in writing for TDL, visit the contributors’ page to learn about TDL’s submission policies and article guidelines. When you’re ready to upload your article, hop on over to the TDL Story Uploader to submit your story for review.

I plan to continue to contribute stories to TDL as time permits. In the meantime, this will allow me more time to take care of some of my other webmaster responsibilities (such as moderating comments and responding to feedback). I look forward to reading your submissions.

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Do Birds Who Eat Rice Thrown At Weddings Explode?

Claim: Rice should not be thrown at a newlywed couple because birds will eat the rice and explode due to the swelling of the rice.

Status: FALSE

Although it is true that rice absorbs water and swells, this myth doesn’t account for the fact that the absorption of water into rice is slow except at cooking temperatures. At the temperatures present in birds’ digestive systems, rice does not have time to swell enough to cause any harmbefore it passes through. In fact, one study done by a group of students from the University of Kentucky indicates that bird seed seems to swell more than rice (the study went on to bust this myth once and for all when the students fed 60 of their professor’s doves and pigeons a diet of rice to show the rice causes no ill effects).

Even though rice doesn’t pose any risk to birds, it isn’t entirely safe to throw at weddings. Rice can make hard floors and sidewalks a slipping hazard for wedding guests.

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Is Posting A Copyright Notice On Your Facebook Page Necessary?

Claim: Facebook users must post a copyright notice to their Facebook wall in order to protect media posted to Facebook. Otherwise, Facebook will own any media posted by its users.

Status: FALSE

Let’s assume for a moment that Facebook’s terms of service did allow it to own any media posted. Do you really think posting a legal notice that contradicts Facebooks terms of service will do anything? You cannot negate any terms of service you’ve previously agreed to by simply posting a contradictory notice.

Fortunately, Facebook’s terms of service do not give it ownership of your media. According to Facebook’s terms of service, when you post media to Facebook “you grant Facebook permission to use, distribute, and share the things you post, subject to the terms and applicable privacy settings.” In other words, you are still protected by copyright law, and you determine how Facebook can use anything you post through your privacy settings.

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Does Drinking Beer Cause “Beer Belly”?

Claim: Drinking beer causes people to gain weight in their abdominal area, leading to the development of a “beer belly.”

Status: FALSE

We all know that beer-loving friend with the round gut. We’ve been convinced we are doomed to the same fate if we regularly indulge in the suds as well. However, a study involving 2,000 Czechs — a people know for consuming more beer per person that people from any other country — shows no correlation between beer consumption and weight gain.

Don’t get me wrong, beer does contain calories, and excessive calorie consumption does result in weight gain. However, weight gain from too much beer is no different than weight gain from too much pizza or too much cheesecake. Calories are calories, and too many causes people to gain weight. Depending on your genetic makeup, you may or may not put on said weight around your abdomen.

So where did the beer belly myth come from? Possibly from cirrhosis, a symptom of chronic liver disease which causes the abdomen to swell.

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Did A Fugitive Murder Suspect Sue A Couple For Not Helping Him Evade Police?

Claim: A fugitive murder suspect sued a couple he kidnapped for turning him in to the police.

Status: TRUE

On the morning of September 9, 2009, in the community of Dover, Kansas, fugitive murder suspect Jesse Dimmick entered the home of newlywed couple Jared and Lindsay Rowley. He confronted them at knifepoint and demanded they help him. According to one of the Rowleys’ neighbors, the couple gained his trust by “eating Cheetos and drinking Dr Pepper with him while watching the movie ‘Patch Adams.’” When Dimmick fell asleep, the Rowleys left the home and notified the police. The police entered and forced Dimmick onto his stomach. During the confrontation, an officer’s rifle accidentally discharged, shooting Dimmick in the back.

The Rowley’s attorney filed a suit on behalf of the couple against Dimmick for trespassing and inflicting emotional distress. Dimmick responded by filing a countersuit against the Rowleys in the about of $235,000. Dimmick’s logic was that he had offered the Rowleys money to help him, which he claims they accepted. By turning him over to police, the Rowleys breached an oral contract. The Rowleys responded that they never agreed to any compensation, and even if they had, it would have been under duress; therefore, not creating a legally binding contract. The suit against the Rowleys was dismissed on January 9, 2012.

Sources:

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Is The Term “Xmas” An Attempt To Secularize Christmas?

Claim: The term “Xmas” was invented as a way to secularize the Christian holiday Christmas by removing the word “Christ.”

Status: FALSE

Many Christians (and non-Christians) claim that the term “Xmas” is intended to secularize Christmas by taking Christ out of Christmas. It is true that many people do use “Xmas” as a way to make Christmas more politically correct, but a little research reveals that Xmas was never intended to secularize Christmas, and that the term “Xmas” actually has a Christian origin.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the first known use of the word “Xmas” was in 1551. In the early days of the moveable type press (Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with moveable type in 1436), typesetting was done by hand and was a tedious process. To make the process easier, abbreviations were common in printed materials of the time. According to this article, the church, in order to cut the cost of printing books and pamphlets, would abbreviate “Christ” with the letter X or the letter C (The exact origin of the use of the letter X to mean Christ is unclear, but possibly originated in either the 1st century AD or the 13th century). The practice spread into more general use, and terms like “Xmas”, “Xian” (abbreviation of Christian), and “Xianity” (abbreviation of Christianity) became common.

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Can Hot Water Freeze Faster Than Cold Water?

Claim: Hot water can freeze faster than cold water.

Status: TRUE

I know it sounds crazy, but it turns out that hot water can freeze faster than cold water in certain situations. This phenomenon is known as the Mpemba effect, named after Erasto Mpemba, who noticed hot ice cream mixes froze faster than cool mixes in his high school cooking class. Mpemba was not the first person to notice this effect; Aristotle, Francis Bacon, and René Descartes all described how hot water would freeze before cold water, but their findings were mostly dismissed.

Although there is a lot of anecdotal evidence the Mpemba effect, science has not explained why it is possible for hot water to freeze faster than cold water. This article offers a few possible explanations for the Mpemba effect, as well as some suggestions to help recreate the effect if you wish to test it for yourself.

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Did A Janitor For Goldman Sachs Work His Way Up To CEO?

Claim: A man who started as a janitor for Goldman Sachs worked his way up to become the CEO of the company.

Status: TRUE

At the age of sixteen, Sidney Weinberg visited Wall Street to look for a job. After a couple of days, Weinberg was able to land a job as an assisting the janitor of a small brokerage house for  $3.00 per week. This small brokerage house was Goldman Sachs.

Paul Sachs, the grandson of the firm’s founder, took a liking to Weinberg and promoted him to the mailroom, which Weinberg reorganized. Sachs sent Weinberg to Browne’s Business College to improve his penmanship. In 1925, Goldman Sachs bought Weinberg a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Weinberg made partner in 1927, senior partner in 1930, and became head of Goldman Sachs that same year. Weinberg held the position of CEO until his death in 1969.

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Can Aluminum Soda Can Tabs Help Pay For Medical Treatment?

Claim: Aluminum soda can tabs can be redeemed to certain companies and charities who will help pay for medical treatments such as chemotherapy and dialysis.

Status: FALSE

This story is yet another example of a “redemption rumor,” similar to the Star Tootsie Roll Pop wrapper story. According to an article published in The Houston Chronicle (and similar articles in other publications), the rumor is false, but it has been repeated so often that many people are convinced that it is true, and nothing can convince them otherwise. One recycling center reports it receives 30-40 calls a day from people who have heard the myth. Even worse, this myth has given countless families false hope. Families collect thousands of tabs, thinking that they are helping save a loved one, only to find out that the whole story’s a hoax. In one instance, a collection drive in Alabama resulted in over 276,000 tabs being collected for a 12-year-old girl with melanoma. When the girl’s mom called Coca-Cola to find out how to redeem the tabs, she found out the sad truth.

Although aluminum tabs can’t be redeemed to pay for medical treatments, some charities do accept the aluminum tabs. Ronald McDonald Houses are prime examples. However, the charities that do accept the tabs simply sell the tabs as scrap metal. According to Ronald McDonald House Charities, they accept tabs instead of whole cans “because it’s more hygienic to store tabs than cans, and collection and storage is easier.”

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