Historical Events  People
Einstein

Wise words but who said them?

MMDE: He said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result"

Current: He never said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result"

Most people know the quote, and most people attribute it to Einstein when asked.

So it comes as quite a surprise for them to hear it wasn't him who originally said it.

Even weirder, it turns out the attribution is all a big mistake. An editor used the wrong version in Montana's Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and as a resut found it was said by a character in a mystery book titled "Sudden Death".

Historical Events  Geography
Einstein

Where did tomato sauce originate?

MMDE: Tomato sauce originated in Italy

Current: Tomato sauce originated in Mexico

Pizza, Spaghetti, Lasagne, Tortellini... what do they all have in common? Tomato of course! So when you think of where the first tomato sauces came from, you'd be forgiven for assuming it must have been Italy.

However, that's not the case - it was Mexico, and the earliest documented use is a recipe from 1540. This was taken to Spain shortly afterwards by Bernardino de Sahagún, a Franciscian friar.

The first country to use tomato sauce with pasta was Italy, and that's used in a recipe from 1692, and the first recorded use in France is at the relatively later date of 1807.

Historical Events  Geography
London Bridge

Where is London Bridge?

MMDE: London

Current: Arizona

Come on everybody, sing along with the children's nursery rhyme: "London Bridge is falling down, falling down...".

Is there anything to this? It turns out there is. Not to be confused with the equally famous Tower Bridge, distinguished by its, err, twin towers, London Bridge originally had houses and shops built on it and was in poor repair after standing for nearly 150 years since it's construction in 1831. Yes, it really was falling down.

So the City of London decided a new one was needed, and to fund this would sell the old one. It was bought by Robert P. McCulloch, a US oil magnate who wanted to use it as a tourist attraction to a new city he founded by Lake Havasu, Arizona. There's no truth in the rumor he thought he was buying Tower Bridge, by the way.

The bridge was purchased for $2.46m, disassembled, and was finally opened on 23 September, 1968 in Lake Havasu City.

Historical Events  Geography
Switzerland

Is Switzerland is a third world country?

MMDE: Switzerland is not a third world country

Current: Switzerland is a third world country

When you think of third world countries, it's usually the most poverty stricken. So if someone told you Switzerland is one, you'd probably ask what they've been smoking.

However, it turns out there is a reason it's true. The origins of the terms First World, Second World and Third World to describe global areas goes back to the cold war, when the groups meant (broadly) "those aligned with the West" (First World), "Those aligned with the East" (Second World) and "The rest".

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the term "Second World" fell into disuse, so it just left the countries not aligned to either of the first two left over, and since Switzerland is neutral, it logically falls into the Third World category.

Historical Events  Brands
Grumpy Cat

Grumpy cat died again?

MMDE: Grumpy cat died before 2019

Current: Grumpy cat died in 2019

Many people were surprised to hear Grumpy Cat died in 2019 because they were sure she'd died already. There's confusion over when, with some saying it was in 2016, some 2018, and some even remembering both. Reports a few years ago took Twitter by storm, which just muddied the waters even more.

Her real name was Tardar Sauce, and she was born on April 4, 2012. She had the unfortunate condition of feline dwarfism, but it's likely she experienced no real difference in her life compared to other cats as a result, apart from her stellar internet fame because of it, of course.

It all began with a posting to the Reddit news site of her photograph when she was only 6 months old in 2012. She caused an immediate internet sensation, and many memes and photoshopped parodies sprang up giving her worldwide fame.

Historical Events  Books
Science fiction

World's first science fiction story?

MMDE: 1818

Current: 2AD

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein might seem like a stereotype to some today, with it's monster and mad scientist ideas having been done to death many times since it first appeared in 1818. This is misleading, however, because at that time the concepts were truly original and shocking; so much so that the first notion of science being at the heart of fiction in a story created an entirely new genre - science fiction.

Brian Aldiss claims Frankenstein represents "the first seminal work to which the label SF can be logically attached".

The Frankenstein story contributes to the widely popular narrative of science fiction originating in the victorian era, with further works from Jules Verne and HG Wells etc reinforcing this. This means the idea that the true origins turn out to be a couple of thousand years earlier is quite a shock to them.

Historical Events  Geography
Library of Alexandria

How many books were lost when it was destroyed?

MMDE: Thousands

Current: None

It was a noble goal - to house a copy of every book in the world in one place. That was the vision of the rulers of Alexandria 2,300 years ago. They built a library with huge storage areas to house the scrolls, and it attracted scholars the world over to study and contribute.

However, in the year 5 BC it was said to be destroyed in a catastrophic fire. The legend is this was a disaster for all mankind, and the loss of such irretrievable knowledge "set mankind back 1000 years". Many people have been led to believe this, and it comes as such a shock to them to hear no books or scrolls were lost, that it's being pointed to as a Mandela Effect.