Historical Events  Geography
Mount Everest

Where is the highest point on earth?

MMDE: Mount Everest

Current: Not Mount Everest

Following the MMDE regarding Australia's highest mountain not being where it was popularly thought to be, we now have one regarding the big daddy of them all - Mount Everest itself. 

Unlike the Australian one, this isn't down to the historical naming of territories but a technicality relating to how the heights themselves are measured. The standard way is "height above sea level", but there's an issue with that. It assumes the earth is a perfect sphere, which it's not. Gravity and it's rotation makes it appear as though it's squashed. This "bulge" contains the sea, so it's level is different at the poles to the equator by about 13 miles.

An alternative way to measure heights, which would handle the situation of the earth being slightly flattened at the equator due to gravity and rotation. is to measure the distance from the centre of the earth. When you do that with Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador, you find it is 3.966.80 miles from the center of the earth, with Everest being slightly less at 3.965.50 miles away.

Historical Events  People
Albert Finney

When did Albert Finney die?

MMDE: Albert Finney did not die in 2019

Current: Albert Finney died in 2019

Albert Finney was the famous English actor best known for his roles in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning , Tom Jones, Two for the Road, Scrooge and many more.

Many people were surpised to hear of his death in 2019, since they were sure he'd died several years earlier.

There are reports of people being certain they read on his Wiki page he died in 2015. One explanation could be his earlier "death" is being confused with that of the real-life character he played in Erin Brockovitch, Edward L Masry, who died shortly after Big Fish.

People are now so switched on to the Mandela Effect that when they hear of a celebrity death this way, they now know instantly if it will be classed as one when they ask themselves if they though he was already dead.

Historical Events  People
Slash

Slash died in 1992?

MMDE: Slash did not die in 1992

Current: Slash died in 1992

Don't panic!

This isn't your regular MMDE. Slash technically did die in 1992 for 8 minutes after an overdose, but was revived and made a full recovery. This news still comes as a shock to most people, so it's being classed as one where the news "seems to come from nowhere, all of a sudden."

He was on tour with Metallica and in a hotel, and was apparently very annoyed at himself having died.

He was found in a hotel corridor and the procedure to revive him was very similar to the one in the movie "Pulp Fiction", where a sringe full of naloxone was injected directly to the heart through his chest.

Historical Events  Religion
Salem Witches

How were the Salem Witches executed?

MMDE: The Salem Witches were drowned or burnt at the stake

Current: The Salem Witches were hanged

The year is 1692.

Superstition in Europe regarding devilry sweeps across America, and reaches a fever pitch in Salem, Massachusetts. A group of local young women claimed others were practicing witchcraft, and so began the infamous Salem Witch trials.

By the time they were over, more than 150 men women and children were accused and 19 were executed. Eventually, they were all pardoned, but that brought little solace to the families and community as a whole.

How were they executed? The popular notion is they were all burnt at the stake, but it turns out that wasn't the case, and in fact never happened in the USA, only Europe, and even then rarely. The Salem Witches were all hanged apart from one male, who died whilst being pressed under stones refusing to confess.

Historical Events  Science
Apple mouse

Steve Jobs and the Mouse

MMDE: Steve Jobs stole the idea for the mouse from Xerox

Current: Steve Jobs did not steal the idea for the mouse from Xerox

There's a story going round in tech circles that Steve Jobs got the idea for the mouse when he saw a clunky prototype on a visit to Xerox labs in 1979. 

In fact, when the first Apple mouse became available commercially in 1984, a Xerox computer featuring one had been on sale for years. Since you can't steal an idea for which products are aleady available, because they are in the public domain, the notion he did so is incorrect.

He definitely did improve on the physical implementation, making them much easier to use, more reliable, more stylish and much more affordable, but that's a different argument.

Historical Events  People
Al Capone

Who was the first to put expiration dates on milk bottles?

MMDE: The FDA was the first to put expiration dates on milk bottles

Current: Al Capone was the first to put expiration dates on milk bottles

It sounds like a joke, but it's true - Al Capone was the first to put expiration dates on milk bottles, and not the FDA which most people would assume to be the case.

When the prohibition ended, he had the trucks and infrastructure already in place to distribute drinks other than the banned ones which had been so lucrative, so for business reasons he switched to milk.

Al Capone was sent to Alcatraz for tax evasion, because he aparrantly never personally murdered anyone and the blame for those which he was suspected of being behind, including the notorious St Valentines Day Massacre, could not be pinned on him.

Historical Events  Geography
Mount Kosciuszko

Where is Australia's highest mountain?

MMDE: Australia's highest mountain is Kosciuszko

Current: Australia's highest mountain is not Kosciuszko

It sounds like a crazy trick question - which country is Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mountain in? The answer is a little contrived but none the less very surprising. To cut to the chase, it might be helpful to ask if Britain's highest mountain is still Ben Nevis if you include Britain's external territories. The technical answer, which itself comes as news to many, is no, it becomes Mount Paget in the South Atlantic.

The situation in Australia is similar. The highest point on mainland Australia is Mount Kosciuszko. But that's not the highest mountain in Australia. In 1947, Great Britain handed over to the Commonwealth of Australia one of its most remote areas, the Heard and McDonald Islands in the Indian Ocean. Heard Island is home to Mawson Peak, which is 1,700 feet higher than Kosciuszko, and that's why you'd naturally think the highest point on the mainland is Australia's highest mountain, but technically it's not.