Historical Events  Religion
Buddha

Buddha

MMDE: Buddha was fat

Current: Buddha was not fat

Most people - especially Westerners - picture Buddha as a jolly fat man, sitting cross legged with a big round belly poking out.

So it comes as quite a surprise to them when they learn this image is completely wrong, because it's a different person altogether. You can see many images of the laughing fat guy, including ornaments and statues all over the world - and grinning at you from the corner of your local Chinese restaurant.

The Buddha was called Siddhartha Gautama and lived in India. He was born in the year 567 BC in southern Nepal. He was slim.

However, a central tenet of Buddhism is reincarnation, and Buddhists believe Gautama was but one of many incarnations of the same being. Another was a 10th century monk in China called Budai, and, you guessed it, he was the fat laughing guy.

Historical Events  General
Fortune Cookies

Fortune Cookies

MMDE: Fortune Cookies originated in China

Current: Fortune Cookies did not originate in China

Come on, this is a no-brainer. Everyone knows fortune cookies came from China - don't they?

Not any more.

Today, the Chinese style phrases, proverbs or vague prophecies we see in them certainly allude to their origins as being oriental, and the Chinese restaurants they are served in, together with the way they are made, seem to fit in with what Westerners expect of Chinese food. But nope, they're rarely seen in China at all. This was even confirmed in a 1983 court case confirming they were first served in San Francisco.

It turns out they are largely an American invention. Today they are certainly served in the Chinese restaurants of the US,  but they were not brought over from the orient as a native dish.

Their popularity is due to the way they spread with the growth of what would have been seen as the new, exotic trend in foreign restaurants serving oriental food - or what appealed to the Americans of the day as such, even if not authentic.

Historical Events  Brands
Quaker Oats

Quaker Oats

MMDE: The Quaker oats guy is old

Current: The Quaker oats guy is young

People are remembering the guy in the Quaker Oats logo being old, and are surprised to find today he's actually a lot younger.

Whilst he's hardly a teenager, he wouldn't be described as senior either.

No doubt this MMDE is welcomed by the marketing team behind the oats, and perhaps we'll see some new advertising angle promoting it's youth-restoring properties as a selling point.

There's another issue with the Quaker Oats guy - his hat. Some are saying they remember a three pointed shape, more in line with those worn during the 18th century, and see his current one doesn't seem to fit with the rest of his outtfit, being more like a cowboy hat 

Historical Events  Geography
Grand Central _

Grand Central __ ?

MMDE: Grand Central Station

Current: Grand Central Terminal

This MMDE is likely to have a logical explanation, but it's persistence is baffling nevertheless. 

Grand Central Station does not exist. It did from 1900 till 1910, after which it changed it's name to Grand Central Terminal.

The odd thing is the old name is still very much recognised the world over - ask anyone outside the US to complete the phrase "Grand Central __" and they'll likely respond with "Station", even if they've never set foot in the US. 

It doesn't help things when current reports still refer to the old name, such as in this example from the New York Times. Although, it's said the old name is still used "affectionately" so they may be doing the same.

Historical Events  TV
Spock

Star Trek: Spock

MMDE: Dr. Spock

Current: Mr. Spock

"Fascinating".

Was the famous pointy eared Vulcan from the original Star Trek series called "Dr." or "Mr." Spock?

Many remember Dr. Spock, but the only evidence for this today is the renowned child pediatrician.

Apparently, when Gene Roddenberry had to come up with a name which would resonate with the audience, he thought of "Spock" having never heard of the pediatrician nor anyone real with the name.

Leonard Nimoy played Spock, who's first appearance was in the 1966 episode titled "The Man Trap". The character had a strong presence right through the movies and into the 21st century with the Star Trek: Discovery TV series.

Historical Events  People
Henry Ford

Ford

MMDE: The Henry Ford car company did not fire Henry Ford

Current: The Henry Ford car company fired Henry Ford

It sounds like a trick question.

Was Henry Ford fired from the company which bore his name? The answer is a surprising "yes". Of course there's a little more to it that that. Notice it isn't the "Ford Motor Company" which fired him, but the "Henry Ford" company. That's a very important distinction, because the company which bore his exact name was one set up very early in his career, and was named from his fame as a racer and car inventor, i.e. the "Henry Ford" motor company.

After working for this early company, he was indeed fired because he was said to be spending all his time working on a race car, and not a passenger car.

Things moved on swiftly, however, and he then founded "The Ford Motor Co." in 1903. The rest, as we all know, is history.

Historical Events  General
Bull

Do bulls attack red rags?

MMDE: Bulls attack red rags

Current: Bulls do not attack red rags

The saying "Red rag to a bull" has become so commonplace that everyone is sure it must be rooted in fact. It's used to describe an action which is likely to aggravate, or make an inflamed situation worse.

The assumption is that the origin lies with the angry reaction a bull inherently exhibits when it sees the color red, and this is further reinforced with the use of red flags by matadors in bullfights.

Is there any basis in this? It turns out not to be the case. In fact bulls show no special behaviour to any particular color, and the gruesome reason those flags are red is in fact to try to mask the blood which results from the bull's torment.