'Mythbusting' without setting off explosionsMost television shows don’t require your full attention
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Most television shows don’t require your full attention. You can listen while doing something else. There are a few exceptions in my mind. “Good Eats” on the Food Network is one and “Mythbusters” on the Discovery Channel is another.
On “Mythbusters,” two former “stunt” and special-effects guys explain a myth and try to prove whether it’s true or not.
One of my favorite shows was when they tested whether Mexican hot sauce would melt through bars in a jail cell window. It works a little bit but it takes forever and needs lots of sauce not likely to be available to inmates.
The other is when they filled an empty cement truck with explosives to see whether it would dislodge the concrete stuck on the walls of the mixing drum. It eventually did after several tries but it also rendered the truck inoperable.
Using the premise, I came up with a list of myths that don’t involve any explosives.
I’ll label the myths “busted,” “confirmed” or “inconclusive.”
Myth: Judy Spooner has always worked at the South Washington County Bulletin.
Busted: It only seems like it. The Bulletin began in 1958 as the “Newport News” with offices in Newport where the Subway is located on Hastings Avenue.
I wrote my first news story in June of 1968 and left the paper in 1972. I came back in 1977 and left again in 1983. I came back for good in the fall of 1988.
Interesting fact: I’ve never filled out an employment application.
Myth: The decision to choose the Indian mascot for St. Paul Park High School and Park High School, that was changed to The Wolfpack in 1993, was made to honor local Indians.
Inconclusive: Some descendents of Dakota people lived on Grey Cloud Island when the area was populated, but it appears that had nothing to do with the Indian mascot. Board minutes in the ‘30s make mention of the choice but no reasons were given.
Myth: There was once a “scenic overlook” on County Road 19 to view what is now Cottage Grove Ravine Park.
Confirmed: There was an overlook on the south side of the highway about a mile north of the existing frontage road. It was closed some time in the ‘70s. It was in an isolated area then and youth of the community tended to gather there at night with no intention of appreciating the view.
Myth: There was once an airport in Cottage Grove.
Confirmed: It was located on the flat piece of ground, now a farm field, at the top of the hill on 90th Street in Cottage Grove.
Myth: There are Indian mounds on Grey Cloud Island.
Confirmed: I won’t tell you where they are, but some of them next to the Mississippi River were destroyed either by digging or flooding. The Native Americans who built them are not related to the Dakota people.
Myth: Husband Gary is embarrassed and gets mad if I write about him in my column.
Busted: Sometimes I ask him to read columns in advance. He just smiles or laughs.
I’m grateful he knows nothing about explosives.
Judy Spooner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.More from around the web