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, which fact-checks 125 classic parental clichés: breakfast is the most important meal of the day, don’t sit so close to the TV, don’t swim right after you eat. During the commercial break, a producer asked me about this particular bit of wisdom, passed along by her mom.
I told her I’d never heard that one before—maybe it was more of a Slavic thing.
A classic Mexican momism might bear no more resemblance to a Scandinavian one than In China, for example, it’s widely believed that sitting on a seat recently warmed by someone else’s behind can give you hemorrhoids.
The Brits, on the other hand, attribute hemorrhoids to sitting on Some Peruvians are told that lingering too long in front of the fridge can cause cancer.
The mechanism behind the threat is a little vague: Sometimes it’s said to be a lack of oxygen that kills you, sometimes it’s a chill. Everyone took the Great Fan Menace for granted and had a hard time believing that other cultures were ignorant of it.
An apartment of Americans I knew teased their lone Korean roommate by going to bed one summer night in an enclosed room with six electric fans turned on.
The research is mostly anecdotal on this point but Dr.Obviously, he said, they had been playing a practical joke on him and had cracked a window as soon as he was out of the room.Back then, fan death was an obscure curio known only to Westerners who had spent time in South Korea, but today the Internet has spread it worldwide.“Moisture from the body evaporates a lot faster, and therefore unless you replenish it quickly enough, it can create a heat problem for you.” Kalkstein was invited to Korea in 2008 to brief its meteorological administration on heat warning systems, and while there he told a curious reporter that yes, people should be cautious about fan use in enclosed rooms.His unwitting support of fan death made the national papers, and today he’s careful to explain that his guidelines and the Korean “fallacious belief” differ substantially: Fans only require caution under certain conditions, and the effect would have nothing to do with asphyxiation or hypothermia.
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This casual Western contempt has led, charmingly, to the rise of fan death trutherism. Could Koreans actually have been right all along about fans? The new fan warnings arose from epidemiological studies of heat waves in the 1980s and 1990s.