1). "Europe has milder winters than those in the Western Hemisphere at the same latitudes because of the Gulf Stream effect bringing warmer waters north." FALSE. This was pure speculation that was adopted as fact for decades. FACT: Recent studies have now shown that other factors such as the Jet Stream are responsible; the Gulf Stream plays no significant role. Even basic physics has found that heat held in water cannot be easily transferred to a poor thermal conductor like air, let alone having a relatively small flow of slightly warmer water heat an entire continent. With this myth falls one of the dire warnings of global warming that melting Arctic ice will push the warmer water of the Gulf Stream south thereby making Europe colder (on the other hand, the basic physics of losing land mass to rising sea levels from melting ice is all too real).
2). "Antioxidants slow aging by reducing free radicals in cells." Not only FALSE, but DANGEROUS! This is another decades-old assumption that was adopted as fact and trumpeted by the medical field, with vitamin and supplement mfrs jumping on the bandwagon with antioxidant products the public greedily consumes. FACT: Numerous studies have now shown that not only did the elimination of free radicals not increase life span, but in some cases the free-radical reduction of antioxidants has the opposite effect of causing premature death!!!! A working hypothesis is now that the rise in free radicals triggers some as yet discovered defense mechanism in the body that protects it and can even prolong life, something like the loose metaphor that a piece of dirt in an oyster is what allows the formation of a pearl. The link between free radicals and aging that's been fed to us for so long has now been debunked. Anyone out there who takes antioxidants in the false belief that it somehow slows aging should stop--you may actually be killing yourself.
Has anyone read about these in the mainstream media?
[Reference for both items: Scientific American, February 2013 issue]