Block, Klukas, Manzella & Shell - January 2019

Mom Really Does Know Best 3 Wives’ Tales Proven True

“Make a face like that, and it’ll stay that way forever.” You may have heard something like this from Mom’s book of wisdom. Maybe you never disputed the idea that mother knows best. But as you grew up, it slowly became clear that hair doesn’t grow back faster and thicker if you shave it, cracking your knuckles doesn’t cause arthritis, and gum doesn’t stay in your stomach for months after you swallow it. After a whirlwind of wives’ tales over the years, many common claims have been put under scrutiny. Wives tales have been known as pseudoscience and blind intuition, but even as many were disproved, some surprisingly proved to hold weight. Here are three wives’ tales that have proven to be true. GARLIC CURES COLDS For decades, moms have professed the healing properties of garlic, suggesting it can cure colds and help the body

fight sickness. It turns out they were absolutely right. Garlic has antiviral properties that strengthen the immune system and nutrients that help combat illnesses. The effects of garlic can actually be more effective than over-the-counter flu medications. Some studies show that regular consumption of raw garlic lessens the likelihood of getting a cold, so if you feel a tickle in your throat, try a clove before you open the medicine cabinet. HEARTBURN MEANS A HAIRY BABY It’s hard to list wives’ tales without bringing up one about pregnancy. Many are solely based on intuition, but a few that sound odd are legitimate. In 2007, a study done by Johns Hopkins attempted to debunk the myth that heartburn during pregnancy would mean a hairy baby at birth. Instead of proving it wrong, they found that 82 percent of women with severe heartburn

during pregnancy gave birth to hairy babies. Turns out the hormones that cause heartburn in pregnant women also affect fetal hair growth. JOINT PAIN PREDICTS THE WEATHER Did you ever look at your mom with skepticism when she would predict rain because her knees hurt? If so, you might owe your mom an apology, because there is a scientific connection. The drop in barometric pressure that’s common during storm weather causes pain in arthritic joints.

MORE TO THE STORY Why Did a Woman Sue Her Nephew Over ‘Careless’ Hug?

In 2015, Americans were outraged to hear about an aunt suing her own nephew over a hug. Outlets reported that when the aunt arrived at her nephew’s birthday party, the 8-year-old was so excited to see her that he lept into her arms. When the hug resulted in a broken wrist, the aunt gifted her nephew with a $127,000 lawsuit, suing for “negligence and carelessness.” As often happens with lawsuits that go viral, this version of the story leaves out important details. Jennifer Connell was delighted to attend her nephew’s birthday in 2011, and even more pleased when young Sean Tarla greeted her with a big hug. Unfortunately, she wasn’t ready to catch the 50-pound-boy and was injured when they both fell to the ground. Sean was unharmed and Connell didn’t say anything at the party because she didn’t want to upset her nephew. She discovered later that her wrist needed multiple surgeries, and she suffered from pain for years after. Connell filed a claim with her insurance, who only offered her $1. To pay the mounting medical costs, Connell had to file a lawsuit with the Tarlas’ homeowners insurance. This meant she was forced to sue her nephew, who was now 12 years old. This looked bad on paper, but as Connell’s lawyer stated, “From the

start, this was a case was about one thing: getting medical bills paid by homeowners insurance. Our client was very reluctant to pursue this case, but in the end she had no choice … her hand was forced by the insurance company.” In the end, the judge ruled against Connell, leaving her to shoulder the burden of the medical bills on her own. It’s worth noting that had Connell won the case, Sean wouldn’t have been expected to break open his piggy bank to cover the costs. The homeowners insurance would have paid for everything. This is something many people forget when they hesitate to file personal injury claims. They worry they’ll take food out of someone’s mouth, but it’s really the insurance companies who will be expected to foot the bill. That’s their job, after all. Since many outlets failed to report all the facts, Connell became the target of horrible online harassment. Additionally, this is another case lobbyists and insurance companies will point to as an example of how sue-happy Americans are. In reality, this isn’t a case of a greedy aunt, but of how often insurance companies fail their clients, forcing them into painful situations to get the help they need.


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