Two Lies and a Truth

About Two Lies and a Truth

Each week we'll be diving into the recess of questionable news pieces online to ascertain how much of it we truly believe. Saddle up that cynicism, sheeple!

Poisonous fidget spinners, education for reparation and helium-infused beer

Welcome to the land that taste forgot. A land of deadly fidget spinners, racial equality and extremely light beer. Why? Each week we’ll be plumbing the depths of fake news to see if any measure of truth can be found within. That and it passes the time.



Direct from the nether regions of the Internet wasteland comes the sparkled brown plinth of pseudo-truth – or, spoken in its native tongue: “fake news”. It’s a journey we’ve resisted undertaking until we could shanghai a worthy (unpaid) voyager to bring back the most ornate, exotic and off-smelling spices from the far side of the bugle. Yes, we’ve risked extensive malware cancer to deliver pointless snippets of Internet curio, but treat the lack of knowledge within the mystery pages below with due respect and trepidation, for their edges are moist with the blood of perished interns – those befallen by the disclaimer that warned them of the mortal shock that lay in wait, which they sadly ignored. What they look like now will indeed blow your mind, as it did theirs, wallpapering the cavernous interiors of the tomb that echoed their last click.

Whether you believe anything below is entirely up to you and your mental dexterity. It’s worth mentioning that we at The Big Smoke take no responsibility for what lies within the box, nor do we trifle with the troll gods or meme lords who created it. We’re simply the vessel. Or carrier. Whichever.



Curio #1: Kentucky University grants reparations in the form of academic scroll

Look at it sparkle. That’s hope, that is. Hope will poke the eyes out of yer, m’lord. A university situated in Western Kentucky (Bowling Green, to be precise – and yes, that place again) will offer “full and free access” to the campus as the first steps toward an apology for that whole displacement of a people to be press-ganged into a life of servitude.

According to the WKU Herald (and piggybacked by NBC News), the campus paper planted:

The Student Government Association at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, said the measure is a recommendation to pay those students reparations for slavery, even though the U.S. abolished slavery more than 150 years ago. The resolution sends a message to university faculty and administrators that slavery is “a debt that will never be paid”.

While there was a vote, it seems the reform is as true as the earth is flat, with the students involved settling for a “symbolic” vote when the higher echelon decided not to implement it. That is the great thing about symbols, you can attach whatever meaning you like to them. Say, how a triangle runs everything, managed by lizards, or the complicit slavery that continues in the United States.

Oh, Internet.


Curio #2: Fidget Spinners contain enough lead to construct balloon to ferry it out of our lives

Or kill people, if this report is to be believed. The current Fidget Spinner trend, which shares an aspect of all previous trends, in that it’s fucking stupid, centres around a device which contains enough lead to poison the progeny who have fallen victim to the hissing murmurings of its devil rotations.

In order to find the truth, documentary filmmaker/lead-prevention advocate Tamara Rubin (who we can call an impartial judge because artists are a trustworthy bunch) tested three Fidget Spinners with an instrument that detects the lead content of any object. Two were lead-free but one had very high levels of lead and some mercury. She then disassembled a Fidget Spinner with LED lights and found both lead and mercury. Within she found 19,000 parts per million (ppm) of lead and 1,000 ppm of mercury.

These numbers are sobering because scientists consider under 90 ppm of lead to be the safe threshold in children’s toys, according to Rubin. But the paint on the LED light spinner contained 334 ppm of lead and 155 ppm of mercury in one test. The unpainted metal base contained 1,562 ppm of mercury and 2,452 ppm of lead.

So, in conclusion, there’s lead in them thar spinners, but an important contention to make is that Rubin claimed that this wasn’t the case for every fidget spinner, and frankly we’re all getting a little tired of such a nonsensical words as of late. Fidget. Covfefe. Hgdjshs. Save me.

However, while we’re throwing about theories with little or no grounding, the prime suspect in the case that might not exist is obvious: the (contested) Madonna of our lord the fidget, Catherine Hettinger, who bitterly created the doomsday device back in 1993, but failed to renew the patent prior to everyone deciding to buy one. Life is cruel, and if there was anyone to suspect in a plot, surely it’d be Catherine herself.


Curio #3: America, the home of the light beer, crafts the world’s lightest beer

Helium, as every scientist or drunkard knows, is the most hilarious constant in the universe. Not only does it elevate the voice, but also the sexual proclivity of those who inhale it. Cue, American brewer Samuel Adams, who gave the world their abomination of taste in 2014:

Now there are enough bones of contention to assemble an extremely nonplussed skeleton, but fortunately the minds of science have forever killed the chance of using Helium to bamboozle someone at a bar into your bed. Which to be fair, I’d imagine would be extremely very them.

As reported on

Helium is about 700 times less soluble in water as compared to carbon dioxide. It is one of the least soluble gases in water, and only about 0.0016 g of Helium would get dissolved in a litre of beer, while at the same conditions, 2.5 g of carbon dioxide is usually present in a litre of beer. This dissolved carbon dioxide is what releases slowly and creates the fizz. No slow fizz can be done with helium. Undissolved helium in beer would coalesce into one or two big bubble and…ploop, would go out as soon as the seal would break.

Even if Helium was forced into the beer and sealed in a beer can, it would be useless. As soon as the seal would break, all the meaningful amount of helium present inside, undissolved, under pressure, would come out so quickly (due to less viscous beer) that it would bring out a lot of beer with it. It would create a mess. And you wouldn’t be able to even bring the can near your face by the time the whole gas goes away.

Sad times. That, and the fact that if it was slated for mass production, Samuel Adams Brewery Inc would be sunk by a titanic lawsuit from Wonka Chocolate & Confectionery as an appropriation of their pre-existing product, Fizzy Lifting Drink, which, knowing Wonka’s keenness for his legal rights, would see that Bee-Gee-voiced souse met with but one outcome.


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