THE DEBUNKER April is National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada! Dreamed up in 1966 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is a chance to celebrate poetry of all kinds and get the poetry-skeptical to read or write some of their own. But Ken Jennings from Jeopardy! is here this month to tell you that not everything you think you know about American poetry is historically accurate. Here's the poem he sent us for the occasion: "This is just to say / I have corrected the false poetry facts / that were in your brain / and which / you have probably / believed since high school / Forgive me / they were irresistible / so wrong / and so easy to Google."
The Debunker: What Did Ralph Waldo Emerson Recommend You Invent?
The poet, essayist, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was a true American original. But his Transcendentalist writings have turned out to be less influential on the American mind than his famous adage "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door." Taking the quote incredibly literally, around forty thousand inventors have applied for mousetrap patents to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, waiting for the inevitable rush of investors to appear at their door. The patent office still grants about forty patents a year for mousetrap designs, for a grand total of over 4,400 patents, more than any other device.