Category Archives: Answers

The Origin of the Color Belt Scheme in Martial Arts

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White, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and black, the colors of martial arts belts denote student development, skills and experience. However, contrary to popular belief, using colored belts to denote rank or ability in martial arts is a relatively recent invention in the otherwise ancient arts- one that was only introduced around the turn of the 20th century. Much of […]

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The Truth About Your Flammable Farts

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Alex B. asks: Why are farts flammable? Contrary to popular belief, it’s probably not methane leaking from behind that reckless “bros” light on fire (known as pyroflatulence); rather, it’s most likely primarily hydrogen. In a typical, healthy body, human farts are comprised primarily of hydrogen, nitrogen, some carbon dioxide and potentially a small amount of methane and oxygen. These farts […]

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How Did the Practice of Women Jumping Out of Giant Cakes Start?

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Diane F. asks: Who started the tradition of girls jumping out of cakes? Almost everyone has seen depicted the bizarre bachelor party tradition of a scantily-clad woman jumping out of a giant cake. It turns up most often in decades-old films, TV shows, and comics, but it still persists today at lavish Vegas shindigs—though the cakes are now usually made […]

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Standing in a Hurricane- Watching Over the Tomb of the Unknowns

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Ron17 asks: How do they decide who gets to guard the tomb of the unknown soldier? Since 1937, the Tomb of the Unknowns has famously never once been left unattended with there always being at least one guard present to keep vigil. The highly coveted position of Tomb Sentinel is only meted out to truly exceptional soldiers, all of whom must prove […]

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Can Ambulance Drivers Get Speeding Tickets?

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Brooke asks: Can ambulances get speeding tickets? Subject to the same rules of the road as other drivers, with a few exceptions for emergencies, ambulances can be pulled over and ticketed for speeding and other traffic violations, although it is exceedingly rare. Generally speaking, ambulance drivers should observe all traffic laws and regulations; however, some of those laws are waived […]

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What Are Goose Bumps?

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Justin R. asks: What is going on in our skin to create goose bumps? A holdover from an earlier stage in our evolution, goose bumps are a function of the autonomic nervous system reacting to a primal threat. Technically, the phenomenon is called the pilomotor reflex, and occurs when the arrector pili muscle, which runs between the base of a […]

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What It Means for a Show to Be Syndicated and How the Practice Got Started

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Karla S. asks: What does it mean when a show gets syndicated? Selling the right to broadcast a television or radio program to independent stations, syndication has enabled the modern system of 24/7 broadcasting by providing producers of content with a consistent revenue stream, and stations with enough programming to satisfy their eager audiences. There are a variety of syndication […]

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