Category Archives: Answers

What Are Goose Bumps?

goosebumps

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

tunnel-of-television

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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The Wild and Wacky World of Mating in the Animal Kingdom

gay-dog

Karen A. asks: How prevalent is homosexuality in animals? Are there any animals besides humans that have members that are exclusively homosexual? While it is sometimes claimed that only humans engage in bisexual or homosexual relationships, this is far from the truth and the practice is actually quite common in the animal kingdom. For example, nearly 10% of male sheep […]

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Why “C” is the Default Hard Drive Letter in Many Computers

hard-drive

Julie N. asks: Why is “C” the default drive letter in computers? For nearly as long as hard disk drives have been placed in personal computers running certain popular operating systems (notably MS-DOS/Windows), the primary hard disk has been designated with the letter “C”.  But why? The idea for designating different storage devices with simple letters is generally attributed to […]

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What Really Happens When Someone Enters the Witness Protection Program

witness-chair

Mark D asks: How does the witness protection program really work? Is it like in the movies or what? Born of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, and the brainchild of longtime Department of Justice attorney, Gerald Shur, the U.S. Marshall Service Witness Security Program (WITSEC) has successfully protected more than 18,000 people since it first began operations in […]

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