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Why Do Radio Signals Travel Farther at Night than in the Day?

Why Do Radio Signals Travel Farther at Night than in the Day?

Dan Eder January 27, 2015 0

Matt T. asks: I was in southern California a while back and managed to pick up an AM radio station from Washington, but only at night. I’ve experienced the same thing at night in

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Why is Snow White Given That Snowflakes are Clear?

Why is Snow White Given That Snowflakes are Clear?

Sarah Stone January 22, 2015 7

Scott S. asks: When you look at pictures of individual snowflakes, the snowflakes are clear. I was just wondering why is snow white and not clear then? First, it’s important to understand what’s going

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What Happens to Undeliverable Mail with No Return Address?

What Happens to Undeliverable Mail with No Return Address?

Karl Smallwood January 21, 2015 2

Abi K. asks: What does the postal service do when a package is mailed with no valid recipient’s address and no return address? According to the USPS, mail can be considered “undeliverable” due to

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The Origin and Trademarking of “Couch Potato”

The Origin and Trademarking of “Couch Potato”

Karl Smallwood January 20, 2015 1

Gracen R. asks: Why is someone who is lazy called a couch potato? If you want to call someone lazy, a time-honoured way to do so would be to call them a “couch potato”.

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The Rubber Band: Holding It Together Since 1820

The Rubber Band: Holding It Together Since 1820

Matt Blitz January 19, 2015 2

Matthew L. asks: Who invented the rubber band? Cheap, reliable, and strong, the rubber band is one of the world’s most ubiquitous products. It holds papers together, prevents long hair from falling in a

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What are Smelling Salts?

What are Smelling Salts?

Matt Blitz January 16, 2015 0

David A. asks: What exactly are smelling salts? Do they really work to wake up unconscious people? Smelling salts have been used for everything, from reviving those who have fainted to athletes needing a

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What Do Cockroaches Eat and Where Do They Live When There are No Houses Around?

What Do Cockroaches Eat and Where Do They Live When There are No Houses Around?

Melissa January 13, 2015 4

Soshi K. asks: What do cockroaches eat and where do they live when not in our houses? Sneaky and skittering, invasive and indomitable, the disgusting peridomestic cockroach is a formidable enemy for anyone unlucky

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Why is it Called Area 51?

Why is it Called Area 51?

Melissa January 13, 2015 7

Michael S. asks: Why is it called Area “51”? Where are the other 50 areas? Despite the CIA’s release of previously classified documents in 2013 that acknowledged the existence of Area 51 as a

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Is It Possible to Breastfeed with Implants?

Is It Possible to Breastfeed with Implants?

Melissa January 12, 2015 0

Brandy R. asks: Is it possible to breastfeed after getting a boob-job? Given the well-documented benefits of breastfeeding to the long- and short- term health of children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends

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How Soap Works

How Soap Works

Melissa January 8, 2015 8

Janet B. asks: How does soap kill bacteria? For well over a century, public health officials have been pushing regular hand washing with soap as one of the most effective methods of inhibiting the

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Why Elections Are Held on Tuesday in the United States

Why Elections Are Held on Tuesday in the United States

Sarah Stone January 6, 2015 0

Brenda V. asks: Why are elections held on Tuesday? Why not Saturday when most people aren’t working? Americans traditionally head to the ballot box on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November to

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Sticking to Metal

Sticking to Metal

Matt Blitz January 6, 2015 0

Matthew S. asks: Why doesn’t your tongue quickly stick to plastic or wood in freezing temperatures but does to metal? In that famous scene in the movie Christmas Story, a kid “triple dog dares”

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What Did People Use to Mask Surgical Pain Before Modern Anesthesia?

What Did People Use to Mask Surgical Pain Before Modern Anesthesia?

Melissa January 5, 2015 2

Gimly16 asks: What did people use for pain during surgery before modern anesthesia? Other than ingesting alcohol and narcotics in sufficient doses to induce a state of analgesia, for most of its history, people

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Why Children Get Summers Off of School

Why Children Get Summers Off of School

Sarah Stone January 5, 2015 0

Xing U. asks: Why do kids get the summer off of school? The commonly touted explanation for students having summers off from school dates back to a time when the United States’ economy relied

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The Origin of the Expression “Beside Myself”

The Origin of the Expression “Beside Myself”

Melissa January 2, 2015 1

Katy J. asks: Why do we say “I was beside myself”? Dating back to the dawn of Modern English, the expression “beside myself” has been used to denote someone not in his right mind.

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What Does the “D” in “D-Day” Stand For?

What Does the “D” in “D-Day” Stand For?

Sarah Stone January 2, 2015 1

Tom C. asks: The V in V-Day was for Victory right? So what does the D in D-Day stand for? The Battle of Normandy, also known as D-Day, started on June 6, 1944 and

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Who Invented the Fahrenheit and Celsius Temperature Scales and What Zero Degrees Fahrenheit Signifies

Who Invented the Fahrenheit and Celsius Temperature Scales and What Zero Degrees Fahrenheit Signifies

Melissa December 31, 2014 2

B. Halpern asks: 0 degrees Celsius is the freezing point of water. So what is 0 degrees Fahrenheit? Who came up with Celsius and Fahrenheit? Firmly entrenched in American society, the seemingly capricious nature

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Pieces of Eight and Two Bits

Pieces of Eight and Two Bits

Melissa December 24, 2014 0

Michael A. asks: Why is “two bit” something cheap? Thanks! There was a time in America when rather than U.S. dollars or British pounds, most people bought and sold with Spanish coins. During the

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