Answers »

How Do Clams Reproduce?

How Do Clams Reproduce?

Melissa November 21, 2014 0

F. Whisten asks: Is it true that all clams are male? If so, how do they reproduce? Encased in a hard shell, brainless and possessing only a single limb (a retractable foot that looks

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How Were Kamikaze Pilots Chosen?

How Were Kamikaze Pilots Chosen?

Karl Smallwood November 19, 2014 0

Pat A. asks: Were Kamikaze pilots all just volunteers or how exactly did they get selected? During WWII, thousands of Japanese pilots made the ultimate sacrifice for their country by becoming, essentially, flying suicide

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Why Sugar Doesn’t Spoil

Why Sugar Doesn’t Spoil

Melissa November 17, 2014 0

Mark U. asks: Why doesn’t sugar ever seem to go bad? Two foods are left out on the counter – fresh tomatoes and a bowl of sugar. Within a week or so, one will

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Why Don’t Birds’ Legs Freeze?

Why Don’t Birds’ Legs Freeze?

Karl Smallwood November 17, 2014 2

Eddie C. asks: How do ducks and other birds keep their feet from getting frostbite in the winter? How a bird reacts to the cold depends on what kind of a bird it is

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Does Canadian Beer Really Contain More Alcohol Than Beer Made in the United States?

Does Canadian Beer Really Contain More Alcohol Than Beer Made in the United States?

Melissa November 14, 2014 2

Paul E. asks: Is it true that Canadian beer has a lot more alcohol in it than American beer? Canadians boast longer lives, safer communities, free nationalized healthcare, a cleaner environment, the most gold

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Why Don’t Hot Dogs and Hot Dog Buns Come in Packs of Equal Number?

Why Don’t Hot Dogs and Hot Dog Buns Come in Packs of Equal Number?

Karl Smallwood November 13, 2014 5

Jason H. asks: Here’s one for you I’ve never found a satisfactory answer on. Why don’t hot dogs and hot dog buns come in packs of the same number? Has it always been this

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Why Tattoos Don’t Fade as Skin Regenerates

Why Tattoos Don’t Fade as Skin Regenerates

Karl Smallwood November 12, 2014 3

Ryan C. asks: How do they make tattoos permanent? In other words, how do they get tattoos to remain even as your skin is constantly regenerating? Depending on the source you consult, anywhere from

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The Origins of the Mathematical Convention of Using “X” as the Unknown

The Origins of the Mathematical Convention of Using “X” as the Unknown

Melissa November 11, 2014 5

Linda P. asks: Why do we always use “x” for everything in math? For hundreds of years, x has been the go-to symbol for the unknown quantity in mathematical equations. So who started this

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How Do the Media and Police Estimate Crowd Sizes?

How Do the Media and Police Estimate Crowd Sizes?

Karl Smallwood November 6, 2014 1

Keith H. asks: When the police and media report crowd sizes of a parade or something, what do they base their numbers on? Although the task of determining how many people attend something as

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What Causes Canker Sores?

What Causes Canker Sores?

Melissa November 5, 2014 0

Simon W. asks: What causes canker sores? The symptoms of canker sores are well known. In their minor form, canker sores are small, rounded or ovate, white or yellow bumps with red edges that

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Can You Really Bust a Gut from Eating Too Much at Once?

Can You Really Bust a Gut from Eating Too Much at Once?

Melissa November 5, 2014 4

R. Lee asks: In Seven an obese man is made to stuff himself until his stomach bursts. Is this really possible? Wouldn’t you just naturally throw up? Although extremely rare, some people actually have

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Why Do We Call Parents “Mom” and “Dad”?

Why Do We Call Parents “Mom” and “Dad”?

Karl Smallwood November 4, 2014 3

Becky E. asks: Why do we call parents mom and dad? Calling our parents anything other than mom, dad or one of the many variations thereof is an almost alien concept to many (and

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How is Silk Made?

How is Silk Made?

Melissa October 31, 2014 3

Mark D. asks: How do they make real silk from worms? One of the softest fabrics on the planet, shiny, breathable and comfortable, silk has been a highly prized cloth since it was first harvested

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Why is Mercury in Fish Such a Problem Today?

Why is Mercury in Fish Such a Problem Today?

Melissa October 30, 2014 0

Drew F. asks: Why is there so much mercury in fish? Was this always a problem and we only just now know about it, or is it really a recent thing? Toxic to humans,

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What Happens to Your Social Security Number When You Die?

What Happens to Your Social Security Number When You Die?

Melissa October 29, 2014 0

U. Grening asks: What happens to your social security number when you die? Does it get used again? Since 1935, the Social Security Administration has been issuing numbers to permanent residents of the United

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Is the Recipe for Coca-Cola Really Only Known By Two People?

Is the Recipe for Coca-Cola Really Only Known By Two People?

Karl Smallwood October 28, 2014 0

G. Franklin asks: Is it true that only two people in the world know the recipe for coke? The idea that the secret formula for Coca-Cola is only known by two people who are

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How They Get Teflon to Stick to Pans

How They Get Teflon to Stick to Pans

Melissa October 27, 2014 1

Karla U. asks: I heard your podcast on how teflon was invented. You said it’s the third most slippery substance known to man. This makes me wonder how they get teflon to stick to

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How Birds Grip Things When They Sleep

How Birds Grip Things When They Sleep

Melissa October 27, 2014 6

Abi W. asks: Why don’t birds fall off branches when they sleep? Everyone needs sleep, but for many birds, by necessity this has to happen while perched on a branch or other place that

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