Category Archives: Answers

How Long Would It Take to Count to a Billion and What’s the Highest Anyone Has Counted?

counting-boy

Joseph B. asks: How long would it take to count to a million?  What about a billion? What’s the highest anyone has ever counted? Counting is one of life’s most basic skills and something most humans are quite adept at. Despite most of us being experts on the subject, theoretically capable of counting infinitely high with the ceiling bounded only […]

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Does the U.S. President’s Dog Get Its Own Secret Service Agents?

Ryan asks: If the president has a pet dog, do their bodyguards also watch over his dog like they do his family? Even before the U.S. president is elected such, if they’re considered a “major candidate” for the job, they get offered Secret Service protection. Whether they accept that protection or not, once elected until the day they die (unless […]

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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’s a MacGuffin in Films and Why is It Called That?

Hitchcock

Shih C. asks: Why are McGuffin’s in films called that? In the last scene of the 1941 film classic, The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade (played by Humphrey Bogart) hands over a murderer (played by Mary Astor) and a black falcon statuette to authorities. When asked what the statuette was exactly, Spade looks off in the distance and rather unsatisfactorily explains, […]

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