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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 5

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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The Truth About Gladiators and the Thumbs Up

The Truth About Gladiators and the Thumbs Up

Karl Smallwood October 23, 2014 6

Michael T. asks: Is it true that the thumbs up and thumbs down hand gesture came from crowds in ancient Rome voting on whether a gladiator should live or die? There are few hand

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Why Don’t Vultures Get Sick When Eating Dead Things?

Why Don’t Vultures Get Sick When Eating Dead Things?

Karl Smallwood October 22, 2014 6

Scott K. asks: Why don’t vultures get sick when eating dead things? How come humans can’t do the same? As an animal that is synonymous with death and disease, the vulture understandably has a

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The Fascinating Reason Witches are Commonly Depicted Flying on Broomsticks

The Fascinating Reason Witches are Commonly Depicted Flying on Broomsticks

Melissa October 21, 2014 3

Emily A. asks: Why do witches fly on broomsticks? We’ve heard this one. To get high, of course! But seriously, it’s thought the idea of witches flying around on broomsticks came from the practice

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Where Did Peanuts Come From?

Where Did Peanuts Come From?

Melissa October 16, 2014 1

James R. asks: Where did peanuts originally come from? The shell of a peanut (not actually a nut) is a pod, and, like other legumes, each pod may contain more than one seed. Although

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Are There Any Animals Other Than Humans That Commit Suicide?

Are There Any Animals Other Than Humans That Commit Suicide?

Karl Smallwood October 16, 2014 1

Mark I. asks: Are there any known animals other than humans that intentionally commit suicide? Animal suicide is a hugely controversial issue in the world of animal research and psychology, because although there are

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Americans and The Date Format and How That Relates to Data Storage, Holy Wars and Soft-Boiled Eggs

Americans and The Date Format and How That Relates to Data Storage, Holy Wars and Soft-Boiled Eggs

Melissa October 13, 2014 1

M. Seager asks: Why do Americans write dates Month/Day/Year and most others Day/Month/Year? In the United States, our date format begins with the month and ends with the year (MM/DD/YYYY), and this arrangement is

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Why Do People Move Their Eyes When Trying to Remember Something?

Why Do People Move Their Eyes When Trying to Remember Something?

Melissa October 8, 2014 1

Lori asks: When you ask someone a question where they have to remember something, everyone seems to look up and off to the side. Why do we do this? Down and to the left,

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Who Was The Real Man In The Iron Mask?

Who Was The Real Man In The Iron Mask?

Theodoros II October 8, 2014 3

Gage A. asks: Was the man in the iron mask a real person? On November 19, 1703, a tomb in the Bastille’s Saint Paul Cemetery welcomed the corpse of a man who had spent

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Noah Webster and Moving Away from British English

Noah Webster and Moving Away from British English

Melissa October 7, 2014 6

Eliminating the unnecessary u, many duplicate consonants, the redundant e, converting diphthongs into simple vowels and turning the combination of e and r at the end of a word the right way around, Americans

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