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Why Does Moist, Baled and Stacked Hay Spontaneously Catch Fire?

Why Does Moist, Baled and Stacked Hay Spontaneously Catch Fire?

Melissa September 29, 2014 0

Mark R. asks: Why does wet hay that is bailed catch on fire? Plant reactions and bacterial growth combine to raise temperatures in even the driest hay bales, although most never catch fire on

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Why is Aluminum Foil Shiny on One Side But Not the Other?

Why is Aluminum Foil Shiny on One Side But Not the Other?

Melissa September 26, 2014 3

Noah asks: Why is it that aluminium foil on the outer part is very shiny, but the other side isn’t? The most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust, aluminum naturally occurs as a compound

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Why Do Screws Tighten Clockwise?

Why Do Screws Tighten Clockwise?

Melissa September 26, 2014 10

Jim R. asks: Why is it “righty tighty, lefty loosey” with screws? One of the six simple machines, a screw is nothing more than an inclined plane wrapped around a center pole. While today

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Why the Bellies of Starving Babies Swell

Why the Bellies of Starving Babies Swell

Melissa September 25, 2014 0

Jane R. asks: In photos of starving children and babies, their stomachs often seem to be swelled up. What causes this? Of all the tragic, indelible images that come from places of famine, none

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Why Are Pitchers’ Mounds Standard, But Baseball Ballparks Different Sizes?

Why Are Pitchers’ Mounds Standard, But Baseball Ballparks Different Sizes?

Melissa September 25, 2014 0

John B. asks: Why are things like the distance and height of a pitchers mound always uniform, but outfield dimensions are allowed to be whatever the stadium designers want? From Boston’s Green Monster, to

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The Invention of the Slot Machine

The Invention of the Slot Machine

Matt Blitz September 23, 2014 1

Neil asks: Who invented the slot machine? The story of the slot machine is one of intrigue, theft, controversy, and murder. Okay, not murder, but everything else. And it starts in Bavaria…. Augustinus Charles

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Are Airplane Black Boxes Really Black?

Are Airplane Black Boxes Really Black?

Sarah Stone September 22, 2014 1

Mekala asks: Is the black box in airplanes really black? Also, who invented it?  Thanks! Like many inventions, versions of an airplane “black box” were independently invented by several people, in this case beginning

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Who was Cunningham of Cunningham’s Law?- “The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, but to post the wrong answer.”

Who was Cunningham of Cunningham’s Law?- “The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, but to post the wrong answer.”

Karl Smallwood September 22, 2014 3

Cunningham’s Law is an internet adage that states “The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, but to post the wrong answer.” It’s an interesting

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Who Invented Diet Soda?

Who Invented Diet Soda?

Matt Blitz September 17, 2014 0

Matthew C. asks: Who made the first diet pop? In order to make a diet soda (at least one people would popularly drink), a sugar substitute was needed. The first such artificial sweetener, saccharin,

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Why Do Cans of Diet Coke Float But Cans of Regular Coke Don’t?

Why Do Cans of Diet Coke Float But Cans of Regular Coke Don’t?

Karl Smallwood September 15, 2014 0

Mark K. asks: Cans of Diet Coke float. Cans of regular Coke don’t.  The cans are the same size and they contain the same amount of liquid according to the label. What gives? Fun

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What Causes Warts?

What Causes Warts?

Melissa September 9, 2014 0

John A. asks: What causes warts and how do you get rid of them safely? A viral infection caused by one of several ubiquitous strains (there are more than 100 known, with the vast

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Why Do the Police Wear Blue?

Why Do the Police Wear Blue?

Karl Smallwood September 5, 2014 7

Jill R. asks: Why do police officers wear blue uniforms instead of some other color? Police services like the NYPD and the LAPD are bona fide pop culture staples that have been featured in

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What Killed Mozart?

What Killed Mozart?

Melissa September 3, 2014 1

Karly N. asks: What did Mozart die from? In 35 short years, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced over 600 works for symphony, concert, chamber, opera and choir, including Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and The

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Why Michael Jackson’s Skin Turned White as He Got Older

Why Michael Jackson’s Skin Turned White as He Got Older

Theodoros II September 3, 2014 5

Scott L. asks: Is it true that Michael Jackson bleached his skin to turn himself white? Many scandals marred Michael Jackson’s personal life, overshadowing his otherwise remarkable musical career. One such scandal was the

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The Invention of Morphine

The Invention of Morphine

Melissa September 2, 2014 0

Justin V. asks: Who invented morphine? Derived from opium but far more reliable and powerful, the invention of morphine changed pharmacology and pain relief. A (Very) Short History of Opium  Derived from the seedpods

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Why Isn’t Beer Sold in Plastic Bottles?

Why Isn’t Beer Sold in Plastic Bottles?

Karl Smallwood August 29, 2014 5

Scott T. asks: Why is beer always sold in glass bottles or cans, and never plastic bottles like pop is? Plastic as a material has pretty much changed the way we live our lives-

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How Memory Works

How Memory Works

Melissa August 28, 2014 1

Dustin A. asks: How does the brain create memories? A complex network that stretches from your basest sensory organs to the most sophisticated portions of your brain, memory aids in everything from simple movements

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Who was the Woman in the Famous Great Depression Photograph?

Who was the Woman in the Famous Great Depression Photograph?

Sarah Stone August 26, 2014 0

Melissa K. asks: The other day you had an article about the Great Depression with that famous picture of the impoverished mother and her kids. Who was she and what ever happened to her?

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