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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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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The Origin of Gatorade and How the Tradition of the “Gatorade Shower” Got Started

gatorade-sideline

chastitydetori. asks: Why do athletes dump Gatorade on their coaches after winning a game? During a typical sticky, unbearable August weekend in 1965 in Gainesville- the home of the University of Florida Gators- football practices were well underway in anticipation for the upcoming season. However, the weather had wreaked havoc on the freshman football team over the weekend. 25 players […]

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Can Fish Get Thirsty and Why Can’t Freshwater Fish Live in Saltwater and Vice Versa?

fish-and-beer

Helen W. asks: Is it possible for a fish to get thirsty or do they always get the water they need automatically? For fish, or at least teleost fish (which make up about 96% of all fish), the desire to drink is an urge that originates from the hindbrain, whereas in land-based animals it originates in the forebrain. It is […]

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How Did Cereal Become “Part of a Complete Breakfast”?

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Mike D. asks: Why is cereal considered a breakfast food? For kids who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, it was sugary cereal commercials that dotted the television landscape, featuring lucky leprechauns, wise-cracking droids and adorable Gremlins. A common theme among all of them was advocating these products were a “magical part of a complete breakfast“, helping to ingrain […]

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