Category Archives: Answers

Why the Standard Retirement Age Is Set Where It’s At

Sheel P. asks: How was the official retirement age for people first determined? The idea of “retirement” from working is a relatively recent one in the Western world. In fact, even at the end of the 19th century, over three-quarters of men over age 65 remained active in the workforce. So what happened? History of Retirement Pensions The greatest contributor […]

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Why Japan is Called the Land of the Rising Sun

Noah asks: Why is Japan called the land of the rising sun? Ancient, China developed all of the hallmarks of advanced civilization, including written language, advanced cities, specialized labor and bronze technology, as much as 2000 years before Japan. As a result, China, and its culture, had an enormously large influence on the younger culture, sharing its philosophies, political structures, […]

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Why Does the New Year Begin on January First in Many Countries?

Jamie asks: Why is New Year’s day January 1st? Because Julius Caesar said so. Early Roman Calendar Since long before Caesar’s time, date keeping was dicey. In fact, the 355-day Roman calendar that immediately preceded Caesar’s Julian, worked on a four year cycle where every other year, an additional month was inserted between February (Februarius), the last month of that […]

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United States: Republic or Democracy?

Mike asks: Why does everyone say the U.S. is a Democracy when it’s really a Republic? Frequently, politicians, and many ordinary Americans, refer to the United States as a democracy. Others find this aggravating because, unlike in a democracy where citizens vote directly on laws, in the United States, elected representatives do – and, therefore, the U.S. is a republic. […]

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Did Unicorns Ever Exist?

Kara asks: Did unicorns ever exist? On November 30, 2012, the Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s government “news” agency, reported that scientists had “reconfirmed” the existence and location of the final resting place of the unicorn ridden by King Dongmyeong, the founding father of Goguryeo of an ancient Korean kingdom. The unicorn’s grave was located under a rock near […]

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Why Figure Skaters Don’t Seem Dizzy After Spinning

Justina asks: Why don’t figure skaters get dizzy after they spin? To understand why, it’s important to know why people get dizzy in the first place. Dizziness is controlled by the vestibular system in your upper inner ear. Within the vestibular system, there are three canals that contain fluid called endolymph, as well as sensory nerve cells that look sort […]

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