Category Archives: Answers

What Really Happens When Someone Enters the Witness Protection Program


Mark D asks: How does the witness protection program really work? Is it like in the movies or what? Born of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, and the brainchild of longtime Department of Justice attorney, Gerald Shur, the U.S. Marshall Service Witness Security Program (WITSEC) has successfully protected more than 18,000 people since it first began operations in […]

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Slower Than a Turtle- The Speed of Electricity


Lindsey asks: How fast do electrons flow inside electrical cables? You may be surprised to learn that electrons flow through a typical copper wire much slower than a turtle walks. Each wire that conducts a flow of electrons, producing usable electric current, is composed of billions of atoms. To move along it, the electrons have to traverse these atoms, randomly […]

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Cursive No More?


Jeremy R. asks: Why do we still teach kids to write in cursive when it’s almost literally never used anymore except in signatures, which are also becoming a thing of the past thanks to e-signing and advancements in payment options? I mean, even teaching kids any handwriting skills is bound to go the way of the Dodo at some point […]

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Is “Peanut Gallery” a Racial Term?


Matt J. asks: Was the peanut gallery expression really originally a racial term? Used to refer to those giving unsolicited (and unvalued) advice, the expression “peanut gallery” has its roots in late 19th century vaudeville, although for some, the phrase is considered a racial slur. A typical vaudevillian show of music, drama, comedy, acrobatics, dance and other acts was performed […]

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How Do Other Animals Deal with the Umbilical Cord and Placenta When the Baby is Born?


Brandi N asks: How do other primates deal with the umbilical cord and placenta when the baby is born when they don’t have any sort of medical help to make sure everything’s handled right? Other than certain modern humans, some marine mammals (like whales and dolphins), chimpanzees and a few domesticated animals, mammal mothers typically eat the afterbirth. While most […]

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Origin of Lo and Behold


Richard G. asks: What does the “lo” in lo and behold mean? Like a wordy exclamation point, the two defining words in “lo and behold” mean basically the same thing. Specifically, the word lo!, meaning “look!” first appeared in Middle English (1100-1500 AD) in the 1200s, and essentially was clipped from the early English imperative word for “look,” lok. An […]

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