Category Archives: Answers

On Naming Planes

boeing-747

Sara M asks: Why are Boeing planes so randomly numbered for their names? Although it may seem as if Boeing planes are randomly numbered, there actually is a method to their madness. Founded in July 1916 as the Pacific Aero Products Co, but changing into Boeing Airplane Company in 1917, Boeing was re-tooling and adapting to the end of World […]

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What Function Does Natural Aspirin Serve in Plants?

white-willow-bark

Blain F. asks: What function does natural aspirin serve in the plants that produce it? Salicylic acid is found in varying degrees in a wide range of plants including potatoes, tobacco, unripe fruits (including blackberries and blueberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, green pepper, tomato and olives), mushrooms, and, of course, willow. A phenolic compound, together with cytokinins, auxins, gibberellins, ethylene and abscisic […]

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Why Phone Keypads and Calculator/Keyboard Keypads are Arranged Differently

Prototype Push Button Phone (1948)

John T. asks Why do keyboard keypads number 7,8,9 on down and phone keypads number 1,2,3 on down? It’s not clear why numbering pads designed for calculation have 7-8-9 at the top, although the practice of placing the larger numbers above the smaller can be seen as far back as the late 19th century on early mechanical cash registers, often […]

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