Misc. »

What Happens to Your Social Security Number When You Die?

What Happens to Your Social Security Number When You Die?

Melissa October 29, 2014 0

U. Grening asks: What happens to your social security number when you die? Does it get used again? Since 1935, the Social Security Administration has been issuing numbers to permanent residents of the United

Read More »
The Surprisingly Recent Time Period When Boys Wore Pink, Girls Wore Blue, and Both Wore Dresses

The Surprisingly Recent Time Period When Boys Wore Pink, Girls Wore Blue, and Both Wore Dresses

Terynn Boulton October 17, 2014 5

If we were to play a word association game where I said a word and you had to yell out the first color that came to mind, it would probably go something like this:

Read More »
Who is McDonald in McDonald’s Restaurant

Who is McDonald in McDonald’s Restaurant

Eddie Deezen October 13, 2014 2

Mark R. asks: Was there a real “McDonald” that started McDonald’s or is it like the fictitious Betty Crocker? McDonald’s is, without question, the most successful, popular, and influential fast-food restaurant chain in recorded

Read More »
Who Invented the TASER?

Who Invented the TASER?

Sarah Stone October 7, 2014 1

Tom R. asks: Who invented tasers? Early use of an electronic control device, like the TASER, by law enforcement occurred in the 1960s when American police officers used electric cattle prods to disperse Civil

Read More »
Why Don’t Americans Use Bidets?

Why Don’t Americans Use Bidets?

Melissa October 6, 2014 6

Sarah H. asks: Why do Americans only use toilet paper and not bidets? A spray wash for your nether region, bidets are a popular way worldwide to keep said regions tidy. So why has

Read More »
For the Last 1,000 Years, the Same Families Have Owned Most of England

For the Last 1,000 Years, the Same Families Have Owned Most of England

Melissa October 3, 2014 1

Shortly after the Normans conquered England in 1066, their monarch, William, seized all of the lands, then divvied up control among those soldiers and nobles who helped him defeat the Anglo-Saxons (and keeping a

Read More »
Is There Any Difference at all Between Men’s and Women’s Razors and Shaving Creams?

Is There Any Difference at all Between Men’s and Women’s Razors and Shaving Creams?

Karl Smallwood October 2, 2014 3

Katy E. asks: Are there any differences between razors and shaving cream for men and women beyond cosmetic? Shaving companies almost universally put out both a men’s and women’s version of each of their

Read More »
Origins of the Jedi (and Other Star Wars Stuff)

Origins of the Jedi (and Other Star Wars Stuff)

Melissa September 30, 2014 0

No one can dispute George Lucas’ significant contributions to cinema history, including both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. His company also played a role in advancing special effects, top quality post-production audio and even digital

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
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

Read More »
The Accidental Creation of the Salton Sea

The Accidental Creation of the Salton Sea

Melissa September 8, 2014 0

California’s largest lake was originally created by accident, grew to be a popular fishing destination and wildlife refuge, and today is on the verge of becoming an environmental and public health disaster. Due south

Read More »
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

Read More »
How the Maximum Occupancy of a Building is Calculated

How the Maximum Occupancy of a Building is Calculated

Sarah Stone August 26, 2014 2

MK23 asks: How do they figure out the maximum occupancy for a building? Generally speaking, the maximum occupancy of a room or building is primarily determined by the available exits, with each exit accommodating

Read More »
The People Who Want to Become Amputees

The People Who Want to Become Amputees

Sarah Stone August 25, 2014 0

Body Integrity Identity Disorder, or BIID, is a condition where a person feels an overwhelming desire to become an amputee.  Some also consider it to include those who feel a desire to have some

Read More »
The Town That’s Been Burning for Over Half a Century

The Town That’s Been Burning for Over Half a Century

Sarah Stone August 21, 2014 6

The town of Centralia, Pennsylvania has been on fire for more than fifty years. Founded in 1862, Centralia popped up in response to the booming coal mining industry. Anthracite coal, a type of coal

Read More »
Why Can’t You Have Fences Over a Certain Height in the Front or Backyard?

Why Can’t You Have Fences Over a Certain Height in the Front or Backyard?

Karl Smallwood August 19, 2014 1

Glossyhorses asks: Why can’t you have your fences over 6 feet tall in the backyard and half that in the front? The primarily purposes of a fence include to keep animals in, people out, 

Read More »