Category Archives: Misc.

Rock-a-Bye Baby

baby

Kyle H. asks: Who wrote rockaby-baby and how did it become a nursery rhyme? Seems kind of morbid to sing to a baby. First found in print in 1765 in Mother Goose’s Melody (see: Who was the Real Mother Goose?), the lyrics in this first printed version are essentially the same as today: Mush-a-bybaby On the tree top, When the […]

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Bushu-Suru

bush

Taking the job as President of the United States means that people across the world know just about everything you do or say, including occasionally making a fool of yourself. Former President George W. Bush understood that when he choked on a pretzel while watching a football game, and President Barack Obama knew that the whole world would find out […]

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Does Drinking Gasoline Cause You to Go Blind?

drinking-gasoline

Matthew B. asks: Is it true that drinking gasoline will make you go blind? Probably not, although anecdotal evidence shows it has a strong correlation with stupidity. What it may do is cause vomiting, vertigo, confusion, drowsiness, breathing difficulties, burning in the esophagus, sore throat, weakness, and diarrhea, even when ingested in small amounts; in larger portions, it can cause […]

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What are Smelling Salts?

ammonium-carbonate

David A. asks: What exactly are smelling salts? Do they really work to wake up unconscious people? Smelling salts have been used for everything, from reviving those who have fainted to athletes needing a chemically-induced “wake up.” But what are smelling salts? Are they actually an effective medical treatment? How do they work? Are they toxic and dangerous? Smelling salts […]

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Is It Possible to Breastfeed with Implants?

breastfeeding

Brandy R. asks: Is it possible to breastfeed after getting a boob-job? Given the well-documented benefits of breastfeeding to the long- and short- term health of children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding infants for at least the first six months, and continuing to nurse, along with giving supplemental foods, throughout the first year of life. In […]

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How Soap Works

soap

Janet B. asks: How does soap kill bacteria? For well over a century, public health officials have been pushing regular hand washing with soap as one of the most effective methods of inhibiting the spread of disease and infection. The result of physical, as opposed to biological processes, proper hand washing with regular soap will thoroughly remove bacteria. Yes, contrary […]

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Why Elections Are Held on Tuesday in the United States

voting

Brenda V. asks: Why are elections held on Tuesday? Why not Saturday when most people aren’t working? Americans traditionally head to the ballot box on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November to vote in national elections. Tuesday elections only became the official country-wide rule in 1845, something that hasn’t changed much since. So why Tuesday? The Founding Fathers […]

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What are Blue Laws?

law

Jen asks: What are “Blue Laws” and how did they come to be? Rooted in the basic Christian tenet that Sunday is to be reserved as “the Lord’s day,” blue laws were originally enacted across the United States to encourage church attendance and restrict activity only to that worthy (at least according to some) of observation on the Sabbath. Transformed […]

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