Science »

Why Do Radio Signals Travel Farther at Night than in the Day?

Why Do Radio Signals Travel Farther at Night than in the Day?

Dan Eder January 27, 2015 2

Matt T. asks: I was in southern California a while back and managed to pick up an AM radio station from Washington, but only at night. I’ve experienced the same thing at night in

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Why is Snow White Given That Snowflakes are Clear?

Why is Snow White Given That Snowflakes are Clear?

Sarah Stone January 22, 2015 7

Scott S. asks: When you look at pictures of individual snowflakes, the snowflakes are clear. I was just wondering why is snow white and not clear then? First, it’s important to understand what’s going

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Sticking to Metal

Sticking to Metal

Matt Blitz January 6, 2015 0

Matthew S. asks: Why doesn’t your tongue quickly stick to plastic or wood in freezing temperatures but does to metal? In that famous scene in the movie Christmas Story, a kid “triple dog dares”

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Who Invented the Fahrenheit and Celsius Temperature Scales and What Zero Degrees Fahrenheit Signifies

Who Invented the Fahrenheit and Celsius Temperature Scales and What Zero Degrees Fahrenheit Signifies

Melissa December 31, 2014 2

B. Halpern asks: 0 degrees Celsius is the freezing point of water. So what is 0 degrees Fahrenheit? Who came up with Celsius and Fahrenheit? Firmly entrenched in American society, the seemingly capricious nature

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Why Sugar Doesn’t Spoil

Why Sugar Doesn’t Spoil

Melissa November 17, 2014 2

Mark U. asks: Why doesn’t sugar ever seem to go bad? Two foods are left out on the counter – fresh tomatoes and a bowl of sugar. Within a week or so, one will

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Why Tattoos Don’t Fade as Skin Regenerates

Why Tattoos Don’t Fade as Skin Regenerates

Karl Smallwood November 12, 2014 3

Ryan C. asks: How do they make tattoos permanent? In other words, how do they get tattoos to remain even as your skin is constantly regenerating? Depending on the source you consult, anywhere from

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The Origins of the Mathematical Convention of Using “X” as the Unknown

The Origins of the Mathematical Convention of Using “X” as the Unknown

Melissa November 11, 2014 5

Linda P. asks: Why do we always use “x” for everything in math? For hundreds of years, x has been the go-to symbol for the unknown quantity in mathematical equations. So who started this

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How They Get Teflon to Stick to Pans

How They Get Teflon to Stick to Pans

Melissa October 27, 2014 1

Karla U. asks: I heard your podcast on how teflon was invented. You said it’s the third most slippery substance known to man. This makes me wonder how they get teflon to stick to

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Why Do People Move Their Eyes When Trying to Remember Something?

Why Do People Move Their Eyes When Trying to Remember Something?

Melissa October 8, 2014 2

Lori asks: When you ask someone a question where they have to remember something, everyone seems to look up and off to the side. Why do we do this? Down and to the left,

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Why Do Men Snore More Than Women?

Why Do Men Snore More Than Women?

Sarah Stone October 6, 2014 3

Kelly asks: Is it true that men snore more than women? If it is true, why and if not where did this stereotype come from? Thanks! When humans sleep, the muscles around our throats

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Why Does Moist, Baled and Stacked Hay Spontaneously Catch Fire?

Why Does Moist, Baled and Stacked Hay Spontaneously Catch Fire?

Melissa September 29, 2014 0

Mark R. asks: Why does wet hay that is bailed catch on fire? Plant reactions and bacterial growth combine to raise temperatures in even the driest hay bales, although most never catch fire on

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Why the Bellies of Starving Babies Swell

Why the Bellies of Starving Babies Swell

Melissa September 25, 2014 0

Jane R. asks: In photos of starving children and babies, their stomachs often seem to be swelled up. What causes this? Of all the tragic, indelible images that come from places of famine, none

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Why Do Cans of Diet Coke Float But Cans of Regular Coke Don’t?

Why Do Cans of Diet Coke Float But Cans of Regular Coke Don’t?

Karl Smallwood September 15, 2014 0

Mark K. asks: Cans of Diet Coke float. Cans of regular Coke don’t.  The cans are the same size and they contain the same amount of liquid according to the label. What gives? Fun

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What Causes Warts?

What Causes Warts?

Melissa September 9, 2014 0

John A. asks: What causes warts and how do you get rid of them safely? A viral infection caused by one of several ubiquitous strains (there are more than 100 known, with the vast

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How Memory Works

How Memory Works

Melissa August 28, 2014 1

Dustin A. asks: How does the brain create memories? A complex network that stretches from your basest sensory organs to the most sophisticated portions of your brain, memory aids in everything from simple movements

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The Flower That Smells Like a Rotting Corpse

The Flower That Smells Like a Rotting Corpse

Matt Blitz August 27, 2014 3

Deep in the heart of Indonesia’s Sumatra rainforest, where tigers hunt, rhinos stampede, orangutans play, and cuckoos sing, blooms a flower that does its very best to attract more attention than any of the

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Does Caffeine Really Stunt Your Growth?

Does Caffeine Really Stunt Your Growth?

Scott August 22, 2014 0

Myth: Caffeine will stunt your growth We all remember being 12 years old and seeing your mom guzzling down her 3rd cup of coffee and really wanting some. When we asked if we could

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The Parasite That Could Be Living Inside You Right Now, Toxoplasma Gondii

The Parasite That Could Be Living Inside You Right Now, Toxoplasma Gondii

Karl Smallwood August 22, 2014 2

If we were to tell you that there is a parasite out there that can infect virtually any warm-blooded creature on Earth; is found just about everywhere; approximately 33% of humans are infected; and

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