December 20, 2007

Unanswered Questions

Daniel Engber writes a column for Slate Magazine called "The Explainer" in which he fields often strange questions submitted by readers and attempts to answer them.
This is a take-off on the legendary "Straight Dope" columns by Cecil Adams begun years ago in the Chicago Reader newspaper.

Engber offers an interesting piece listing some of the interesting questions that remain unanswered. Maybe YOU can be the one to provide the answer to any of these burning questions of the age, such as:

• Hello. I am an editor and writer and I would like for everyone to change some letters that are now in lowercase to uppercase. An example would be the 18th century to the 18th Century. Where does one go about starting to do this?

• Is it "open sees me" or "open says me"?

• Can dogs be mentally retarded? (Sure. How else do you explain George W. Bush?)

• Why does having a foreign accent make a person seem more attractive?

• How often are presidents born, and how often do they die? Do they die in bunches, or on average every four years?

• I haven't seen this in the news, but perhaps you could explain it anyway. Why do people feel like destroying things when angry?

• Why do most reptiles go to sleep when you rub their bellies? I have done it myself with everything from domestic water dragons to wild alligators, but I heard recently that it is bad for them—and they only appear to be sleeping, when in fact they are having trouble breathing. Is this true?

• Would it be possible to "shoot" someone with "lightning"? Like, a Taser with no electrodes.

• Why do men almost never win on ABC's Wheel of Fortune?

Read the rest here.


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