"It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment." - Carl Friedrich Gauss
1. Why do men have nipples?
One of the most asked questions on Google. In the womb all embryos begin development as female until testosterone makes changes to genitals and brain development, however nipples remain for all sexes. While male breasts can grow to the size of a typical female's and can become cancerous the nipple portion seems to serve no purpose. Maybe with time natural selection will snip them off!
2. Why are traffic lights red, yellow, and green?
Traffic lights originated in the 1800s to help train conductors navigate the tracks. Red was chosen for "stop" because it was a universal colour for danger. Green was originally chosen for "caution" and white for "go" but there were a few instances where the coloured gels were broken (meaning just white light showed) or other white lights (stars, moon, etc.) were mistaken for the traffic lights. Green was switched to "go" and yellow was chosen because it was so distinctly different from both green and red.
3. Why is the moon just called "the moon" when other moons have real names?
The moon has been "the moon" ever since we discovered it in the sky. At the time we didn't know that there were other planets, who had their own moons, in the sky. Once other moons were discovered they were named so as to differentiate them from their other. Technically when referring to our moon we should capitalize it "Moon" because that is it's technical name.
4. How do sea creatures sleep without drowning?
While most sea creatures don't need to surface above water in order to breathe they must remain moving at all times in order to not drown. Whales and dolphins sleep by resting quietly in the water or sleep in shifts, floating beside another animal that's awake. Some of the creatures sleep only using half of their brain while the other half remains alert for danger and to make sure that the animal is still moving along slowly. This process is often called cat-napping.
5. What is the difference between cement and concrete?
Usually the two terms are used interchangeably but they actually mean different things. Concrete is a building material of aggregates, paste, cement, and water that hardens into a stone-like substance. Cement is a powdery clay substance comprising 10-15% of the concrete mix. You should be saying concrete mixer instead of cement mixer.
6. Why do dogs bark violently at other dogs when you walk them?
Barking is not always a violent or aggressive reaction. Other than body language it's a dog's only form of communication with both human and other animals. Most violent barks are to warn other dogs to stay away from their territory (whether it be their home or the owner walking them).
7. Can animals have mental disorders or disabilities just like humans?
Yes! While behavioural disorders like aggression and violence are most common, household pets can be treated for anxiety, obsessive compulsions, and phobias. There has even been a studied case of rats with schizophrenia.
8. Why are veins blue if blood is red?
Veins look blue because blue light is better at penetrating the skin so that we can see the veins closest to the skin.
9. Why does the same song play on all clocks at 12:00?
The song was composed in 1793 for a church at the University of Cambridge. In the mid-1800s it was copied for use at the Palace of Westminster, otherwise known as Big Ben, giving the song the nickname the "Westminster Chimes". Since Big Ben was such a popular tower the tune was copied around the world.
10. Why does hair turn grey?
Hair colour is determined by the chemical melanin produced by the pigmented cells in a hair follicle. When we age the pigment cells die meaning there's less melanin to produce a vibrant colour. As hair continues to grow it becomes a more transparent colour like white or grey.
11. When I hear a recording of myself is that what I really sound like?
Yes. Acknowledging that no recording can perfectly replicate what something sounds like, it's the most accurate representation of your own voice you'll hear. In your head your voice will sound more resonant and deeper due to the vibrations in your skull.
12. What do the numbers on a barcode mean?
A barcode is made of up of 12 numbers used to identify the product. #1 reads the special pricing information like coupons for the specific store. #2-6 are the specific manufacturer's ID. #7-9 describes the family of products. #10-11 shows the value or nature of the coupon. #12 is a checkdigit to make sure all of the numbers have been correctly read by the scanner.
13. How often do people masturbate?
24% of women and 25% of men aged 18-24 claim they masturbate weekly.
14. Why do people bounce or shake their legs when sitting down?
While some people have a diagnosed case of restless leg syndrome most people bounce their legs to reduce stress or exert excess energy. It's a nervous habit common in people who are uncomfortable sitting for long periods of time.15. Why can't you remember your dream after you wake up?
While some people can vividly remember their dreams and others use memory devices like dream journals to help them, most people admit that when they wake up in the morning the major details of their dreams have vanished. A popular theory is that the neurochemicals in our brain act differently when we sleep and don't allow us to consolidate memory the way we do when we're awake. We are simply unable to remember what happens to us when we sleep for the same reason that we're unaware what's happening to our bodies in our beds.
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