Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ye Olde Slate Explainer Questions

In honor of Whitney Houston's sudden passing, I have opted to not post about '80s music for one day. Concerning the diva's untimely demise, I don't have much to say other than that she wasn't exactly in the prime of her career - but when she was big, she was big.

Enough! Instead, let's bask in the glory of Slate's annual Unanswered Explainer Questions column. Chew on these:
* Are the blind sleepy all the time? I was under the impression that your brain signals it's time to sleep when it gets dark. I, for one, can't stay awake when I close my eyes and meditate!

* Whatever happened to dandruff? That's my question, basically. As a kid, there were so many commercials about it, and I remember seeing people who had dandruff. Neither ever seems to happen anymore.

* Why don't roaches live in cars more often? There seems to be plenty of food in many cars to support them. Do they get motion-sickness?

* When I fry bologna (for a fried bologna sandwich, of course) it always forms a big greasy bologna dome. None of the other meats I fry do this. What's going on in bologna to make that weird dome shape?

* Odd to say the least, but why do so many of our states end with the letter a? Way too many to be happenstance—there must be a reason.

* I’m a tall guy. So when I pee, sometimes there’s a splash that exceeds the height of the bowl and lands on the floor. What is it that splashes? Is it water from the toilet or is it pee? I’m guessing it’s water from the toilet because the momentum of the pee takes it down and for it to splash out would defy the physics of liquids.

* I've got a mosquito bite on my tattoo. Did the mosquito get a little dose of ink along with my blood?

* You know how when you burp, you taste something that you ate recently, but it isn't always the thing you ate most recently? Or if you ate a bunch of things around the same time, your burp will taste like one of those things, but not all of them? What determines which food your burp will taste like?

* Why does it take 45 minutes for the pharmacy to get your prescription ready—even when no one else is waiting?

* We are taking my daughter to Disney World. I remember as a kid being a little scared and intimidated by the huge characters. Why are they so big? Is there a psychological study that finds this to be the appropriate size for fantasy characters; does it make them more fantastical? I think quite the opposite. It almost breaks the illusion and calls out the fakery.

* Why aren’t there any topless casinos in Las Vegas? There are plenty of casinos and plenty of strip clubs in Vegas but there aren’t any combinations of the two. It seems like someone would create a casino where the dealers were topless.

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