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Friday, December 19, 2008
It's About Time I Pushed That Matt Sims HOFer Post Down The Page
Every year the good people at Slate are inundated with more questions than their trained professionals can handle. As a result, they post these queries, and I'm going to try and lend a hand giving some answers.
Here we go...
What is the most disloyal dog breed?
A: If you asked Suge Knight, he'd say it's either Snoop Doggs or Nate Doggs.
Why does some music make you want to shake your butt?
A: Because we've been conditioned and lied to by the Corporatodiscjockian Complex. You really think Sir Mix-A-Lot got to where he is based on talent?
Could you please explain why it is that squirrels are capable of such amazing athletic feats? What is it about their brains and, to a lesser degree, their bodies that allows it? I watch them at my house and have seen some amazing things.
A: Me too. There was one time in college when I was hopped up on some shit and a squirrel came crashing through the flimsy acoustical tile in my kitchen's ceiling and started panicking like a motherfucker. Dude was running around the kitchen and by sheer centripetal force was doing laps sideways halfway up the walls. I managed to chase him out of the house and got a shot in on him with my six-iron. This, of course, minimizes any strong feelings I have about squirrels as athelets, because I've never hit anything with my six-iron, and if I managed to connect with that little rodent it couldn't have been all that.
Why do women like soup? Is it for perceived health benefits? Is it because it's a quasi-comfort food?
A: Because it's the one thing on which they choose not to be horribly difficult and capricious bitches.
Is it just me, or do all national anthems the world over, no matter how rich and exotic the culture, seem to sound like European marching-band music? Wouldn't one expect China's national anthem be more "plinky"? Shouldn't Iraq's national anthem sound a little more "Arab-y"?
A: And shouldn't Chinese national anthem lyrics sound like this?
I am an 11-year-old boy and girls in my class harass me constantly and I want to file a restraining order against one of them. Is that possible?
A: If you just move to Utah none of the girls will touch you until you get back from your mission. Wouldn't that be easier?
It is a common baseball prank to give someone a cream pie in the face during a TV interview. Where do these cream pies come from? Do baseball teams keep cream pies in the dugout?
A: It's a little-known fact that in every baseball clubhouse is a Marie Callendar's restaurant. This started back in the 70s when Dominicans started flooding the majors. Not to draw too broad a stereotype, but those people really like their chili and cornbread.
Why don't humans have a mating season?
A: It's called "college."
When and why did the Communist Chinese change the name of their capital "PEKING" to Bazging? Sorry, I don't know how it is spelled. Thank you.
A: 1987. The decision was made collectively.
My toaster identifies which of the two slots should be used for making a single slice of toast. Why does it make a difference which slot I use?
A: The toaster assumes you've set the slider closer to the dark (right) side than the light (left) side, so by placing the bread in the left (single) slot, you're preserving the delicate weight balance necessary for the toaster to properly execute it's multi-step process to provide you morning deliciousness. Also note, this is why proper crumb displacement in the accompanying crumb tray is a critical first-troubleshooting step.
If one gets a personal e-mail from a very famous or important person, such as the president, or the queen of England, or the Pope, or Paul McCartney, can that e-mail have monetary value? I guess not. It's just an electronic transmission on a screen. There's no original. There's no way to buy or sell it. Seems a shame tho.
A: I don't know, seems like some of the emails I've received from very important people in Nigerian royalty have some sort of street value.
Does indoor tanning hurt your t--- if you have had a breast silicone implant put in for over 30 years?
A: Once they hit 140 degrees internally, that's when you know they're food-safe for consumption.
Why do all of the deli guys and food cart guys call me "Boss" (well, me and everyone else)?
A: Is your name "Bruce Springsteen?"
I live in Washington, D.C., and we have very long escalators coming out of the Metro. If I grabbed the handrail when I first step onto the escalator and did not let go until I was at the top, my body would be almost prostrate across the steps. As I go higher on the escalator, I have to readjust the hand that is grabbing the rubber handrail. Why can't the companies that make escalators sync the steps and the handrails so that they go the same speed?
A: This was negotiated between the Escalator Coalition of America and the good people at Otis Elevator back in 1947. Otis was concerned that the novelty of gradual inclined escalation was such that architects and interior designers might opt for these newfangled "escalator steps," and so negotiated from their monopolistic position of strength a single minor inconvenience contractually mandated to all elscalators for a period of 99 years to blunt the appeal of these new devices. Congress passed it in a minor rider to an appropriations bill (thanks to the scare tactics of the Otis Corporation, painting a doom-and-gloom with thousands of elevator operator jobs on the line nationwide), and so until 2046 we're stuck with handrails moving at a legislatively mandated pace not to fall below 115% faster than the steps. True story.
If you were on a boat, what signs do sharks give if they are hungry and will attack versus if they just want to swim around the boat?
A: Should they attempt to chew through the aft section of your vessel, that would be the best indicator.
How did early man deal with growing toe and fingernails?
A: They allowed immigration from Vietnam, and encouraged their entrepreneurship.
If someone with DNA from the Stone Age were born today, would they be normal?
A: Only as a member of the Alabama GOP.
I have been accused of assault in Ohio. The woman fell over a box in the hall backward, and my brother opened the door, saw her lying there, and started hitting me. I got him down and held him down. It was all over a fight concerning my niece. What do you think will happen?
A: The Buckeyes will win three straight over the Wolverines before Rich Rodriguez finds the maize-and-blue equivalent to White/Slaton to restore Michigan's place in the top tier of the Big Ten.
I wonder what's going on with Obama's eyes. When he made his keynote address to the Democratic Convention in 2004, I noticed his eyes had a bit of a pretty eyes makeup look. I concluded that it was just the makeup they put on him for the TV cameras. But then yesterday on TV I saw some older footage of Obama and again his eyes had that same pretty look. This was before he was nationally known. I looked carefully and I think that look comes from having long eyelashes. I mentioned this to some other people and they noticed it too. But so then where did those long eyelashes go? Maybe eyelashes get shorter with age. Do they? BUT also I'm wondering if Obama has had his eyelashes shortened. If he has had them shortened, I think that's an excellent idea. Because that long lashes pretty eyes look actually doesn't look so good on a man. At least not if he's running for president.
A: You know who else had long, pretty eyelashes? [/Godwin]
During this weekend's football playoff game in Green Bay, the temperature at kickoff was 0 degrees, and by the end of the game was -4 degrees. When players get injured in such weather, do they bother putting ice on the injury? Wouldn't that warm up the injury to 32 degrees?
A: If a Packer fan falls in the woods, would the woodland creatures all die of cholesterol-related heart failure after devouring his corpse?
Burma's dictator has a chestful of b------- medals. What's up with that, Explainer?
A: I sometimes wear shirts with epaulets. Does that make me some kind of lieutenant? What's up with that?
If there is so much oil in the Middle East, could one missile (such as the ones used to penetrate bunkers and caves) explode deep underground and hypothetically blow up a few countries?
A: Yes, because crude oil is exactly the same as gasoline.
How can personal coaches justify coaching athletes who are much better than they ever were? If they know so much about how to win, why aren't they competing?
A: And Mark Mangino is really fat too, AMIRITE?!?!
Can men eat the Activia yogurt that is advertised exclusively to the modern woman in khakis? Will it have the same internal regulatory effects on the male system that are promised for the female bowels? If not, why not?
A: Actually, it's only been proven to work in Jamie Lee Curtis. Read the label.
Can an average person not in politics get a pardon from the president of the United States? (Possession of forged instrument, October of 1989.)
A: I'd really like to see how you built that fake Steinway out of papier mache' and bone fragments of your victims.
Is the stomach normally full of air like a balloon, or is it squeezed flat by the other organs, like a balloon with no air that spreads open as food and water come in? Are the other organs squeezed and compressed like a squeezed sponge, or are they like a sponge not being squeezed? What about the intestines? Are they squeezed flat normally, or are they open like one of those long balloons that magicians make animals out of? I'm trying to get a picture in my mind what the inside of the body normally looks like.
A: C'mon now, balloons or sponges. Pick a metaphor and run with it. (I prefer to think of our organs as if they were blowfish.)
Please explain the method of formation and origin of black holes. Are they located at the Bermuda Triangle area and why there?
A: Because matter collapses unto itself at a faster rate the nearer you get to the equator. Oh, and because Haitians can't keep their fucking fingers out of your pockets, that's why.
Who made up the rule that if you wore a shirt all day, went home, and washed it, you can't wear it the next day?
I live in Chicago, where taxi drivers are constantly talking on their phones. To whom are they talking?
A: Osama Bin Laden. Al Qaeda's network is nefariously vast.
Why do cockroaches flip over on their backsides when they die? I sprayed RAID into a hole in my wall the other day, and by the next morning I found six cockroaches laid out on my floor, all flipped over and all very dead!
A: Cockroaches are notorious quitters, that's why.
Why do the women gymnasts walk around between events with that goofy arm-swing gait?
A: Because they are delicate and finely tuned machines. At least until the hormone blockers wear off and they hit puberty. Well, except for Alicia Sacramone. Rawr...
I am 79 years old. I bring this up first to help explain my question. In the late 1930s or early 1940s, I was looking through an old stack of Life magazines, and there was a picture of an old couple sitting on the porch of a cabin (or shack) up in the mountains somewhere in Appalachia, with the notation: "The King and Queen of America?" The small article with the picture stated that if George Washington had become king of the U.S., these two would (under the usual custom) be our king and queen. I have thought of this from time to time, even doubted it. (It might have been part of the propaganda of the time, the Depression years, that we were all equal, etc.) I am dimly aware that George Washington had brothers, and that it is possible that the descent is known. As I remember, it was a lovely picture, the old couple looking out over a valley, with mist, and smoking their corncob pipes. Can you find the picture? Can you tell me whether there was truth in the assertion?
A: Don't we already have a royal family? Jeb '12!
Why are pandas names doubled? Ling Ling, Tuan Tuan, Yuan Yuan.
Are the frequently used "jaws of life" really necessary or just big-boy toys for rescuers?
A: Ask these guys.
How long can humans live when they are caught on fire? For example, when a car crashes and explodes turns into a gulf of flames, but humans are alive.
A: Less than a minute, but they stay jucier on a rotisserie.
Hi, I am Anna. I am only 11 years old! My friend told me about this black hole, and I have gotten really scared. I don't want to die! I thought if it didn't happen today, it wasn't going to happen. I did not know nothing about it happening in Spring! I find it unfair that scientists are making a machine that could possibly destroy the entire human race. Me and my friends have cried about the black hole, and I find it really upsetting. There has been barely nothing about it on the news. I am so nervous. I just think I am too young to dieis there any way we could stop it happening?
A: Yup, these are my readers.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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