Questions without answers #11

How do you call the tool that divides customer’s goods in a supermarket?
Everyone has used these helpful tools at the checkout of a supermarket. They’re quite effective preventing cashiers from accidentally scanning the good of another customer. Standing in line at the checkout you grab one of these little things to state: “These are my goods.” The fascinating thing is that most people really do not know what these things are called. Or maybe they don’t believe they know as the answer is very (too) simple. These “things” are called checkout dividers or grocery dividers.

If man is an advancement of the ape, why are there still apes?
First and foremost, it’s the same with every “model”. Although there are new ones out on the market, old models are still produced and sold. Of course man evolved from the ape and sometimes this is still obvious today. Anyway, man’s ancestor was an ape called Hominini. The Hominini comprises seven genera. Six of them are already extinguished and only one exists until today: homo, i.e. man.
Of course there are still apes these days but not the ones that were man’s ancestors. So, the apes that man developed from have nothing to do with the apes that still exist today.

How do you know that your invisible ink is empty?
Invisible ink is not really invisible, Mr. Bond. It rather becomes invisible when it is applied to paper. To understand how this works you have to know what you can use as invisible ink: vinegar or citric acid. Moisten the tip of a feather, tooth pick or whatever with one of the liquids and write your secret message on a piece of paper. As soon as the paper has dried it will look as though it has never been used. By ironing the paper the message will become visible. Ergo: you can see when your invisible ink is empty.
If you want to know why the message becomes visible read on:
Both vinegar and citric acid are acids that dissolve the paper wherever they are applied. Through heating the paper this chemical reaction – called thermic decomposition – is quickened. The result is that the paper becomes brown where there is acid. Thus, the message becomes visible.

If you choke a Smurf what color does it turn?
Whenever people are choked or strangled their skin turns blue. Choking someone leads to a missing gas exchange causing hypoxemia, i.e. the oxygen partial pressure in the arterial blood decreases. Therefore, the skin turns blue.
For the sake of answering this question we have to assume Smurfs were real (I apologize beforehand if I have just destroyed someone’s world view).
A Smurf is blue by nature. So maybe it turns a deeper shade of blue if you choke it. The answer is no. I went on a long and hard journey through dense forests and deep marshes to get to the Smurfs’ village and choked the first Smurf I met along the way. It did not change color.
Seriously (more or less), look at the picture of a Smurf. What catches your eye immediately? Correct, Smurfs have no necks, so you cannot choke them and so they cannot change their color.


Questions without answers #10

Do zebras have white or black stripes?
Believe it or not, zebras are black. This was shown by embryological evidence. The white stripes are nothing but an addition. Why exactly zebras are striped is unclear. There are, however, some hypotheses ranging from reasons of camouflage to the stripes enabling zebras to identify their herd.
Another hypothesis is that the stripes serve as a protection from the tsetse fly as well as the horsefly. Experiments showed that horseflies do not like stripe patterns.

A man who says dirty things to a woman is called a sexist. A woman saying dirty things to men gets 1€ per minute. Why?
Every form of sexism is discrimination, mostly committed by men against women. There can be different forms of sexism, positive as well as negative. Positive sexism is not (directly) insulting. If there’s a group of consisting of several men and one woman having a meeting positive sexism could be something like this: The woman has to keep the minutes because “she has the most beautiful and best legible handwriting”. An example for negative sexism would be to call a woman a hardcore lesbian because she has short hair, loves soccer and beats you in an arm-wrestling contest.
Anyway, women don’t want to be reduced to their body and judged by certain stereotypes. Most men, however, think they are superior to women. To keep up this alleged superiority they talk about women in discriminating ways. Women don’t want to be discriminated or insulted.
On the other hand, the supposedly sexually hyper-active and overly potent alpha males want to tell their dirty thoughts to someone. Who do they favor? Right, not their drinking mates, but women. Of course they cannot tell their wives their dirtiest fantasies, so there have to be women who pretend to play along, at least on the phone. Well, and that costs 1€ per minute.

Why do coffin lids have to be nailed up?
Better safe than sorry. Remember the dude from Transylvania? You don’t want him to leave his cozy coffin to sneak around your house at night, do you?
The most logical reason for nailing up a coffin lid seems to be protection – not from but for the dead. A coffin has to be transported by car, carried into the church and to the grave and lowered into it. Those are task where accidents could happen. The nails prevent the lid from falling of the coffin. Additionally, having a closed casket for a funeral is often legally fixed.

When you close the door of a fridge where does the light inside go?
This depends on where your fridge stands. A fridge standing in the kitchen has a switch and when you open the door it is released and the light is on. Closing the door means putting the switch in the off position so the light goes out. Just open the door and just press the switch, it has the same effect as closing the door.
The light inside the fridge has to be turned off because the burning bulb would heat up the inside of the fridge. Then the cooling compressor would have to work harder through even more heat exchange which would increase the temperature in the room. There are, however, exceptions. When a fridge is placed in a cool surrounding (like a basement) its control “feels” the coldness and consequently “thinks” that if it’s cool enough already the cooling compressor does not have to do the work. Therefore, the fridge will stop cooling and the goods inside defrost. To prevent this from happening there are fridges where the light is only dimmed when you close the door. This way, the light heats up the inside of the fridge enough for the cooling compressor not to stop working.