Slate empties their email bag from the Explainer column. Some things just can't be explained.
• 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?
• Burma's dictator has a chestful of b------- medals. What's up with that, Explainer?
• 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?
• I live in Chicago, where taxi drivers are constantly talking on their phones. To whom are they talking?
Go have a giggle.
Tantor has taken it upon himself to...well read and laugh.
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?
Bunker-buster bombs can penetrate perhaps a hundred feet of reinforced concrete. Oil deposits are generally a mile or two deep underground trapped in porous rock sheltered by a cap of nonporous rock. It's a happy thought, though.
If someone with DNA from the Stone Age were born today, would they be normal?
Yes, we were wondering when you would finally call in.
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?
Yes, but you will become a metrosexual.
Why are pandas names doubled? Ling Ling, Tuan Tuan, Yuan Yuan.
Because pandas are incredibly stupid and you must repeat their names over and over for them to come when called.
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?
The International Sisterhood of Attractive Single Women in "Compulsory Standards for Men", Chapter 13, "Hygiene," Rule 13.105:
"Men who wear the same shirt on two or more consecutive days, even if washed, foment an unacceptable perception of uncleanliness and will receive no nookie from the Sisterhood."
How long can humans live when they are caught on fire?
Longer than they ever want.
Why do all of the deli guys and food cart guys call me "Boss" (well, me and everyone else)?
"Ba'ayass" is Arabic for "I will spit in your food, infidel dog!"
Why do women like soup? Is it for perceived health benefits? Is it because it's a quasi-comfort food?
Because it's cheap and they paying for it. Take them to a restaurant on your dime and they'll be ordering steak and lobster.
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"?
Because the rest of the world didn't know it needed an anthem until Europe told them. They have Western-style national anthems for about the same reason they have Western-style military uniforms.
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?
All sharks are hungry sharks. Sharks have no hobbies. They don't do laps. Eating and making little sharks is all they do.
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 die—is there any way we could stop it happening?
Anna, there's no need to worry about black holes in distant corners of the galaxy ever reaching out so far they can harm you. Our sun will go supernova long before that and scorch the Earth to a smoking cinder.