questions
List
8 Interview Questions You Might Not Know Are Illegal
Sometimes, neither job seekers nor interviewers realize a line has been crossed.... READ ON
Science
The Color of a Mirror Is Not What You'd Expect
And no, the answer isn't ‘no color at all.’... READ ON
Q&A
10 Questions for Adam David Thompson
Big Question
Where Does the Term "Honeymoon" Come From?
From reality TV shows to The Beach Boys’ croons of Aruba and Jamaica, references to honeymoons are everywhere. But where did the term "honeymoon" first come from?... READ ON
Big Question
Why Do We Blow Out Candles on Birthday Cakes?
Birthday cakes have been a tradition since the Ancient Romans were around, and celebrating someone’s birth with a delicious pastry seems pretty logical. But have you ever wondered who the first pyromaniac was to light a cake on fire?... READ ON
Big Question
Why Is Ice Slippery?
If you’ve ever shakily stepped onto the ice at your local skating rink, you are intimately familiar with the fear of falling on slippery ice. But what makes ice so slippery in the first place? Interestingly enough, scientists are still trying to figure that one out.... READ ON
Big Question
Why Do We Call Our Galaxy the Milky Way?
There are two questions that have haunted wannabe astronomers for decades: “Why is our galaxy called the Milky Way?” and “Does it have anything to do with the delicious candy bar?”... READ ON
Big Question
Did Blowing into Nintendo Cartridges Really Help?
When I was a kid with a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), sometimes my games wouldn't load. But I, like all kids, knew the secret: take out the game cartridge, blow on the contacts, and put it back in. And it seemed to work. (When it failed, I'd just keep trying until it worked.) But looking back, did blowing into the cartridge really help? I've talked to the experts, reviewed a study on this very topic, and have the answer. But first, let's talk tech. Famicom, NES, and Zero Insertion Force... READ ON
Article
Do Little Half and Half Creamers Ever Go Bad?
So I'm up in Seattle this week, staying at a hotel some blocks from the original Starbucks (which, it turns out, isn't REALLY the original, but rather the second location, which was situated better for marketing purposes, but who's counting). So I bought some ground coffee, took it back to my hotel room and threw it in the French press at my coffee station, just above the mini-bar with the lasers that detect even the slightest movement - as if tiny Ninjas are going to descend and try and make off with a... READ ON
Article
Who Was General Tso?
Zuo Zongtang (sometimes written as Zu? Z?ngtáng or Tso Tsung-t'ang) was one of the greatest military leaders of China’s long and storied history. He rose quickly through the ranks of the army, quelled rebellions, served with distinction in a civil war, founded a modern arsenal and dockyard, established new, efficient logistics systems within his armies, forced Russian forces from China, and went on to serve in several positions in the national government. In the West, particularly the U.S. and... READ ON
Article
Why is it so hard to balance on a bicycle that's not moving, and easy on one that is?
Reader Brian writes in to ask "Why can you stay on a bicycle when moving, but not when it's standing still?" Think of something like a table or a couch. It has four legs that touch the floor and form a base of support (a polygon formed by an object's contact points with the ground) and as long as the table or couch's center of gravity (the mean location of the gravitational force acting on an object, or the effective point at which gravity acts) is above this base of support, it'll be statically stable,... READ ON
Article
How Did the States in the USA Get Their Names? (Part V)
Reader Adam from Fairfax, Virginia, wrote in to ask, “How did the US states get their names?” This week, we’re tackling the origins and meaning of the names 10 states at a time. Here’s South Dakota through Wyoming. (Be sure to also check out Monday’s post on Alabama through Georgia, Tuesday’s post on Hawaii through Maryland, Wednesday’s post on Massachusetts through New Jersey, and Thursday's post on New Mexico through South Carolina.) South... READ ON
Article
How Did the States in the USA Get Their Names? (Part IV)
Reader Adam from Fairfax, Virginia, wrote in to ask, “How did the US states get their names?” This week, we’re tackling the origins and meaning of the names 10 states at a time. Here’s New Mexico through South Carolina. (Be sure to also check out Monday’s post on Alabama through Georgia, Tuesday’s post on Hawaii through Maryland, and Wednesday's post on Massachusetts through New Jersey.) New... READ ON
Article
How Did the States in the USA Get Their Names? (Part III)
Reader Adam from Fairfax, Virginia, wrote in to ask, "How did the US states get their names?" This week, we're tackling the origins and meaning of the names 10 states at a time. Here's Massachusetts through New Jersey. (Be sure to also check out Monday's post on Alabama through Georgia and Tuesday's post on Hawaii through Maryland.)... READ ON
Article
How Did the States in the USA Get Their Names? (Part II)
Reader Adam from Fairfax, Virginia, wrote in to ask, "How did the US states get their names?" This week, we're tackling the origins and meaning of the names 10 states at a time. Here's Hawaii through Maryland. (Be sure to also check out yesterday's post on Alabama through Georgia.)... READ ON
Article
How Did the States in the USA Get Their Names?
Reader Adam from Fairfax, Virginia, wrote in to ask, "How did the US states get their names?" This week, we'll be tackling the origins and meanings of the names, 10 states at a time. Let's kick things off with Alabama through Georgia.... READ ON

Former Today Show weatheman Willard Scott got an early career boost by portraying Ronald McDonald in commercials.

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