A metastudy found that more than half of male bicyclists suffered from genital numbness, and between an eighth and a quarter said they suffered from ED. Female cyclists don't have it any better, reporting numbness, difficult urination, pain, and difficulty achieving orgasm.
If Hollywood has taught me anything, it's that working for a multinational corporation (or investigating one as a journalist) carries the risk you'll uncover damning information revealing a vast criminal conspiracy, which will lead to your attempted murder (if you're the main character) or your successful murder (if you're the main character's source/best friend/avuncular mentor). This got me wondering: Has this ever happened?
What's the deal with the so-called zombie apocalypse? It's all over the web, in movies, and on television, and there are even books about how to survive when the shambling hordes come for you.
The Sandusky horror is just the latest in a seemingly endless stream of pedophile scandals. Is there any reliable info on the incidence of these crimes?
Whenever there's a really bad storm, environmentalists on the left and apocalypse enthusiasts on the right act as though it's self-evident that hurricanes and other storms are more frequent and intense. Environmentalists cite global warming, while apocalypse enthusiasts blame sinners for incurring God's wrath.
As bodily defense mechanisms go, pain makes sense: put your hand on a hot stove and your body screams "Get out of here!" But what's the purpose of itching?
People who take antidepressants often say they feel better, but some researchers claim that's the placebo effect. If so, aren't drug companies abusing depressed people by getting them to buy pricey, useless drugs?
I've read that in some cultures it's normal for parents and caregivers to perform sexual acts on babies and toddlers in order to calm them down and help them sleep. Cultures to which this disturbing practice has been attributed include those of Japan, Albania, the Philippines, Mongolia, Thailand, Bali, native Hawaiians, some native American tribes, parts of Latin America and the Caribbean, Australian aboriginals, and New Guineans.
Is it true that, as a class, psychotherapists and other mental health professionals are crazier than average? And that despite their training and experience, they can recognize their own issues less readily than the average nutcase?
In a recent Straight Dope Message Board thread about transsexuality, one commenter offered the following: "People who have gender identity disorders . . . are just dudes dressing up as chicks and/or dudes who have gotten a doctor to mutilate them to have imitation female genitalia (or , I guess.)
Public service announcements admonish us to not "waste water," with suggestions about five-minute showers, low-flow shower heads, Euro-style toilets, turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, etc. I can understand this if you live in dry areas such as Reno or Vegas. But what if you live next to the Great Lakes or the Atlantic Ocean?
In a recent debate about monogamy, I observed that college students, and young people in general, tended to be more promiscuous early in life and settled down later. My comrade said that was a myth popularized by the media and cited a source to the effect that college people were quite monogamous.
TV programs about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) often say our broadcast signals are traveling into space and will someday be seen by intelligent beings many light years from here. On the other hand, on the program Life After People they said these signals disperse after a few light years and are too scattered and weak for anyone to see or hear them.
Why do we have allergic reactions? What use do allergies serve?
Recently someone asked about the amount of energy Americans are storing in body fat. A more pertinent question is how much energy is wasted hauling that fat around.
Is pot stronger these days? Some folks state as fact that parents should realize "pot these days is stronger than when they smoked."
In winter I've gotten big shocks from static electricity when getting out of my car, and once saw a video where a crewman touching a race car during a pit stop was thrown back several feet from static charge. This gotten me wondering: Have there been instances of injury or death from static discharge?
Is there any evidence to support the mantra that cutting taxes stimulates job growth? I'm old enough to remember the Reagan years, and it seems most of those tax cuts went into the pockets of the wealthy, and what trickled down was pink slips as jobs went offshore.
Please comment on the global energy-conservation insanity surrounding the incandescent light bulb, i.e., initiatives around the world to ban it. (Some call the instigators of these measures "eco-fascists.") How good are energy-saving fluorescent or halogen light bulbs really?
I've been reading about the coelacanth, the fish thought to have gone extinct 65 million years ago that turned up in an Indonesian fish market. Do you know any good coelacanth recipes?
In your recent column on conspiracy theories about the government injecting chemicals into the atmosphere, you disparaged the idea of geoengineering, or at least using sulfur dioxide to counter global warming. But you don't defend your position.
I grew up in Alaska and I've heard this story forever, including when I worked on a salmon fishing boat for two summers. It's the claim of a sometimes lethal danger to fishermen posed by a large halibut landed on deck but not yet dead.
Zombies have so many disturbing traits, but my question involves only two: the stench of decomposition and their tendency to congregate in large numbers. A single dead body gives off a foul odor that is overpowering, certainly enough to make a normal person vomit.
I'm a fairly intelligent, well-educated person with a facebook. I get SO ANNOYED when people are constantly picking out my typos and making it seem like I'm an idiot.
About 20 years ago when I lived in Vancouver, I watched a TV local news segment about how the University of British Columbia's forestry department had created a system for injecting hormones into growing trees to produce a "square tree." Much was made of the advantages for the lumber industry, but I've never heard any more about it.
I'm taking a physics course, and we discussed how objects with hollow cores revolve slower. So I was wondering: exactly how much dirt would I have to dig out of the ground and move to the surface before I'd notice the days getting longer?
Your recent column about the safety of nuclear power also mentioned contaminated milk. But nobody explains why contamination is a big issue with milk but not with potatoes, chicken, or water.
Does the average American use more energy than a blue whale? The New York Times says it's true.
I live in San Francisco, and since the mid-90s California has mandated minimal class sizes, based on a 20-plus-year-old study from Tennessee. I don't know if this is the best way to either improve children's education or save money, since there seems to be a lot of infighting on both sides of the argument.
Are we, as a nation, using significantly less paper than, say, 20 years ago? The obvious answer, to me, is yes, but then I think of all the reams of paper around offices and I wonder.
There's an old comedy cliché about firemen holding a big net and asking people to jump. Is this a fictional invention, or was there really a time when this was how we rescued people from burning buildings?
Is it really possible to purchase a lord, laird, or lady title online? As I understand it, some websites allow anyone to buy a square foot of land in Scotland for a relatively small amount.
Years ago I made the mistake of reading a book called The Journeyer by Gary Jennings, about the life and adventures of Marco Polo. If you're not familiar with Jennings's work, the synopsis is simple: SEX, VIOLENCE, history, SEX, VIOLENCE.
For centuries people have been proclaiming that the End of the World is right around the corner. Are there any psychological studies of how these people cope when the date passes and the world doesn't end?
Concerning your April column on whether nuclear power is safe: Nuclear power sucks. Coal power sucks more.
My co-worker shocked me by reporting that, in ten years or so, bananas will be extinct. Refusing to take him at his word, I searched on the Internet for some sort of verification/debunking.Will I be having bananas a decade hence?
I read an article recently about a man who says our current chronology is about a thousand years off and that the years between 500 to 1500 (to round it off) didn't really happen. It's a mistake made by historians.
I was recently distracted from my dust allergy woes by a Radiolab episode discussing how the noble but misunderstood hookworm might offer me some relief. Apparently the parasite has been shown to calm the immune system when certain allergens make it overenthusiastic.
I'm aware this is a dumb question, but in a way that reassures me because I'm relieved of the task of checking to see if any of your other readers have posed it before: do shadows weigh anything at all? Of course, I know we're talking extremely small amounts-fractions of fractions of fractions of pounds.
As an environmentalist, I was wondering if the rising popularity of erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, etc, has caused a corresponding subsidence in the demand for powdered rhinoceros horn and other aphrodisiacs made from the body parts of endangered animals. -Ned Carnes, Austin, Texas
On a recent drive along I-80 I was amazed at the number of wind turbines that have been added in the last couple of years. If enough wind turbines were constructed to supply a significant proportion of the Earth's electrical needs (let's say 50 percent), would this noticeably alter the weather?
There's an MP3 on the 'net right now purporting to be a "North Dakota weather alert" in which some reject from Fargo warns, "It is f'ing cold outside. Stay inside, dumbass.
A friend and I were watching some old James Bond movies and talking about their grandiose evil plans. The conversation turned to melting the polar ice caps and flooding the world.
Over years of buying pet food, I have noticed the "wet" varieties purport to be made from any number of meats and fishes. I can recall cat and/or dog food made of beef, lamb, liver, tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey . . .
What's the deal with the Eiffel Tower? I mean what is it, actually?
The current ad campaign for Samuel Adams beer makes the somewhat dubious claim that the company's beer, stored in brown bottles, is better preserved than beer in clear or green bottles. Tell me if there is any validity to this claim, or if it's just the usual marketing babble.
I think wine and beer have some microorganisms in them, but their alcohol concentration must make them sterile, right? That's why they can be used as antiseptics in an emergency.
On the radio, a spruiker from a mattress company claimed it was "common knowledge" that a human sweats a liter of water every night, and for health reasons you should buy a new mattress every couple of years. Can this be true?
I've found numerous references in Alaskan gold rush literature to a scam by the Trans-Alaskan Gopher Company that purported to sell trained gophers that would dig the tundra and come back with gold nuggets in their cheeks. There were many swindles in those times, but this one seems a bit over the edge credibilitywise.
A colleague told me that after wars, the male-female ratio at birth increases. I found several articles mentioning this but none explaining it.
Years ago I watched on TV the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. Just before the match it was announced that King would be able to hit to the doubles court while Riggs would have to hit to the smaller singles court, and also that he would only get one serve to her two.
I recently saw a TV special with a segment about the German fleet that scuttled itself at Scapa Flow after World War I. They mentioned that metal salvaged from those ships was valuable to instrument makers because it hadn't been exposed to radiation from the atomic blasts at the end of World War II and later. Why is this metal different from metal recently mined and forged?
Which scenario uses less energy in home heating, and thus saves more money: (a) before going to bed, turning the thermostat down from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 60, then turning it up again in the morning, or (b) leaving it at 68 all night? I always believed (a) would use less energy, but people tell me that (b) uses less, because reheating the house to 68 in the morning uses more energy than keeping it at that temperature all night.
Sorry if this question is too graphic, but I'm baffled by Japanese tentacle porn. Why are there so many rapist octopuses living in the Land of the Rising Sun?
Are gasoline-powered lawn mowers really that bad? I keep reading that cutting my grass with one is comparable to burning a tire in the backyard or driving an SUV for 300 miles.
I work as a consultant and am required to travel by air several times per week. I recently began encountering the new screening devices at all airports.
We're bombarded with fundraisers and retail products sporting pink ribbons to raise money to "fight breast cancer." Do pink ribbon campaigns do any good, or are they mainly a way for corporations to fleece consumers by leveraging fear and sympathy?
What’s the deal with a storm glass? Hammacher Schlemmer sells one and says, “Although how it functions remains a mystery, the ability of the stormglass to predict atmospheric change is well documented.” Does it work?
I recently bought my first new car in nearly 11 years. I had always bought non-air conditioned cars in the past because I was told AC reduces power and mileage.
Is grass-fed beef healthier for us than grain-fed beef? I've seen these claims: it's lower in fat and calories, has more omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins, and is a good source of conjugated linoleic acid.
People diagnosed as clinically obese are sometimes said to have a hormonal condition that makes them unable to lose weight even if they cut calorie intake to a minimum. Surely if you forced them to exercise while making certain their dietary intake and vital signs were healthy, they'd be slim and trim in a couple years.
Do you think creating a humanlike robot is possible? If so, how many years might it take?
Recently an outbuilding at a nuclear power plant received a glancing blow from a tornado. Fortunately no real harm was done, but it started me wondering: are nuclear power plants built to withstand a direct hit from a tornado?
I read a letter to Dear Abby from someone who had served cupcakes made with Kahlua liqueur. Abby said enough alcohol remained to affect someone with alcohol sensitivity.
In the Donald E. Westlake novel Drowned Hopes, character Tom Jimson says Oklahoma remained dry following the repeal of Prohibition and was so feisty about it that officials arrested a bartender serving drinks on a through train. In revenge, the passenger railroads pulled their trains out of Oklahoma, with the result that old railroad towns became ghost towns-even Amtrak didn't provide service.
Recently my roommate told me about the 1932 "emu war" in Australia. He said 1932 was a dry year that made 20,000 emus restless, causing them to invade a residential neighborhood en masse.
I've been hearing about the positive effects of binaural beats and how they can alter your state of mind. Can listening to a strange tone for hours on end really put me in a different mood other than annoyed?
In the movie Rocky IV, Ivan Drago registers a 2,150-psi punch. That seems unrealistic to me, and yet I'm hearing Internet rumors about MMA fighters and boxers coming close to that number.
If I take a piece of pizza that's been sitting on the table awhile and microwave it for one minute, would that kill bacteria and decrease the chance of food poisoning? -- David Chattin-McNichols First, can bacteria really just land on your food while it's sitting on the table?
How many years ahead of us is DARPA, technologically, and what secrets do you think they may be hiding from us? - A curious kid
I recently read an article about a Navy SEAL sniper. The author lists possible variables that go into determining a shot, one of which is the rotation of the earth.
I remember a story from the 80s about lime Jell-O giving off brainwaves. When I mentioned this the other day I got into a long argument about microtubules, consciousness, and superstrings and need a quick shut-'em-up.
I recently stumbled on the online Straight Dope and, since you seem to be the guru of all things, decided to ask a question. How many years ahead of us is DARPA, technologically, and what secrets do you think they may be hiding from us?
Why does a male feel nauseous, possibly to the point of vomiting, after being struck in the genitals? Is there some sort of gonadal-gastrointestinal connection?
Is it true Native Americans cut off the noses of adulterous wives? Sounds like European propaganda about "savages."
We recently learned a rapist was loose in our neighborhood when my roommate got an an e-mail from her school that included a link to a police sketch. This got me thinking about the accuracy of police sketches.
I looked up rock music's effect on the brain and found this: "Bob Larson, a Christian minister and former rock musician, remembers that in the 70s teens would bring raw eggs to a rock concert and put them on the front of the stage. The eggs would be hard boiled by the music before the end of the concert and could be eaten.
What's the effectiveness of a polygraph? Police still use them, the feds still screen applicants using polygraphs, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled them invalid.
Is it true our GPS satellites are deteriorating and there's no good fix? -Imtazman1963
I ran across your 1984 Straight Dope column about whether water freezes or boils in outer space. (You said it boils, then freezes.)
A friend recently told me about something called the Bohemian Grove where supposedly the leaders of our country meet annually to hold bizarre satanic rituals including burning things in front of a 40-foot statue of an owl. As proof she had me examine a dollar bill where in the corner there appears to be a tiny owl.
Is peak phosphorus the next global crisis? I've read claims that world reserves of phosphates, a mined resource essential in the production of agricultural fertilizer, are running out.
What's the Straight Dope on radiation hormesis? From what I understand, this hypothesis rejects the current wisdom that if a lot of radiation is very bad, a little bit of radiation is at least somewhat bad.
I've heard coconut juice is almost identical to human blood plasma, and has been used as a plasma substitute during wartime. I asked a friend from Vietnam who lived there during the war about this, and she was very matter-of-fact about the use of coconut juice as a substitute for blood plasma during the war by Vietnamese soldiers (on both sides).
Why do babies run fevers when teething? More important, why do doctors claim that they don't?
My brother refuses to go running on days the air quality index tells him not to because he doesn't want to die sooner. My idea: how do we go about proving him insane?
Is the Myers-Briggs personality assessment just an example of modern-day snake oil sold by corporate soothsayers? Or does it really work?
Dude gets splashed with liquid helium, or blasted with cryogas, or breathed on by a white dragon, and he freezes solid into an immobile, frosty, astonished-looking block of man. Then he teeters over and crash! Smashes into a million pieces.
I am writing to bring to your attention several errors in the recent edition of the Straight Dope titled "Farm-Raised vs. Wild Fish: The Facts." Your poor research and insistence on hyperbole rather than perspective does a terrible disservice to your readers.
I'm on a deserted island. How can I tell which plants are poisonous?
Are electric trains and other forms of mass transit an energy loser compared to cars? What with energy transmission costs and poor ridership (especially in California), we supposedly waste energy on subways and buses.
Is it necessary for the fire department to rescue a cat stuck in a tree? C'mon, they got up there.
The restaurant around the corner has started using corn-based "compostable" plastic takeout containers. They have a "7" recycling logo on the bottom, but also say they can't be recycled with other clear plastics.
I want to eat farm-raised salmon because wild salmon are depleted by overfishing. On the other hand, I hear there are many pollutants in salmon farms.
I've heard Thomas Jefferson traded marijuana blends with Washington and the other founding fathers. Can anyone verify if true or false?
How is it that, in places without natural features such as a river or mountain range to mark a border, U.S. states could establish a nice, even line over hundreds of miles before GPS? - Granite-Morale
I've often heard people say "the camera adds ten pounds" when they're photographed. Is that just an excuse or is there any truth to it?
When I buy over-the-counter pharmaceuticals from our local drug store, I always buy the house brand. The active ingredients and dosages in Tylenol (acetaminophen) are identical to that of the copy.
What's the deal with getting a song stuck in your head? Why does it happen, especially if it's a song you don't like or don't even know well?
I play poker with this guy on a fairly regular basis at the casino. He's got this medical alert dog he brings with him everywhere.
Some years ago I read about a slightly loony "garbologist" who liked to go through people's trash, including that of one person in particular-Mr. Robert Zimmerman of Woodstock, New York, aka Bob Dylan. One day when said garbologist was busy in the trash cans in front of Dylan's Woodstock home, the songwriter supposedly spotted him, came tearing out of the house with the first blunt object that came to hand-a bicycle pump-and whacked the researcher upside the head with it.
I love to go to the steam room (or if there isn't one, the sauna) after a workout. But I've always wondered: Do they really help?
I'm sure you're familiar with the tale of Clarence Darrow hiding a wire in his cigar to keep the ash from falling and thus distracting the jury during the DA's closing statement. Do you have any thoughts on what type of wire (gauge, material, etc) was or would be used?
Are there really bus-size nuclear reactors all over Europe (especially in France), that can safely power small towns? If so, why don't we have them?
I’ve seen pictures of Pangaea, the giant land mass that eventually separated into the continents we know today.
Superman is able to use his super strength to squeeze coal into diamonds. Theoretically, if someone had unlimited strength in real life, would it be possible to do this?-marcusbrute
What's the final word about Y2K? We were told this was a serious problem, and that huge dollars and man-hours were needed to head off trouble.
Almost nightly, it seems, we hear on the news that a drunk driver killed one or more people in another car but the drunk survived, sometimes without injury. A family member suggested drunks are saved because they've passed out and are more relaxed, but I'm skeptical.
I read a speech by Noam Chomsky in which he says during the Vietnam war "soldiers were fragging officers." I, a man too young to have served in that conflict, have heard this before but thought it was just a rumor.
In his book Collapse, Jared Diamond claims, "When NASA wanted to find some place on Earth resembling the surface of the Moon, so that our astronauts preparing for the first moon landing could practice in an environment similar to what they would encounter, NASA picked a formerly green area of Iceland that is now utterly barren." This struck me as wrong.
My son just finished a three-month karate class. Last night he asked me if karate really would help someone defeat a larger, stronger opponent.
I recently discovered your site/column, and after spending days and nights reading, I'm convinced you are indeed the world's smartest person and so best qualified to answer my question: Who made money during the 1929 stock market crash? I know being so smart, you're probably laughing all the way to the bank during this one.
I once heard NASA was the only government department to show a profit due to patents on things such as Teflon, Velcro, and Tang. Any truth to this?
With the dearth of good real estate on Earth, I've been considering alternatives. How much energy would it take to move Mars into Earth's orbit?
Do bras really keep breasts from sagging as you get older? -Curious
What's the deal with air in your bloodstream being lethal? Is this true?
How lethal are Tasers? I know there's talk about police being Taser-happy and torturing people with these devices, but has anyone been Tasered to death?
I recently heard a rumor that sugar processed from beets contains traces of a poison used as a combat weapon in World War II. Is this true?
My girlfriend and I were fighting over which led to a greater chance of getting cancer, smoking or tanning. I probably average a cigarette a day, and my girlfriend usually goes tanning two or three times a week.
What are the risks of anal sex if the partners are heterosexual and monogamous? Could one contract some disease?
With modern medicine and hygiene and diet, we've extended life expectancy far beyond what it's ever been. Yet we all still get old and die.
I saw a special on the Large Hadron Collider, which, among other things, hopes to find evidence of the “God particle.” Since physics is not my strong suit, I’ve tried to understand this but everything makes my eyes glaze over. Please explain the God particle in layman’s terms.
I’ve heard and read stories about musicians, specifically hand drummers, pissing blood after playing a long set. The great Armando Peraza, Santana’s longtime bongo and conga player, told an interviewer: “Playing percussion for Carlos you had to be able to play hard, non-stop for sometimes up to three straight hours, and play loud enough to be heard over the electric instruments.
In a Straight Dope report I read online, the writer kindly reminded readers of the symbol for the euro. As a European, it seemed to me to be unnecessary until I recalled the old stereotype that we, the Europeans, so enjoy believing about the American populace: that they’re stupid and/or blind as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
Why is it that if you film an act of prostitution and call it porn, suddenly it’s legal? The only difference I can see is that the male performer is also being paid, but that can’t be the case for all pornography.
Is there such a thing as a true intersex person? If so, could they get themselves pregnant?
My friend says Christians weren’t actually thrown to the lions in ancient Rome, but when I was at the Colosseum, I saw a big cross there in honor of all the Christians martyred at that spot. He insists this was just made up by the church to perpetuate their religion.
In The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road, Cameron Tuttle suggests this technique for getting out of a DUI: Immediately step out of the car with a bottle of your favorite liquor and chug a couple shots’ worth. The officer now has no way of proving you were drinking before you got out of the car.
I’ve been hearing a lot lately about miraculous improvements in auto engine parts, golf balls and clubs, razors, and even brass and stringed musical instruments, all by subjecting the object in question to a deep freeze of –300 degrees or more. Is there any solid evidence for this?
BEING THE fount of all knowledge, could you tell me the best way to launder money? The information may come in useful one day.
My friend Melanie loves to watch the Discovery Channel and share what she has watched with others. The problem is she can never get the story straight.
As I stare into the beautiful dark sky above my home in Hawaii and see the stars and satellites, I ponder the possibility of “space accidents.” With all those satellites, are there any collisions? Who oversees all those orbits?
I came across a piece of information that said that in the first half of the 20th century, pink was a boy’s color while blue was a girl’s color. But it didn’t say why the colors switched.
Can animals sense earthquakes? I’ve heard stories about cats carrying their litter of kittens out of a building just prior to a quake.
I heard it's possible to live for an extended period of time on nothing but potatoes and milk. Any truth to this?
Without gravity, how do female astronauts menstruate while in space? — Gayle, Ventura, CA
I was shocked by your highly ignorant column on “when life begins” . You have a very conservative approach, and a misogynistic one at that.
I'm sure you've heard the term "concrete shoes," mobsters' choice of swimwear for fellas with rodent traits and other individuals that ran afoul of them. Is there any truth to it?
Having grown up on Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry and similar cartoons, I can’t tell you how many I’ve watched involving a baby left on a doorstep. Was there a rash of baby abandonment somewhere back in the 40s, 50s, and 60s that cartoonists decided to satirize?
Some time ago, I heard an African-American author talk on NPR about what inspired him to write his book: During the 1800s, some slave owners in the U.S. were black. Afterward a historian said she’d never heard of any such phenomenon and dismissed the idea as ridiculous.
At a forum last August at his megachurch, preacher Rick Warren asked John McCain and Barack Obama when human life begins. McCain replied, “At conception,” a response that went over well with the pro-life audience.
Never mind the current demand for the stuff—what becomes of the void oil drilling creates? If we pump out millions of barrels per day, we can't very well leave giant empty caverns, can we?
Samurai swords are reputed to be among the best ever produced, a fact attested to by the practice of testing the swords on cadavers, usually those of condemned criminals. Just how sharp were these blades?
Here’s a quick way to lose a new friend: ask them if they think that tattoo that seemed like such a good idea at age 22 will appeal at age 45 or 60. I poked around, but couldn’t find stats about the numerous 50-somethings who no doubt seek removal of tattoos or express regret.
In her book Seabiscuit Laura Hillenbrand says 1930s jockeys trying to lose weight would swallow a capsule containing a tapeworm egg. The worms would then mature in the jockeys’ stomachs and eat whatever food was dropped their way.
Over the years I’ve noticed a variety of siren sounds for emergency vehicles. Is it true siren sounds have to be changed periodically, particularly in urban areas, to prevent drivers from getting used to a particular sound and not paying attention?
A mechanic friend claims to have a gizmo that makes his vehicles run at least partially on water. It will work best on vehicles with carburetors—fuel-injected vehicles need tweaking of the computer chips.
One often hears references to rampant buggery among sailors in the glory days of the Royal Navy. Sometimes, its said, young boys called peg boys were on board solely for the purpose of providing pleasure to the officers.
I’m reading World War Z by Max Brooks, a fictional account of the world’s response to a zombie outbreak. In the book the U.S. military fails miserably in its first real battle against the undead but later changes tactics and ultimately triumphs, as does the rest of the world.
If a man has a sex change, can he compete in the Olympics as a woman? —Stephanie Ketchum
We’ve all seen it in a movie: A small group of people are swimming. Someone gets hurt, blood touches water, and instantly sharks appear who then devour the party.
What's the straight dope on the world's first powered flight? Sources claim people from New Zealand, Scotland, and France flew earlier than the Wrights, and one claims John Stringfellow from England, managed a powered flight in 1848!
I read your column “Do lightning rods really work?” , in which you note that fire-prevention folks were about to decide whether there was any scientific basis to lightning rods. Do you have more up-to-date info?
I've read that elephants are now exhibiting aggression previously unseen —including raping rhinos on the African savannah. Have we truly screwed up the elephants that much, or is this merely one of those media myths?
Is the woman committing the crime by selling herself or is the man committing the crime by paying for the service? — MEDuke
I've heard of high explosives, but is there such a thing as low explosives? —CW
Does the president have an official food taster to make sure he won't get poisoned? What about when the president visits foreign countries?
What's the deal with chiropractic? Real, or quackery?
I often see reports of cars stalling on railroad tracks and then getting hit by trains as a result. What makes a car so prone to stall in the middle of train tracks?
I often see statistics on the number of deaths in the U.S. related to handgun accidents and murders by civilians. What I think would be a powerful statistic next to this is the number of people that have been saved by the use of a firearm.
I recently read that the city of Turin, Italy, had decided to use sheep to keep the grass in its parks trimmed. Being the lazy sort, I started to wonder: could my fenced quarter-acre backyard of Bermuda grass and crabgrass sustain a sheep?
Dear Cecil: I thought I was smart and all until my son asked me, "Why doesn't wood melt?" —Murli
Cecil: Do hard liquors have different psychological effects on an individual? Is there any truth to the common understanding that gin makes people mean?
Dear Cecil: I'm contemplating dog pimping — selling my rare-breed male dog's procreative capability to owners of his female counterparts. Is there such a thing as doggy venereal disease?
How did it come to be that the comedic stereotype of the crazy person is someone who thinks they're Napoleon? —Doug Frazey
Hey, Cecil: My wife and I had a very unpleasant experience selling our house after our buyer’s inspector came back with a report of vermiculite in our attic. After a week of stress and an $80 test, what we had was not vermiculite at all.