Mouth Sweat (June 25, 2001)
Foam Rubber Conspiracy (June 26, 2001)
Kitchen Weather (June 27, 2001)
Tire Rotation (July 2, 2001)
Perpetual Motion Machine (July 3, 2001)
Lowest Form Of Life (July 4, 2001)
Tail Wagging
Pins & Angels
Newborn Adults
Doggie Heaven
Frog Food (July 11, 2001)
Depression(July 12, 2001)
The Truth About Geometry (July 13, 2001)
Hungry Cassette Players(July 16, 2001)
First Step In Research (July 17, 2001)
Kernel Psychology (July 18, 2001)
Clams and Black Holes (July 19, 2001)
Evaporated Milk (July 20, 2001)
Haunted Toilets(July 23, 2001)
Salivary Glands (July 24, 2001)
Cat Hygiene (July 25, 2001)
Jello Food Group (July 26, 2001)
Annoying Germs (July 27, 2001)
Peanut Shells (July 30, 2001)
Blonde Potatoes (July 31, 2001)
Telephone Cords (August 1, 2001)
Sense of Decency (August 2, 2001)
Sun Status (August 3, 2001)
GCSE's (August 6, 2001)
Filing Systems (August 7, 2001)
Penny Fuses (August 8, 2001)
Dr. Science's Voice
Born Again Belly Buttons
Upright Humans




August 8, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
I recently bought an old house and upon looking in the fuse box after a fuse had blown, I found many sockets with "pennies" in them. This seems like an odd place to store money, doesn't it?
-- Steve McLaughlin from Perrysburg, Ohio
Back in the depression when banks couldn't be trusted, many people stored their life savings in the fuse box, so that anyone attempting to steal the money would be electrocuted. Sounds like burglars got away with everything but the small change at this home of yours. People didn't have much in the way of cash back then, so chances are all the thieves took were a few quarters and dimes. If you find an Indian head penny among the remaining coins, it might be worth a few bucks. Be sure to cut the power at the main breaker before you start prying it out.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
In the center of most roadway intersections, there is always a pile of assorted (mostly unidentifiable) debris, such as bits of broken glass, the occasional lone shoe, etc. Does this pile have an official name?
-- Kathy Seaberg from St. Petersburg, FL
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Sneak Some Zucchini onto your Neighbors' Porch Night in Lebanon, PA
Happy birthday to Dustin Hoffman and Connie Stevens!




August 7, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
If Chinese writing relies on pictographic characters instead of a phonetic alphabet, how do they file stuff?
-- Ran Tenrab from Asheville, NC
Some of us prefer an intuitive approach to filing. I know all of my government grant applications go behind the radiator. The OSHA compliance forms are under the coffee pot. Outgoing correspondence is on the top of the cyclatron, and incoming tucked into the bottom shelf of the mu meson supply cabinet. All you need is a gut feeling. Certainly a lack of phonemes doesn't prevent Chinese speakers from sorting through the paperwork of their lives in whatever manner they see fit. My guess is that you were severely traumatized by your third grade teacher, who had a thing about phonics. Until you make peace with this, you'll continue to project your own psychic wounds onto others.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Just what is so noble about the noble gases?
-- Jeremy Lennert from Portland, OR
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the anniversary of the first picture of Earth from space
Happy birthday to Garrison Keillor and Stan Freberg!



August 6, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
I live in England and I am in year 10. I have taken single science. I think that for GCSE's I will be entered in the higher paper for single science. But I need books to revise from. I have been wanting to purchase these very good books that have been recommended from my school. They are "CGP revision guides edited by Richard Parsons." They only do double science foundation level and Double science Higher level and foundation. Since I am taking the higher single science paper for GCSE. What book do you recommend for me to use?
-- Susan Wright, from London, UK
Your question reveals a distressing lack of perspective, and much confusion between the subject matter itself and the specifics of your schoolwork The hoops they make you jump through at school have nothing to do with the elements of biology. I, for one, don't know what a GCSE is and, even more importantly, I don't care to know. Sounds like you'd be happier leaving real science alone and taking courses in pedagogy.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
I frequently see clouds in shapes that resemble animals, everyday objects, and household appliances. I have never seen one that looked like a 1947 Dodge Pick-up. Why is this?
-- Mark from Ann Arbor, MI
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the halfway point of Summer and National Fresh Breath Day
Happy birthday to Freddie Laker and Paul Bartel!



August 3, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
How long do we have until the sun burns out? Do we still need the sun? I've heard it causes skin cancer.
-- Dan Davis from Portland, OR
You're right, the sun is superfluous. This redundant source of heat and light is simply an annoyance now that we have atomic energy harnessed to fill our every energy need. The real question now is what do we do with the sun? We can't just blow it up, for the sun itself is a massive thermonuclear explosion, not to mention the fact that it's millions of miles away. This scientist suggests installing a huge disk in space, one that can effectively block solar radiation from hitting the planet. Then we can take all the nuclear waste we've been keeping underwater and hidden in concrete bunkers and bring it to the surface, where it belongs. In one fell swoop, sunburn and nuclear storage problems will be a thing of the past! Yahoo!
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Is it safe to go outside yet?
-- Rich from Seattle, WA
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Great Arkansas Pig-Out Day
Happy birthday to Martin Sheen and Martha Stewart!



August 2, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
I've heard that if you lose one of your senses, nature tends to compensate. I've recently lost my sense of decency. What kind of compensation should I be expecting?
-- Charles Gulledge from Dallas, TX
Have you retained a good personal injury lawyer? So much depends on finding the right advocate in pressing your suit. And you should press your suit before you go to court, because common decency demands it, even if you have lost your sense of the same. Make sure your lawyer wears a suit, too, or at least clothes. The Naked Truth wants no competition in the courtroom. Perhaps you can compensate for your loss of a sense of decency by developing a finely tuned sense of propriety. That's sort of a sense of decency with all references to morality removed.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Why do you go back in time when you Xerox a mirror? Is there any way to control where and how far back I go? Is it based on mirror size? I was always told size wasn't important. Thanks.
-- Daniel Toskin from Columbus, OH
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Friendship Day
Happy birthday to Peter O'Toole and James Fallows!



August 1, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
Why do telephone cords coil clockwise?
-- Joan Kozik from Cedar Rapids, IA
I could get away with saying that all telephone cords are manufactured in the northern hemisphere, but that would ignore the reality of 200 million Brazilian, Argentinean and Australian telephone cords. So, I'll tell you the real reason which is that voice transmissions only travel in a counterclockwise spiral. It has to do with the way the larynx attaches to the throat. Sonic vibrations are sent spinning from ligaments that connect clockwise and any attempt to re-direct this transmission induces phase cancellation. All you hear is a bored male voice telling you to hang up the phone and try your call later.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Am I the only one who picks up on the sexual tension between Captain Kirk and Spock on Star Trek?
-- Mark from Daytona Beach, FL
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Anniversary of the birth of Jerry Garcia
Happy birthday to Dom DeLuise and Yves Saint Laurent!



July 31, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
What happens to the surface area of a potato when it is placed in hydrogen peroxide?
-- Tom Manickam from Harrow, London, England
It becomes bleached. Most things in contact with hydrogen peroxide suffer the same reaction. First discovered in 1949 by Dr. Marilyn Monroe, exposure to hydrogen peroxide also makes you less articulate, which is the source of the "dumb blonde" jokes that have been circulating ever since the early fifties. Even though you'd think a lumpy potato would have no desire to improve its appearance, the starchy spud is actually quite vain, and many a bulbous dirt apple bleached an unnatural shade will claim its brassy hue is just natural highlighting from the sun.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
What if there were no such things as hypothetical questions?
-- Jackie Brown from Mississauga, Ontario
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Happy birthday to Gary Lewis and Wesley Snipes!



July 30, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
Why do peanut shells have dents?
-- Bob Pease from Pacifica, CA
They didn't use to. Then our quality control standards went the same way our high school graduation and standardized test scores went, straight down the sewer. Who operates that sewer and where it leads is anybody's guess. There are some who just chalk it up to entropy, but I think the fact that we'll now accept dented peanuts as somehow "normal" says a lot more about the erosion of values in this country than it does about peanuts. Sure, smooth peanuts probably still exist, but they're only served on certain tables in our nation's capitol, if you get my drift.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
My daughter is a college junior and can't make up her mind on a major/career. Should I encourage her to follow Dr. Science's footsteps? (Like Ann Landers, please withhold my name if you answer publicly. If word gets to her at college that I asked you, I'll never hear the end of it.)
-- Steve Cross from Minneapolis, MN
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Parent's Day
Happy birthday to Paul Anka and Arnold Schwarzenegger!



July 27, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
Why do diagrams of germs look like a screw with tentacles and a diamond on the top?
-- Heather Williams from Monessen, PA
They do it just to annoy you. Science has proven that germs only exist as the concrete manifestation of original sin. Not only do they make us sick, they look funny under the microscope. I'm sure if we could hear them talk, they would say absurd things in squeaky or gruff, cartoonish voices, again just to irritate those listening in. When Man was given dominion over the plants and animals, that included the little ones that are too small to see with the naked eye. Speaking of naked, do you know that your vision improves when you're undressed? Adam and Eve had twenty-twenty vision, which is lucky for them, because it took tens of thousands of years before extended wear contacted lenses became available.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
What will happen if I spray WD-40 on the sticky side of Duct Tape? I'mafraid to try it without consulting an expert.
-- Mark Allen Adams from Johnstown, PA
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day in Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Happy birthday to Norman Lear and Jerry Van Dyke!



July 26, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
What food group is Jello in?
-- Cousin Jack from Mt. Vernon, Iowa
Jello, of course, is a brand name. The general term describing Jello and its pale imitators is "artificially flavored gelatin dessert." The food group these exist in is called "food by-products and food-like substances," which covers many man-made substances that have made modern dining the novel experience it is. There are some namby-pamby nutritionists who argue that these food-like substances have no place in a healthy diet. To these Pollyannas, I'd just like to say that if there weren't a market for food-like substances, nobody would manufacture them. I don't want some bureaucrat in Washington telling me what I can and can't eat, so I'm glad there's Jello and Cool Whip and Cheetos, even though nobody's paying me to say that. If I want to eat plutonium, that's my business. That's what I like about America. Just make it fat-free, okay?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Why bicycles don't have an ashtray?
-- Andres Guerrero from Santiago, ?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Curacao Day in Curacao
Happy birthday to Stanley Kubrick and Kevin Spacey!



July 25, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
If I teach my cat to poop in the toilet, will she stop drinking from the toilet?
-- Data Diva from Silicon Valley, CA
Unfortunately, no. Matters of simple hygiene tend to confound felines, though they are very prissy when it comes to personal grooming. Compared to dogs, cats are the Cary Grant of household pets, while dogs are the Wallace Beery of the same. For those of you who are too young to catch my cinematic allusions, you're too young to understand what I'm saying, anyway. Why make things harder than they need to be? Let your cat use the catbox, and let it drink bottled water, preferably European spring water chilled to a comfortable fifty-eight degrees.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
I've heard a lot about the element of Surprise, but I couldn't find it on my periodic table of the elements. What is the symbol for it? What is its atomic mass? Does it form compounds, like surprise oxide or surprise chloride? Does it have any unusual properties?
-- Greg Ellis from ?, ?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Farmer's Festival in Michigan
Happy birthday to Louise Brown and Nate Thurmond!



July 24, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
One day I was standing in front of a friend of mine, listening to him speak. When I opened my mouth for some air, tiny droplets shot out of my mouth like a fountain and hit my friend in the face. What happened?
-- Cool Hand Uke from Sparks, Nevada
Your friend received the praise he was no doubt due. You see, even if you can't find it in yourself to compliment a praiseworthy speaker, your mouth can. The salivary glands behind your tongue were showering your friend with praise, using the universal language of saliva. Great speakers have always, always received this kind of acclaim. When Lincoln read the Gettysburg Address, the audience literally drenched him with unspoken praise. In fact, videotapes of the event show him with an umbrella. When Churchill delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech in Missouri, grateful residents shouted a damp and silent "Show Me!" Today, all the great speakers wear raincoats on stage. So don't worry. And thanks for asking!
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Who are 'They', and how do I become one of 'Them'?
-- Thaddeus Williams from Ionia, MI
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Cousins Day in New York
Happy birthday to Barry Bonds and Karl Malone!



July 23, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
I live in the Mojave desert in Southern California. Whenever the wind blows more than 15 mph, the water in my toilet bowl moves. What causes this? It moves when there is nothing in it and it is not being flushed. I have a septic tank that is not opened to the outside. I have water from the city. Not a well. I have talked to some friends and they have observed the same thing.
-- Jason from Apple Valley, CA
There's something alive in your toilet. Maybe a Gila monster, maybe a primitive life form spawned when unmentionable filth combined in a novel way that only happens in the Mojave desert. Do you live in a trailer? If you do, maybe the wind is rocking your trailer and causing the water to slosh. That's the simple, mundane explanation, the kind I try to avoid in my work.. I'd put my money on evil spirits that live in your ears and like to frighten you by splashing around in your toilet.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Why are all the commercials reruns?
-- Bob Roberts from Big Rock, NE
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the beginning of Oil Heritage Week
Happy birthday to Nicholas Cage and PeeWee Reese!



July 20, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
How come when you open a can of evaporated milk, the milk is still in the can?
-- Glenn Condon from San Rafael, CA
You can't trust anybody nowadays, least of all the giant food conglomerates. Here they were trying to sell you something for nothing, and they end up giving you something for something. No wonder the economy's in the toilet. Well, since you can't control them, you could at least use your inquisitive energy asking yourself why you were in the market for nothing in the first place. Is your purchasing power the only power you have left? Or is your self-image so low that you don't think you deserve milk when you buy it? Evaporated milk, of course, first came out in the Great Depression when a lot of people were feeling pretty bad about themselves. I don't support the concept, and neither should you. Throw your shoulders back and take a walk in the sunshine, okay? And remember, Dr. Science, cares, even if you don't.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Yes or no ? If no then why ? ...and if yes then when'n'where ?
-- Martin from Gdansk, ?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Hot Dog Night in Luverne, Minnesota
Happy birthday to Diana Rigg and Carlos Santana!



July 19, 2001:
Dear Doctor Science,
Do clams ever feel clammy? Why are black holes always described as "lurking"?-- Keith Meldahl from Encinitas, CA
Often an adjective is formed from a noun. Hence, clams are the source of all clamminess, being the platonic ideal of cold, slimy and wet. Black holes were originally called "lurks" and in like manner gave their name to the process of hanging around with no evident business, refusing to look astronomers in the eye, and generally making cold, dark matter look positively transparent in comparison.
- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
I have noticed that when using the office copier, various coworkers will often take a moment to carefully position the paper clip over the small picture of a paper clip in the official paper clip placement square, as if placing an offering before the temple, while other coworkers will throw the paper clip at some random point on the top of the machine, in total disregard for others (ironically, these are the people who seem to trigger paper jams). Why this disparity? Why these extremes?
-- Anne from College Station, TX
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is National Liberation Day in Nicaragua
Happy birthday to Illie Nastase and Vikki Carr!



July 18, 2001
Dear Dr. Science:
Is there concept of Fibonacci determinant ? What is the definition of fibonacci determinant?
Fu Jielin Guilin, GuangXi, China
You were wise to ask if something even existed before asking for its definition. So few scientists honor this first step in the long process of deduction. Like spaced-out backpackers, high on hallucinogenic mushrooms, blindly following a trail to nowhere, they put the cart before the horse and rush off willy-nilly, spending our tax dollars to ascertain the exact nature of a nonexistent entity. Many of them are college professors, though few dirty their hands in the classroom. No, they let graduate students do that. These frauds spend their time in what they euphemistically call "research."
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Where is Waldo now?
-- Phil DiGennaro from Trumbull, CT
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the anniversary of the opening of Disneyland
Happy birthday to Phyllis Diller and Lucille Ball



July 17, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
Why do some popcorn kernels pop, while others just lie there on the bottom of the pan?
-- Dave E. from Grosse Pt. Park, MI
Popcornologists have studied this sort of thing for years now. At first they thought it was heredity, then environment, but now it's thought that some kernels simply lack the will to live. In psychological terms, they are depressed. No amount of coaxing, heating or shaking the pan can stimulate these gloomy gus kernals to pop. The percentages of non-poppers stay relatively constant, regardless of ancestry or situation. So the next time somebody tries to sell you so-called gourmet popcorn at top dollar, first ask for proof they're selling you happy, enthusiastic popcorn. If they don't know what you're talking about, well, buy your popcorn somewhere else.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
The tuna I buy proclaims that it's dolphin friendly. How can you tell if a tuna is friendly to dolphins and why are these tuna better than less friendly ones?
-- Gary Macy from San Diego, CA
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the opening of the National Baby Food Festival in Wisconsin
Happy birthday to John Glenn and Hunter S. Thompson!



July 16, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
Why does my cassette player eat my tapes. What could I feed it as a substitute?
-- Tate B. from Fair Oaks, CA
Your cassette player is hungry. So many people have his problem because they simply never bother to read the instruction manual that came with their cassette player when they bought it. You may recall some mention of head cleaning solution. Well, this is just another term for tape player food. It's that simple. Now the food they like best is 90% rubbing alcohol. The normal 70% solution just doesn't cut the mustard, especially during happy hour. You'll end up with a rusty headed tape player that still eats your tapes. Hey, hope I've answered your question. By the way, do you have a spare copy of "Tapestry"? Damn, that Carole King can sing.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Why is there a :// after http?
-- Tim Show me the Productivity Silverman from Houston, TX
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Feast of the Redeemer day in Italy
Happy birthday to Ruben Blades and Stewart Copeland!



July 13, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
When I am closed I am a triangle. When I am open I am a circle. What am I?
-- Rich from East Islip
You're annoying. People who get hung up on geometry are some of the least intellectually gifted of all. There's a reason they teach it in the sixth grade. When the brain has finally developed, the formerly fascinating world of polygons gives way to a real appreciation of the many-headed Hydra that is higher learning. So if you're below the age of twelve, take my comments as encouragement. If you're older than that, seek professional help.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Which country looks most like a chicken nugget? Most of us think it is Saint Vincent, but there are still some here holding out for Ireland.
-- Sarah Bettinger from Shreveport, LA
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Montana Governor's Cup Walleye Tournament
Happy birthday to Harrison Ford and Patrick Stewart!



July 12, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
Lately, I've been feeling like everything is pointless. Is this the same as feeling that nothing has any point to it? I know one state is probably just called depression and the other is downright suicidal. I want to make sure which state I'm in.
-- John Baxter from Ashland OR
You say that you're from Oregon and I suppose three hundred days of rainfall would make anyone depressed, if not suicidal. Last time I checked, the only thing that made Oregonians feel totally hopeless was the proximity of California. Now instead of everyone heading for the beach to surf, they don heavy Irish knit sweaters, walk the driftwood covered beach and brood. The nineties west coast beach scene is an intellectual one, dealing more with sensitivity than suntans. Disenchanted Boomers head north to find themselves. Everyone is a writer, working on a novel that will never be finished, much less published. But that's OK. Moping in the fog thinking about art is a step above Moon Doggy showing off for Gidget.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Why is it that when people are abducted by aliens, the aliens do an anal probe? This would seem to be totally pointless since it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the human race is full of s##t....
-- The Luna Altuna from Roanoke, VA
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the anniversary of the premiere of Family Feud
Happy birthday to Bill Cosby and Richard Simmons!



July 11, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
What do restaurants that serve frog legs do with the rest of the frog?
-- Roger from San Diego, CA
They send it to the people who make SPAM, where it's cleverly combined with other waste products - some animal, some petroleum, some heavy metals and salts - and sold as canned lunch meat of indeterminate origin. It's a shame, because the leg is the least tasty part of the frog. The whole French fad of eating frog legs came about when Lavoisier started nibbling on the frog legs he'd been causing to twitch using galvanic current. After he tired of watching his frog leg can-can, he put one in his mouth and found that it tasted like chicken.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
I recently saw a television commercial featuring a bunch of guys swilling cheap beer and intoning, It doesn't get any better than this. What does this tell us about the nature of existence?
-- Frank Bland from Jamaica, NY
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the anniversary of Babe Ruth's major league debut
Happy birthday to Giorgio Armani and Tab Hunter!



July 4, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
Is the amoeba really the lowest form of life?
-- Bob Seifert from Glendale, AZ
Of course not. I know I'm risking a lawsuit here, but the lawyer appears to be the lowest form of life. Belonging to the species "Councilus Parasitus," they are recognized by their perpetual cry, "We'll sue, we'll sue." They have few natural enemies and the country would already be overrun with lawyers if it weren't for the fact they are cannibalistic. In terms of mating habits, one lawyer builds a nest out of heaps of paper and chirps "merger, merger" hoping to attract another lawyer passing by in a BMW. If one stops, they do a dance, grunting "party of the first part," then shed their jackets, have a cigarette and take 10% of everything in sight. Then they leave. They don't even lay eggs, yet every day there are more lawyers. It's just one of nature's vast mysteries.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Why are girls so sqishy?
-- Matthew from Gig Harbor, WA
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is USA Independence Day
Happy birthday to Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren!



July 3, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
Is there any promise in answering the world's energy needs with perpetual motion machines, like the toy rooster that - despite not having a battery - will dip his beak in a vodka tonic for an infinite amount of time?
-- T.J. Murphy, Brooklyn from Brookyn, NY
Perpetual motion is a fact, but one hidden from the public by the big energy companies, who keep the working prototype in a vault in the basement of the Vatican. Currently, only Henry Kissinger, the Illuminati, certain high ranking Masons and Kathy Lee Gifford have access to this machine, which produces unlimited amounts of energy at the touch of a button. Don't waste your time looking for one at Wal-Mart. Even if one appears with the alluring "As Seen on TV" logo, it's not the real McCoy. Save your money and wait until Oprah demonstrates one on her show. Then you'll know it's legit.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
How can I get my husband to quit listening to Dr. Science?
-- Amy Shaver from Columbus, OH
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Belarus Independence Day
Happy birthday to Dave Barry and Tom Cruise!




July 2, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
Why do you have to rotate the tires on your car? Don't they rotate when you drive on them?
-- Kenneth Kuller from Minneapolis MN
No, Ken, they don't. What appears to be a spinning tire is actually an optical illusion. Car tires stay put and slide on a special greasy fluid they excrete as the rub along the road. Even wagon wheels turn backwards, as anyone who has seen reruns of "Bonanza" can attest. Again, apperances are deceiving, because in order to make the wagons appear to move forward, they had to run the film backwards through the camera. All that work to maintain a silly illusion! What's the matter? Are Detroit and Hollywood simply afraid we can't stand the ugly truth?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
What is the purpose of pubic hair and why do nudists seem to have more of it than most people?
-- Greg N Foisy from Halifax, ?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is I Forgot Day
Happy birthday to Jose Canseco and Dave Thomas!

June 27, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
If I were to open my freezer door, and then the door to my hot 450 degree oven simultaneously, would not the warm and cold fronts converge in my kitchen, creating miniature tornadoes on the linoleum floor?
-- David from River Hills, WI
Indeed, this is how most weather forecasters amuse themselves, when they're not playing "guess the barometric pressure" or "pin the tail on the correct cloud formation." It's best to sweep the kitchen floor before you unloose hundreds of miniature tornados, because dust and crumbs accelerated to hundreds of miles an hour can punch a hole in your cabinets. It's a good way to terrorize roaches or ants that have previously walked with impunity on your kitchen floor. Suddenly they're playing Wizard of Oz and chirping "there's no place like home."
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Why does math work?
-- Felix Aburto from Santa Barbara, CA
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is National Columnist's Day, in New Jersey
Happy birthday to H. Ross Perot and Normal Kamali!



June 26, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
How come everytime you see a piece of foam rubber there's always a hair sticking out of it?
-- Megan M. from Stockbridge, MA
Well, the hairs you see apparently imbedded in the foam rubber are actually growing from the rubber itself. Any resemblance these hairs may have to yours is the result of a chameleon-like mimicry on the part of the foam. This is only the first step in a vast plot to imitate and eventually conquer the human race. Those foolish enough to sleep on a foam mattress will eventually wake one morning to find themselves sleeping on top of themselves, or so it will seem for a few moments until the foam vice tightens. So the next time you find a hair in a piece of foam, don't take any chances. Call the police and tell 'em Dr. Science sent ya!
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
What would happen if I put a Moebius strip in a paper shredder?
-- Roy Jacobsen from Fargo, ND
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is the anniversary of the Bar Code
Happy birthday to Pearl Buck and Abner Doubleday!



June 25, 2001
Dear Doctor Science,
I have noticed that when I first start to exercise my mouth gets dry, but after a while it is moist again, so I am wondering: does the inside of your mouth sweat? If so, can you recommend an appropriate anti-perspirant? (I wouldn't want to offend my fellow joggers!)
-- Dave Perkins from Marshalltown, Iowa
Saliva is, of course, mouth sweat, and using anti-perspirants on the inside of the mouth is medically indicated only for the worst cases of halitosis. Gargling with a mixture of cotton wool and baking soda works, but only if you haven't used a toothpaste containing baking soda. If you were to make that mistake your mouth will erupt in an unfortunate miniature volcano of white foam. This phenomenon you've described is just another in the long list of reasons for abstaining from exercise in all its devious forms.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Gold Star Question -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Could you kick Spock's ass?
-- The Traumanator Stark from ?, ?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Today -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Today is Log Cabin Day, in Michigan
Happy birthday to George Michael and Carly Simon!