Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze? And 114 Other Questions, More Questions and Answers from the Popular Last Word Column
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Daily Express - 'a fascinating mix of the baffling, ridiculous and trivial...answers the scientific questions you never got round to asking.' Independent on Sunday - 'at last, the mysteries of the world are explained...the book everyone is talking about' Daily Mirror - 'They are the things we've all wondered about, from why we cry when we slice onions, to what makes our hair turn grey...' BBC Radio 5 Live - 'Extraordinary book...responsible for putting popular science back on its feet'
Independent on Sunday
'at last, the mysteries of the world are explained... the book
everyone is talking about'
metal-hulled boats? Chris Cooper Kempston, Bedfordshire, UK When a bolt of electricity, such as a lightning bolt, hits a watery surface, the electricity can run to earth in a myriad of directions. Because of this, electricity is conducted away over a hemispheroid shape which rapidly diffuses any frying power possessed by the original bolt. Obviously, if a fish was directly hit by lightning, or close to the impact spot, it could be killed or injured. However, a bolt has a temperature of
last being the control which had no sweetener. The control lost 2.17 grams of water after being left outside overnight, and the honey lost 2.03 grams, but the caster sugar biscuit gained 1.23 grams. The honey biscuit lost water because the atmosphere had a lower concentration of water than the biscuit. Tom Winch Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK Starch consists of about 20 per cent amylose and 80 per cent amylopectin. The key to bread becoming stale is amylose retrogradation. Naturally, loss of
system that was devised during the winter. The sun will revolve, like the stars in winter, in a plane parallel to the horizon, but unlike our reference star, which always revolves in the same plane, the sun’s plane will be higher up day by day, ultimately reaching a highest level of 23.5 degrees from the horizon. Then it will become lower and lower again until, six months after our first sighting, the sun will disappear below the horizon. D. S. Paransis Luleå University of Technology Sweden
strongly, nitrogen suddenly comes out of solution and enters the joint space with a slight popping sound. Radiologists often see a small crescent of gas between the cartilages of the shoulder joint on the chest X-rays of children who are held by the arms. This is due to the force of pulling on the arms causing nitrogen to evaporate into the joint space. It can infrequently be seen in the hip too. Small, highly mobile bubbles sometimes appear within the hip joint of a baby being screened for
fast enough and that swing can be made to reverse. At the very high speeds produced by world-class bowlers (more than 130 kilometres per hour), the air moves so fast that the boundary layer becomes turbulent even before it reaches the seam of the ball. In this case the seam pushes the boundary layer away, encouraging it to separate from the ball earlier on the seam side. The ball then unexpectedly swerves in the opposite direction from usual. This is the notorious ten-bob swerver. The effect can