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Forum: Questions and Answers

A place for factual questions and Ask the Expert threads.

  1. Breathalyzers in 1982?

    The short version: What did a portable breathalyzer machine look like in 1982? The long version: I am a huge fan of the British show Ashes to Ashes, a spinoff of the popular Life On Mars series. Season 2 of Ashes started this past Monday night....

    Started by tunaman‎, 22 Apr 2009 03:07 AM
    • Replies: 6
    • Views: 786
    23 Apr 2009 03:19 AM Go to last post
  2. Have you ever had this happen in Microsoft Word? (search & replace problem)

    I'm working on a book. Not the one I've posted about on the Dope a zillion times--an entirely different one, already sold. The manuscript's about 220 pages & 75,000 words long, and divided into 16 chapters. Per my editor's request I decide to...

    Started by Skald the Rhymer‎, 22 Apr 2009 12:52 PM
    • Replies: 21
    • Views: 791
    22 Apr 2009 10:01 PM Go to last post
  3. Mechanics - Chrome vs Black Sockets - mix/match

    OK - I know the black oxide finish denotes sockets intended for use on impact wrenches, and chrome is all other read: hand tool of whatever kind. Q: Can i use an impact soket on my trusty old ratchet, or is that a no-no? I can see a socket beingf...

    Started by happyheathen‎, 22 Apr 2009 03:05 AM
    • Replies: 3
    • Views: 5,677
    22 Apr 2009 08:49 PM Go to last post
  4. How do they get French set yoghurts to set?

    It's my understanding that French set yoghurts, when made at home, are made by culturing the yoghurt in the container in which it will be served (is my understanding correct?). However, this cannot be true of commercial yoghurts, though, can it? ...

    Started by CRSP‎, 22 Apr 2009 05:57 PM
    • Replies: 2
    • Views: 1,315
    22 Apr 2009 06:40 PM Go to last post
  5. So if I shouldn't call Geek Squad, who should I call?

    I'm well aware that Geek Squad has a reputation for being the next best thing to a scam - overpriced, undertrained, and generally ranging from incompetent to awful. So...who should I call? What's wrong with my computer? Heck if I know. It's slow,...

    Started by WhyNot‎, 19 Apr 2009 08:42 PM
    • Replies: 9
    • Views: 874
    22 Apr 2009 08:05 AM Go to last post
  6. Shithouse Rats and Insanity

    Anyone know how shithouse rats became "the" definition of crazy?

    Started by Tuckerfan‎, 11 Apr 2009 01:49 AM
    • Replies: 14
    • Views: 7,698
    22 Apr 2009 03:00 AM Go to last post
  7. Why claret and blue?

    Why are there two teams in the Premiership with claret and blue kits (West Ham and Aston Villa)? A couple of teams in red I could understand, but claret and blue isn't really a common colour combination, is it?

    Started by CRSP‎, 19 Apr 2009 06:23 PM
    • Replies: 3
    • Views: 971
    21 Apr 2009 09:49 PM Go to last post
  8. What happened to Concorde pilots?

    When Concorde was decommissioned, what happened to the pilots that used to fly those planes (this holds for any plane taken out of service, I suppose)? Were they made redundant, retrained, or what?

    Started by CRSP‎, 21 Apr 2009 06:03 PM
    • Replies: 2
    • Views: 4,032
    21 Apr 2009 07:03 PM Go to last post
  9. Why does snot turn green?

    When you have a cold, what is it in snot that turns it green? Surely it's bacteria of some sort creating some substance, but what is that substance?

    Started by CRSP‎, 07 Apr 2009 11:56 AM
    • Replies: 10
    • Views: 4,273
    21 Apr 2009 12:29 PM Go to last post
  10. turkey and family

    Did Kemal Ataturk have any cousins? This is for a bar bet - need answer fast! :wink:

    Started by Truth and Beauty‎, 21 Apr 2009 09:39 AM
    • Replies: 2
    • Views: 776
    21 Apr 2009 11:44 AM Go to last post
  11. Foaming Fish Tank-HELP!!

    I have a single betta fish who was living in a small 2 gallon tank with a light. Something went wrong with the hood so I decided to replace the whole tank and bought a 1.5 gal. cube with a Whisper filter and light. Got it all set up and the fish...

    Started by PapSett‎, 20 Apr 2009 01:21 PM
    • Replies: 7
    • Views: 744
    21 Apr 2009 07:13 AM Go to last post
  12. Mutts v Pedigrees: Which lives longer?

    Is there any truth to the idea that on average, a mongrel dog will outlive a pedigree one? Are mongrels any more illness resistant than their posher counterparts? Does the same apply with cat's? Or have the studies not been done to give a...

    Started by ivan astikov‎, 17 Apr 2009 04:48 PM
    • Replies: 9
    • Views: 1,980
    21 Apr 2009 12:32 AM Go to last post
  13. When did actors lose their bad social status?

    When did it cease to be a scandal for a man or woman of good social stature to be in the company of actors? If my understanding is correct, the Victorians saw actors as an underclass, so presumably sometime after the nineteenth century, but when,...

    Started by CRSP‎, 13 Apr 2009 04:27 PM
    • Replies: 7
    • Views: 1,407
    20 Apr 2009 08:52 PM Go to last post
  14. What do foreign ambassadors do?

    What is the typical day in the life of a foreign ambassador? What sort of things do they do?

    Started by CRSP‎, 16 Apr 2009 06:34 PM
    • Replies: 8
    • Views: 929
    20 Apr 2009 08:38 PM Go to last post
  15. What would the real effects of a nuclear war be?

    Realistically, if NATO and the Eastern Bloc would have started fighting in the early 80's (for instance), and the war went nuclear, what would the effects on the planet have been? Are we talking about an end to all life apart from bacteria and...

    Started by CRSP‎, 16 Apr 2009 06:35 AM
    • Replies: 15
    • Views: 1,784
    20 Apr 2009 08:34 PM Go to last post
  16. What does the president of a homeowners association do?

    On Monday there's a meeting coming up for our homeowners association and they're looking for people to run for office, even including president. Sounds exciting. Ok, maybe not, but it sounds like a chance to do something I've never done before and...

    Started by Cluricaun‎, 18 Apr 2009 09:30 AM
    • Replies: 13
    • Views: 7,666
    20 Apr 2009 04:28 PM Go to last post
  17. What animal did I run over?

    Last night while coming home from work, I saw a big, fluffy black and white cat darting across the highway. I slowed down as much as I could, but I'd been going highway speeds and there were cars behind me, so I wasn't going to come to a dead stop....

    Started by Zuul‎, 19 Apr 2009 11:37 AM
    • Replies: 20
    • Views: 1,622
    20 Apr 2009 03:10 PM Go to last post
  18. Humans have a special enzyme to digest animal faeces?

    While reading a blog this morning, I came across this bizarre claim in one of the comments: My parents are both biochemists, and they occasionally have to teach nutrition classes for medical students. Here’s their response whenever someone...

    Started by CRSP‎, 14 Apr 2009 06:37 AM
    • Replies: 11
    • Views: 2,927
    19 Apr 2009 09:14 PM Go to last post
  19. Any Java programmers out there? Need help...

    ...for my coursework which is due in tomorrow! :smack I have a variable scope problem which I'm not sure how to resolve. Okay I have code that looks like this (simplified, assume it's within a 'main' function, which is inside a class with the...

    Started by Nancarrow‎, 19 Apr 2009 07:20 AM
    • Replies: 4
    • Views: 1,080
    19 Apr 2009 08:02 PM Go to last post
  20. What is known about how left handedness affects thinking?

    I was just reading the Wikipedia page on left-handedness. This isn't very well cited, and seems to have lots of weasel words and references to books (which may or may not be a load of rubbish). Is there any concrete evidence for a difference in...

    Started by CRSP‎, 18 Apr 2009 06:46 AM
    • Replies: 3
    • Views: 1,079
    18 Apr 2009 11:27 PM Go to last post
  21. Places with Extreme Tides..... why?

    As a child my family vacationed in Maine. The tides there are legendary. It was explained to me that the ocean is so wide at that point that .... something something something. OK, so why are tide extreme in one place and not another?

    Started by Paul in Qatar‎, 16 Apr 2009 11:19 AM
    • Replies: 10
    • Views: 1,547
    18 Apr 2009 10:21 PM Go to last post
  22. Any way to get around an IP block?

    Every now and then my internet provider (cable) gives me a new IP. I haven't had one for some time now. Is there any way to get around a website blocking my IP? I've seen the odd "Anonymous Browsing" website out there, that'll let you browse...

    Started by The J Word‎, 18 Apr 2009 09:54 AM
    • Replies: 2
    • Views: 1,016
    18 Apr 2009 01:52 PM Go to last post
  23. When did military operation names start becoming propaganda tools?

    Some of the current names for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan appear to be made to bolster a certain political viewpoint, rather than be used as cryptic codewords for a certain campaign or operation. For instance, the current American campaign...

    Started by CRSP‎, 14 Apr 2009 02:37 PM
    • Replies: 17
    • Views: 7,293
    18 Apr 2009 01:18 PM Go to last post
  24. My gas stove is screwed up and it's dinnertime- help!

    Yesterday a pot of boiling water hugely overflowed when I tried to dump in some pasta (it was one of those explosive reactions) and it flooded the stove. The spark thingies started going crazy and sparking nonstop, so BF unplugged the power from it...

    Started by annehere‎, 16 Apr 2009 09:21 PM
    • Replies: 7
    • Views: 916
    17 Apr 2009 05:42 PM Go to last post
  25. Crossword puzzles versus Alzeimers

    It seems to have become a truism that doing crossword puzzles helps ward off dementia, but what is the evidence, really? I've seen anecdotes in the media about "people who do crosswords never get Alzeimers", but I'm skeptical. Obviously an elderly...

    Started by Rube E. Tewesday‎, 17 Apr 2009 02:14 PM
    • Replies: 3
    • Views: 3,063
    17 Apr 2009 04:59 PM Go to last post
  26. Recording my videos to DVD. Help!

    Bear with me. I have come to realise that I own a lot of videos which are taking up a lot of space. I no longer watch them because the video player is downstairs and the TV is up. So. I thought I would copy my favourites to disc and then throw the...

    Started by Butterscotch‎, 15 Apr 2009 04:32 AM
    • Replies: 7
    • Views: 1,145
    17 Apr 2009 08:20 AM Go to last post
  27. Pros and cons of revolvers and semiautomatic handguns

    I've always thought that revolvers are loud, prone to failure and slow to reload when compared to semiautomatic handguns, which was why the latter were invented in the first place. Here and there I pick up the notion that revolvers are more...

    Started by Harlequin‎, 09 Apr 2009 12:08 AM
    • Replies: 40
    • Views: 7,533
    16 Apr 2009 07:12 PM Go to last post
  28. Why do spammers join up and not post?

    There's a few names in the members list that are almost certainly spammers (e.g. FreePornMovies), yet haven't made a post. Why is this? Surely they've done the hardest part by managing to negotiate the registration procedure, only to fail to...

    Started by TheFlame‎, 16 Apr 2009 06:06 PM
    • Replies: 4
    • Views: 1,403
    16 Apr 2009 07:09 PM Go to last post
  29. Why are pharmacies sooooooo slooooooow?

    My 'scrip' is faxed to Wal-Mart from a city twenty miles away. By the time I arrive and wait in a ten minute line, they say they don't have it. No, hell no, I insist. You MUST have it. Go check. She meanders away, out of sight behind the big...

    Started by Liberal‎, 08 Apr 2009 05:15 PM
    • Replies: 31
    • Views: 2,323
    16 Apr 2009 06:22 PM Go to last post
  30. Why are Mortarboards worn at graduations?

    I was asked this by a friend the other day and couldn't answer. Here in Italy there is no tradition for wearing mortarboards at a graduation, she wondered if it was just an English/American thing and how the tradition came about. Anyone out there...

    Started by Butterscotch‎, 15 Apr 2009 03:39 AM
    • Replies: 6
    • Views: 1,151
    16 Apr 2009 12:36 AM Go to last post
  31. Vertical Lift Bridge?

    Clayton_e's question sparked a memory from childhood and I found a picture and I know the name, but what is the purpose of a vertical lift bridge? farm2.static.flickr.com/1339/1406491165_c7fae343d8.jpg?v=0

    Started by jali‎, 15 Apr 2009 06:55 PM
    • Replies: 4
    • Views: 849
    15 Apr 2009 08:31 PM Go to last post
  32. Linking sheets in Excel

    I have googled and googled and I can't find the answer to this seemingly simple question. Is it even possible to link an entire sheet from one workbook into another in Excel 2007? I know how to link individual cells but it would make much more...

    Started by Count.Zero‎, 15 Apr 2009 02:39 PM
    • Replies: 1
    • Views: 708
    15 Apr 2009 05:15 PM Go to last post
  33. Digital cable questions

    I currently have Time Warner standard cable. I'm kinda curious about switching to digital cable (mostly out of interest in Extra Innings), but there are things I don't know. Does digital cable always require a box? Can it work with my beloved...

    Started by Julie‎, 14 Apr 2009 04:23 PM
    • Replies: 8
    • Views: 1,060
    15 Apr 2009 03:11 PM Go to last post
  34. There are only 31 different situations in life.

    I remember reading something like that a long time ago and although I may have got the number wrong, the gist of it was that between birth and death, there were only a fixed amount of 'life situations'. Here's a few I thought of, but can you help...

    Started by ivan astikov‎, 13 Apr 2009 05:12 PM
    • Replies: 14
    • Views: 1,629
    15 Apr 2009 11:31 AM Go to last post
  35. Customs officer discovers fuel tank sending unit had been tampered with - WTF?

    In this story about a drug bust on the border, "customs officers discovered that the gas tank sending unit located under the rear seat of her vehicle had been tampered with, police said." WTF? Are they taking out seats at random now?

    Started by BB Rodriguez‎, 08 Apr 2009 03:53 PM
    • Replies: 10
    • Views: 1,584
    15 Apr 2009 03:07 AM Go to last post
  36. What does the Googlebot do?

    What does it and other bots that appear in the members list do, exactly?

    Started by Batman‎, 14 Apr 2009 03:39 PM
    • Replies: 5
    • Views: 1,661
    14 Apr 2009 09:03 PM Go to last post
  37. Fluoridated water: Is it dangerous?

    So here's the thing: My sister's husband is a bit of a conspiracy theory fan and always makes sure to pull out all his quackery at the family gatherings. For some stuff, like his explanations of the whole Nibiru thing, I'm content to let him yak...

    Started by dread pirate jimbo‎, 13 Apr 2009 10:59 AM
    • Replies: 11
    • Views: 1,380
    14 Apr 2009 08:18 PM Go to last post
  38. What does withdrawal feel like?

    When you're quitting something really heavy like crack or heroin, what does the withdrawal feel like?

    Started by Harlequin‎, 13 Apr 2009 03:32 PM
    • Replies: 3
    • Views: 5,752
    14 Apr 2009 05:29 PM Go to last post
  39. How can I get a copy of my upcoming MRI?

    So, the headaches have been getting bad. In fact, I've begun referring to it as The Headache, as it returns promptly around 11 a.m. and shows up any time the pain pills wear off. Since it's either remain in a drugged stupor or try to find a root...

    Started by phouka‎, 08 Apr 2009 03:30 PM
    • Replies: 21
    • Views: 6,957
    14 Apr 2009 04:33 PM Go to last post
  40. How are British newspapers as a group doing financially?

    One of the major trends in the US in recent years has been financial troubles at many of the major daily newspapers. Several formerly healthy newspapers have either morphed into online only versions (like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) or have...

    Started by Laughing Lagomorph‎, 13 Apr 2009 05:30 PM
    • Replies: 1
    • Views: 672
    14 Apr 2009 06:48 AM Go to last post
  41. Engine Oil Question. Calling NinetyWT

    What are the practical differences between 5W20 and 5W30. All the paperwork for my engine makes it seem like the car will explode if I use the 30 instead of the 20. I mean, they make a point in stating how important the 20 is for my engine and for...

    Started by Bear_Nenno‎, 08 Apr 2009 05:42 AM
    • Replies: 5
    • Views: 1,350
    14 Apr 2009 02:14 AM Go to last post
  42. Do US churches give wine to minors?

    I recall that in some states it is legal for minors to drink if they are with a legal guardian. So are teenagers given wine for communion if they go to church with their parents?

    Started by kk fusion‎, 12 Apr 2009 09:21 AM
    • Replies: 18
    • Views: 15,685
    13 Apr 2009 04:23 PM Go to last post
  43. Drinking water and weight loss

    Why do I lose weight when I drink water more regularly? Or is the question really: why do I gain weight when I let myself get dehydrated?

    Started by Inigo Montoya‎, 08 Apr 2009 05:25 PM
    • Replies: 15
    • Views: 2,133
    13 Apr 2009 01:59 PM Go to last post
  44. Weights and Measures in Canada

    Up until a few weeks ago, I assumed that most Canadians used the metric system, except for perhaps some elderly folks that were "too old to learn those newfangled measures" (or what have you). However, thanks to the magic of the Internet, I've...

    Started by tunaman‎, 11 Apr 2009 03:27 AM
    • Replies: 10
    • Views: 1,133
    13 Apr 2009 11:53 AM Go to last post
  45. What did horses do before blacksmiths came along?

    It's more or less in the title, but how did horses manage in the wild before 'hoof pedicurists' arrived on the scene and decided they needed better footwear?

    Started by ivan astikov‎, 12 Apr 2009 07:56 AM
    • Replies: 4
    • Views: 2,368
    12 Apr 2009 07:10 PM Go to last post
  46. What is the largest capacity MP3 player currently available?

    Question is in the title.

    Started by Cluricaun‎, 11 Apr 2009 09:31 AM
    • Replies: 6
    • Views: 4,742
    12 Apr 2009 11:45 AM Go to last post
  47. Cleaning The Glass From Hell

    Am buyingf a house (Sacto CA). Instead of a back yard, it has an old pool/spa. This may or may not explain the prescence of the crud on the sliding door. There are 2 sliders (family room, master bedroom) - only one side of the family room door is...

    Started by happyheathen‎, 04 Apr 2009 09:57 PM
    • Replies: 13
    • Views: 1,419
    12 Apr 2009 10:11 AM Go to last post
  48. Is hypnosis bunk?

    What exactly is the status of hypnosis, and hypnotherapy? Is it a load of rubbish, or is there something really going on?

    Started by CRSP‎, 07 Apr 2009 06:41 PM
    • Replies: 11
    • Views: 2,283
    12 Apr 2009 02:15 AM Go to last post
  49. Why are tennis balls fuzzy?

    I've always wondered this. What's so special about their design that it requires them to have fuzz?

    Started by Batman‎, 11 Apr 2009 07:11 PM
    • Replies: 4
    • Views: 1,388
    11 Apr 2009 10:41 PM Go to last post
  50. What might help ease this nausea?

    I accept all responsibility for 'medical advice' given, yadda yadda. I'm on hydrocodone for post-surgical pain. It is, however, giving me violent nausea. If I eat anything, it comes back up. I have been on a babyfood diet since the surgery...

    Started by Nympholepsia‎, 11 Apr 2009 04:41 AM
    • Replies: 5
    • Views: 1,117
    11 Apr 2009 02:06 PM Go to last post

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