Slate is one of the more exciting webzines around, and The Explainer—a daily feature in which some mystery or the other is explained, like “Does the US President have to carry a passport when he goes abroad?”—is one of its most readable features.
But there are some questions from readers which even the whizes at The Explainer find it difficult to explain, and a few of the mystifying ones have been compiled on the site as part of its coverage of the year gone by.
Sample some of these—and go to Slate to enjoy the rest:
1) Why do train whistles at night always sound lonely and mournful? Not so in the daytime.
2) How clean is the bar of soap in a public bathroom? Is it “self-cleaning” since it’s soap?
3) When we are approaching another person, like in a hallway, why do we step to our left? That is, try and pass right-shoulder to right-shoulder?
4) If a group of passengers on a hijacked plane wanted to, cold they bring a plane down by all of them using their cellphones at the same time?
5) How can I tell if I was the first person to use the term “K-fed-up” in relation to Britney Spears‘ divorce?
6) Can you tell me how long it will take if you eat rat poison to see if it is going to affect? Please e-mail me back. Because my neice ate some.
7) Why did Zidane head-butt his opponent in the World Cup final? Do the French not fight with their fists?
8) What comes after 999 trillion?
9) Can someone be forced to masturbate?