The Questions We Never Answered in 2007
Digging through the bottom of the Explainer mailbag.
• Who is Daniel Engbert? I'm sure that I'm spelling his name wrong, but he's one of a few guys that you regularly go to as a reliable source—and I want to know who he is and why he's qualified.
• What infections do viruses and microorganisms suffer from? My guess is none. They only suffer from random mutations and suffering caused (mostly by humans) by chemicals.
• I have been looking for an old movie from about the late '60s. I was born in 1960 and watched it as a little kid. It was a Santa movie and it had the Devil in it. It was like the Devil was trying to stop Christmas. I remember the Devil was wearing red PJs. Santa has a magic powder that would make people sleep. It was a cute movie. Please help.
• What do the SWAT teams do to keep their fitness? Like, do they run for half an hour, or do five pressups?
• If mountains are measured from sea level, then the 12,000-foot peaks in Colorado are only about 7,000 feet above Denver since they lie on a 5,000-foot-high plain. That being so, a one-foot rock lying on the ground becomes a 5,001-foot-high mountain. Do we need to address this differently, if it really matters at all?
• Is it possible in any way to prove that someone was on crack cocaine nine to 10 years ago?
• Why don't long-haired football players, many of them of Polynesian descent, get their tresses tugged during their gridiron clash?
• This may be a dumb question. Most people spell their names as first name, middle initial, and last name. But some people spell their name as initial, given name, and then last name. Is the initial before the given name their first name, and they go by their middle name? Or is the initial before the given name their middle initial? If it is their middle initial, why would you put it before your first name, because then it is not in the middle anymore? It seems like conservatives or Republicans are more likely to list their name starting with an initial.
• What would happen to the rest of the planets and the sun if Jupiter were to explode, or somehow leave our galaxy altogether?
• Which is the best hearing aid? Why are there so many different ones, and are the ones that allow you to hear others' conversations across the room legal?
• When a man lies to his lawyer to obtain a divorce from a wife of 47 years when she is ill and does not even know and cannot defend herself, is this legal, or perjury?
Which of these questions is most deserving of an answer? The one receiving the most reader votes will be designated Explainer Question of the Year for 2007 and addressed in an upcoming column.
Check out the answer to the 2006 Question of the Year: Can a bar of soap get dirty, or is it self-cleaning because it's soap?