IFAQ

Yes, friends, the indescribable has arrived. Behold, my next generation of InFrequently Asked Questions! This post will continue to be updated with new IFAQ’s, but each new update will also have its own post with a link to this complete list.

If you have an infrequently asked question that you’ve always wanted to know the answer to, just leave a comment, and I will do my best to provide you with an accurate and detailed answer (more of the latter than the former I assure you). But without further adue… the IFAQs:
 
 
Why is it that when adults have multiple personalities they are put in a mental hospital, but when a child has imaginary friends it’s cute? From Vianne

What an excellent question! It doesn’t seem fair, does it? That’s like Ray Romano said about his son. pparently when he was getting him ready for a bath the water… stimulated him. And he was not shy: “Oh, Peepee big! Peepee big!” To quote Ray: “Once again, cute. But Grandpa does it… no. That’s not fair. That’s not fair to grandpa. What kind of double standard is that?”

I think I have an answer though. Apparently youth is a mental illness. It’s a genetic disease, so everyone is born with it, and most will grow out of it in a number of years. So when a child has an imaginary friend, or yells out very embarrassing things, we attribute that to their disease and pray they will grow out of it soon.

Unfortunately, not all people grow out of it. When it’s an adolescent that is infected, we call it “youth.” But when an adult has it, we tend to call it “Immaturity.” The immaturity disease can manifest itself in many ways, from yelling out embarrassing things to having an imaginary friend (usually a real person… they just ‘imagine’ that he/she is their friend).

You know, after defining the disease like that… I know a lot of adults who suffer from immaturity. Maybe we should come up with medication to treat it. Especially for America… it’s practically a pandemic!

What do skunks eat? From Rachel F.

As we all know… skunks have a very potent defense mechanism. And all in all, they never ever smell good. So in answering this question, I hope to tie in their diet to their amazing odor.

According to the MadSci Network, skunks eat “small mammals like rodents (mice and such), birds, eggs, insects, berries, and honey.”

Alright, we can cross off honey right away… just… no. But I can definitely understand the insects, rodents and eggs. But I wasn’t sure how these three would actually combine to make this horrid smell… So I did an expirament. Here are the details:

  1. Acquire Insects, rodents and eggs.
  2. Contain all specimen and allow them to die (or rot) for added potency
  3. Insert one half pound of each of the three types of remains into a blender (preferably one that will be thrown away).
  4. Blend on high for 1 minute
  5. Poke mixture with stick
  6. Blend some more

And there you have it. The results were… disturbing to say the least. The smell, as expected, was wretched. All small critters in a 30 foot radius of the blender were killed or suffered serious internal injuries. Basically, no one should ever try this expirament again… ever.

Why does Jabba the Hutt lick people? From Zack

An interesting and painfully sickening question, Zack. First I must ask you this… Where the heck did you come up with this question? Seriously, some people just frighten me.

Ok, that said, on to the question…

First of all, we only have video evidence of Jabba licking one person: Princess Leia. At this point, I could take the easy way out and say something about the metal bikini she was wearing and make all kinds of inappropriate comments, but I feel that I would thus be robbing you of an accurate answer. I don’t think the particular prisoner had anything to do with Jabba’s lick. In fact, other than his advisor, we only see one person get close enough to Jabba for him to lick, and that’s Leia. I would venture to say that Jabba would lick any prisoner that he chained to his stage, if he got the chance. But why?

Simple… have you seen the dude’s diet? He eats little squirmy things! But that’s only a small clue… why would he eat those. Next time you watch the movie, take a look at his tongue. It’s pretty much the most unappetizing thing that ever came from someone’s mouth!

Now put yourself in his shoes… your tongue is coated with what might as well be “Bantha Poodoo”, and that’s pretty much all you ever taste. See, Jabba eats living things because they squirm around in his mouth and he’s hoping to break free some of that crap from his tongue. He licks people for the same reason. Give the guy a break, he’s just trying to get a nasty taste out of his mouth. I still don’t envy Leia for having a mixture of giant slug saliva and crusty old beast biproducts slopped messily down her face and neck.

Jabba said it best… “Rota go ma namatota”

Who coined the phrase “Coined the phrase”? From Justin.

Wow, Justin. That is indeed an infrequently asked question. Unfortunately, it is, like most origin questions, difficult, if not impossible to answer accurately. However, I think I’ve found the answer.

The origin of the idea seems to date all the way back to (are you ready?) 1589! Some poet named George Puttenham wrote a work called “English Poesie” and in volume 3, page 259 (apparently somebody read that far) he babbles on about “Young schollers not halfe well studied…” who “seeme to coigne fine wordes out of the Latin”.

The actual phrase “Coined the phrase” didn’t appear in writing until 1940, and therefore must have been in use before that. So the actual phrase remains “Origin unknown”, but the true mastermind behind the idea was Sir George Puttenham, the long-winded, 16th century poet.

I hope that helps.

The only resource I was able to find on the subject was from “TakeOurWord.com” And parts of this post were taken verbatim, some parts were changed, and some parts actually came from me.

If Human communication is so much more complex than Animal communication, why can’t humans understand animals? From Tom

Well, Tom, it’s like this: Not understanding animal communication is not so much a lack of intelligece, but a lack of observation. For instance, many animals communicate by using body language and other subtle gestures that humans can’t, or don’t want to pick up on. Chances are, you understand a lot more than you think you do. How do you know your dog wants to go outside? How do you know it is playful or angry? You know by what you pick up on from body language and sound.

As for the unobservable, we can’t understand it ’cause we can’t see/smell/hear/taste/feel it. Some animals emit pharimones or sounds that are undetectable by the human body. We cannot be expected to understand what we cannot observe. The same limitation applies to communication between genders of the human species. Men don’t understand a lot of women’s communication because we can’t observe it :). Same principle.

Another reason we think we can’t understand is because we just get basic ideas from animals instead of complete thoughts. We are used to communication with other humans, so when an animal communicates, we assume we’re missing something. When a dog growls, it’s telling other dogs “I’m angry.” We understand that, but think that there must be more to it. Trust me… there’s not.

In short, we can understand much of animal communication. Most of what we don’t understand is either unobservable by us, or really isn’t taking place, except in our imaginations.

How many mice does it take to screw in a lightbulb? From Matt.

Well, this question is one that has been on my mind for the past 14 seconds, and I gotta tell ya: It’s not an easy one. To answer it, I will need to test it scientifically. For that, I need supplies…
“The best place always to buy a mouse is directly from a private or hobbyist breeder but this may not always be possible and therefore many mouse owners buy their first mouse from a pet shop.”

So off to the breeders I go to collect a few mice for the expirament… but on the way I got distracted and forgot. So all of my test results come from running the tests in my head. I assure you that they are completely accurate… kinda.

So far in the testing, we’ve lost three lightbulbs and poor little “Mouse No. 483” has lost an eye. So I named him winky. The test results, however, are astonishing. Apparently, when mice try to change lightbulbs, they climb up on each other to form a tower to the lightbulb. That was predicted. But it was when one of them ran and got drinks that I knew I had an important discovery on my hands. All in all, it was a productive study. Here are the results:

  • Mice prefer Pepsi to Coke
  • Mice are social drinkers
  • Mice are funny on caffeinne
  • Mice hate being called mouses
  • 3 out of 4 mice do not smoke
  • Winky can make a mean cup of coffee
  • Mice cannot drive tractors

And most importantly:

  • Mice cannot screw in lightbulbs

“Cute as a button” Is that supposed to be a compliment…? Since when are buttons cute? From Dusty

This question, for as often as it is researched, hardly fits under the “Infrequently Asked Questions” category, but since I had never heard the question before, I suppose it’s infrequent enough.

This question really peaked my curiosity, so I decided to do some real research on the subject. The fruit of said research was less than satisfying.

Apparently, nobody knows really where the phrase originated, but we can come to a sort of conclusion about its meaning. According to several online dictionaries, the phrase “Cute as a button” is used how it is because of the size of a button. When people are talking about a cute dog, they’re not usually referring to a great dane. They’re usually referring to something small, which is virtually part of the definition of ‘cute’. Since small things are cute, and buttons are small, I guess you could say that buttons are cute.

As far as whether or not it’s a compliment, it depends entirely on context. Generally if you’re a male, and someone tells you you’re Cute as a button, then you may wanna think about taking up weight training. No guy ever wants to be cute as a button. But to girls, I think it’s probably a compliment… most of the time. There’s those times when they’re in one of “those moods” and I’m sure some girls could turn that around and say “A BUTTON?!? Buttons are ROUND! Are you calling me FAT?!?!?”

So there’s your complete, definitive answer to all questions concerning the phrase “Cute as a button”.

References: Dictionary.com, Songbites.com, Phrase.org

Why is it that it’s illegal to park in the handicapped space, but not illegal to use the public handicapped toliet? From Dusty

As complex as this question is, the answer seems to be a relatively simple one. But first you must understand a bit of history.

The word “Handicap” actually originated from a somewhat deroggatory way to refer to physically challenged individuals. It came from the phrase “Hand and Cap” which would refer to a person who sat down on a street corner, holding out their hat or hand, begging for money. Now more recently, political correctness and an overal goodwill toward those who have disabilities has swept through America. Because of this sweep, handicap parking, handicap access ramps, and handicap restrooms have been instituted.

Now I said all that because it’s important to the question at hand. Don’t ask me why… it just is. Really, I think the reason is that if all the parking spots are full except the handicap spot, you’re just gonna go somewhere else. But if you run frantically into a restroom and find all but the handicap stall full (assuming you were not legally allowed to use it)… I really don’t even wanna think about what would happen.

In short, nobody wants to stand between a desperate person and a toilet, and frankly… neither do I.

Where the heck do you come up with these questions?

So far I’ve made them up… but I’d like to get some from my readers. It’s more fun to answer other peoples questions than it is to answer your own.

If the world was a head, where would the left nostril be?

Well, it’s difficult to say, really. The right nostril would have to be the bugger-shaped island of Greenland… The name is a dead giveaway. So that would put the left nostril somewhere in Canada. I’m thinkin it’s somewhere in the Great Lakes, ’cause if anyone has a bugger the size of Greenland in one nostril, there’s a good chance the other one is a bit runny.

If Nebraska is home of Arbor day, why aren’t there any trees there?

This is a question that has haunted many of the great thinkers of our time. Truly, a state that invented the holiday on which everyone is to plant a tree should have some trees in it. Well, only one answer comes to mind: It’s gotta be the Huskers. The ratio of Huskers fans to non-Huskers fans in Nebraska is a straight 1-0. There is no other option but to root for the Huskers if you’re from Nebraska.

Here’s what I think happened: You’ve got a state with tons of Huskers, and only so many husks. Corn can only grow so fast, so when the harvest is over, all these huskers need something to do. That’s when they seek out the trees! Every year, all these huskers run around pulling all the bark off of all of their trees. This causes them to be laid bare before the windy Winters, and by the time Spring hits, they’re all gone. That’s really the only explanation.


 
 
 
Well, that’s the end of the IFAQ for now. Send me some more questions and I’ll do my best…

-Steve

One Response to “IFAQ”

  1. Ryan Says:

    I never knew what skunks ate. Skunks eat “small mammals like rodents (mice and such), birds, eggs, insects, berries, and honey.” That part about birds seems very strange. I never would have thought that strange creature would be agile enough to catch a bird. Very interesting fact I never caught on Animal Planet or Discovery HD.

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