Saturday, November 21, 2009

Why are bad guys bad?

Our Answer:
Behaving bad is one thing thing, doing bad things is another thing, being bad is a problem because it means that you can resolve your problems, so you get more and more angry.

One Answer:
(this is probably the hardest question asked by the kids to answer so far. Doing a little bit of research I realized that defining what makes people bad, or evil is a complex issue, but furthermore, agreeing on what actions make us bad is a complicated moral question.
Of all the opinions I've read, this seems like a valid one:

There are no good or bad people in the world. People however do make choices that are good or bad. A person therefore makes a choice to engage in activities that are considered good or bad. The choices people make are usually dependant on the psychological conditioning they are exposed to, from the moment of foetal conception, to the point of completion of their social/cultural programming. This social/cultural programming is similar to the programming of a computer’s processor with data that is considered to be factual. The computer then compares all incoming data against its programmed intelligence, in order to generate a conclusion. Similarly the human intellect processes incoming data based on the morals/values they have been conditioned with. Some of these morals/values are inherited from genetic sources and the others are learnt from the environment to which the absorptive mind is exposed.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Why is your stomach making sounds?

Our Answer:
Because I'm hungry.

The Answer:
Well, the answer is borborygmi. I know it's a crazy word, it kind of sounds like what happens when your stomach growls doesn't it? But, it's actually the name of the process where the walls of your intestines squeeze together to mix and digest food. Now, you will notice I said intestines and not stomach. That is because it really is not your stomach making those noises, it is further downstream after food passes out of your stomach. Sometimes you hear the growling when you're not hungry because your brain automatically turns the digestive system on and off several times a day. But digestion continues whether your stomach is full or empty. You just hear it more clearly and loudly when there is no food there to muffle the sounds.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where is Halloween?

While explaining to our daughter what being Latino means, she surprised us. We were telling her where the U.S. is located. Then we explained where Peru & Spain are located and then she asked "but, where is Halloween?"


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why do we celebrate Daddy's birthday?

Our answer:
Because Daddy was born on that day.

THE Answer:
Birthdays - and the annual observance of these times both as a society and for individuals - is the oldest of celebratory rites, and one that arose in every culture as soon as they had any sort of calendar.

The first real calendar has to do with the sun and the moon's position - the fundamental tools of astrologers today. The wise men (and women) noticed that when the sun hit the same spot in the heavens (against the zodiac backdrop) that it held on a person's birthday ... well, that day turned out to be extremely fortunate.

Maybe a woman found a husband, a shepherd saved his sheep, a merchant sold his goods or an illness vanished. Plus, people gave to the birthday person instinctively. So presents were bestowed - both from others and from the universe. The wise elders saw this phenomenon happening all the time. And just as most basic astrological information came about based on these days, the astrologer/priests saw that a "pattern" was occurring.

This lucky pattern brought joy, and thus the birthday person wanted to celebrate. His or her friends naturally gave to them (thus the idea of presents) and the birthday celebrant wanted to share his or her pleasure, so a big gathering was held.

That's the reason that we celebrate birthdays today - as a tradition that came about because of repeated observations of luck on this day.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Why the statue fo liberty is a woman?

Our Answer: I don't know.

THE Answer: Classical images of Liberty have usually been represented by a woman. The Statue of Liberty's face is said to be modeled after the sculptor's mother.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why is there Mother's Day?

Our Answer:
Because moms are special and we like to give them this day as a "thank you".

THE Answer:
Mother's Day owes its origins to several long standing traditions in Europe and the UK where a specific Sunday was set aside to honor motherhood and mothers. Traditionally the day was marked by the giving of token gifts and the relinquishing of certain traditionally female tasks such as cooking and cleaning to other members of the family as a gesture of appreciation.

While the role of the woman has become less rigid in modern day society Mother's Day (or Mothering Sunday) as it has been called in the UK dating back to the sixteenth century, remains an important day for the honoring of the role that mother's play in the home and in society in general. There is a corresponding holiday for Fathers called, not surprisingly, Father's Day, but most sources site this as a more recent addition coming about in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

While considered by many as a "Hallmark Holiday", ie. one with a purely commercial background, Mother's Day is actually a long standing tradition in the UK and several countries in Europe, and has cooresponding equivalents in many countries, including parts of India and many communities in Eastern Africa and the Far East.

Why is there wind?

Our Answer:
To help us breathe better.

THE Answer:
Wind is caused by the uneven heating of the Earth by the Sun. Hot air rises (process of convection) and cooler air moves in to replace the displaced air. Wind is the horizontal component of convection which serves to redistribute the energy on Earth from regions of surplus energy (warmer air), to regions of deficit (cooler air). The vertical movement (up or down) of air causes different pressure gradients and air moves from regions of high pressure (cooler downward moving air) to regions of lower pressure (warmer upward moving air). The greater the rate of change (i.e. greater pressure gradient) of lines of air pressure between regions, the greater the movement of air and the faster the wind will blow. Direction of wind has to do with the pressure gradients and the Coriolis effect.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why don't birds on wires get electrocuted?

Our Answer:
God question.

THE Answer:
When the bird perches on a live wire, her body becomes charged--for the moment, it's at the same voltage as the wire. But no current flows into her body. A body is a poor conductor compared to copper wire, so there's no reason for electrons to take a detour through the bird. More importantly, electrons current flow from a region of high voltage to one of low voltage. The drifting current, in effect, ignores the bird.

But if a bird (or a power line worker) accidentally touches an electrical "ground" while in contact with the high-voltage wire, she completes an electrical circuit. A ground is a region of approximately zero voltage. The earth, and anything touching it that can conduct current, is the ground.

Like water flowing over a dam into a river, current surges through the bird (or person's) body on its way into the ground. Severe injury or death by electrocution is the result.

That's why a squirrel can run across an electrical line, but sadly die when its foot makes contact with the (grounded) transformer on the pole at wire's end.

It's also why drivers and passengers are warned to stay inside the car if it runs into a downed power line. Touching the ground with your foot would complete the circuit: Electrons would flow from the wire, into the car, and through you on their way into the earth. (Inside the car you are usually protected by the car's four rubber tires, which act as insulators between car and ground.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why do we have moles?

Our Answer:
To make us more unique, but let me find the actual answer for you.

THE Answer:
Moles originate from pigmented cells called melanocytes. Almost everyone has moles, at least a couple. Moles usually develop in childhood or in the teen years of life although some people keep getting moles during their entire lifetime and a few people are born with them. Moles are usually brown in color (due to the melanin pigment) and are a variety of sizes and shapes, can be flat or raised from the skin, and can even contain body hairs. Moles may darken when pregnant, exposed to sunlight, or when undergoing certain medical treatments. It is now thought that many moles develop due to sun exposure (but certainly not all).

Why Tom & Jerry don't talk? (although other characters do)

Our Answer:
Let me find out.

THE Answer:
Have NOT found the answer yet.
This is probably the infamous first question which we can't find an answer for.

We have searched online for a clue or an explanation but nothing.

We know that in the first or second episodes the actually say a few words and in later episodes they mumble sounds, but no speak for the most cases.
The intriguing part is that other characters speak, either humans or animals.
what was the decision behind keeping the main characters mute?

In any case its an interesting question that had never come up in my mind until Ander asked last weekend.

We knew there would be one question one day that would challenge this site. This is that question. Any light that would help find an answer would be appreciate it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What is that light in the sky? Why does it sound GRRR? Translation: What are lightning and thunder?

Our Answer:
The sky is taking pictures so say cheese! (she was afraid)
The rain can make that noise sometimes.

THE Answer:

Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity usually accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms. In the atmospheric electrical discharge, a leader of a bolt of lightning can travel at speeds of 60,000 m/s (220,000 km/h), and can reach temperatures approaching 30,000 °C (54,000 °F), hot enough to fuse silica sand into glass channels known as fulgurites which are normally hollow and can extend some distance into the ground. There are some 16 million lightning storms in the world every year.

Lightning can also occur within the ash clouds from volcanic eruptions, or can be caused by violent forest fires which generate sufficient dust to create a static charge.

How lightning initially forms is still a matter of debate: Scientists have studied root causes ranging from atmospheric perturbations (wind, humidity, friction, and atmospheric pressure) to the impact of solar wind and accumulation of charged solar particles. Ice inside a cloud is thought to be a key element in lightning development, and may cause a forcible separation of positive and negative charges within the cloud, thus assisting in the formation of lightning.

Thunder is the sound made by lightning. Depending on the nature of the lightning and distance of the listener, it can range from a sharp, loud crack to a long, low rumble (brontide). The sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within a bolt of lightning. In turn, this expansion of air creates a sonic shock wave which produces the sound of thunder.

Monday, March 2, 2009

why babies don't have teeth?

Our Answer:
Because they are born like that.

THE Answer:
Babies don't have any teeth at first because they don't need them. They receive all their nourishment from liquid food-breast milk or formula-during their first few months. When babies are born their digestive systems are not yet fully mature, and they cannot process solid food well. While capable of sucking, their mouths and tongues are not yet ready for the complicated process of chewing and swallowing solid food.

Babies change quickly, though, and by about four months they need to eat some kind of solid food to get the calories they need to keep growing. But the food that they eat is soft or soupy because they still don't have any chewing teeth. Still, babies can use their gums and tongues pretty well to eat specially prepared solid foods. And gumming hard foods prepares babies for the time when they will have a full set of teeth in their mouths (at about two years old).

Saturday, February 28, 2009

why kids ask why?

With Kids at this age what "Why" really mean is "That's interesting to me. Let's talk about that together. Tell me more, please?" When I've connected with children and begun to spin a tale to answer this question, they've sat enthralled. There was no need to mention because, or therefore, or cause, or effect. They don't need to know why, all they need is animated attention and me saying whatever came to mind about that subject. After a brief interchange, we were both happy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

where does the water from the toilet go?

Our Answer:

to the ocean.

THE Answer.

  1. Water from the sink, shower, toilet, and so on (now contaminated with chemicals and waste) goes down the drain and heads for either a wastewater/sewage treatment plant or a septic tank. I’m going to focus on the sewage treatment plant in this post.
  2. At the treatment plant, water goes through a primary or mechanical treatment where 60% of suspended solids are removed. Machines remove large objects including human waste, sand, gravel, rocks, oils, greases, rags, fruit, cans, and other objects that could clog or damage the equipment. These solids are usually sent to a landfill.
  3. The remaining liquid goes through a secondary treatment where aerobic bacteria breaks down soap, detergent, human waste and food waste. The bacteria consume the organic components and combine the less soluble parts into blocks called floc (which are removed).
  4. Finally, the water goes through a tertiary treatment where it is filtered and disinfected so it can be released back into the environment. Here are some common steps taken during this stage of treatment:
    • Nitrogen and phosphorus are removed (if necessary) to prevent algae blooms (where algae acts like cancer - it multiplies, uses all of the oxygen in the water, releases toxins and kill animals).
    • Treatment facilities disinfect with chlorine, ozone, or ultraviolet light to reduce the number of microorganisms in the water. Chlorine is commonly used because of its low cost, however, it can be toxic to the environment and aquatic life. Ozone is much safer but expensive. UV light is safer but high in maintenance and not always as effective.
  5. The treated water (or effluent quality water) is released back into the environment via streams, rivers, lakes, ground, etc.

Friday, January 23, 2009

why do we get static shocks?

Our Answer:
Because we have a lot of energy.

THE Answer:
Static electricity is generated whenever two materials are in contact with each other. All materials are made of electrical charges in the material atoms. In the universe there are equal amounts of negative electrical charge (electrons) and positive charge (protons). These generally try to stay in balance of equal amounts at every location.

However, when two materials are in contact, some of the charges redistribute by moving from one material to the other. This leaves an excess of positive charge on one material, and an equal negative charge on the other. When the materials move apart, each takes it's charge with it. One material becomes charged positively, and the other negatively.

why do we have lips?

Our Answer:
To give kisses.

THE Answer:
The lips are part of our sense organs. These as a whole detect our environment and allow us to alter our behaviour accordingly. An example would be my ears detecting a train coming and me getting off the track. Our lips contain many temperature sensors. If we consume food that is too hot, we may burn our tongue or mouth or throat, then those areas my swell up and prevent us breathing efficiently. Our lips prevent us from eating food that is potentially too hot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

why does it get dark sooner in nyc?

Our Answer:
Because we are up north.

THE Answer:
The earth it tilted 23.5 degrees in relation to the plane of the orbit around the sun. Because of that, we get seasons and right now, the sun is almost perpendicular over the Capricorn tropic, which is in the southern hemisphere.

Here, up north, the sun is much lower over the horizon and it gets up later and sets sooner. In the north of my country, Norway, the sun doesn't rise at all in December. It happens anywhere at the north of the polar circle.

why do we have hair in our armpits?

Our Answer:
I have no idea! All I know, is that it is very unfair for girls.

THE Answer:
While everything about our bodies appears to have some purpose, we haven't always discovered what the purpose might be. There are three things known about underarm hair:

1) It helps to keep the skin under your arms from rubbing against each other. Skin rubbing against skin can be irritating.
2) We have very productive sweat glands under our arms, but the location would normally trap the sweat against the skin. This would prevent the cooling effect that sweat is suppose to produce. The hairs keep a slight separation under the arms, allowing some air flow, but they also wick the moisture away from the skin to where air can carry the moisture away, instead of just running down your sides all the time.
3) Some theorize, and have some small evidence, that sweat glands under our arms and on our groins produce pheromones (scents that are sexually arousing). Like the second answer, the hairs make sure the scents are carried into the air. On the down side, bacteria love these moist areas, so if the underarms and groins are not kept clean, the smell of unwashed bodies overpowers the light scent of pheromones and causes the opposite reaction: "Ewh! You stink!"

Monday, January 19, 2009

why is Amaia eating from your boobie?

Our Answer:
Because babies eat from their mommies.

THE Answer:
Milk is produced in the milk-producing glands in the breasts, called alveoli. Milk collects in pockets, or lactiferous sinuses under the areola (the dark circle surrounding the nipple). Regular and effective breastfeeding or pumping stimulates the production of breastmilk by causing the release of hormones from the mother's pituitary gland. Prolactin and oxytocin are the hormones of breastfeeding.

why do we celebrate the new year?

Our Answer:
Because we have the chance to start fresh.

THE Answer:
Traditionally, the Roman calendar began the first day of March. However, it was in January (the eleventh month) when the consuls of ancient Rome assumed the government. Julius Caesar, in 47 BC, changed the system, creating the Julian calendar, with some modifications in the time of Marco Antonio consul in 44 BC, the emperor Augustus Caesar in 8 BC and finally by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, is used today. This year begins on January 1. Subsequently, the Gregorian calendar had the habit and the celebration was marked with a religious significance during the Middle Ages and later centuries.

With the expansion of Western culture to the rest of the world during the twentieth century, the January 1 date became universal in nature, even in countries with their own New Year celebrations.

why is it snowing?

Our Answer:
Because is cold!

THE Answer:
Snow occurs when water vapor freezes into crystals; many of these tiny crystals gather together and soon become heavy enough to fall as snow.