Tag Archives: Answers

I like following rabbit trails on Wikipedia

brainiac11There is almost nothing more satisfying to me than knowing a little bit about a lot of things. People always use the phrase “inch deep and a mile wide” as if it’s a bad thing. Pffff. Does anyone (who’s cool) really care if you can explain the evolution of Greek theater? The answer is no. But all the cool kids will like you if you throw out the fact that Aeschylus, a Greek playwright, died when an eagle dropped a live tortoise on his head. Do you know anything else about Aeschylus? No. But nobody cares because they all think you’re cool and intellectual now.

With that result in mind, I spend hours of my life following rabbit trails on Wikipedia, arguably the most powerful tool for making yourself seem intelligent since the invention of glasses. Did you know that Eskimos don’t actually have a ton of different words for snow like everyone always says they do? I did. Is that true? Wikipedia says it is. Did you know that one of Nightcrawler’s (from X-Men) powers is to almost disappear when he’s in the shadows? I did. But I wouldn’t have if I didn’t devote time to storing up this mass of random facts.

So how does one get started in the art of random fact retention? Well, here’s a nice little list of great jumping-off points for you to learn all sorts of random things in the wonderful world of Wikipedia. The key here is to find something you’re sort of interested in and then just keep clicking the links you find on that page until you feel like you’ve got enough random facts stored up to sound learned. Also, if you just pronounced the last word in the previous sentence as “lurnd,” then you probably shouldn’t waste your time on Wikipedia; no one will ever think you’re smart.

Godspeed and good hunting.

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I like finding the answers to life’s important questions

smellAnd I think you know the specific question I’m thinking about: why do farts smell so much worse in the shower?

Don’t pretend like you haven’t noticed it. All of us, at one time or another, have ripped one in the shower and thought, “Good Jesus Lord, that fart just punched my nose holes right in the baby maker!” Or, even worse, you’re in a hot bath and you think you’re safe because surely the water will filter out all the smell, right? WRONG! Somehow the water creates tiny invisible fart tubes straight into your nose.

So I scoured the interwebs to find out just why that is. And here’s a sampling of what I found.

From frankied at Answerbag.com:

H2O, in the form of water vapor, easily attaches to methane molecules by the chlorine atom, or the sulfur released from bacteria, making the foul smell more readily attach to the nostril lining, subsequently sustaining the odor longer than in a dry climate. In addition, warm vapors will cause any crusted mucus to soften and disengage, providing more surface area within the sinuses.

From the Facts on Farts page:

There are several factors. First of all, a shower is a small, enclosed space, so the fart gas is more concentrated, and the high turbidity of the air in the shower circulates the gas through the space effectively. Secondly, the high humidity and high temperature conditions in the shower enhance a person’s sense of smell and taste. The farts don’t actually smell worse, it’s just that we can smell them better than usual. Similar conditions prevail in the bathtub.

And finally, from Monster Tard at TeamXbox.com:

Because you ate at Taco Bell.

So there you have it. I really wish I had thought of this when I was younger so I could write in to Beakman’s World or Bill Nye the Science Guy.

PS- Don’t worry, I know this post won’t keep you occupied for long. Check back around lunch time for another one.

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