Reeko’s answers to the puzzling questions that surround us

Crazy monkey coming at ya'It’s a crazy world out there.  Luckily, here inside Reeko’s Lab, everything is pretty much normal.  So Reeko took a break from his latest anti-gravity, moon-walking flip-flops experiment and let the Chess playing monkey out of his cage for a little exercise.  While the monkey scampered all over the lab knocking over beakers and such, Reeko chased the wild-eyed creature, all-the-while firing puzzling, unanswered scientific questions at him.  Here’s the responses he received (don’t worry – Reeko translated the monkey talk to English for you) …


What is an ice cream headache and will I die if I keep eating after getting one?
Scientists have debated this question for quite some time.  With the problems of world hunger and global warming, you’d think they would have a bit more to think about than the reason some  goofball got a headache because he ate his ice cream too fast…

Crazy as it seems, the actual medical term for this condition is “ice cream headache”.  Yes, this name came from the same guys who decided to name zits “acne vulgaris”.  The condition occurs when you hold something cold held against the roof of your mouth for a while.  It usually lasts around 30 seconds and causes a pain deep in the front of your forehead.  Doctors think it may be due to the cold ice cream constricting the blood vessels in your head and causing a painful backup of blood in the vessels.

So, no, the ice cream headache won’t kill you but the sugar in the ice cream eventually will.



Why does the sun make your skin dark but your hair light?
I remember several years ago when Reeko conducted an experiment to determine how well various solutions would block the Sun’s harmful rays.  He drew various patterns on his chest with different solutions, placed two cucumber slices over his eyes, and laid out in the Sun behind the lab for a few hours to build his tan.  The lab rats, who aren’t as well versed in scientific experimentation as us monkeys, watched the whole thing through the window.  Reeko got darker and darker the longer the beaming Sun rained bright sunlight on him.  We were all pretty shaken up when the lab rats began jumping around and screaming “Reeko has disappeared. Reeko has disappeared!”.  We calmed them down and explained that it the Sun had simply set and it was now nighttime…

The Sun triggers the production of melanin in our skin, a brown substance that helps filter out the Sun’s harmful rays.  In your hair it does the exact opposite – it breaks down the melanin in the hair into less colorful compounds.  The grand design probably works this way because your skin is still living and needs protection while your hair, which is dead, does not.



What do the “chasing arrows” recycling code on plastics really mean?
Lots of items in the lab have those circular recycling arrow symbols on them.  We find it funny that the lab rats think it’s a game to stare at them until they get dizzy and fall over.

The symbol looks like twisted arrows forming a triangle shape with a number in the middle of it.  It indicates recyclability while the number in the middle, which ranges from 1 to 7, indicates the type of plastic.  The idea is to recycle all plastics with the same number together since each “type” of plastic has a different melting point.  Most type 1 and 2 plastics are recyclable while types 3 through 7 are best just to throw away.


Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
I guess your question is implying that sour cream is the result of cream that has been left standing out until it sours.  The truth is much more disgusting than that.

Light cream is first pasteurized which kills most of the microorganisms that would make your cream go sour.  Then they pour in live bacteria that produces lactic acid.  The live bacteria feed on the cream and poop out lactic acid which you pay big bucks to eat.  And you thought the lab rats were dopey…


Why is the night sky dark?
Now your questions are beginning to scare me.

I’m assuming that you are wondering why, if there are an infinite number of stars in the sky, why the sky is not so completely filled with pinpoints of light that they produce a uniform luminosity – like pictures of galaxies that we have seen.  Astronomers have wondered about this for hundreds of years, a puzzle known as “Olbers’s paradox” or the “dark night sky paradox”.  The paradox being, since there are an immeasurable number of stars, every line of sight in the night sky should terminate with a pinpoint of light.  It’s like standing in a forest and looking for the horizon.  There are so many trees that they eventually blend together and obscure all sight of the horizon.

Well after 400 years, scientists have finally agreed that there simply are not enough visible stars to fill the night sky with light.  400 years to come up with this answer?  No wonder they can’t come up with a cure for cancer.  Basically the greater the distance of the star from us, the longer it takes the light to reach us (duh).  In effect, all the starlight has simply not reached us yet.


If vegetables have no fat, why is vegetable oil all fat?
If this is one of those questions intended to get you out of eating all of your vegetables, it’s not gonna work.

In short, vegetables are low fat, not no fat.  All living organisms have fat in their cell membranes. In plants the percentage of fat in their cells is very low but in their seeds it is fairly high.  Most vegetable oil is made from the plant’s seed, not the plant

Now sit back down and eat those vegetables.


Why are flies so hard to swat?
If humans and flies ever switch spots, humans are going to be in a heap of trouble for all the fly swatting they’ve done over the years. You’d best hope that us monkeys and you humans trade places first (which is coming sooner than you think).

It is estimated that billions of flies have been swatted over the past 100 years, not just because they annoy us by vomiting on our food, but rather because they are so hard to swat! It becomes somewhat of a challenge, a game so to speak, to the swatter. As you know, they are tough little boogers to hit. The reason is their takeoff. Flies actually jump backward before takeoff. If you want to hit them, even though you know you’ll pay the price millions of years from now, follow these simple steps. First, resist in flight swatting since they can change direction in as little as 30 thousands of a second. Also, remember that a fly’s eyes let them see in all directions at once so approaching from behind doesn’t guarantee a hit but it does improve the chances due to a small blind spot in the rear. Sneak up on them and aim behind the fly. Finally, listen carefully because it is believed that seconds after the hit, flies let out a little bitty fly scream.


Why are there 360 degrees in a circle?
To answer this question we have to look way back in history.  Even further back than when your science teacher was born.  Lucky for us, writing utensils were just being invented at the same time so the reasoning for 360 degrees was eternally preserved in written history – we don’t have to rely on your science teacher’s memory for this explanation…

Ancient Babylonian cultures developed this measurement based on the circle of the Zodiac which as we all know, each degree or “space” represents the distance the Sun traveled in a day.  Wait a minute – then we’re missing 5 degrees somewhere!  Well back then the math was not quite as accurate and besides, 360 is much easier to divide by 4, 3, etc.


Sorry, but that rowdy monkey’s got to go back to his cage.  Check back soon, we’ll ask him some more questions later…


By Reeko

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