|101 سوال معروف دنیا همراه با پاسخ (قسمت اول)
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Greatest 101 questions of all time
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خوندنش زیاد سخت نیست
اینها 40 سوال از 101 سوال هستند
Where is the safest place to stand outside in a thunderstorm?
Tall, pointy objects standing alone in an open space are more likely to get
struck by lightning but it’s by no means a certainty. Sometimes the flat
ground next to a tall tree can be hit. A car or other enclosed metal
structure is the safest place to be in a thunderstorm. Failing that, a
ditch, trench or group of shrubs of uniform height is better than nothing.
Keep away from boundary areas between dissimilar terrain (water and land;
rock and earth; trees and fields). Also keep at least five metres away from
metal objects or other people as lightning will often jump from one object
Why do identical twins have different fingerprints?
Although identical twins share the same DNA, they don’t look identical
cell-for-cell, because not every aspect of your physical appearance is
rigidly determined by your genes. Fingerprints are formed semi-randomly as
the foetus develops in the womb andare affected by such things as chance
fluctuations of hormone levels. Similarly, the pattern of freckles and moles
on the skin is caused by random mutations and will vary between identical
Is the human race still getting taller?
The average height, at least in Western society, is increasing because of
better childhood nutrition and sexual selection. But the tendency of women
to find men taller than six feet (183cm) more attractive can’t be
extrapolated upward, and people above 6ft 2in (188cm) are much more likely
to suffer back problems. Above 6ft 8in (203cm), and the heart strains to
pump blood round the body.
Why do I feel cold and shiver when I have a fever?
A fever is when your body increases its internal thermostat, found in the
hypothalamus. If you exercise hard or it’s a hot day, your body temperature
might increase, but the thermostat remains at around 36.8°C. When you feel
hot the hypothalamus tries to correct this with sweating and increased blood
flow to the skin. But with a fever, it is the thermostat that has risen.
This means your body temperature is now below 36.8°C, so you feel cold and
shiver, to try and raise your temperature. The higher body temperature may
help fight infection by speeding white blood cell production and slowing
What is OK short for?
The most popular theory is that OK comes from ‘oll korrect’, a deliberately
misspelled writing of ‘all correct’. It was popularised in Boston newspapers
around the 1840s when it was fashionable to go around spelling things
incorrectly for humorous effect. Legend also has it that New York Democrats
later adopted the abbreviation to promote their candidate Martin Van Buren –
the initials ‘OK’ were derived from his nickname, Old Kinderhook.
Why can’t we just fill in the ozone hole with man-made ozone?
The sheer scale of the notorious hole – or, more accurately, depleted region –
in the Earth’s ozone layer over the Antarctic beggars belief. At its peak
each September, it spans an area bigger than the continental United States,
and tens of millions of tonnes of ozone would be needed to fill it up again.
Simply creating that amount of ozone, let alone getting it where it’s
needed, would be astronomically expensive.
Why do fingers and toes wrinkle when left in water?
The waterproof coating on our skin gets rubbed away from areas of our bodies
like our hands and feet that are frequently in contact with objects. If you
immerse yourself in water with a lower concentration of dissolved salts than
that of your cell contents, water will be absorbed by osmosis and cause your
skin cells to swell. Since they are anchored to the tissues below, they are
forced to corrugate to accommodate this.
What is a hiccup?
A hiccup comes from an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, producing
asudden intake of air. The glottis (the vocal apparatus of the larynx) slams
shut at the same time, so that the column of air strikes the closed glottis
to produce the characteristic, onomatopoeic noise.
Is there an easy way to prove the Earth is round?
Yes, travel. Because the Earth’s surface is curved, you’ll notice that
different constellations of stars are revealed.
Can you have a fish out of water?
Yes. Several species of fish can breathe air and crawl on land. There are
about 50 species of flying fish, too.
Why is sea air good for you?
It isn't, particularly. In Victorian England, seaside resorts got a reputation
for having healthy air – maybe in comparison to the era's city smogs. The
seaside's "bracing" smell is caused by a chemical produced by
coastal bacteria, present in very low concentrations. But a study last year
found that sea salt can react with chemicals in marine exhaust fumes to
worsen the atmospheric pollution in a busy port.
Do plants die of old age?
Given good conditions, some plants can live for ever. It takes a change in
external conditions to finish them off. But annuals die soon after seeding.
Does chewing gum really stay inside you for years?
No. Chewing gum is indigestible but it doesn't have any magic property that
allows it to escape the normal digestive transit. Three days is the usual
Where do phobias come from?
Around 10 per cent of the population suffer from phobias. Some may be
triggered by a traumatic event while others are linked to physical problems.
Studies suggest that simple phobias are partly genetic while others may be
due to cultural history. For example, a fear of spiders may be passed down
from the Middle Ages when spiders were associated with the plague, as
victims' deserted homes became shrouded in cobwebs.
Do men have cellulite?
Yes. It's not just women who are cursed with orange peel skin, although in men
cellulite tends to be in different places, usually around the neck and
Can germs catch germs?
Yes. The germ would be an even smaller organism that attacks its host germ
Why do I get more car sick in the back?
It's probably because you don't have such a good view of the horizon. Motion
sickness occurs when the balance mechanism in your ear registers movement
while your eyes are telling you that you are stationary.
Could we live on water and supplements?
No. As well as vitamins and minerals we need carbohydrates, fats and proteins
for energy and cell repair.
Do hot drinks cool you down?
Yes. They make your body think you are hotter than you really are so you sweat
more and that leads to heat loss.
What would happen if there were no Moon?
The most immediate effect (other than the lack of moonlight, of course) would
be on the Earth’s tides. With only the Sun’s gravitational influence, the
difference between high and low tides would be reduced dramatically - as
would tidal drag, which slows the Earth down at a rate adding about 0.002
seconds to the length of a day each century. Long term, the effects would be
far more serious. The climate of the Earth is sensitively dependent on the
23.5° tilt of the Earth’s axis, and without the stabilising presence of our
relatively huge Moon, the gravity of the other planets would produce big
changes in this angle - as it does with Mars, whose tilt changes by 60° over
a few million years.
Could I be allergic to water?
No. Allergies to a substance result when immune system antibodies attack it.
But no antibodies exist that bind to water.
How is bullet-proof glass made?
It might be better to call it ‘bullet-resistant’ glass, because it resists
penetration, although a series of bullets fired at the same place will
eventually break through. It is usually made by sandwiching a layer of
deformable polycarbonate plastic between glass layers. The bullet’s impact
shatters the outer layer of glass, spreading the energy over a wide area so
the plastic layer ‘gives’, but does not rupture.
How do seeds know which way to grow?
All plants can sense the direction of the gravitational field and orientate
themselves accordingly. This is called geotaxis. In mature plants,
phototaxis (growing towards the light source) overrides the gravitational
impulse for the stalk and leaves, but the roots – and the seed while it is
underground – rely on gravity for orientation.
Why are sumo-wrestlers so fat?
It’s to do with Newton’s second law of motion, which can be written as
acceleration = force/mass. The heavier you are, the more force an opponent
has to exert to get you moving and push you out of the ring, or to lift and
throw you. The heaviest wrestler weighed 267kg, which no weightlifter has
How does Blu-tack stick, but not feel sticky?
Blu-tack uses a so-called electrostatic interaction, forming a chemical bond
between itself and whatever it’s sticking to. It’s made up of very small
molecules and, over time, seeps into microscopic indents in the surface of
materials. The electrostatic interaction gradually gives way to that
molecular ‘seeping’. Hence Blu-tack doesn’t feel sticky initially, but gets
stickier if you handle it long enough.
Why do old men go bald, but get hairy nostrils?
Male pattern baldness is caused by the hormone DHT or dihydro-testosterone.
This has many other effects on the body and it is thought to inhibit hair
loss in the nostrils so that each shaft has a longer growing phase. But the
exact mechanism is still not well understood.
What is the Universe made of?
This is one of the biggest mysteries facing 21st-century science. Recent
studies of the heat left over from the Big Bang have revealed that
conventional matter made from atoms accounts for just a few per cent of the
matter in the Universe. Most of it is in the form of so-called cold dark
matter (CDM), whose enigmatic name reflects the awkward fact that
astronomers don’t know what it is.
Why does breathing pure oxygen kill you?
Our blood has evolved to capture the oxygen we breathe in and bind it safely
to the transport molecule called haemoglobin. If you breathe air with a much
higher than normal O2 concentration, the oxygen in the lungs overwhelms the
blood’s ability to carry it away. The result is that free oxygen binds to
the surface proteins of the lungs, interferes with the operation of the
central nervous system and also attacks the retina.
Will my eyes pop out if I don’t close them when I sneeze?
No, for a whole variety of reasons, including the fact that the air spaces in
the nose and throat involved in sneezing aren’t directly connected to
anything behind the eye. That means they can’t create the pressure to push
your eyeballs forward.
If humans died out, would we evolve again from apes?
Maybe, if we were wiped out by a species-specific plague, it’s possible that
another ape species might go on to evolve greater intelligence and develop a
fully bipedal gait.
Do any wasps make honey?
No. Adult wasps drink nectar from flowers but don’t turn it into honey. They
feed their young by laying eggs inside prey.
What makes me feel hungry?
The vagus nerve sends information about the fullness of the stomach to the
hypothalamus in the brain. Hunger is also controlled by hormones, including
insulin, leptin, ghrelin and cholecystokinin. Levels of these change
according to the levels of various nutrients in the blood and digestive
How does Viagra work?
Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil citrate, a drug that was originally
studied for use in patients with high blood pressure or heart disease. It
works by blocking the action of an enzyme called PDE5. The role of this
enzyme is to break down another enzyme called cGMP, which relaxes the smooth
muscle of the corpus cavernosa (a mass of erectile tissue in the penis),
which allows them to become filled with blood and therefore create an
erection. When the sildenafil citrate blocks the PDE5, the cGMP levels
continue to build so long as the man remains sexually aroused and thus the
corpus cavernosa are inflated with blood to a much higher pressure than they
would otherwise be. Smooth muscle relaxants have been used to create
spontaneous erection as early as the 1980s. But what makes Viagra special is
that it acts only when the man is aroused, and only on the penis. This is
because the PDE5 enzyme is specific to the penis.
Why are flies attracted to bad smells?
The smells that are a warning of putrefaction to us are attractive to flies
for just the same reason. When organic matter (animal or vegetable) starts
to rot, it becomes soft and moist, and provides ideal breeding conditions
for fly larvae. Female flies are attracted to rotting material, where they
lay their eggs in batches (around 50 to 100 in the case of the house fly).
The eggs can hatch within 12 hours, and the larvae burrow into the soft
material and feed for several days before turning into pupae, which then
produce adult flies. It can all take as little as 10 days from egg to adult.
After bumping my head, why do I ‘see stars’?
The stars you see are actually neurons in your visual cortex firing
spontaneously. This occurs when their oxygenation level changes abruptly
either because you have stood up too quickly or because your brain has been
suddenly accelerated by a sharp blow, sloshing blood into or out of the
capillaries. The neurons closest to capillaries are affected first and, if
it happens fast enough, they fire well before the surrounding neurons. This
results in isolated signals that your brain interprets as lights.
Why don’t birds get electrocuted while perching on power lines?
It’s not voltages per se that kill, but voltage differences, which are needed
for electricity to flow. If a bird lands on a single power line at, say
35,000 volts, the lack of a voltage difference keeps it safe. If it extends
its wings and touches another power line at a different voltage, though, it
will be electrocuted. That’s why electricity companies put plenty of space
Why does sunshine make me happy?
There’s a fine balancing act in the brain and circulatory system that
regulates our moods, boosting the feel-good factor or sometimes causing
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in winter. The hormone melatonin, produced
by the pineal gland in the brain, regulates our sleep/wake cycle, but
excessive levels can cause depression. The action of light on our face
suppresses melatonin synthesis, therefore boosting your overall mood.
Evolutionary principles could apply too. There are plenty of nocturnal
primates and presumably they aren’t always depressed. It seems likely that
we have evolved to prefer light to darkness because humans are active during
Is eating Red grapes as good for you as drinking red wine?
No. The benefits of red wine are largely down to ‘flavonoids’, which are twice
as concentrated in wine as in grape juice.
Is iron in our blood influenced by strong magnetic fields?
Yes, but very weakly. Random thermal movements stop haemoglobin molecules from
forming stable magnetic dipoles.
I have some family photos that are 100 years old. Will my digital snaps
last as long?
Yes, if you print them out or store them on CD-Rs shielded against light
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ارسال شده توسط :یکی از همین نزدیکی ها در چهارشنبه چهاردهم اسفندماه سال 1387 | نظرات ()
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