Strange But True

Mars mons: Try space mountaineering
Published on Sep 16th, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK  Q. You x-treme mountain climbers out there, where might you go to ascend to heights well beyond the peak of Mt. Everest? -J. Krakauer  A. Try a rocket...
Back to life? Shelley's tale pure fiction
Published on Sep 9th, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK  Q. What famous real science experiment inspired the fictional coming to life of Dr. Frankenstein's monster? Could a dead person be similarly "animated" today...
What's that? A backyard surprise from heaven
Published on Sep 2nd, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK  Q. Which of the following might you conceivably discover in your backyard one morning? a) a meteor b) a meteorite c) a meteoroid d) a fireball e) an asteroid...
Curvy: It's a catenary, not an arch
Published on Aug 26th, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK  Q. The breathtaking 630-foot-high 44,000-ton concrete and steel St. Louis Gateway Arch has a nifty curve. Is it a) a semicircle b) a parabola c) a catenary d...
Fried fish: Lightning cooks the crappies
Published on Aug 19th, 2004
0 comments   DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK  Q. When lightning strikes a body of water, is it instant fish-fry down below? How big is the kill zone? –Mrs. Paul  A. In a storm, it's no...
Oil and water: Ben discovers the secret
Published on Aug 12th, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK  Q. What trick did U.S. statesman and kite-flying scientist Ben Franklin use to still turbulent streams with a wave of his walking stick? –T. Jefferson...
Let it fly: Spiders cast web to the wind
Published on Jul 29th, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Ever notice those spider webs stretched between a shrub and a tree? How do spiders get across to put up the first string to start the process? –E....
Frantic fetus: Erratic events in utero
Published on Jul 22nd, 2004
0 comments    DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q.  Imagine a camcorder set up to record all fetal movements right from the start. What would the movie show?M. Moore  A. Lights, cameras...
Wait time: How you cut it matters
Published on Jul 15th, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK   Q. On a busy day out, would you rather be faced with a one-minute walk followed by a seven-minute wait, or a six-minute walk and then a two-minute...
Return to sender: Your boomerang will come back
Published on Jul 8th, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. What makes a properly thrown boomerang come back? –C. Drake  A. Some 20,000 years ago, stone agers in what is now Poland used boomerangs for...
Space bugs: Clouds of insects zap planes
Published on Jul 1st, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. How high up do flying bugs go? Do they splatter on the windows of airplanes, causing problems? -A. "Rach" Nid A. Many insects– and other "bugs"...
Eyes have it: Follow the stare to...?
Published on Jun 24th, 2004
0 comments    DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. If you were to draw a centerline down Leonardo daVinci's painting of the Mona Lisa, what eye-catching body part would it pass through? See where...
Height right: To stand under your man
Published on Jun 17th, 2004
0 comments   DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Romantics say that "Love is blind." How about height-blind? –K. Bryant A. The short answer is No. Tall teenage girls still worry over standing...
Think about it: Plan how, not what
Published on Jun 10th, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Mental rehearsal has been used successfully by golfers (Jack Nicklaus said he "watched a movie in his head before each shot"), baseball players (before...
Hang tight: Tiny Velcro patch does the trick
Published on Jun 3rd, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. A Velcro manufacturer, as a promotional stunt, offers $1 million to anyone willing to hang from a skyscraper ledge held up only by a patch of Velcro. How...
No lie! Trust heart, not detector
Published on May 27th, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Rich guy starts doubting his wife's faithfulness and fears for his money. "She loves me, she loves me not...." Tormented, he gets her to agree to take a...
Hang over: Drive a librarian crazy
Published on May 20th, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. You should always be nice to librarians, because you never know when you might need help on a term paper, biz report, whatever. Then again, if you just...
Balls of fire: Rolling lightning misunderstood
Published on May 13th, 2004
0 comments    DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK BY BILL SONES AND RICH SONES, PH.D. Q. Ball lightning's so freaky it's often mistaken for a UFO. What in fact is it? –Merlin A. Nobody knows,...
Pit ball: Psychics know the tricks
Published on May 6th, 2004
0 comments   DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. A performing psychic invites a woman from the audience to the stage, where she feels his pulse beat slower and slower and finally stop as he "channels"...
Polar protected: Why fish don't freeze
Published on Apr 29th, 2004
0 comments Q. Do cold-water fishes have ice in their blood, or are they equipped with "antifreeze"? Would a couple of quarts of fish juice protect a car radiator during winter? –Penn Zoil A. Some fishes...
Know your roe: Why flying fish really don't
Published on Apr 22nd, 2004
0 comments   Q. From a Michigan reader: "I wonder if you might take up the argument about whether "flying fish" can really fly. I personally think they can. I have seen them airborne the full length of a...
Fossil muscle: Old jocks get results
Published on Apr 15th, 2004
0 comments   DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK BY BILL SONES AND RICH SONES, PH.D. Q. Is it easier for a 10-year-old or a healthy 100-year-old to add muscle mass? -A. Schwarzenegger A. Yo, seniors! Take...
No threat: Twins don't fight for love
Published on Apr 8th, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Identical twins are of course as genetically similar as two people can get. So answer this: If Twin A falls in love with C, wouldn't Twin B follow suit? -A....
Bird sense: Crows, pigeons good at math
Published on Apr 1st, 2004
0 comments   DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. How much numbers sense is out there in the "wild kingdom"? Can any animals count to 5, 10, 45, 50...? M. Perkins  A. Counting crows are famous for...
Where am I? The eyes have it
Published on Mar 25th, 2004
0 comments  DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Pose this one to friends sometime: Point to the part of your body where you feel "most located." Where will this usually be? ­Ach Q. Lus A. Most people...
Fingered: Sanded tips help crooks
Published on Mar 18th, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Can a career criminal beat the fingerprint rap by mutilating skin at the fingertips? ­P. B. Floyd  A. This has been tried using heat, acids, skin...
Flirty: Famous smile was a come-on
Published on Mar 11th, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. All the world has wondered what's behind Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile. So, what is? ­J. Roberts  A. Flirtation is on her mind, says psychologist Paul Ekman...
Dig it! Reasons not to let it be
Published on Mar 4th, 2004
0 comments Published March 4, 2004, in issue #0309 of the Hook DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. "Rest in peace" doesn't always work out that way. What are reasons for unburying the dead? ­B. Stoker...
Go get em!: Doggie rabbit dreams?
Published on Feb 26th, 2004
0 comments   DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Dognapping Rover starts moving his legs, ears, whiskers, wagging his tail, whining. Certainly looks like he's dreaming, but how could anybody ever tell...
Just kidding!: Escaping the psych ward
Published on Feb 19th, 2004
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Imagine you were somehow mistakenly committed to a psychiatric hospital. Would the staff catch it? Would you be able to talk your way out? ­K. Kesey A. When...