Strange But True

Wheelies: Why no rolling rhinos?
Published on Jan 5th, 2006
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Animal engineering: echo-ranging by bats, dams built by beavers, parabolic reflectors of limpets, infrared heat-seeking sensors in some snakes, the hypodermic...
Spinning Santa: North Pole gyrations
Published on Dec 22nd, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. At Christmas time, Santa can get so busy his head spins. Making matters worse, his house sits right on the North Pole. Why is this worse, and which direction...
Optical profusion: Convex mirrors play a trick
Published on Dec 15th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. You own a dress shop in Beverly Hills catering to wealthy customers, many of them overweight. What subtle optical flattery might you employ to thin down their...
Backlash: Dino tails lethal weapons
Published on Dec 8th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Speculating a little, what really weird thing might dinosaurs have done with their tails? –H. Hefner A. It's not hard to imagine spiky tails used as...
Eyes wide shut: Tripping in the dark
Published on Dec 1st, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Press lightly with fingertips on closed eyelids, and you may see brilliant flashes of light and color, called phosphenes. Why the free show? –T. Leary A...
Up and down: Plankton check out the surface
Published on Nov 24th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. It was World War II, and the sonar-operating submarine searchers detected a "false bottom" of the sea that rose toward the surface every evening, then sank...
Mummy dearest: Images tell child's history
Published on Nov 17th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q.  In the hands of imaging experts, what is "mummography" designed to reveal? a) cancer in women? b) other illness? c) the "patient's" age? d) the patient's...
Bee healthy: Honey's a natural healer
Published on Nov 10th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q.This natural substance has demonstrable healing properties...
Night trippers: Did witches turn on?
Published on Nov 3rd, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q.  What did the LSD acid-trippers of the 1960s have in common with "witches" of medieval Europe? –T. Leary A. Both may have been "flying high" on...
Trash talk: Be careful what you toss
Published on Oct 27th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. How much could someone tell about you from a look into your garbage? Are you rich or poor, city dweller or suburbanite, wasteful or ecologically minded, etc...
Pet-icillin? Plying your pup with pills
Published on Oct 20th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. You see your doctor for a checkup, you take your dog and cat to the vet for theirs. Could you all wind up taking the same medicine? –D. Peppard  A...
Shattering: Don't sit so close to me
Published on Oct 13th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. The soprano lies on her deathbed as the performance is nearing its end. She reaches the climactic moment in the music and belts her final, shrill and...
Ringers: Tree's age easy to gauge
Published on Oct 6th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Along the seashore you and your gang discover an old Viking longship buried in mud. How might you ever date the age of the vessel? Clue: The ship is wood and...
Sonicsaurus? Dino's tail made big bang
Published on Sep 22nd, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. What makes a bullwhip's tip crack like a gun? (Brontosaurs, take note.) –L. LaRue  A. The undulation traveling from the handle toward the end of...
Gorge on passion: Scare your sweetie into love
Published on Sep 2nd, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. To summarize the "bridge theory" of romance, "Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder." How might you put this to work in winning over your own sweetie? –...
Sounding off: Elephants ape surroundings
Published on Aug 25th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. What just might be some of the strangest sounds elephants make in the wild? Or in a zoo, for that matter. –M. Perkins A. When elephant communication...
Frogfall: It's raining fish and fowl
Published on Jul 28th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. From a Cincinnati reader: "Can anyone yet explain the fish rain in Honduras and the frog rain in other parts of the world? Could it ever literally rain cats...
Itchy kissy: Bad breath can kill
Published on Jul 21st, 2005
0 comments href="mailto:STRANGETRUE@COMPUSERVE.COM">STRANGETRUE@COMPUSERVE.COM DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Of all the many things you might be allergic to, what just could be the nuttiest of them...
No deductible: Operating on yourself
Published on Jul 14th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Is DIY ("do it yourself") surgery ever done? –J.D. Aller A. Necessity mothers much, as they say, including the recent case of the 27-year-old mountaineer...
Itchy kissy: Bad breath worse than smelly
Published on Jul 7th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Of all the many things you might be allergic to, what just could be the nuttiest of them all? –Amedo Obici  A. Your lover's sweet but potentially...
Lethal larder: Eating yourself to death
Published on Jun 30th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Around the world, what food even when properly prepared has made more people sick than any other? –J. Child A. Notice on TV's Survivor how many of the...
Flutterby: Morphing for a mate
Published on Jun 23rd, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. What is the purpose of butterflies? I ask because my sister gave me a new shower curtain decorated with dozens of them, making me wonder if they're here on...
Stab in the dark: Murderous dreams come true
Published on Jun 16th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. While the city sleeps through the long dark night, crime stalks the streets. But what if the sleepers are themselves the stalkers? Is sleep-crime very common...
Say what? Polyglots talk <I>all</I> the talk
Published on Jun 9th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Polyglots are people who speak, read or write several languages, and there are even a few hyperpolyglots. Just how hyper can a hyperpolyglot get? –A. F....
Man bites dog: Dog gets worst of i
Published on May 25th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. Doggone it, does a dog or human have the stronger bite? –D.J. Bickers A. Bite forces have been actively studied in a number of species, living and extinct...
Baby dreams: What will little bundle be?
Published on May 19th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. You just learned you're pregnant. How might this "dream come true" affect you at night– in your dreams? –M. Esselman A. First trimester, dreams...
What'd I say? Invisible ink leaves traces
Published on May 12th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. What's the secret to invisible inks?– E.A. Poe  A. The essence is two reagents that produce a color, such as a colorless solution that chars with...
What'd I say? Invisible ink leaves traces
Published on May 11th, 2005
0 comments 252"> The HooK: STRANGE BUT TRUE- What'd I say? Invisible ink leaves traces // >> classifieds  >> personals  >> advertise  >> contacts...
STRANGE BUT TRUE- Supersmarts: How high can IQs go?
Published on May 5th, 2005
0 comments <P><img src="/images/issues/2005/0418/strange0418.gif"> <P>DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK <P><B>Q.</B> <I>How high can IQs get? We know from the Flynn...
Supersmarts: How high can IQs go?
Published on May 5th, 2005
0 comments DRAWING BY DEBORAH DERR McCLINTOCK Q. How high can IQs get? We know from the Flynn effect that IQ test performances have been improving worldwide by about 3-5 points per decade. So kids are smarter...