August 15, 2013

Horse 1530 - Why do... A-Z

The rules are simple. I enter in the words "Why do" followed by the various letters of the alphabet into the Google search engine. It then auto-fills in the rest and I answer the question. Sounds simple? Off we go!

Why do asylum seekers come to Australia?
The reason for this is pretty obvious I think. Asylum seekers because they live in pretty terrible circumstances because of war (which we might have helped cause), or famine, or ethnic or religious persecution, or even because the economic circumstances of the country which they come from, quite rightly think that coming to a stable, generous and well governed country (yes we complain about it and even the right to complain is something to be thankful for), will produce a more prosperous and stable life for them and their children.
To be perfectly honest, I think that the vast majority of asylum seekers are brave brave souls and make better citizens that a lot pf people born here.

Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?
Unlike Karen Carpenter, I reject the notion that wild birds long to be close to you or any other human, unless of course they happen to be seagulls; in which case, they're probably on the lookout for lunch.
I think that the real answer to this is probably to do with the perception. In the adage that "the other line always moves faster", the only reason that you have to complain about the speed of lines, is that you happen to be held up. If you were in the faster line, you wouldn't be complaining now would you?
If birds seem to suddenly appear every time that someone who is obviously the object of one's affections draws close, then it's quite likely that whoever posed the question was only noticing connected events to that other person appearing. The birds could have very likely been there the whole time... plotting... to kill you all! Mr Hitchcock taught us that... about The Birds.

Why do cats meow?
Have you ever tried talking to a cat? I have. Cats are as much communicators as we are and by meowing they can express a whole gamete of emotions such as happiness, anger, contentedness, puzzlement, hunger and yes, even because they like the sound of their own voice. I have seen Purranna especially, walk into an echoey room and yell, just because it's fun.

Why do dogs eat grass?
Grass isn't particularly nutritionally beneficial but it does have all sorts of irritants in it. Sometimes dogs (and cats) will eat grass because they want to puke up something, like hair or other things they've ingested.

Why do earthquakes occur?
Most primary school children can tell you that earthquakes mainly occur due to the collision of continental plates which bang against each other. Curiously though, the 1989 Newcastle earthquake was not caused by this at all but rather the sliding of plates over the top of the mantle of the earth.

Why do fools fall in love?
Why not? Fools are people like anyone else and have the same basic needs of validation as anyone else does. I would wager that every single animal has at least to some degree the same basic need to love and be loved. Why should fools be any different?

Why do gas heaters smell?
The short answer isn't gas. The long answer is that natural gas that's piped into your house is mainly made up of methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6). Both of these in their natural states are colorless and odourless.
I have it on good authority that the smell in the gas from a gas heater is actually tert-butylthiol   (CH3)3CSH which is an organosulfur compound which is added specifically to give the gas in your house a smell, so that you can tell if there's a leak.

Why do humans have an interest in Antarctica?
There's probably many reasons for this:
1. It's one of the few places which we haven't completely ruined through our malpractice on the planet; so it makes researching the health of the planet relatively easier.
2. Antarctica is an aesthetically gorgeous place. All of that brilliant cold and white is really really pretty. I think that its good to just sit in wonder of this amazing self-contained, self-regulating spaceship which we live on.
3. When the Antarctic treaty system expires in 2059, there's going to be a massive carve up to see who can get their mits on all the lovely oil that's down there. Yeah, won't that be fun?

Why do I have no friends?
The person who is usually asking this question is either through circumstance the object of unkindness or to some degree, expecting others to do things for them. I don't know who said it but "be the friend you want to have" springs to mind. Basically, if you're kind to other people, most people will reflect that kindness back to you.

Why do judges wear wigs?
This is something I know the answer to immediately.
Firstly, as a result of smallpox when she was four years old Queen Elizabeth the First began to go bald and so she wore wigs during her reign. In France, Louis XIII went bald prematurely and in deference, the French court also adopted the practice of wearing wigs.
During the Period of The Commonwealth in England, Charles II was in exile in France and following the restoration of the Crown in 1660, the English court and late the upper echelons of society, began to adopt and formalise the practice.
The legal profession has kept the tradition alive because it suits them to maintain as part of the persona, an aloofness which is separate from society. Judges especially are separate and apart because they have to administer the law with equity.

Why do kittens purr?
More than likely it's due to the vibration of the vocal chords creating a rolling glottal stop. Scientists are still out on this one.

Why do lions have manes?
Attraction of female lions. Intimidation of animals and other lions.

Why do microwaves spin?
What? Microwaves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. They radiate from a source but I'm not sure if the radiation itself spins.

Why do Nursing?
Nursing is a pretty difficult and quite frankly underpaid and understaffed profession. I for one wouldn't want to deal with people as they came in through Triage in the middle of the night because they'd been drunken, stupid or otherwise. Nor would I like to spend all day with sick people. Nor would I enjoy hearing people complain all day long.
No, people who go into nursing do it because they want to help people. I salute you Nurses!

Why do oz and willow break up?
I don't know. I don't even know which television show this even refers to. The only thing I can imagine is that they chose for some reason, not to love each other to that same degree any more for some reason. Without knowing anything about it, I'm going to say that it was because Oz was violent.

Why do poets use rhyme?
Can I just make something really really clear here? Just because you happen to write rhyming couplets, does not make you a poet. Good poetry requires as much skill and craft as any other quality writing.
Seriously, have a go at writing a sonnet. It's form is: A-B-B-A, C-D-D-C, E-F-F-E, G-G or  A-B-A-B, C-D-C-D, E-F-E-F, G-G and all written in iambic pentameter.
Why do poets use rhyme? Because mostly, that's the expected form which poetry arrives in.

Why do quinces go red?
Just taking a wild stab in the dark here but I suspect that if you cook them, it's going to liberate the acids in the fruit to perform some chemical reaction. Actually a similar thing happens with some varieties of sardines as well.

Why do refugees come to australia?
Didn't I already answer this? C'mon Australia, are you all just horribly xenophobic or something?

Why do stars twinkle?
No! Stars do not "twinkle".
As I sit in this room, the Bureau of Meteorology is telling me that atmospheric pressure is 1024hPa. One Pascal is by definition, a force of 1 Newton over an area of 1 metre squared.
1024 hPa is 10.24N/m²
Since Force = Mass x Acceleration, 10.24 = m * 9.8m/s²
So the mass of air covering one metre squared must be 1.044kg. Since the mass of air is significant, it must be made of a considerable amount of stuff. Any "twinkling" is caused by a movement of the junk contained that stuff which causes the light from stars to do all sorts of bendy things.

Why do teenagers smoke?
Because it's presumably pleasurable for them, because they want to fit into a group, because it's "cool" and possibly though most unlikely because they are on fire.

Why do u want to work for us?
Regular readers of Horse will realise that whilst I concede that English is a flower of a language which evolves and changes, making spelling mistakes deliberately is not something that I take kindly to. I do not want to work for an entity which is misspells the word "you". Who knows what else they might get wrong? My payslips?

Why do veins appear blue?
Warning: Science ahead!
Blood, even deoxygenated blood is always red. This actually has to do with the energy levels of light which are capable of being reflected back. Since reds are mostly all absorbed by the skin, it's only the more energetic wavelengths of light which get reflected back and those wavelengths occur in the blue range of the spectrum. Move further in that direction and violets and ultraviolets are even more highly energetic to the point that if you get enough of them, they cause genetic mutations in skin cells and cause skin cancer.

Why do wudu?
What?! What is wudu? Huh? Ok Google, I'm horribly confused now. It's 11:02pm and my brain isn't making sense of that right now.

Why do xoxo mean hugs and kisses?
The theory goes that illiterate people would sign an X to execute documents but that Jewish people in North America who objected to signing with a cross, would sign with an O.
Another theory I read has to do with sailors coming back from Hong Kong to England and signing off with XO because it was "saucy" and "hot" and or "spicy".
Ultimately whatever to reason, it means that because we have all collectively chosen it by convention.

Why do you want this job?
Are these the same people who couldn't spell the word "you" before? Do they still want to hire me?

Why do zippers have ykk on them?
Again, something I know the answer to. Yes!
YKK is the English acronym for the name of the Japanese firm Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki.
Tadao Yoshida founded the firm in Tokyo in 1934 and the words "Kogyo Kabushiki" literally mean "Manufacturing Company". YKK to the best of my knowledge is still the world's biggest zipper manufacturer.

Why do?
We do what we must because we can; for the good of all us.

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