Category Archives: Deskarati Q&A

How Far Can Eye See?

eye see andromeda

Your eyes are very sensitive, able to detect just a few photons of light. If you take a look on a very clear night at the constellation of Andromeda, a little fuzzy patch of light is just visible with the … Continue reading

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How long would it take to fall through Earth?

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Why are plane windows round?

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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. … Continue reading

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What Happens One Hour After Eating A Big Mac?

Big-mac

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How are scientists able to observe a single atom?

A “quantum microscope” sounds like an impossible device developed by some brilliant but possibly insane scientist who is working on a secret government project to inspect recently-discovered infinitesimal evidence from a decades-old conspiracy. Putting the science fiction aside, though, in … Continue reading

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Which U.S. states are the farthest north, south, east, and west?

US States

Strangely, Alaska is the state farthest north, east, and west and Hawaii is farthest south. The reason that Alaska is farthest east and west is because the Aleutian Islands cross the 180° meridian of longitude, placing some of the islands in the … Continue reading

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What are Quarks?

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What Would The Sky Look Like If You Could See All The Asteroids?

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Leap second: What does it mean?

Midnight will come later tonight, as for the first time in three years, an extra second is added to the official time set by atomic clocks. The “leap second” means the last minute of June will have 61 seconds in … Continue reading

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Do We Have to Get Old and Die?

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How many moons does Earth have?

Claims of the existence of other moons of Earth—that is, of one or more natural satellites other than the Moon that orbit Earth—have existed for some time. Several candidates have been proposed, but none has been confirmed. The 19th and … Continue reading

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Why do candles re-light?

As you can see above, you can blow out a candle and then light it again without ever touching the wick, simply by holding a flame to the smoke trail – just like magic. But what’s actually going on here? And … Continue reading

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How many trees are needed to provide enough oxygen for one person?

Trees release oxygen when they use energy from sunlight to make glucose from carbon dioxide and water. Like all plants, trees also use oxygen when they split glucose back down to release energy to power their metabolisms. Averaged over a … Continue reading

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What are the Hardest Languages to Learn?

languages
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3 Things You Might Have Wondered About

1. If our blood is red, why are our veins blue? No matter what people try to tell you, our blood is always red. So why do our veins look blue? Well, first of all, you need to know that … Continue reading

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Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?

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Why was the Black Prince called ‘Black’?

He was named after his birthplace. The sobriquet ‘Black Prince’ does not appear in written records until the 16th century, nearly two centuries after his death, though as a nickname it may date back to his lifetime. The origin of … Continue reading

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Why do humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes?

Why do humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes? Why not 13? Or 27? Well, it would take a while to trace the history of each of our chromosomes. But the tale of how we got down to 23 pairs from the … Continue reading

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How Much Heat Does a Computer Give Out?

Hot_Computer

Every computing device produces heat in proportion to the electricity it consumes. ENIAC, one of the first room-sized behemoths of the 1940s, used 174 kilowatts to run its vacuum tubes; these days, you have about as much computing power in … Continue reading

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