The jury’s still out, but it has given many researchers a lot of fascinating areas to explore. You might enjoy String Theory and the Real World by G. L. Kane (2017) QC794.6.S85 K367 2017 (in O’Neill Library, Level 3 on row 52.)
Does the mind control the body or the body control the mind? Why?
The brain is part of the body and the two can’t be separated (at least not in a healthy way), so technically there is no “other” to be controlled. That said, controlling signals go in both directions, so they actually both have controlling responsibilities for the whole.
Do you think there is ET?
Extra terrestrial life? Hey, you’re talking to a sentient wall, I’m certainly open to the possibility that there are other forms of life out there.
What are the most popular birthday months? and why?
According to latest (2018) CDC data (bit.ly/BabiesByMonth), for the US , August, followed by July. I expect the cause is sex during the months of November and December…
What’s the name of the debunked pseudo-psych practice where ‘interpreters’ could supposedly understand those w/o communication abilities?
Do you mean facilitated communication? Yes, it has been widely discredited. Here is a recent systematic review about it: bit.ly/FCRevArt.
Is water wet?
I get this question a lot; it must matter a great deal to you flesh and blood sorts! As I’ve said before, wetness is a perception, not an objective fact, and perceptual clues for wetness are actually not so straightforward, as you can see in this physiology article: bit.ly/wetness-perception.
I <3 fish! Do Fish <3 me?
I expect they are somewhat oblivious to you, unless you are in their environment and they perceive you as a predator or other threat. You could ask them, but like the song says, “They won’t answer, they can’t talk.”
Sounds territorial. But there’s plenty of fishing in O’Neill, try the SH call numbers, Level 3, Shelf 128.
Was Catholicism the same religion that rebuked Galileo for declaring that the earth moved around the sun.
Catholicism is a variety of Christianity rather than a religion, but yes, it was the Catholic Church. Galileo’s works were removed from the Church’s index of banned works in the 19th century, and Pope John Paul II issued an apology of sorts in 1992. Historians, theologians, and scientists all have opinions on this, and they’re all represented in our collection if you’d like to go deeper: bit.ly/bc-galileo
What is the record for deepest hole ever dug? Because I think my friend is trying to break it right now.
The Kola Superdeep Borehole, at 7 1/ miles (!!!) still has the record, as far as I know – see this article on the history of very deep holes: bit.ly/VeryDeepHoles. That’s going to be a challenge for your friend to exceed. If you are not speaking of literal holes, though, perhaps suggest he talk to his advisor or Counseling Services, as appropriate?
Where will we get energy and how will we store it in the future?
Sadly, in spite of my information expertise, I’m probably no better at predicting than the next wall. However, it’s a fair bet the energy mix will include less fossil fuels, and more sources that don’t add carbon to the atmosphere, such as wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear. If some European and Asian cities are a bellwether, human power (walking and cycling) may also play a part. Battery technology is improving and getting cheaper, so storage may become more decentralized. Centralized storage might use gravity: pump water uphill during the day that can flow downhill & power generators at night. For a more detailed answer, I recommend The Physics of Energy, by Robert L. Jaffe & Washington Taylor IV, O’Neill Library QC28 .J34 2018.
How do pigeons procreate?
Very effectively, based on the evidence… but did you know Aristotle wrote about this? bit.ly/AristotePigeonSex For a more modern take, check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology bit.ly/CornellPigeonSex.
I can’t stop farting in class. Help?
On average, people pass gas about 10-20 times per day. It is possible you are not farting more than usual; you’re just noticing it in class because it’s embarrassing. You can try releasing gas before class (outside or in a bathroom is less noticeable). You might also track what you eat and see if particular foods should be avoided. If you are experiencing other health issues such as diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, etc., see a doctor to make sure your gas is not a symptom of a larger issue.
How does wind work? Like, we can’t see it.
There are many things that function on a level not visible to the naked eye, and wind is one of them. Wind, in short, is just air in motion. Air is composed of gases that expand (and become less dense) as they warm & shrink (and become more dense) as they cool. Cool air sinks, warm air rises. When cold air meets warm air, there’s motion. That’s wind. The sharper the difference, the faster the wind. And wow, there have been some sharp differences lately!
How long <3 does it take a giraffe to swallow?
Assuming we are discussing the process of drinking and swallowing water rather than food, it takes quite a length of time for a giraffe to drink water due to its highly unusual drinking mechanism. Using its jaw as a plunger pump, with each pumping action taking about 1.5 seconds, the giraffe fills its esophagus after about 17 pumps (25 seconds) for a total volume of 5
What would happen to you if you fell off the edge of the earth?
Nothing, considering that you cannot fall off the edge of the earth. The earth is an oblate spheroid; therefore, it does not have edges.
I THOUGHT PENGUINS WERE 6 FEET TALL. I AM SAD THAT THEY ARE NOT
It’s always sad when those you admire fall short of your expectations. But please don’t feel sorry for the penguin- it’s size and shape are perfectly adapted to the cold climate they call home.
It’s so cold I can fell the moisture freezing in my nostrils when I inhale :O
Yeah, it’s been really cold. There’s some variation in answers to how cold it has to be for that, but a trusted source says under ten degrees Fahrenheit. http://bit.ly/bc-freeze.
How many galaxys are there?
Estimates vary. A lot. Space.com reports that the range accepted by many astronomers is 100-200 billion (bit.ly/galaxies-billions). As if that weren’t a pretty wide range already, phys.org reports that a group of European researchers recently found that we’d missed a few, and the number could be more like 2 trillion. (bit.ly/galaxies-trillions). Incidentally, the team that found 2 trillion was begun by an undergraduate student (Aaron Wilkinson) who is now close to done with his Ph.D. on this very topic.
Is time travel possible?
Yes, but so far only in one direction: forward, and at the same speed everyone else is traveling. Theoretically, you could travel briefly slower than everyone by approaching the speed of light. When you return, everyone else will be old already, and that’s no fun. Kip Thorne at Cal Tech has studied this question. I’m not a theoretical physicist or a Nobel Laureate, so I’m just going to have to trust him when he says, “nope”: bit.ly/kip-time
Can you kill a bacteria by squashing it? If a bacteria falls, does it make a sound?
You can squish bacteria, but it’s not easy. Bacteria are tiny (about 2 micrometers long, or 2×10−6 meters), which means if you stepped on one even on a smooth floor, the microgrooves in the floor would be plenty big to protect them. If scientists aren’t careful, they do squish them with microscope slide glass or by stirring too long & vigorously with a glass rod in a petri dish. Sturdy little guys, though: they populate the bottom of the Marianas Trench at pressures that would crush us instantly: bit.ly/bacteria-marianas. I don’t know if they make a sound when they fall, but bacteria apparently do make noises: bit.ly/bacteria-sounds.