What colour were human ancestors? What does a rocket push against in space to propel itself forward? Why does yawning make me cry? How do bats navigate? Can fuel cells run on alcohol? Why are 90% of people right handed? How genetically related would the children of two sets of identical twins be? Plus, noses grown on foreheads and how rotating antibiotic drugs can prevent bacterial resistance...
some kind of pinky-greyish brown - sort of ape colour; nothing; because you are tired; sonar; yes; they aren't - I'll explain some other time; very; ah, that's interesting! alancalverd, Fri, 27th Sep 2013
Well that sums it up pretty nicely! And, more importantly, made me laugh.
Re "they aren't" - that referred to "90% righthanders."
Thanks for raising these interesting points; you may enjoy reading Chris McManus's book, Right Hand Left Hand, for which he won the Aventis book Prize about 10 years ago:
With regard to the rocket in space, doesn't Newton's 3rd Law suggest that the rocket pushes back against the expanding gas in its combustion chamber which is pushing against the rocket...? ;) dlorde, Sun, 29th Sep 2013
That's right, which is what we say in the programme. But the person who asked the question - alongside many others and the majority of young people who have not learned about Newtonian physics yet - didn't realise that was how a rocket works... chris, Mon, 30th Sep 2013
Just a thought:-
What colour were human ancestors? BROWN
Thanks Starbuck1963 - you've got some of the answers right; you'll need to listen to the programme to find out which ones though!
Rockets are not pushing against anything, either in or out of an atmosphere. How a rocket works is described above, i.e. reactants from rocket fuel combusion slam against the chamber wall pushing the rocket forward. The rocket itself is not pushing on anything other than the gases inside the chamber. Pmb, Tue, 8th Oct 2013
Ignorance of the implications of Newton's 3rd Law is not unheard of in intellectual circles - it's interesting that even the New York Times (back in the 1920's) had its doubts about action & reaction in space in response to Robert Goddard's 'rocket to the moon' suggestions. See: 'A Severe Strain on Credulity'. dlorde, Tue, 8th Oct 2013
How true :) dlorde, Tue, 8th Oct 2013