Tag: science

How Long Can an Elephant Stand After It Dies?

Deceased elephant being held up by a man

…I thought they might actually mean, “How long can you stand an elephant after it dies?” But on consulting prominent elephysiologists, I learned that elephant post-mortem standing is in fact a matter of some controversy in the field…. (MORE)

Cheese vs. Soap, revisited

Soap/cheese test kit

Some readers of an earlier blog entry wrote to say that while it’s important to be able to tell the difference between cheese and soap, the technique I described, which employs an electron microscope, is too cumbersome for daily use. (MORE)

How can I repel mosquitoes?

Yoga man

Hilary Moon Murphy writes again to ask how to best repel mosquitoes. Now, my pal Socrates would leap right onto that question, but he wouldn’t answer it. Oh, no, that’s too easy. Instead he would ask another question, to wit: Are we sure that’s the question you really want answered? Is it necessary to repel …

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How do I tell the difference between cheese and soap?

A whitish-yellowish block. Could be cheese. Could be soap. How can you be sure? The answer can have definite consequences. Eating soap is unpleasant and bubbly. Cleaning yourself with cheese is ineffective, and attracts mice. In these and many other ways, being able to distinguish between cheese and soap is crucial to your continued happiness. …

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Tyler, how can I become as knowledgeable as you are?

Tyler absorbing knowledge

Hilary Moon Murphy of Minneapolis wrote to ask how I developed my expertise. I sleep on books. I’ve found that if I place a book under my pillow at night, and skim the table of contents the next day, I can pretend to have read it. This saves a lot of time and lets me …

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