Is there such a thing as a funny bone?

The funny bone exists in your body, but it’s not a bone at all! The funny bone is a part of the ulnar nerve located at the back of the elbow. If you accidentally bump this area it can cause a tingling sensation toward the front of your forearm.

This tingling or dull pain is caused by the ulnar nerve bumping up against the humerus, the long bone that starts at your elbow and goes up to your shoulder. Although it might feel weird, tapping your funny bone doesn’t do any damage to your elbow, arm, or ulnar nerve.

Why does the letter K signify a strikeout on a baseball scoresheet?

Early in baseball history, a man named Henry Chadwick designed the system we still use for keeping score. Because his system already had an overabundance of Ss scattered throughout his scoresheet — safe, slide, shortstop, sacrifice, second base, etc. — he decided to use the last letter of struck, as in, “he struck out,” rather than the first. And that’s why K signifies a strikeout in baseball.

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Why do we say a person isn’t “up to scratch”?

During the early days of bare-knuckle boxing, a line was scratched across the centre of the ring, dividing it into two halves. This is where the fighters met to start the contest, or where they “toed the line” to begin each round. If, as the fight progressed, one of the boxers was unable to toe the line without help from his seconds, it was said he had failed to come “up to scratch.”

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How does a fax machine work?

A fax machine, also called a telefacsimile, transmits (carries) graphic and textual information from one location to another through telephone lines. A transmitting machine uses either a digital or analog scanner to convert the black-and-white representations of the image into electrical signals that are transmitted through the telephone lines to a receiving machine. The receiving unit converts the transmission back to an image of the original and prints it. In its broadest definition, a fax terminal is simply a copier that can transmit and receive images. Although the fax was invented by Alexander Bain of Scotland in 1842, it wasn’t until 1924 that it was first used to transmit wire photos from Cleveland to New York as part of the newspaper industry.

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Why does grass gather more dew in nights than metallic objects such as stones?

Grass being a good radiator enables water vapour in the air to condense on it. Moreover, grass gives out water constantly (transpiration) which appears in the form of dew because the air near grass is saturated with water vapour and slows evaporation. Dew is formed on objects which are good radiations and bad conductors.

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Do our intestines contain germs?

Yes. Germs aren’t all bad—in fact, some are helpful. For example, the common bacterium, E. coli, is found in our intestines and helps us digest green vegetables and beans (also making gases). These same bacteria also make vitamin K, which causes blood to clot. If we didn’t have this bacteria inside of us, we could bleed to death whenever we got a small cut.

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Why, when someone has been fooled, do we say he’s had “the wool pulled over his eyes”?

In British courts, both judges and attorneys wear wool wigs, a custom that originated in the eighteenth century. The judge’s wig is larger than the lawyer’s, so he’s often called the “bigwig.” When a crafty lawyer wins at trial against all odds, it’s as though the lawyer had blinded the judge with his own wig. It’s said he just had “the wool pulled over his eyes.”

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Can all birds fly?

Most birds fly. They are only incapable of flight during short periods while they molt, or naturally shed their old feathers for new ones. There are, however, several birds that do not fly, including the African ostrich, the South American rhea, and the emu, kiwi, and cassowary of Australia. The penguins of the Southern Hemisphere are also incapable of air flight. They have feathers and insulation for breeding purposes, but use a different form of motion: their sleek bodies “fly” through the ocean using flipper-like wings. All of these flightless birds have wings, but over millions of years of evolution they have lost the ability to fly, even though they probably descended from flying birds. These species may have lost their ability to fly through the gradual disuse of their wings. Perhaps they became isolated on oceanic islands and had no predators; therefore, they had no need to fly and escape danger. Another possibility is that food became plentiful, eliminating the need to fly long distances in search of food.

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Why is someone displaying absolute loyalty said to be “true blue”?

With the slogan “a true covenantor wears true blue,” the Scottish Presbyterians adopted blue as their colour in the seventeenth century during their defense of their faith against Charles I. The instruction came from Numbers 15:38 in the scriptures, which tells the children of Israel to fringe the borders of their garments in ribbons of blue. Blue is a powerful symbol of Judaism and the national colour of Israel.

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