Asked in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Space Travel and Exploration

How long does it take to get to the ISS?

According to NASA’s website and a video produced in 2013, it takes about 3 days from initial launch to reach the International Space Station. However, that same year, a Russian Soyuz vessel made the journey in under 6 hours....

Asked in Fashion, Women's Clothing, Clothing

Why don't women's pants have pockets?

The simple answer is that women's fashion is driven by appearance, not by function. That's not universally true—plenty of modern designs incorporate pockets—but many do not. Designers might assume that women carry purses or that they'd prefer form-flattering clothes over functional options. "We [women] know clearly we need pockets to carry technology and I think it's expected we are going to carry a purse," Camilla Olson, creative director of a fashion firm that shares her name,...

Asked in Celebrities, Divorce, Relationships

What celebrities were divorced in 2019?

This has been a big year for celebrity divorces. The year's not finished yet, so this isn’t a complete list, but here are the big ones: Tom and Jennifer DeLonge - Tom, a musician best known for his work with Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves, split with his wife, Jennifer, after 18 years of marriage, citing "irreconcilable differences." They have two children. Sarah and Todd Palin - Sarah, the former governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican candidate...

Asked in US Government, US Congress, Politics and Government

Who was Elijah Cummings?

Elijah Eugene Cummings was a politician and member of the United States House of Representatives on behalf of Maryland's 7th District, serving from 1996 until his passing in 2019. He received his J.D. (Juris Doctor) from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1976, and in 1982 was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates. During his 14 years as a state representative, Cummings served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, and...

Asked in Charlize Theron, Movies, Nicole Kidman, Fox News

What is the Bombshell movie all about?

Based on the real scandal, 'Bombshell' is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it,...

Asked in Television and Video, Eyes, Health

Does sitting too close to a television hurt your eyes?

Yes and no. Your eyes might hurt, but they won't sustain permanent damage. This wasn't always the case. Prior to the 1950s, television sets emitted more radiation, and if you spent too much time in front of the set, you might have increased your risk of some eye problems. The technology has improved significantly since then, however, and modern televisions aren't dangerous. Most of us heard this myth from our parents, and the "you'll ruin your eyes!"...

Asked in Tony Awards, GRAMMY Awards, Oscars, Emmy Awards

How many people have won EGOTs?

As of October 2019, 15 people have won EGOTs. That phrasing might be a little misleading. The EGOT isn’t a specific award; it’s an accomplishment. To say that someone “has” an EGOT simply means they’ve won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. Here’s a list of the 15 winners: Richard Rodgers Helen Hayes Rita Moreno John Gielgud Audrey Hepburn Marvin Hamlisch Jonathan Tunick Mel Brooks Mike Nichols Whoopi Goldberg Scott Rudin Robert Lopez John Legend Andrew Lloyd Webber Tim Rice The term "EGOT" was invented by Miami Vice actor Philip Michael Thomas, who...

Asked in Microwave Ovens, Food & Cooking, Fruits and Vegetables

Why do some vegetables spark in the microwave?

Some vegetables contain iron, selenium, magnesium, and other minerals that conduct electricity. Microwaves have electric and magnetic fields, and minerals within the vegetables act as antennae for the electric fields. When there’s a difference between the electrical properties between two bits of material—say, the surface of one piece of kale and the surface of another nearby piece—it creates an arc of electricity, which we see as a spark. The electrical charge moves from the material with...

Asked in Police and Law Enforcement, Nicknames, Definitions

Why are police officers called "cops"?

While it’s impossible to trace word origins definitively, the modern usage of "cop" seeps to derive from the word’s definition as a verb: "To get hold of; catch, capture," per Merriam-Webster. The noun evolved from the verb—police officers were "copping" criminals, and eventually, officers became "coppers," then simply “cops." There are other possible answers, but they’re not supported by any real evidence. One such theory: "Cop" is an acronym for "constable on patrol" or "citizen on...

Asked in Hair, Horror, Health

Can hair turn white from fright?

Maybe, under the right conditions, but not for most people—and not overnight. When we’re talking about the effect of fear on the human body, we’re really talking about stress, and stress can certainly cause profound physiological changes. One study found that hormones created by stress can disrupt the process of cells called melanocytes, which produce pigment for hair and skin. Stress can cause hair loss in several ways; most commonly, it can prompt hair follicles to...

Asked in Planet Mars, NASA, Space Travel and Exploration

Is anyone planning a manned mission to Mars?

Yes, several organizations are developing proposals for possible missions. None of those proposals are concrete, but that could change in the near future. Here’s an overview: NASA’s Journey to Mars NASA’s strategy for a manned Mars expedition is probably the most promising, given that the agency has actually landed robotic craft on the planet’s surface. The administration envisions a multi-stage approach in which the moon serves as a stepping stone to Mars. Currently, NASA is working on sending...

Asked in ESPN, Television and Video, Sports, ESPN+

What is ESPN+?

ESPN+ is a premium streaming service that features original sports analysis, exclusive events, and additional ESPN programming. It airs thousands of live events from MLB, NHL, MLS, Serie A, FA Cup, UFC, Top Rank Boxing, and more. Subscribers also get access to premium ESPN articles, fantasy sports tools, and the entire 30 for 30 library. You can sign up for ESPN+ by clicking here....

Asked in Traffic Lights and Signals, Cars & Vehicles, Transportation and Logistics

How do they plan traffic light patterns?

It’s actually pretty complex. Traffic light patterns vary considerably from country to country, although traffic lights in the United States typically follow the National Electrical Manufacturers Association TS-1 or TS-2 standards. So, let’s say you’re an engineer, and your job is to set up patterns for a city’s traffic lights. You want to keep vehicles moving wherever possible while allowing sufficient time for pedestrians to cross the street. It’s an important job—poorly timed traffic lights can...

Asked in Animal Behavior, Animal Life, Ants

What happens to an ant when it's separated from its colony?

Typically, it finds its way home. The mechanisms it uses to do that depend on the exact species of ant. Some rely on pheromone trails as their primary means of navigation; if these ants get lost, they’ll wander around, looking for the trail of other ants. Some ants use visual landmarks when they’re far from their colonies. In one study, scientists led wood ants along a straight line next to a black wall to get a sugar...

Asked in Traffic Violations and Tickets, Cars & Vehicles, Police and Law Enforcement

Do some types of cars get more traffic tickets than others?

If you’re hoping to avoid tickets, your best bet is to drive safely. With that said, yes, there’s some evidence to indicate that vehicle choice does correlate with the likelihood of receiving a traffic ticket. First, to dispel an old myth, red cars don’t receive a much greater proportional percentage of traffic tickets than cars of other colors. The misconception comes from the idea that drivers act more aggressively when driving red cars, or that police...

Asked in US Military, Job Training and Career Qualifications, US Military Boot Camp

What is basic training really like?

Also known as "boot camp," basic training teaches the traditions and tactics necessary for military service. In films and television, basic training is often shown as extremely difficult and physically demanding; however, the actual experience differs significantly from portrayals in movies like Full Metal Jacket. While the physical components of basic training plans can be difficult, the goal of most camps is to get the recruit into the proper mindset for military service. This means teaching...

Asked in Comics, DC Comics, Marvel Comics

Who are the weirdest superheroes?

That depends on how you define "weird." After all, The Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise features a talking space raccoon, and the Ant-Man franchise features a hero that comics fans once found ridiculous. Both were massive hits—weirdness is in the eye of the beholder. With that said, the two main comics companies, Marvel and DC Comics, have had plenty of oddball outliers over their combined 165 years of business, and some are inarguably...well, weird. Here...

Asked in Music, Smartphone Apps, Spotify, Music Streaming Services

How much does Spotify pay musicians?

There’s no simple answer, as Spotify has a fairly complicated payment structure, but by delving into the site’s terms of service and looking at a few recent stats, we can get a good idea of how much (or how little) artists make. First, it’s important to recognize that a paid play (i.e., a play from a Spotify Premium user) pays differently than a free play. When a Spotify user listens to a song with the free...

Asked in Jobs, Job Search, Jobs & Education

What are some odd jobs that pay surprisingly well?

Horse Trainer/Exerciser Contrary to popular belief, other people outside of the jockeys actually help train and exercise the horses before their races. The main objective of a horse trainer is to make sure that the horses are properly prepared for the jockeys. According to, the annual median salary is around $50K. This is the perfect career choice if you're a horse lover! Pet Food Taster Pet food tasters check the value of pet food by sampling it...

Asked in Major League Baseball (MLB), Baseball, Sports

In baseball, what is a magic number?

When sports teams are vying for a spot in the playoffs, especially in baseball, you’ll often hear discussion about your favorite team’s "Magic Number", but not much explanation of what that statistic actually represents. According to, "a team’s magic number represents the combination of wins needed by that team and losses by its closest competitor to clinch a given goal. Every time a team wins, its magic number decreases by one. Similarly, every time that...

Asked in US Presidents, US Constitution, US Government, US Congress

What is impeachment?

Impeachment is the process used by a legislative body to bring charges of wrongdoing against a public official. Basically, it is the indictment of an appointed or elected public officer on serious criminal charges. The legal basis for impeachment is stated in Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery,...

Asked in Credit and Debt Counseling, Personal Finance, Debt and Bankruptcy, Debt Consolidation

Should you get credit counseling?

If you are living paycheck to paycheck, worried about debt collectors, or can't seem to develop a workable budget, you may be considering a consumer credit counseling service. Your creditors may be willing to accept reduced payments if you enter a debt repayment plan with a reputable credit counseling service. Choosing whether or not to use one of these services and choosing which agency to work with can be difficult, so here are some tips...

Asked in Law & Legal Issues, Traffic Violations and Tickets, Cars & Vehicles

What's the best way to get out of a traffic ticket?

The only safe way to avoid a traffic ticket is to avoid breaking the law in the first place, but if you’re asking this question, you’re past that point. In the United States, an average of 125,000 people receive speeding tickets each day. A single speeding offense can increase a driver’s insurance premiums by 25 percent, depending on the nature of the offense and other factors, so it’s no wonder that drivers look for ways...

Asked in YouTube, Celebrities, Internet

What are my chances of becoming a famous YouTuber?

Not great. The exact statistics vary, depending on what you define as "famous", but let’s assume you want to make a living on YouTube. An average YouTube channel might receive about $3-5 per 1,000 video views. To make $2,000 per month—a livable, but not comfortable wage in most of the United States—you’d need to attract over 27,000 views per day. Of course, if your audience has a higher than average engagement rate (meaning they’re attractive to advertisers...

Asked in English Alphabet History, English Language

When was the letter "J" invented?

In one sense, the letter “j” was invented in 1524, but the character was widely used before that—as a numeral. Here’s the deal: The Roman numeric system used both uppercase and lowercase numerals. When writing a row of ones, writers would often add a slash to the “i" to indicate the end of the series (for instance, the number three would be written as “iij”). As European languages evolved, they used “i" to represent the modern sounds...