SALT LAKE CITY — Life's most pressing questions can keep us up at night and occupy our daydreams at work. The tension with North Korea is rather unnerving, and you're probably wondering when that whole mess will hit the fan. You may even be losing sleep over the super-virus reported in the news lately that could eventually kill us all. But it's far better to ask questions with answers that won't scare the daylights out of you.
Here are five questions you've always wanted to ask but have been too lazy to Google yourself.
Why do dogs walk in circles before they lie down?
Just like humans, dogs have ancestors. Primitive pooches didn't wear sweaters or ride in dog strollers. From what scientists gather, if those canines wanted to lie down in the wilderness, they'd have to walk in a circle to flatten the tall grass before curling up to snooze. Even though your living room probably isn't covered in weeds, your furry friend is hardwired through his DNA to behave instinctively like his wild predecessors.
What's the proper etiquette when it comes to disabled bathroom stalls?
Imagine being nine months pregnant and hoping to score an "Expectant Mother" parking spot at the mall in close proximity to the entrance. It would be maddening to find all the spots were taken by women who found out that morning that they were pregnant. Sure, they technically qualify for the parking spot, but it wasn't intended for them. It was made for those who are uncomfortably pregnant and unable to waddle far distances, not for those who still have the pregnancy test laying on the bathroom counter.
The same principle applies with handicapped bathroom stalls. The dimensions of an average stall are impossible to maneuver a wheelchair or crutches in. While there's no force field keeping the able-bodied out, there's always a chance that someone who truly needs it will come along while you're inside doing your business. The Americans with Disabilities Act was put into effect to make those stalls available for the disabled, and it's bad form to occupy them if you don't fall into that category.
Which is correct: "I could care less," or "I couldn't care less"?
Most English snobs agree that "I couldn't care less" is the appropriate phrase to use if you've stopped caring about someone or something. If you say, "I could care less," then you're implying that there's room for you to be even more disgruntled than you already are. However, since nobody actually speaks in full sentences anymore and acronyms are so popular, just say "ICCL" instead of using the full idiom, and everyone will be happy.
How do deaf people wake up if they can't hear the alarm clock?
The deaf community is incredibly open about answering questions that hearing people have as long as they're respectful, and this is one they come across often.
If a deaf person needs assistance waking up on time, there are some pretty helpful gadgets on the market. Alarm clocks connected to vibrating pillows, bed shakers and strobe lights do the trick in providing a silent wake-up call.
Why can people eat yogurt, but drinking spoiled milk makes you sick? Aren't they the same thing?
According to Charles Carpenter, head of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Department at Utah State University, there's a big difference between the two.
"Some microorganisms produce chemicals that are favorable for various reasons of flavor, preservation and physical character of the food," said Carpenter. "Those microorganisms are added intentionality to produce many of the foods we enjoy, including yogurt, cheese, pepperoni, sausage, bread, beer and wine, while other microorganisms produce chemicals that are toxic to humans and spoil the food."
So controlled and manipulated bacteria is good, and the stuff that grows in the back of your refrigerator is bad.
What other questions have you always wanted answered? Ask them in the comments or send an email and we might get your question in our next article.
Nicole Pollard currently resides in Canyon Country, Calif.