Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Written by: Christy Trent
One of the many hats I wear at my job working for the library is manning the reference desk. Daily I am asked questions about every conceivable thing out there. Mostly, the questions are typical. "Do you have books on training Dogs?"
"I'm doing a book report and I need a book that has more than 150 pages. Can you find one for me?" "I’m traveling to Florida; do you have any books about that state?"
But then we get the really odd ball questions, and some that are down right scary. "How do I make an atomic bomb?" "I have bed bugs. Can you give me a book on how to get rid of them?" "I've been arrested for a felony and I need to find out how to get off. Do you have a book that will tell me?"
I have to admit there have been times I’ve had to step away from someone asking a question because either the subject is worrisome, or they have frightened me with the topic. It's always great to be able to grab an informative book and hand it to them, freeing me from my concern.
The book, "Curious Folks Ask: 162 real answers on amazing inventions, fascinating products, and medical mysteries," by Sherry Seethaler, answers many interesting questions. Sherry Seethaler is a science writer and columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper and records in this book the best of curious questions she has been asked over the years.
Here are a few of them and their answers:
• What is the most widely accepted method by which the Egyptians formed the
pyramids? The great pyramids were probably a natural evolution of the earliest pyramids, all of them burial sites. The pyramid may have started as a pit and as more levels were added on, it grew into the pyramids we still see today.
• Why do we ache when we get a cold or the flu? It’s not the virus that makes us
ache, but rather the warfare fighting the virus. White blood cells release chemicals in response to the infection and activate body defense mechanisms, which make our body ache.
• Why do we hiccup? They are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm. When the
intake of air is interrupted abruptly for whatever reason, the result is a hiccup. Most hiccups occur after eating when our stomachs are stretched.
• What purpose do toenails and fingernails serve? They serve as mini body armor
to protect the tips of your fingers and toes. They also come in handy to scratch an itchy spot and to pick up tiny objects.
Life has many unanswered and intriguing questions. Those answers can usually be found bound between the pages of a book, and the best place to find a book with all the answers is at the local library.