Welcome to Answer Central

All of my answers have been carefully researched and confirmed for accuracy. I have presented them in plain english for everyone to enjoy.

Feel free to ask your own question by leaving me a comment.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

This Blog has a new home.

This blog now has it's own website.  You can find all of these answers, plus a whole bunch of new ones at .  

See you there!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Did you know?

Did you know Methuselah is purported to have regularly drunk his own urine. This is credited to his longevity - he lived to 969 years of age!

Not sure it is something I'd like to try, but here is an interesting story on the practice of drinking ones own urine:

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Radio Solutions Questions from 4BC

Does your DNA change when you have a blood transfusion?

No it doesn't. Here's why. Blood is made up of 4 elements – red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. Most blood transfusions only involve red blood cells or plasma which do not contain any DNA at all. Whilst white blood cells do contain DNA however, even in rare whole blood transfusions there is no permanent change of DNA – it might be slightly skewed for a couple of days, however the recipients DNA takes over after a couple of days.
There is however a situation in which a transplant can change your DNA - a bone marrow transplant. The DNA in a blood sample from someone who has had a bone marrow transplant may actually reflect the donor rather than the recipient. The reason for this is because the actual blood stem cells are transferred after all the recipients cells have been killed off with treatment. Because of this, the recipient will produce blood that contains the donor's cellular elements and almost none of his or her own DNA.

This doesn't affect other DNA such as saliva etc, only the blood. In these cases a person will have two sets of DNA.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Radio Solutions Questions from 4BC

How do dog years work? Why does my dad say my dog is 7 when he only just turned 1?

It's all based on the lifespan in comparison to a human life span. Seven years is used for a dog because on average a human lives 7 times longer than a dog - however this differs between breeds. The 7 year ratio is purely an average. In reality dogs, and cats, age very quickly in the first 2 yeras - with the first year actually equalling 15 human years. Larger dogs actually age quicker as they have a shorter life span - so a Great Dane would age about 20 years in their first year of life.

Other animals have different ratios depending on their life span in comparison to humans. For example:

Horses 3 years for every 1 human year
Brown Bears - 2 years for every 1 human year
Polar Bears - 3 years for every 1 human year

See if you can find out other ratios - some of them might surprise you!

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stay Tuned - this blog will be back

My apologies to those who read my blog - thank you for doing so.

Due to holidays and illness my blog has taken a back seat to other areas of my life. However, over the next couple of weeks it will resume and I will be back providing snippets of information, dispelling untruths and finding out just how things do work!

Take care
Annie from The Gap

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Radio Solutions Questions from 4BC

Today we had a great question from Xanthe.

She asked why do smellies (farts) smell worse in the shower?

There are actually a few reasons for this and they all add together to make those smellies smellier.
  • the shower cubicle is a small enclosed space with not a lot of air circulating through

  • you are naked so none of the smell gets absorbed in clothing

  • water vapour easily attaches to methane molecules (smellies) making the smell more readily attach to the nostril lining, and

  • the warm vapours will cause any crusted mucus in your nose to soften and disengage, providing more surface area within the sinuses to absorb the smell.

So there you have it, those smellies really are smellier in the shower!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Radio Solutions Questions from 4BC

Here are some more interesting questions from last week.

On Monday a young man from Gregory Terrace asked about a rubbish tip in Mexico that can be seen from outer space.

There is a rubbish dump in mexico (see picture) which is eight miles long and one mile wide and is home to hundreds of foragers called pepenadores (garbage people). These people live work and play there and they even have a church built on the rubbish. However, it is not visible from space.

One of the biggest rubbish dumps in the world was the rubbish dump of New York known as the Fresh Kills Rubbish Dump located on Staten Island. The dump is now closed but not before it had accumulated over 100 years worth of rubbish. A lot of the rubble from 9/11 was dumped there and unfortunately it has become the last resting ground for many of the victims whose bodies were not recovered. Families of these people have been fighting for years to have the rubbish searched for remains. The rubbish dump area is the size of Wales and 30 metres high and could be seen from space. It is now being turned into parkland (3 times the size of central park) with a memorial for the 9/11 victims.

The world's largest rubbish dump isn't a conventional rubbish dump like those mentioned above, but it is a soup of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean. It stretches from Hawaii to Japan and the plastic debris is held in place by swirling ocean currents. This plastic soup sea is twice the size of the USA. Gross!!

On Friday Emily asked us about the very first vacuum cleaner. She wanted to know if it was so big it had to be pulled by horses, just how big exactly was it?

Nice question! This vacuum cleaner, invented by Hubert Cecil Booth in 1901 was so large that it's vacuum, pump and motor were housed in a horse drawn cart from which a 100 foot hose was extended and snaked into the house. See picture to the right. It was the size of a horse drawn milk float and took 4-6 people to operate it. See a picture of a milk float below.

The reason it was so large is because many homes at that time were not wired for electricity and the machine had a coal or oil powered generator which had to travel with it. As you can imagine it would have been very loud. Thankfully with the progression of electricity into homes, smaller vacuum cleaners were invented.

Queen Victoria used to have her carpets cleaned with one of these machines and the upper class would invite their friends over for vacuum parties. Amazing the things they did before tupperware!

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Radio Solutions Questions from 4BC

We had a great question last week, a young listener was wondering whether Prince Leonard of Hutt was still around and if his country still existed?

The answer is yes! In fact the Principality of Hutt River is still going strong having just given out their 2008 Honours Awards.

If you haven't heard of Prince Leonard and the Principality of Hutt River keep reading because you are in for a treat. His previous name was Leonard George Casley and he was embroiled in a long running dispute with the Government of Westerna Australia over "draconian" wheat quotas in 1969. Casley and his associates resorted to a British Law (the Treason Act 1495) which allowed them to secede and declare their independence from the Commonwealth of Australia.

On the 21st April 1970 to principality of Hutt River was founded. Leonard Casley became "His Royal Highness Prince Leonard I".

They have a great website which can be found at and it is really interesting to have a look around.

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