Monday, January 17, 2011

I've Always Wondered...

1) Do birds really "fly south" for the winter?
          a) If so, to where?  Memphis has birds in winter - do they fly here?
          b) If they fly farther south (say an island in the Caribbean), how do they cross the ocean?  As in, how can a tiny sparrow fly all that way without getting tired?

2) If your gas tank is low in the winter, could the gas really freeze when the car's turned off?  Does anyone know someone to whom this has actually happened?

3) When a glass "sweats" (a glass of ice water on a hot day, for example), where does the "sweat" come from?  I understand that it's condensation - but from where?  The atmosphere?

4) What are a meteorologist's credentials?  There's a girl who went to Rhodes who is a meteorologist now; I think she was an English major.

5) Remember those infomercials in the 90s about speed reading?  You would run your hand over the page and read it in 2 seconds...?  Does anyone know someone who can do this?

6) Does Rosetta Stone really work?  Like, does someone know firsthand that it does?

7) Do any commercials on tv have "real people," that is, non actors?  Like, the commercials for medical stuff (I'm thinking of toothpaste ads and that Restasis one with the pretty doctor) - are those really doctors - or actors?  Or what about the ones for cleaning supplies/credit cards/Chevy/Toyota when the "real family" talks about how their family uses the item - are those actors?

8) Where are all the landfills for major cities?  Like, where is the one for Memphis?  I presume most landfills are enormous - why can't they be smelled from the whole city?

9) How do you get selected for the home makeover shows on HGTV?  (Particularly Divine Design, because I'd like Candice Olsen to re-do my house.)  Also - who pays?  You or the network?

10) Does another person (or many!) exist in the World who has your exact same proportions - like, everything the same: height, weight, shoe, inseam, hips, waist, bust, calf/thigh/arm/neck circumference, arm length, etc.  (If that person did exist, and you saw them walking down the street, do you think you'd recognize your body?)


Happy MLK Day, too!  I'm home enjoying a lovely day off.


LB said...

Ha! Love these. I have no answers except that, 1) I imagine birds stay over land when flying south for that exact reason, and 2) I think you would definitely recognize your own body if you saw it on someone else, or maybe think you were looking in a mirror.

Tippy said...

OH my. haha. I have answers to loads of these.

For the HGTV one, the network pays. But it isn't really them paying - it is the advertisers. You know how there is strategic brand positioning during the show. And those commercial breaks. Seriously what is 10k to redo your house if a couple million people watch the show? Peanuts!

For landfills - NYC's goes to Jersey. :) Says alot.

Meteorologists - TV meteorologists don't need credentials. In the UK they are being replaced by "pretty" people. They are fed the information. You can take a certification (like a 2 year course) and actually be able to plot and understand and whatever weather patterns.

Rosetta Stone works. I did part of it once and it sticks. Not saying my pronunciation was great but I quickly picked up what words meant. And according to a Peace Corps friend, their language training is very similar to this style of teaching.

Birds - Depends on if it is a land or water based bird. So a water bird wouldn't fly over land for very long as its feeding would be disrupted. Also birds fly in weird patterns to avoid obstacles. So not necessarily a straight line. ALSO - not all birds are migratory. Only about 20% are.


Claire said...

Hi! Actually, trash from NYC is shipped all over the place - some to landfills in (lovely) NJ, then lots to PA, VA, and other more rural locations. It's likely to be a similar story for Memphis.

I had a class in graduate school on urban infrastructure, taught by this terrific woman. She worked for years in NYC government as a developer, but is in the private sector now. Anyway, one week of the class was devoted to trash (her favorite subject apparently). Check out her (very fun) book, and the chapter on just that:

Amy said...

I'd say most commercials use actors, but there are definitely some with "real people." We use real patients (well, previous patients, anyway) in our MD Anderson campaign! I know the toothpaste ads you're talking about, though, and those definitely strike me as actors. Who knows!?!?