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Why does but te land upside d red toast own? – Sarah, Grad Scientists e 11

have actually ch ecked why this whenever your happens toast falls off th e table. To land side up, it has butterto make two fu ll turns before the ground. Th hitting e problem is, ou r tables are too When a slice of low. toast reaches th the dangling ed e edge of a tabl ge starts to fall e, first, causing th toast to turn as e it falls through the air. But it too slowly to co turns mplete two flips before hitting ground, which the would need to be three metre for this to happ s away en. Perhaps gi ants’ toast falls side up? But th butteren again, gian ts probably ea slices, which ch t huge anges the equa tion altogether .

To see the toast theory in action, click to <>.

Do humans have a sixth sense?

– Tshepiso, Grade 9

The jury is still out on what gives you that someone-isstaring-at-me chill down your spine. But according to research, scientists think that humans may once have had an extra sense (that is, in addition to the usual five senses: taste, touch, sight, smell and hearing). Two tiny pits containing a bundle of nerves that respond to very subtle scents, called pheromones, sit just behind the nostrils. Many animals secrete pheromones to trigger instinctive behaviour like mating and aggression in the sniffer almost immediately after they get a whiff. Humans apparently have a mutated form of the gene that codes for the pheromone detector. This could mean that our ancestors once had a supersniffing sixth sense, but that it’s useless in modern humans.



Is picking your nose bad for you?

– Anonymous Birds don’t do it, bees don’t do it, but just about everyone you know does it. During a study, more than 95% of a group of teens admitted to nose picking; almost a third said they stuck their fingers up their nostrils more than five (!) times a day. It’s mostly to get an irritating bit of dried snot out of your nose and although generally not harmful to your health, excessive habitual nose picking is sometimes, uhm, picked up among patients with psychiatric problems. There’s even a word for such a disorder: rhinotillexomania, which basically means an obsession with getting boogers out your nose. Gross!

The Progress Issue  

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