Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? I know!

My dad had a huge collection of books, none of which were fiction or novels. He read for the sole purpose of learning. He had many "how-to" books about woodworking, plumbing, remodeling, upholstering, lock work, gardening, electricity, tools, money management, spirituality and science.

Most of these books I either sold on Ebay or gave away to family and friends. I kept a few for me though that sparked some interest. One was a paperback titled Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? and Other Imponderables--Everyday Mysteries explained by David Feldman (1987). I read this a bit at a time and found it sort of humorous and interesting. It certainly contains a lot of trivia!

This is a book full of unusual “Why” questions with answers to most of them. I enjoyed it because the questions were generally about things I never gave any thought to, for example:

Why do ants tend to congregate on sidewalks?
What are those twitches and jerks that occasionally wake us up just as we are falling asleep?
Why do bananas, unlike other fruits, grow upward?
What do Federal Express people do after 10:30 a.m.?
Where do houseflys go during the winter? Why is scoring three goals in hockey called a “hat trick”? How and why do horses sleep standing up?
Why are the hamburger bottoms so thin? Why is the scoring system in tennis so weird?

It even had some questions at the end that the author couldn't answer which he referred to as "Frustrables." Perhaps some of you would like to give it a try. Here are the ones I'd like to know answers to:

1. Why do the English drive on the left and just about everyone else on the right?

2. Why is yawning contagious?

3. Why do we give apples to teachers? (I'd rather have chocolate!)

4. Why does looking up at the sun cause us to sneeze?

5. Why do women in the U.S. shave their armpits?

6. Why don't you ever see really tall old people?

7. Why do only older men seem to have hairy ears?

This book is still available on but there are newer editions too.

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"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.