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Instead of sleeping, I'm arguing with people I don't know

Published on 12.04.2009., in Ranting
I received one of those "ever so cute" mails which bombards us with a great number of supposedly interesting/funny questions one is supposed to admire/laugh to, which are, basically, ignorance wrapped in big colourful font.
So, half-asleep I went on a Don Quixotian quest of correcting someone on the internet:

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting weak?
a) You can't know whether it's about batteries or a faulty contact if you don't try harder
b) Consequence of remotes being a mixture of mechanic and electric bits - if there are moving parts, they are the interface the human sees (and uses), thus the impression that mechanic bit is faulty. If the said remote were a flat touch sensitive gizmo (with no buttons), pushing harder wouldn't seem natural thing to try.

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough?
Because they will take that money from you at some point in future - whether when you top up your account or get to court.
Yes, they're greedy bastards, but you agreed to their policies once you initially signed the contract.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
Empiricism is a big part of how we perceive the world around us and/or form our opinions.
While the second information is a simply checkable fact, the first is a theorem that can be proved and disproved with a lot of complicated formulas.

Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?
Even though this question isn't precise enough (glue does stick to the outer side of the bottle, thus the labels) the reply (for implied inner side) is, again, simple - glue needs air to dry, and it reacts with air slowly enough to enable you to open the bottle for a short period of time without the whole lot inside drying up.

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?
Needles are sterilised in production, and are mass-produced for all medical purposes.
Using non-sterilised needles would require collecting previously used needles which is not only a pointless but a dangerous task.

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
Because some men just can't grow beards?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?
Trying to be objective, I'd say: because every story has its flaws, and writers often use ill-fitting elements from real life in imaginary environments. The most common example would be the dogfight scenes from (early) Star Wars where superior futuristic aircraft fly like WW2 planes in combat.
On the other hand, Superman fans would probably give you a deeper response, based on the universe Superman lives in.

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
Because they need to fly to their suicide destination first, and that flight requires all the precaution as any other flight.

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?
Dictionary says the following: "ORIGIN Old English wlispian (recorded in āwlyspian), from wlisp(adjective) ‘lisping,’ of imitative origin; compare with Dutch lispen and German lispeln."

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
Evolution doesn't necessary mean that one species replaces the other.
Humans and apes live in different environments and thus humans adapted to be more efficient in the environment they inhabit (e.g. "on ground" vs "in trees").

Why is it that no matter what colour bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?
Bubbles are, actually, transparent.
The said "white" is scattered reflected light from many surfaces that bubbles create.

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?
Yes, there is.

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?
When you have a fairly full fridge, there's a high chance you didn't see all of its contents in a first glance (i.e. you'd have to have moved a pan or a carton of milk to see something "hidden" behind). But even supposing that you saw everything in (and haven't forgotten anything you saw), you'd open the fridge again to try to think up a different potential meal (which is, generally, easier when you look at the ingredients rather than remembering what's actually there).

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?
Because they can't be bothered to do it properly?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?
This is just a misassumption.
Some plastic bags won't open from the first tried ends, while some will - at worst there's a 50-50 chance.

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?
They usually get in alive and get burnt on the light bulbs.

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right?" Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid idiot?"
It's a matter of being polite - if someone was polite enough to apologise in the first place, the properly polite thing is to accept that apology.
Also, the person who has done the said deed didn't do it intentionally.

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?
Yet another ill-constructed assumption which infers that the said concept happens every time, which is often simply not true due to times which lack things to be knocked over (not mentioning other variants).
But, supposing that something got knocked over anyway - it's because we concentrate on the falling object "too much" and react impulsively, thus not being completely aware of our all-around movement which then renders us more "clumsy" than usual.

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?
I, for one, try to keep my house at about the same temperature in all the seasons.

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?
Women in jokes are usually more background-portrayed (blonde, mother-in-law, ...), while men tend to be more generic (Irishman, Scotsman, Frenchman). This probably has something to do with the whole said genre of literary movement, which is out of my reach.
However, empirically, mothers-in-law have proved to be more nosy and generally pain in the ass to both male and female population. Fathers-in-law are more commonly "problematic" before weddings than after.

And my FAVOURITE...... The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you!
"Some sort of mental illness" covers a wide range of illnesses, including the minor ones that aren't easy to spot.
Also, "1/4 population" (or, popularly, "1 out of 4") doesn't mean "1 out of EVERY 4", because the latter infers that even if you collected 4 clinically sane persons, 1 would still have to be clinically insane, and having that you can't be both "clinically sane" and "clinically insane" at the same time, the said construction is impossible.

I might be a boring fart, but ignorance is scarcely fun.

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