Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dear Jeni,

Why do most of the male actors on the hit NBC series Heroes have such big eyebrows?

I-Cat

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Dear I-Cat,

It makes them look manly. Besides, thick eyebrows are all the rage, even for women. See the NY Times article "Throw Your Tweezers Away." So apparently, your favorite TV show actors are merely keeping up with the latest fashion. I hear that Santiago Cabrera actually uses eyebrow extensions.

Jeni

Friday, February 09, 2007

Dear Jeni,

What is so special about the Super Bowl anyway!

--No Interest

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Dear Mr. or Ms. Interest,

The Super Bowl is a time when families, friends, and neighbors can openly expose their beer-inflated bellies to the world, paint them, and further stuff them with chicken wings without shame, humiliation, or other social sanction. It is a Carnival of sorts. But do not worry. Immediately following it is a period of Lent, during which time no football-induced mayhem is allowed.

Jeni

Monday, February 05, 2007

Dear Jeni,

Professor Water is a fraud! Yesterday at my work, the swimming pool caught on fire. Ha.

Erudite Luddite

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Dear Erudite,

You seem confused about the nature of water. Water does not burn. In fact, burning can actually produce water vapor, such as in the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen.

$2H_2 + O_2 \rightarrow \; 2H_2O + \textrm{heat}$
That being said, water will change its form in the presence of heat, changing from a liquid to a gas (vapor) through a mysterious and largely unheard-of process that specialists call "evaporation."

It is, however, possible for a swimming pool to catch fire, though it is not actually the water that is burning (though some of the water may certainly be evaporating). In my day, crazy college students would pour kerosene in campus fountains and light the fountains afire. Note the use of kerosene. The water would not burn on its own. And indeed, the fire went quickly out because the kerosene promptly burned and all that was left around it (i.e., water) would not burn.

For a fun science experiment, try taking a bucket of plain water (no chemicals, kerosene, etc., in it) and dropping a lit match into it. Then add kerosene and try again. (Warning: experiment may be dangerous and may result in serious injury or death. Do not attempt at home.)

Jeni

Friday, February 02, 2007

Dear Jeni,

How do I make my husband's (far less cute) big cat like my (completely adorable) little cat?

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Dear Crazy Cat Lady,

Buy several cans of tuna. Drain the water into a bowl. Do not give any tuna to big cat. Pour the drained tuna water all over little cat. Big cat shall soon have an uncontrollable desire to be near and lick little cat. Once big cat associates microkitty with the pleasantness of tuna, your household shall be the picture of feline domestic bliss.

Jeni

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dear Jeni,

Why should I care?

--Question for the Ages

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Dear Questioning,

It doesn't matter. You obviously do care. You wrote to me instead of hurling yourself off the nearest bridge. Congratulations.

Jeni