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Questions - Odd but Unanswered

Updated on February 11, 2016

Can you answer these?

This is a participatory site. It has been around for a while, but was in draft form, and now it is time to get it going.

We will launch this with some initial questions, and you can supply the answers -- or your best thoughts if you (like us) don't exactly know the answer. You, dear reader, can help us all out by providing the answer, or maybe by refining the question or analyzing what is involved. Brainpower. That's how you can participate.

Another thing you can do is pose additional questions like these -- Odd - but Unanswered. There's a general Comments section at the bottom here where you can do that. In addition, each individual Question has its own Comments section, where you can lodge your answers.

Unanswered? Ha! Ha! Maybe not for long.

There is a vast, vast sea of surfers out there, just waiting to give answers. It is a bit difficult, however, to categorize this whole endeavor we are about to embark on. Ideas? Well, maybe. Books? These haven't been written yet (we think). Philosophy? Not quite. Science? Depends. Venture into the unknown? For sure, unless perhaps you already know the answer.

Remember this is for odd questions, meaning questions no one else has asked. We are not talking about questions like "Is there a deity?" or "Does life have a meaning?" You may think of those as odd questions, but they are not the sort we want here -- those are too . . well . . . mundane. We strive for odd here.

Where do you give your answer? Down below. Where is says: Answers please! Just be sure you make it clear which Q you are answering (one reason they have numbers).

Q004 - Up in the air

At 12 noon GMT how many people in the world are up in the air? -- in flight, in hot air balloons skydiving, etc. Drones are not counted in this, just people. Admittedly, this is of course an odd question, but conceivably it has an answer which can be figured out by some procedure.

Relatedly:

What percentage of the world's population is this? How does this percentage change from hour to hour, or is it fairly constant, given that the sun is always shining somewhere.

Answers to Q004

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    Q003 - Links

    What percentage of links on the internet are broken? In the very old days, it might have been easy to guesstimate this, in that there were far fewer links when the internet was first getting started (which wasn't that long ago, really). But today, the internet is vast, with an unimaginable number of links -- but as we all know, many of these are broken. What percentage of the total do these represent? I can't think of any particular reason to want to know this, so wanting to know it is just what we are looking for -- an odd question.

    Relatedly:

    How many broken links are there on the internet? Does this number increase year-to-year, or is there some sweeping mechanism that gets rid of broken ones?

    Answers to Q003

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      Q002 - Nails

      Toenails?

      Wait a minute! Toenails! How could there be any sort of question about toenails, odd or not odd? This is a serious discussion group we have here.

      Fingernails?

      Now this has really gone off the deep end! A serious question about toenails and fingernails? Impossible. Though, admittedly, if there is one it has got to be odd.

      OK, here's the question:

      Why do the former

      grow slower

      than the latter?

      Answers to Q002

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        Q001 - Upside down

        You are hanging upside down, not precisely like the bat shown here, but you get the idea.

        Someone throws a lot of water in your face. You have worked up a sweat from your physical exercise routine, a routine which ends with you hanging upside down. (A wholly different scenario would be that you are being tortured and have fallen asleep and the professionals of pain wish to wake you up).

        You get some of this water in your mouth, enough to swallow.

        You swallow.

        Does the water get to your stomach?

        Now that's an odd question.

        Answers to Q001

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          Parting facts

          Questions are more complicated things than might at first appear. Obviously, if you asked someone what questions are for, the like answer would be "to get information or to get data of some sort." True enough, but questions can have other uses. A prime example is the rhetorical question -- a question which is not a question. (Now you see it, now you don't). The "what is it for?" of a rhetorical question is to emphasize a point, usually one thought to be obvious to anyone who thinks about the matter, by framing it in the mode of a question but framing it also as a question which does not need an answer -- because the answer is so evident.

          Another type of question, or use for a question, is what might be called the counter-question. Sometimes the best answer to a question is another question. This in a sense rejects the original question and in effect turns it back on the person who asked it. The counter question has the advantage of evading an answer to the original question. "Are you guilty?" "What makes you think that I might be?"

          Still another way a question can be used is to perform some action. This is the question version of the realization that certain sentences, traditionally labeled declarative sentences, don't actually declare anything, don't actual make a statement, but rather perform an action. Perhaps the classic case of this is "I do" at a wedding ceremony. If a choir master asks his choir at rehearsal "Now we all want to sing together, don't we?" he is not really looking for an answer but rather trying to get his group to perform better as a choir.

          Another purpose of a question might be, again not to elicit information, but to awe the persons to whom the question is addressed: "Who made the universe?"

          !

          General comments - and suggestions for new questions

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              I'm thinking about the swallowing one.

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              anonymous 5 years ago

              Great idea!