So, we have cable now.
I know. And fast Internet. Our fish are all dead, however.
We recently watched the Major League Baseball All-Star game. A great American tradition, featuring three players from my Rockies in the National League’s starting lineup (which is why they didn’t score, points out Marie), a touching tribute to veterans, and even Neil Diamond.
I thank Jesus today that the girls asked 17 questions inspired by baseball, and not one – thank Allah and Vishnu, too – about Viagra.
I feel like we’re Quakers.
On with the show.
1. Do batteries get hot when you use them?
Sometimes. But you don’t have to call a doctor after three hours at least.
Batteries are inefficient, as they charge and as they discharge. As a current moves in or out of a battery, it meets resistance. That creates friction, which creates heat. When a batter shorts out, there is no resistance between the positive and negative ends, so the heat has nowhere to go – but in.
You can wind up with a hot battery if you try to charge ones not designed to recharge. But let’s not get into that.
2. How do actors not get hurt when they get thrown through a window in movies?
There’s a special place in Siberia for movie physics and the designated hitter.
None of us can tiptoe through the kitchen after Marie shatters another bowl without suffering lacerations and puncture wounds. And that’s just a Bonnie Brae bowl. In Hollywood, a motorcycle cop can punch a villain hard enough to send him sprawling through a window – without a scratch.
Weight and inertia say this is poppycock. The large splinters of glass would slice through clothing and skin with ease. This says nothing about the inertia that would keep these shards of glass in place until various body parts pushed against them.
It’d be like a great big cheese grater for people.
3. What’s the fastest pitch ever?
It’s the one that girl in the mall tossed me to try and sell me smokeless cigarettes.
Second to her was Cincinnati Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman, in 2010, in a game against the San Diego Padres. Chapman, a lanky Cuban lefty, seared a pitch past Tony Gwynn Jr. and into the record books. Chapman threw 25 pitches that night, the slowest of which crawled across the plate at 102 mph.
The record pitch missed the strike zone, by the way. Lots of speed, no control. Kinda like your dad at the pizza buffet.
4. Are zebras white with black stripes, or black with white stripes?
So, mankind can send humans to the moon and invent T-shirts and underwear without itchy tags, but it can’t quite solve the mystery that is zebra color.
Lisa Smith, curator of large mammals at Zoo Atlanta, says a zebra is black with white stripes. Not sure if she shaved one to be sure. A zebra’s stripes are from pigment activation and inhibition, meaning the fur is black, and white stripes are places that lack pigmentation. A zebra’s skin, usually, is black.
For an answer that isn’t really black or white, this one sort of is.
5. Has a boat ever been struck by lightning?
You have a smaller chance of your boat getting struck by lightning than getting thrown through a window and coming out unscathed, at least.
According to the Boat Owners Association of the U.S., your chances of catching a bolt on a boat are 1.2 in 1,000. No boat in Idaho or Nebraska has ever taken a lightning strike, which means there’s not a lot of boating during thunderstorms in those states, or lightning is allergic to corn and potatoes.
Now, if you ever find yourself on a boat, with a zebra, with no batteries or Aroldis Chapman to help you, just do what Piscine Patel did in this clip from “Life of Pi.”