My friend – let’s call him, Stewie –loved comic books.
I wasn’t a fan. All the Superman stuff seemed like kid play. As a kindergartner, I was all about Spiderman. By middle school, I’d moved on to bigger things: the NFL, Star Wars, and girls, if there wasn’t a football or any Star Wars figures around.
Anyway, Stewie loved comic books.
After school, Stewie treated me to a Slurpee at 7-11 while he shopped for comics. I picked the biggest cup available to mankind and filled ‘er up. But what should have been a stellar day of cold refreshing food coloring suddenly became an episode of Cops.
Stewie emerged from the comic book aisle, his red windbreaker tucked tightly in the front of his Rustler jeans, to conceal – I’m estimating here – about 752 comic books stashed against his chest.
I take for granted readers know what the heck Go Ask Daddy is all about.
Every time (OK, 67% of the time) my girls ask me a question, from what our brains are made of to the elements of quicksand to stuff about the Avengers, I jot it down in a handy yellow notebook that never leaves my side.
Each Friday, I select a random assortment of questions, hit Google like a champ, and disperse the knowledge. To the entire world.
This week, we’re looking into all kinds of cool stuff, such as skater physics and big green dudes on the silver screen.
1. What’s in hot dogs?
Not dog. Usually.
This is timely, because July is National Hot Dog Month, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (I’m not a member, no, but, call me, Council. Call me.)
Not surprisingly, hot dogs are government-regulated, and can contain:
No more than 30 percent fat or 10 percent water
No more than 3.5 percent can be non-meat binder, such as cereal, dried whole milk or non-fat dry milk or …
2 percent isolated soy protein
This allows room for other things, such as mechanically separated chicken or turkey (blended meat and bone bits), pork (with no bones), corn syrup, beef (no bones), salt (about 480 milligrams, or a fifth of your daily allowance), potassium lactate, sodium phosphates, flavorings, beef stock, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, maltodextrin, sodium nitrate, and extractives of paprika.
Let’s fire up the grill.
2. How do skaters stay on their feet on the half-pipe?
They rub potassium lactate on their boards.
Actually, it’s as simple as this:
You know how you kick your legs on the swings to go high enough to get yelled at?
That’s what the skater does when he crouches until he gets to the curve of the halfpipe, then raising up and lifting his arms. This increases his velocity with every pass, eventually giving him enough sick air to perform a narly trick.
3. What’s in a sparkler?
The same things that are in a hot dog.
No, the aspiration of the American sparkler are to shine a long time – as long as a minute (although our sparklers from the Target dollar bin didn’t seem to last that long, did they?)
Sparklers have substances that allow them to shine bright like Tony Hawk on a halfpipe:
A fuel (usually charcoal and sulfur)
Aluminum, iron, steel or other metal powder
A combustible binder (shellac, starch or sugar)
It’s mixed with water, and dried on a stick.
When you light the end of it, you heat the metal flakes to shine and burn, giving off the sparks to oohs and ahhhs. Because the fuel and oxidizer are proportioned, it doesn’t go off like a firecracker, but rather burns slowly like electrified incense.
What kind of sparks would we get if we lit the end of a hot dog on fire?
4. Is there a Hulk movie?
Yes. But it wasn’t as good as The Avengers. You just can’t mess with a comic book storyline much and get away with it.
It came out in 2003. Only Elise can see it (it’s rated PG-13, so it’s stuff she sees and hears in high school.) I’ve never seen it. Jennifer Connelly is in it. That’s notable. Critics called it dark and depressing, but it’s tough to paint with sunshine the tale of a doctor cursed by mutant DNA to turn into a green monster anytime someone pisses him off.
We did love Hulk in The Avengers, and rumor is there’ll be a Hulk movie out in 2015.
Who ever thought it would take three daughters to turn me into a Marvel fan?
5. What’s the most penalty kicks they’ve taken in soccer?
Fifty. Can you believe that?
It took two days to complete the match.
In 2012, Two California high school teams, Bishop’s of La Jolla and San Diego Crawford, drew 3-3 in regulation and overtime, and went 21 rounds of PKs before the sun began to set on Day 1. The teams considered starting over the next day, but city rules said they had to finish the penalty kicks.
An incredible 29 rounds later, a Crawford shooter missed a kick his team needed to force a 30th round, giving Bishop’s the state title.
Speaking of hot dogs (we were, weren’t we?) check out the video below, what’s been called the worst penalty shootout ever. No hot dogs here.