All those odd questions you want answers to!

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Isabella Hime

Winter is coming...
Original poster
This is a topic for all the strange things you might have wondered while being bored. Like does fire take up space? How do they make a bucket strong enough to hold melted steel without melting itself?

Lets all ask our strange questions and try to help others find the answers to theirs!

I for one would like to know if fire takes up space...
Er... I guess... you could compress it to a fill a certain amount of space with its molecules.

I've always wondered, is American High School really like it seems on TV, with all the clearly-segregated factions and obvious archetypes? Or is it more grey than the black and white impression the media gives?

I suspect that it's more like the film Juno where everyone's a bit weird and unconventional. Cos if kids love to rebel so much, why would they continue being these two-dimensional TV characters like jocks, bitches, goths, preps, etc. Surely they'd do everything possible to NOT be like mainstream satirical characters?

*continues rambling until someone stops him*

Like, why would a tough brainless sports-fan be a jock when every film and TV show takes the piss out of jocks. And why would a girl be a preppy bitch when TV continually reminds them that everyone hates these type of girls.

It's like, in England, nobody wears bowler hats and monacles anymore, cos they know everyone would rip the shit out of them for it. I do everything humanly possibly to NOT be associated with a stereotype. Surely American kids would do the same.

*rambles on and on*

Unless these kids don't have TVs... but then...
Well, in truth, stereotypes persist despite the hype they get on television and other forms of media. Whether the people participating in the 'social tropes' realize it or not is irrelevant. In my experience I've found that the stereotypes played out on television are usually the most extreme version of the examples found in actual school society...but do stereotypes persist? Yes...undoubtedly. I don't know if it's just a tradition perpetuated by insecure students trying to 'fit in' and thus emulating the qualities seen within the cliques, but I've seen several examples of such groups forming and even becoming powerful with such tenets in their behavior.

Trying to not be a conformist is one way to avoid it...but as a rule of thumb I try to just be myself...trying to be something noncomformist is usually annoying as I'd have to create some quirky identity that really isn't me.

Stereotypes ARE stereotypes because, in some way, they work.


Just my two cents.

*Stabs Xindaris*

My odd question is...Has anyone else ever just paused and thought that you may be in a coma and this entire world is a dream or something? Happens to me all the time.
Yes, Asmo; I realize I cannot speak for every adolescent in every highschool but the highschool I attended was EXACTLY like the stereotype.

And Jack, yes, I have often taken a step to the side and wondered if it was all some bad dream or chemically induced hallucination. I'm not sure I hope it's not. Sometimes I think I'm a ghost- sometimes I wish I was...

Anyway, here ya go.

Why do people laugh? I've always had a terrible time with this one. I think lots of things are funny, but I don't know why. What makes something humorous?
According to the theory... *holds up Giant Book of Asmo-Hokum*... comedy works on the Rule of 3. It's about the unexpected or third way out of a situation. And we laugh because the third way is unusual, surreal or liberating. It's much like a fear reaction in that regard.

Most jokes work with a setup ("A man walks into a bar."), then an expected response ("Barman says 'you've got a steering wheel in your pocket'."), then an unexpected counter. ("Man says 'Yes, it's driving me nuts'.").

Same thing with "A priest, a rabbi and a cleric..." jokes. You have the ordinary guy, the opposite guy and the weird guy. This was the same with the two sets of 3 people in Friends.

And 'Knock-knock' jokes, which are a three part exchange that ends with subversion.

I think people laugh because they like to see the other side of what looks like a black-and-white situation. This is also why we like stories with twists and people with secrets. Knowing there is something more than what there immediately appears to be is a profound joy.

*continues rambling on*

Another question about American Culture. I've watched a lot of TV shows set in New York and other big cities, and they seem to suggest that EVERYONE is CONSTANTLY DATING, with a different partner every night. Plus everyone assumes that everyone else is single and if you're attractive you won't at all be offended by someone asking you out. And the whole "Do you want to get some coffee?" seems to be a universal doorway to relationships.

Is this really true? It seems like some kind of paradise... nothing like England where you have to struggle through a melee of hostility, intolerance and insecurity just to get to a stage where a woman is drunk enough to forget her own selfish agenda and return your affection with genuine interest.

*continues rambling on with increasing bitterness*

~American Highschool
I just started attending a public school, so I figured it would be the same as in the movies, too. And it sort of it. And that really bothers me. The thing is, people tend to become the stereotypes themselves> They end up creating the scenario in which they are completely shallow to the point of being the 'cheerleader, the jock, the nerd." At the same time, there are normal people~ normal in the sense that they're true to themselves. You know these people when you can't categorize them into a single label. They're a blend of their own ideals. Unfortunately, there's more of a majority of the cliche characters with their cliques and social circles. It's extremely annoying, especially when you can see the potential they're throwing away.

~American Society Dating
As far as teenagers are concerned, seventyfive percent are continuously changing their boyfriends/girlfriends and twentyfive percent are pretty much single. I don't think it's a big deal if you're single, really. It's a not a "throw your hands up in the air" frustrating type of thing. No one's going to ridicule you just because YOURE NOT DATING.

And "you wanna go for coffee" is undeniably a pickup line, as far as I know, at least. But just because you're going for coffee with someone or happen to go anywhere with a guy/girl doesn't mean you're dating. You could be friends, even.

So I don't really see the drama in not having a partner~
School in the South is different... There it is all black against white. Ghetto Vrs. rednecks!
School in the South is different... There it is all black against white. Ghetto Vrs. rednecks!

*Beats isabella with the drive shaft of a 1980 Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck with a V-8 350 engine.*

You forgot to include Mexicans.
My husband and I were brainstorming...and we realized we couldn't think of anyone we knew personally who was dating... I think I had a boyfriend for like...three days in highschool (He used to sit behind me and stick pencils up his nose-but he was nice.) and one guy I chickened out on asking out even though his girlfriend kept trying to get us together...

That....sounds...really weird in retrospect...

But I think the reason anyone would think America is a dating wonderland is cause no one's ever willing to put aside their own selfish agenda (that is an excellent way of putting it) to take an interest in another person. Two people go out, and spend the whole time trying to get the other person to pay attention to them, instead of paying attention to each other. Two dates later it isn't working, so they move on to the next person to try the same thing all over again.

My husband and I didn't really date. We were friends; and we lived next door to each other for a few years- then one day we were sitting around watching TV and it was like;

"Hey, what do you think would be a good time to get married? February?"

"Na, February is kinda cold. What about April?"

"April is good. We're both gonna be nineteen for that month."


I never really understood the dating thing.

Question: Is Amsterdam REALLY as wild as they say it is? Or is it kinda like how everyone in California is automatically a yuppie? (Most people I know are actually incredibly smart rednecks.)
Inna row....

Well...the fire I think you're talking about is probably the "process of combustion of inflammable materials producing heat and light and (often) smoke" (as defined by wordnet, princeton)...and thus is a process, and thus takes up no space as it is neither matter nor energy, but a process which involves the two. However, if you are calling a stack of wood that happens to be burning a "fire", then the "fire" takes up just as much space as all that wood, and the smoke being produced.

High School:
The school I went to...was not full of stereotypes, but had some; and as far as I could tell had no racial wars going on either. Really, the two "stereotypes" that I've seen in my high school are basically the 10% of students doing nearly everything--from acting in plays to taking AP math courses--and the 90% or so who...don't. (Percentages are not necessarily accurate, but the former group is definitely a minority).

Life a Dream:
Well, DUH! We probably all wonder that at some point or other--where do you think they got the line "life is but a dream" from? ...And the only reason this is less nice and scholarly than my other answers is because you had to stab me. Bleh.

Humor is really hard to properly define. I mean, we could say that society defines humor, but even babies laugh. So...I guess it's some kind of instinct, where certain things strike a person as being funny, and it's eventually informed by the conscious mind and knowledge, which is why some people find different things funny.
But I have to say I kinda disagree with Asmo's theory a little bit. I mean, as far as saying "humor is the unexpected" and "the unexpected is humor", I don't think either statement is necessarily true. They aren't entirely false either, though...Some surprises are just not funny, but then again one might say "I laugh about this now, but at the time it really sucked"...

I dunno. I've never actually dated, so...yeah.

Never been there..sorry. Pass.

And a question from me...
What does money actually mean? I mean, sure, we have a paper bill (or a coin, whatever). And we're told that bill represents gold. But gold is not, in and of itself, useful. Its only value is the value that people place on it, and I guess a few industrial values. But tin and iron, for instance, have at least as many uses, and are not valued as highly. So...why do we trade money at all, when it has no worth? Or if it DOES have an intrinsic worth, what is it?
According to Hobbes, money is pain.

By taking someone's money, we are inflicting a little bit of pain on them, in return for the pain they suffer in giving up a service, labour or commodity.

By mutually embracing pain, we are showing how we both make a sacrifice and neither is being exploited.

The ability to inflict pain is the most primal and basic form of Power. Everything else of value is derived from this power.

Before civilisation, the ability to inflict pain was monopolised by the physically superior. But with the application of religion, capitalism and social culture, we all gained an equal chance to wield this ability. And thus, we were removed from a state of anarchy.

And anyone who disagrees with me Hobbes is a poo-face. >:[

My question: Does anyone else think it's fucking strange that so many celebrities have died recently in mysterious or weird circumstances? o__o
Question: Is Amsterdam REALLY as wild as they say it is? Or is it kinda like how everyone in California is automatically a yuppie? (Most people I know are actually incredibly smart rednecks.)

Amsterdam draws a lot of tourists who come there because of it's reputation of 'being wild'. I've been there twice as a dutchman myself, and honestly, it does not differ much from the rest of the Netherlands. One thing most tourists will find is that drug usage is "allowed". (not legal, just's a technicality) and that there exists a form of legalized prostitution. (both of these things go for the entirety of the netherlands btw.)

This alone is grounds enough for most foreigners to call Amsterdam a "wild" city. But the local populace knows how to deal with drugs responsibly, and prostitution happens behind closed doors for the most part. Of course there are some wild parties and raves held, but you can't say that the same isn't true for London, New York or Berlin.

Overall, Dutch people as a whole are levelheaded and accepting folk. Or they used to be anyway. 'Wild Amsterdam' might exist for the tourists, but in reality, there's a lot of old folk, immigrants and students who have better things to do than partying away their time who live there.

I hope that answers your question ;)

As for my question:

Isn't it strange that you only see the world through your eyes, and never through the eyes of another. And isn't it entirely possible that your eyes see different things than someone elses? Has anyone ever thought that it would be great if their eyes had a camera function, so that other people could maybe see life through their eyes, and vice versa?
Here is more to add to that humor thing.

Do animals feel humor? I've seen someone playing with a goldfish and teaching it tricks.. could a fish feel humor?
Weell...Teaching an animal to do stuff is more about conditioning...teach the fish (or dog, dolphin, whatever) that doing some trick on cue nets them food, and they will do it. The teaching can take awhile, depending on the animal and such...but that's the general idea. So it really has nothing to do with humor.
Of course, some animals will do funny stuff on their own, but whether or not that's because they feel "humor" is debatable.

I wouldn't say pain is the ultimate power..there's a few things, for instance love (and I don't mean lust), that are stronger. But I can see what you're Hobbes is saying, and in a lot of situations it makes perfect sense. Then again, the same amount of money causes a rich person far less pain, in this respect, than a poor person, because it is a far lesser percentage of what the rich one by that theory, the exchange rate is uneven.
Hey, I got a new question!
Why is it the only people I ever hear using the "n" word (you know, the racially insensitive one. non-Americans might not know what I'm talking about), are the people who are degraded and rightfully offended by it?
School: Hmm...My school was pretty interesting, stereotype-wise. Our cheerleaders were outcasts, Bowling and Golf were the popular sports, and Band/Chior/Theater was political and had a ton of favoritism. My group was the popular-unpopular kids. I hung with geeks, stoners, rockers, and assholes. lol

Dating: TZS said it best. But to add to it...I think that Americans get bored of things easily. We always want the best, or the new thing. I think that's why I've dated so many different guys, at least. I ended up getting bored or finding someone that I liked better.

Seeing the world through others: I think that ALL the time. I always wonder what it would be like to be someone else or see how someone else sees the world.

My question:
Did you ever wonder if something was different when you stopped looking at it, or turned it around? Like...How do you KNOW that the other side of you laptop isn't blue with pink polka dots when someone isn't looking at it? I think I had a talk about this is my Psychology class in High School...But I'm curious as to what you think.
I thought of another while looking at cute girls..

Why are white people the only race with many different hair and eye colors? what made that happen?
Hey, I got a new question!
Why is it the only people I ever hear using the "n" word (you know, the racially insensitive one. non-Americans might not know what I'm talking about), are the people who are degraded and rightfully offended by it?

They started using it as a way to address each other to "kill" the offensive meaning the crackers gave it.

-Short version.