Out of the baby’s mouth … there is a never-ending series of questions.
Therefore, this year, The Conversation US has developed a good idea. that our colleagues in Australia dreamed of And launched a series of articles to answer questions that children ask, but that everyone may wonder. Conversation’s editors collate children’s questions and find academics who can provide definitive answers based on their own research and expertise.
Below are some of our favorite “Curious Kids” articles from the past year. and no matter how old you are If you have a question you would like an expert to answer in 2020, please send it to Cursivekidsus@theconversation.com. Curiosity has no age limit!
Why is the money green?
This one may only come from an American kid. 12-year-old Marek asked this question. History Ph.D. student Jonah Estess gives answers.
It turns out that green ink is difficult for forgers to get a fake receipt. And in the quirks department of history:
“There is also a lot of green ink for the government to use when it starts printing the money we have now. The green color has not faded or decayed easily.”
Why do old people hate new music?
Maybe 14-year-old Holly got tired of the grown-ups yelling, Psychology researcher Frank McAndrew had some ideas for her.
when you get older The brain becomes worse at distinguishing chords, rhythms, and melodies. Another factor: adults may be more interested in the music they listened to when they were younger and their emotions are more intense. or may even be called “Exposure-only effect.” Just hearing something tends to make you like it better.
“When you’re in your early teens You may spend some time listening to music or watching music videos… For many people over 30, work and family obligations increase. So there is less time to search for new music.”
If you’ve hardly ever heard the latest bangers. You might not like them either.
What can you learn from animal poop?
Verity Mathis of the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida confirmed that 9-year-old Cora fits the question. Feces are a window into the hidden life of animals.
“Scat can tell us a lot about an animal’s diet, habits and movement. So scientists want to study it both in nature and in the lab. Outdoors, scat can determine what animals are in the area. The researchers then took it to the lab, dried it and dissected it for clues about the animal’s diet.”
Researchers can also extract DNA from the debris. It is a hands-on way to learn more about what happens to a particular population.
Why do feet stink at the end of the day?
Our inboxes suggest that kids are interested in all things nasty and smelly. Bill Sullivan, a microbiologist at Indiana University, pokes this question from 6-year-old Helen.
He points his finger (toe?) at a harmless bacteria that lives all over people’s skin and happily devours dead skin cells. The odor problem develops inside your warm, damp shoes, a condition where bacteria enjoy and take advantage to eat and multiply.
“Like anything else ingested, these bacteria produce foul-smelling waste. It’s the waste that gives sweaty feet a funky smell: it contains smelly chemicals like those made by skunks and rotten eggs.”
Where does the sand on the beach come from?
Kids write big questions about how the world works with 6-year-old Sly pose in this pose that many adults vacationing by the coast might wonder.
David Montgomery, a geomorphologist at the University of Washington, explains, “There’s more to sand than meets the eye.”
“There are stories to be told about the land. and an epic journey to the sea That’s because mountains die like sand on the beach.”
It’s all about erosion, and the size, shape and color of each grain of sand you see can tell you where the rock came from.
What are you wondering?
in the past year We’ve searched for answers on everything from stargazing with binoculars to why kids are so unpatriotic these days. to what makes pizza so outrageously delicious. Thank you to all the kids who were curious enough to ask questions. And stay tuned for them in the new year!
Editor’s Note: This story is a summary of an article from The Conversation archives.
[ Get the best of The Conversation, every weekend. Sign up for our weekly newsletter. ]