Holiday Question Show


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For your holiday pleasure we offer another episode of our award-winning Quirks & Quarks question show. We've scoured the country to find the people who can answer questions submitted by you, our listeners.

Part One

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  • Ryan Boulter from Summerhill PEI asks, "Can whales and dolphins breath through their mouths or only through their blowholes." Answered by Dr. John Ford, head of the Cetacean Research Program at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, BC, part of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

  • Jen Perry from Toronto, Ontario asks, "Why are human eyeballs opaque and white while other mammals, even other primates, have dark eyes?" Answered by Dr. Suzanne MacDonald, Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Biology at York University in Toronto.

  • Jennifer MacNeil from New Kensington, Pennsylvania asks: "As low-earth orbit becomes more and more cluttered with space junk, is anyone working on a plan to clean it up? How long (on average) does a piece of space junk remain in orbit before re-entering earth's atmosphere?" and Mark Ritchie from Haines Junction, Yukon wants to know: "Why doesn't the shuttle bring back pieces of this space junk when it comes back with an empty cargo hold?" Answered by Hugues Gilbert, Director of Policy and External Relations at the Canadian Space Agency, in St. Hubert, Quebec.

  • Barbara Loveys from Vancouver, British Columbia asks: "What plants did Woolly Mammoths and Mastodons eat? If someone cloned a Mammoth today would there be any food for it to eat?" Answered by Dr. Grant Zazula, a Palaeontologist with the Government of Yukon in Whitehorse.

  • Larry Bissonnette from Ottawa asks, "I was served a glass of ice water at a restaurant the other day and the ice cubes were completely clear. What is the secret?" Answered by Dr. Mary Anne White, a Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Physics at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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Part Two

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  • Murray Sovereign from Squamish, BC asks "If you had been in the a small boat directly above the epicentre of the massive quake that caused the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami what, if anything, would you have experienced?" Answered by Dr. Richard Thomson, senior research scientist with the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, BC, which is part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

  • Mick Shewchuk asks, "Why doesn't a heavily panting dog hyperventilate?" Answered by Dr. Leigh Lamont, a veterinary anaesthesiologist from the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of PEI in Charlottetown.

  • Keith Elias from Quebec City, Quebec asks: "Why do bacteria in the sea sometimes emit light? In the late evening if you run your hand through the water, bacteria will often light up. What is the advantage of this for such a tiny and nearly immobile creature?" Answered by Dr. Richard Rivkin, a University Research Professor in the Ocean Sciences Center at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland

  • Lise Labrecque from Ottawa, Ontario asks, "I've heard that a cat's whiskers grow as long as their body is wide, and the whiskers should never be cut or else the cat will become disoriented and bump into things. Is this true?" Answered by Dr. Gillian Muir, a neuroscientist at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.

  • John Adare from Markham, Ontario asks: "Why is the hole in the ozone layer over the south pole so much bigger than the hole over the north pole?" Answered by Dr. Michel Bourqui, a Professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University.

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Theme music bed copyright Raphaël Gluckstein.
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