Holiday Question Show


Time for our ever-popular Holiday Question Show, where we answer listeners' questions, including: Why do only some planets have rings? What do male mosquitos eat? Where would we put a resurrected mammoth? 


play-icon.jpg Listen to the whole show (pop up player) or use this link to download an mp3.

Part One


  • Luis Ochoa of Montreal asks: "I have heard that if you want to accelerate the ripening of any kind of fruit, you can simply put it beside an apple or a tomato and it will ripen faster. Is this true?" Joining us to help answer this question is Dr. Karen Samis, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

  • 7-year-old Patrick Hughes of Vancouver asks: "Why do gas giant planets have rings, but the rocky planets do not?" For the answer, we spoke with Dr. Wesley Fraser, a Plaskett Fellow at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria, BC.

  • 11-year-old Ayla Devlin of Toronto, Ontario asks: "If only the female mosquito consumes blood meals, what do male mosquitoes eat?" Joining us with the answer is Dr. Fiona Hunter, a Professor specializing in Medical and Veterinary Entomology with the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University in St. Catharine's, Ontario.

  • Ken Smith of St. Catharine's, Ontario asks: "If scientists could use fossilized DNA to bring back the woolly mammoth, then could the mammoths thrive somewhere in the modern Canadian landscape?" Joining us to talk about this is Dr. Grant Zazula, the Yukon Palaeontologist with the Government of Yukon in Whitehorse.

  • Mick McGowan of Okotoks, Alberta asks: "Why does the temperature seem to continue to drop in the morning, even after the sun has risen?" Joining us to help with this question is Dr. Elyn Humprheys, an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University.

play-icon.jpgListen to this item (pop up player) or use this link to download an mp3.

Part Two


  • 5-year old Qing James, of Hamilton Ontario asks: "How do bees make honeycombs in perfect hexagons?" To help us answer that question, we went to Andony Melathopoulos who is an Interdisciplinary PhD candidate at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  • Samantha Hannan of Toronto asks: "If I cover one of my eyes when entering a bright room, will my exposed pupil constrict while the covered one remains dilated?" Helping us see the answer clearly is Dr. Lisa Gould, an Ophthalmologist and Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

  • Klaus Schmid of Hornby Island, British Columbia, asks: "Why do propellers on twin-engine aircraft rotate in the same direction on some, and opposite directions on others?" To help us keep our heads from spinning with this question, we went to Dr. Meyer Nahon, a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal.

  • Larry Sadler from Etobicoke, Ontario, asks: "Planets in our solar system orbit in the same direction as the spin of the sun. Is it possible for planets around other stars to orbit in the opposite direction to the star's spin?" We spoke to Dr. Quinn Konopacky, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics with the University of Toronto for the answer.

  • Emile Kehimkar of Toronto, Ontario asks: "Salt is commonly used to melt ice on roads, but it can also be used for speeding up the freezing of ice cream. How does salt melt ice in one reaction and freeze it in another?" Joining us with the answer is Dr. Douglas Goff, Professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph.

play-icon.jpgListen to this item (pop up player) or use this link to download an mp3.

Theme music bed copyright Raphaël Gluckstein, Creative Commons License by-nc-nd-2.0