Quirks & Quarks

The Quirks & Quarks Question Roadshow

The award-winning, audience pleasing Quirks & Quarks Question Show, recorded live at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario.

Quirks Question Road Show - recorded live

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It's our annual award-winning, audience-pleasing, brain-teasing, Quirks Question Road Show – this year, recorded live at the Mike Lazaridis Theatre at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario.


  • Daiene Vernile from Waterloo asks: "Why are more people right-handed than left-handed?"  The answer comes from Dr. Pam Bryden, Chair of the Kinesiology and Physical Education Department at Wilfred Laurier University, in Waterloo.
  • Mark Boughan from Cambridge asks: "If Zorn, the evil alien overlord, used his hyper-powered disintegrator ray to cut right through the earth in a clean swipe, what would happen?"   The answer comes from Dr. Michel Fich, a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo.
    Quirks & Quarks Question Show recorded live at the Perimeter Institute. (Perimeter Institute)
  • Jeff Holtham from Waterloo, Ontario asks:  "Sometimes, I just can't remember what I was doing, or intending to do just moments ago. Yet, I can still quote from episodes of MASH I watched decades ago. Why does this happen?"  The answer comes from Dr. Myra Fernandes, a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Waterloo.
  • Jalynn Meng from Toronto asks: "What happens if a light beam or light particle is emitted from a point close to the center of a black hole toward the 'event horizon' of the same black hole?" The answer comes from Dr. Avery Broderick, a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute.
  • Ten year old Emma Deu-Ngoc from Maryhill, Ontario asks: "How thick is skin? How far can it stretch?"  The answer comes from Dr. Lina Dagnino, a Professor of physiology and pharmacology at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, at Western University in London.
  • Kris Chute from Thorndale, Ontario asks: "Assuming similar development and technology as humans, would an alien astronomer, looking at Earth from 1000 light years away, be able to detect any signs of life on our planet?" The answer comes from Dr. Stanimir Metchev, an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University in London.
    Bob and guests on stage at the Perimeter Institute
  • Graham Moogk-Soulis from Waterloo, asks: "When I hug and kiss my dog, I feel that I have a similar biochemical reaction as when I hug or kiss my son or wife.  But when my dog cuddles and kisses me, are similar chemicals released in his brain, or do I just taste good to him?" The answer comes from Dr. Lee Niel, Assistant Professor and Chair in Companion Animal Welfare at the Ontario Veterinary College of the University of Guelph.
  • Jay Ellenbogen from Belleville, asks: "Does the increased amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere make plants grow faster?" And David Busch from Oakville, asks: "Given the worldwide need to reduce carbon dioxide by planting trees, should we northerners be planting mostly coniferous trees, which have green needles year round, rather than deciduous trees, which are bare for half the year?"  The answers come from Dr. Gordon McNickle, a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biology at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo.
  • Derek Phillips from Waterloo asks: "How long should Canadians born today expect to live? And do we know where this increase in lifespan is likely to level off?"  The answer comes from Dr. Parminder Raina, lead Principal Investigator for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, and a Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University in Hamilton.
  • Allan Williams from Toronto, Ontario asks: "Why does the major scale sound 'right' to western ears? Why does a major scale seem 'happier' than a minor scale?"  The answer comes from Dr. Michael Schutz, an Assistant Professor of Music Cognition at McMaster University in Hamilton.
  • now