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The Straight Dope

Star Cash

What’s with all the celebrity charities?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Jan 27,2014 - What’s with all the celebrity charities? A quick search on the web found a list as long as your arm—everyone from Michael Bloomberg, Tom Brokaw, Sharon Stone and Andre Agassi to Elton John.

The Straight Dope

Pricey Plunder

Is it feasible to be a modern-day pirate?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Jan 20,2014 - It seems pirates have made a comeback, and so with great excitement, and possibly a bit of delusion, I’ve decided to become one. How much would it cost to buy or commission a ship of the line,

The Straight Dope

Bad Bolts

Are NYC skyscrapers about to fall apart?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Jan 13,2014 - I once read of a construction industry scandal in New York involving a supplier of large nuts and bolts used to hold together steel beams in skyscrapers. He cheated by substituting cheaper, under-spec

The Straight Dope

Taste Test

Does pricey booze really taste better?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Jan 6,2014 - I was in the Costco liquor section when I happened upon a locked display case with three bottles inside (one whisky, one cognac, one I can’t remember), each priced upwards of $2,500.

The Straight Dope

Not Gonna Fly

Why no parachutes on commercial planes?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Dec 30,2013 - As someone who’s terrified to fly, I’ve always wondered why commercial liners don’t come with emergency parachutes under the seats.

The Straight Dope

Head Trauma

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Dec 23,2013 - Is there a chance for a brain transplant?

The Straight Dope

Hog Hell

Can pig crap kill?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Dec 16,2013 - I read once about a pork processing operation that supposedly was the largest in the United States. The stockyard, according to the article, had a giant lake of pig excrement contaminated with hormones

The Straight Dope

Get the Lead Out

Does lead paint lead to violence?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Dec 9,2013 - Kevin Drum at Mother Jones is convinced the reduction in violent crime in the U.S. over the last few decades can be attributed to the absence of lead in things like gasoline and paint.

The Straight Dope

Murder Time

Do clocks solve crimes?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Dec 2,2013 - In detective fiction, a common plot device is the broken clock or watch that tells the time of the murder. Does this ever happen? Has a broken clock or watch ever been admitted as evidence in a murder trial to show the time of the crime?

The Straight Dope

Wasted

Energy loss from wasted food?

By Cecil Adams
POSTED // Nov 25,2013 - I’ve read that 5 percent of all energy used in the United States goes into the production and transportation of food that eventually gets thrown away. That sounds like a lot, but then again, people can be mighty wasteful. Is this accurate? —Roger in Minneapolis
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