The Straight Dope | Salt Lake City Weekly

The First Loaf

How did bread get invented?


How soon can we expect driverless cars?


What did the West do to provoke Islamic hostility?

Holy Patriarchy

Did God have a wife, and if so where'd she go?
>I saw a British documentary that stated that God—the Jewish, Christian and Muslim God, that is—used to have a female companion, but then male dominance made it impossible to imagine such a powerful female being, and goddesses were no longer worshipped.

Take the Heat

How bad is the warming world going to get?
So, the world is warming. How bad can we expect things to get?

Agent Orange

How harmful was Agent Orange, anyway?
Was there ever any determination as to the dangerousness of Agent Orange?

Cat Your Service

Service animals, emotional support animals, therapy animals—how are they different?
What's the difference between service animals, emotional support animals and therapy animals?

Laws & Orders

How powerful are presidential executive orders?
Please shed some light on presidential executive orders.


Who came up with our popular image of Jesus?
Where did the modern depiction of Jesus come from, and when?

Singing English

Why don't British singers sound British when they sing?
You're not the only one wondering, Bruce.

Border Tax

Is a border adjustment tax really just a plain old tariff?
What's the difference between a border adjustment tax and a tariff?

Veto Protocol

Can a crazy president be removed from office?
How crazy must the President of the United States be before it's considered cool to refuse an order?

Free Samples

When is it legal to sample music?
After the death of Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, I read an article about how their album Paul's Boutique could never be made today because of copyright laws governing music sampling.

Costly Care

If everything else is more expensive in Europe, why do we pay more for health care?
People always point out that Americans pay 2.5 times more per capita for health care compared to Europe and receive much poorer results.

Toxic Test

How do we know poisons are tasteless and odorless?
The recent dispatch of Kim Jong-nam by VX poisoning is all over the news at the moment, and reports invariably describe VX as odorless and tasteless.

Roll the Credits

What do movie production credits mean?
Not so many years ago, when you went to the movies, the opening credits just concluded with "produced by," then "directed by." Now, you'll see three or four different company logos, two or three executive producers, a batch of regular producers and maybe even some co-executive producers or co-producers. What do they all do?

A TP Tale

Why do we wipe?
When and why did humans start wiping or manually cleaning themselves post-defecation, since animals generally don't do this?

Pill Drill

How do they measure the effectiveness of birth control?
How is the effectiveness of contraception measured? Do they survey people? Could researchers randomize different birth control methods, even if they wanted to?


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