The science of matter and the changes it can undergo.

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How can a toaster be 4 times colder than a smoldering cigarette, but still produce (bread) ashes? [closed]

In Celsius, bread toasters seem to reach less than 200°C while small cigarettes fire can exceed 800°C. How can you explain this huge difference? How can they both produce ashes with so different ...
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1answer
120 views

Do styrofoam cups cause health issues?

A friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to a Change.org petition to stop using styrofoam cups at Dunkin Donuts. Amongst their complaints was that styrofoam cups caused health issues for the staff ...
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1answer
188 views

Are harmful chemicals leached from ordinary Ziploc bags when used for sous vide cooking?

Sous vide cooking is a style of cooking where you seal meat in bags and soak it in water at a specific temperature for a very long time, sometimes days. Some worry that in this process, harmful ...
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1answer
181 views

Are snowflakes incapable of four-fold symmetry?

The following blog post says (emphasis added) Walking by our neighborhood’s great institution of learning this evening, I was pleased to see paper snowflakes in a window. Pleased, then ...
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Is sugar one element away from cocaine or any other drug?

I've heard multiple times through out my college and early work career that they believed sugar was one element away from being cocaine (or some other drug). However, none of these people had a ...
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1answer
441 views

Do pain killers “target” pain?

Everyday I hear advertisements that some painkiller directly targets the pain. e.g. Nurofen's UK web-site Targets pain fast. [...] Targets pain twice as fast as standard ibuprofen ...
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1answer
486 views

What do we know about red mercury?

My friend, known as a liar, came to me two days ago and told stories about red mercury, something I never heard about. Could do magic, the pharaohs used it. 1 kg worth 30 million dollars, used in ...
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Have chronic conditions such as heart disease, prostate cancer, infertility ever been linked to everyday exposures to chemicals in food?

Claim: http://www.ewg.org/research/mens-health "There has been significant research in recent decades showing that chronic conditions such as heart disease, prostate cancer, infertility may be linked ...
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1answer
160 views

Is pouring liquor from a bottle onto a flambé an explosion risk?

Several TV chefs including, the late Julia Child, have advised against pouring liquor directly from the bottle to a pan to be ignited, as 'flames could travel up the stream and ignite the bottle' ...
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1answer
168 views

Can burning potato peels clean a chimney?

Some state, that burning dry potato skin would remove or reduce carbon black in a chimney. One can find many examples for this online: The potato peels burn at high energy and will help push the ...
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1answer
3k views

Did January 2014 American snowfall char and burn when exposed to fire?

This site, ‘Fake Snow’: Videos In Multiple States Show Strange Snow That Doesn’t Melt Normal, Burns, Smells of ‘Plastic’, shows several videos and images of people burning snow they collect from ...
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792 views

Did cows in Germany blow up their own barn by farting?

As reported by Reuters, Flatulent cows start fire at German dairy farm - police Methane gas from 90 flatulent cows exploded in a German farm shed on Monday, damaging the roof and injuring one of ...
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95 views

Do charcoal bags help removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

I have read some claims that charcoal bags help removing harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Bamboo Charcoal helps improve indoor air quality by absorbing and trapping odors, ...
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75 views

Are warm and cold water generally good enough for laundry? [closed]

This blog post says: Use warm water for whites; cold water for colors. Now admittedly I used to be a hot water for whites guy, but after researching the heck out of this article, I found that ...
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1answer
551 views

Is consuming drinking water stored in PET bottles harmful

It's a common practice in India to store drinking water in Polyethylene Terephthalate(commonly know as PET) bottles. It is also claimed in many health forums & newspapers articles that PET bottles ...
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370 views

Does chlorine in water harm soil bacteria?

This article claims that both chlorine, and chloramine, which are added to many municipal water supplies to kill harmful bacteria, can also harm the good bacteria in soil, necessary for a healthy ...
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1answer
31k views

Does putting salt into a wound make the wound worse?

It's commonly believed that the idiom "rubbing salt into the wound" is derived from a literal action of making things worse. Wiktionary claims the literal act was done for torture: Derived from ...
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1answer
7k views

Will fluoride and chlorine dissipate from tap water left to sit overnight?

One common recommendation for watering house plants with tap water is to allow the water to sit overnight before watering, so that the fluorine and chlorine that are commonly added to tap water (which ...
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464 views

Can a body be dissolved by a few gallons of Hydrofluoric acid?

In the "Cat's in the Bag..." episode of Season 1 of "Breaking Bad," characters are shown with 4 gallon-jugs of Hydrofluoric Acid that they use to dissolve 2 adult corpses. Chemistry is a major plot ...
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2k views

Does (liquid) nitrogen react with chlorine or other chemicals in a swimming pool?

Various news outlets are claiming that people suffered from poisoning after liquid nitrogen was poured into a swimming pool. The intended effect was to produce mist. For example,the telegraph ...
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609 views

Is there formaldehyde in the glue of bamboo cutting boards? Is it dangerous?

Many purveyors of bamboo cutting boards make a point to advertise that the cutting board is made from formaldehyde-free glues. There seems to be fairly widespread advise to avoid formaldehyde in ...
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290 views

Does “liquid-injection damp-proofing” work to water-proof walls?

There are technologies for sale, especially in Germany, to drill holes in the walls of a cellar, and inject into the concrete or masonry a liquid, such as Sodium Silicate The manufacturers promise ...
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1answer
1k views

Does drinking water from plastic bottles contaminate your blood? [duplicate]

I wanted to know if there is any research on the issue Daniel Vitalis raises on bottling water here (5th minute and on). He claims that if one drinks water bottled in plastic bottles one will ...
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1answer
338 views

Was there a cocktail named 'Mickey Slim' that used DDT as an ingredient?

According to Wikipedia, a Mickey Slim is a cocktail made by combining gin with "a pinch of DDT" which provided an experience similar to (the original) absinthe. The source appears to be The Dedalus ...
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1k views

Would baking soda and vinegar clean hair, and how?

There's a popular hair cleaning regime circulating in the 'green' blogs called the "no 'poo method." Rather than using shampoo, one rinses the hair with a tablespoon of baking soda in a cup of water, ...
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1answer
201 views

Did James Lovelock deny that CFCs destroyed ozone?

In the discussion threads of one of the answers to this meta question How much can we trust peer reviewed scientific literature? EnergyNumbers alleged that James Lovelock had originally denied that ...
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8k views

Is Coca-Cola effective at removing blood-stains?

From My Perfect Automobile: In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident. I doubt it's real. Does Coca-Cola ...
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1answer
999 views

Is testosterone responsible for typically “male” behaviour?

On the English Language and Usage stack exchange, two people asked what was meant by "testosterone-charged", as in the following quote, from the story "2 States: The Story of My Marriage" by Chetan ...
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2answers
531 views

Are there currently any tests available to diagnose fluoride or fluorine toxicity?

That's what I read here: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/nutritional_disorders/mineral_deficiency_and_toxicity/fluorine.html No tests to diagnose toxicity are available.
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Why doesn't the high amount of fluoride found in tea or tobacco prevent dental caries? Or does it have to be hydrofluorosilicic acid? [closed]

On PubMed.gov http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=PMID%3A%2016979289 "Determination of exposure and probable ingestion of fluoride through tea, toothpaste, tobacco..." "Levels of water soluble ...
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390 views

Are bleaching powders effective cleaning agents?

The claim from the manufacturer: Have you seen a stain on your clothes that you can't seem to remove? Don't fear! Vanish Oxi Action Powder contains Oxi Powerlift which removes all types of stains, ...
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222 views

Is typical indoor concentration of VOC correlated to concentration of CO₂?

A vendor of VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) sensor claims the VOC concentration correlates highly to CO₂ concentration in a typical conference room: Figure 2 illustrates the correlation of true ...
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669 views

Is bamboo charcoal safely edible?

Bamboo charcoal is made up of pieces of bamboo, which are taken from plants five years or older and burned inside an oven at temperatures over 1000°C. Bamboo charcoal is well known about its high ...
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1answer
644 views

Do the water filters in Pure & Clear filters work?

Dr Mercola advertises Pure & Clear Filters: Pure & Clear filters use a “selective filtration” process rather than a mechanical one for a couple of very important reasons. This advanced ...
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1answer
1k views

Is it possible to stack liquids of different density scale on top of each other?

I came across q picture on the net and now I'm skeptical that it's possible. I know liquids from different density scale wouldn't mix easily but stacking them on top of eachother with perfectly ...
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1answer
28k views

Is Paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil) in cosmetics dangerous?

Paraffinum liquidum can be found in a lot of cosmetic products. Some articles say it is harmless but the other half said it causes harmful effects such as the premature aging of the skin. Examples ...
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1answer
903 views

Did Donald Duck accidentally use methylene in a comic before it was discovered?

From Good Comics: In 1963, the Disney Studio learned just how wide and faithful a readership Barks had. A letter arrived from Joseph B. Lambert of the California Institute of Technology, ...
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1answer
2k views

Does Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) speed the healing of wounds?

My wife is currently suffering from a small ulcer which is refusing to heal and a friend of hers suggested a topical application of DMSO to improve healing time. Please not that I am explicityl not ...
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1answer
1k views

Does lemon juice slow the oxidation of guacamole?

It is common belief that adding citrus juice (or in some claims, any acid, including ascorbic acid/vitamin C, vinegar, tomatoes, etc) to guacamole will reduce browning. Examples of the claim: ...
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121 views

Do reusable plastic water bottles leach dangerous chemicals? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is refilling water bottles bad for you? Several articles claim that the 'chemical leaching' from reusable clear plastic water bottles leads to toxins in the water, not ...
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1answer
7k views

Is Cesium-137 detectable in all wine bottled after the 1940's?

In the White Collar TV Episode Bottlenecked it was claimed that a test of all vintage wines bottled before the ABomb would not contain any Cesium-137 but wine bottled in the years since all contain ...
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2answers
656 views

Would tying sulphur to the feet of birds allow you to burn down a house?

According to legend: The last vengeance took place in the year 946 when Olga traveled around the land of the Drevlyans in order to gather tributes. She besieged the town of Iskorosten, which ...
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2answers
4k views

Does Pureit Polisher remove the chlorine from chlorinated water?

This purifier claims to produce 100% pure water. They use chlorine. Chlorine, when taken in for a long period, is bad for health. The 4 stage purification process. Polisher Removes chlorine and ...
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2answers
13k views

Is biting a gold coin a working method to verify its authenticity?

Julia Murray & Kelsey Serwa In movies you commonly see treasure hunters, pirates, thieves, ... bite down on a gold coin to verify it's real gold. (Gold Medal winners often pose with the ...
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2answers
812 views

Do harmful chemicals migrate from the container into the food if you microwave the food in a plastic container?

In a comment to the best answer to question 582, Muhd writes: "I would add that it is also unhealthy if you microwave in something that is not microwave safe as toxic chemicals could migrate into the ...
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1answer
1k views

Is the Coca-Cola recipe a secret?

Is the Coca-Cola recipe a secret? I would like to draw attention to the distinction between a recipe and composition: Composition: a list of all ingredients, including quantity/proportion. ...
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187 views

Are plastics making us fat and giving us diabetes?

A recent widely reported news story (example report from the Independent) suggested that one explanation for the modern rise in obesity was not too much food or two little exercise but many of ...
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2answers
3k views

Would a human's blood suddenly boil (or eyes/body explode) in a vacuum?

I was once given a question in the popular quiz-show game, You Don't Know Jack, that went something like: You find yourself suddenly ejected into space. Which of these gruesome things happens first? ...
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1answer
273 views

Does the caramel colouring previously used in Coke and Pepsi in California cause Cancer?

California has recently made legislative changes that required Coke and Pepsi to affix cancer warning labels to their soda products. From the news story: A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana ...
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2k views

Do airplanes release biological or chemical agents, forming trails?

Since the topic of the week is conspiracy theories, here's one that I've had re-iterated at me a few times. Supposedly these white stripes after airplanes is created by airplanes releasing biological ...