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Universalpsykopath tugs our coat and says: Tell us about your feats of deduction and the little mysteries you've solved. Alternatively, tell us about the simple, everyday things that mystified you for far too long.

(, Thu 13 Oct 2011, 12:52)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

I once worked for a company
that published the Yellow pages (or the Hull version anyway, which was actually in colour). I once asked how they got the colours so vibrant given the background, to which I was told that the paper isn't yellow to start with, it's actually white paper and is printed yellow, leaving spaces for the coloured adverts, (known in the industry as red/blue/white knockout. Which is why the white especially, was so white and not some off-white slightly ivory colour.
However, the black text is printed straight on to the yellow background.
(, Thu 20 Oct 2011, 10:39, 5 replies)
How do projectors, project black?
I was sat in a meeting with some pretty clever people when one of them (who was clearly bored by my presentation) asked the above questions. Despite repeated internet searches to find the solution I am still stumped. Projecting no light at all would just show the wall colour (even with the contrast of the surroundings).

Could someone clever explain/solve this as it's been doing my head in.
(, Thu 20 Oct 2011, 10:18, 14 replies)
Q: What is the name of the first electricity detective?
A: Sherlock Ohms
(, Thu 20 Oct 2011, 9:43, 8 replies)
I wonder why
anyone posts on QOTW this late.
(, Thu 20 Oct 2011, 1:54, Reply)
Evidence Based Medicine
And why it took us so long to get there.

Medicine, like so many other fields, used to do things in a certain way just because they'd always been done in that way. Take broken ribs. The conventional treatment used to be to strap up broken ribs in a tight bandage around the chest. This achieved the square-root of fuck-all except to make the patient even more uncomfortable. It wasn't until some curious doctor started to measure patient outcomes that they discovered the ribs would heal at exactly the same rate regardless of whether they were strapped up or not.

Then take the duodenal ulcer. Used to be amongst the most common causes of surgery. Sometimes the surgery worked, often it didn't - and the doctors didn't know why. It wasn't until two bright sparks in Australia realised that almost all patients with the condition were infected with a common bacteria - H. pylori - and a simple regime of antibiotics were enough to clear up the ulcer in most cases. This was also the reason that some patients who had other surgery got better. It wasn't the surgery - it was the antibiotics they were given during the surgery that cured them.

So, it's puzzled me for ages why medicine didn't adopt evidence based medicine earlier. For a lot of conditions doctors used to be no more than modern witch doctors. Shake this stick, drink this tea, don't drink that coffee - with absolutely no clue as to what cured some of the patients. Was it shaking the stick or drinking the tea?

It's a lot better now but we're still not there. Some doctors still prescribe based on what they've always prescribed regardless of any evidence that the remedy does any good.

"But some patients get better on this regime" cry the doctors

Yes. But people have a tendency to get better on their own for a huge number of conditions.

Evidence based medicine. You know it makes sense. Homoeopaths, osteopaths and other snake-oil salesmen, take note.

(, Thu 20 Oct 2011, 0:14, 25 replies)
Why is it
that more people don't know that the egg obviously came before the chicken?
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 23:45, 4 replies)
Why are monkeys so cheeky?

(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 21:53, 6 replies)
Alot of music in the charts.
I don't think music is dead and I don't hate mainstream but there is a lot of noisy,soulless generic drivel on the radio recently. I no understand.
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 20:24, 33 replies)
Detective Stats
I hope I can explain this. I want someone who's faaaar less lazy than I am to work out what pages, ie, at what points in time, do you get the good answers, or better stories, as evidenced by being chosen for the Newsletter. I reckon that the the more keen posters will post good stories early, but who knows. Maybe it takes a few days, ie pages, for people to work out their ever-so-thriling tales.
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 18:21, 8 replies)
I just don't understand
Why does every media source and politician try and persuade us that ever increasing house prices are good for us, and why do so many people believe them? WAKE UP SHEEPLE THE SYSTEM WANTS YOU TO BE INDEBTED WAGE SLAVES!

Why hasn’t BaynDedd had his inevitable breakdown yet?

Apart from those two, everything else makes sense.
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 18:06, 26 replies)
I deduced,
From the mass of the object and its gravity field, the fact it was not part of any local system, and the dead give away that was dragging us towards it.....

(Bet it's been done already)

It was, in fact, not a moon at all!
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 17:50, Reply)
? = 42

(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 16:42, 5 replies)
I used to wonder why anyone felt this was needed:

But I don't anymore.
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 16:15, 1 reply)
Registration plates.
Why are the registration plates on cars in the UK black-on-white at the front and black-on-yellow at the back?

There must be a really good reason, because that's the convention that the French adopted when they ditched white-on-black plates a few years ago. (I think they're moving to black-on-white for both now, so there's a secondary question about why that is better yet, and why the UK doesn't do likewise.)
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 15:35, 26 replies)
Landing lights
Why are you told to raise the blinds as aeroplanes come in to land? And why do they switch the lights off?

I once asked an air stewardess this, and she didn't know; her best guess was that it meant that your eyes would adjust to the light at the destination. I rejected this account on the grounds that it was palpably nonsense.

But I remain perplexed.
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 15:31, 22 replies)
The moon mystery
I happened to find myself at Milton Keynes train station early one morning. I was waiting for the train to arrive in the bridge area (above the tracks) if anyone is familiar with the station.

So, I'm staring out of one of those little round windows at the moon. Perfect full moon and quite large (optical illusion when it's near the horizon or some such)

Anyhoo was just about to leave when all of a sudden the moon moved across the sky by tens of thousands of miles and turned blood red at the same time.

A sign of the apocalypse!!!? Was really shocking to behold such an event. Did the solar system just get a whack.

A less rational person than I would have ran for the hills (or nearest bunker or called the police and newspapers..

However it did take a tad bit too long for me to work out I had actually been staring at the reflection of the train signals.. doh!
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 15:19, Reply)
Why do I start in the morning
with all the will in the world to be productive, yet by 10:30am, procrastination sets in, Visual Studio and Photoshop go on the backburner, and for some reason I have a browser open, proudly displaying YouPorn.
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 14:55, 18 replies)
Why do BMW drivers insist on getting to the front of every traffic queue?
Why does everyone cry on TV these days?
Why don’t ‘Travelling Families’ travel?
How are white vans able to reach such high speeds on the motorway.
Has anyone actually watched the Ocean Finance TV channel?

One that is bugging me after watching ‘Motorway Cops’:

Why is it, when the police want to stop a vehicle using the ‘stinger’ do they sit on the side of the road with their lights flashing then wonder why the criminal just drives onto the kerb. Surely it would be better to park their car around a corner and remain hidden.
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 14:09, 6 replies)
As the stale aroma of a fart drifting through the room caused her nose to wrinkle in disgust
she sharply asked 'Was that YOU?'

'No!' I lied. However she insisted that as the one who denied it, I must have supplied it. By way of counter-accusation I pointed out that as the one who smelt it, she must have dealt it. TOUCHE!
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 14:08, 2 replies)
if they're called travellers..
why do they kick up such a fuss when they get moved on? Surely they'd love it? Do I win a free pencil?
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 12:19, 12 replies)
Why is it that you can appreciate the aroma of your own fart
but the smell of your own shit isn't quite the same?
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 11:31, 8 replies)
Why do the clocks get put forward and back in March and October, not March and September, or April and October?
Why not a neat 6 months apart? Why?

I've googled this and asked loads of people and nobody seems to know.
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 11:23, 8 replies)
never fear
Morse is here

(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 11:06, 3 replies)
I think I see the problem
Years ago I worked for a company supplying industrial process control equipment. It was all run by DEC PDP computers (I said it was years ago) which were floor-standing, cupboard-sized minicomputers.

One day we got a call from a customer who couldn't get their system started. After running through all our checks, it seemed that it must be a hardware problem so we contacted DEC to get one of their engineers to go and have a look.

A couple of hours later we got a call from the DEC engineer. In the original phone call, which lasted over an hour, at no point did the customer think it was necessary to mention that the computer room was currently six inches deep in water, due to a burst pipe...
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 10:57, 1 reply)
guys how do you get vomit out of your sshirt
im asking for a mate
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 8:56, 9 replies)
come I dont see or hear Apple users posting their tales of woe in fora and bboards?

Is it because PC users are daft and don't know how to use them?
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 8:48, 34 replies)
Why do traffic police on this side of the planet grow HUGE bellies a few months after joining the force??
(, Wed 19 Oct 2011, 8:35, 3 replies)
Given my moniker, you might expect this QotW to be tailor made for me...
But alas, it is not.
....or is it?
(, Tue 18 Oct 2011, 19:42, 11 replies)
Ace Mechanic, me.....
In the early 90s I was working in a particularly shite job in London, a 2 hr commute from home in East Sussex. My wife worked near to home, but had to drop our toddler son off at the childminders on her way to work. Several days in a row, she would drive the 10 miles in our ancient Volvo 360 to the childminders, drop the sprog, and return to the car only to find that it refused to start no matter what.

Twice, and because I needed little excuse to bail out of work, I left work in London (having only just arrived) to come and rescue the car. I would arrive at the car and it would start first time.

Staring under the bonnet, I realised that that when the engine got warm the radiator coolant would rise in the expansion bottle bolted to the inner wing. That bottle was cracked, and the water would soak the wiring that ran beneath it, causing it to not start once stopped. Leave it a couple of hours (the time it took me to get back from London) and the wiring had sufficiently dried to let it start again. £5 for a replacement from a scrappy, everyone's happy, except me... I had to go back to work.
(, Tue 18 Oct 2011, 19:37, 2 replies)
It has always mystified me why certain B3tans mock the current question of the week as beneath them
But spend so much time criticising with unfunny posts or complaints.
(, Tue 18 Oct 2011, 19:31, 16 replies)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1