Last Word Archive, New Scientist

12 x 16 combo shed greenhouse plans

12 x 16 combo shed greenhouse plans

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This week’s new questions

If birds are descended from dinosaurs, why don’t birds roar? And what’s that soapy liquid in a can of chickpeas?

Why is toast so different from bread heated in a microwave?

Crisp dry toast couldn’t be more different from steaming microwaved bread. A reader asks why – and it’s all down to the very different way the appliances cook

Why do cars have speed limits – is it physics or just practicality?

A curious reader asks: why can’t even the most powerful road cars travel over 350 kilometres an hour? Lift, wind resistance and human factors all play a part

This week’s new questions

How often should we wash, for health benefits or other reasons, and how much energy is used storing emails?

Why does the jet stream affect our weather?

A reader wanted to know the difference between the Gulf stream’s effect on weather and climate, and that of the jet stream. Find out the answer

Core subject: how does Earth’s magnetic field arise?

If you heat a bar magnet its magnetism disappears, but Earth’s magnetic field arises from a hot core. What explains the difference? Our readers respond

This week’s new questions

Why is it that the same foods or drinks taste pleasant to some people and horrible to others?

This week’s new questions

What causes the fresh smell we experience just before the onset of a storm or shower of rain, which is especially noticeable after an extended dry spell?

Does your fringe grow faster than the hair on the rest of your head?

Is there any difference in hair growth rates on your head, or do you just notice it more when your fringe gets longer? A long-haired reader responds

Kissed by a human or licked by an animal: which has more disease risk?

Are you more likely to pick up a disease from a kiss or letting an animal lick your face? Readers give their opinions

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