Straight from the Hip

Archived articles

Getting more ink from a ballpoint pen

Heymatt: Here is one no one can answer: how to restart ink flowing in a ballpoint pen after non-use. This has everyone stumped, so if you can’t answer, that’s OK. — John, via email At ...

A roll up a gravity hill

Mattster: In my ’50s cruising days, after hitting Oscar’s Drive In on El Cajon Boulevard, one stop we would always make was at a “magnetic hill” where steel cans appeared to roll uphill. I believe ...

Clairemont Mesa's spooky windowless, signless, addressless building

Heymatt: This has been bugging me for YEARS. There is a very mysterious, windowless, signless, addressless building in Clairemont Mesa. It has a high, barbed-wired fence around it and a key-card access gate, but no ...

Only one way in and one way out of the post office

Hey Matt: A colleague and I were at the Tierrasanta post office. It’s located in a typical shopping center with enough room for traffic lanes in each direction, yet they have signs showing only one ...

Con-man math

Heymatt: My brother-in-law used to tell me this riddle all the time, but he passed away a few years ago and now none of my family can remember the answer, if ever there was one: ...

Stepping into Mission Valley from Hillcrest

Heymatt: About 30 years ago I heard about some concrete stairs leading from the area around UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest down to Mission Valley. I went exploring and found them, but I only went ...

Turn that down!

Heymatt: Why do some clubs have such loud music? I know loud volume is a substitute for quality tones, but do they really need to go that far? Some have sound levels of 105 decibels, ...

International mail: which country gets paid

Heymatt: Curious as to how an international letter works through the United States Postal Service? How does the USPS get paid and how much does the country receiving the letter get? Do both countries just ...

The difference between recreation and re-creation

Heymatt: How come you can “recreate” something (like a Civil War battle) and it would be a “RE-creation,” but when you go play tennis (or whatever) it’s “WRECK-reation?” Are they different words or just the ...

Bullets in a bonfire

Do bullets thrown into a campfire go off with the same velocity as when they are fired from a gun?

Days-of-yore Disney

What happened to Disney’s 20,000 Leagues exhibit.

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