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Stories by Matthew Alice

More Phone Numbers, More Problems

When your telephone rings at 3:30 a.m., it’s the phone company. They won’t say so, but it’s true.

How smart were we back in the Stone Age?

Birds, bees, cave-babies in the Stone Age. Also, answers pertaining to left-handedness and the so-called average American.

Where Ants Go When It Rains

Where do ants go when it rains? Can man and woman live on milk and potatoes alone? Why is Antarctica a continent, but the Arctic isn’t?

Ancient Crappers, Modern Knife Laws

Matthew Alice answers the question of an enthroned gent wondering if pharaohs were buried with toilets.

San Diego's Tsunami Escape Routes

Hey Matt: I had a dream that we had a giant earthquake and the entire coast was under tsunami warning. I had to drive to Point Loma and rescue my dog. We lived on Sunset ...

On the Diamond, in the Hoosegow

Hey Matt, With baseball season just around the corner I thought you could shed a little light on something that’s been bugging me for years. Why in God’s name do baseball managers dress like the ...

When two-ply isn’t enough and light bulbs go poof

Hey Matt: Why has toilet paper technology maxed out at a mere 2-ply? Bar soap is constantly reminding us about the percentage of its moisturizer cream and I believe that there are now razors with ...

Pasteurized History

Hey, Matt: I really enjoy learning about “real” history versus what has been popularly pasteurized. As a (laid-off) 3rd generation aerospace worker I’m of course aware of the accusations of a faked moon landing. While ...

Murder with Special Circumstances?

Hi Matt! I’ve noticed, since at least the first Gulf War, the flag patches on the uniforms of American soldiers are backwards. To me, that’s weird. What’s the story? Nobody I know can fill me ...

Who Deserves a Telephonic Wedgie?

Hey Matt: Every day, seven days a week, I get odd, distracting, disruptive phone calls that drive me to drink! No, not the ones from my ex. The phone rings, I answer with my usual ...

When Is a Sardine a Sardine?

Hey Matt: There has been a question bugging me since I worked at the O.B. Pier bait shop years ago. Is there a breed of fish called a sardine, or are they called that only ...

I Say Psychopath, You Say Sociopath

Heymatt: I don’t understand the expression, “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” Why? Too lazy? — Man’s Best Friend, via email Dogs have gotten this bad rap since the 1530s. Really. This old-dogs-new-tricks stuff ...

So, you think your boss is a psycho

Hiya Matt: I haven’t actually worked for too many bosses, so maybe this isn’t true for everybody, just for me. Out of three bosses I have had two of them turned out to be crazy. ...

This Vacation is Really Far Out

Heymatt: I’m saving up vacation days at work so I can go into space. Who’s been up there longest, and does he have any tips for how to enjoy such a vacay? — Rocket Man, ...

Where Chia Pets Came From

Heymatt: It’s Christmas time again or as I call it Chia season. I finally need to know, what the heck is chia? What would happen if I dumped all my chia seeds in my garden ...

Why Kids Love Sweets

Heymatt: My kids love candy and anything sweet. If I put sugar on spinach, I’m sure they’d eat it. It seems to be true for most kids. I really had to be careful at Halloween ...

Efficiency of Teen Multitaskers

Hey Matt: My teenager always seems to be doing ten things at once. I can barely manage one or two. Is there something special about the teenage brain that makes them good multitaskers? — Mom ...

Earth's Magnetic Field, Beer Bubbles, Silicon/Silicone Boobs

Dear Matthew: I learned that electrical power can be produced using magnets and other things. I know the Earth has a big magnetic field around it. Could this be used to generate power for the ...

You pee. Then you pee and pee and pee and pee

Matthew: I’ve noticed that when I drink, after a while I have to pee. And maybe I’m imagining this. After a real short time, I have to pee again. That goes on all night. A ...

The Largest Hole in Earth

Heymatt: As usual, while contemplating my navel I came up with another Matthew Alice question. How big is the biggest hole ever dug in the earth? And please tell us some ridiculous facts about it, ...

Is there really such a thing as luck?

Matthew Alice: Is there really such a thing as luck? My neighbor seems to keep winning money on scratch-offs all the time and I’ve only won ten dollars every once in a while. I can’t ...

Gimme My Etofenamate; No Make That a Dormapimide

Matt: I always wonder when I see bulletproof glass if that stuff actually works. I don’t think I’d feel safe with just a piece of glass between me and a guy with a gun. — ...

You Are Hot — on the Inside

Matt: If our temperature is 98.6, why do we feel hot when it’s 85 or 90 outside? — WS, San Diego That 98.6 business isn’t what it appears to be. That’s an average core body ...

How Much Oil in Earth, Newscaster Quirks

Hey, Matt: There must be an end to the earth’s supply of oil. Has anyone predicted when that will happen? — Just Wondering, via email By now you must recognize the background music to this ...

Left-Handedness, Rats Eating Car Wiring

Hey Matt: Why are there so many more right-handers than left-handers? — Bicoastal, via email Aw, phooey. Actually, when it comes to handedness, everything you know is wrong — old-wives’-tale division. Anyway, that’s what’s been ...

Humans as Animal Blood Donors, Women's Birth Control Pill, More on Rats Eating Car Wiring

Hey Matt: Do different mammals have the same or different blood types as humans? I’m thinking dogs, cats, whales, deer, bears, etc. Could I give a blood transfusion to Fido if he needed it? — ...

Painful Childbirth, Rats Eat Car Wiring

Dear Matthew: I just had my second baby. During the few times I could actually think straight during labor, I began wondering why something as basic to the survival of the species as childbirth is ...

Space Junk, the One-Word Answer

Hey Matt: I have a great idea to send coffins into Outer Space so they can travel for 1 million to 100 billion years. This way we will donate our bodies to science and let ...

Twin Kittens, Brownie Points, Green Apple Jolly Ranchers

Hey Matthew: When my cat had kittens two of them looked exactly like each other. Are they twins? Is this common? I don’t remember seeing identical twin cats before. — Crazy Cat Lady, El Cajon ...

Lose Weight Doing Nothing

Heymatt: This summer I’ve done a lot of just sitting around not doing much. I don’t want to go back to school with a fat butt, so I was wondering how much energy I burn ...

Dogs' Lifted Legs, Astrological "Facts," Kiwi Fruit

Heymatt: My dog lifts his leg to pee. My cats don’t. I don’t know about other animals. Why does my dog do that, or why don’t my cats do that? Do any other animals lift ...

Blue Hair, Dumpster Diving

Hey, Matthew: Why can’t we have blue or green hair? We can have blue or green eyes, and isn’t melanin responsible for coloring our hair and our eyes? So why no blue hair? — Anonymous, ...

Seeing Stars, Voodoo Hit Man, Lottery Odds

Matthew Alice: Why do people see bright lights and funny things when they hit their head? — Wesley, Fourth Grade Hi, Wesley. Matthew Alice’s friends just get younger and younger. Anyway, when we “see stars,” ...

Maximum Airplane Size, Foreign Worker Permits

Hey, Matthew: Is there any practical limit to how big passenger planes can get? They seem so huge now, I was just wondering if there’s some top size that they can get to before they ...

Accident Doctors and a Letter From a Storm Chaser

Hello, Matt: My friend in Florida was recently in an accident and she reported to me that her normal doctor would not see her for her accident-related injuries, that she had to see special “accident ...

Why Women Scream

Hey, Matt: When we watch scary movies, my mom screams a lot but my dad doesn’t. When we go out to a movie, ladies scream but the men don’t. I think scary movies are pretty ...

Why are underwear and pants always referred to as a pair? How many e-mails are sent every day? Do goldfish blink?

Hey: Why are underwear and pants always referred to as a pair? Yes, there are two pant legs, but a shirt has two sleeves and nobody calls it a pair of shirts. — Apparelly Challenged, ...

The Really Real Reason We Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Please: Please, please. Why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? And don’t give me that same-old same-old description of what it is. I know it’s not Mexican Independence Day. It happened so long ago, and ...

Is Microwave Popcorn Bad for You?

So, Matt: I love popcorn, so, of course, I’m lazy enough to prefer microwave popcorn, since all you have to do is close the door and punch the “Popcorn” button. I have friends who flip ...

Cattle Herds, Tinnitus

Matthew Alice: Every day on my way to work I pass a dairy farm. All the cows in the herd are always facing the same direction. Is there a reason for this? — Anonymous, via ...

Want a Government-Issue Laser Gun? Want to Make Moonshine?

Heymatt: Is the military working on a laser gun — a weapon that uses a laser to kill people? Maybe a laser tank or laser cannon? I was just wondering how much science fiction has ...

The Taste Gene, Birds Aren't Mammals

Heymatt: Everybody in my family hates cabbage. And my dad and sister won’t eat broccoli. That got us wondering if taste is genetic. Did I inherit my cabbage hate from my parents? Broccoli’s not my ...

Hair/Nail Growth After Death, "Toots" Nickname, Bird Smarts

Dear Matthew Alice: I’ve heard that after you die your hair and fingernails keep growing. How is that possible? Or maybe it’s not true. Straighten me out. — Daniel S., San Diego I couldn’t find ...

Dear Friends: You’re Really Not Dear

Matt: Can a person who reads lips, like a deaf person, tell if you have an accent, like Southern or French or something? — Windsor Lakes, via email This should round out our lip-reading essays. ...

Fingerprints/Footprints, Déjà Vu

Matt: I have this friend who decided that burglars should learn to use their feet instead of their hands when they steal things so they won’t leave any fingerprints behind. I think he was kidding ...

Burnt Toast Odor, Colt 45

Hey Matt: I burned toast. Pretty soon the whole house smelled like burned toast. Stronger than anything I can remember. Tell me why. — Great Gregg Cook, via email Hey, Grandma. Hey. Yo, Grandma. Here’s ...

Tattoo History, Flushed Bugs

Talofa, Matt: As a tattoo aficionado, I recall reading that before it was destroyed during WWII, there existed a collection of preserved dermagraphics from Japanese yakuza members, and supposedly due to the atrocities in Germany, ...

Most Common Birthday, O-Rama's Roots, Peeping Tom

Heymatt: A bunch of us were wondering what’s the most common birthday. Is there a day that a lot more people were born? We have two friends who were born on September 30, so is ...

Gray Hairs, Looking at People, Belly Buttons

Matt: My mom says I’m turning her hair gray from stress. Is that possible? — Bad Boy?, via email Well, ya know, she might be right. Science guys aren’t quite sure if stress hurries up ...

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