Way back in the old Mindset days, I wrote one of my favorite pieces ever, answering Ernie’s questions he posed in the song ‘I Wonder’. Since then I’ve been on the lookout for more Muppet songs which ask the hard questions, or at least ones that I can Google and claim I knew the answer all along.
Then, in May, The Electric Mayhem released their debut album, which includes the song ‘MAYHEM!’. While the lyrics aren’t in the show, the instrumental plays over the end credits, and even opens our Backstage Pass podcast! If you haven’t heard the words, you’re missing out, because this song is probably one of the best on the entire album. Lucky for you though, you can listen to it here;
Quite the bop, no?
The song’s first verse asks some great questions and so I thought I’d take a moment to Google the answers so that Dr Teeth, Floyd and Janice need not wonder anymore. The second verse is more used for a pun about the words ‘heard/herd’ and something about a jumbo shrimp so we’re not worrying about those. Let’s get started, shall we?
How are clouds made out of water, yet hang in the sky?
I’m so glad you asked, Dr Teeth! For this we must know that clouds are created from water vapor, after the sun creates warm air by heating and evaporating the water on Earth’s surface. The warm are is less dense than the cold air above it, so it rises up and gradually cools. Now cool, it cannot hold as much moisture and has to condense into a liquid, which is the beginnings of a cloud. The reason it stays in the air though, or ‘hangs in the sky’, is because of the size of the water droplets. Some may only be as small as half the size of a human hair, so it can float for a long time. There is also a constant flow of warm air rising to meet it, meaning it is being pushed up and kept in the air! Of course, sometimes the water droplets collide and stick together, meaning they become too heavy for the cloud and fall to the Earth. And when this happens my laundry gets wet because I forgot to check the weather report again.
Why does sunlight feel so much hotter when you look it in the eye?
Goodness knows we all appreciate the shade on a hot summer’s day, but Janice wants to know why it’s so much hotter when the sun is directly in our eyeline! For this we have to assume she means when the sun is out and there is no escaping it, as looking directly in to the sun is bad and might explain why Janice’s eyes are always closed. But to answer your question, Janice, we first learn that all of human bodies are made of molecules (and mostly water ones at that), and the heat from the sun is actually infared radiation. This radiation, almost like a microwave, makes the water molecules vibrate which heats you up like you’re a big mug of soup. We also have sensitive nerve endings on our body which react to direct sunlight. That may cause sunburns etc, whereas the radiation can cause things like sunstroke and dehydration. Wear sunscreen, folks! (Note: many people had different answers for this question, so if this is at all scientifically inaccurate, it’s a Muppet website, don’t come here to learn actual lessons)
How do flowers come from the seeds then are used by honey bees?
Well, this is a two part question, Floyd, so let’s tackle the seed one first! Seeds are planted in pots or in garden beds, and if the conditions are suitable, it breaks open. Roots inside grow down and set the plant in place, also soaking up water and nutrients to help the flower grow. The stem begins to shoot upwards, carrying with it the nutrients from the roots, also being strong enough to support leaves which will be important when it comes to photosynthesis (I’ll let Grover explain more about plants here).
Now, let’s look at why honey bees use plants! Flowers are a great source of nectar and pollen, which is food for baby bees! They collect it and take it back to their hive or they help pollunate other flowers which creates more seeds, and the entire thing is started up again. It also means we get honey, and that’s the greatest gift of all.
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By Jarrod Fairclough – Jarrod@ToughPigs.com