Stump The Beaver: May/June 2015
May 22, 2015 02:27PM ● Published by Erik Dittmann
Stan from Beaver Dam asks: I was at Fleet Farm getting ready to purchase a fancy compass when my buddy told me that the North and South poles of the Sun swap around every 11 years. He said the North and South poles of Earth also occasionally swap around. So, rather than get an expensive compass, I'm thinking of just picking up a cheap plastic model – since it won't be much good after the poles swap around. What do you think?
Answer: Splurge. The last permanent magnetic pole swap on Earth was over 700,000 years ago.
Stan asks a follow-up question: What good is our magnetic field if it's going to move around on us whenever it feels like it?
Answer: Life and Death. We often think of the magnetic field as something beneath our feet, since it originates in the core of the Earth. However, the field extends thousands of miles into space and acts like a giant "force field" protecting us from deadly radiation and solar winds. Plus, it makes for beautiful Northern Lights!
Steve from Alaska asks: My vacuum cleaner sucks. Do I need to buy a new one?
Answer: Wait . . . is this a trick question?
Jay from Fox Lake asks: Einstein was famous for his relativity principle regarding space and time. Whenever my relatives eat a big meal and there is no more space in their stomachs, then it is time to play euchre. Should I report this phenomenon to Scientific American?
Answer: Not quite, but perhaps we should get together for a meal.
Bill from Beaver Dam asks: For more than 10 years I've been planning to write a tremendous self-help book entitled How to Stop Procrastinating. When is the best time to start writing?
Ellen from Fox Lake asks: Do you have any acting talent?
Answer: I can do a very convincing impersonation of myself. It's uncanny.
Send your questions to Beav@LocaLeben.com and check out The Beaver’s weekly updates on www.LocaLeben.com