1. Will we ever run out of new music?

There are many different types of music across practically every culture, throughout the world. So even if no original music was created ever again and composers just re-arranged what is already written, the number of recreated songs would be, for all practical purposes, limitless.

There is an even greater range of possibilities when it comes to composing melodies than writing sentences. That's because musical parameters aren't confined to the notes of whichever scale you're using — there's their rhythmic articulation, precise tuning, loudness, and timbre.

Mathematically speaking, it is possible that at one point we will run out of melodies to write and perform. The human ears are only capable of picking up a limited number of tones. Meaning, there is technically a limit to the number of different combinations you can place these sounds in to create songs.

Since all these combinations will sound very good, or even tuneful, the number shrinks further. We can imagine that the combination of few notes could give birth to some very mediocre noise. And so, a limit is imposed by the necessity of music sounding good or expressing emotion. The human ears just feel comfortable with those specific patterns and schemes.

We are so bound to those patterns that we can't be bothered to discover something different. In other words, we are just happy enough with the combinations of melodies, chord progressions, and meters we have explored so far. And we, as a society, tend to stick to those rules and patterns that define our taste, our history, and our culture.

2. What goes on inside a baby's mind?

Scientists have shown that babies only a few months old have a solid grasp of the basic rules of the physical world. They understand that objects can't wink in and out of existence or teleport from one spot to another.

Babies experience feelings like joy, sadness, anger, interest, and excitement. When we respond in ways that are sensitive to what the baby is telling us, he learns that his feelings matter, which builds his trust in us. We also nurture his curiosity which enhances his desire to keep on learning. Babies already notice differences in our facial expressions and tone of voice and figure out whether a new person or situation is safe. They pick up on and react to how we are feeling, such as — sad, angry or happy.

The baby can detect danger and needs us to make him feel safe. Danger can come in many forms for young children, from angry faces and reactions, rough handling, big changes in their daily routine, or being overloaded by too much stimulation.

They can also experience stress when they feel unsafe or frightening. Toxic stress — which is much more serious than short-lived, everyday stress is harmful to your baby's developing brain.

It would be a logical assumption that babies do dream, but it's hard to imagine the landscape of the baby's dream world since he doesn't have language or clear concepts of people and things.

3. Why are we suddenly seeing so many cicadas in the US?

The large, winged bugs with beady red eyes grow underground by sucking on tree roots for either 13 or 17 years, before emerging in spectacular numbers to mate and lay eggs in the treetops.

Once the soil reaches about 64 F at a depth of 12-18 inches, the emergence of the cicadas is triggered. Male cicadas emerge first, followed by females a few days later. Once they leave the ground, they will shed their shells and develop wings, allowing them to fly around and locate fresh hardwood trees and shrubs.

The cicadas will then mate and that's when the singing begins. At the end of their life cycle, female cicadas will lay eggs inside tree branches. Newly hatched cicadas will then chew through the branch tips, causing them to fall off, carrying the young insects back down to the soil where they will spend the next 17 years.

There are about 3,000 cicada species on Earth, but only seven are periodical as they come out every 13 or 17 years. Some of the theories involve they choose a long time to appear to optimally avoid predators. Another one is that by using prime numbers, the periodical cicadas minimize overlap with other periodical cicadas, thus avoiding genetic hybridization and competition for resources.

Brood X, which has been underground in the Eastern U.S. since 2004, up until 2021. They will remain for four to six weeks, and then they'll die off, leaving behind the next generation. Brood X will next emerge in 2038.

4. Why do the police touch the taillight of the car when stopped?

While conducting a traffic stop, the law enforcement officers conduct procedures to ensure their safety as well as that of the violator. One of those involves touching the rear part of the vehicle when the officer approaches it.

The first reason is to make sure that the trunk is closed and no one is about to jump out of the trunk. The action also started as a way for officers to spook drivers before reaching their windows. The surprise of hearing a knock on their taillight might disrupt the process of hiding illegal drugs or weapons, increasing their likelihood of getting caught.

The second reason is touching the rear of the vehicle puts the officer's fingerprints on that car, showing that he or she was there with it. In case the driver decided to flee the scene, or if something happened to that officer, it ties both the vehicle and the officer together.

Before cameras were installed on the dashboards of most police cars, tapping the taillight was an inconspicuous way for officers to leave behind evidence of the encounter and help track down a missing member of the force even without video proof of a crime. Now, it's standard for all cops to have dash or body cams recording live video which has eliminated the original reason tail tapping was ever implemented.

5. What are the invisible floating objects that we see in our eyes?

There are times when we notice a strange worm-like speck drifting aimlessly about in our field of vision. These annoying little squiggly lines are called floaters and are experienced by around 70% of people. These floaters usually appear as transparent circles, tadpoles, strings, or cobwebs and stay permanently in our eyes. They may look to us like they drift about when we move our eyes and appear to dart away when we try to look at them directly.

Most eye floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur as the jelly-like substance called vitreous humor that helps to maintain the eye's round shape, becomes more liquid. Floaters are normally merely proteins of the vitreous gel that have clumped together. These stringy clusters of proteins block light and therefore cast a shadow on the retina.

Sometimes, small hemorrhages in the eye can cause floaters as red blood cells enter the vitreous. This can occur if the gel pulls on blood vessels located in the retina. Bleeding and inflammation in the eye, from retinal tears or blood vessel problems, tend to cause floaters in general. They can also be small specks of protein and other material that were trapped in our eyes as it was forming before birth.

Floaters can also be a sign of a more serious eye condition called retinal detachment. In this condition, the shrinking and pulling away of the vitreous causes the retina to detach. If we suddenly have more floaters than normal or are experiencing bursts of light across our field of vision called flashes, we should reach out to our eye care provider immediately.


  1. Music: Mathematically — Yes, practically — No. As long as someone is listening, the beat will go on.
  2. Baby: Babies are more conscious than adults and are busy trying to make sense of the world around them. For a baby, every day is like going to Paris for the first time.
  3. Cicadas: Cicadas are periodic insects emerging out of the ground in trillions every 13 or 17 years — mate, lay eggs, and die. After 2021, the Brood X type will be seen again in 2038.
  4. Police: To make sure the trunk is closed and to leave fingerprints on the car to associate the car with the policeman.
  5. Floating objects: Floaters are worm-like specks or strings that appear in our field of vision. They are proteins of the vitreous gel that have clumped together which blocks light and therefore casts a shadow on the retina.

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