The “Why” of IT (Aug, 1929)
The “Why” of IT
Do you know the real reason why the toreador’s red mantle angers the bull, or why the cross-wise seats are placed in the center of a street car? On these pages you will find the real scientific purpose for some of the simple things about which the average person has misconceived ideas.
Of course, you hare noticed the white crosses painted on the windows of buildings under construction, but do you know why they are put there? They are not daubed there accidentally by a whimsical painter. The scientific answer to this and other questions appears on this page.
Worry not about your red necktie as you cross a field containing several vicious-looking bulls. Recent tests prove that it is not color but motion which infuriates the bull. As a matter of scientific fact, bulls are far more susceptible to white as a color than red, but any erratically moving object, such as the toreador’s flaming mantle, sends their temper skywards. Red is a popular color for the toreador because its brilliance adds to the spectacle of the bull fight.
Dragging chains ground electric sparks and prevent explosions. Why is the fire truck at the right painted red? Attention value—traffic clears out of the way.
The average person prefers to sit cross-wise in the street car, and even a lazy man will walk to the center seats for this purpose. Simply a matter of keeping the car exits clear!
A moving truck cannot run out 1 from under a man jumping into the air from it. Velocity of the truck is imparted to the jumper.
What is the purpose of the white crosses of paint slashed across the windows of buildings under construction? Are they a sort of trade mark, union label, or just a contractor’s custom? The real answer is—safety. The crosses prevent workmen from pushing planking through the windows or even walking bodily through the transparent glass. The paint, by its surface tension, also helps to prevent the glass from shattering under the vibration of hammer blows on the frame of the building.
Smoke rising straight into the air is a sign of fair weather. Smoke rises because the atmospheric pressure is great enough to lift it up; high pressure precedes fair weather.