Don’t swallow gum! And other things parents say Image

Don’t swallow gum! And other things parents say

10 February 2023 - 34 mins
Podcast Series But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids

We wanted to hear about the conventional wisdom, parenting myths, and downright folksy falsehoods adults pass down to kids, and boy did we get a big response! We heard from over 100 of you about everything from “Don’t swallow gum because it will stay in your stomach forever” to “Slouching will crush your organs” to “If you don’t take a shower after swimming in the pool, your hair will turn green.” In this episode (the first of two), with the help of pediatrician Nusheen Ameenuddin of the Mayo Clinic, we put these “parentisms” to the test! Find out if there’s any truth to the idea that TV will turn your brain to mush, you’ll catch a cold if you go out with wet hair, and it’s dangerous to take...

34 mins

Series Episodes

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Why do we wear clothes?

Have you ever been threading one leg through a pair of pants in the morning and wondered…why do we wear clothes anyway? Or wondered why pockets in clothing designed for girls are sometimes smaller than the pockets in clothing designed for boys? In this episode we tackle questions about clothes with fashion historian and writer Amber Butchart.Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slides | Transcript

24 mins

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Who invented pizza?

Who invented pizza?

How is pizza dough made? How does gluten-free dough rise? Who invented pizza? Is there pizza in every country? Is yeast alive?! Kids love pizza and they have questions! We get answers from Frank Pinello of Best Pizza in Williamsburg and Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

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Why do oranges have peels?

Why do oranges have peels?

Why do oranges have peels? Why is the inside of an orange segmented? Why are lemons and limes so sour? Why do lemons have seeds but limes don’t? Why does fruit have juice? How many oranges are in a gallon of juice? How do seedless oranges reproduce? How are oranges available year-round? Why are the fruit and the color both called orange? We’re answering questions about citrus with Fernando Alferez from the University of Florida’s Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Drive | Transcript

24 mins

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Do people eat bugs?

Do people eat bugs?

Yes! In many parts of the world, insects are a regular part of people’s diets. Bugs are an efficient source of protein, and many cultures find them delicious. Some countries, like the US, don’t have a strong culture of insect cuisine, but that’s starting to change as people look for ways to feed a growing global population without using as many resources as we currently do. So insects might be an important part of our future diets as well. With all the talk about cicadas this summer, eating bugs has been making news for adults. So, in this bonus episode, But Why learns about cooking up insects with Joseph Yoon, edible insect ambassador at Brooklyn Bugs. Download transcript

14 mins

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Why do cicadas come out every 17 years?

Why do cicadas come out every 17 years?

This spring, trillions of periodical cicadas are emerging from the ground, where they’ve spent 13 or 17 years feeding on xylem (basically, tree juice).  The two specific broods emerging this year have not come out at the same time since 1803, and kids may be hearing a lot of news about these loud insects. So today we’re tackling the cicada questions you’ve sent us: Why do cicadas come out every 17 years? What do cicadas eat? Why are there more cicadas at night than in the morning? Why do cicadas molt? How do cicadas get babies? We speak with Dan Gruner, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, to get answers.Download our learning guides: PDF | Google Slide | Transcript

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Where does the sky end?

Where does the sky end?

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