Why does rain make us feel cozy?

Let's be a bit more specific and talk about gentle rains with maybe a bit of thunder in the distance while you are indoors or under shelter. There are a large number of things that contribute.

First, the soft white noise. A gentle rain creates tons of mildly distracting pleasant white noise. This helps reduce stress.

It amplifies positive feelings of comfort, shelter and safety. You don't get these positive feelings when you are outdoors working in the rain, you get them when the rain is not drenching you. So there is a difference between indoors (where you are comfortable) and outdoors (where you wouldn't be). And this contrast can be bigger if there is thunder off in the distance somewhere. And such rains come when it is usually comfortably humid and cool, rather than sticky and too hot.

Gentle rains are tied to an emotional state of calmness too because they are associated with a history of calm activities and "me time", relaxing and not working. The last time there was a day like this you pampered yourself a little with a good book on a comfortable couch... so you look forward to the next time.

Rain symbolizes renewal and cleanliness. It's a positive source of growth for plants and it often produces a nice clean smell as it washes dust away. So there is a mental association with a few positives there.

And for those of us who live in temperate zones, this type of pleasant rain means it's not snowing and there are leaves on the trees, and so it's what most of us consider to be the better time of the year.

How does Einstein's Theory of Relativity work?

We have two conflicting rules:

1) Nothing can move faster than the speed of light; and

2) For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (which mathematically is expressed as Force = Mass X Acceleration)

If you are traveling in a spaceship going just under the speed of light, say 0.9999999999999% this doesn't break rule 1 or 2.  No problem.  But then say you throw a sofa out of the back of your spaceship. Rule 2 says you should speed up. But rule 1 says you can't. 

So the universe cheats.

Force = Mass X Acceleration has, as its basic units, Force, Mass, Distance, Time.  To preserve Rule 1, the universe starts to mess with Mass, and Time.  It slows time down in fact, and the faster you are going, the slower time goes.

In fact, when you really are going at 0.9999999999999% the speed of light, your rocket engine is really a time machine.  You turn on your rocket and instead of going faster, you make time slow down more and more and more from your perspective.

You, personally, could travel across the galaxy in a few weeks if you just had a conventional rocket big enough. On earth thousands of years would pass, but for you, it would be virtually no time at all.

Why are fungi considered neither plant nor animal?

Like plants, they have a cell wall, which is a durable framework that supports the cell, which animal cells do not have. Unlike plants, this cell wall is made of chitin rather than cellulose. Animals though use chitin to make hard shells, which is what insect exoskeletons are made of.

Fungi reproduce similar to how simple plants do, by spores. Yet they cannot synthesize their own food like plants can. Like animals, they have to take in food. However, they are also immobile for the most part, like plants. They rely on the environment to move around, where as even simple animal cells can move on their own power.

So they have attributes of both, but are not quite one or the other.

How does clearing browser cache/cookies fix a lot of website issues?

In the case of a web browser, sometimes temporary files and cookies are not current, or even become corrupted. Either way, if changes were made in the browser when trying to load, if the browser is attempting to use what is cached and it is conflicting with what the website currently has, then it can load badly or not load at all. So clearing it forces the the browser to load it as if it were visiting the page for the first time.

Also to note, sites that use a page count, such as newspapers who allow a limited number of articles to be read without a subscription, use cookies and temp files to show that this browser/pc has read x-number of articles, which would cause it to load that annoying screen prompting you to log in or subscribe. Clearing the cookies removes that reference point.

What determines if a plant is a fruit or a vegetable?

It depends on the context since different words mean different things in different contexts.

In botany, fruit refers the part of a flowering plant that has seeds. Things like apples and pears are botanical fruits, but so are tomatoes, cucumbers, legumes, and eggplant. The thing that makes them all fruit is they come from flowering plants and are contain seeds from that plant.

Vegetable is not a botanical term.

In cooking, fruit usually refers to any part of a plant that tastes sweet and is often eaten uncooked. A vegetable is usually any part of a plant that is savory and is often eaten cooked.

There are some legal classifications for foods too that may be different than the above definitions. For example, imported vegetables might be taxed differently from imported fruits and the law would just have to have a list of what counts as a fruit and what counts as a vegetable. Or it might matter for meeting nutritional guidelines.

So tomato is a fruit botanically speaking, but a vegetable in terms of cooking. On the other hand, jicama is not a botanical fruit, but it is a culinary fruit.

What does it take to convert matter into energy, and would it cause an explosion?

The only currently known way to completely transform mass into energy is by annihiliting matter and anti-matter. This is very difficult to do, because (at least in our known surroundings) there is no anti-matter. It would be theoretically possible for entire different galaxies to be made of anti-matter, but many scientists argue that the likelihood for this is too small to be considered, we know for sure that our galaxy is pretty much just "normal" matter.

Anti-matter is present on the earth, it gets created by photons from the sun hitting the upper athmosphere, however that anti-matter instantly reacts with the surrouding air to nothing, and it is unlikely that we will ever be able to "farm" it.

We are able to create anti-matter in accelerators such as CERN, but it would take literally trillions of years to produce even a single gram of it, so not really an option, either.

It would defenetly create an explosion, because the energy density at whatever spot would be too high, however it is possible, as with any other explosion, to stop this from happening by simply finding a way to get the energy away from that location and spread out quickly enough. It is unlikely that we will ever find such a method that would work for anti-matter.

What makes a melody sound happy or sad?

A musician could list you certain chords, rhythms or other structures that make music sound happy or tense or whatever. This is enough for the musician to know how to generate a certain emotional response, but it doesn't explain why the emotional response happens.

The brain interprets everything through an extremely complex web of filters and processes. Some of that is linked to the amygdala, a part of the brain that is responsible for most of the emotional responses (e.g. fear). The amygdala responds fairly consistently (and thus predictably) to certain stimuli, which is why the same music will have very similar responses in most humans. To whatever extent that the response may be different, it's due to the way in which memories and past experiences (which differ from person to person) are part of the processing.

This applies not just to music. It applies the same way to paintings, sculptures, stories and movies. Most people have a very similar basal reaction to the same scene or the same work of art, but whenever two people's reactions are different, it's because the work might trigger different memories or relate to different past experiences in each of them.


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