Dr. Karl

Whenever the announcer gives out the phone number for Karl Kruszelnicki’s famous Science Talkback show on Triple J, on Thursday mornings – so many calls come in that the ABC switchboard crashes!

Karl’s media career began in 1981, when he started presenting ‘Great Moments In Science ‘ on Double J to pay his way through medical school. Since then, his media career has exploded from radio to include TV, books, newspapers, magazines, scripting, professional speaking, and of course, the Net. His ABC-based science homepage (which has well over 4 million words on it) gets about 700,000 pages downloaded each week (

He made his TV debut in 1985 as the presenter of the first series of Quantum. Since 1986 he has reported science on the Midday Show, Good Morning Australia (including a full-time stint in 1991-2 as the TV Weatherman and science reporter), the Today Show and Channel 7’s breakfast program Sunrise. He has recently completed a series for ABC TV with Adam Spencer called ‘Sleek Geeks’ which will air in late 2007. Karl also popularises science on ABC radio stations across Australia and, on the BBC, for several hours each week.

Karl has written (so far) 26 books, beginning with ‘Great Moments In Science’ in 1984 and moving along to ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So…’Bro’, which was released in November 2006, was launched quite literally via rocket at Sydney’s Bondi Beach (a world first). Karl’s lastest book ‘Please Explain’ was released in November 2007. According to the “New Scientist” Magazine Karl’s last five books have all hit the position of best-selling Popular Science book in Australia.

In 1996 Karl was invited by the United States Information Agency to be a Distinguished Foreign Guest in their International Visitor Program. Previous Alumni of this program include Julius Nyere, Anwar Sadat, Indira Ghandi and Margaret Thatcher. As part of this program he visited NORAD, Dryden Air Force Base and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory – and got to sit in the front seat of an SR-71 Blackbird.

In August 2000 Karl was one of first eight Australian Apple Masters to be announced (there are fewer than 100 in the entire world). The Apple Masters Program celebrates the achievements of people who are changing the world through their passion and vision, while inspiring new approaches to creative thinking.

In 2002, Dr Karl was honoured with the prestigious Ig Nobel prize awarded by Harvard University in the USA for his ground-breaking research into “Belly Button Lint and why it is almost always blue”.

In September 2003, Dr Karl was bestowed wit the great honour of being named ‘Australian Father of the Year’.

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki received the Member of the Order of Australia Award in the 2006 Australia Day Honours list. In 2007 the Australia Skeptics Society awarded Dr Karl the Australia Skeptic Of The Year Prize.

Karl has degrees in Physics and Maths, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine and Surgery and has worked as a physicist, tutor, film-maker, car mechanic, labourer, and as a medical doctor at the Kids’ Hospital in Sydney.

In 1995 he took up the position of the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at Sydney University, spreading the good word about science and its benefits.

His enthusiasm for science is totally infectious and no one is better able to convey the excitement and wonder of it all than Dr Karl Kruszelnicki is.

293 comments so far

  1. Andrzej on

    Does Dr Karl Polish roots ? I’m asking because his surname sounds as if it could be Polish one😉 However, I really enjoy his programm that is published as a podcast at, especially by listening to my mp3 player while breaks in my classes🙂 Best greetings for him from Poland🙂

  2. caroline on

    yes, karl’s heritage is Polish.

  3. Andrzej on

    So as I am🙂 That’s really nice🙂 And I am very proud because of that😉 Best greetings from Poland for you, Caroilne and for Dr Karl as well😉

  4. Ash on

    Where does Karl buy his shirts from? I have a conference dinner coming up where you need to dress as a fsmous scientist.

  5. caroline on

    Hi Ash,

    Dr Karl’s wife makes his shirts. you can’t buy them at this stage, but perhaps in the future…



  6. Scott on

    I have heard that the stars are not visible to the naked eye when viewed from space. Is this true?

    Is the moon bigger when you view it rising than when you see it higher in the sky?

  7. hannah on

    does Dr Karl believe in God or the possibility of God?

  8. Chris on

    A few things on my mind you MIGHT answer Karl:-
    1/ With something like 15000 people flying in to Bali for the 2 week GW conference and knees-up how many aircraft will it take to deliver so many apostles to and from this giant booze-up and how much carbon in total will these planes spew out the back?
    2/ Why not video conference instead?
    3/ How many dogs and cats were poisoned by the Bali authorities to make the streets more attractive for all these free-loaders?
    4/ How many extra animals were killed to feed this lot?
    5/ Why are there a number of scientists saying the Kyoto Protocol doesn’t work? (Sorry they’re quacks arent they?)
    6/ With your V8 Monaro that you reckon doesn’t use all that much juice when used on Freeways (which seems to not quite add up because what you might save while on them will be more than lost when trying to get on them through the city traffic)-how much time do you actually spend on the freeways?
    7/ Why not drive a hybrid?
    8/ Which is more amazing: –
    a) The gullibility factor required to believe in the Millenium Bug
    b) The panic factor created by the supposed “Bird Flu World Epidemic’
    c) The mind numbing stupidity factor required to believe in man made Global Warming
    d) The money made out of all the dickheads who believe in this pap? or
    e) All of the above
    Please feel free to respond or not. However I hope at least one of my comments actually makes you think things through a bit more carefully before jumping in just because everyone else is.
    There’s an old saying ” Even if 50 Million people believe in a stupid idea – it’s STILL a stupid idea” – no matter how many times we are told it.
    Are you afraid of not being a big celebrity anymore if you disagree with the mainstream opinion? Do you crave approval as opposed to integrity? Only you and God really know (even if you don’t believe in him doesn’t mean he’s not there as you WILL find out one day).

  9. Peter on

    The more I think on what Chris says the more I’m starting to wonder. My father is a climatologist to be precise has been for many years and he too has been saying that man caused Global Warming is rubbish. And I have heard him comment to my mother that if he says anything against it at work he gets ridiculed and yet they actually have models that they use and dad says that it is all based on presuppositions that are mathematically suspect.
    He also says that if the media says somethinh for long enough everyone beleives it as most people never really do their homework. So I think Chris has got a point. The thjing about Dr. Karls car well, it is pretty hypocritical isn’t it? After all just how much time does he actaull spent on the freeways compared to driving it through the city? What a tool!

  10. Connie on

    “YOU Ain’t Necessarily So…Bro”
    Dr Karl, you have joined a party that has negotiated preferences with the likes of One Nation…”Please Explain”

  11. Donna on

    Did some ‘homework’ like chris suggested. It’s all a little too sus if you ask me. Hey Karl, wanna answer a few of those questions or don’t you ever read this site man? Connie I’m not worred about one nation it’s the greens that worry me. Check out their web site. Nothing to do with the environment this party. These creeps just want to get into power. The head dude is Bob Brown a self confessed gay and he wants to lower the age of consent for boys to 12 and girls to 14. Why’s that eh? Hmm? Wants to release ALL the drug dealers from prison, wants to allow abortion right up to birth, the list goes on and on. These are BAD people.

  12. Tim on

    Donna, Connie, Peter and Chris – you’re all tools. Taking a leaf from all of your comments, I don’t have to justify my claim that you are all tools, I just have to have such an opinion and be prepared to state it. No facts. No evidence. No discussion on the science or mathematics or anything. Just a statement – A bunch of tools, and because I used to be an electrician, I’m entitled to say I can spot a tool a mile away.

  13. DaveF in Hobart on

    An answer, of sorts.
    The alien abduction/fish tagging theory I I mentioned to you on the radio (Sea FM in Hobart) has occurred at least once. My sister at CSIRO shared my joke theory with a fish-tagging colleague and instead of laughing he said that it had happened to them. They tagged a fish with to track movement and were surprised when the results were different from expected results (I assume from either previous tagging or local fishing knowledge). She’s forgotten which species/breed of fish, but she’s now on the hunt for that info.
    Does an abducted outcast exist as a social pariah (not a piranha) in the fish world? =o)

  14. Robby in Adelaide on

    Please Dr Karl – I know we need intelligent qualified people in politics but politics is for amateurs – true minds that are allowed to roam free and work on the understanding of bigger picture is for true geniuses – I hope you do some further good work in educating the masses and effect change through science. Good luck and all the best…

  15. Mike Lee on

    I read in an Arthur C Clarke book that its possible to cut glass with scissors under water – I had a science teacher who thought it could be done also – what do you think? Can it be done? Love the podcasts

  16. Danger on

    Chris you are a fool and the fact that you have to insult people who have come to the (correct) conclusion about man affecting the climate shows how intellectually weak you are.

    If you can’t make a good point against the scientific consensus then hey why not throw a few insults and pejorative remarks at the people who have bothered to do the research. What a weak tactic.


    PS: Donna, No-one asked you.

  17. Chris on

    Dear Danger and Tim your opinions are duly noted and discarded. Danger, you call me a fool and an idiot and intellectually weak and accuse me of insulting people. Isn’t this a case of the kettle calling the pot an indigenous colour? Or a simple case of rank hypocrisy? Why don’t you answer my questions then? No greenie will admit the amount of filth that all those caring delegates in Bali pumped into the air. Yeah let’s ignore that. Let’s ignore that as an industrial electronics technician even I could have set them up with video conferencing and saved all those animals being killed just to make the streets look clean for all the freeloaders. What about Karls V8 Monaro? Where you one of the gullible who spent a goondy on the Y2000 Bug protection software? Did you run down to the chemist like so many did to buy the anti bird flu drugs?
    It never surprises me the number of apostles to new religions and how viciously they attack anyone who disagrees with them and yet still never manage to answer the questions. You probably think Big Brother and Australian Idol are the absolute heights of intellectual entertainment.
    My wife is a highly qualified scientist as a matter of real life fact as are quite a few of our friends. I am not making this up because I don’t need to prove anything to you. But I can tell you that they believe the research is as dodgey as hell. You’re just like all those who are fashion slaves who HAVE to have this or that accessory or be skinny, you are so because it has been shoved down our throats by the media so much you’ve become brain washed.
    You also probably believe Peter Garrets public rant about Chernobyl killing 100’s of thousands. I suggest you pay a visit to Chernobyl it will be an eye opener for you as only around 50 people ever actually died from the melt down and only a couple by radiation poisining, despite what the greenies say. Yet 200,000 women aborted (read murdered) their babies because they were told they would be deformed. Go and check the facts yourself don’t just believe it because it fits your pigeon holed world view. Your perspective could actually be wrong. Grow up sunshine look what’s behind it all – money and control. Don’t forget to prostrate yourself each night before your green altar and say your prayers to Gaia.

  18. flee1906 on

    Poll: What do you think about Japan whaling for scientific reasons?
    Choice answers:
    If that’s scientific, I’m Dr Karl
    They are an international disgrace
    In protest I’ve sworn off sushi
    Actually, I’m all for it

    and i chose, (a) If that’s scientific, I’m Dr Karl

    and you know what?
    i didnt know who doctor karl was until i came on this site..
    well i knew the guy coz i’ve seen him on TV and stuff, but i didnt know his name was dr. Karl


    peace out.. :)♥

  19. Joan on

    Dr Karl,
    I bought your latest book (“Please Explain”), in which you suggest that hyperbaric treatment is of very limited use. Your information is dated 1998!
    In 2001 my husband was cured of necrotising fasciitis (“the flesh-eating disease”)at the Royal Adelaide Hospital after eight treatments in the hyperbaric chamber, each followed by debriding. Without this treatment he would have died. I believe the chamber, fairly new then, has been used extensively since for healing wounds that have not responded to normal treatment.
    Your information is out of date, which is most disappointing.

  20. A. Underwood on

    Dr Karl,

    If we were to be placed at the precise centre of the earth, would centrifugal gravitational forces propelled by the surrounding mass force the material towards the proverbial wall of the earth, or would Newtons shell theorem command the effect, in that zero gravity would occur in the centre of a rotating spheroid?

    Could the irregular shape of the earth or position relative to our moon effect the material at the centre of the earth (considering it was hollow)?

    Thankyou. Hope to see you at the Seimens science experience At Sydney University.

  21. A. Underwood on

    Just responding the the poll introduced by Flee1906.

    I agree that a repeat of whale harvesting as seen in the late 1950’s and 60’s would have a detrimental effect on world whale numbers. The decline of whale numbers in 1969 saw numbers of every species of whale dwindle. These beutiful and regal creatures should not be harvested for meat or useable fats.

    SAVE THE WHALES! with the help of DR KARL, the Climate Change Coalition and Greenpeace.

  22. pavlov' salivating toy poodle on

    Can dr.Karl’s existance be proven?

    Schrodinger’s cat, anyone?

  23. Sambo on

    Frankly I don’t see any reason as to why I should give a RIP about whales or dolphins. It’s all part of evolution, the survival of the fittest. If they can’t develop some defense so what? We humans are evolving and in the future we may eat rocks and live without oxygen, who knows?
    If survival of the fittest is the real deal then who the hell says I can’t rob, steal, kill or rape? Who made these laws? perhaps some weak gutless loser who deserves to die? Porpoise sandwiches for everybody.

  24. Donna on

    Hey you numbnuts – has any of you noticed , the respected Dr. Karl never actually responds to any of these questions. Because he’s off somewhere wanking himself over a picture of Bob Brown(hole) and never has yet looked at this site. He doesn’t give a rodents rectum about what we say or think nor will he ever look at what’s going on in this site. He’s too busy getting off on stardom. Ooh shit I’m special and I wear fancy shirts and get paid heaps to lure dickheads. You dumbarse tools. C U. Never.
    I get the feeling that the only one with any operating brain cells is Chris so why don’t you scientific experts answer his questions? One by one. Tossers.

  25. Dr Karl on

    Dear Donna,

    Howdy, and thanks for the comments. I have been a little busy lately, and have time only to lurk, and not to contribute.

    I feel that I must disagree about your comment about “Bob Brown” and not looking at the site.

    The shirts? Stage clothing.

    Cheers, karl

  26. Dr Karl on


    I can’t see why we need to kill them. There are plenty of other sources of protein.

    Survival of the Fittest? That’s a big topic, and would take at least 30 minutes and a few beers to discuss.


  27. Dr Karl on

    Dear A Underwood,

    Centre of the Earth? Zero gravity.
    CU at the Siemens gig at the Uni of Sydney – let’s discuss it more then,

    Cheers, karl

  28. Dr Karl on

    Dear Joan,

    Howdy, and thanks for the comment about “hyperbaric chambers”. I am delighted that your husband was helped by this treatment. Necrotising fasciitis is a very nasty condition indeed.

    The exact words in my book are
    “A hyperbaric chamber is a strong container able to take one or more people, while the internal pressure is increased to several atmospheres.
    In the 1940s, they were used by the military to treat deep-sea divers with decompression sickness (the bends). In the 1950s, they were used for treating carbon monoxide poisoning. They have another non-diving medical use of treating delayed bone damage due to radiation (osteoradionecrosis). In this case, they are filled with pure oxygen at 1.5-3 atmospheres of pressure. This therapy goes by the name of HBOT – HyperBaric Oxygen Therapy. HBOT is also used medically to treat arterial gas embolism – bubbles of gas in the arteries.”

    As my books are for general interest, not for the specialised medical or science reader, I did not mention every single one of the many uses of the “hyperbaric chamber”.

    Also, I am not sure where you got the date of 1998 from – could you possibly let know?

    Cheers, karl

  29. Dr Karl on

    Dear Chris,

    Howdy, and thanks for the many comments.

    There are so many of them, and each of them deserves several paragraphs of reply, that I don’t know where to start.

    But, with the very simple case of the Monaro, we live about 5 km from the Eastern Distributor in Sydney. Once on the ED, it’s some 60 km of freeway driving to Campbelltown, and some 200 km to Newcastle. I have been talking to mechanics who (by chipping and adding extractors) have got the fuel economy down to 8.5 litres/100 km (our current freeway economy is about 10 litres/100 km).

    Cheers, Karl

  30. Chris Tchakalian on

    Dear Dr Karl

    I’ve just been given your book “Please Explain” for Christmas and I wondered if you could explain the statement on the back cover “26 is the only number directly between a square and a cube”. It seems to me that the mid-point number between the square and the cube of any number varies i.e., the mid point between the square and the cube of ten is 550. Have I misunderstood you or is your statement badly worded/ambiguous?


  31. Tristan Dwyer on

    Dear Dr Karl i’ve just got the book ‘please explain’ for christmas. I enjoyed it so much I thought I should leave a message about it. Though no matter what you say you can’t stop me continusly pressing the button at red lights to get to the other side faster.

    Regards Tristan

  32. Boban on

    Dear Dr Karl,

    I would be very great full if you could help me out with a choice or just advise.

    I suffer from hair loss and am a home researcher, I have taken into a peptide called Thymosin Beta 4 found in the Thymus.

    The peptide TB4 is in phase 2 (regenrx) trails for skin wound repairs and is known to grow hair in mice/rats like nothing before.

    Its works many ways MMP-2, HGF , antibacterial etc…

    My only real worry using the peptide, is tumor growth due to TB4 being a growth agent its know to be overexpressed in tumors. I believe TB4 cannot cause tumor growth. The studies have not link TB4 to tumor growth only to be found that TB4 is overexpressed in tumors.

    Do you believe this would be a dangerous path way to go for hair loss if so why (please give me researchers response?

  33. annonymous on

    Dear Dr Karl,

    Mum has been presecribed with Topamax 100mg and started taking her doseage for the past 2,3 wks but is experiencing most of the common side effects which worry me…Mums become like a zombie sleeping all the time with flu like sypmtoms and really is not herself. We have now reduced the doesage to 50mg morning and 50mg at night until her speacilist is back from holidays but is concerning me and want to know what insight you could provide about this medication.

    Many thanks.

  34. Jack on

    I have found a mistake in your new book ‘Please Explain’ and had heard that if I do find one I get a free signed book

  35. luke zuber on

    Dear Karl,
    Can you explain what gravity actually is? I understand the basics of Newtons laws, but do not understand what actualy causes matter/mass to act as it does.

    If it’s possible to explain in laymans terms I would be most appreciative.


  36. Babyboomer Poppy Mick on

    Firstly, happy new year to you and yours from me and mine.This might seem a pretty far fetched question but i just gotta ask,about the extinction of the dinosaurs,has there ever been tests done on the bone structure for extreme hot microwave damage,( as in cataclysmic form from outer space),which could carry various metals in it’s wave form, or is it not possible to detect microwave damage to bone structure through flesh, thanks for your patience.

  37. John Gillard on

    I am enjoying your website at present, Dr. Karl, but I have only
    two of your books, “IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO ..BRO ‘ and
    ‘PLEASE EXPLAIN “. I can see I have missed something which I
    intend to rectify at the library..You are right up there with Carl Sagan and I will get back to the Moon “rotation ” soon.
    Regards, John.

  38. Chris on

    Karl, I’ve got plenty of time to read your explanations to the Bali “Knees-Up, Back-Slap and Flesh-Press” Hoedown questions, at my leisure of course.
    Look I know I sound like a cynic and I am but, I do recognise the need to look after our planet, no arguments there. However I’m not about to worship at the altar of this new religion. I only worship one God and he did make us “Wards” over our planet and that is pretty straight forward. He was a ‘greenie’ long beore the word was invented. But I see the reports of highly qualified (and sadly no longer respected because of their views)scientists that disagree with all the details presented for this so called man made disaster. These equally brilliant people have been vilified by their peers and press and I’ve come to the conclusion over the years through observation of my own that the more someone is vilified by the masses the more they have a reason to be listened to. A classic example is someone who voices a dissenting opinion at a union meeting, see what happens to them.
    This stuff is a new religion, make no bones about it and we all know what credibility ‘religion’ has.
    You know as well as I do that the vast majority of people never ever do their homework, never check the facts and rarely if ever read something that challenges their world view. These are the ones that readily fall for anything. Mention the fact that there hasen’t actually been a temperature rise since 1998 and see what happens. I’m not going to give up. There is too much garbage (see Oz Idol or Big Brother for example)out there and someone needs to comment against it.
    Tragically there is no vaccine for stupidity. When these twats eventually see the truth there will be a terribly empty feeling – in their heads.

  39. stix on

    Can planes make rain?
    If a continuous line of planes flew on the same coarse, at the same altitude, would the jetstream turn eventually turn into a rain cloud?

  40. Ness on

    Hia Dr Karl,
    After speaking with you in the mall in Launceston (when you suggested sorbolene only for my 6 month olds eczema), it got worse then slightly better. Tried the pawpaw ointment as well coz we went on holidays to FNQ (makes a lot of sense when you have a baby who was obviously going to struggle, doesn’t it?!), and it got a lot better. Sice we returned home we had some allergy tests done – he’s actually allergic to dairy, egg white,peanuts, soy and wheat. After checking out the ongredients of the sorbolene I had bought, it ocntained wheat germ oil, which is probably why he screamed after it went on.
    But why are so many chilren and babies allergic or intolerant to so much in the 21st century?
    Having done a bit of research on the inflammatory responses the body goes through, why do some allergies gradually disappear and others get worse (perticularly peanut allergies)?
    Sorry, there was probably a word limit here, and I’ve demolished it! And thanks heaps for the signed book…my husband was most surprised to receive the book he didn’t see you sign!!!

    PS Sleek geeks is the modern day curiosity show, but better.

  41. Jenni on

    Hi Dr Karl

    I can buy the same type of products in both glass bottles or steel cans.

    Recycling-wise, which is better/easier to recycle?


  42. caroline on

    Hi Jack,

    we used to have a policy that the first person to find a mistake would receive a free copy of the next book, but we canned it as it became a bit complicated…

    thanks all the same



  43. Jon on

    Hey Dr Karl,
    Firstly let me say I loved your book “Please explain” (I didn’t relise you had books out until I got it for christmas… needless to say I can’t wait to read the rest of your books😀 ).
    I do have a question though (and I’m not sure if I should post it here or whether I have to email/ask on tripple J/post it on a forum… so if it is in the wrong place could someone please tell me where to go..). Thanks.
    1: I’m 16, so naturally I found the chapter on teen sleep very interesting!😀 but looking back on my sleeping patterns and other things (like varying foods, exercise, wake up times, ect…) I find myself continuing to go to sleep near/at dawn and waking up late afternoon. I’ve tried to find infomation but come up with nill… So my question is.. Are some people “medically” nocturnal? (if it’s not a real …. “condition, or body clock timing” then…) how do you change your sleeping patterns?
    Thanks for any infomation you can give me (I can’t find any “credible” infomation on nocturnal humans and if they exist!).

  44. Simon on

    Check out this vid of a plane being struck by lightning.

  45. Luke on

    Dear Dr Karl,
    I’m curious about what the ‘essance’ of energy might be? Of the various types of energy (ie, nuclear, chemical, magnetic etc)- mass seems to be teh common denominator which they all share. Sometimes when energy is unlocked the emmision of light is detectable. Could it be that ‘light’ itself is the essance of energy? Would it also explain why teh speed of light is teh constant in Einsteins famous equation E=mc2?

  46. sebastian von perger on

    G’day Dr Karl,

    I’ve recently come across a website about the so called Joe cell.

    It purports to be able to produce energy, enough to run conventional petrol engines, from water.

    If you go to the site it has all the information about the science and how to make one.

    I was wondering if you had heard of this.

    The science seems to make some sense but it does go a bit over my head.

    Could you have a look and let me know if what they are saying is indeed feasible.

    I spoke to one bloke in the eastern states who claims he and his mates got a few units working.

    One is in a corolla and they drove about 800kms using only 2 litres of water, and the other is being used to run a generator to power a house.

    It all sounds too good to be true.

    With Kind regards

    Sebastian von Perger

  47. Terry Wright on

    Howdy Doc.

    Do you support an evidence based medical trial to determine if prescription heroin is a viable treatment for long term addicts who have had no success at other programs?

    This issue seems to be clouded by moralist and other non scientific opinion.

    What is your opnion?



  48. JB on

    Dear Karl,

    Is resonance/frequency in any way related to the bonding of molecules ? Im 35, didn’t get passed year 10, don’t watch TV play games or anything mainstream, and am self educated through books. I ask, because “Through personal experimentation” that certain resonant frequencies deteriate mass. I believe that there is a harmonic balance , a universal “Song” that binds all masses. I theorise that the right “Resonant Frequency” could turn a metal into a liquid.

    Thanks for your time

  49. elaine cushman on

    Hi Dr Karl,

    I have caught fleeting glimpses of your show …I was wondering if u can offer any help with a problem I have that is getting worse to the point I cannot go to the dentist …I gag big time….especially when the dentist wants to get to the back or inside of teeth .. making fillings/treatment impossible except under a G.A. …salt under the tongue helps a bit …but can u offer any other solutions I wonder?
    With thanks,


  50. kam2 on

    Howdy from Dr Karl,

    The Joe Cell is a con.

    Gagging is a normal and very useful reflex – it stops food (destined for the food pipe, the oesophagus) from going down the air pipe (the trachea). There is a range of variation in how strong this reflex is in the individual person. You might be at the very strong end. What to do? Dunno, I reckon that your dentist should know. However, from personal experience of watching “Nature Shows” on TV (I think they were Nature Shows, they had a lot of flesh on them) in hotel rooms as I travel around Australia, humming tends to stop gagging (I think they were Nature Shows).

    Resonance/Frequency of molecules? Much more complicated than that. If you want to know more, look up Wikipedia and get back to us.

    Cheers, karl

  51. dowdo on

    nuke the whales

  52. JB on

    “Theory of Raman Scattering” , “magnetic resonance”

    Thanks for the tip, i’ll be busy redesigning my test equipment! I have been using a standard microwave magnetron forcing the pulse(s) around spherical rare-earth magnets, while forcing RF towards objects. I now realise what needs to be done.


  53. Sam on

    Dr K,
    You mentioned today on Triple J that you had a condition where you radiate heat after exercise. I also experience this after exercise and because I play sport at a reasonably high level I can radiate heat for hours after playing. Does this condition have a name? I would like to do some research.

  54. Lisa Louden on

    Dear Dr. Karl,
    I have been in touch with Planet Ark and they have suggested I contact you. My question is: How long does it take for electrical tape to break down in the ground once it goes to land fill? I have been developing a product for sport to eradicate the electrical tape the football players are currently using to retain their boot laces and to keep their socks up. The electrical tape is being used by just about every football player in the world. I really think it is an environmental disaster every Saturday morning when the local footy teams are playing their games.
    Kind Regards,
    Lisa Louden

  55. scott Lamont on

    Dear Dr Karl

    I am a 13 year old enormous science nerd and like reading New Scientist,Cosmos and Scientific American Reports.It was in an issue of this (vol 17,no1)that I was reading a report on the fact we could be in a holographic universe.This stated about something called entropy, what exactly is this?

    In answer to lukes question energy doesnt have a essance put simply matter is energy and energy is matter.

    Ps: Sleek Geeks is one of the coolest shows ever!!!

    pps: plese tell Adam that he was right and rong about daleks being able to go upstairs.In the first half of the old series daleks had to touch the floor, as this was where thay got there power from but in the middle of the old series daleks became self eficient and developed a hovering system (see DALEK time 22:51).

  56. Alf Lacis on


    Thanks, Karl. You kinda remind me of Isaac Asimov: he was a great explainer, too… Got several of your books (Pigeon Poo…, It Ain’t…, Disinformation…) and recently Please Explain. (Thank you, Pauline.)

    There’s a couple of things:

    1. Please Explain/CSI – Bite the Bullet

    Modern ‘smokeless gunpowder’ is not ‘blackpowder’ (carbon, sulphur, potassium nitrate) but nitrocellulose. It was introduced in the late 1800’s.

    Old ‘blackpowder’ produces a large amount of solids when it explodes (hence the smoke). A formula from Wikipedia gives:

    10 KNO3 + 3 S + 8 C → 2 K2CO3 + 3 K2SO4 + 6 CO2 + 5 N2

    The K2CO3 and K2SO4 (potassium carbonate and potassium sulphate), 55% of the result, are solids, and are ejected as a huge amount of smoke.

    ‘Smokeless powder’, nitrocellulose, when it burns produces:

    [C6 H8 (NO2)2 O5] → 6 CO2 + N2 + 4 H2O

    In other words, *all* gases: carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapour.

    (I did this one myself: I think it’s right)

    Finally, safety: ‘Blackpowder’ is classed as an explosive, i.e. it explodes even when “unconfined”. It also can explode if hit or rubbed.

    Nowadays, its main use is in fireworks.

    ‘Smokeless powder’ is simply a combustible material. In the open air, it burns with a nearly smokeless, gassy flame. You can hit a bullet cartridge with a fired bullet, and all that will happen is that the cartridge will have a hole in it, with perhaps some powder spilling out. My father, in the Second World War, used smokeless powder, and its chemical relative, dynamite, which he used to whittle with a knife to produce shavings(!), to help start cooking fires in frozen Eastern Europe.

    2. Please Explain/Mobile Phone Cooks Egg:

    It might have been nice to say exactly how many kilowatt-hours it takes to cook an egg, (i.e. raise it to, say 98 deg C).
    Let’s see if I can do it.

    The energy necessary to raise the temperature of something is determined by the specific heat. Let’s use liquid water, because I can’t find the specific heat of eggs!

    c = 4.1813 J/g°K for liquid water (isn’t the internet wonderful?)

    The energy required to heat the water can be determined from the specific heat relationship:

    Q = c m deltaT

    or c times mass times difference in temperature. Using 60 gm eggs & temperature 4 deg C (i.e. fridge) to 98 deg C:

    Q = 4.18 x 60 x 94

    = 23580 Joules (units of ‘work’)

    Another way of saying Joule (there are several) is watt-seconds.

    I.e. to raise the temperature of our egg, and assuming that *ALL* of the radio energy goes into the egg, requires 23580 watts for 1 second (about 24 1-bar radiators!) or 0.25 watts for 26.2 hours, assuming the eggs cannot dissipate any of the heat.

    I image you did similar sums to get your ’40 hours’.

  57. Rob on

    Dr Karl – Why do most headphones have a “L” for the left and “R” for the right ear on them? Is there something different about the way each of our ears hears sound?

  58. Drongo on

    Hey Doctor K,

    I’d be very interested to hear your opinion on Morgellons Disease.

    Ifyou think it may be something more than a relatively obscure psychiatric condition, do you have any suggestions as to how to convince the medical/scientific community to take it seriously?

    In case you have never heard of it, here is a transcript of a September 2007 New Scientist article.

  59. Katie on

    hi dr karl,
    i was just wondering….do fish fart?
    i have asked so many people this question but i still have no answers. i thought that you would help me find the answer.

  60. Codie Whitehead on

    Dear Karl,

    My name is Codie Whitehead and i am a Year 7 student at Willyama High School in Broken Hill. As one of my projects i have been given approximately 15 different scientists names to research and you were one of them. I chose you as i am fascinated in the work you do. I frequently watch you on Sunrise and occasionally here you on Triple J. I have searched many sites in order of finding information on you. One thing i cannot find is your most famous discovery. Do you have one and what is it? I also have found that you were born in Sweden. Are you now an Australian Citizen or are you still Swedish?

    Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response!!!!!

    Thank you once again

    Codie Whitehead

  61. bob on

    i have been through every practicly evry webpage
    of your to find how old you are.. ..i can’t find it anywhere

    also i cant find how the lint discovery
    changed the world

  62. Chris on

    Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
    Media Release 11th of February 2008
    Craig Isherwood, National Secretary
    PO Box 376, COBURG, VIC, 3058
    Phone: 03 9354 0544 Fax: 03 9354 0166

    Freezing weather exposes global warming swindle
    Recent freezing conditions throughout much of the world have sent Al Gore and his associate fraudsters into a massive panic. The “global warming” swindle was supposed to con us into higher energy prices and for us to willingly “love our poverty,” while shutting down our farmers and manufacturers. While impoverishing the majority, a small group of carbon traders, fund managers and scientists willing to play the game have made a fortune. The mainstream media blackout of the majority of scientists not buying into this swindle has failed to fool thinking citizens. And now, given the recent global cooling, anyone insisting that we’re causing a global warming disaster, is starting to look as silly those in the Flat Earth Society.

    Satellites have obtained the most reliable temperature record of the earth’s atmosphere since they commenced measurements in December 1978. And in the past twelve months, the planet has experienced an overall temperature drop of a very significant 0.63 degrees Celsius. In January, average global temperatures slipped to 0.044°C below the long-term (1979-98) average. So what has this meant in the real world? Let us look at the following:

    China is now battling its coldest winter in 100 years. The China Meteorological Administration said the weather was the coldest in 100 years in central Hubei and Hunan provinces, going by the total number of consecutive days of average temperature less than 1 degree Celsius. In Guangzhou—a city in the south—about 800,000 people remained stranded, unable to take either bus or train. A million police and troops were dispatched to help keep roadways open as thousands of vehicles became stranded in the snow and ice. Freezing weather has killed scores of people.
    Tajikistan has had its coldest winter in at least 50 years, with temperatures dropping to -22 degrees Celsius in the capital, Dushanbe. Electricity is now only available for just 10 hours a day. Heavy snowfall and frozen rivers have led to damage of water and hydroelectric supply systems. Mountainous villages are in isolation, and severe food shortages are leading to starvation.
    In one of the worst cold snaps to have ever struck Iran, the nation has suffered turmoil with people freezing to death in their cars, numerous towns have suffered cuts in gas supplies, and all schools and government offices were forced to close in the capital, Tehran. The dunes of the Kavir-e Lut desert in southwestern Iran were covered in a dusting of snow for the first time in living memory. The official IRNA news agency reported, “The villages elders said they had never seen or heard about snow in those areas.” The lowest temperature overnight was minus 24 degrees Celsius in Shahre Kord in western Iran.
    Mumbai, India, experienced its coldest day in 46 years when the temperature dropped to 8.5 degrees Celsius.
    The case of China shows reality is catching up on the IPCC lies. In May of 2007, researchers Stephen McIntyre and Douglas Keenan exposed the IPCC to be using fraudulent historical temperature records. They showed Phil Jones, Director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, U.K., and co-author Wei-Chyung Wang, Professor at the State University of New York in Albany, U.S.A, had knowingly falsified data from the 84 Chinese temperature stations used in their study.


    For more information on the fraud of man-made global warming, click here.
    To receive a complimentary copy of the April/May 2007 edition of The New Citizen newspaper, with a special feature on the fraud of global warming, click here.


    I believe the following people may be interested in receiving regular updates from
    the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.

    E-mail 1

    E-mail 2

    E-mail 3

    E-mail 4

  63. thumpthumpeyes on

    Hi Dr. Karl,

    Dont know if you’ve heard, but Richard Dawkins is retiring from Oxford in September 08…see his blog where he discusses why and what he’ll do next,2246,n,n

    Now the chair he will be vacating is the
    “Charles Simonyi Professorship in the Public Understanding of Science”
    and I instantly thought that you would be a wonderful ambassador for science with the public, because thats what you already do, and do it SO WELL!!!

    So, if you’ve not got any other plans, how about applying for the job, I’m sure you’ll get it and in the process get the whole world interested in science:)

  64. drongo on

    Whats up doc?

    you dont respond to messages on this site.

    Ever considered deactivating the comments field until such time as you have the capacity to respond to them?

    Otherwise, whats the point?

    doh, I forgot about the Science of self-promotion

  65. Grace on

    I totally dig Dr Karl.

    Science with Dr Karl makes my life…

  66. drkarlk on

    Howdy All,

    Please accept my apology for not being here – we are heading off to India next week, and I have been doing all the little (but important) things needed to make it happen.

    How Belly Button Changed the World? Mmmm. What it did do, along with all the other IgNoble Prize stories, was to make people laugh, and then think. If laughter/funnies is a way to get people to appreciate the awe and wonder of the Universe, so be it.

    Codie in Broken Hill? My most famous discovery? Well, I never was a particularly brilliant scientist, engineer or medical doctor – but I was better at talking about the brilliant work of others. Belly Button Lint got me an IgNoble Prize. But as a Biomedical Engineer, Jacqui Joy and I designed and built a machine to pick up electrical signals from the Human Retina to diagnose certain eye diseases (eg, retinitis pigmentosa). I still think that it was a rather neat thing.

    Kate, Farting Fish? Well, I am not an icthyologist, but people who are say that fish do fart. Fish have a gut, and they eat food, and they metabolise food in that gut. In all the animals that we know, metabolising that food produces some gas – hence the farts.

    Drongo, Morgellon’s Disease? I did a story on it about 2 years ago, and back then, it seemed as though it was a disease with no consistent pathology AND a strong psychiatric component. So, 2 years ago, it seemed to be a non-disease. It took me about 8 hours to get my head through all the info. I don’t know what has happened in the last 2 years on this – so I don’t know if it’s real or not.

    Rob & Headphones? The little wire to the sound device normally comes up the left side. The external pinna (the bits of your ears that are outside your head) are aimed slightly down, and to the front – with regard to focussing sound into the ear canal, and thence, onto the ear drum. They are not symmetrical with regard to front and back. So Good headphones will have non-symmetrical cushions and non-symmetrical speakers to best suit your ears. And Crappy Headphones will be symmetrical and mediocre.

    Scott and Entropy and Daleks? Entropy is (1) the amount of unavailable energy (2) the amount of disorder (3) S = k ln W. And Entropy in a closed system (and our Earth is not a closed system, as the Sun always pumps energy into it) always increases. Daleks? I’ll tell Adam he was wrong.

    Alf? You rock. Thanks so much for going to all that trouble to do the numbers on eggs, etc


  67. drkarlk on

    Howdy again

    Codie> Yup, I am an Australian citizen, even though I was born in Sweden.


  68. Edward on

    Hi .I know this might sound weird but recently I had dental braces fitted and after a week or so i felt an ear ache.I visited a Gp who checked everything and found that my jaw was causing the nerve to signal the ear pain. Now recently I started getting migraines and cannot sleep in my room which is on the top corner location on a 2nd storey home(which is also a corner home)in suburbia. I am finding that when i go upstairs I get a mild tinnitus and can sometime awaken at night an feel a zap in my brain(mainly when dosing off).I have seen websites that refer to “electro-hypersensitive condition.” I now have to sleep in the spare room as this is dehabilitating .Is it a neighbours wireless broadband as my room is the highest in the street , maybe I am picking up EMR? I have given up trying to explain this to people.I don’t live near a phone mast or substation etc. Your thoughts?

  69. kam2 on

    Hi Edward,

    My name is Kam and I work with Dr. Karl.
    Can I suggest that you post your question on the Self Serve Science section of our other homepage, where teams of scientists from around the world will attempt to help you. It makes more sense to share the question and the answers with as many people as possible.

    Karl’s other homepage is
    and then you click on the purplish bit on the top right called Self Service Science
    and then you click on NEW TOPIC.

    Cheers, Kam

  70. Aveek on

    Hello Dr Karl,

    Greetings from Mumbai (Bombay) India! I’ve been listening to your podcasts (ABC and BBC) on a quasi-regular basis for the past few months, and was quite thrilled to hear that you’ll be doing a speaking tour of India.

    However, I could not find any news of it online. Could you be so kind as to point me to your talk schedule?

    Many thanks,

  71. Robert C. Kuns on

    In reading “Please Explain”, one of quite a few of your books which I’ve bought, it appears there is one definite typo and a possible error plus a suspect correlation.

    The typo – the intercepts for the equations of Basal Metabolic Rate for women and men differs by a factor of almost 10, which implies a slipped decimal point. I am always suspicious of a correlation which implies an individual of zero height and weight will still use somewhere on the order of 66 or 655 kcal/day (depending on which equation has the decimal point in the right place), a value which will decrease with age. If a proper correlation had been done, the intercept for zero height, weight and age should be zero!. As well, height and weight are somewhat interdependent but are treated as independent variables – poor statistics.

    With regard to green potatoes, a number of sources, notably New Scientist, have reported that the poisonous alkaloid found in green potatoes is pretty well distributed throughout the tuber so the proper thickness of peel is over half the thickness of the potatoe – in other words, throw it away.

    Those trifling matters apart, thank you for your books – as a former industrial chemist and statistician, I quite enjoy them and learn rather a lot. More equations, please! One question – the massive deaths of bees in the US have had conflicting stories on the cause. One unconfirmed source told me it what the massive(???) levels of microwave radiation there whereas I seem to recall a New Scientist article implicated a virus. Could you clarify, please?

    Thank you,

  72. Katie on

    Thanks so much Dr. Karl. You have saved me from looking at my fishtank for the rest of my life.

  73. seno on

    I just read Ur Please EXPLUIN, book,
    and there are 3 things I would like to dispute, with U:

    P190: When was the last time U cut Urself? E/specially Ur hand.
    I agree it’s a good idea to tape the ends together but/t
    from my experience it will never heal.
    It goes all white, soft and wrinkly.
    I wish I could just glue it, with an organic adhesive.
    No, SuperGlue doesn’t work. Metho does, to dry it, up/out.

    P226: U failed to mention that transplant patients are given
    immunosuppressant drugs to stop them rejecting the new tissue!

    P235: U keep saying the Moon looks big/ger just above the horizon, but
    if U measure it, it’s not!? Does it, really!? How can that be? Must be
    (some sort of) an optical illusion. “Obviously”. See!? But what could it
    be? The only thing which strikes me is that it looks so close, at any
    height. U’d swear it was inside the atmosphere. Are U sure this isn’t
    (another) one of those urban myths, like things look bigger in water!?
    “What’re U mean myth”!?

    P236-7: U/s really don’t understand guns, do U/s?
    But/t then I guess neither do Ur readers, and nor do they want to.
    Strictly speaking:
    . The bullet is just the projectile; the case is the tube and the
    cartridge/round is the whole thing.
    . The bullet sits in the FRONT of the (cartridge) case and the primer in
    the BACK.
    . “Muzzle end” is just the muzzle. “Muzzle” is nothing.
    . The case U’ve drawn is actually (called) “rimless”!
    . And while I’m at it: “Gun sight” is actually front or foresight,
    and U haven’t drawn the rear sight. “Pedant”! Ye’s.
    Well U/s must admit U muddled that up a bit.

    And while I/ve got U:
    I’m a/n RN listener and I listen to the 3JJJ only for the Science Show.
    Can’t U guys go for even one hour without that bloody mindless, moronic,
    mind numbing, brain jarring, stupid, pointless, painful, loud noise, U
    laughingly call music? “That’s a tautology”. See!? One hour isn’t that
    /very long. Don’t U/s think it would be better spent on science? I think
    I’m younger, than U, and/but/t I wouldn’t listen to that, crap, if U
    paid me. Haven’t U/s ever heard that “One man’s music is another man’s

  74. Adrian R Blackberry on

    Dr Karl
    can you tell me how old do gum trees have to be to made o2 and to take in co2
    thanks Adrian

  75. callum king on

    when did you come to australia and are you an australian citizen

  76. callum king on

    how come elephants cant jump

  77. swapnil more on

    wht s your opinion on spirituality?
    do uu believe & practicise??

  78. swapnil on

    in ur opinon, wht s science???

  79. sonakshi on

    hello dr karl today i came to listen your lecture at national science centre it was really good i just want to ask u one question that are toilet seat cleaner than an office desk i just wanted to known generally

  80. S.Venkatesh on

    Good evening Dr.Karl.
    I came to listen to your lecture at Birla science centre. It was simply awesome!!!I was inspired by your explaination on the Bermuda triangle.

  81. S.Venkatesh on

    Sir, I want to ask you only three questions.
    Q1) how far is the Kapier’s belt from pluto’s orbit??
    Q2) It is said that pluto’s orbit coincides with the orbit of neptune. If so do you think they will collide??
    Q3) How come the corona is hotter than the photosphere & the chromosphere which are nearer to the core??

  82. sushma on

    hello sir i was one of the person in audience today during ur b’lore session ur talk was really inspiring thanks a lot for the same…

  83. S.Venkatesh on

    Sir, can you tell me whether currently which planet has highest number of moons?

  84. KarlW on

    Hi Karl,

    I was hoping to read about your experiences with the solar panels you’ve installed on your home. Will you be blogging about this here or do I need to look elsewhere for you?

    I’m about to install a 1.5 kW system and would be keen to hear your experience.



  85. Lil on

    Доктор Карл, я родом из Украины, где почитают и гордятся Соломией Крушельницкой. Когда я приехала в Австралию и увидела ваше имя. я сразу подумала, что вы её родственник.
    В юности я читала книгу о семье и самой С.Крушельницкой.
    Живу в Бризбене. Я пишу плохо по-английски.
    Извините. Лиля.
    I came from Ukraine, where people know and love Solomia Kr. When i sow your name, I knew – you are her relative.
    Just with respekt – Lil.

  86. Greg on

    Dear Dr. Karl,

    I’m a regular listner to your bbc show and have a couple of questions, I apologise if this is the wrong E-mail address to write to but I failed to find an address on the BBC website. I appreciate that you may not have time to answer both questions, so please feel free to choose the one that makes me seem less silly🙂

    Firstly I live in Spain and have a friend that installs and maintains swimming pools. It occured to me whilst talking to him that using black tiles or PVC for the interior of the pool may make an appreciable difference in environmental terms, as regards heated pools, in contrast to the white or light colours that are traditionally used. Would a change in colour have a notable effect on temperature in your average pool?

    My other question relates to gravity and centrifugal force. Since the Earth spins about it’s axis does the centrifugal force at the equator create any measurable difference in ‘weight’ compared to an equally massive object at the North/South pole? If gravity is uniform wouldn’t a body be ‘heavier’ at the Poles when not subjected to any centrifugal force?

    I hope you may shed a litle light, thank you.

    Greg Bourke

  87. Rod on

    Why is it that my television which has an external antenna on the roof gets intermittent bad reception, on ABC only, depending on where people and objects are placed in the room?

  88. sation on
  89. reno on

    hi docter karl how are you i would like to ask you just one quetsion i am a 16 year old boy .i what ttop know were chicken orgonated from please thak you by
    you sinsely reno lombardo

  90. Mikaela on

    Hi Dr Karl
    I was at the Future Leaders conference yesterday, and I was just wanting to take you up on the offer about your son.
    Haha no, i just wanted to say that you were hilarious, and awesome, and I really enjoyed getting a chance to see and hear you

  91. shaik fatima on

    i liked dr.karl’s lecture at birla planetarium in hyderabad,india.Fron then onwards he is my role model…………

  92. Chris on

    Hi Dr Karl

    Still waiting for the answer to my e-mail of January 2nd re the statement on the back cover of your book “Please Explain” about the number 26. It’s been keeping me awake every night. Is it that you’re too busy or still looking for the answer?


  93. deb on

    Question for dr karl….

    Okay, so it seems obsessive, but I fly heaps for work. I was wondering where one could buy the fold up plastic smoke hood that was mentioned in myth conceptions on 1 March 2008?


  94. Chris on

    Karl I’m patient but you still haven’t answered my questions from December.
    With something like 15000 people flying in to Bali for the 2 week GW conference and knees-up how many aircraft will it take to deliver so many apostles to and from this giant booze-up and how much carbon in total will these planes spew out the back?
    Why not video conference instead?

  95. Chris on

    I have a large metal coathanger for sale can also double as a bridge and I thought I know exactly where I can sell it!!!!Any takers?

  96. Sarah on

    I agree you have some valid points, but the insulting and inapropriate manner in which you state them undermines your credibility. Yes, the science behind climate change is imperfect, but as you should know since you know so many scientists, science rarely is perfect. The whole point of scientific endeavour is to doubt current knowledge and to work towards improving it. There’s still a lot about the climate we don’t know. The basis of your problem I think is a mixture of ignorant newsreporters looking for story to sell, and politicians trying desperately to be popular. I agree with you that there are way too many people content to lap up whatever the popular media thow at them. But i strongly object to your ignorant generalisation that everyone concerned with climate change is an idiot. For the record, I detest Australian Idol and what ever other crap TV show you mentioned. And to respond to your comments on cold weather in China etc, global warming doesn’t mean automatic hot weather everywhere. It means that the climate is being pushed out of balance, which means that some places will have drought, others will be flooded, and yes, some places will cool down. The message is that we simiply don’t know because not enough is known about the climate yet. Whether you agree with human induced climate change or not, what’s wrong with making people more aware of the mess we’re making of this planet? You said that the Christian God made us ‘wards’ of this planet, being a ward means PROTECTING, not just owning. If this planet was created by a God, surely its our job to look after what he gave us. Finally, this is not an appropriate forum for your slander and insults. As I said before, you have some valid comments, but in future try to be more respectful of others opinions. Its not too hard, and maybe people will listen to you instead of dismissing you.

  97. Katie on

    Hey Dr. Karl,
    you might remember me as the girl who asked if fish farted. well i am back with another question.

    What exactly is a headache and what causes it?
    thanks for answering my last question. it was much appriecated

  98. karthick on

    hi dr,
    how is the fly or any other insect flies inside a car or bus where the windows are open? how it able to fly with the speed of the bus though its not having any connection. waiting for ur reply.
    dr. karhtick

  99. Wayne Dunne on

    Dr Karl, I heard you on the ABC talking about solar power this week. You mentioned a 5mb file. Could you please forward it to me as I want to look at a solar farm here in Far North Qld. Need as much info as possible. Cheers Wayne

  100. Harry on

    Hey Dr Karl,

    could you tell me when you where born?, its for an assignment i got to do in high school.

  101. Karl Hogg on

    Dr Karl,
    I too share your passion for colourful shirts (and we share the same first name!), I read an earlier reply 20/11/07 saying your wife makes them for you. I recon you could make a great business selling them, they are fantastic, I haven’t seen one I don’t like yet.
    Please let me know if you would consider selling them (even your old ones you no longer want).
    cheers, Karl.

  102. peter on

    Dear Caroline or Dr Karl,

    I’m worried, I’m really, really worried. I have noticed a huge problem.

    I’m fairly confident I have come across something the broader community is completely oblivious to and yet its probably the most important problem we face globally even. This problem bothers me way more than global warming even. I don’t think this problem is fictional it truly exist. its real and besides its been studied throughout history by some brilliant minds so it has to be real. surprisingly the problem is kept rather quite.

    The problem is how the creation of money comes about, does anyone even know? Does anyone even question it? for if you fully understood this concept and the maths that accurately calculates its inevitable result you can see everyone is heading for a very unsatisfying future indeed. please note very few people have the chance to see this hardly anyone knows but its catching on thanks to whats going on in the elections in America. This problem has changed my life now since becoming aware of it. I cant seem to get it out of my mind and those I have shared it with cant either now, some already knew but understood the problem is to big to fix yet i choose to think diferent. It’s absolutely incredible how big this problem is.

    Can I challenge you scientist or anyone who is not involved in the high end of finance or government ( because you cant tell accurately who is actually suppressing this information. ) to prove this problem dosn’t exist. You don’t need to know finance well a scientist would pick this up easily its basic to understand. I’m only writing this because I’m hoping some one like Dr Karl will take a serious look at this.

    To get a good introduction of the problem there is a documentary called “Money as debt” available now on “google video”. Anyone can watch it. this documentary is not flawed by any means this subject has been researched extensively throughout history. There are politicians in America addressing it with little attention from the main stream media so I cant see how it’s not a real problem but I do see its being kept quiet from society and that bothers me.

    May be with the 2020 summit Australia could be one of the sole countries with a better chance of addressing this problem it did for a few yrs back in the 1920’s but that’s another story. Should anyone try to fix the problem special interest will definitely come down on those who do. Watch “monopoly men” on google video and see just how big the special interest are.

    Like I said at the start I’m worried. if our great leaders don’t catch on and we don’t address this problem then we have a terrible future. What’s the point or should I say there isn’t any point in saving the planet from global warming when everyone ends up in complete ( watch the doco and learn for your self what happens to us all, and I mean 99.99% of the global population ).

    Prove me wrong. Please have a watch its not very long 45mins. Let me know your opinion.


  103. Jimmbo on





  104. poo on


  105. yahoo on

    Hey i cant believe how smart you are you are like my total idol

    i like adore your work you are amazing

  106. Eloise on

    Dr Karl,
    i’m in yr 7 and i am doing a science project on you.

    Could you please tell me your date of birth? ive looked on every possible site there is and all ive found is the year you where born.


  107. Hayley on

    Hi Dr Karl,

    I’m doing a science degree at ANU at the moment and we’ve recently been doing a project on superbugs, and whether the overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial cleaning products contributes to the rise in superbugs and also the rise in allergies. Was wondering what your opinion on the matter is?

  108. Andrew on

    For the last few weeks I have been participating in voluntary computing. I have been using a free climate prediction application provided by
    This application emulates a model of the Earth and attempts to simulate what the climate might have been decades ago as well as the climate might be decades in the future.

    I have a low spec laptop and I have been able to run the climate change application while I am streaming videos as well as having other applications running such as my firewall, anti virus and web browser.
    I have experienced no slow down or negative consequences as a result of using this software.

    Most people use only a minority of the resources when their computers are powered on and would not be opposed to running applications such as this, if they knew about it’s existence and benefits.
    I would like Dr Karl to consider actively promoting this application.


  109. Andy on

    wow I have to say Im a big fan of yours Dr Karl. Im English and listen to your show on radio 5 live and one thing i do have to say, you sounded a hell of a lot younger on the radio, i thought you were only about 35-40! Nonetheless its a fascinating show but iv always wanted to know whether its true what people say about white and black people whether black people really are less intelligent than white people but naturally more profecient at running and a higher muscle mass etc. If you could enlighten me on that I would be most greatfull!

  110. jenie waters on

    hey dr Karl.i read once that our ears never stop growing while we are alive, i also read how u can calculate a persons age by measuring the ears, i then did this calculation on granny and the result was nearly exact. no one believes me and thinks that i am making it up,can you find out this information for me,cheers,jenie

  111. James Taylor on

    Hi Dr,

    Just wonting to know if the whole world population was to be placed in a single volume i.e. 6 people with an average of 2 meters in hight taking up approximately two square meter what would be the total volume. i.e. land mass that the world population would occupied (length x width x high).

    Also I would like to no if in an advent of a major world catastrophe what would be the period of a stain ability for human race to service on cumulated food resources. Both for the western society, which has greater dependents on accumulated/super, market type food sources. Under developed third world country which would utilize their food resources to a more stain able length of time as they are fare less demanding on our environment then western society.

    Looking forward to your reply
    (As I’m a schoolteacher in urgent need of this info)

    Yours sincerely
    James Taylor

  112. Nellie on

    Hi Dr Karl,
    I love your books, and I love science, and its everywhere.
    This may sound silly but why cant elephants jump??? Is it because their legs are too small or the because of their weight, although that shouldn’t restrict them from jumping.

    I’m also puzzeled about what you said on the back of Please Explain about 26.
    You probbably get asked that alot, mabie I’ll ask my maths teacher if you can’t be bothered, because you have so many questions to answer.

    Thanks, Nellie
    P.S I love your shirts

  113. Tony Gall on

    Have you read “An Appeal To Reason” by Nigel Lawson? (Nigella’s father)
    The book makes a lot of sense.
    As described by Richards S Lindzen Professor of Atmospheric Physics at MIT.
    “This brief and elegant book treats the science of global warming seriously, but convincingly shows that whatever view one has of the science, almost all proposed approches to the puative problem are intellectually deficient, economically absurd and harmful, and morally misdirected at best. Lawson’s An Appeal to Reason is an appeal that must be heeded if one is to truly avoid great harm to man and the planet”

    Could not agree more.
    An example CCS – What a waste of money – Carbon dioxide is the gas plants & trees breath – I guess oxygen will be next to be buried – I’m sure some IPCC person will write a paper on the dangers of oxygen.

  114. katie on

    hi dr karl,

    my next question is ….can you desex a fish???


  115. mark on

    Hi Dr. Karl,
    Love your work. I saw you on Talking Heads recently. I have a special respect for people who have been through adversity such as yourself.

    I would like to dicuss the scientific veracity of the statement:
    “Whenever the announcer gives out the phone number for Karl Kruszelnicki’s famous Science Talkback show on Triple J, on Thursday mornings – so many calls come in that the ABC switchboard crashes!”
    At least 2 hypothesise come to mind:
    – the PABX software was written by the milkman and crashes on the 3rd call
    – it’s inductrial strength software and Dr. Karl is very popular.
    Please provide some data to support or undermine each & other hypotheses.

  116. brett m on

    Solar panels
    renewable energy certificates ?
    AGL has offered to buy my RECs for $45 .
    is this a good price ?
    We have 12 panels and on a good summers days
    we have made 16kwh this time of years we are lucky
    if they make 5 or 6 kwh .
    I am excited about getting 45cents per kwh fed
    back to the grid .
    shame on the Rudd and Garret for the overheating
    rebate scheme what are they thinking?

  117. steve russo on

    Hi if you haven’t seen this, you will be blown away. I just watched half of it and i’m looking forward to see the rest.
    Amazing stuff and i know you are into astrology so this will tickle your fancy.
    Cheers Steve

  118. ian johnson on

    Dear Drr,

    Greening energy..

    How long do you think we’ll have to wait for the shift to oil import replacement through renewable and ceramic hydrogen generation and also include carbon negative bio-mass pyrolysis to mitigate and no longer contribute to oxygen depletion and carbon diffusion into the mix?.
    The political impetus to make these changes seems to be the only thing lacking as the science adds up. Tax breaks, consumer concessions and fastracking infrastructure projects could all help bring these technologies to the market sooner than latter.

    Please see links.


  119. simone on

    Dear Dr Karl,
    I am a mother of 2 littlies, 1 & 2, and ever since seeing you interviewed in Australian Story i keep getting a terribly heart wrenching picture in my head of you as a small boy walking off to school, and a car taking off full of kids without you…makes me feel i just wanted to say i’m really sorry that that happened to you when you were just a little dr karl….
    Love a fan …x

  120. ThE BuZz on

    Hi Dr Karl,
    Just wondering why when you eat foods that you don’t like (like cabbage) why do you gag??

  121. Gerrard on

    Hi Doc

    I heard your response to Edgar Mitchell and his belief in the UFO phenomena, typically he was lavished with ridicule…a response I feel not unlike the teenage girls giggle session.
    On Wednesday, May 9th, 2001, over twenty military, intelligence, government, corporate and scientific witnesses came forward at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to establish the reality of UFOs or extraterrestrial vehicles, extraterrestrial life forms, and resulting advanced energy and propulsion technologies. The weight of this first-hand testimony, along with supporting government documentation and other evidence, will establish without any doubt the reality of these phenomena. please see and actually listen to the evidence given by these people at

  122. morgellons on

    Morgellons is a skin disorder that was first described more than 300 years ago. The disease is characterized by fiber-like strands extruding from the skin in conjunction with various dermatologic and neuropsychiatric symptoms. For support:

  123. chris bannan on

    i start work at 2 am in scotland yourself and Dr Rod have the best show i have ever had the pleasure of listening to even when it goes straight over my head i thank you both…but could you not make it a 2 hour show.
    p.s still waiting on the answer to how the giant redwood pulls up to 250 gallons of water through its trunk to such a height every day.
    thanking you again.
    chris blantyre.

  124. Mark_UK on

    Hi Dr Karl.. I really enjoy your triple j and bbc science podcasts.. but i am finding it tricky to find the other podcast feed URLs (for my Linux podcatcher) like the ABC podcasts.. ! Brilliant – always entertaining and fascinating ..
    Looking forward to hearing your next shows mate !


  125. ACE on

    I recently attended(today actually) a 2 hour show from Dr Karl at a nearby primary school. It was excellent, by far the greatest school excursion ever. Also, I learnt more from Dr Karl in 2 hours, then I do from most science teachers at my school in a yeah.

    Dr Karl is truly a genius and a great man. More power to you Karl!

    Regards, ACE

  126. sup on

    I very much appreciate Your persistance in answering tons of those “stupid” questions… Good job Dr. Karl.
    You have nice comment on Youtube video about nuclear power:
    “Would be nice if politicians could have 10% of your common sense, the world would be a different place. Best of luck for the election!”
    I totally agree with that!

  127. Steve on

    Hi DR Karl,
    Has Hawkins’s Radiation ever been proven? Is it a fact or theory?
    I think you know where I am going with this🙂

  128. Steve on

    Hi Dr Karl,
    If two objects of equal mass travelling at the speed of light collide, would the wreckage of the collision have enough momentum to leave earths gravity? If it happened on earth? (Underground)
    Also Mass equals next to nothing.


  129. Steve on

    Sorry correction almost the speed of light

  130. Steve on

    Hi Dr Karl
    If you knew that say 2500 mad scientist, somewhere under ground in Europe created a machine which could produce black holes. And based its safety on a theory, which is yet to be proven or observed in space. Not to mention the person who came up with the theory now doubts his theory. Would you be concerned?

    We are expected to believe their safety assurances. But their safety assurances are like buying a house and letting a so called independent building inspector (organised by the real estate agent) to do the inspection report. I wouldn’t put much weight in the report and I don’t think many other people would. But every body else in the world is expected to swallow this.

    I can’t believe the arrogance of the science community in regards to the LHC project. It looks like they are so blinded by there work, that they don’t care about what could possibly happened and clearly don’t care if they Kill us all with it!

    I don’t agree that scientist have the right to put us all in danger like this, without a 100% assurance that we will be safe.

    Something to think about

  131. Steve on

    Hi Dr Karl,
    Do you answer on this website or on other Websites? I know you are a Fan of the LHC but just want you view on some of the questions that other scientists have put forward about the LHC.
    And the damagers about creating any sort of black hole. Especially when safety is leaning on Hawkins Radiation (Stephen Hawkins theory as you already know) which is yet to be proven.


  132. john Allen on

    Hi Dr. Karl,

    I have to find out what is 3% of 10 trillion. Truly, and I have no idea how to compute this.
    Could you or someone please help?

    Many Thanks,
    John Allen
    Southport Qld.

  133. dan on

    Thank you Dr. Karl for increasing my interest in science, i am ever so grateful for this wonderful gift that you have given me.

    Kind Regards

  134. Annie on

    A question on electrical transmission:
    If a blender 9,000 rpm at 230v/ 50-60 Hz is in a 60 litre vat with hot oil at 65-70 degrees, can this caused a electrical shock? frequencies? into the ear from the motor head at the ear/head level.
    Also if the rod/mixer is in this heated liquid and there is a thermostate at the bottom of the liquid and they come into contact can this cause a electrical current to run up the main shaft of the blender and into the ear of the operater?
    Thus causing loss of hearing and tinnitus.

  135. David P. White on

    Dear Doctor, you have touched on the subject of numeracy and literacy among our younger generations a number of times recently, well, to bolster the flagging numeracy and literacy of our young and impressionable, I have a Plan! Provide every Primary School Child in the land with a unique Mobile Phone with USB/pc Connectivity, worn with a neck strap. They will be configured to ONLY: Work on a Free secure network, Send and Receive unlimited Voice or Video calls and Multimedia Messages To or From School, Home, Parent and 000. Now imagine our students passing through the school gates after a hard day at the crayons Receiving their Homework assignments via SMSs and MMSs. There is, of course, one pleasant hitch, No Abbreviations! Let’s see a rally of Grammar, Conjugation, Syntax, vocabulary, Punctuation, Spelling and Succinct Prose among those who will one day write their own history.
    A question on each of the subjects covered during the day: English,
    Other Languages, The various aspect of Maths and Geometry, History, Geography, The Environment, Social Issues, Music, The Arts, Craft, Sciences and Biology and maybe even Politics for the advanced students. Don’t forget, all the letters, numerals and symbols are there. Any relevant pictures, diagrams, graphs or geometric compass and set square efforts can be simply uploaded from the home PC and included in an MMS answer. The micro and macro statistics generated will bring glee to both teacher and benign bureaucrat. The progress of every child will be monitored at fingertip. The day’s tasks set, the processes of receiving
    and saving homework questions, researching and preparing an answer including attachments where appropriate, then with thumb and brain action entering and sending their answers, utilising their burgeoning literacy and numeracy and, at the same time, retaining far more memory of the subject at hand that any scrawl in an exercise book!
    David P. White.

  136. Seattle Mom on

    Dr. Karl, I am a mother of a 2nd Grader (age 7) who loves science. The other day I noticed your book, Fidgeting with Fat, Exploding Meat, etc…, in his backpack. He had checked it out from the school library. Do you think your book is appropriate for elementary school age children? Or has our school library made an error in stocking this book on its shelves? Let me note that I am no book-banner, but I was troubled by some of the content of this book. Admittedly I have not read the book…the text seems enlightening and interesting. But I am confused by the choice of some of the illustrations…battery jumper cables connected to a man & woman’s nipples?? a man & woman having sex in the water?? I have read that you lecture at high schools. I assume this material is more suited for them. I just am not sure if you intend for, or are aware that reviewers suggest, this book to be appropriate for all school-age children.

    Valid concerns? or just another over-protective mother?

  137. Street Boy Will on

    Dr Karl.
    I’m a massive fan! I’m 14 and I have a passion for science. (Although my science teacher would disagree!). I happened to notice that in the book ‘Flying Lasers, Robofish and cities of Slime’ that you stated the laser armed 747 would be able to shoot down a liquid-fueled missile. If you think about it, a laser with that sort of power would make a decent anti-air defence system to shoot down enemy fighters in wartime. It would also plausibly be used to ionise fuel for starcraft thrust, making a proper Ion engine plausible (only if it works in atmosphere as well as in space). Also on the point of Daleks brought up by Adam in Sleek Geeks, in the Doctor Who universe, they develop a anti-gravity disk that is fitted to the base of the Dalek, allowing it to fly. In reality, this is just as anamation got better the makers decided flying Daleks would look more frightning. My grandad is a professer of Veternary Science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga. He worked on developing artificial arteries for sheep. I have a question on how that would work. I don’t see my grandad that often as I live in Melbourne, but this could be intreaging for a question in a book.

    Thanks for this,
    William Bonnici

  138. David on

    Dr. Karl,
    Imagine a vertical glass tube 1cm in diameter and tall enough to hold 1000 litres of water. Would a persons finger be strong enough to stop the water flowing out and why?

  139. gyps and jill on

    Dr Karl,
    We’re wondering why a small bank of wind generators can’t be installed on electric cars so that they generate their own power and don’t have to recharge after a hundred k’s or so?
    gyps and jill

  140. Chris M on

    Dr. Karl,
    My 13 y.o. son is trying to build a small hot air balloon for a science project. He wants to use a candle. It’s never going to work is it?

  141. Naomi on

    Hey Dr Karl

    I have the good fortune to be one of your interviewers for your World Record attempt next Thursday @ 4.25pm WST – 89.7fm /

    Would like to wish you the world of luck – I hope you have a voice left when we finally chat! Something I would like to get right on the day – could I please have the phonetic spelling of your name – surname that is, I think I’ve got ‘Karl’ in the bag!!

  142. DP on

    Hi Dr Karl

    If a fan wasable to spin at the speed of light, and a torch was place behind the the fan, and we viewed it from the front, what would we see? would it be blacked out spot where the fan was spinning?

    Also, if the fan was able to spin that fast, we it produce a black whole.

  143. Z-Tech on

    I’m wondering if a public sector project might advance alternative energy faster,
    Given the history of technology R+D receiving subsidies through the defense budget.
    If Australia’s top scientists organized a petition and did a media blitz surely you could make it happen.
    I assume the silence means you all favor the private sector approach?

    Even the americans are considering a “Manhattan-style project.”

  144. jp5 on

    dr. karl kruszelnicki i am doing a assignment on you for school could you please tell me about your early life

  145. Peter Liddle on

    Dr Karl,
    Enjoyed your article in the new book Science is Golden, especially with regards microphone technique. I have been in the AV industry well over 20 years and yes I have worked with you as well. I am still trying to teach people how to use microphones. The two main methods that have worked for me are the thumbs up method for Dynamic Microphones (thumb on your chin and head of the microphone where your fist is) and the Ridgi Didge method for those slim line microphones so the little finger is on the head of the microphone and the thumb is as close as your mouth needs to be. The sound of a popping microphone to an audience is both uncomfortable and annoying, and yes for some reason the person doing it never realises it. The main thing with hand held microphones is it for talking into not holding as a batten or message stick that entitles you to speak.

  146. Terry H on

    I am a fan of Dr K’s. But having read his lightweight comments on AGW in Science is Golden, I am disappointed. He casually supports AGW without providing any evidence and just some glib words to the effect: “trust us we are scientists & everyone else is in the pay of the oil coys”. The cost of getting the science wrong is too high for the subject to be declared taboo, even by Dr K.

    There is so much clutter and venom about this subject, so I won’t add to it, but I will cut to the 2 most telling pieces of contrary evidence.

    Evidence No 1:The ice core evidence is the only real piece of hard evidence that was thought to show the temperature and CO2 rising in lockstep.

    But guess what! Since about 2003 more data points in the ice record actually shows that first temp rises THEN CO2 rises, not the other way round! The lag is a few hundred years! Prima facie, that is conclusive evidence that greenhouse gas is not producing warming. If you want a refenence, search Wikopedia for these words…. “recent work has tended to show that during deglaciations CO2 increases lags temperature increases by 600 +/- 400 years”

    Evidence no 2: AGW computer models predict that Greenhouse gas caused warming will produce a Hotspot Signature pattern over the tropics. Guess what – no such signature has ever been found!

    as I said I’m very disappointed that someone as cluey as Dr K would give such a lightweight answer, that does nothing for the science of the subject.


  147. cris on

    ur a fuckin legggennnnnddddd u mate madogs assstinks

  148. mahdi on

    hey my name is mahdi and i love you i think ur the best writer ever wanna fuck

  149. madog weq on

    Hello my name is madog l love you
    and i absoulotly loved your ‘ dis info’
    it brought our family alot of memories, esspically the ammytiville article it rules

  150. will on

    hello heres a question for you Dr Karl if you get a chance, or anyone else who thinks they could know the answer, if you were to go from being stationary to the speed of light straight away looking behind you, would the scenery stay the same until you slowed down?

  151. Kiara, on

    this is a question for either Dr Karl or Caroline or anyone else who knows the answer.

    i’m writing a short story where random people are steamed and boiled to death (or dead when it happens) what i want to know is what does the intensely heated water do?

    I heard that if you boil something in a microwave it the flesh actually stays intact but the bone inside the hand breaks down rapidly and the victim is left with a flabby body piece that could rival a 12 year old Harry Potter’s. Is this actually true?

    listen to you all the time on ABC and Triple J Doctor. Many thanks for the interesting science facts…


  152. Carly on

    I read Dr Karl’s article “Is Plastic less than fantastic?” in MythConceptions the other weekend. Although Dr Karl was great pointing out the false information in the “Cancer update from John Hopkins” email, I believe further information about other harmful chemicals in plastics should be written in that article too. Upon reading Dr Karl’s article, one would get the impression that plastic is all safe and good when in fact, it’s not. In National Geographic’s Green Guide, it clearly points out the potential danger of using plastics.For example, plastic #3 PVC contains softeners called phthalates that interfere with hormonal development; #6 PS can leach styrene which is considered a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer; #7 PC is composed of hormone-disrupting chemical called bisphenol A. Besides the health impact, plastic is not good for our environment at all. I think a follow-up article should be written to clarify the facts and discourage people’s consumption of plastic.

  153. George.Haydock on

    Dear Dr Karl,

    Is it possible that you can write and article or even do a video for my blog on natural refrigerants like R290 and global warming?
    The blog presently gets just under 50,000 hits a month as is growing. An article from you will help educate the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry and reduce the fear and confusion about natural refrigerants.
    Please have a look at the blog as your contribution to it will significantly help enlighten the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best wishes,

    George Haydock
    General Manager
    Pioneer International Pty Ltd

  154. bee on

    please i desperately want to ask dr karl something privately via email is this possible

  155. Peter b on

    just wondering seeing as you were a weatherman, when the humidity drops (moisture in the air) does the oxygen level also drop ? leaving people feeling tired pooped etc


    Peter b

  156. Keith Emms on

    I have recently purchased Science is Golden and wish to point out several errors…page 63 engines of this type do not burn any where near 99% of fuel…it’s impossible. Article…The car engine. I invite you Karl to visit Peak3 website, which shows clearly that fuel economy can be improved by minimum of 17% I am involved in this as a onseller. I invite your comments
    Keith Emms

  157. kiara hartley on

    hey Emms. go an rain on someones parade why don’t you? haven’t you heard of contacting people about these things in private. it is clearly not a public forum issue, as i’m sure other people who post here would feel the same. sure he can be wrong and he could be right, but publically announcing errors is a way of slandering that person – particularly in the science field. surely if you genuinely like the fellow you would have enough sense to do so privately but in the limelight like this suggests you have a grudge against Dr Karl.

    this is NOT COOL.

    and just so you’re not missing out on slandering fun I’m going to post this both at your website and Dr Karl’s

    Kind regards…


  158. Alex on

    How do they seperate Oxygyn from other gases to go in Oxygyn tanks

  159. Mitchell on

    In ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So… Bro” there is a mistake on the bottom on page 82, it says:
    “At today’s price of $100 per gigabyte, the same 20 MB of hard disc would only cost two cents”

    It should be “At today’s price of $1 per gigabyte, the same 20 MB of hard disc would only cost two cents”

  160. Dr. Steve on

    On last week podcast it was asked why it is colder upstairs even though hot air rises. I believe we feel warmer downstairs mainly because of the heat radiation from the walls rather than the thermal conductivity of the air. I once stayed in a house where the heating had been off for several days. The inside temperature was similar to outside temperature – between 0 and 5 degC. After getting the central heating working the room air temperature soon reached 20 degC – but we had to wear coats for the next 24 hours until all the walls had heated up.

  161. peter clarke on

    I believe that the 7 or so volts and milliamps that a mobile phone operates on pose absolutly no danger to service station petrol pumps.I understand myth busters did a show on it as well,not that they are a credible scientific source !What are your thoughts? and if i’m correct ,shouldn’t this silly myth be exsposed so that people can be made aware of the real dangers like static electricity ?

  162. Mik on

    Hi Doc.
    Top marks for ‘Science is Golden’
    Have you investigated the buying public? Women are our primary consumers. My wife’s wish list from you is a book dedicated to the kitchen.
    Chopping board myths – wooden V plastic
    The hygiene qualities of both.
    Cross contamination of differing foods.
    Freezing food and the quality losses.
    Health related myths about Microwave Ovens.
    The energy consumption of Dishwashers.

    My Wish List
    Why use ‘Bio’ instead of Alternate fuels?
    Surely Bio-Diesel Still pollutes as much as ordinary diesel.

    Cheers for your continued efforts

  163. Lyndin Hume on

    Dear Dr. Karl,

    As a concerned person about the future of OUR fragile planet I would like your views and support regarding the wasteful energy costs involved in OVER PACKAGING of our every day consumable products whether cardboard or plastics and naturally the closure of take away drive throughs.

    There is a lot of talk in regards to high degree action appertaining to the green house gas emmissions that may or may not be achievable.
    Common sense at an achievable level would be to inforce packaging laws to lessen the amounts of energy and materials used in producing a needless outer package or a disposable item used in TAKE AWAY FOOD INDUSTRIES which ends up as litter on our highwasys and eventually into our marine enviroments.
    My views are that if there were more controls in these industries that ARE ACHIEVABLE at a moderate level that the green house effect could be reduced.

    My question to you is- Would envoking new enviromentally sensative laws in packaging be a start to a practical way of reducing green house emmissions and energy use?

    How do I go about SELLING this polocy as Iam a concerned person but I donot have a DEGREE and in Australia if you donot have some formal eduction and can back this up with statistics no one wants to lissen.

    Yours as a concerned person requiring a champion to get the ball rolling

    Lyndin Hume

  164. Ben? on

    G’day Dr Karl.
    Just a quick one mate. What are your thoughts on magnet powered generators? I’ve seen some websights with models that look legit’. Do you think this actualy works?

  165. Peter & Helen Clisdell on

    Upon hearing your comments on ABC Sydney this morning re your Antarctica experience I must mention we were the mob who preceeded your ship into Cape Denison….on board the MV Orion.
    I have a pleasant email of photos I would be happy to forward for you to enjoy.
    I do follow your chats and life experience when you speak,
    Cheers, PRC.

  166. Mark Buttsworth on

    Hi Karl,
    I have some knowlege of astronomy being a surveyor and it doesn’t seem reasonable, but my son is in Canada (and as a youngster I made him aware of the stars)and he says the stars don’t seem as bright as in the southern hemisphere (he is living serious miles from any nearby towns lights). Is this possible or could it have something to do with the time of year, or his imagination?

  167. Maxine Martin on

    Dr Karl
    Have just watched Sunrise re the exciting sleek geeks film competition. Adam’s and your comments are so true. We need to encourage greatly kids into the love of science for an educated Australian future. As a country mum of five with no science background I now have a cytogeneticist(female):a potential doctor(4th year uni)(male);a potential biotechnologist(forensics)(third year uni)(female);a year 12(male) interested in environmental science:land and water; and an 11 year old who desires a range of occupations including cardioloigist,cattle breeder or archaeologist(Still a long way away). Your comments re the cost of having this educated society is true. I am broke trying to help them achieve their dreams.This competition is a great idea to show the incredible choice related to the scientific area. Thanks MM

  168. Marie Hoglund on

    Dr Karl
    We have a problems with white-tailed rats eating our electric cabels here in Tropical North Queensland. (especially our car cabels) – is there something they don’t like the smell/taste of that we can brush the cabels with? I am sure most TN Queenslanders would appreciate a solution to this problem.
    Thanks Marie

  169. rrkbhat on

    Dear Dr. Karl,

    Some time back I read one article written by a Medical Doctor which explained the ill effects of Table Salt, which I give below:


    Sodium present in the Table Salt increases Acidic Properties. To balance this our body requires Magnesium and Calcium, which are not there in the Table Salt. But both Magnesium and Calcium are present in our bones, especially in our neck bone joints and hip bone joints. So our body starts sucking the Magnesium and Calcium from these bone joints to balance the Sodium present in the Table Salt. This weakens our bones leading to Osteoporosis.


    My questions are:

    (1) Do you agree with this view point?

    (2) Looking from health angle, is it true that, in cooking use of unrefined Sea Salt is better than refined Table Salt?

    Please shed some light on this.


  170. Nicola Simmons on

    Hi Dr Karl

    We had some pretty big electrical storms earlier this week, and I didn’t want to use the phone because of the lightning. I think people thought I was being silly. What are your thoughts on using wireless or mobile phones during storms, and how close does a storm have to be before the lightning is a problem.


  171. den on

    hi dr karl,
    i hope you can help to identify an older male scientist/inventor that i saw on the abc. who had developed an highly effective conical stack wind mill, that condensed humidity from the air and harvested the water. he also had a theory to deliver greater rainfall for sa and vic by channeling sea water to lake eyre, to increase evaporation.
    thanks den

  172. Alan Wheeley on

    I would like to know about the speed of falling bodies.
    We are told that bodies fall at a certain speed in the air because of the air resistance. We are told that they fall faster in less dense air, and this seems to be proved by experiments with high altitude skydivers. We are told that bodies fall at the same speed in a vacuum because there is no air resistance.
    So if we built a VERY VERY tall vacuum chamber, and set it up perfectly vertical, and allowed a small ball bearing to fall from the top; how high would the vessel have to be to get the ball bearing up to the speed of light, and what would happen then?

  173. Gus Burgess on

    Dear Dr Karl
    I am an eleven year old boy, and I want to ask you a question. What propels light?
    Thankyou, I hope you can answer my question.
    From Gus Burgess

  174. elleinad on

    🙂 Dr Karl rox🙂

    I’m working about him hahaha😛🙂😀

  175. Jamie-lea on

    Hi Dr Karl

    I’m in year 6 and doing an assignment where I have to pick a person worthy of nomination for the Australia of the Year Award. So I’ve picked you.

    I would like to know your DOB and also some of the work you have done in medicine/science and Education Feilds. As these are the two fields I’m going to be writting about.

    I’ve just started reading the book “Science is golden” and would like to say thanks for making science fun and interesting.

    Thank you and I look forward to your answers.

    From jame-Lea

  176. jake swan on

    Dear Dr Karl

    I was just wondering why we forget dreams so quickly, but just after we wake up we remember just about every part of the dream.
    By the way Ive read ‘Science Is Golden’ and ‘Please Explain’. I thought they were really interesting, I look forward to reading more of your books.

    from Jake Swan

  177. taylor on

    can you answer some questions please?
    1.if you could change any thing in the world what would it be?
    2.what is your age?
    3.du you have sny kids,if so, what are the age/s and name/s? you support an AFL team if so what one?
    5.if you could invent absolutely any thing what would it be?

  178. taylor on

    1. if you could change anything in the world what would it be?
    2. why do you do the weather facts?
    3. do you have any kids,if so, what are the age/s and name/s?
    4. do you support an AFL team if so what one?
    5. if you could invent absolutely anything what would it be?

  179. tay on

    i have a school assignment on a famous scientist and i chose you so can you please answer some questions?
    1. if you could change anything in the world what would it be?
    2. why do you do the weather facts?
    3. do you have any kids,if so, what are the age/s and name/s?
    4. do you support an AFL team if so what one?
    5. if you could invent absolutely anything what would it be?

  180. whitney on

    Hey Dr Karl!

    Is it true that the toilets flow a different way when you flush overseas? I’ve seen it in so many movies that it bugs me!

    If you wanted one peice of technology or a magical item, what would it be and why?

  181. Whitney on

    Hey Dr Karl, it’s me again.
    I’ve been watching a show called lie to me, and It says that you can tell if someone’s lying by their facial expressions. Is this true? How do they do it?
    I would love to study it!

    Thanks again,

  182. Whitney on

    Dr Karl,
    How do womens menstral cycles synchronise?
    It’s weird if you ask me!
    What are your thoughts about Global Warming? Will the polar ice caps melt causing ocean levels to rise and flood some areas?
    Please Reply soon!

  183. Mark on

    Hi, Dr. Karl.

    Can you please explain to me the logic behind the principal where a negative number multiplied by another negative number, results in a positive number.

    Thanks, and best regards,

  184. tay on

    1. If you could change anything in the world what would it be?
    2. What is your favourite chemical?
    3. Do you have any kids, if so, what are the age/s and name/s?
    4. Do you support an AFL team if so what one?
    5. If you could invent absolutely anything what would it be?

  185. beno on

    gday dr. karl, ive been working in bottleshops for about 7 years and have noticed when you fart in a coldroom it seems to stay in the one spot for the whole day, everytime you go back to the spot where you let it go it still smells but nowhere else, i find this confusing because the fans are blowing air around! cheers dr karl i listen to your show on triple j every week and have done for years, yhanks mate

  186. brendan on

    Hi love the work you do on jjj
    i just wondering if you lisen to a podcast name Gadgettes on the cnet network if you do can you let me know it becous there is a guy that right in to them all the time and he name is also Dr. Karl can you just conform it for me thanks email me at

  187. Johnno on

    Hi Dr Karl,

    Thanks for making science so interesting and approachable.

    They’ve recently discovered what seems to be liquid saline water on Mars. Do you think life will be found there? I’d assume if so it will be microbial – but what is the likelihood that more complex animals or plants could exist there? If so when and how will we find them?

    Love your work.


  188. Richard Jenkins on

    Hi Karl

    Do you know about Papers, the software for organising scientific articles on your Mac? Written by a couple of dutch scientists, looks quite cool. From the web site:

    “Do you have dozens of PDF files from your favorite scientific articles scattered on your harddrive? Do you also try to desperately organize them by renaming and archiving them in folders? But like the piles of printed articles on your desk, you can’t keep up with all the new papers you download, and despite all your efforts it has become impossible to find that one article.

    Finally that all belongs to the past. We’ve been there, trust us, we know. That’s why we wrote Papers, our latest application exclusively for the Mac. Papers will revolutionize the way you deal with scientific papers. Search for articles using the built in search engines, retrieve and archive PDFs, and read and study them all from within Papers, your personal library of Science. ”

    I just noticed this and immediately thought of you🙂

  189. jimmy on

    i am doing am assiment on Dr karl he is the best

  190. jimmy on

    its for school

  191. Cam on

    Dr Karl,
    Speaking of the moon on the horizon, check out this photo!

  192. matthew mcguigan on

    Heard you on JJJ last week mention getting electric shocks in the bath tub/shower. You said this was probably not all that dangerous.
    I am in the middle of sitting for my electrical licence, we have been taught it is POTENTIALLY FATAL.
    When you go on JJJ next week can you please put out a warning that if you feel tingling in the shower, vacate the property immediately. Do not touch anything metal, including appliances. Do not attempt to turn off the power as it is in a metal box. Just leave and call the supply authority.

    What is happening is a neutral to the transformer has dropped out. So power is making its return circuit to the transformer through everyones MEN (MULTIPLE (not main) earth neutral) link and earthed water pipes.

    Because the three phases are not perfectly in balance the touch voltage can exceed 50VAC which is potentially fatal. Essentially all earthed items have become live. That is why you should touch nothing. Just leave.

  193. Golfmad on

    Dr Karl,
    I would like to know which balance of food is best for our bodies (taking food politics into account).

    Currently I am on the Bodytrim system that promotes 80% pure protein 20% vegetable. It’s day 5 and I feel like Im drunk most of the time with highs and lows of energy. Sadly the weight doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

    Then there is the ALKALINE diet argument which I would usually eat, 80% vegetable and 20% protein. How does one lose excess weight if a balanced diet and excersise doen’t work and neither do the above diets????

    What is more important to me is healthy brain and body function. We all need a lot of energy.
    Love your work!!

  194. Mark on

    I lost a lot of wieght on something similar to what you call the alkaline diet. Lots of veg and fruit, some exercise BUT stop eating FAT. Cut out the oily salad dressing, the oil you add to your cooking, no fish and chips or fast food, trim all fat off your meat, try low fat milk, no ice cream, cream or cake (although you can cook cakes that are low fat). By cutting out your fats you will feel more awake and alert and it’ll lower your colesterol level. It may hurt initially but it is worth it.

  195. jody on

    hi karl
    My Dad was telling me about the alfa male so i looked it up and there was all this crap about how to be come one. saying things about the beta male. so i was just wondering if you could give me some me some good info on this like how each one fit in to modern society and how an u tell who is alfa and who is beta

  196. yas on

    Dr Karl

    this morning you referred to a US study that sowed a 7 fold increase in the rate of AML in relation to proximity to refuelling.

    i am researching AML and am seeking the article you referred to

    pls email me

  197. Peter Bull on

    Dear Dr Karl,
    I love your work, always have.
    Recently you addressed a business luncheon at Redcliffe, which the flyer touted “will reveal how applying the Benford’s number theory helped (you) achieve 80% of the result with 20% of the labour”.
    I enjoyed your wit and wisdom regarding climate, etc., but am none the wiser regarding the above.
    Perhaps you could direct me to a chapter in one of your books or another article?
    Yours sincerely,
    Peter Bull.

  198. Justin Shaw on

    Dr Karl,

    I have been enjoying you podcast for about a year now on my cycle to work. I appreciate your willingness to admit you don’t know everything and are open outside ideas.

    That said I may be able to shed some light on a couple of the questions you addressed in the Apr 2 2009 edition of BBC’s up all night.

    1. Spinning bullet. The fact that the bullet spins (which gives it angular momentum as you pointed out) prevents it from tumbling through the air which is much less aero dynamic.

    The other part of the question was why riffle bullets travel faster. A pistol can impart energy for a much shorter amount of time, more of an impulse. The rifle bullet, besides having more gun power to start with, pushes the bullet the entire length of the barrel.

    2. The mystery of the expanding milk jug. When the jug with boiling water is allowed to cool on its own rate of heat transfer is slow enough to prevent the explosion. When the heat transfer is quickened by shaking up the contents, the air inside reaches a greater peak temperature since and thus greater volume. I conjecture that even with a perfectly clean jug, the same phenomenon will occur.

    Thanks for the show!

  199. Steve on

    Hello Dr Karl

    I’ve been listening to your BBC Radio 5 show on Podcast for a few month now and I love it. You have made my journey to work much more bearable.

    On the last show you spoke about the dangers of placing a boiled egg into cold water, saying that the shell is porous and that it can draw bacteria into the egg. I’ve been trying to find more information on this online and I can’t find any reference to it. In fact most sites recommend amercing the boiled egg in cold water to stop the cook process. The only thing that came close was an article stating that you should not place a peeled boiled egg in water.

    What do you think?

    Keep up the good work, and thank you.


  200. David on

    Dr Karl,all modern subsonic jet passenger aircraft have a very similar appearance.Is this a perfect design(no religious overtones intended)or just a current design fixation? Are there certain rules of aerodynamics that preclude other shapes

  201. rachael on

    what is your favorete invention

  202. Greg from Sunshine Coast on

    Dr Karl,

    I was going through a few old podcasts (just catching up as I can’t get them at work) and was listening to the one on ‘Death and Science’ from a few weeks ago on Triple J. You were answering a question on animal suicide, and made a passing comment about a particular scientist only finding one case … where a squid died of a ‘broken heart’. Well, I believe I have another for you.

    A few years ago (well, twenty) I had two Axolotl – a black one named ‘Ion’ Albert Einstein (a pun on ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson) and a cream one named Stephen Hawking (yeah, pick the nerd). I had them in a three foot fish tank, and they were hand fed worms every day. They were the only fish in the tank.

    After about three or four months together, Hawking stopped eating. He got very thin (obviously), listless and stopped walking. Over the course of about two months, I tried everything I could … unfortunately Stephen Hawking eventually died. He may have been in the tank for an hour or two after he died, as it was hard to tell that he’d ‘passed on’. He was taken from the tank mid-afternoon, and given a proper burial (ie: full flush).

    After he was removed from the tank, Ion Albert walked over to the same place where Hawking had died, and stayed there.

    That evening (when the room lights were turned on), he got a bit weird … he ‘stood up’ on his back legs, with his head/front legs in the air – balancing on his tail and back legs. He stayed in that position, all night.

    When I woke in the morning, he was dead (and upside down). He had been in good health, eating his usual amount, and being quite active until his ‘turn’.

    Anyway, I believe Ion Albert also died of a broken heart. Haven’t got anything except the memory to prove it. But you get that.

    And while I’ve got you, I wanted to chip you about some comments about hybrid cars you’ve made. You have commented a few times that the Japanese manufacturers are leading the way with hybrids. But from what I’ve read, every major manufacturer is working on something, most to be released within the next five years … even Ferrari. My pick would be the Teslas from the States (

    And with the regenerative braking, F1 have been playing around with a modified system, which was supposed to be used this year. Dubbed the KERS (Kinetic energy recovery system) it was basically a spinning wheel which spun up under braking, and allowed a burst of acceleration on demand. Don’t think it’s being used this year, but someone else can give you an update on that.

    Thanks for your time.


  203. Alex on

    My mum bought me the pidgeon poo, car paint and the universe book for me for christmas about 6 years ago, ever since then i was always interested in you

    Getting Austar not to long ago (8months) I always kept checkin the weather forcast for the upcoming weekend, and suddenly saw a segment you hosted called weather whys,

    Do you currently still continue to produce this segment?

  204. joey on

    love your myths really cool!!!!

  205. Peter Gardner on

    Dr. Karl
    does the ‘Climate Change Coalition’ still exist or has it completely disintergrated? i have been trying to establish contact with the organization (via various candidates & others including Patrice Newell) for the last six months. i remain firmly convinced that a) global warming is by far the greatest problem facing mankind and b) a single issue party may help to address the problem in some small way in Australia – if not the CCC then perhaps some similar political party.
    Peter Gardner

  206. john jarrett on

    Dr. Karl,I would like your views on PTSD and it’s treatment. Mainly the difference between war caused and civilian. Regards John

  207. aussie barney on

    hi dr karl you have inspired people who would not have got into science many thanks .
    chris if your still around grow up stop believing in fairy tails . you sound smartish but your views are based on god . we only have one planet we need to change spend money on solar power etc. As far as we know at this time it is the only place we can live and we only live on the crusty bit so lets look after it. As for survival of the fittest when we evolved we changed the rules other animals dont have a chance unless we become custodiens of this world and all her wonderful life .

  208. Tim on

    Caroline/Dr Karl (priority where it’s important),

    Firstly congratulations. Listening to you and reading your books occassionaly makes me want to reach into my past and metaphorically strangle those teachers I had who managed to make science boring (there were notable exceptions). Along with History, this subject just screams excitement sex, drugs, rock and roll……and the periodic table. I suppose it does make it a little harder to knuckle down to the drier elements (npi)of the discipline , but ‘science’ is a marvelous way to learn to THINK !!!.

    Second…there’s an email doing the rounds at the moment that screams hoax except I could think of no reason why someone would bother unless they’re selling out their shares in a food grade palstics manufacturer. The gist is that a number of reputable organisations including Johns Hopkins Hospital are endorsing claims that food/water left in plastic containers (water bottles, tupperware) in a high heat environment (microwave/car etc ) end up absorbing dioxin made and/or released by the plastic…….and then that the dioxin is a significant factor in cancers particularly of the breast.

    There’s even an assertion that it was ‘the’ cause of a breast cancer in Sheryl Crow (the singer).

    Sounds very much like pointless scaremongering masquerading as genuine concern.

    Can we assume this is evil web tripe ?

    Tim, Paula, Kathleen, Thomas & Charlotte.

  209. John Brady on

    Hi Karl.

    I think I recall someone doing a radio science segment (it may even have been you) on Japanese sword- making technology. If I recall correctly, the commentator said that 1) they quench the sword in water with oxygen-depleting algae, 2) that the sword maker would wait until a clear sunset so that they could compare the colour of the heated blade against the sun at a certain distance above the horizon (to ensure heating the blade to the correct temperature), and 3) that prior to making the sword, they ground down the metal, mixed it with bird-feed fed to chooks, and then smelted the chickenshit to get metal which had had most of its phosphorus absorbed into the bird’s body.

    The last one sounds so improbable (how did they come up with that one!) that I would like confirmation of any of the above. And was it you?

    Thanks for so many great moments! my favorite one was cats falling from skyscapers.

  210. glenn on

    Dr Karl,
    A while ago you spoke on the radio about an African woman getting pregnant through the act of fellatio and that she had no working sexual organs or something to that affect. I was wondering if you could send me a link to the details of the story? I would really appreciate it!!

    cheers glenn

    ps. have to settle a bet🙂
    keep up the awesome radio

  211. А почему вот исключительно так? Исследую, как можно уточнить этот обзор.

  212. Meervedaype on

    Terrific writing:D Will come back soon.

  213. Вы как я погляжу мните себя большим специалистом во всем о чем не напишите, хочу вас огорчить, преимущественно вы пишете херомантию.

  214. Marinkina on

    Качество друзей тоже надо учитывать. Дональд Трамп, например, на двадцатку потянет.

  215. Gavrilin on

    Пора переименовать блог, присвоив название связанное с доменами🙂 может хватит про них?

  216. Ferinannnd on

    Спасибо за пост. Позновательно.

  217. Steve Walker on

    I think you mean Julius Nyerere (the socialist ex-President of Tanzania) in your bio profile.

    I, a (hopeful) future med student and current Science and Arts, enjoy your radio show. I really think that its a shame that TV has in many ways displaced the Radio presenter. But thanks to you, and others (like Philsopher’s corner on the ABC) there are still some great radio programs around. Keep up the good work.

  218. Avertedd on

    Офигеть просто! Все, блин, всё знают, кроме меня

  219. BawBag on

    Dr Karl can a fart travel at the speed of sound if the person is big enough and stores it up for long enough..then releases it into the wilds?

    and if so do you think in the future we can travel to Australia on someone’s fart.

    Prof BawBag Einstein

  220. Rhod Sharp on

    I know the answer to would surprise some people. the speed of a fart can travel in excess of 800 miles per hours..thus making it faster than the speed of sound.

    Dr Rhod

  221. BawBag on

    Bugger off Rhod your are not a real Dr like Karl baby just a hack…

    eat shit and die..:)

  222. Rhod Sharp on

    Ok you caught me out…I am an old hack…but me and Karl do play Dr’s and nurses sometimes…damn i do like being a nurse!

    Rhod (failed journalist)

  223. denise on

    Hi Dr. K.
    What, if anything could overusage of a hyperbolic (sp?) chamber do to a person? Just wondering if Mr. Jackson was still into that sort of thing? And it’s long term effects (affects.)

  224. Peters_world25 on

    Dr Karl

    Do you know why salt water in our oceans and rivers in Sydney glow green when disturbed with movement at night?

    I have noticed that water movement by current does not course this glow but if a fish darts of quickly, or you move the water with your hand, etc it will glow.

    When driving a boat you will notice the wash from the boat will glow more in some areas (sections) than others. I am aware that salinity will affect this but what other water conditions will affect this, is water temperature a factor?
    I have been told this is called phosphorus, some people say that it is more apparent during a new moon compared to a full moon. I have since learnt that it is always there it is only that the night is darker on the new moon and making it is easier to see.

    Do you have any ideas..?

  225. Dennis on

    How fast are we going??
    the earth is turning, it is going around the Sun, the Sun around the Galaxy, the Galaxy around the Universe. We must be travelling fast. each planet is travelling at different speeds and therefore travelling at different time from each other.

  226. sebastien on

    hey dr.karl!!!

    I love Science, it is my fav. topic and it is basically my hobby! Believe it or not im actually 13yrs of age in yr8 =] Just to say, that one or two months ago i was given a voucher for a bookstore and stumbled on your books, after a long time of deciding which book to buy, i chose ‘Please Explain’, since i’ve read this book i have gotten 2 more, and just to say that you really have enlightened me and shedding some new light on science. At the dinner table i try to talk about your different topics, and my parents can’t believe all i learn from you! Just to say that you are my role-model and love your books!!! Just one question, on the back of ‘Please Explain’ it says that 26 is the only no. that is directly between a square and a cube, i was just wondering how this came to be so. Thank you for your many gifts of knowledge that you given me and keep it up =p


  227. Wayne Smeaton on

    Dr. Karl,

    The above mentioned website is by Dr. David Evans & in a nutshell claims that there’s no evidence to link increased carbon dioxide emissions with global warming. I was quite perplexed reading this article & invite you to do likewise & give the benefit of your & your colleague’s knowledge on this matter. Is what Dr.Evans is claiming correct or is there something being overlooked here. This is critical & needs to be verified in the affirmative or the negative. It’s just too important to have global warming clouded by any ambiguity. Thanking you in anticipation for your assistance.

  228. Bill on

    I remember that Dr karl had a remedy that involved raising maybe the sinus cavities above a certain temperature. Was this for sinus infection ? Can Dr Karl please let me know the actual procedure ?

  229. Biotechy2k on

    Hi Dr Karl I have a question
    Back when if you like when we were cave peeps were our pairing up based on Polygamous matings, such as one Alpha male and many willing followers, of the XX chromosome bearers or did me have monogamous pairings, and leading from that when we are affected by pheremones, back in the dim dark recesses of the dawn of time if pheremones did play a part in our ancestors choosing a partner, was it based on that partner being the best to procreate the species or the one with the highest level of testosterone, or should I be asking this to an Anthropologist
    Cheers Lou

  230. Ädamas on

    i was on google reader and read this

    I first heard the colloquial definition of assume from my middle school band teacher. He relayed it during one of his notoriously crimson-faced tirades as a part of his tireless crusade to get us to practice our instruments. The mere mention of the word ass brought a cacophony of pubescent snickers, as you might well imagine.

    Twenty years later, I find myself enrolled in school once again. This time around, I’m not taking any fine arts, and my musical stylings are reserved for my shower head and the lonely walls of the Pottery Barn stockroom. Still, the trite but true words of Mr. Danner stick with me. Daily I am confronted with a seemingly innocuous request to assume. Assume a friction-less surface. Assume no air resistance. Assume a random sample.

    Of course, for the purposes of class, I play along. I understand that in order to proceed, a beginner like myself, must temporarily set aside the more confounding components of mathematical problems. Yet I do not take these assumptions lightly, and they hover somewhere in my psyche underlined, in both italics and bold-face. I fear that many people become far too accustomed to these kinds of assumptions, never truly revisiting their ramifications at that later date. Even seasoned professionals fall victim to this permanent credulousness.

    My physics teacher relayed the results of a now famous statistical experiment whose findings declared that cats stand a greater chance of survival falling from higher windows than from lower ones. My hand shot up with such velocity that it nearly dislocated my shoulder. You see, that study has a huge hole in it. The sample space isn’t really random at all. It originally appeared in a 1987 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and was authored by two doctors at the Animal Medical Center of Manhattan. They published based on a small sample of cases they had seen at their practice, all feline victims of high-rise free-fall. On the surface, it all seems on the up and up, until you consider the one gaping hole in their methodology. In order to be a random sample, the study must include all instances of the event in question, which is a cat falling out of a window and hitting the ground. Ask yourself this, if your precious Fluffy were to fall victim to accidental defenestration, and upon reaching the street level, you found myriad biological parts where your furry friend was hoped to be, would you scoop up the pieces and take them to the vet? No, and neither do most of the pet-owners in Manhattan. The 1987 study is based on the assumption of random sampling that did not actually occur.

    As I have said, these school room assumptions are necessary steps to greater understanding in any and all STEM related fields. But we must never forget that they exist. Our future failures hinge upon them.

    taken form

    sorry if it is too long but i was just wondering about the graph that you procented and weather or it had an unintended “filtering” occur

  231. mattgrigg on

    dr. karl, why when i use mouthwash and push my tongue on the roof of my mouth, it kinda burns, and when i rinse my mouth out with hot or warm water it also hurts, but cold water is fine. kinda curious.

  232. Elwyn on

    Dear Dr Karl,

    What causes people to produce floaters?

    How rare are floaters that seem to flush properly but don’t fully go around the S-bend then come back into the bowl? We think one of our housemates is responsible for these stealth floaters.

  233. Chloe on

    Dear Dr Karl,

    Seeing as you know everything, I just had a couple questions about hair I was hoping you could answer?

    1. Does Laser treatment for hair loss really work?

    2. Is it true that if you pull out your grey hairs more will grow in their place?

    3. Is it true that cutting off your hair will help it grow faster?


  234. Dr Karl on

    You People all suck. Don’t you see I have better things to do than sit around answering your lame questions. Get a life, get out and get some sun it will do your paisty skin a world of good.
    Chole, shave your pubes and they will grow back thicker, then you can harvest them and have them grafted onto your head.

    Cheers, Karl

  235. Clinton on

    Dr Karl

    You recently published an article in the Good Weekend magazine regarding the prostate gland which was very enlightening. However I did have a question from this article which is not related to the specific topic but more so around the use of your language. You used several sentences in which the words “had had” and this has always been a confusing aspect of the English language for me since I was a child. Would you be able to explain this to all of us less knowledgeable about the perplexities of the English language?



  236. jay isaachsen on

    Dr Karl

    Could you please give me your opinion on Bio-Photon Light Therapy. It seems to have a varied application and almost sounds to good. I would love to hear your thoughts on it


  237. paul barber on

    we are constantly told that sea levels are rising as a result of rising co2 levels,largely due to the automobile.this has prompted the development of the hydrogen cell car.the only by-product of this energy source being h2o,(water).
    when we are all eventually driving these vehicles,and producing water,where will it all go?surely the sea levels will still rise due to all the water we are now pumping into the environment?
    kind regards,paul,uk.
    listen as often as i can on 5 live as i’m a lorry driver,pumping lots of co2 out.

  238. Daz on

    Coming at you from Japan!
    Hello Dr. Karl! I enjoy your podcast every week here in Osaka and I would like to comment on today’s podcast from a Japanese bent. (I am Aussie but have been here for 14 years).
    Firstly regarding the fridge and radiation.In the Hiroshima blast people who had been hanging up white sheets at the time,or wearing white clothing,found that the parts of their body covered by white were not burned by the radiation.Maybe this is the theory,that white reflects radiation and most Fridges are white?

    Regarding the Japanese girl and sunglasses..I hear this one every day in Japan.It is a commonly-held belief that dark irises are stronger against the you have to get the cultural fact that Japanese are always looking for ways to prove that the Japanese are ‘different’ to other peoples of the world.Here are two of the most famous ‘facts’ along this line.. Japanese have longer intestines than Westerners because they traditionally ate more vegetables..I refer you to this:
    The other is that Asians have more sweat glands than Westerners..I have noticed that in the formidable Japanese summer the natives do perspire less than non-Asians or at least sweat differently.

    regarding the travelator..there is an interesting story from Osaka.Osakan people are known in Japan as being in a rush and walking faster than other Japanese people.5 ft per second.In the late 1960’s a Swedish company installed Japan’s first Travelator in Hankyu Umeda station.It broke within the week, as the designers had not imagined that people would walk on the travelator.Osakan people are kinda impatient and almost never stop still on a moving walkway. Have a nice day!🙂

  239. Tom Colbert on

    Hi from Ireland!

    I would love to have gone to the Apollo Landing lecture last July but being 20000 kilometers away it was no an option. I am a great fan of the Apollo programme and was wondering if you happened to record the lecture and have it available as a podcast? I listen to your tripple J and BBC podcasts every week and love them.Keepo up the good work.
    Tom {Irish Fan}

  240. Jesse on

    Hey Dr Karl Sven Woytek Sas Konkoitch Matthew Kruzelnicki,
    First off, how are you?
    Second, I have a few things that I have been pondering that no one around me can answer.
    Question 1: If humans are so highly evolved, why is it that most of us (not including me) are only adept at using one side of their body? (right/left handedness)
    Question 2: Why do we have a sense of humour, and why does it differ from person to person?
    Question 3: Why do we have a taste in music, and why does it differ from person to person?
    Many thanks, Jesse Rowlings, 14, NSW

  241. Space Cadet Ian McDermott on

    Dear Doctor Karl You Dill! This evening I was listening to your podcast of 10 Sep 09 and one of the Triple J hippies called asking why spacecraft travel so fast upon re entry. Anticipating your answer I gritted my teeth and experienced moderate ‘fight-or-flight’ symptoms. Obviously under pressure you failed to explain that the launch vehicle must reach escape velocity in the first place and “maintain” (I’m not happy with “maintain”) that velocity to stay in orbit. Under Newton’s Laws (Help! Apostrophe Man!) the launch vehicle has to decelerate through similar speeds to those attained during launch, but at different rates. Could you PLEASE help fill in this essential ‘blank’ for the caller in future broadcasts? Thanks and regards, SCDT Ian.

  242. Barb on

    Hi Dr Karl
    This morning on the Chanel 7 show – I believe I heard you say the red dust storm was made up of iron ore and as such when landing on the ground would be a good fertiliser – but in the ocean as a fertiliser it would cause algal bloom
    Did I hear and understand correctly?


  243. Dean on

    Hi, I was wondering if you could explain what was really going on with this mouse that NASA “levitated”? Was the magnet actually pulling iron and any other magnetised particles in the mouses body? Would not this harm the mouse? Would it not just pull or the iron etc. to one end of the mouse? Would there be enough of these particals in a mouse – even with it’s tiny weight; to lift it? Would it really have a use in showing the effects of zero G?
    The device they used was described as a chamber powered by a super cooled magnet and a superconductor which sounds like some of the anti-grav experiments I have read about about….

  244. Ah Rong on

    Hi Dear Dr.karl

    thx for you come to TAIWAN

  245. Louise on

    Dr Karl
    many products are advertised as ” chemical Free”. Can you advise what this actually means. My father in law argues that there is no such thing as chemical free as everything has a chemical composition.


  246. David Turner on

    Dog spit would have to be the sliperyies substance I’ve come across. After a dog licks a bowl clean, it dosn’t matter how long you leave it, once you add a bit of water. There is formed a very slippery surface on the inside of the bowl. So slippery in fact It take a good swipe or two with a dish washer to get rid of it. Try it you will be ammazed. Find out what it is in the spit that does it and I recon you would have something slipperier than silicon.

    What do you think
    David Turner

  247. Daniel Roberts on

    Hi Dr Karl,

    Desperate to find out this answer ASAP.

    What is the oxidizing effect or difference between Sodium Hypochlorite at 5.25 percent diluted 1 to 10 parts water versus Hydrogen Peroxide at 3 percent?

  248. Sharon Ropata on

    Dear Dr Kruszelnicki
    I have been suffering with painful aching legs as far back as I can remember, this year has been the worse yet and I am at the point where I wish someone would just chop them off. I am that desperate that I found myself in front of the computer searching the net for some cure (again). While searching I came across a video clip on Julius Sumner Miller and Atmospheric Pressure, I was quite excited as I believe my pain is related to atmospheric conditions. Unfortunately I read that Julius Sumner Miller passed on in 1987 but I was fortunate (I think) to find a link that lead me to you, I read your profile and after seeing all your past and present career details thought this guy is probably going to be my “Saviour”
    I have just celebrated my 50th birthday and have suffered with aching legs as far back as I can remember (my mother called it “growing pains”). I have had x-rays, scans, Arthroscopic surgery and had my ligament cut, I have had blood test taken for Arthritis, Rhematic fever the list goes on and unfortunately so does my suffering.
    Approximately 3 years ago I noticed I could predict when it was going to rain as my legs would start aching usually 2 days before it actually rains. I hadn’t thought about it before as I was quite active and athletic and put it down to sporting and muscular pains but once I gave up sport I started to take note especially as the pain is more severe now. Something else which I think may have some bearing on my bodily functions is in the summer months I seem to hold an enormous amount of electrical energy – I am forever getting and giving people electrical zaps.
    I am so over the sleepless nights, pain killers, medication, continual requests for massages and the aching. I was hoping with your background you could enlighten me on your thoughts regarding atmospheric conditions causing my grief, why it happens and most importantly whether there is something I can do about, beating Mother Nature? Maybe there is some portable decompression unit available, maybe someone could invent one (see how desperate I am) Anyway I am so hoping you will be in contact with me in the near future, and if not I hope the weather changes for the better.
    Sharon – A Desperate house wife

  249. Michelle Robinson on

    Dear Dr Karl,
    I have recently returned from a visit to Czech Republic. Throughout my visit i noticed the sky appeared to be a lot closer and smaller than the sky here in Sydney NSW.
    When I returned I thought my observation was correct. I also mentioned this to a Czech who had also visited Australia and he had noticed this as well. Is this to do with the Australia being on the lower part of the earth? This is my husbands’ theory!!! Could you please explain this.
    Warm regards
    Michelle Robinson

  250. shaun on


  251. Boogs on

    G’day Dr Karl, a while back i heard you say something about watching the sunset to help you fall asleep, is that because of melatonin or serotonin? i forgot which one you said and it’s driving me crazy trying to explain it to my friend. thank you

  252. Mark on

    Hey Dr Karl, i was wondering if you would be able to answer a question for me or be able to point me in the right direction. I am wondering if it is possible to have weak ligaments throughout ones body? I have torn and snapped a lot of ligaments playing sport as well as dislocated joints and it just keeps on happening. Thanks for your time.

  253. Taylor on

    I am really interested in our solar system. So could you please send some information about it, if you could please send it to me. At school i am learning about it, but i want to learn more. thank you very much

  254. Paul Fox on

    Hi Dr Karl,

    I was listening to your podcast on DNA modification.

    The story about the babies getting smaller, I’d have thought that it had more to do with natural selection than DNA changing. For example smaller babies might have a greater chance during times of hardship. Then, when the small babies (male and female) grow into adults and have children, they are more likely to produce small babies…continuing the cycle.

    I think its more to do with selection than modification/mutation.

  255. Simone & David on

    Hi Dr Karl,

    Is an egg that is about to hatch heavier than when it was first laid? And if so, why?

  256. Casc on

    Top bloke!

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    Истинно, жалеть, сколько обновления на блоге происходят не так почасту, словно хотелось бы.

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  262. Thanh Benwarc on

    I think your blog is excellent I found it on Yahoo. Definetely will return some day! I am very exsiting about learning newthingsBest Regards, Margot

  263. georgia on

    Lalala Dr Karl Kruszelnicki ROCKS my world!🙂😉 LOL But seriously you do rock😀

  264. ireland on

    tell me ther month you are born oh and the day please

  265. Asha on

    To Karl,
    I would like to know why you came to Australia to live because I am doing a biography on you for school( If it is personal it doesn’t really matter).

  266. Rowena Ehiginator on

    TAC is holding a symposium on the late Jane Jacobs, an urban activist best known for her work The D… Often credited with saving New York City’s Greenwich Village from a freeway, she argued that centralized government planning projects (particularly single-use zoning) destroyed city communities and created undesirable urban spaces. A variety of voices came together to offer perspectives on Jacobs’s contributions on the 50th anniversary of her book’s release. In an article from the print edition of TAC, Austin Bramwell says that while her critics should be considered, Jacobs’s contributions saved an important part of New York City.

  267. Lorraine on

    If there was only one tree left in the world what would happen?

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  270. Trevor on

    I love physics & acquiring knowledge. Have enjoyed many of your talks and looking forward to 50 shades of grey. Recently my mother saw you on television and is an instant follower. I think its great that @ eighty xxx she continues to enquire ~ Can I say it. ‘Why is it .. .. Let’s find out.’

  271. Mic on

    Why does Dr Karl say that the Earth is still warming when the global average land temperature has risen only 0.03 degrees in the last 15 years? That rise is insignificant.

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  276. Mich on

    Sounds like the always intelligible and accurate Dr Karl.

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  278. jay on

    Yet more wise words from Dr Karl

  279. Smily on

    Does Karl have Brother?

  280. Smily on

    I mean Does Karl have a Brother?

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  282. capital heating and cooling on

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  283. Mushrome on

    Good read & excellent for inspiring others.
    Must get more Australian back into the sciences.

  284. tree works tree service on

    Terrific forum posts, Thanks a lot.

  285. paris_lion on

    um i’m, doing a research project on refugees coming to Australia and my teacher pointed Dr Karl out so i was wondering if some basic questions could be answered for me ??? why did he come to Australia and does he now like Australia ?? sincerely ( kaija ) the heights school Adelaide 904🙂

  286. anonomys on

    Who areyour influences?
    i need to know for school

  287. charlie on

    Dr Karl I find your life story very impressive , and i wish you the luck in your life

  288. John on

    Would Dr Karl have taken to the stage on behalf of the ALP, I think not,
    In my view anyone whose opinions can be purchased loses all credibility.

  289. Einstein on

    I would like to know what Dr Karls professional and enlightened interpretation of the raw data is and its statistial significance? (Tip for Dr Karl – Remember what they said in High school science Karl… the data first before giving your conclusion this time) Also do I have to pay you for your opinion? Stuff the science…..give me the cash baby!

  290. The_Truth_is_uncomfortable on

    Dear Dr. Karl, you claim that vaccines are safe, that everybody should take vaccines, you do not ackowledge that vaccine injury occurs – including death. I would like to ask you what you think of the following ingredients, commonly found in vaccines, and if you can read them, and honestly tell me you see nothing potentially going wrong from injecting these substances?
    Vaccine ingredients:Here’s the chemical list from the CDC PinkBook of 2011:

    Ovalbumin, human serum albumin, bovine albumin, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, aluminum phosphate, aluminum potassium sulfate, amino acids, ammonium sulfate, amphotericin B, ascorbic acid, bactopeptone, beta propiolactone, benzethonium chloride, brilliant green dye, calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, chlortetracycline, cystine, dextran, DNA, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle Medium, ethylenediamine- tetraacetic acid sodium, egg protein, ferric (III) nitrate, formaldehyde-formalin, gelatin, genetamicin, glucose glutamine, glutaraldehyde, glycerin, glycine, histidine, hydrochloric acid, hydrocortisone, lactose, magnesium stearate, magnesium sulfate, monosodium glutamate, mouse serum protein, MRC-5 cellular protein (aborted fetal cell line), neomycin, phenol, phenol red, 2-phenoxyethanol, phosphate buffers (eg. Disodium, monosodium, potassium, sodium dihydrogenphosphate), polydimethylsilozone, polymyxin B, polyoxyethylene9-10 nonyl phenol, polyoxyethelated octyl phenol, polysorbate 20, polysorbate 80, potassium chloride, potassium glutamate, bovine calf serum, sodium acetate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, sodium deoxycholate, sodium hydrogenocarbonate, sodium hydroxide, sodium phosphate, sodium pyruvate, sorbitol, streptomycin, sucrose, Thimerosal [49.6% ethylmercury], tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, tyrosine, urea, vitamins unspecified, xanthan, and yeast protein that are used to manufacture vaccines grown on the following production media: bovine protein, calf skin, chick kidney cells, chicken embryo, Cohen-Wheeler modified (pertussis components), human diploid tissue culture-MRC-5 and WI-38 [aborted fetal cell lines], Lathan medium derived from bovine casein, Linggoud-Fenton medium containing extract, Medium 199 (including amino acids, vitamins, sucrose, phosphate, glutamate, human albumin, fetal bovine serum), minimum essential medium (including amino acids, vitamins, fetal bovine serum, human albumin), monkey kidney tissue culture-Vero (Vervet or African green monkeys), mouse brain culture (SMB), Mueller-Hinton agar medium, Mueller-Miller medium, Puziss-Wright medium 1095, Rhesus [monkey] fetal lung tissue culture, Stainer-Scholte medium, soy peptone broth [probable GMO product], synthetic/semi-synthetic [what that exactly is, is not defined! Nanoparticles?], Watson-Scherp medium, yeast or yeast extract (typically Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

    Source: U.S. CDC PinkBook Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary (2011) pp. E-1 to E-7 as cited in Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines pp. 27-33

    Rubber particles, Latex, SV40, Monkey Viruses, Foreign proteins, Peanut Oil, Pol, Horse blood, Rabbit brain, Dog kidney, Monkey kidney, Chick embryo, Duck egg, Pig blood, Porcine (pig) protein/tissue, Dog kidney cells-Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK), Mouse Brain- inactivated mouse brain (IMB),JE virus (Beijing-1), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM),
    Foreign proteins, Diploid and Continuous cell lines,
    (PERC6, HEK-293). Baculovirus, Serum From Aborted Calf Fetus Blood, Cells From Armyworms-ExpresSF+ Cells, Antifreeze, Lead, Cadmium, Antibiotics, Acetone,
    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases)
    TSEs are sporadic, familial, and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD, fCJD, and vCJD). I am asking you, genuinely, as a scientist, if you see nothing wrong with the above picture? / credentials can be used.

  291. not about vaccines on

    vaccines are BAD for you look at this link about DR oz saying in his own words that vaccines are bad for u

  292. not about vaccines on

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