☐ Why Do Squirrels Prefer Nuts in the Shell?

Why is it that squirrels prefer nuts with the shell on instead of off?

That makes no sense because shelled nuts provide more energy for less work. With the shell, they have to work to get it out and even then, they only get one or two nuts (depending on the type of nut). With shelled nuts (that humans provide), the squirrel doesn’t have to work to get at the nut meat, and they can fit a lot more of them in their mouths/nests/etc. since no space is wasted on the shell.

In a Nature of Things documentary on squirrels, David Suzuki likened in-shell peanuts to $5 bills; that is, an extra special treat.

My best theory as to why they prefer nuts with the shell is that the shell helps to keep their teeth from overgrowing (they have to continuously gnaw on things to file them down). Of course I can’t imagine that a peanut shell provides much sanding value, so I’m not convinced that is the reason.

☐ How do VCRs Remove Static?

I’ve always wondered about a curious behavior I’ve witnessed on numerous occasions.

If you have a poor television signal with interference, a television will often display a fuzzy image, but if you then put the TV on the appropriate channel (usually 3), and turn the VCR’s VTR function on to see its output, you can usually see the aforementioned channel but it will be clear or at least significantly less fuzzy.

Why is that?

Is the VCR removing interference like a UPS cleans up a power line? Does it amplify a low signal? Do VCRs have some sort of anti-static function?

I have seen this happen with different TVs and VCRs and in different houses with different cable lines.


A couple of years ago, while I was going to the bathroom, I had an idea about a name for something and wanted to see if it could make a decent acronym. I scrawled the acronym in very small letters on the wall, mused that it could sort of work, then washed my hands and left the bathroom.

It is still there on the wall, though fairly faded from a couple of years of shower humidity. If you look really close, you can still make out the letters NUMSVCO (it may actually be NUMSUCO, but the second ‘U’ seems to have a pointy bottom).

The acronym isn’t too bad, but the problem is that I have long since forgotten what it stands for. If I think hard about it, I vaguely recall that it may have been in the context of a company or product name. It may have been something novel (something I was doing myself), but it could have been related to something that I was reading about in a tech magazine or some such.

In addition, it may be either a one-to-one acronym where each letter stands for a word, or more of an abbreviation where for example the NUM stands for number and perhaps co stands for corporation.

I know it’s the longest of long shots for anyone to try to read my mind from years ago when even I can’t, but I don’t suppose anybody can think of something that I may have been seeing, doing, or working on that could lead to this acronym can they? I do recall being quite pleased with it as though it was quite fitting for whatever it was supposed to be for.