Do Rabbits Really Love Carrots?

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Rabbits and carrots go together like bears and honey. Bears really do love honey, but most people know that they like to eat more than just that (picnic baskets, for example).

Rabbits also enjoy a whole variety of food, but unfortunately some people think they can live exclusively off carrots. In reality, bunnies don’t eat root vegetables in the wild, so things like carrots should only be an occasional treat. The RSPCA found that 11 percent of all pet rabbits have tooth decay as a result of hitting the orange stuff too hard.

So if rabbits don’t eat carrots in the wild, where did the idea come from? Most blame Bugs Bunny.

While many thought Bugs got the habit from his furry peers, he actually adapted the carrot munching from the King of Hollywood, Clark Gable. Creators Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and Bob Clampett have explained that Bugs' trademark love of carrots was inspired by a scene in the 1934 film, It Happened One Night. In it, Gable's character leans against a fence and eats a carrot while explaining the rules of hitchhiking. In 1940, Bugs Bunny made his debut in a cartoon called "A Wild Hare," and exhibited similar behaviors:

At the time, the movie had just come out so the satire was likely obvious to viewers. Today, most children have never heard of Clark Gable and attribute the carrot eating to normal rabbit behavior. If you have a pet rabbit, read up on the proper foods to feed it—carrots are like candy for rabbits, so they should be given in moderation!

Are Any of the Scientific Instruments Left on the Moon By the Apollo Astronauts Still Functional?

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong left the first footprint on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong left the first footprint on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Heritage Space/Heritage Images/Getty Images

C Stuart Hardwick:

The retroreflectors left as part of the Apollo Lunar Ranging Experiment are still fully functional, though their reflective efficiency has diminished over the years.

This deterioration is actually now delivering valuable data. The deterioration has multiple causes including micrometeorite impacts and dust deposition on the reflector surface, and chemical degradation of the mirror surface on the underside—among other things.

As technology has advanced, ground station sensitivity has been repeatedly upgraded faster than the reflectors have deteriorated. As a result, measurements have gotten better, not worse, and measurements of the degradation itself have, among other things, lent support to the idea that static electric charge gives the moon an ephemeral periodic near-surface pseudo-atmosphere of electrically levitating dust.

No other Apollo experiments on the moon remain functional. All the missions except the first included experiment packages powered by radiothermoelectric generators (RTGs), which operated until they were ordered to shut down on September 30, 1977. This was done to save money, but also because by then the RTGs could no longer power the transmitters or any instruments, and the control room used to maintain contact was needed for other purposes.

Because of fears that some problem might force Apollo 11 to abort back to orbit soon after landing, Apollo 11 deployed a simplified experiment package including a solar-powered seismometer which failed after 21 days.

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

What Makes a Hotel Breakfast 'Continental'?

Hotels often offer a complimentary pastry and fruit breakfast.
Hotels often offer a complimentary pastry and fruit breakfast.
tashka2000/iStock via Getty Images

The continental breakfast, which is typically made up of pastries, fruit, and coffee, is often advertised by hotels as a free perk for guests. But why is it called continental, and why don’t patrons get some eggs and bacon along with it?

The term dates back to 19th century Britain, where residents referred to mainland Europe as “the continent.” Breakfast in this region was usually something light, whereas an English or American breakfast incorporated meat, beans, and other “heavy” menu options.

American hotels that wanted to appeal to European travelers began advertising “continental breakfasts” as a kind of flashing neon sign to indicate guests wouldn’t be limited to American breakfast fare that they found unappealing. The strategy was ideal for hotels, which saved money by offering some muffins, fruit, and coffee and calling it a day.

That affordability as well as convenience—pastries and fruit are shelf-stable, requiring no heat or refrigeration to maintain food safety—is a big reason continental breakfasts have endured. It’s also a carryover from the hybrid model of hotel pricing, where American hotels typically folded the cost of meals into one bill and European hotels billed for food separately. By offering a continental breakfast, guests got the best of both worlds. And while Americans were initially aghast at the lack of sausages and pancakes on offer, they’ve since come around to the appeal of a muffin and some orange juice to get their travel day started.

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