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A body can power the whole globe

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Question: Using Einstein's famous e=mc(squared) on your body's mass, how much fundamental energy do you convert to?

Answer: Assuming a nice round 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and plugging this into the equation, your body could THEORETICALLY yield some 2.5 trillion kilowatt-hours of pure energy, says Dr. Scott Berk on the "Please Pass the Science" Web site.

Figuring on 350 kilowatt-hours of electricity to power a home for a month, your body could "light up" 7 billion homes.

"A month of free electricity for the whole world on just your 220-pounds! Now that's what I call charity!"

While this is all cost prohibitive and unthinkable in terms of today's technology, it's kind of fun to imagine you're carrying around a mass powder keg that could singlehandedly put a charge into the whole world.

Question: How often are twins born on different days, straddling the midnight hour to claim different birthdays?

Answer: The doctors won't exactly encourage this, since the majority of twin births are by Caesarean section and not likely to be midnight specials, says Lawrence Devoe, Medical College of Georgia obstetrician and gynecologist.

Typical twin-delivery intervals whether for Caesarean or vaginal are no more than 30 minutes. Still, given 70,000 to 80,000 twin pairs born annually in a nation the size of the United States, averaging 10 per hour, that's plenty of opportunity for stutter-celebrations. Except that the delivery times are far from random, says Devoe, so you wind up with an estimate of only maybe one back-to-backer occurring per week nationwide.

Of course, back-to-back is not the whole story either, since there are cases where one twin is born premature and the other is delayed for days or even weeks, adds the University of North Carolina's Nancy Chescheir.

Question: You're dreaming one night when suddenly you realize it's only a dream. Neat! A "lucid" dream. You try an experiment: Spitting on a dream finger, you draw a wet cross on your forehead. Moments later you awaken . . . to find your forehead bears an actual wet cross! How can this be?

Answer: This actually happened to pioneer dream researcher Frederik van Eeden, who was astonished to find that his saliva had somehow crossed over from his dream into reality, describes Leonard George, Ph.D., in "Alternative Realities." But then van Eeden REALLY woke up, and "knew at once that the hand of my physical body had been lying in a closed position undisturbed on my chest all the while."

What van Eeden had experienced was a "false awakening," moving him from one level of awareness — he knew he was dreaming — to another level — still dreaming, but no longer aware of it.

Rarely, dreamers will pass through several false awakenings before becoming truly awake, raising the old mystic's wonder if ordinary everyday consciousness is not still some sort of "dream within a dream."

Send STRANGE questions to brothers Bill and Rich at strangetrue@compuserve.com