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Have you ever wondered...? Questions you asked when you were a child

When I was little I found myself very curious always asking about the things around me, unfortunately my mom would tell me it was rude to ask questions or scold me because she didn't know the answer. The end result: I had stopped asking questions. Now that I am 16, I realize I hadn't made the best decision; I should keep asking questions and so should everyone else :)

What things did you wonder when you were little?


A few of mine:

Why do we live?
Why do we die?
What is time?
Do blind people have dreams?
How much does the sky weigh?
Why is water wet?
Why do I cry when I cut onions?
Where do babies come from? (most asked question)

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    May 20 2011: Even if you have stopped due to resistance to your questions, start again." No question is a dumb only answers can be dumb" ; don't know who told but I believe in it.

    Asking is one of the best ways of learning and being creative.
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      May 20 2011: I'd heard it slightly differently: it's only a dumb question if you already know the answer.

      Then I learned that lawyers in a courtroom never ask a witness anything unless they already know how the witness will respond.
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        May 22 2011: Ha ha that's a good one as well. I recall a story from village of my country after reading your comment :)

        The story is

        Once a very shy guy got married to a girl of another village (it's definitely arranged one in a very conservative village environment of Bangladesh). As a tradition , he was going to his in law house. So guy's mother being concerned about her sons shyness to be perceived as dumbness in his in law place , suggested him to talk a bit with his father in law at dinner table if he fails to talk in any other instances.

        The shy bridegroom couldn't find a reason to talk a single word to anyone whole day but at dinner table he remembered his mother's advise, so asked enthusiastically his father in law "did you ever get married ?"

        Considering socio-cultural background it's not only a dumb question rather it's dangerously dumb one !!! :)

        May be we adults at times asks such dumb questions. Well in case of lawyer; success & failure depends to great extent on questioning , so they must be extra careful , I agree. In other cases it's not so though people don't ask question with a fear of being seen as dumb !

        But I never heard a dumb question from a KID really .....
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    May 19 2011: Where does the wind come from?
    Why is this beautiful?
    Why do some people enjoy beeing mean? (Still haven't cracked that one)
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    May 19 2011: Forgive my indulgence in relaying what my little son (a long time ago) wanted to know: Would 20,000 woodticks drown a whale?
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    May 19 2011: I can remember wondering how my dad knew so much.

    Today I wonder what he might have accomplished, with better health and if he'd been able to finish school. In his memory, I committed to raising my children without ever turning away their questions.
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    Jun 4 2011: second hand..from a retreat today

    little girl: why can't i see the sun at night
    parent: because on our side of the eartth at night the sun is blocked
    chiild: but th emoon is very bright still
    parent: because the sun is shing it
    child: Oh..they must be freinds
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    May 27 2011: Everyone has questions - big and small. The most important thing is not just about getting the right answer but what we have learnt in the process of searching for the answer. What has happened to you has, I believe, happened to most people living in the culturally conservative parts of the world too. I met with this problem but how to go about solving it? I have learnt to direct my questions to the right people and at the right time. May all of us learn from the valuable lessons of life about questioning, thinking, and problem solving.
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    May 24 2011: I always wondered, and still do, where do things come from. Every little thing, where did it come form, who invented it, who gave manes to different stuff. These kind of things still amaze me.
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    May 22 2011: Meher.......This is the kid who is now in Grad school studying theoretical mathematics that I mentioned to you.
    Yeh......numbers is sumthin' else.
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    May 21 2011: I remember my younger sister used to ask if I remembered when she was older than I was.
    As a righteous and proud elder sister I woud try to patiently explain that she was never older than I was (with growing indignation as she insisted). Even though I got my mother and my father to explain to her that she was never older than I was- she had this unshakable certainty that she had been. Although we grew up in a pretty secular household, I now
    wonder what the Dali Lama or people who believed in reincarnation would have made of my cute little sister?
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      May 22 2011: that;s really interesting Debra, her idea that you were together before..how old was she when she was asking you this?,
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        May 22 2011: It started when she was quite young- maybe three and It lasted until she was about seven, I think. I do not think anyone ever convinced her. I think she just gave up talking about it and then forgot about it. She tried to tell me detailed stories of what we had done and now looking back I wish I had listened more closely but I was a kid and I think my frustration with it was born of some silly sense that she was usurping my first born status.
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          May 22 2011: fascinating. that whatever her expereince was it had a narrative..and you were in it. see in my fanatsy vision of down loading conscience and memory we could have yiur sister download all that and we coukd all visit it together.

          not one of my areas of interest or expertise but I understand that many traditionsthat include belief in reincarnation believe that we repeat in the same family.. I kin dof like that idea..means theres more than one shot at working it all out. your sisters expereince kind of lines up with that tradition.

          thanks for sharing.
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    May 21 2011: Hi AminaYou can check following threads , there are some interesting inputs from TED community here

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/1535/why_kids_lose_curiosity_in_the.html
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/2841/how_should_kids_curiosity_be_h.html
  • May 20 2011: My daughter asks TONS of questions, she mainly gets honest answers, but some adults feel she is rude.

    She asked my Muslim co-worker about "what's on your head!!?" ... at first I cringed, but my co-worker replied, a hijab... and told me she liked her curiosity and openness.
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      May 21 2011: That's a great story Lori. I'll bet that Muslim coworker was deligted to have someone ask her instead of dealing with the polite 'tolerance' she is used to.

      My eldest son once asked my mother "Grandma, why are you so fat?' Now THAT was embarassing.
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    May 20 2011: The mystery of flight:

    Me: How come I can't fly anymore?

    Dad: You never could fly.

    Me: But I remember flying.

    Dad: You must have been dreaming.

    Me: But I did. I remember it very clearly.

    Dad: It never happened. You were dreaming.

    Me: But how come I can remember it so clearly?
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      May 22 2011: so amazing..me too I was certain I could fly..now I only fly in my dreams
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        May 22 2011: Wow! You are lucky! I haven't had that dream in decades.
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          May 22 2011: That's where my confusion came from as a child. I am now an dlways have been a lucid dreamer and as a child my dreams were so real that the flight carried over into my day time life as an actual belief that I coud fly and i couldn't figure out why it didn't "work" in the day time.. Years later remembering some very specific "flights" ( they all had a purpose)..all very local..not too far off the ground..sort of just above the roof tops.. and long before i ever hear of superman I flew with my arms out in front of me belly to the ground feet stretched out behind. I wondered how my images of what the ground looked like from flight could be so acurate as I had never flown in a plane at that point. Now I dream I can fly when I am especially happy but still the same as in my childhood..not high up ..arms in front..feet strethced out behind. But iverall the exact same expereience as when I was a child ( what the imitaions were how my will assisted the fkight etc. etc.)
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    May 19 2011: With all the innocence of a little child, I asked a relative who fought at Verdun in the 1st World War and was wounded, if he had ever killed anyone ? Needless to say I was told that it was none of my business.On the lighter side I have a grandchild who at age 4 asked me "Gramma, how far do numbers go ?
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      May 22 2011: I love that how far do numbers go..
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      May 22 2011: I love it when numbers blow my mind. first 1-infinity wooooow, then backwards with negative numbers whhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaat!, then chop it up into fractions, whoooohhhh, then the invisible number line HOLLY WOW, and recently different degrees of infinity (what?) yep just found out that some infinities are denser than others. fractional infinities are denser than integer infinities, the infinity between 0 and 1 is denser (more of it) than the infinity between 1 and forever by whole numbers.... weirrrrrd, huh.
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    May 19 2011: How would I experience life if I woke up one day, looked in the mirror and saw that I was my classmate? How would my self feel?
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    May 19 2011: I went through my childhood wondering why to things other people took for granted. ...yes but why?

    My children were amazingly curious too but i realized that it had come full circle when the neighbours dubbed one of my kids "Mr. Why".
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      May 23 2011: Debra....I can remember telling my kids "Because I said so" re things I asked them to do. Not a very satisfactory answer.
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        May 24 2011: Remember that you had billions of minutes and seconds with them Helen and in most of those minutes and seconds you did a great job. None of us can be perfect every minute and that is why kids are so great- they forgive us our mistakes and love us.
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      May 24 2011: I remember people saying I was a curious kid. Now that I think of it, maybe they meant something different...
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    May 19 2011: why the grass is green?
    why grandma's hair goes gray?
    Do toys become alive at night?
    Who can count the number of stars?
    how babies get in the stomach?
    Does Santa Claus exists?
    Where people go after death?
    My niece asked her mother: Who will be my mother after your death?
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    May 19 2011: can dogs cry? Is there such a thing as ghost? anyone lives on moon?do ants sleep?what's the world look like in a dragonfly's eye?...ect
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    May 19 2011: This one came up in high school. I still don't get it. What is an electro-magnetic field a field of, especially if it is out in space where there is little or nothing to carry a charge?
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    May 19 2011: This one and the next one came up after I studied light in elementary school. I still have never received a good answer for either question. If yellow is a primary color, how can you get yellow to appear on a TV screen that uses red, green, and blue pixels?
    • May 21 2011: There are actually two different primary color schemes - red, green, blue (RGB) used in electronic devices such as the television and the other, cyan, magenta, yellow (CMYK), used for inks and paints (ink-jet printer or artists paints). You can find good descriptions and interactive java tools for both at these links

      http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/primarycolors/additiveprimaries/index.html
      http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/primarycolors/subtractiveprimaries/index.html

      Cheers :-)
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        May 21 2011: Hi Julie Ann,

        Thanks for the help with my question.

        Unfortunately, I am still confused. I paint. I know that for purposes of painting, the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Various mixtures give other colors. Red+blue=purple, yellow+blue=green, yellow+red=orange, yellow+red+blue=brown.

        Why is the color scheme on television sets different? How could it be? I look at paint and television sets with the same eyes.
        • May 22 2011: Briefly, the RGB group is called an additive group because when you combine these colors, you get white. With electronic devices such as the TV, you start with darkness - no light - and add colors to get the image. For the CMY group, when you add these colors, you get black. These are called subtractive colors because in essence, you subtract them to get white. With paper or a canvas, you start with a white background, and essentially the CMY colors are used to mask the white, so that you can see the image. With RGB you are adding light to a dark background, with CMY, you are adding dark to a light background. Hope this helps but it is worth spending some time on the websites for a more detailed description :-)
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    May 19 2011: How can it be that white is the result of mixing all colors, but brown is also the result of mixing all colors?