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Your questions answered?

Last week we asked whether a decent photo had ever been produced by a photographer firing his flashgun running alongside a prison van with blackened windows.

It may seem pointless, but apparently it can work. If the prisoner or person being protected sits close to the window inside the van, the power of the flash will be strong enough to illuminate them.

Sometimes, the light bounces straight back into the camera and the photographer will get nothing. But every so often it pays off, as seen in the case of Rose West.

Why does the colour red always signal danger or tell us to stop?

The convention seems to have originated with the old naval signal flag system now used for communication by ships internationally.

When ships are engaged in a hazardous activity, such as loading ammunition, they hoist the red flag for danger.

So red was also chosen for `stop' when the signals and crossings were built for Britain's 19th century railways, and when the first traffic lights were installed in front of the Houses of Parliament in 1868.

There are also plenty of physiological reasons for choosing red to signify stop of danger.

As a primary, at the long end of the visual spectrum, red can be seen from further away than any other colour.

We may also be sensitive to it because it is also the colour of blood.

Tests have shown that metabolic rate increases by 13 per cent when red is seen and the strength of a hand-grip increases by nearly 20 per cent under red lighting.

Finally this week, where does the phrase `the world's oldest profession' come from? And does it really describe prostitution?

Apparently there is a similar phrase in the morality play The Fall of Righteousness. Cain, having been exiled, is wandering in the wilderness when he is visited by Lilith, an agent of Satan.

Her function is to explain to him the nature of the post-Fall society he is to encounter and, during her description of this sin, she claims `Whoredom is the original business of woman.'

Any other suggestions, write to the usual address.

Some posers for next week. Do you know of any amazing coincidences? Can we put things down to coincidence or is there something more sinister at work? And is there any proof that homeopathic medicine works? If you know the answers or would like to pose a question of your own, write to Your Questions Answered, Evening Chronicle, Features, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1ED.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 15, 2003
Words:419
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Next Article:Your Say: Ant and Dec picked up two gongs at the British Comedy awards. What do you think of the cheeky duo?


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