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Cecil slapping some loser

Hello and welcome to the authorized Internet home of Cecil Adams, World's Smartest Human Being, and his famous syndicated column The Straight Dope. Here you will find all manner of things relating to the column and other recently conquered territories of the Straight Dope empire.

Note that this site is "authorized" as opposed to official. What this means, basically, is that I work my butt off and accept the blame for any errors, while Cecil makes a butt-load of cash. At least I think that's how it works. It also means that opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Cecil, his longtime editor Ed Zotti, or his publishers at Chicago Reader, Inc. From time to time Straight Dope World Headquarters may use this site to communicate directly with the Teeming Millions, but such communications will always be clearly labeled as official.

This Week's Column


This Week's Illustration

Dear Cecil:

One day, in response to a case of the munchies, I started scarfing forkfuls of cold macaroni and cheese from a dish in the fridge. I soon gave myself a case of hiccups, which I proceeded to douse with a drink of milk. This got me to thinking: what are hiccups? Do they have a role in how our bodies function? Why does rich food (even macaroni and cheese) cause hiccups? Why does drinking cure hiccups? And, paradoxically, why does drinking (of alcohol) also cause hiccups? --Daniel J. Drazen, via the Internet

Cecil replies:

You're lucky to be writing me now, Dan. For years very little was known about hiccups and even less was written about them. Today that's changed. We still don't know jack, but scientists have explained this to us at great length.

Read this week's column in its entirety.

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This section contains the FAQs (such as are available) on Cecil Adams, his minions and the mysterious world they frequent. Note that these are aren't so much questions that are frequently asked of Cecil, these are more questions that are frequently asked about Cecil.

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