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Good Question ‘Reply All’: Junk Email, Hypic Jerk & Frank V’s Height

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77674_Heather Brown WEB Heather Brown
Heather Brown loves to put her innate curiosity to work to answer yo...
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Jim from Maple Grove wanted to know: Why do we use the word “spam” to describe our junk emails?

Of course, we all know the original SPAM, which stands for spiced ham. According to Nicole Behne, the marketing director for Grocery Products Division of the Hormel Foods Corporation, Jay Hormel hosted a party in 1936 and asked his guests to submit their most creative name for his new luncheon meat. An actor from New York came up with SPAM and won $100. And while Hormel says there’s no direct link between its meat product and junk email, there could be an indirect one.

According to software architect Brad Templeton, who has studied the history of junk email, the connection comes for a 1970 Monty Python sketch, in which two people are trying to order breakfast and every item on the menu contains SPAM.

The characters later sing an “annoying and repetitive” song that includes the word SPAM several times. Templeton says this is what early users of Internet chat rooms called online behaviors they found annoying.

Kari from Minnetonka asked: Why does your body twitch right before you fall asleep?

It’s called a “hypnic jerk” and according to Dr. Imran S. Khawaja, director of Hennepin County Medical Center’s sleep program.

“It’s absolutely normal,” he says.

Doctors don’t know the exact neurological reason this happens, but there are some theories. One main theory is that when we’re falling asleep, our muscles are relaxed, but our brain hasn’t reached the same point. So our brain believes we’re falling and gives our bodies a little jolt.

John from Cold Spring was watching WCCO’s Goin’ to the Lake series on Thursday night when he noticed the height difference between Chris Shaffer and Frank Vascellaro. So he asked: Is Chris really short or is Frank really tall?

Frank is really tall. Frank is 6’4” and Chris is 5’10” – which is almost inch taller than the height of the average man in the U.S.

“People are always surprised, they say I knew you were tall, but I didn’t know you were that tall,” said Amelia Santaniello, Frank’s wife and co-anchor. “And then they look at me and say you’re tiny!”

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