By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Can birds get a sunburn on a hot day?

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That’s just one of the many questions burning up Jason DeRusha’s inbox.

Anna Marie from Eden Prairie asked: who really owns the Vikings?

It’s not just Zygi Wilf. His brother, Mark Wilf, is a part-owner and president. Leonard Wilf, their cousin, is part-owner and vice chairman. Reggie Fowler originally tried to be the lead partner, but that didn’t work out. However, he’s still in the mix.

Then there’s Alan Landis, a real estate developer from Florida, and David Mandelbaum, another real estate developer from New Jersey.

It was sunny and lovely this week, that’s why Stephanie from Coon Rapids wanted to know: do birds get sunburn?

Not really. Birds’ feathers protect their skin from the impact of the sun’s UV rays. Reptiles are protected, too, by scales. But most other animals do get burned; thick fur protects some, but pigs get burned because the coarse hair isn’t protective enough.

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Researchers have even found that most whales get sunburned. Their skin doesn’t necessarily look red, but the cells are damaged by the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Bill from Worthington wanted to know: why are batteries named AAA, AA, A, C and D?

In 1924, the battery industry came together and decided to make a simple system to designate cell size. A.B.C.D. seemed easy enough: small to big.

After World War II, the AA-size battery was written into the standard, then the AAA came in.

The B battery never caught on commercially in the U.S., so it powered itself out of the list of battery sizes.

Christy from Eagan wondered: why is the snooze nine minutes on an alarm clock?

When clock makers first came up with the concept of snooze, they were a little sloppy with it. The mechanics weren’t precise. They were shooting for 10 minutes, but the mechanism had it closer to nine and-a-half.

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When the first digital clocks were being made, the engineers assumed that nine minutes was the standard for snooze.

Jason DeRusha