The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

Look, we know the world is confusing, so we try to help you understand the science behind the craziness a little better. Whether it's how all your new iPhone features work, or the truly pressing questions like how exactly ScarJo's phone got hacked. We got you covered.


The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

1. Why Do You See Stars When You Get Hit in the Face?

Seeing stars when you're bonked on the head isn't just for cartoon characters. That phantom astrological event happens in real life, too. It's pretty weird.


The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

2. Why Your Stomach Growls

Mankind has been puzzling over the rumbling in our stomachs for so long that even the ancient Greeks came up with a name for it: borborygmi. The word attempts to put the sound of the grumble to mouth.


The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

3. What's So Smart About the iPhone 4S's Antenna?

With the iPhone 4S, Apple says it will deliver an iPhone that works anywhere in the world, and with fantastic reception.


4. What's So Great About the iPhone's New Camera?

The camera in the iPhone 4S is going to be better. We suspected as much, but now we know exactly how it's going to be better.


The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

5. Why Is Carbon Fiber So Expensive?

When carbon fiber was first trotted out in solid rocket motor cases and tanks in the 1960s, it was poised to not only take on fiberglass, but also a whole host of other materials.

What happened?


The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

6. How Did Scarlett Johansson's Phone Get Hacked?

When naked pictures of Scarlett Johansson hit the internet, everyone was right to take notice—but not for that reason.


The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

7. How News of the World Hacked Everybody's Phones

For a while, leaving your cell unattended seemed like the biggest threat to phone security. But this recent business is a reminder that there are savvier ways someone can violate your phone—without even touching it.


The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

8. What Happens When You Get Shot in the Head

You may or may or may not see it coming, but it doesn't really matter. You're not going to have time to react. Because a bullet can travel at speeds exceeding 3200 feet per second, which is too fast to duck or yell or plead. Hang in there. Taking a cap to the dome means that it will be over faster than a fatal wound anywhere else.


The Best Giz Explanations of the Year

9. Why Did Your Call Just Drop?

The call just died, and for no apparent reason. You were just walking down the street, for God's sake. So, let's talk about it: What happened? To you, this situation was simple, and nothing really changed: You walked a few feet and your phone stopped working. To your phone, though, the scene was quite a bit more interesting.


Images via Stephen Mcaweeny/Shutterstock, Christo/Shutterstock, Cheon Fong Lieu/ Flickr

Been under a rock? See what else happened this year in our Best of 2011 series.