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Good Question 'Reply All': Red, Judge Robes & Gray Hair

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Amerti asked: Why do we associate red with romance?

For centuries, red has meant danger, strength, courage and love. It's always been considered a powerful color that stands out to represent things that are powerful to people.

Carol Bruess, professor of family studies at the University of St. Thomas, says it all probably comes down to what's in our veins.

"The heart is the organ that pumps 'red' blood through our life system, the body," Bruess said.

Merlin wanted to know: Why do judges wear robes?

It's a custom the United States carried over from Great Britain. Back in the 17th century, judges were part of the English aristocracy and wore finer clothes, like robes.

Some states do require judges to wear robes in the courtroom, but there are no such rules at the U.S. Supreme Court level.

In a story written for the Smithsonian Magazine, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor says the similarity among judges is purely a matter of tradition.

Gord has four kids, ages 6,8,10 and 12. He wanted to know: Can my kids (or the stress they cause me) give me gray hair?

Dr. Elizabeth Farhat, a dermatologist with Allina Health Clinic, says there isn't much evidence to support the claim that emotional stress causes gray hair.

She says the studies that show mice and rats can go gray from stress appear to happen more on a molecular level, and it may have to do more with age than outside influences.

But what can happen is that extreme stress can cause hair to fall out, and the hair that grows back in is gray.

On average, Dr. Farhat says men start going gray around age 30 and women around age 35, but genetics can play a big factor.

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