Hey, I'm a high verbal! I speak languages! I can write a poem! All of which is to say, ... yeah, I got nothin'.
WEll, I know what makes the dark side of the moon dark. Pink Floyd!!!

also the fact that it's turned away from the sun.
The lack of light makes the dark side dark. It is in the shadow of the moon, gets no sunlight to reflect back to earth as second-hand light. Moonlight is, um, secondhand sunlight.

The dark side does receive light from other sources, but these are too diffuse to create substantial reflection.

I did okay on the science questions, except the exact details on the salt in water. So does that make me a segue between art and science or just a weirdo? I suspect the latter.
I also botched the details on salt dissolving in water. I was like, sodium and chloride ions separate somehow, which means it's got something to do with that weird-ass thing water does to bond, but damned if I can remember.
Well, I knew about the sky being blue and the twin/clone thing. 2 for 4!

Isn't it dark to us because the face the moon rotates in time with us (always shows the same face)? It can't always be dark or the whole eclipse thing wouldn't work right?

*loves pandora with a burning passion*

But the internet at home isn't fast enough for it. :( Enough though our contract says it's suppose to be.
And also the age of the earth, duh. (Though I'm still in college, and you know Landscape Arch is all earth science and design and perception, I'm not sure I would have know the blue sky and earth age otherwise)
Pandora is just the best thing ever. I find so much new music every time I listen to it.

The dark side of the moon is dark for the same reason half the earth is dark at night: it's the moon's own shadow. That part of the moon is facing away from the sun.

The moon is tidally locked to the earth, so it always shows the same face to us.
The moon is turning on its axis, but it takes as long to do so as it takes to revolve around the earth.

The Wikipedia entry on tidal locking might prove helpful. This is one of those dealies that an orrery is really good at making clear. Though your father's idea of making you be the moon in a human orrery was very clever!

The moon only shows one face to us, but the sun gets to look at all of it. When we are looking at a new moon, the back side of the moon is getting all the sunshine. The length of the lunar day should be obvious: it's the length of time from one full moon to the next.

I'd never ask what makes the dark side of the moon dark because it's ambiguous which dark side is meant. I ask:

When you look up in the sky in the evening and the moon is half or a crescent or something so that it is partly bright and partly dark, what makes the dark part dark?

You'd be surprised how many people think it's the shadow of the earth.
Yikes, I had to make a little mental periodic table for the salt dissolution. O.o
But at least it was a British test, so no one answered the age of the Earth as 6,000 years. Having just ranted a bit about that, I'm glad other countries seem to know better.
Those are not basic science questions! While I recognized the science, the only one I would have answered reasonably correct is the clone/twin one.

On the other hand, I did know what makes the dark side of the moon dark - the combination of the moon's orbit around the earth and the moon's rotation on its axis means that the earth only sees one side. Which is amazing. My question is whether this is true of other planets and their satellites, or if it is strictly an earth thing. I think it is just an earth/moon thing and what are the odds?!
Pluto and Charon are locked, I just read! It happens fairly often: most of the moons in our solar system have ended up locked to their primaries.

The salt one is pretty tricky, I do agree. The age of the earth one is straight memorization, and therefore one of those things that can be looked up. I would expect most people to get the twin one & the electricity one.
Seriously, those are not basic science questions. Second Law of Thermodynamics? I teach science and didn't know that. (Of course, I teach 7th and 8th grade science, so there isn't much called for thermodynamics.) I'm also saddened by the number of people who don't know why the sky is blue. Most of my students believe (and I kid you not) it's the reflection of the sun off the ocean.


Thankfully, other than the thermodynamic question, I did quite well.

Interesting! I took that one for granted. It's somewhat famous at the moment, thanks to bogus creationist arguments abusing it. (This is possibly why it appeared on that question list?) My high school chemistry knowledge has seriously eroded, though, and Mr P mocks me.