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Question of the Day

What can I use to get rid of a mildew smell in a leather bag?

It's tough to get that smell out of leather, but here's a suggestion. Get a large plastic garbage bag and sprinkle baking soda in it, perhaps a quarter cup. Sprinkle a bit more baking soda inside the leather bag and leave it open. Place the leather bag in the garbage bag, seal it, and let it sit for a day. If the leather bag still smells, repeat the process with a new garbage bag and new baking soda, again and again, until the smell is gone.

Last 7 Days

    Why were wooden bridges covered?

    The cover protected the bridge from wind, rain, and snow. That is one reason so many covered bridges from the 1800s are still drivable today.

    Do elephants have teeth?

    The two species of elephants have two upper incisors that grow into tusks, so the tusks could be said to be the elephants' teeth. (However, some female elephants do not grow tusks.) These tusks are not much help in eating. Elephants use their trunks to detach vegetation and put it in their mouths.

    Why do people say "The devil is beating his wife" to describe a rainstorm that occurs while the sun is shining?

    Some variation of this expression pops up often in Dutch and Hungarian, but we can't find a direct link between it and a sun shower. We did, however, find these sayings about sun showers: "The devil is getting married" (Hungarian), "The devil is kissing his wife" (Appalachian), and "The devil is having a parish fair" (German). We found a whole slew of other sayings describing this weather phenomenon, including many involving animal weddings, such as "The rats are getting married" (Arabic) -- or the bears (Bulgaria), jackals (India), tigers (Korea), or leopards (Africa).

    What is the normal life expectancy of the common housefly?

    The life span of a house fly is normally 17 days, which, depending on whether that fly is outside or in your bedroom, may be 16 days too many.

    What is meant by the term "heating degree-day"?

    Early in the 20th century, engineers developed the concept of heating degree-days as a useful index of heating fuel requirements. They found that when the daily mean temperature (calculated by adding the day's maximum and minimum temperatures and dividing the total by 2) is below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, most buildings require heat to maintain a 70-degree indoor temperature. Each degree of mean temperature below 65 degrees is counted as 1 heating degree-day. The greater the number of heating degree-days, the more fuel is needed to maintain an indoor temperature of 70 degrees. For example, a day with a mean temperature of 35 degrees would be rated as 30 heating degree-days and would require twice as much fuel as a day with a mean temperature of 50 degrees (15 heating degree-days). Conversely, "cooling degree-days" are used to determine air-conditioning requirements.

    Why does the Moon look so much bigger on the horizon than it does once it has risen higher in the sky?

    When the Moon is on the horizon, you have other objects, such as houses and trees, to compare it to, so it looks larger. Once the Moon is in the sky, the only things to compare it to are the stars, which appear as tiny points of light. Hence the Moon looks smaller once it has risen.

    Can you cut green mold off longhorn cheese and eat the non-moldy part?

    Yes. Cut off about 1/2 inch from each affected side and use the remaining cheese within a week. To keep cheese at its peak flavor, you must store it properly. In general, unopened cheese stored in the refrigerator between 34 and 38 degrees F will retain its quality beyond any freshness date stamped on the package. The key lies in keeping it tightly wrapped to prevent exposure to air and airborne mold spores.

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