Question

Why does it seem as though the weather often changes at 3:00 P.M.? Does it?

Breezes or light winds often diminish in the late afternoon, and the Sun's imminent setting can bring cooler temperatures. But in our experience, the proximity to "quitting time" is the most reliable signal for a weather change -- usually for the worse.

Last 7 Days

Who was the first Miss America?

Margaret Gorman, a 16-year-old contestant from Washington, D.C., was the first Miss America, crowned on September 7, 1921.

I've lost my mouse pad and am wondering if I can replace it with something I already own rather than buying a new one.

A mouse pad is a necessity to keep your computer mouse in top working order. But don't go and buy a foam pad. Instead, use a spare calendar. As long as the calendar is printed on glossy paper, your mouse will glide on it easily. The calendar also will make a handy reference as you work at your computer.

How is cream of tartar made? I heard it was from the bottom of wine barrels.

You're close. Cream of tartar is potassium hydrogen tartrate, the acidic potassium salt of tartaric acid. An impure form, called tartar or argol, forms naturally during the fermentation of grape juice into wine and crystallizes in the wine casks.

Other than residing in a house made from alternative materials, how does one discourage or prevent nuthatches from pecking holes in cedar siding?

We're assuming the solution recommended for woodpeckers will also work for nuthatches. Fasten some toy snakes around the area where the birds tend to peck; hang them so that they move in the breeze. Look for cracks in the siding and fill them in; they may be hiding insects, which attract birds.

What did people make per hour working in the year 1900?

At the turn of the last century, the average wage in the United States was 22 cents an hour, which meant that the average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

What is the origin of the expression "The die is cast"?

The die here refers to a die having been thrown, indicating that an irrevocable choice has been made. Julius Caesar reportedly said this when crossing the Rubicon River, beginning a civil war.

What year did the United States begin to issue license plates to the owners of motor vehicles?

The first automobile license plates were required by New York State, which enacted a law on April 25, 1901. Plates bore the owners' initials and were required to be more than three inches high. The first permanent license plates were issued by Connecticut on March 1, 1937, and were black letters on an aluminum plate with a removable colored insert for the year of license.

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