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Question of the Day

Does an area infestation of crane flies indicate any type of weather change?

The good news is that the infestation is not indicative of any weather change. The bad news is that the infestation is not going to change, either. Since the European crane fly immigrated to your area of the Northwest, turf and pastures have been providing free lunches every spring in larger and larger parts of your state. These insects do not bite and are primarily a nuisance when found in large numbers. Spraying has little effect on the population; adults will fly in from other areas and are most common from late September through November.

Last 7 Days

    In golf, why do they use the words birdie and eagle?

    The slang word birdie originated in 1899, when, according to a story by Ab Smith, ". . . my ball . . . came to rest within six inches of the cup. I said, 'That was a bird of a shot. . . . I suggest that when one of us plays a hole in one under par, he receives double compensation.' The other two agreed and we began right away, just as soon as the next one came, to call it a birdie." The term eagle originated by analogy with birdie, being a score of two under par, and one stroke better than a birdie.

    Why did the Union wear blue and the Confederacy wear grey during the Civil War?

    Old hunters and Indian fighters of the pre-Civil War era wore blue or light gray so they would not stand out at a distance. This tradition was carried over into the selection of army uniform colors. Because the United States (Union) regulation color was already dark blue, the Confederates chose gray. However, soldiers were often at a loss to determine which side of the war a soldier was on by his uniform. With a shortage of regulation uniforms in the Confederacy, many southern recruits just wore clothes from home. When cloth became scarce in the South, the principal source of Confederate uniforms became captured Union uniforms. The dark blue uniforms were boiled in a solution with walnut hulls, acorns, and lye. The resulting color was light tan, which the southerners called "butternut."

    How can I make habenaro oil from the fruit of the plant?

    Habenaro, or chili, oil is made by using 1/2 cup whole chilies, 2 tablespoons colored dried peppercorns, and 1 cup canola oil. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat to a simmer, reduce heat slightly, and cook just below simmering for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through several layers of cheesecloth into a sterilized glass jar. Label with the date, and store in the refrigerator at all times. Use the oil within one week.

    When was DDT banned in the United States, and how long had it been used?

    DDT, or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, was recognized as a potential pesticide in 1939 by the Swiss chemist Paul Muller. It was first widely used during World War II and thereafter throughout the world to combat yellow fever, typhus, elephantiasis, and other diseases carried by insects. DDT helped reduce the number of malaria cases worldwide and increased crop and livestock yields in developing countries. It came under scrutiny with the 1962 publication of Silent Spring, a book in which American marine biologist Rachel Carson asserted that DDT was destroying other animal life by entering the food chain. The United States banned DDT in 1972 except for in cases of extreme health emergencies. Many other nations also have banned it or placed it under strict control.

    How can I remove mildew stains from clothing and towels?

    Moisten the affected area with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then dry it in the sun. If this does not work, try sponging it with hydrogen peroxide and then drying it in the sun.

    Which foods should not be frozen?

    Raw vegetables and cooked potatoes, soft cheeses, cream fillings and puddings, gelatin dishes, hard-cooked eggs, and bananas.

    In the old west, why was a wagon called a buckboard?

    A buckboard is a four-wheeled, open carriage. The seat is mounted on long, flexible boards whose ends rest directly on the axles. The assembly bucks -- or jerks -- as it moves along.

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