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Question of the Day

When does maple sugaring usually start?

Although maple sugaring sometimes starts as early as the second or third week of February, it usually begins about the first week of March.

Last 7 Days

    What was America's biggest pig?

    The record probably belongs to Big Bill, a Poland China hog from Tennessee that weighed a stunning 2,552 pounds and measured 9 feet long. (His belly dragged on the ground.) At his demise, this little piggy didn't go to market. Instead, he was stuffed, mounted, and displayed.

    I've heard of cirrocumulus clouds, but don't know how to recognize them. Can you explain?

    Cirrocumulus clouds are loosely packed sheets of small, white cloud segments at altitudes of 18,000 to 20,000 feet or more. They form what some call a "mackerel sky," resembling scales on a fish. The clouds may consist of ice crystals or water droplets or both. Their patchy appearance is caused by vertical air currents at the cloud level, indicating a lack of stability and a possible approaching storm.

    Where can I find information about Curacao, including the language spoken there?

    The people of Curacao, at the base of the Caribbean Sea, descend from more than 50 ethnic groups. The native language, Papiamento, is a creole mixture of Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, African, and Arawak Indian. For more information, try this Web site: www.curacao-tourism.com.

    What is a fresh gale, used to describe wind forces at sea?

    This is a standard phrase used to differentiate wind speeds to help in navigation. Fresh gales are winds of 34 to 40 knots, which produce moderately high waves of great length. Next in severity is the strong gale, which are winds of 41 to 47 knots. These create high waves and rolling seas.

    How can I make fire starters out of pinecones?

    Start with pine cones that are already dried. There are two ways to have fun with pinecones and a fireplace. First, melt any old candle stubs you have. A double-boiler works nicely for this job. Then, dip the pinecones into the hot wax. Let dry, perhaps on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. When dry, store them in a pretty basket near the fireplace and use as needed. The wax helps them burn long enough to help get your fire going. For more special effects, soak the dried pinecones for 24 hours in a solution of 1 pound Epsom salts to 1 gallon water. Let the cones dry again. When you use these as fire starters, they will produce a myriad of colors in the fireplace.

    What is the quickest and easiest method to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit?

    We know there must be an easier way (can anyone help?), but the only method we're sure of is to use one of the following formulas:If you know the degrees Celsius: degrees F = (degrees C x 1.8) + 32.If you know the degrees Fahrenheit: degrees C = (degrees F - 32) / 1.8.

    What is the temperature in outer space?

    Technically speaking, empty space cannot have a temperature. However, a physical object in space will have a temperature, depending upon what the object is made of and how close it is to heat sources (like the Sun). An object that is, say, the same distance from the Sun as our Earth will have a temperature of about 7 degrees Celsius. If it is shielded from the Sun, it will be cooler. An astronaut, would probably run a little warmer than 7 degrees Celsius, because he or she is generating internal energy as well. Obviously, these things are taken into consideration when designing spacecraft and spacesuits.


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