Feb
13
2015
0

What are 5 things to check to fix a slow flush toilet?

Thomas Crapper didn't invent the toilet, but he sure sold a lot of them. (public domain image)A modern toilet is a pretty sophisticated piece of technology, but who cares? You just want the danged thing to flush the way it’s supposed to, with a nice, satisfying rumble and whoosh, and everything emptying that should be emptied. If it’s not flushing at all, and water (and whatever else) is sloshing all over [more…]

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Feb
01
2015
0

What are the Seven Social Sins (and Who Wrote Them?)

Mahatma GandhiOne of Mahatma Gandhi’s legacies of humanitarianism, civil disobedience and non-violence is a list of what he called the Seven Social Sins. Gandhi first published the list in his weekly newspaper, Young India, on October 22, 1925. The Seven Social Sins are: Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science [more…]

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Nov
30
2014
0

What can you do with a gabion?

Gabion art (photo by Roger Browne - CC-BY)A gabion is a steel mesh cage, usually in the shape of a cube. Gabions are mass produced and inexpensive, and can be joined together with clips or wire. The lids are generally hinged so that you can easily put things in them. But what can you do with gabions? An artist might combine gabions [more…]

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Nov
29
2014
0

What does TYDTWDay stand for?

Golden Retriever (photo by Magnus Bråth – CC-BY)TYDTWDay stands for Take Your Dog to Work Day. Take Your Dog to Work Day was created by Pet Sitters International  in 1999.  TYDTWDay celebrates the great companions dogs make and encourages their adoption from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies. When is Take Your Dog to Work Day? TYDTWDay is celebrated every year [more…]

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Nov
02
2014
0

What is Quidditch?

Quidditch huddle (photo by John Loo - CC-BY)The millions who have read Harry Potter books will recognize the word Quidditch. I haven’t read the books, but now understand that in the books there are witches flying around in some sort of competition. That was, however, only after I saw a group of Ivy League students in a pick-up game of some sort [more…]

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Aug
03
2014
1

What are some statistics about cats in the U.S. and Canada?

Cats (photo by kwc909 - CC-BY)How many cats are there in the United States? 45.3 million U.S. households own a cat 95.6 million cats are owned in the United States Annual expenses for cat owners $382     Surgical Vet Visits $193     Routine Vet $203     Food $36       Food Treats $337     Kennel Boarding $77       Vitamins $20       Groomer/Grooming Aids $23       Toys Source: American Pet Products Association [more…]

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Jul
28
2014
3

What are some global statistics about death?

Yeah, it happens.You may not go gentle into that good night, but go you shall. We all do, eventually. Death is the inevitable end game of life. But how we go is a different matter entirely, as there are thousands of ways to die. Here’s what the statisticians at the World Health Organization, the CIA and elsewhere [more…]

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Jul
09
2014
2

Is there a place named after Uclue.com?

Welcome to Ucluelet! (photo by Tourism Ucluelet - PD)Is there a place named after Uclue.com? It would have to have been fairly recently named, of course, and hence a still small place, maybe named “Ucluelet”. Wouldn’t that be nice: Uclue.com honored by its own little town? Mountain View hasn’t been renamed Googletown—yet. Ucluelet does exist, and it is a nice, small settlement on [more…]

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Jun
23
2014
1

Why was the English football side unsuccessful in Brazil?

Goal (photo by grassrootsgroundswell - CC-BY)Why was the English football side unsuccessful in the Brazil World Cup, when England is the home of soccer? There are several reasons: The team had use of the best training facilities in Rio de Janiero. They were accompanied by an entourage of 72 people, including a psychiatrist. Their sweat production was managed with designer [more…]

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Jun
23
2014
2

Why, unequivocally, do Italians call a cup of coffee “espresso”?

Expressing espresso (photo by Scott Schiller - CC-BY)An espresso is a shot of coffee made by forcing nearly-boiling water through ground coffee beans, at up to 10 times normal atmospheric pressure. At this pressure, the temperature will be higher than the normal boiling point of water, which causes more of the flavor to be extracted from the coffee grounds. The machine and [more…]

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