Oct
30
2010
1

How Can I Get a Free Patent for My Invention?

inventor cheap free provisional patent nkcrSorry, but the answer is no. No free patents. But in the U.S., at least, you can get a patent awfully cheap. Or more accurately, you can apply for what’s known as a provisional patent for about $100. You can do it on your own (no need for lawyers or patent specialists), and you can [&hel[more...]

Oct
30
2010
0

Can a Business Get Government Grants?

uncle sam government grantsYour rich Uncle Sam gives away billions of dollars every year in the form of government grants. Most of it is distributed to non-profit organizations, universities and state and local governments. A small chunk of grant money, though, is available to commercial businesses for everything from cutting edge research projects to supporting urban farms.  You can [&hel[more...]

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Oct
29
2010
4

Is It Possible to Search for Someone With Just Their First Name?

first name people search nkcrSure! You can search for a person using just their first name. But the real question is: Can you find them? Amazingly, you can…sometimes. If you’re looking for someone with a very common first name — a John or Mary, say — and they’re in a very big place like New York or Chicago, and [&hel[more...]

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Oct
29
2010
0

What is the difference between negative rights and positive rights?

free-speech-careless-talkTerms such as “human rights” are freely bandied about, but they are used to encompass a wide range of “rights” that have fundamentally different qualities. A right such as “freedom of speech” is a negative right. It requires that other parties (generally the government) don’t use force to stop you exercising free speech. The right [&hel[more...]

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Oct
29
2010
0

Where Can I Find Someone’s Date of Death for Free?

zachary taylor find free death date nkcrIf you need to know a person’s date of death, there are some incredibly deep resources on the internet where you can find the information for free. For relatively recent deaths (since about 1960) in the United States, search for the person’s name at the Social Security Death Index.  SSDI contains not only dates of [&hel[more...]

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Oct
28
2010
0

What is Salem, Oregon city profile?

salem oregon city profileSalem is the capital of Oregon and the state’s third largest city.  It was founded in 1842. Then it became the capital of the Oregon Territory in 1851, and was incorporated in 1857.  The area of Salem has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. The Kalapuya peoples would gather on the plateau east and south [&hel[more...]

Oct
28
2010
0

Can I Get a Government Grant to Weatherize My House and Lower My Energy Bills?

home weatherization house gov (640x480)One of the most cost-effective steps you can take to green your house, lower your energy bills and shrink your environmental footprint is to weatherize your home. Weatherization isn’t a single step process. It generally involves a number of different approaches: adding insulation (as in the photo), sealing cracks, upgrading windows, reducing drafts from doors [&hel[more...]

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Oct
27
2010
0

What are the native Australian spices?

wattle-seedsAustralian cooking generally follows the European style, with increasing influence from Asia. The European and Asian culinary traditions were settled before westerners colonised Australia in the late 1700s, but if you look beyond the long-established northern hemisphere spices you will find a fascinating range of native Australian spices. Dorrigo Pepper comes from Dorrigo in northern [&hel[more...]

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Oct
27
2010
2

How Can I Identify an Unknown Pill?

drugstore pills flickr nkcrIt can be a bit unnerving finding an unknown pill in your medicine chest, your pocket, or worse, in your teenager’s room.  What is it? Something harmless or something dangerous? A legal over-the-counter medicine or an illegal street drug? Of course, your doctor and your pharmacist are the best sources of professional information for identifying an [&hel[more...]

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Oct
26
2010
2

Can I Get a Free Background Check on Myself?

free background report woman and mirror nkcrThe sultry model in the photograph seems to be more interested in you than herself, the mirror notwithstanding. You, on the other hand want to know about you and you can, in fact, get detailed background reports on who you are, what you’ve done in life and how you’ve spent your money. Acurint is a [&hel[more...]

Oct
25
2010
0

Did Spitfires carry beer in their fuel tanks or strapped to their bombshackles?

normandy-landingTuesday 6 June 1944, also known as D-day, was the day that allied troops commenced their assault by landing around 150,000 troops on beaches along the Normandy coast. The Heneger and Constable Brewery, in England, donated fresh beer for the troops. But how to deliver it? By the following day, forward airfields had been secured [&hel[more...]

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Oct
24
2010
0

What is Oklahoma City city profile?

oklahoma city city profileOklahoma City is the capital of Oklahoma and the state’s largest city.  Oklahoma City was settled on April 22, 1889, when the region known as the “unassigned lands” was opened in an event known as “The Land Run,” one of seven such ‘runs’ to open the state. The city is the nation’s third largest city [&hel[more...]

Oct
23
2010
0

Where Can I Find Bankruptcy Filings for Free?

bankrupt mall morgue file free photoWhen a person or a business files for bankruptcy, they leave behind a huge paper trail of documents detailing their finances, assets, debts, creditor claims and an awful lot of history of their changing fortunes over time. In the United States, bankruptcies are handled in federal court; so many claims cross state borders, it would [&hel[more...]

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Oct
23
2010
0

What’s it like to have a titanium dental implant?

titanium-implantAfter you have had a tooth extracted, one possibility is to have a titanium dental implant fitted. This is basically a fake tooth secured into the jaw by a titanium screw. In the 1950s it was discovered that human bone grows tightly around titanium, perhaps not recognising it as a foreign substance. This led to [&hel[more...]

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Oct
22
2010
0

Can I Buy Surplus Equipment from the Government?

FEMA trailersThe United States government is just about the largest purchaser of goods in the U.S. economy, and when you combine that with all the electronics, tools, vehicles, machinery, desks and other goods bought by state and local governments, you’re talking a lot of stuff! And yes, much of it is available for sale at government-sponsored outlets and [&hel[more...]

Oct
22
2010
0

Is it worthwhile to visit Costa Rica in the rainy season?

Hibiscus flower near Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.Tell your friends you’re thinking about traveling to the Costa Rican rain forest in the middle of the rainy season, and you may be told you’re crazy. But the rainy season — roughly April through November, depending on the part of the country — has its advantages. My reason for visiting Costa Rica in August [&hel[more...]

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Oct
22
2010
0

What is an etagere?

etagere design american 1850sWhat makes an etagere different from other sets of shelves? The name came into fashion in the 1850s when English adopted the French word étagère for a piece of furniture with open shelves for ornaments and oddments. The etagere was a decorative piece made from hardwood by a cabinet-maker. It looked good in a drawing-room [&hel[more...]

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Oct
21
2010
0

Where the ### is the hash key on a UK Apple Mac keyboard?

hash-key-macIf you want to type the hash character (‘#’, also called ‘pound’ in some parts of the world) on a UK Apple Mac, you can look everywhere on your keyboard and you won’t find the hash symbol. If you have a PC keyboard plugged into your Mac, you can type ‘#’ but it will show [&hel[more...]

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Oct
21
2010
0

Who are the Mandan Indians?

mandan indiansThe Mandans are Native Americans historically living next the Missouri River and two of its tributaries which are the Heart and Knife Rivers located in present-day North and South Dakota.  Unlike other Plains Indians, they established permanent villages and farms growing corn, beans, squash and tobacco.  Though like other Plains Indians, they did participate in [&hel[more...]

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Oct
20
2010
0

What is Rock Art?

rock artArchaeologically, “rock art” is a term applied to any human made marking on a ‘natural’ stone surface.  Relief carvings on a temple wall, for example, cannot be included regardless of how primitive they seem as the stone surface has been ‘prepared’ to receive the sculpture and is no longer ‘natural.’ Rock art is divided into [&hel[more...]

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