Q: Prior Findlay administrations would announce snow emergencies, prohibiting parking on streets during significant snowfalls. It allows for plows to do their jobs. Why doesn’t the city do this any more? — David Peters, Findlay.
A: The city will issue emergency orders in a “larger storm event,” probably with 12 inches of snow or more.
Paul E. Schmelzer, city service-safety director, said officials “discuss the approach for snow removal each time to appropriately react without unnecessarily inconveniencing people or moving police officers to parking-removal enforcement.”
But, Schmelzer said, “for the most part, people do move their vehicles when there is a large storm because they do not want to get them plowed in.” It also helps the plow crews.
Also, he said, it’s good if people blow or shovel their snow onto their lawn rather than into the street.
Q: Where did “drop-dead gorgeous” come from?
A: A Time magazine story about actress Michelle Pfeiffer apparently first used the term in February 1985. But, it didn’t come out of the blue.
In January 1962, The New York Herald-Tribune reported: “Fashions from Florence not drop-dead. For almost the first time in history, Simonetta failed to deliver an absolutely drop-dead collection.” — Martha Esbin, “Librarian’s Muse” blog, Toledo.
Q: What’s with actress Mary McDonnell? As police captain on “Major Crimes” (TNT), she stands around, arms folded, says little, and never changes her grim expression. Is it the character, writing, or Botox?
A: True, McDonnell, 61, seemed much more approachable in the movies “Matewan,” “Dances with Wolves,” “Independence Day,” and even in 75 TV episodes as the president in “Battlestar Galactica.” — Various sources.
Q: I heard someone has come up with English’s hardest tongue-twister. What is it?
A: Try, “Pad kid poured curd pulled cold.”
“If anyone can say this 10 times quickly, they get a prize,” said psychologist Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel. — Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Q: Why are many American taxicabs painted yellow?
A: New York City businessman Albert Rockwell operated yellow cabs as early as 1909, and incorporated the Yellow Taxicab Co. in 1912. Legend says his wife, Nettie, liked the color.
But entrepreneur John Hertz, who later rented cars, started the Yellow Cab Co. in Chicago in 1915 after asking a university to “scientifically ascertain which color would stand out strongest at a distance.”
In 1967, New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission ruled that all licensed cabs be painted yellow, specifically, “DuPont M6284 or its equivalent.” Any variant indicates an unlicensed or an out-of-town taxi. — Slate.
Q: Have a different epitaph?
A: For Owen Moore, Battersea, England:
“Gone away /
Owin’ more /
Than he could pay.”
Q: What’s a “hugger-mugger”?
A: It’s disorder or confusion. — dictionary.com.
Q: What did book publisher Bennett Cerf (1898-1971) say?
A: “The Detroit String Quartet played Brahms last night. Brahms lost.”
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