Just Ask: Railroads responsible for crossings

Q: Why can’t the pavement be lowered at the railroad crossings in Findlay on Blanchard Street north of Wendy’s and on West Main Cross at the West End Tavern to make them much smoother than they are now?
Can’t the railroad and the city get together to make these areas easier to cross? — D. Ashworth, Findlay
A: It’s not the pavement, it’s the tracks, and changing their grade enough to make a difference is neither cheap nor easy.
“Just Ask” reported on Oct. 7 that railroads are responsible for their tracks and the land about five feet from each rail.
You can bring up these crossings with Norfolk Southern Corp. by calling 800-453-2530, “crossing gates/signals/rough crossings.”
The city will review pavement “at all crossings as part of the 2014 capital plan in an attempt to have the railroads put them on a maintenance schedule,” said Paul E. Schmelzer, city safety-service director.
Q: Where did the word “honeymoon” come from? — Margie Kelley, Fostoria.
A: Some say it originated in Babylon about 4,000 years ago and refers to the bride’s father giving the groom all the drink he wanted for a month after the wedding.
A 1546 reference states it is “the idea that the first month of marriage is the sweetest,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
But, the Oxford English Dictionary says it described love that wanes as do the phases of the moon. —
Q: If you have a cold, should you replace your toothbrush since it might be carrying those germs? — Mike LaRocco, Tallahassee, Fla.
A: It never hurts to replace your toothbrush, especially if you have the flu or a bad cold, says dentist Dr. J. Scott Atkins of Findlay.
Q: Whatever happened to the actress in “Love Story”?
A: Ali MacGraw is 74 and retired in Santa Fe, N.M.
She was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Jennifer Cavalleri in the 1970 movie “Love Story,” opposite Ryan O’Neill.
That, and her role with husband Steve McQueen in the 1972 movie “The Getaway,” were probably the high points of her cinematic career, although she was in the public eye well into the 1990s. — Various sources.
Q: How high is a basketball basket and how big is it?
A: It’s 10 feet above the court and 18 inches in diameter. An NBA ball is nine inches in diameter.
Q: Where are folks most likely to curse? Or be courteous? Or not be courteous?
A: Ohioans are most likely to curse, followed by people in Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana and Illinois.
Most-courteous folks are in South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Louisiana and Georgia.
The least-courteous are in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, Tennessee and Ohio. — National Public Radio.
Q: When did movies start “product placements”?
A: Hershey’s chocolate bars were placed in the 1927 silent movie “Wings.”
By the way, “Wings” won the first Oscar for best picture. It’s a romantic story about a World War I pilot. — Martha Esbin,”Librarian’s Muse” blog, Toledo.
Q: What did book publisher Bennett Cerf (1898-1971) say?
A: “Gross ignorance is 144 times worse than ordinary ignorance.”
Avoid ignorance by asking Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839, or Send an E-mail to justask.


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