Engineers’ horn toots required

Q: Most train engineers seem to use the same sequence when they sound their locomotives’ horns through our towns: Long, long, short, long. Is this required?
A: Yes. The Federal Railroad Administration requires two long, one short, and one long horn be sounded 15-20 seconds before a train reaches a public crossing, but no more than a quarter-mile away.
Engineers use their horns for other signals, too. For example, three short horns mean the train is about to back up. — Union Pacific Corp.
Q: With all the talk about oceans rising from glacier melt: I thought ice expanded, so it seems the oceans would go down, not up. A full glass of water with ice in it doesn’t run over when the ice melts. — L.D. Brauneller, Jenera.
A: The glaciers and snow that worry scientists are frozen on land in Greenland and Antartica, and not in the oceans.
So, to continue your analogy: A full glass representing the oceans would overflow if you added drops of water from a melting ice cube representing melting glaciers, and more drops from another representing melting snow.
Ice covers 10 percent of the land. If just the glaciers melted, the oceans would rise 215 feet, according to the most recent research. — The New York Times.
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A: Just click on the login button at the top of the home page. It will ask for a username and password.
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Q: In the “Superman” comics, where was Metropolis?
A: It’s a super mystery.
At first, in the ’30s, Superman had no home city. When Clark Kent “moved” to Metropolis, it was thought to be Cleveland, New York, or Toronto, home of co-creator Joe Shuster.
On Jan. 21, 1972, DC Comics declared Metropolis, Illinois, as “Hometown of Superman,” and the Illinois Legislature soon followed with a joint resolution.
But the small Ohio River town was never used in the strip. Besides, Metropolis also was said to be within driving (not flying) distance of Superman’s boyhood home, Smallville, Kansas. — Martha Esbin,”The Librarian’s Muse” blog, Toledo.
Q: This is Older Americans Month. What percentage of seniors are still working?
A: It’s estimated 20.3 percent of men and 13.4 percent of women were working beyond 65 in 2012. — U.S. Census Bureau.
Q: What is “surrebutter”?
A: It’s when a plaintiff replies to a defendant. — dictionary.com.
CORRECTION: “Just Ask” of May 5 included a question about cow tipping and began, “I know I can’t hunt a snipe…”
Wrong! said Brad Mitchell of Wayne, Wood County.
“You can hunt snipe,” he wrote. “A small gamebird. In season here in Ohio, September through November. Daily bag limit of eight. Snipe are real, and I would go snipe hunting before messing with a cow.”
Indeed, snipes are a family of birds with long, thin beaks that live in wet areas.
They are so elusive that hunters able to shoot them became known as “snipers.”
Q: What did Mark Twain (1835-1910) say?
A: “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.”
When you get to it, just ask at Send an E-mail to justask, or Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.

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