Q: Most 18-wheelers and smaller trucks have white reflective tape at the top two outside corners of the back. Tape is on other areas, too, but those top corners are very consistent. Why is this done? — M.K. Brumbaugh, Findlay.
A: It is to reduce the number of collisions with trailers and large trucks at night.
A rule adopted in 1998 by the Federal Highway Administration requires trailers and trucks built after 1993 to have reflective tape on the back and on the sides.
On the back, each strip must be 12 inches long and placed horizontally as close to the top as possible, and vertically as far apart as possible. — Marissa Padilla, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Q: What happened to the finches this year? Was it the harsh winter? Our feeder has had only about four or five finches. — John DePuy, Findlay.
A: Despite the cold, bird populations appear stable, including the finches.
Given the choice, most finches prefer to feed in the wild now.
But, don’t worry, the finches will return. And, if you keep your feeder well-stocked through the winter, you might persuade goldfinches to stay. — Bob Sams, Hancock County Naturalists.
Q: What is the world’s smallest country?
A: Many think it is Vatican City, with but 110 acres and 840 people.
But a still-smaller state within Rome is the The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, also known as the Sovereign Order of Malta.
Although some question its diplomatic standing, the order has three properties granted extraterritoriality by Italy:
• The Magistral Palace, at Via dei Condotti 68, houses its grand master and governmental bodies.
• The Magistral Villa, on the Aventine Hill, one of Rome’s seven hills, houses the Grand Priory of Rome, an ancient institution of the order’s members in central Italy.
• Its embassy to Italy.
The order’s knights once governed and viciously defended Malta, but the French took the islands in 1798 and expelled them. It settled in Rome in 1834.
Its three citizens today sell postage stamps, bestow titles, support health care and hospitals, and oversee a 28-car hospital train in Europe. — Sovereign Order of Malta, other sources.
Q: Where did the term “above board” come from?
A: On a sailing ship, it meant anything on or above the open deck. So, if something is in plain view, it is above board.
Q: I never received an email about activating my Courier membership account.
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Q: What car is stolen most?
A: The Honda Accord has held this dubious distinction for five years.
The nine next are Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla, Chevy Silverado, Acura Integra, Cadillac Escalade, Ford F350, Nissan Altima, Chevy Tahoe. — LoJack via NBC News.
Q: What did Mark Twain (1835-1910) say?
A: “When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not.”
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