Q: Interstate 75 is being rebuilt in Lima and there are circular medallions on the new bridges and walls. I can’t make out the printing. — Dave Ashworth, Findlay.
A: They are the joint logo for Lima and Allen County: Two gears working together, symbolizing “Great American Strength.”
It is used on websites, letterheads, and “everywhere they can.” — Rhonda Pees, state Department of Transportation.
Q: Is the 25 mph speed limit through Van Buren legal, or is it just another small-town speed trap, like Portage? — J. Smith, Findlay.
A: Assume it’s legal. Or, take your speeding ticket to court.
“Just another small-town speed trap?” Van Buren folks may disagree. — Peter Mattiace.
Q: What’s up with the new street signs on Tiffin Avenue? They are smaller and hard to read. — Jeremy Palmer, Findlay.
A: The signs were changed by the state Department of Transportation as part of its regular maintenance. — Paul Schmelzer, Findlay service-safety director.
Q: When did the standard restaurant tip go to 20 percent? Daddy always taught me 15 percent and adjust from there.
A: “Daddy must be over 60. Seriously, 20 percent has been the norm for years now, at least with business types.” — Tom Sietsema, restaurant critic, The Washington Post.
Q: What was the Great Molasses Flood?
A: Bitter. A 2.5-million-gallon, cast-iron tank of crude molasses ruptured in a building about 50 feet above Commercial Street in Boston’s North End on Jan. 5, 1919.
Eight feet of thick goo killed 21 and injured 150 people. Many suffocated in it.
More than 100 people sued the United States Industrial Alcohol Co., which made rum. Six years of hearings heard 3,000 witnesses.
The court ruled the tank was overfilled and inadequately reinforced. The company paid out nearly $1 million (about $13.5 million today.) — David Emery, About.com; Martha Esbin,”Librarian’s Muse” blog, Toledo.
Q: Who are the Carolinas named for?
A: King Charles I (1600-1649) of England. Carolus is Latin for Charles.
Q: Have a different epitaph?
A: From a graveyard in Leeds, England, from 1861:
“Here lies my wife, /
Here lies she; /
Q: Where can I learn more about open public records?
A: Try an online quiz that poses intriguing, everyday situations involving Ohio’s public records. It’s at http://www.ohionews.org/legislative/open-government/quiz — Ohio Newspaper Association.
Q: How should the U.S. flag be displayed on a casket?
A: “…It should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground,” states U.S. law. — Congressional Research Service, 2008.
Q: What did Mark Twain say about the watermelon?
A: “It is the chief of this world’s luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.
“It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took. We know it because she repented.”
Another luxury is asking Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839, or Send an E-mail to justask.