Q: As a new resident, I find Findlay’s drinking water has a strong chemical taste. Is it safe? Do they check for PFOA? — Bill Murray, Findlay.
A: Yes, the water is safe to drink, city officials say. It is regularly tested for contaminants, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), under a five-year cycle mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Perfluorooctanoic acid was not detected in four tests between April 2014 and January 2015. It would have to be at least 0.02 parts per billion for it to be reported.
The stuff is used to make Teflon, and has been available since the 1940s. It is toxic and a carcinogen in mice.
Nearly all Americans carry traces in their bodies, but science is not sure how it gets there. It also can be in food and household dust. — Jeffrey Newcomer, superintendent, Findlay Water Treatment Plant; American Cancer Society; other sources.
Q: When was the 800 block of Park Street paved with bricks? My dad sat on the curb with his feet on the bricks in the 1930s. — Brian Hilkert, Findlay.
A: Findlay began paving Main Street with bricks from Lima to Howard streets in 1890. Major streets and side streets were paved with brick until about 1900.
The city began paving over the bricks with asphalt starting with Main Street in 1906, and other streets followed. It also installed limestone curbs measuring 3 inches, by 3 inches, by 10 feet.
It’s hard to pinpoint when Park Street was paved with brick, but all other city streets were paved with asphalt by 1945. — Mark Donaldson, Hancock Historical Museum.
Q: What are the record temperatures for Feb. 29? — Anonymous.
A: For Feb. 29 at Findlay Airport, the record high is 66 degrees in 2012 and the record low is 2 degrees in 1980. — wunderground.com.
Q: Who was Roy Harold Scherer Jr. of Winnetka, Illinois?
A: Rock Hudson (1925-1985).
Q: What’s the difference between “toward” and “towards?”
A: It’s mostly geography. The former is more common in American English; the latter in British English. — “American Heritage Dictionary,” 1995; via Martha Esbin,”Librarian’s Muse” blog, Toledo.
Q: Did pirates really bury their treasure?
A: Pirates usually spent it on gambling, whiskey and wenches. There are very few reliable accounts of pirates burying booty.
We know English privateer Francis Drake raided a Spanish mule train in 1573 and buried its gold and silver on the Panamanian coast. But Drake left guards behind and his ships soon arrived to transfer it aboard.
Capt. William Kidd, the privateer-turned-pirate, buried millions in gold and jewels on tiny Gardiners Island off eastern Long Island in 1699. But he was arrested in Boston and his ill-gotten gains were recovered before he was hung in London.
Buried treasure was romanticized in Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 novel “Treasure Island.” It is about a hunt for a cache of gold hidden by a ship’s captain. — history.com.
Q: What did humorist Dave Barry say?
A: “I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me.”
Would Dave ask Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839, or Send an E-mail to justask?