Welcome to Air Wisdom, Canada’s newest cut-price carrier. We’ve checked the weather report and we’re all set for takeoff. Okay, everybody start stoking the boilers.
Do the “crisper” drawers in refrigerators actually do anything? asks Megan Gelb of Vancouver.
“The compressor that squeezes the heat out of the air in your fridge and makes it cold also removes the moisture, since cold air cannot hold moisture the way warm air can,” writes Rusty Brown of Cobourg, Ont. “The cold, dry air will quickly dehydrate any food exposed to it.”
The crisper drawer protects fruit and vegetables from the circulation of this cold, dry air. You can achieve the same effect by placing produce in plastic bags.
“In weather reports,” writes Keith Moody of Binbrook, Ont., “the ceiling is given in imperial measure (feet) and the visibility is in metric (kilometres). Why the difference?”
Ceiling and visibility are given in weather reports primarily for pilots, writes Marie Heartwood of Killaloe, Ont. The ceiling is how high you can go before you hit the bottom of the clouds, while visibility is how far ahead you can see through the haze.
“The reason the ceiling is given in feet,” she writes, “is because, for historical reasons, aircraft altimeters are all in imperial. If we look at a classic three-pointer aircraft altimeter, it has three hands in the dial and 10 graduations around. One hand is the 100-foot indicator, one is the 1,000-foot indicator and the third is the 10,000-foot indicator.” This means that, at a quick glance, a pilot can tell how high he is.”
She says that, while digital altimeters would permit a change from imperial to metric, most small planes, and virtually all gliders, still use the classic analog barometric three-pointer altimeters that require no power.
If you drive a car, she writes, you soon get used to judging distances, so when you see a sign that reads: “Some Place 2 km,” you have a good idea of how far away that is. “So, when the visibility is given, it’s given in a way that the pilot will hopefully understand. This is why, when you get a weather report from the U.S., visibility is often given in both imperial and metric.”
Here’s a final word in our discussion of whether animals can appreciate music.
Cathy Austin of Toronto says her late cat, Friendly, loved classical music such as that of Vivaldi and Mozart. “Stretched out in a sunny spot on the carpet with background music on, he soaked up the light and the vibes. But he absolutely would not tolerate rock, and he especially did not care for Blue Rodeo. Any Blue Rodeo song had him scurrying out of the room but not before a dirty look in my direction.”
- Don Gainor of Sidney, B.C., wonders why there seem to be no left-handed violin players in symphony orchestras.
- Winnie Lilley of St-Jean-des-Piles, Que., recently visited Cuba and exchanged some Canadian dollars for Cuban currency. Do dollars exchanged this way – the actual money – ever make it back to Canada and. if so, how?
- If you dial long-distance within North America on your cellphone without putting a 1 at the beginning of the number, you are told the call is long-distance, but then you’re connected automatically, says Luke Windisch of Toronto. Do the same thing on a land line and you are forced to hang up and redial. Why the difference?
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