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Q: What is “Sing Me to Heaven,” which is mentioned on page A3 of the Nov. 6 paper?

A: It’s a group based in La Porte City that helps families in Iowa with funeral expenses after the death of a child.

Q: Where did the phrase “having your ducks in a row” originate?

A: No one is sure, although there are examples of it as far back as the late 1800s. Dictionary-makers suggest it could come from old carnival games where people shot at a line of mechanical ducks, or from the tendency of mother ducks to get their ducklings into straight rows when leading them to water.

Q: What did Luke Bryan’s sister die of?

A: Bryan said in a 2013 interview her cause of death was undetermined.

Q: Does it mean anything when you see the lightning bugs for the first time in the summer?

A: According to the Farmers Almanac, “Unlike people, fireflies love warm, humid weather. It helps them to survive. So in years when summer-like weather arrives before June does, fireflies tend to appear in lawns, gardens and trees earlier than usual — sometimes as early as late spring. ... As much as damp weather provides an ideal environment for fireflies, dry conditions provide the worst. Droughts and heatwaves stress firefly eggs and larvae, causing them to die off before they’ve had a chance to emerge. The dates when lightning bugs appear also will be delayed due to the heat stress.”

Q: When will the Pinstripe Faithful Club have is annual sports card and autograph show? Who is the retired Yankee player who will be featured this year?

A: Former New York Yankees catcher Rick Cerone will be the special guest at the Pinstripe Faithful Club’s show from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo.

Q: I’m deaf and had a hearing dog for 18 years. Now they are so expensive. Is there an organization that can help me pay for another dog?

A: A few possibilities: Deafinitely Dogs of Cedar Rapids —; International Hearing Dog Inc. of Colorado — or (303) 287-3277 TDD; or Dogs for the Deaf of Oregon —

Q: Who can we call to get bats out of an attic?

A: Look in the yellow pages under “pest control” — there are several companies listed.

Q: What is the age you need to be to legally drive an ATV?

A: According to the Iowa DNR, no one younger than 12 can operate an ATV unless on private land; no one younger than 18 can operate an ATV on public lands unless they possess a safety training certificate.

Q: Did the Cattle Congress or the Iowa State Fair have the first butter cow?

A: The state fair, we think — Minnesota sculptor John Daniels started doing butter sculpture for the Minnesota State Fair in 1900, and he made a sculpture of a boy, a cow and a calf for the 1911 Iowa fair. The earliest mention we could find of butter art at the Cattle Congress was in a 1919 Courier article.

Questions are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.


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