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Q: Can dogs tell the difference in colors?

A: “Yes and no,” says Dr. Bethany Huhman of Taylor Veterinary Hospital. “Just like people, dogs have both rod and cone receptors in their retinas. These cells receive light and transmit them to become images in the brain. But the ratios of these cells are different in dogs than they are in people. Rods are more sensitive to light, especially blue light, and more effective in low-light conditions. These receptors improve night vision, but with very little definition. Cones have less light sensitivity and function better in bright light. These are the receptors responsible for color vision. People have a very high number of cones as compared to rods. Dogs are the opposite — the majority of their receptors are rods. The types of cone receptors are also different in dogs. Humans have three different types of cone receptors while dogs only have two. This limits the color spectrum that dogs see. Dogs see colors in the blue-violet range and in the green-yellow-red range. It is suspected they see the blue-violet range as blue and the green-yellow-red range as yellow.

“So, to summarize: Dogs do see colors, just not as many distinct colors or shades as people do. However, due to the high number of rod receptors they are far better equipped to see objects at night, if not very distinctly.”

Q: What is the president talking about when he says he’s going to shut the government down? What does that mean?

A: According to maketWatch, most services will continue, but national parks may be shut down, safety inspections (for example, for hazardous waste and drinking water) could be halted and the IRS may not be able to process taxes and refunds. During the shutdown in 2013, some $2.2 billion in tax refunds to individual taxpayers were delayed.

Agencies poised to lose funding include the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, State, Interior, Agriculture, Treasury, Commerce and Justice, along with Homeland Security, though many of its agents would keep working because they’re considered “essential.”

Since the president decides what “essential” services are exempt, the effects could be much more wide-ranging. For example, Trump could decide against having Transportation Security Administration agents or air-traffic controllers continue working; in that case, holiday travel and package deliveries would be held up, experts said.

Q: With all the changes on “Days of Our Lives,” how much longer are they going to be aired on NBC or have they decided to let the series end?

A: Change is a constant on the soaps; it doesn’t mean much. In March, NBC renewed “Days” for another year; the network hasn’t made any announcements for the following season yet.

Q: When will the Kennedy Center awards be televised and on what channel?

A: CBS will air the award at 7 p.m. Dec. 26.

Q: Where can we send donations or volunteer for Koats for Kids?

A: Monetary donations can be mailed to Waterloo Community Foundation — K4K, P.O. Box 1253, Waterloo 50704. Donations also can be made online at the foundation’s website, wloocommunityfoundation.org. Contact organizer Julie Ehlers to find out about volunteer opportunities. Call her at 240-2254 or email juliea58@mchsi.com. Information is also available online at facebook.com/koats4kidswaterloo.

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Calls 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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