Five tips for saving on summer travel

Summer has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. The warm sun probably has you itching to plan a getaway and high gas prices won’t deter you one bit. You’re not alone: 59 percent of Americans plan to travel this summer (up 8 percent from last year). Whether by car, bus, train or plane, travel can be costly. Here are five tips from Answers.com on how to save on your summer travel this year:

  • Sign up for airline and hotel Twitter feeds. Often travel companies will post exclusive deals to their social media fans.
  • Try something off the beaten beach or amusement park path, maybe a lesser known national park, to find lower prices not to mention less crowds.
  • Be flexible with your travel days. Airfare is usually cheaper midweek than on weekends. Prices also spike around holidays like 4th of July and Labor Day, so plan accordingly.
  • Live like a  local: rent an apartment or house instead of staying in a hotel room to save big bucks.
  • Fly from a smaller, regional airport. And don’t check a bag!

For more tips, watch this Video Answer from CBS Money Watch. Then, tell us in the comments where you plan to jet off to this summer!

Beyond the Necktie: Great Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is this Sunday in most countries. Haven’t gotten a gift or party plan to celebrate Dad? The Answers.com community is here to help.

First, check out the answer to What are some gift ideas for Father’s Day? You’ll notice that some of the best are free or homemade: a card, a hug, a meal, a car wash. Try not to pressure yourself to buy something extravagant for your dad this Father’s Day. It’s likely he just wants to spend time with you and feel appreciated.

Still can’t figure out what to do? You can also turn to Video Answers for some great gift ideas beyond the typical necktie.

Tell us your Father’s Day gift ideas in the comments!

Summer’s here! Five facts about Memorial Day.

Considered the unofficial kick off to the summer season, Memorial Day is often associated with the beach, barbeques and sales. But there’s much more to this federal holiday than a day off of work.

Memorial Day is held in commemoration of US citizens who have died in war. So before you slather on that sunscreen and head to the pool, take a moment to learn about the rich history of this American holiday.

1. Memorial Day was first held in 1868 when John A. Logan, a general in the Union Army during the Civil War, asked his soldiers to decorate the graves of their fallen compatriots.

2. Memorial Day is also known as Decoration Day, referring to the decorations and flowers placed on the soldiers’ graves.

3. After World War I, the holiday was extended to encompass all Americans who have died in war, not just those in the Civil War.

4. In 2000, President Bill Clinton declared that a moment of silence should be held at 3 p.m. EST each Memorial Day. Official services are held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (pictured at the right) in Arlington, Virginia.

5. Since 1950, by congressional request, Memorial Day is also set aside to pray for permanent peace.

Read more about Memorial Day on Answers.com or ask your own questions in our Memorial Day category. Oh, and have a great summer!

Mother’s Day Gifts: It’s the thought that counts.

If there ever was a holiday to not forget, it’s Mother’s Day. But sometimes it can feel overwhelming to think about giving a gift to someone so important. How do you celebrate the woman who gave you life? Our Answers.com contributors have some ideas for you. Check out the answers to these Mother’s Day questions:

And remember, you don’t have to buy something material. Take this advice from Answers.com contributor and employee, Myra:

“I never understood, as a kid, why my mom would get choked up when I made her a homemade card. Now that I am a mom myself, I finally get it. It sounds cliche, but it really is the thought that counts. Just let her know you appreciate her.” – Myra, our WikiAnswers Associate Quality Coordinator (and mother of two)

If you’re still looking for more gift ideas, watch this clip from the Video Answers library for some inspiration. Then let us know in the comments how you celebrated your Mom this year!

All your Royal Wedding questions answered.

Are you as excited as we are for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton? Judging on the number of questions we’re getting about the big event, we think you are. In case the coverage of thousands (yes, thousands!) of journalists who have descended on London for the nuptials doesn’t satisfy your appetite, you can always turn to Answers.com for more. We’ve set up a new category for all your burning questions about royal weddings, past and present. Check out the new Royal Weddings category here.

There you’ll find queries such as:

What TV channels will broadcast the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton?

Where can you watch the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton online?

What will Kate Middleton’s royal title be after she marries Prince William?

Who has been announced as Prince William’s ‘Best Man’ for the Royal Wedding?

Who is the flower girl at the Royal Wedding?

Q&A not enough? Check out the royal wedding coverage on Video Answers.

Here’s a look back at the 10-year romance of Prince William and Kate Middleton:

Where my Peeps at?

Easter is next Sunday, but it’s highly likely most of you have been noshing on some Easter sweets already, are we right? Although chocolate takes the cake as Easter’s most popular candy, Americans eat 700 million marshmallow Peeps every spring. The Chicago Tribune has a great slideshow that goes into the Just Born factory to see just how Peeps are made.

Leave it to our Answers.com contributors to fill us in on these brightly colored treats:

Where were Peeps invented?

How many colors do marshmallow peeps come in?

Why are Peeps made out of marshmallows?

How many calories are in one marshmallow peep?

Kids, don’t try this one at home: Why do marshmallow peeps explode when heated?

Hosting an Easter dinner this weekend? Check out these creative centerpieces (including one made out of Peeps!) in this clip from Video Answers.

http://embed.5min.com/267508187/&sid=813/

All your Passover questions answered.

Passover begins tonight at sundown and lasts seven days. Passover commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  Jews celebrate this important holiday with a traditional two-night feast, called a Seder, meaning “order.” At a Seder, friends and family gather, a variety of dishes are prepared, songs are sung and the story of passover is told.

Other interesting facts about Passover:

  • To produce Passover matza, flour must remain in contact with water for no longer than 18 minutes before it is baked.
  • Coca-cola makes a kosher Coke for Passover version, substituting pure sugar for corn syrup in its recipe (Ashkenazi Jews customarily refrain from eating corn on Passover).
  • Moses, the leader who was central to the biblical account of the Exodus, is notably absent from the Haggada, the rabbinic retelling of the story. This is to emphasize the divine, miraculous nature of the event.
  • Some believe that Jesus’ Last Supper was a seder.

To learn more about this important Jewish holiday, read some Passover questions and answers here and check out this clip from Video Answers.

Tax Day Delayed! (You still have to pay them though.)

If you woke up last night in a cold sweat realizing April 15th is fast approaching and you haven’t filed your taxes yet, we have some good news for you. Your tax return isn’t due until next Monday! Why did Uncle Sam cut us Americans some slack this year? You can thank a little known holiday, Emancipation Day, celebrating the abolition of slavery. This year it falls on a Saturday but will be officially observed in Washington, D.C. on Friday, April 15th, closing many federal buildings. As a result, the IRS pushed the income tax deadline to Monday, April 18th.

Haven’t filed yet? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The IRS estimates “20 to 25 percent of all taxpayers file in the final two weeks of the tax season.” The average individual spends upwards of 14 hours on his tax return, so an extra weekend should be plenty of time, right? Check out this clip from Video Answers for tips on how to prepare your tax return this year.

Angry that you had to cough up more cash to the government? Hey, at least America’s tax rate isn’t close to 50 percent like other countries!

Some more helpful answers to prepare you for Tax Day:

Happy Brain Transplant Day!

Let’s welcome our guest blogger today – our very own Quality Coordinator, Suzanne (otherwise known as Zanbabe or Z)!

April: the month when the tax bunny comes. Oh wait… maybe I’m confused.

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? It is! And it is so many other things that it is mind-blowing. Some April events include National Humor Month, National Pecan Month, and Stress Awareness Month. Additionally, there are various days dedicated to other cool things: April 11th is Eight-Track Tape Day (a little outdated, if you ask me), April 13th is Scrabble Day, April 25th is World Penguin Day, and April 27th is Tell a Story Day.

Out of all the mentally stimulating things going on in April, I want to focus on one item that I saw on the news this morning (at like 2am… I couldn’t sleep; some special on the French channel. Good thing they have subtitles.). Anyway, after almost 36 hours of different surgeries, with doctors working in shifts, “Patient X” (name not released) has undergone the first successful human brain transplant (because it is the entire brain, it is technically called a whole-body transplant by some). That just boggles my mind. Apparently, Doctor Davril Poisson was hoping to gain access to Albert Einstein’s brain to use for this historic surgery, but unfortunately the brain was not stored properly, and the formaldehyde preserving the brain had expired.

I felt a little brain-dead after hearing that, because even though a lot of this stuff has been in the news and online for a while (see below for several related articles), it seems totally like Science Fiction to me (I should read scientific news more often). So, to make up for the brain lapse, I’ve been reading all morning (did you know that there was a Colorado chicken that lived for over a year without a head?). Here are some of the interesting questions other people have asked:

Can you have a brain transplant?

Just the possibility of a brain transplant seems so out there to me. The fact that people have even thought about this seriously is amazing. The idea goes back to Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and Abby Normal, but in real life, it looks like there had been some Soviet-American cold war head transplant experimentation in the past. I found information about a Doctor Robert White who transplanted the head of a Rhesus monkey onto a different monkey (BBC article and interview). CNN has an article about more recent human brain cell transplants.

Will we ever grow replacement brains or do whole-brain transplants?

This is obviously an older NOVA article, but I liked the fact that it actually addressed GROWING a new brain in addition to just transplanting one. That would be so cool! I used to tell my little brother to grow a brain. I never knew it might actually be possible. Even re-growing or replacing tiny portions of a brain might be able to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. I won’t link to it here, since it is in French, but if you know the language, look up the Google Scholar article “Faithful fashion: survival status of the brain transplant cure for Parkinsonism.” Great stuff.

When a brain transplant is performed, does the patient lose his or her memories?

I think this is one of the most fascinating questions to me… how does it even work? Do you have to transfer the entire brain, or just one part (the part with memories), or just one hemisphere, or what? I assume it would depend on the person and the damage they are trying to repair, but I remember watching a PBS show where people were functioning with just one hemisphere of a brain. What if you gave them another hemisphere to work with? Could you have two people in one head? It totally brings a new twist to the meaning of togetherness.

Patient X’s surgery wouldn’t have been allowed in the US. Brain transplants open up so many possibilities, but they open up a lot of ethical questions as well. If you failed a class, but took it over again after getting a brain transplant (hopefully smarter), is that cheating? Would you miss your old body? It might be like driving a new car, just getting used to the newer model, but will it be a struggle for X to readjust? Especially if X is (was?) a guy and the new body is a girl. They didn’t give those details, but that would be weird, waking up and suddenly wanting to go shoe shopping.

And what if X committed a crime before the transplant? Now he (or she) has new fingerprints AND retinas… really, anything that could tie the person to the crime, even if he was a high-powered government spy. And for those of us who are religious, what does it mean for the soul? Is that something that goes with the body, or the mind?

All of these brain-switching possibilities were giving me a headache, so I decided to compose a poem:

My National Poetry Month and Brain Transplant Day Poem:

There once was a man with no brain
Who wanted to dance in the rain
They offered him life
Changed his mind with his wife
They danced, then they both went insane

For people who want to dig further into the issue, we’ve made a new Brain Transplants Q&A category on Answers.com. Please visit the category and find the truth behind this fascinating development.

Other links:

I wonder if someday we’ll look back on April Fools’ Day 2011 as the day that changed everything. What do you guys think? Would you get a brain transplant?

Just sleep on it.

Can anything compare to the feeling of laying your head down on a soft square of cotton, closing your eyes, molding your body into the depths of a mattress and letting the sweet flow of semi-consciousness set in? My answer is no. In an age where we work past dinner, chill in bars till 4 am and hit the gym at midnight – yet still rise and shine for work the next day –  how is this lack of sleep affecting us?

Well, let’s start off simple. We know sleep is a good thing.  And, when we are deprived of it, we feel lousy. This occurs for 2 simple reasons:

Physically sleep repairs your body, working the immune system at full capacity.  Mentally though, it does a whole lot more. Without adequate sleep, your judgment, mood, and ability to learn and retain information are weakened. You can become an incoherent, irritable monster.  In fact, 72 hours of no-sleep can make a man go temporarily insane.

So I guess the more sleep you get,  the more intelligent and healthy you are… Let’s examine this theory across species in the animal kingdom.  Below is a list of some typical animal sleep cycles, in order of longest to shortest sleep times per day:

  • Brown Bat (19.9 hours)
  • Giant Armadillo (18.1 hours)
  • Python (18 hours)
  • Owl Monkey (17 hours)
  • Tiger (15.8 hours)
  • Squirrel (14.9 hours)
  • Lion (13.5 hours)
  • Rat (12.6 hours)
  • Cat (12.1 hours)
  • Cheetah (12.1 hours)
  • Dolphin (10.4)
  • Chimpanzee (9.7 hours)
  • Human adult (8 hours)
  • Pig (7.8 hours)
  • Guppy Fish (7 hours)
  • Sheep (3.8 hours)
  • African Elephant (3.3 hours)
  • Horse (2.9 hours)

Pythons sleep for 18 hours, yet elephants (those memory-rich, emotional vertebrates) sleep for only 3.3 hrs. The giraffe has one of the shortest sleep requirements of any mammal (between 10 mins-2 hrs in a 24 hr period, averaging 1.9 hours per day) yet giraffes sleep 5 hours less than your  household goldfish. Based on these numbers, sleep and intelligence don’t appear to be dependent on one another.

So, why do some animals require more sleep than others?  Perhaps it’s not intelligence, just evolution.

When it comes down to sleep and survivability, a predator-prey relationship exists: Animals at the top of the food chain, such as the King of the Jungle, tend to  get longer and deeper shut eye than, say, your average vigilant  squirrel. Humans fall somewhere in between, but this doesn’t explain how we have sleep patterns most closely related to pigs, or why armadillos sleep a whole lot more than cows.

Hibernation draws the same complexities. Certain species of moth hibernate just as long as polar bears. Some toads can even hibernate  for up to four years. So this evolution thing, with animal size and the potential of being eaten, doesn’t seem to hold up either.

Perhaps it’s not who is sleeping, or how often you sleep… but where you sleep that matters?

Sloths have long been known to be the ‘nappers of the wild.’ Even their name is  a synonym for lazy.  A 2008 study, reported by BBC news, involving brown-throated, three-toed sloths, found that when in captivity (where they are safe and fed well) sloths sleep for more than 16 hours per day and live quite long lives. But the same study noted that sloths only slept for 9.6 hours in the wild. So where you sleep, and how happy you are while getting that shut-eye,  has a huge impact on the success of your sleep session.

Where can we find happy sleepers?

  • Overcrowded US high schools, where shifts are required,  report that those students who slept in and start two hours later,  consistently scored higher on exams and report cards than those poor teens who had to wake up at the crack of dawn.
  • Google has nap rooms for its employees, and based on the company’s  success and productivity, it seems to be working for them.
  • Einstein slept for 10 hours a day and he came up with the Theory of Relativity.
  • Winston Churchill and George Washington napped regularly, and accomplished some pretty cool things.

Unfortunately, humans have been getting 1.5 hours less sleep on average throughout the last 50 years… So I’m here to tell you one thing: SLEEP. Sleep hard and sleep often; that 6-8 hourrs of recommended sleep is for the birds (literally).  If you need more sleep – do it! If you need to nap – do it! If you need to make a pit stop in your car – do it!

Next time you find yourself drowsy and incoherent, don’t reach for a Starbucks, reach for an REM frappucino!  Lay your head down  on your pillow and smile. Because great things are not accomplished by stressed-out overworked sloths –  they are accomplished by people who get their sleep.

Valentine’s Day for whatever you’re into. [VIDEO]

Today may be February 14th, but lots of people have been celebrating Valentine’s Day over this past weekend. Romantic dinners, bouquets of flowers, heart-shaped candy, gifts of all kinds, or none of the above – whatever you’re up to for the holiday of love, there’s something for you to watch and learn.

Personally, I could leave all the flowers and red bows and puppies behind, and only focus on one thing: the cupcakes. Like these Sweet Sweet Valentine’s cupcakes, from a Magnolia bakery recipe.

But you may be into even sweeter stuff – like figuring out first date etiquette so you can take out the girl you’ve been ordering extra coffee from for the last month.

Or, going further – maybe you’re already in relationship mode, and want to work out a long distance relationship with your love.

And if you’re indeed near and dear, and just want to get to the point – well, there are plenty of videos that’ll share a thing or too on sex – and what it does to your brain! (And remember to keep it safe).

But if really, your Valentine’s Day is about taking the ultimate leap – and giving the ultimate gift (of commitment) – there’s an entire library of wedding videos to answer your questions.

And if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the infographic that has the answers to your Valentine’s Day gift-giving questions, from the hottest Q&A sites around.

Tell us: If you had a bazillion dollars…

It’s holiday season! And, sure, the holidays are all about giving, but what about getting? Shouldn’t we take five minutes and think about what we’d do, if say, we all of a sudden found ourselves with a bazillion dollars?

So here is Answers.com‘s question to you: If you had a bazillion dollars, what would you do first? Obviously, you’d do a whole lot, but what would be the first thing you’d do with the money…

[poll id="7"]

Don’t forgot to fill in your choices in the comments… Looking forward to hearing some creative ideas (with fake money).

[Thanks, Suzanne!]

A 2010 Year in Review… in poetry.

The giant disco ball is set up in Times Square,
Wind gusts and sniffles abound everywhere.
The last calendar page is ready to tear,
And Uggs are officially the preferred footwear!
So as 2010 gets buried in snow
(Or actually not, if you’re in the hemisphere below)
This is the time to reflect, create a New Year’s vow or two,
It’s the Answers.com 2010 Year in Review!
We’ll travel month by month, so sit back and enjoy
Horrible, wonderful, and insane; this is the real McCoy…

January

Haiti was hit by an earthquake, Richter measured 7.0
Strongest magnitude recorded there, from tectonic plates below.
With donations from celebrities like Giselle and Sean Penn,
The Red Cross, FIMA and even the U.N.
Help came swiftly and people opened up their hearts
We are the World was re-sung and topped all the charts.
JD Salinger was finally caught, by that Catcher in the Rye,
You were a recluse but a genius; it’s sad to say goodbye.
The longest annular eclipse of this millennium was hot,
So was Senator Scott Brown, winning Ted Kennedy’s spot.
Jay Leno retired from The Tonight Show, Conan took his place
Six months later he was ousted – ouch, slap in the face!

February

Steve Jobs announced the release of the stylish iPad,
The competition from Tampax could’ve hurt just a tad.
After 44 years the Saints finally reached into their soul
Beating the Colts at NFL’s 44th Super Bowl.
Beyonce’s a winner too, six awards on Grammy night,
First time for a woman – you go girl! Pretty tight!
Toyota wasn’t so lucky, recalling nine million cars,
For sticky accelerators that were not up to par.
Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili dies while training,
Olympics ban the Canadian luge for the athletes remaining.
Obama wants to finally end Don’t ask, Don’t tell
The Supreme Court is iffy; California says ‘swell.’

March

Tiger Woods finally admits to cheating on his wife,
It wasn’t a car accident after all, that threatened his life.
Gatorade didn’t buy it, nor did AT&T,
They dumped him as sponsors; everyone but Nike.
Chile is smacked with an earthquake, a tsunami then rises,
While the southern U.S. gets hit with blizzards of monstrous sizes.
At Sea World, Tilikum kills a trainer named Dawn
He’s an orca after all, you can’t blame his brawn.
Apolo Ohno speed-skated to his eighth Olympic win,
Ends up on a Wheaties box; then you know you’re truly in!
GM announces it will stop making the Hummer,
Tree-huggers cheer while manly men grunt ‘bummer.’
The 82nd Academy Awards were lively and fun,
Sandra Bullock scored ‘Best Actress,’ then adopted a son.
Up and Avatar were movies that globally sold,
If you’re blue and cartoony, you bring home the gold.

April

The lava erupted out of Mt. Eyjafjallajökull, headed south
Which was faster than the name could escape from our mouth.
Air travel was halted, Europe was distressed,
In Arizona, the Anti-Immigration Bill was the mess.
The BP oil rig explosion kills 11 in the Gulf,
Nobody could cap it, not even Gandalf.
Pelicans were dying, sea turtles were in strife,
Gas prices were the concern – but at what cost to life?
Duke wins the NCAA championship, they’re now the best
Russia signs an arms reduction treaty with the U.S.
Obama’s health care reform bill officially makes the cut,
Democrats are joyed, Republicans go nuts.
Polish president Kaczynski and his wife die in a plane,
Lindsay Lohan’s ankle bracelet falls out of its range.
In China and West Virginia there are explosions in mines.
NFL drafts begin – yup, it’s come to be that time.

May

The Afriqiyah A330 airbus crashed near the sea
Coming up from South Africa, bound for Tripoli.
The aftermath was scary, just shrapnel and fire,
But miraculously emerged one lone Dutch survivor.
‘Lookin at Lucky’ and ‘First Dude’ are names of horses
That placed 1st and 2nd at the Preakness courses.
Gary Coleman laid to rest, (child star from Diff’rent Strokes),
He had a tough life from the media, his wife, his folks.
Faisal Shahzad parked his car conveniently in Times Square,
Fully equipped with a bomb, including an ignition flare.
A vigilant pedestrian called in and he was forced to abort,
Don’t think you can mess with the people of New York!
Speaking of justice… Elena Kagan was appointed
As Obama’s first pick; hope he won’t be disappointed.

June

Roy Halladay earns MLB honor and fame,
The true-blue Philly threw his 20th perfect game.
The Indianapolis 500 is won by a Scotty,
Dario Franchitti, whose dad owns a chain of gelati.
FIFA took over full force; Shakira Wakka Wakkas,
Beckham was injured, but we still had our Kaká.
Vuvuzelas were blasted; the sound is annoying ‘like whoa’!
But hotties Ronaldo and Cruz were able to soften the blow.
Eclipse was released, fans are spreading the love,
Which team do you play for: Edward or Jacob?
After 25 years, Larry King leaves CNN,
The first phone-in TV talk show has come to an end.
Japan’s Prime minister resigns, Hatoyama can’t pass the test,
While England drinks itself silly at a summer beer fest.
China ends ties to the dollar, which could prove quite tragic
Hogwarts is no longer exclusive to wizards with magic -
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter finally opens its doors,
So muggles can actually play quidditch and even the score.

July

Hurricane Alex hit Mexico, but was quickly silenced,
Hurricane Mel Gibson was charged with domestic violence.
Paul the Octopus is a sports fan, psychic and gifted,
Each Mundial team that he chose won just as predicted.
Spain beat Holland 1-0; Red is the clear winner,
No Leffes now, just Sangria en el victory dinner.
When George Steinbrenner died, the Yankees lost their dad
Giuliani, Yogi Berra and New York City were ever so sad.
Justin Bieber’s video Baby became the most YouTubed ever,
His hair might be silly, but what’s behind it is clever.
BP caps the gushing oil well after 86 days,
The fish high-five with their fins, jump up, do the wave.
Serena Williams takes Wimbledon, LeBron signs with the Heat,
The U.S. and Russia swap spies as soon as they meet.
Chelsea Clinton marries Mezvinsky, clad in Vera Wang,
It’s interfaith so lechaim and amen they sang.

August

The 62nd Emmy Awards boasts Jimmy Fallon host,
Mad Men was the series that took home the most.
In the Arizona state primaries, the winner’s John McCain,
He may not be president, but as Senator he reigns.
Kaymer won the PGA Championship, took home the purse,
But on PlayStations everywhere, he doesn’t come first.
Debates ensue on Ground Zero, where the Twins Towers stood,
On whether a mosque should be built near this precious ‘hood.
The owners contend it’s freedom of expression,
Families object; it’s more than a constitutional question.
Proposition 8 was struck down, overturned – then appealed
(I’m gonna need some Pepto by the time this case is sealed.)
Former Senator Ted Stevens died in a crash from the air,
The WHO declared the end of the H1N1 scare.

September

Tragedy turned happy when Antoine Dodson made the news,
He fights off a Bed Intruder and then tops off iTunes.
Keenan Cahill is self-made, lip-syncing ‘teenage dream,’
He looks younger than his age, but he really is 15.
Sesame Street is in trouble – parents give a tough time
Over Katy Perry’s cleavage (though Elmo didn’t mind).
The sheep are running wild; the Kiwis don’t know where to perch,
A 7.2 earthquake hit New Zealand, out there in Christchurch.
Reggie Bush returns the Heisman; he was a steroid-taking man,
Sarah Shourd is the hiker who gets released from Iran.
Terry Jones decides for everyone that it’s Quran Burning Day,
Pastor, to spread God’s word, this just ain’t the right way!
British Police arrest five men over a threat to the Pope,
Lady Gaga wore a meat dress, while PETA tried to cope.
Continental merged with United – it’s the only way to fly
Kenny McKinley of the Broncos has finally said goodbye.

October

A cholera outbreak in Haiti hits the region wide and far,
Rehydration is the key to make the disease say au revoir.
A record was broken by the international space station -
For the longest time humans lived in galactic habitation.
The Social Network was released, every Facebook fan attends.
Is Mark Zuckerberg the good guy, or did he screw over his friends?
33 miners were trapped in Chile in the San Jose mine,
Just as the town gave up hope, they got a note – ‘hey, we’re fine.’
Food and water were sent daily through a pulley in the ground
69 days later, all emerge – without a single frown.
Halloween is finally here and the costumes that all score
Involve The Situation and the whole cast of Jersey Shore.
Indonesia has three disasters; Mother Earth can be so mean
The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for Graphene.

November

Obama visited the Far East to promote better trade relations,
Offered to remove Sudan from the list of terror-sponsored nations.
Prince William asks Kate Middleton to be his dear princess,
With Diana’s diamond ring, it shows the love she represents.
In the 106th World Series, the Giants beat the Rangers,
Trader Joe’s recalled cilantro that could cause potential dangers.
Reps took over the House, fulfilling Obama’s fear and dread,
While the Democrats have re-elected Pelosi as their head.
The Deathly Hallows was released, part 1 of the adventures,
When the second half is out, the cast will all be wearing dentures.
Miley Cyrus is now legal, she had her Sweet 18,
Bon Jovi goes on tour, lookin’ good in skinny jeans.
North Korea’s Kim Jung Ill decides to shell Yeonpyeong,
South Korea’s swift response said, ‘We’re ready, bring it on!’
WikiLeaks unveiled a collection of top secret U.S. files,
On Dancing With The Stars, Bristol Palin was all smiles.

December

Leslie Nielson, we will miss you, you left us way too early,
Call him Dracula or Agent, but please don’t call him Shirley.
Angry Birds is all the rage – kill those pigs, they’re all corrupt,
At Level 3 you get the blackbird; with a tap, it self-destructs.
FIFA’s next World Cup in Russia, in the year twenty-eighteen,
Then it’s on to Qatar, where their plants produce benzene.
In the U.S. once again, Aiden is the most popular boys’ name,
For girls no more Isabella – it’s Sophia that now reigns.
Mark Madoff committed suicide; so sad it makes you steam,
Now he’s the latest victim of his father’s ponzi scheme.
Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapper is guilty, he finally gets his time
Derek Jeter makes more millions, it’s with the Yankees that he signs.
NASA discovered bacteria which on arsenic can thrive,
Replaces it for phosphorous; not the usual, but it’s alive.
WikiLeaks is constantly Googled – in SEO it’s leadin’
But it’s founder Julian Assange is still accused of crimes in Sweden.

Wishing you an excellent 2011

from

The Answers.com team tries DIY dry ice for Halloween.

How to make your own creepy fog for Halloween

So maybe your fake spider web and Jack-o’-lantern won’t exactly spook the neighborhood trick or treaters. If you really want to give the kids a scare this Halloween, set the scene with some frightening fog. All you need is dry ice!

What is dry ice? It’s frozen carbon dioxide and it sublimates from a solid to a gas creating perfectly creepy wisps of cloud.

Learn a bit more about the foggy stuff before attempting the DIY instructions below:

1. Buy a pound of dry ice for enough fog to fill a room.

2. Store in Styrofoam until ready to use. Warning: Sealing dry ice in packaging other than Styrofoam will cause the container to burst from high pressure.
3. Be sure to use gloves or tongs when handling to avoid freezing your fingers: Dry ice can be close to -100 degrees Fahrenheit!
4. Pour warm water over the ice to produce ground-hugging clouds.

5. Put on your monster mask and scare the kids who come knocking your door for candy!

Check out the Answers.com team experimenting with dry ice last week in preparation for Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Candy, costumes, creatures of the night: Halloween videos from Answers.com!

It’s not enough to hear about Halloween. It’s not enough to read about Halloween. And it sure is fun to play Halloween, but…

You’ve got to watch it… The colors, the costumes, the pumpkin carvings, the buckets of candy.

Especially when you’re trying to get prepared for your Halloween celebrations – the party you’re going to this weekend, how to dress up in this year’s must-have costume, or how to help your kids enjoy trick-or-treating without cramping their candy style.

Obviously all the videos you need to see are available at Answers.com’s VideoAnswers viewing library… Here’s a selection of my personal favorites:

Candy

Baking

Costumes

Decor and More

Happy Halloween everybody! What are you dressing up as? What candy are you handing out? Leave a comment below!

Four true things about HOLLYWOOD.

Hollywood – it’s a tough town; once you enter, you have to constantly wonder what’s fact and what’s fiction.

But one thing stays tried and true – the HOLLYWOOD sign, standing tall and welcoming aspiring actors since 1923.

Did you know? Hollywood sign fun facts from Answers.com on Alltop:

  1. The sign read HOLLYWOODLAND from 1923 to 1949.
  2. In 1932, Broadway actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping off the letter “H.”
  3. Alice Cooper led the 1978 donation drive to remodel the famous sign. The shock rocker contributed $27,000 of his own money to the project, and bought an “O” in memory of Groucho Marx.
  4. In the 1940s, the sign’s official caretaker, Albert Kothe, destroyed the “H” after crashing into it while driving drunk.

Get the rest the Hollywood sign fun facts from Answers.com on Alltop.

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Polls: They’re often inaccurate, they’re often mis-worded, but gosh darn, are they fun!

We’d love to hear feedback from you, dear readers, on what you’d like to see here on no.stupid.answers. More company news? More videos? Well, I don’t know – that’s why I’m asking you…

Choose up to three answers and leave more feedback in the comments if you’ve got more to add.

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Stay tuned for the next poll, when I ask what kind of polls you’d like to see…

Fun facts for the Fourth of July.

Happy Independence Day! Smell that? The United States is all a-barbecue today; how about infusing those steaks (and guests) with a few Fourth of July facts…

  • Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he played his part in creating the Declaration of Independence (…and what have you done lately?).
  • The Declaration of Independence was originally known as “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.”
  • The declaration has no official legal standing, but it is one of the main documents in the United States Code.
  • Fifty-six men were signatories to the engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence that Congress ordered to be made on July 19, 1776.
  • The first July 4 celebration to fall on a Sunday was in 1779. Like this year, the holiday was extended to be celebrated on Monday, July 5.
  • Held since 1785, the Bristol Fourth of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island is the oldest continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States.
  • In 1791 the first recorded use of the name “Independence Day” occurred.
  • Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826, fifty years after the Declaration of Independence was made. Adams’s last words: “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” Jefferson’s last words: “This is the Fourth?”
  • John Adams made a fairly accurate prediction about future generations celebrating ‘the great anniversary Festival’ – “It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore,” – except that he assumed it would be celebrated on July 2nd, the date on which the resolution of independence was adopted.
  • There is a new holiday in the United States known as Constitution Day, celebrated on September 17, since 2004.
  • There are lots of other events, birthdays and historical moments recorded for July 4th – check out the full list.

Learn more about the United States’ Independence Day. Have a great holiday!

It’s gonna be a looong day…

Today is the Summer Solstice for all you Northern Hemispherians. Since you have a bit more daylight to play with, go on and turn off your artificial lights and learn a little more about what this means:

By the way, the folks in the Southern hemisphere will have their day in December, the opposite end of the year. Meanwhile, hope you enjoyed the Winter Solstice down under!

And now to leave you with today’s quote:

“Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.” – Hal Borland

Have a great day!