Attu, Agattu and Kiska are three Aleutian Islands captured by Japan during World War II. Since the islands are part of Alaska, they are the only North American territories captured by the Axis. The Japanese hoped holding the islands would keep the Americans from counter-attacking across the North Pacific, so the Americans and Canadians spent a year forcing the Japanese out. This was the first time Canadian draftees saw action, since their government promised not to send them...By Paul Paquet More 11/30/13
The dollar gets is name from Joachimsthaler, a coin used in Joachimsthal, a city in the Czech Republic now called Jachymov. In 1516, there was a major silver strike there, and the new coin appeared at a time when much European currency had been badly debased. It was so popular it was nicknamed the "thaler" for short, and from there it is a short hop to "dollar."
What "Puppy Love" singer was once known for wearing purple socks?
A)...By Paul Paquet More 11/29/13
Sometimes, just a simple change in the way we do things can result in significant savings over time. Take the way you wash your clothes. I have to admit to using lots of cycles on my washer just because they're there. And every cycle adds more time and uses more resources. Today's first reader suggests a simple way to reduce the resources without sacrificing good results. Great idea, Natalie!
Pre-soak. Instead of using the pre-soak and pre-wash cycle on your washing machine, use the...By Mary Hunt More 11/28/13
Ahura Mazda isn't a car from Japan. He is the top god, the "uncreated god," worshiped by Zoroastrians. As the lord of light and wisdom, he also created the universe. Persian leaders would go into battle with an empty chariot, led by a white stallion, in hopes that Ahura Mazda would take the reins and join in the battle. He is sometimes classified as part of a triad of gods, along with Mithra and Apam Napat.
The Afars don't live near. They live afar....By Paul Paquet More 11/28/13
Dear Mary: Soon I will receive an inheritance that is almost equal to the amount remaining on my mortgage. I am a widow, age 55, with no dependents. I have 25 years with the same employer and have been participating in the company's 401k plan for the past 15 years. I plan to work until I am 65. Should I use the inheritance to pay off the mortgage or, as friends suggest, invest it in a variety of stocks and bonds and keep my mortgage because the interest is tax-deductible? — Eleanor...By Mary Hunt More 11/27/13
Spiro Agnew became the first Greek-American governor of a U.S. state, and he is the only Greek-American vice president. Sadly, things did not well for Agnew. He resigned from the vice presidency over an income tax issue, and Richard Nixon named Gerald Ford in his place. So, when Nixon quit, that meant the U.S. had a president nobody had ever voted for (outside Michigan). Agnew went on write "The Canfield Decision," a 1976 novel about a disgraced vice...By Paul Paquet More 11/27/13
HARP 2.0 to the Rescue of Underwater Homeowners
At first, you might mistake it for a large, stringed musical instrument. It's not, but the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) could be music to your ears if your home mortgage is still underwater.
First announced in March 2009, the federal government program designed HARP to help underwater or near-underwater homeowners refinance into a fixed loan with a lower monthly payment.
The first HARP was not that...By Mary Hunt More 11/26/13
You've probably heard the story that Thomas Crapper invented the flush toilet. It's funny, but, sadly, it isn't true. The whole thing was a hoax concocted in a 1969 book by Wallace Reyburn called "Flushed With Pride." Alexander Cumming probably invented the modern flush toilet in 1775, about 50 years before Crapper was born. But that being said, Crapper was a real plumber who did advance toilet technology.
What state capital has the largest U.S. city, not by...By Paul Paquet More 11/26/13
An Ounce of Prevention Is Cheaper Than a Pound of Cure
If the terms Snowden, NSA and "top secret information" ring a bell, it's possible that you follow the national news and understand the issues of privacy — both national and personal.
I can't do much about the monitoring efforts. But if someone actually makes a move to steal my identity to do me harm? I can do something about that. And I would much rather choose prevention than face the daunting task...By Mary Hunt More 11/25/13
When a woman shaves her head for a role, people take notice. Demi Moore did it for "G.I. Jane" and Natalie Portman did it for "V for Vendetta." But there are other examples. Persis Khambatta shaved her head for the first "Star Trek" movie and, speaking of science fiction, Sigourney Weaver did it for "Alien 3." You can also add Lori Petty from "Tank Girl" and Robin Tunney from "Empire Records."
What superhero's...By Paul Paquet More 11/25/13