St. Francis would probably have made most of us uncomfortable. He's perhaps both the most well-known and most domesticated saint. His love for God and God's creation has made him a secular patron for pets. But his radical love of God and insistence on poverty sparked renewal in a way that should unsettle our lives.
Father Fidelis Moscinski, a Franciscan friar, also makes people uncomfortable. He can often be seen praying outside of abortion clinics. In New York City, that not only makes people uncomfortable, but livid, as I've personally witnessed.
A few days after Independence Day this past summer, he showed up at an abortion clinic on Long Island early in the morning, carrying locks and chains. He obstructed access to the clinic for a few hours. He said he wanted to delay women going in so he could try to persuade them not to have abortions. So now the Justice Department is making a federal case of him.
When I first heard back in July that he had done this lock-and-chain work, I questioned the efficacy of the tactic to a mutual friend, in terms of messaging and long-term strategy.
"Women turned around," my friend replied. For Father Fidelis, any opportunity to give anyone a chance to reconsider abortion is worth it. It's a radical last line of defense.
Nicole Moore counsels abortion-minded women in New York City at Pregnancy Help Inc., one of the modest pregnancy-help centers that the governor of New York and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren want to shut down. Moore observes that even in the abortion capital/destination of New York, something has changed in the 100 days or so since Roe was overturned.
Women's "hearts are open." I've heard this from others on the frontlines of pregnancy help: Now that Roe v. Wade isn't the law of the land, some of the pressure is lifted -- alternatives that wouldn't have been considered before are now in play.
Jessica Keating Floyd recently wrote about being in the Master of Divinity program at Notre Dame, and finding pro-life people who talk about abortion more than other issues annoying. After saying this during a study of Christian radicalism, she was challenged by someone she respected, known for "his commitment to social justice." He said to her: "If you believe these are human beings, you might feel differently." Now she works to convince others of the urgency of protecting the unborn.
Moore has spoken about how so much of the noise since Roe ended seems so remote from the needs of the women who come to her, who aren't certain how to make it through the week, never mind a pregnancy and the next 18+ years.
I'm much less interested in the political and legal debate over the federal charges against Father Fidelis as I am in how uncomfortable he can make us in terms of causing us to question our commitments, ideals and actions. How much do we really value human life, and what lengths are we really willing to go to in order to defend and protect it? These are important questions for people on both sides of the abortion divide.
As long as there are politicians trying to cloak abortion in euphemisms, rhetoric and hyperbole, there will be religious leaders making us uncomfortable -- and going to jail -- because they have the courage of their convictions in the face of a grave moral muddle.
(Kathryn Jean Lopez is senior fellow at the National Review Institute, editor-at-large of National Review magazine and author of the new book "A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living." She is also chair of Cardinal Dolan's pro-life commission in New York. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Trending on Townhall Video
Well, mostly everyone. A famous author once dismissed the timeless book as having "no heart," calling it "nothing but glittering frostwork." Who would ever say such a thing about a tale so legendary it's been made into Christmas movies and stage plays?
We'd love to tell you, but what fun would that be? After all, the best thing about a rousing game of trivia is the challenge of coming up with the answer.
Don't worry, we won't leave you in suspense over the answer to this juicy morsel of Christmas trivia. But you’ll need to read on to find out — and lucky for you, there's a whole lot more where that came from.
Show up to your Christmas party with a bunch of fun facts about everything from the link between Santa Claus and Coca-Cola to the bestselling Christmas song of all time. Hint: It's not "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Even so, if you've ever wondered how Rudolph came to be one of Santa's unofficial reindeer, we've got that one for you too.
So, put on your Santa cap (we'd say "thinking cap" but it's Christmas, so we're staying on-theme here) and get ready because with all these Christmas trivia questions and answers, you're about to become a full-fledged holiday pro.
Question: What is thought to be the first observation of the December 25 holiday? Answer: The Christian church in Rome commemorated the Feast of the Nativity in 336.
Question: When did Christmas become a national holiday?Answer: On June 24, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation declaring December 25 a national holiday.
Question: What was the original name of Clement Clarke Moore’s "The Night Before Christmas"? Answer: “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
Question: What controversy is associated with "The Night Before Christmas"? Answer: Some scholars suggest it was actually written by poet and farmer Henry Livingston Jr.
Question: Where did "Old Saint Nick" come from? Answer: During the Middle Ages, St. Nicholas was a patron saint of children, sailors and thieves (among others), and is known for giving out gifts to the faithful.
Question: Where did the first modern-day image of Santa Claus come from? Answer: An 1881 issue of "Harper's Weekly" featured a drawing by Thomas Nast that portrayed Santa as a jolly, robust man wearing a suit and carrying a bag of toys.
Question: Which soda manufacturer is thought to have cemented the rosy-cheeked, bearded Santa Claus that is associated with Christmas today? Answer: In 1931, Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to paint an image of Santa for their ads and it has since been the basis for the Santa Claus we know today.
Question: What did Haddon Sundblom base his rendering of Santa Claus on? Answer: Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicolas,” otherwise known as “The Night Before Christmas.”
Question: How many reindeer does Santa have? Answer: Eight: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
Question: When did Rudolph become Santa’s unofficial ninth reindeer? Answer: In 1939, when the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released.
Question: When did Santa first become associated with reindeer? Answer: Santa’s reindeer are thought to have originated in an 1821 booklet written by an anonymous author who pens: “Old Santeclaus with much delight / His reindeer drives this frosty night.”
Question: Are Santa’s reindeer male or female? Answer: Female. Male reindeer lose their antlers in November, while female reindeer keep their antlers through the winter. Most depictions of Santa’s reindeer show antlers, which means they must be female to guide his sleigh in December.
Question: Why do reindeer have hairy hooves? Answer: The hair on their hooves give reindeer a good grip when walking on ice and snow, per the FDA.
Question: What’s the origin of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” Answer: In 1939, a copywriter named Robert May created the character for a Montgomery Ward Christmas coloring book based on his daughter’s love of deer.
Question: How did “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” become a song? Answer: Inspired by coloring book character's success, Robert May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, penned the song in 1939.
Question: True or false: Gene Autry didn’t want to record “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Answer: True. Autry thought the song was bad for his image and his wife ultimately convinced him to record the song as a B-side, according to the New York Times.
Question: What’s the best-selling Christmas single of all time? Answer: “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby has sold over 100 million records around the world, according to the Guinness World Records.
Question: Which song tops Billboard's list of the 100 greatest holiday songs of all time? Answer: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
Question: Which album tops Billboard's list of the top 100 holiday albums of all time? Answer: “A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio
Question: After “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” what are Billboard's five greatest holiday songs of all time (in order)?Answer: “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms, “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)" by Nat King Cole, “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives, “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano and “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by Andy Williams
Question: Where is the real North Pole located? Answer: The geographic North Pole is at 90 degrees north latitude, making it the northernmost point on the planet.
Question: True or false: The North Pole has no time zone. Answer: True. All longitudinal lines start at the North Pole, which means there’s no time zone.
Question: When was the first mass-produced Christmas card printed and sent? Answer: The first Christmas card was printed in the United Kingdom in 1843 and depicts a family celebrating Christmas.
Question: Who invented Christmas lights? Answer: Three individuals are responsible for the lights we hang today. Thomas Edison created the first strand of electric lights in 1880. Edward H. Johnson put the first string of Christmas lights together in 1882. And, in 1917, Albert Sadacca proposed that his family’s lighting company sell colored strands of inexpensive Christmas lights to the public.
Question: When was the first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree erected? Answer: In December of 1931, workers at Rockefeller Center pooled their money to buy a Christmas tree. It was a 20-foot balsam fir.
Question: When did lighting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree become an annual tradition? Answer: December 1933
Question: When did the Rockefeller Center skating rink open? Answer: 1936
Question: What’s the largest tree in Rockefeller Center’s history? Answer: In 1999, The tallest tree, which was imported from Killingworth, Connecticut, stood 100 feet tall.
Question: Which actor won an Oscar for their portrayal of Santa Claus? Answer: Edmund Gwenn won best supporting actor for his role as Santa Claus in “Miracle on 34th Street.”
Question: What’s unique about the McCallister's house in “Home Alone”? Answer: Nearly all the rooms are decorated in red, green and gold.
Question: Where was the movie “Home Alone” filmed? Answer: The bulk of the film was shot on sets built inside a Chicago high school.
Question: True or false: The gangster movie that Kevin McCallister watches in “Home Alone” is a real film. Answer: False. “Angels With Filthy Souls” was created especially for “Home Alone,” but is based on the 1938 James Cagney movie, “Angels With Dirty Faces.”
Question: Which actor broke their finger while filming “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation"? Answer: While filming the scene where Clark Griswold punches the outside Christmas decorations after he can’t get the lights to work, actor Chevy Chase broke his pinky finger but continued filming the scene that appears in the final movie.
Question: What's the significance of the moose glasses that Clark Griswold and Cousin Eddie drink eggnog out of during “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?” Answer: The moose glasses are from Walley World, the Griswold vacation destination from the original “National Lampoon's Vacation."
Question: Which classic Christmas movie inspired “The Wonder Years?” Answer: “A Christmas Story”
Question: Why do we leave milk and cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve? Answer: According to NPR, one of the first literary references to leaving out milk and cookies on Christmas is in a short story from the 1870s, a time when good manners dictated hosts put out food for visiting guests to eat.
Question: How much does the average consumer spend on holiday gifts and other related purchases? Answer: In 2021, the National Retail Federation estimated that consumers would spend roughly $997.73 on holiday gifts, decorations and other items.
Question: What percentage of people return at least one of their holiday gifts? Answer: At least 66% of consumers surveyed by Optoro returned at least one holiday gift in 2020.
Question: In 2021, what percentage of U.S. adults intended to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Answer: According to the National Retail Federation, 90% of adults planned to celebrate the holidays.
Question: True or false: Early holiday shopping (defined as prior to November) is on the decline. Answer: False. Half of holiday shoppers plan to start buying before November, the highest number in the National Retail Federation's survey’s history.
Question: True or false: The Puritans canceled Christmas. Answer: True. The English Puritans banned the holiday in 1647 because they viewed it as a pagan celebration. In Massachusetts, the U.S. Puritans followed suit. From 1659 to 1681, anyone caught celebrating the holiday was fined.
Question: Where’s the biggest Christmas light display in North America? Answer: Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. The display boasts more than ten million Christmas lights.
Question: Which state produces the most Christmas trees in the U.S.? Answer: According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Oregon is the top tree-producing state, followed by North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Question: What’s the most popular type of Christmas tree?Answer: Fraser fir, followed by noble fir, Douglas fir, balsam fir and Scotch pine.
Question: How many Christmas tree seedlings are planted each year? Answer: 60 to 70 million
Question: True or false: You should add bleach, aspirin or fertilizer to Christmas trees to make them last longer. Answer: False. The National Christmas Tree Association says some commercial additives and other hacks can increase needle loss. Just use plain tap water instead.
Question: How much should you cut off before putting a tree in a stand? Answer: Half an inch, per the National Christmas Tree Association.
Question: How many real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year? Answer: Approximately 25-30 million
Question: What is the most popular Christmas cookie in the U.S.? Answer: A YouGov poll found that chocolate chip cookies are the most popular Christmas cookie, followed by sugar, fudge and brownie cookies.
Question: What’s the least popular Christmas cookie?Answer: The same YouGov poll found that anise cookies are the least popular come Christmas, followed by chai sugar, spritz and Pfeffernüsse.
Question: When was “A Christmas Carol” published?Answer: "A Christmas Carol" was published by Charles Dickens on December 19, 1843.
Question: How long did it take Charles Dickens to write "A Christmas Carol"? Answer: Six weeks
Question: How many ghosts visit Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"? Answer: Technically four. The first is Scrooge's former business partner, Jacob Marley, who tells him about the three spirits that will follow.
Question: After Jacob Marley, who are the spirits that visit Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve? Answer: The spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future
Question: Which famous author and peer of Charles Dickens wasn't a fan of "A Christmas Carol"? Answer: Mark Twain famously critiqued Dickens' work, saying "there is no heart. No feeling – is nothing but glittering frostwork."
Q. Do new tires loose a little air every month? I bought a new Honda Pilot in May of this year, every two months a light comes telling me my car has low tire pressure. It happened a few times so far, all four tires were low by five pounds and had to be inflated by the dealer. When I asked about this the service manager said this is normal, is it?
A. All tires will lose air over time, it is normal that most tires can lose a couple of pounds of pressure every month or so. In cooler weather tires can lose one pound of pressure for every 10 degree drop in temperature. This is why it is important to check your car’s tire pressure at least once per month, using a quality tire gauge. Maintaining the correct pressure will maximize both fuel economy and tire life.
Q. The oil light came on in my car while driving, shortly after that the car shut off. It is a 20-year-old Mercedes Benz, what do you think is wrong.
A. When the oil light or any other red light comes on you need to stop driving immediately. The oil light indicates there is/was dangerously low oil pressure. Driving with the oil light on could have seized and destroyed the engine. At this point take the car to a mechanic and have it checked out. Although considering its age (the average car on the road is a little over 12 years old) it may be near the end of its useful life.
Q. I have a 15-year-old Saab which I like driving better than my BMW and Audi. My question is, what is the life expectancy of the airbag system? I want to give the car to my daughter after winter and just was wondering if the airbags wear out?
A. Most car manufacturers consider the airbag system to last the life of the car. Now of course if the airbag light is on, this would indicate one of the systems that support the airbag has failed and will needs to be repaired.
Q. I was recently at a dinner party and was telling someone I found a low mileage 2019 Chevrolet Sonic for my daughter for a college car. Someone called it a rolling coffin, are these cars as unsafe as this person was making them out to be?
A. The Chevrolet Sonic is a safe car that utilizes advanced seat belts, air bags and traction and stability control. In the design of the car it utilizes a safety cage to protest the occupants. In fact it got a five-star rating from NHTSA and a good rating from IIHS. Now all of this doesn’t change the law of physics when it comes to vehicle crashes and doesn’t remove the responsibility of the driver to drive safely.
Q. Now that the cool Fall weather is here, every time I get out of my car I get a shock. Is there something I can do?
A. Static electricity is the imbalance of positive and negative changes. During the summer when the weather is more humid these charges tend to roll off of us more quickly. With winter, comes cold dry air and the imbalance of charges tends to build until you touch your car and the charge goes to ground. Using a fabric spray such a Static Guard once or twice a month will usually help eliminate static shocks.
Q. I have a work van (former Grumman bread truck) and it is always cold inside. I remember years ago I had a friend with a Volkswagen with a gasoline heater. The heater would drive you out of the car and only used a little bit of gas. Is there a modern equivalent for trucks?
A. The only item that I’m familiar with is the Blueheat unit by Webasto. These units heat the air or the coolant depending on the model, using vehicle fuel. They work almost like a little household furnace. My only experience was years back with one installed in a Dodge Sprinter. This was a great system, provided plenty of heat, used a minimal amount of fuel and had a timer that could be programmed so the interior was warm when you needed the truck. Best of all there was no excessive idling, wasting fuel and adding to air pollution worries of an engine running unnecessarily.
Q. I have a 2008 Toyota Prius Touring model and one of my front headlights is intermittently going out. I thought this would be a simple fix, but it turns out Toyota wants $300-$500 to install the new bulb? I’m wondering if there are other options out there (quicker, cheaper fixes) or if that’s actually the price I’ll have to pay for a new bulb. Is the dealer the only option?
A. This has been a fairly common failure on certain year Prius vehicles with HID headlights and I’m surprised that they lasted this long. Unlike halogen bulbs that dim and then burn out HID bulbs flicker or just turn off. The repair generally involves changing both headlights. There are non-Toyota parts including the ballast which are generally cheaper than the factory parts. Any competent garage should be able to repair the headlights.
Got a car question, email the Car Doctor for a personal reply. email@example.com
After mailing out dozens of resumes, your dream job calls to say they want to interview you. You’ve gotten past the recruiter who was verifying your information but didn’t have any of the hard questions you will face in the interview. It will be online, with a panel of people, and extra one-on-one interviews following that. On the day of the interview, you turn on zoom and realize that your hands are clammy, your voice is shaky, and you have an overriding sense of anxiety in handling this interview online. You’re panic about what kind of questions you’re going to get asked. Some of them are going to be very hard and that makes you even more nervous.
Reboot Digital PR decided to examine the actual interview questions that raise people’s heart rate the most and have them squirm in their chairs. Reboot Digital PR asked participants to wear a fitness health tracker during an interview to conduct this study. They asked the same questions in the same order. They started with the person’s average heartbeat and recorded the most uncomfortable questions that raise their heartbeat.
So, what bothers people the most? A sudden ‘quick test’ frightens job candidates the most. Also, having ‘too many interviewers’ was an issue.
Here is the full list of questions noting the nervousness increases.
Ironically, the tell us about yourself question had the lowest impact in terms of making people nervous. Maybe if you understood how important that question was, your heart rate would go up more. (Read the Forbes article Best Way to Open the Interview to Secure A Job Offer)
Employers make snap judgments. You do not want to babble or bore them with a lengthy rendition of your background or life story. You need to open and grab their attention quickly because, most times, they are not paying attention to you yet. The most successful way to do this is to use the 60 Second Sell, a technique I use with all my interview coaching clients. You identify your top five selling points to perform the job you’re interviewing for. You link these together in a few sentences, and you have this verbal business card or elevator speech, known as your 60 Second Sell.
What salary range are you looking for?
In my experience working with job hunters, most people make critical mistakes when they answer the salary questions. Typically, people are asked what their current salary is, or what is the compensation they are looking for. Directly answering these questions can cost you the job or several thousands of dollars in future wages that the employer was willing to pay. The salary range question should be straightforward for you to answer if you have done the appropriate homework in advance. You can first reply, “what is the range this job pays?” and see if they answer. If they push you for a number, then try this approach. Cite a source like payscale.com and mention that their salary survey says that for an experienced project manager, the range is between $90,000 - $150,000, and you’re in that range. Then do your best to move on. If they want an exact figure, mention that you don’t know enough about the job yet to determine the actual salary you would require. You can table it until later.
Do you know what we do here?
This is an absolute must do. You must research before the interview to know about the company, what kind of products they sell, and precisely what they’re doing in the area or business unit you are going to work in.
What would your last boss say about you?
Think about your strengths and the duties required to perform this job. Then point out a couple of critical talents or abilities that your boss may have noticed that are specifically related to performing the new job. This gives the employer confidence you would work well in their position.
Why are you leaving your current employer?
Mentioning that you have gone as far as you can or want a new challenge are both acceptable answers. You can also bring up that you are trying to make a career pivot into a new industry. Of course, if you were let go because of a layoff, you can most likely attribute it to COVID.
What are the gaps in your CV?
Have a reasonable explanation as to why you took time off. You’re going to college, your family was relocating, you were on maternity leave, or the company restructured, so you got laid-off. One good strategy is to talk about what you might have learned during the gap. Maybe you picked up a new skill or finished a certification or degree, and you can move the conversation to talk about that.
What would you say are your weaknesses?
Notice this question is asking for more than one. Pick out skills that you don’t have that is not necessary to perform the job. For example, you could say, “I’m good at using Excel. I can take database info and layout the research or make macros subsets, but if you needed me to start coding or using SQL, I would need to take more classes. In this answer, you are pointing out something that you do well, and since coding or programming is not necessary for your job, the employer won’t worry about it.
Why should we hire you?
The answer to this question is the 60 Second Sell. You have already determined these are your five top-selling points. So, you would use the same response as noted in the Tell us about yourself question.
Where do you see your career progression heading?
Bring up the fact that technology and advances over the next few years will create brand new jobs that don’t even exist now. A solid answer is to say that you want to be working for the same company and apply your talents. If you have a goal in mind, you can mention it. Also, add that you are a lifelong learner and you keep yourself open to any new opportunities that might pop up in the company where they need somebody to go to a new area to help the company grow.
Tips to reduce nervousness
The number one way to reduce nervousness is to practice interviewing before the real event. Start by writing out the answers to the questions you think will be asked. Read them out loud and edit them so that you have the best possible response. Ask a friend to role-play with you, and you can practice answering the questions online because now almost all interviews are being conducted online. Get comfortable with looking at your computer’s camera and answering people by looking directly into the camera. That builds rapport as people watch you. The last thing to do right before you start is to stand up, shake your arms, shake your legs, move your shoulders around, and do a couple of twirls. These actions help you get some of the nervous energy out of your body.
Got a thorny question of state law in your federal case? The federal court certainly has the power to decide it. Indeed, federal courts routinely decide questions of state law, doing their best to make an “Erie guess” as to the right result. But just because the federal court can decide the question doesn’t mean it will. There’s another option: certifying the question to the appropriate state supreme court.
Once rare and relatively unknown, the certification process has been gaining traction in exact years. In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions (McKesson v. Doe, 141 S. Ct. 48, 49 (2020) (per curiam), and Carney v. Adams, 141 S. Ct. 493, 504 (2020) (Sotomayor, J. concurring)) discussing the importance of certification. And just two months ago, Justice Elena Kagan pondered during argument in U.S. v. Washington—a case involving a state law aimed at federal workers who got sick while cleaning up the Hanford nuclear site—whether certification to the Washington Supreme Court might be appropriate. Meanwhile, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit certified nearly four times as many questions between 2015 and 2019 (84) as it did between 1990 and 1994 (23).
usatoday.com cannot provide a good user experience to your browser. To use this site and continue to benefit from our journalism and site features, please upgrade to the latest version of Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari.
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 24, 2022
September is the best time for fescue lawn renovation. Turf-type fescue renovation should be initiated in the fall and early winter in order to become established and survive the summer heat. Below are a few questions posed from local homeowners about fall lawn renovation practices
Question: Should I core-aerate my yard now?
Answer: Yes. Now is the perfect time to core-aerate your fescue lawn. Using this tool is probably the best method of getting fertilizer into the root zone. It also gives tight clay soils pore space necessary for root growth and expansion. Coring allows fertilizer and seed to penetrate without plowing. Don’t forget to add straw mulch to conserve moisture.
Question: How long do I have to wait after I core aerate to apply seed and fertilizer?
Answer: You need to apply fertilizer and seed right after you core aerate. You can apply seed, lime and fertilizer all in the same day.
Question: What is the best type of fescue to use for my lawn?
Answer: Seed with a blend of turf-type fescues. Fescue blends are available at most retail outlets. Blends of three or more turf-type fescues adapt better to our differing soil types and have more resistance to brown patch and other diseases. Single cultivars plantings allow the fungus to spread freely, whereas a mixture limits its spread.
Question: Our lawn is covered in broadleaf weeds growing in the newly seeded areas. When should I spray to kill these weeds?
Answer: The newly planted fescue needs to be well established before spraying with a broadleaf herbicide. Make sure you’ve mowed the newly planted lawn at least two times before spraying broadleaf herbicides.
Question: Do I really need to apply straw mulch if I have plenty of water?
Answer: Yes, research has proven that cool-season fescue germinates quicker and stronger with some type of mulch to hold moisture. Apply clean, wheat straw as a mulch to cover bare ground areas. Wheat straw mulch holds moisture, allowing seed to germinate quickly. Gently shake one to two bales of straw per 1,000 square feet. Be careful not to apply too much straw. After application you should be able to see the bare ground through the mulch. Over-mulching produces thin, weak stands of turf.
Question: How much water does my newly seeded lawn need?
Answer: Keep the soil moist for adequate germination. Irrigate deeply to prevent sparse, inadequate root development; about one-two inches of water per week. Irrigation maybe needed two or three times per week if we have dry weather. Water less frequently as turf becomes established.
Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. My son purchased a used 2020 Kia Soul Model S with 13,600 miles on it from a local Kia dealer in May of this year. After a couple of days, the engine light on the dashboard came on. He brought the car back to the dealership and they attached a diagnostic meter to it. They said there was a problem with the cooling system. They serviced it and said the problem was corrected. A few days later the engine light went on again. We brought it back and they replaced a faulty thermostat. It stayed off until he started out for a trip down south, the light came on again. We looked under the hood, no leaks and the car wasn’t running hot. A neighbor attached a diagnostic meter, and the code came up cooling system. He was able to reset the light and it stayed off till two days ago. What is the problem that causes the engine light to go on and why can’t it be corrected by Kia?
A. Certainly Kia can fix the problem. At this point I would go back to any Kia dealer when the engine light is on and have them check for codes. As the second owner the car is covered by a 60,000 mile 5-year warranty. The limited basic warranty offers bumper-to-bumper coverage for most vehicle components not covered by any powertrain warranty.
Q. I have what I think is a simple question. I got a flat tire, called AAA came to help and put my spare tire on. I think I need to get my tire replaced, do I go to the car dealer, or can I go to a garage and see if they can replace and repair the tire? Or is it mandatory to go to the dealership for it since it’s the original tire?
A. The dealership or a tire store should be able to match the tire exactly with the original tires on the car. Depending on the car and mileage you may need to replace two tires. At this point I would go to what ever is most convenient and quickest to have the flat tire inspected. You may find once the tire is carefully examined it can be repaired to as good as new.
Q. Did I miss something in the news? I have a car registered in Massachusetts and I had my vehicle inspected today. During the inspection the technician removed my clear plate cover and did not place it back on. They noted that in Massachusetts since there are no toll booths any longer, that plate covers are not allowed, due to possible glare from taking photos of the plate. Is this valid? Should I not place the cover back on myself? This was the first time I had the car inspected at the dealer. The local garage last year didn’t remove the clear cover. I am confused.
A. Massachusetts has a law in place that requires vehicle license plate numbers to be legible and unobscured by a glass or plastic cover or another device. A violation is $35 for the first offense, $75 for second offense and $150 for third offense. Generally, a clear plate cover that doesn’t distort the plate and allows for normal reflectivity is allowed. I also checked with the Motorist Assistance Center (the contractor that handles vehicle inspection) that confirmed this. It may just be one inspector’s interpretation of the law.
Q. My 1997 Toyota Camry runs well with 203,000 miles on it. I’ve been extending the life of this vehicle with major repairs lately, and now the power steering rack is leaking. It was suggested to use a sealant rather than an expensive repair. Do you think it will work?
A. If the seals are leaking a product such as Lucas Power Steering Sealer may help or at least slow the leak. These product swell the seals slightly and slow down the leaks. In some cases, the leak can stop completely. Will it last forever, probably not, but it may buy you more time. You also might want to have your shop check around remanufactured steering racks are now in some cases under $200 and it is only two hours labor to replace the steering rack on that model Camry.
Q. I have a creaking noise in my right rear suspension of my 2016 Mazda Miata. I hear it on sudden turns or on the first movement forward from a standstill. Just one low creaking noise per turn or start up. Other than that, the car runs beautifully. The local dealer could not find the noise and said the brake calipers were loose, that didn’t work. Several mechanics have not been able to find anything loose in the suspension. Is it true that coil springs “creep” at the ends as they compress and release? Could this be the mystery creaking?
A. if I was looking for a creaking noise, I would start with looking at anything with a rubber bushing. Also, if the creak isn’t present in the rain, then more likely a rubber bushing. Could a spring insulator be a problem, perhaps but usually it is more consistent. The most common issue with these cars is the hub support bushings wear and rust forms and it makes a noise. Usually with a very close inspection you can see rusty dust at the upper bushings. This is not a cheap repair about two hours labor and the part is nearly $600. I would want to completely confirm the issue before spending almost $1000
Got a car question, email the Car Doctor for a personal reply. email@example.com