Ask Rachel

Weighing costs, smoker's section & snowed in
Weighing costs, smoker's section & snowed in
02/02/2023

Interesting fact: The first time smoking was curtailed in Congress was 1871, when a dozen eggs cost 30 cents.

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Glove love, seeing red and dark arts
Glove love, seeing red and dark arts
01/26/2023

Interesting fact: International law dictates that all go signals must be green, but due to some linguistic stubbornness, you get traffic lights in Japan that are the bluest possible shade of green.

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Earning your stripes, turf wars and a rice gesture
Earning your stripes, turf wars and a rice gesture
01/19/2023

Interesting fact: The inventor of road striping was following a leaky milk truck down the road when the idea came to him: why not store milk in jugs instead of trucks?

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Sweat it out, Xmas year-round & fake it till you make it
Sweat it out, Xmas year-round & fake it till you make it
01/12/2023

Interesting fact: Electric Christmas lights were a status symbol for many years after being invented. So keeping strands up year-round will impress the heck out of any time travelers from the past.

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Barking at ghosts, mommy issues and playing with dolls
Barking at ghosts, mommy issues and playing with dolls
01/05/2023
Interesting fact: That string of random &#^$*@ characters we use for swearing in print is called a “grawlix” and should be spoken as “bleep.” Or “bleeping,” as context requires.
 
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Battling the bulge, berry deep thoughts & whisky is for fighting
Battling the bulge, berry deep thoughts & whisky is for fighting
12/22/2022

Interesting fact: Humans share about 60% of our genes with bananas. Also, about 60% with fruit flies. Ergo, fruit flies are made of actual fruit.

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Fan mail, cutting corners & grinchin' out
Fan mail, cutting corners & grinchin' out
12/15/2022

Interesting fact: There are airtight (or spacetight) zippers that the astronauts use. I sure hope NASA pays more than $35 for flight suits. 

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Big Brother face-off, dis'ad'vantage and reindeer games
Big Brother face-off, dis'ad'vantage and reindeer games
12/08/2022

Interesting fact: Not only are AI illustrations a thing, but we now have AI “culinary research assistants,” which I trust less than a skinny chef.

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Getting dogged, Christmess & celebrity recall
Getting dogged, Christmess & celebrity recall
12/01/2022

Interesting fact: Stuffed toys for dogs can simulate either babies to be carried around or prey to be torn apart. I’m a little concerned those roles have so much overlap.

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Cran-troversy, going solo and pickle perplexed
Cran-troversy, going solo and pickle perplexed
11/23/2022

Interesting fact: Americans consume 5 million gallons of jellied cranberry sauce every holiday season, and 73% of them prefer it jellied in the shape of a can. Cran cran, in the shape of cans, cans!

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I'm walkin' here, mommy issues &?after after-party
I'm walkin' here, mommy issues &?after after-party
11/17/2022

Interesting fact: About 2,200 American local print newspapers folded from 2005-21. All the more impressive that we’re still standing. Let’s see how we’re still standing at closing time on Friday.

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Fish feed, pink slips and COVID cop out
Fish feed, pink slips and COVID cop out
11/10/2022

Interesting fact: I guess you should feed an aquarium of fish whatever they will eat in about 2-3 minutes. Then try not to get anxious about your own pace of eating.

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Betting on Burton, mop swap & reader cheater
Betting on Burton, mop swap & reader cheater
11/03/2022

Interesting fact: Just because the film’s director and composer say that “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween movie doesn’t mean they’re right about it.

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'Tis the season, fly by night and a hot mess
'Tis the season, fly by night and a hot mess
10/27/2022

Interesting fact: This #OneChipChallenge tortilla chip monstrosity is made with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers, both of which tally more than 2 million Scoville heat units. I wonder how many Scoville heat units I, personally, would tally.

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Hangover helper, email ghosting & oiled up
Hangover helper, email ghosting & oiled up
10/20/2022

Interesting fact: 7Up is so named for its seven ingredients, including lithium citrate, which was intended to offer a mood lift (but was later banned by the FDA). Also, 7Up was patented as a cure for hangovers. Sounds better than lavender oil.

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Running on empty, hang-xiety and downward dogs
Running on empty, hang-xiety and downward dogs
10/13/2022

Interesting fact: First result on Google indicates that coffee only helps hangovers by preventing you from having a caffeine headache on top of a hangover headache and a regret headache

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Twister mister, foliage foe & too old to WWOOF
Twister mister, foliage foe & too old to WWOOF
10/06/2022

Interesting fact: Aspen leaves are actually red, orange and yellow all year long. They just have so much chlorophyll that you can see only the green, until production fades in the autumn. Now you, too, can sound like a nerd on your fall foliage drive.

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7-down, resting in peace & coyote control
7-down, resting in peace & coyote control
09/29/2022

Interesting fact: Sprite has been reformulated in Europe to remove 30% of the sugar. If they had removed 42% of it, I’d be a devotee.

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Pay to piss, toys for tots and pickle intervention
Pay to piss, toys for tots and pickle intervention
09/22/2022

Interesting fact: In other countries, it’s common to pay a bathroom attendant the equivalent of anything from 10 cents to $2 to use the facilities. I’m thinking of opening my bathroom to the public.

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Loaners, 24/7 festy wear and wining & dining
Loaners, 24/7 festy wear and wining & dining
09/15/2022

Interesting fact: “To the nines” is a reference to the nine Muses, unless it’s a corruption of some Scottish phrase “to then eyne,” meaning “to the eyes.” Me, I like to dress to the fives. Occasionally the sevens.

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