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¨  What is a police ride-along?
¨  Turkey cooking time
¨  How come I never get an answer when I submit a question?
¨  Is there any proof of God?
¨  Do all religions have godparents?
¨  Do you have any tips for building self-confidence and overcoming shyness?
¨  Contacting Torrejon/Madrid High School alumni
¨  History of mail-order/picture brides in America
  What does it mean to "take the Mickey"?
¨  How do slot machines work?
¨  Teaching jobs in Misawa, Japan
  What is the mailing address for actor Sean Astin?

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What is a [police] ride-along?

ANSWER from Dana Johnson on 15 November 2004:
A ride-a-long is where you go to a police department and arrange to ride on the street in a police cruiser with what is known as a host officer.  He/She should give you a tour of their command including the 911 center if it's in the same building.  You will most likely have to fill out an application.  You get to go to actual 911 cases and see first hand how we deal with incidents.  Work a car crash, see how we deal with a traffic stop, which is one of the most dangerous things we do, shoplifting cases, etc.  In some cases you may have to stay in the cruiser depending on the situation.

Check with you local PD and see if they hold a Police Youth Academy.  They get to see aspects of police work most people don't (unless they are bad guys!).  If they don't have one ask them to contact Virginia Beach Police training Academy to inquire about putting one on.

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When using convection cooking on our GE oven the cooking time ends up substantially less than that cited in the owner's manual.  I may be calculating cooking time incorrectly.  For a 15 pound turkey at 8 mins./lb, I calculated 120 mins. or two hours.  It cooked in 1 hour ten minutes at 325 degs.  Same thing happened last year.  Is there a problem or is it the wrong way to calculate cooking time.

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 28 November 2004:
I am definitely the wrong person to answer cooking questions (just ask anyone in my family)!  The math I can handle.  If it said to allow 8 minutes per pound and your turkey weighed 15 pounds: 8x15=120 (2 hours).  Your math is correct.  I assume that you had set your oven at the proper temperature.  Are you using a meat thermometer to make sure that your turkey reached the proper internal temperature?  I went to google.com and typed:

turkey cooking time convection oven

I found several links that might answer your question. For example:


If you go to www.ge.com, you can do the same search and will find several articles related to GE convection ovens.  If you can't find the answer you need, you can contact them and ask.  Your owner's manual probably has a phone number you can call.

It is possible that your oven temperature is not calibrated properly and your turkey is cooking faster because the temperture is higher than you think.  Contacting Customer Support at GE would probably be the best way to find an answer to your problem.

I hope that helps and I hope your turkey tasted great!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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How come I never get an answer when I submit a question?

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 29 October 2004:
Please resubmit the question through our web form at: http://imagiverse.net/snail/ .

Please enter your complete email address on the form or your question will get routed to a different mail box (trash) due to the incomplete email address.  Because you wrote your email address in the body of the email, I am attempting to contact you.

Please be careful to submit a complete and correct email address when you write to us.  Quite often we send wonderful answers back to people who give us an incorrect email address or who have incoming email blocked.  The messages bounce and we have no way of contacting the sender.  Be sure to check our archives for all the previously answered questions.  If you did not receive an answer, you may find it posted.

We try our best to respond to all questions in a timely manner.  If you do not receive a response within a week, please resubmit your question.

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Do you have any proof of existence of God?

ANSWER from Joe King on 15 April 2006:
"Mathematically, God CAN exist.  Just consider Goedel's Incompleteness Theorem."

Kurt Goedel was a mathematician that demonstrated the proof of a statement within any mathematical or logical system comes from outside the system.  For example, 1+1=2, where 2 is not found in the original system of 1+1.  Since mathematics and logic also govern how we can determine what we perceive, it is mathematically possible for God to exist, even though we don't perceive Him now, because He exists outside our logical system of perception.  He has also existed within our system of perception at different times as testified to by ancient eyewitness reports.

This does not constitute absolute proof of anything other than that it is not impossible for there to be a God, as many atheists claim.

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 18 October 2004:
Is there any proof that God does NOT exist?  This question is one that is debated by people all over the globe and there is no "proof" either way.  Around the world, and all through recorded time, many people believe in a higher power of some sort.  Have you seen our pages on Religions Around the World at: http://www.imagiverse.org/activities/religions/?  In it I wrote:

"In some religions, people believe in one God. In other religions, people believe there are many gods, each one having a particular purpose.  Many religions believe that God is everywhere: God is in nature; God is in the good actions of people; and, God is in the mysteries of life and the heavens.  Some people believe that there is no such thing as God.  Whatever you believe, always remember that others have a right to their beliefs, even if those beliefs conflict with yours.  Always strive to be the best that you can be.  Set an example through your good actions."

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Do all religions have godparents or is it only the Catholic religion?

ANSWER from Luis Felipe Diaz Galeano on 16 February 2004:
It's a human behaviour to introduce new members into any sort of congregation by using established members as guarantors.  This is due to the need to know that the person proposed will be a bona fide member a) because he has partaken of the previous preparation needed to join, b) his qualities meet the required standards and c) the member will continue to behave and/or enhance the group.  Religions, secret societies etc. in the past used this figure (see link below: Q#2).  Later on in history, more developed societies contemplated these as a necessary step and created the legislative rules to regulate it.

The three major religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) have the figure of a "godfather".

See: http://www.beliefnet.com/story/47/story_4738_1.html Question #2

[Editor's Note: see also: http://www.beliefnet.com/features/godparents_chart.html]

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Do you have any tips for building self-confidence, overcoming shyness and making more friends?

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 28 August 2003:
This is my personal advice for building self-confidence, overcoming shyness and making more friends.  This is just my advice from personal experience but this is what I think:

1) Believe in yourself.  Believe that you can be everything you want to be.  Never give up on your dreams and work at being the best "you" that you can be.  Don't compare yourself to others and ignore people who compare you to others.  Just be the best you can be.

2)  Be a friend to others.  Do little things that show people that you appreciate them.  Take the time to help others and to listen.  Do whatever you do from the heart, because you care, not because you are trying to get noticed.  Be helpful and kind and be a true friend, but don't let people use you or take advantage of you.

3)  Get out of your "comfort zone".  That means, even if something makes you very nervous and shy, push yourself to overcome your shyness.

I used to be shy.  I think what made me the most shy and uncomfortable around people was that I always worried about what "they" would think of me.  I didn't want to look silly, or sound stupid, or be laughed at.  I was petrified of speaking to groups.  Well, I just started getting out there and pushing myself to do it.  Many times I would break into a sweat I was so nervous.  My voice would shake when I spoke.  Eventually, I had the opportunity to speak in front of some very important people on a topic I was passionately interested in... I wasn't nervous at all...  I think it was because these were really important people and I realized they probably didn't care if I looked silly or sounded stupid.  Since my topic was important to me, I wanted them to hear what I had to say, so... I just did it!  After that, I have never been shy again.  Of course it took something like 50 years to get really comfortable with who I am, but once I was comfortable with ME, I didn't worry what others thought!

So, my best advice to you is to believe in yourself, be the best you can be and be a friend to others.  I think what you will find is that the more confident you become in yourself, and the more you like yourself, the more you will enjoy being around people and the more friends you will have.

I hope this helps.  Thank you again for writing.  This was a terrific question!

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I attended Torrejon/Madrid High School.  I am trying to find out when and where the next reunion is.  I have many, many friends I left in Spain I would love to contact.

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 5 August 2003:
THS/MHS has a very active alumni organization and they have a big reunion at least every other year.  You can contact them by writing to:

Write to: Madrid Torrejon High School Association
PO Box 5925
Vallejo CA 94591-0592
(covers the entire time the school was open, from 1955-1992, and anyone who ever attended from 7th-12th grades).

Michelle Mock
American School of Madrid

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I have discovered that we came from Korea to America in a system of "mail-ordered brides", but have yet to find much information about it.  I would appreciate any available details about mail-ordered brides.

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 23 May 2003:
Hello.  Thank you for writing to Imagiverse.  You don't specify when your family came to America but you may be able to find more details about mail-order brides and how your ancestors came here via geneaology sites.At the beginning of the 20th century, many immigrants came to the United States looking for a better life.  The men found work but they also found that there were limited numbers of available women with whom to start families.  Immigration laws didn't make it easy for the women to come to America.  So, many of these men found wives through an arranged marriage (a concept called "picture bride" or "photo marriage").  Their families would set up matches and the couples would meet through letters and exchanging photographs.  They would wed via long distance and then the wives would be able to join the husbands in America.If the early 20th century is what you are referring to, you may find information by searching on "picture bride" and look for university web sites or cross-cultural education related sites.  Be careful about which URLs you go to.  Some searches for "mail order bride" may turn up non-desirable sites.

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What does it mean to say "take the mickey"?

ANSWER from John Cabrera on 11 February 2003:
I had never before considered the origin of TtM though my first guess was that it was cockney rhyming slang.  What is that?  I hear you ask.

A cockney is a person born in central London - specifically, within the sound of the bells of the church of St Mary-le-Bow (Bow Bells).  Some people believe that members of the London underworld concocted cockney rhyming slang in the 19th century as a means of arcane communication.  This was useful when plotting some nefarious deed that might interest the police.  Today, many people use rhyming slang either unwittingly or for humorous effect.  The art of rhyming slang is often not to complete the rhyme when using a particular expression.  Here are some examples:

A "butcher's" means a "look".  The complete term would be "butcher's hook" to rhyme with "look".

A "dog" is a "'phone" from "dog and bone": "'phone".

"Loaf" means "head" - I'm sure you can see why - "Use your loaf" is something my grandfather often said to me.  And my father, and my "trouble"!  That means "wife", by the way, as in "trouble and strife".

These are all clean examples; as you might imagine, the scope for rudeness is vast.

So, is TtM cockney rhyming slang? Chambers Dictionary gives the following definition:

mickey: noun. take the mickey or take the mickey out of someone colloq to tease or make fun of them.  ETYMOLOGY: 1950s.

True enough but not very interesting.

I found a dictionary of British slang on the Internet that gives an explanation for the term "Mickey Mouse":

Adj. 1. Stupid looking, comical.  E.g. "I'm not wearing that in public!  It's a Mickey Mouse hat."  2. Second rate, of poor quality, cheaply made.

Noun. A person from Liverpool.  Rhyming slang on "scouse".  Also Mickey Mouser rhyming on "scouser".  Cf. "scouse" and "scouser"

But this still does not hit on the meaning of TtM.  At last, I found the following definition.  Although it catches the likely rhyming connection (which is on the rude side), it does not really ring true:

Take the mickey - make fun of.

Mike Bliss, sometimes shortened to Mike, is Cockney rhyming slang for "piss"; it is not known who he was or even if he ever existed.  To take the mickey (Mickey being a variant of Mike, short for Michael) is a euphemism for "take the piss" (jeer at, deride, deflate - perhaps from the idea of deflating the bladder).  The meaning is kinder too.

So there you have it.  TtM is almost certainly a rhyming slang version of a somewhat ruder expression.  However, I don't really think it's all down to some long forgotten fellow called Mike Bliss!

If you like this kind of stuff, I have just found a good website:

John Cabrera
Surrey, Great Britain

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I have looked all over the net for an answer to a question which I have been thinking about for months.  How do slot machines work, especially the Draw Poker ones?  I have lost a lot of money in them and so it awoke my curiosity about how they work, so I can learn about the game that has trapped me, from which I would like to get out.

ANSWER from Stacy Graff on 16 August 2002:
First, the toll free number (in the United States) for problem gamblers that would like help is: 1-800-522-4700.

Draw poker machines go through cycles, they can run hot and cold.  The average royal flush is 1 in 8000 plays.  So a $1 machine max play ($5 X 8000) plays = $40,000 played payoff $4000 when hit!  Like I said they go through cycles so you can get lucky, being at the right place at the right time.

These programs are set for each coin played: 1 coin, 2 coin, etc.  So if you played 2 coins instead of 5 and you hit a royal, that doesn't mean if you played the max (5 coins in) you would have hit it.  Also there are different payoff schedules which can improve or decrease your overall payoff percentage.  The smarter players look for what they call 9-7 payoff (full house pays 9 to 1, flush pays 7 to 1).  Most are 8-6 and the tight ones are a low 7-5 (full house pays 7 to 1, flush pays 5 to 1)!

You can get lucky but they will destroy you in the long run!  We just had a police officer arrested for robbing a bar as his problem finally caught up to him.  Last year he had over $200,000 in taxable winnings but his losses were much more than that!!

Reel slot machines are worse!!  there can be 20-38 spots per reel, take that to the 3rd, 4th or 5th power depending how many reels there are and that's the odds of hitting the jackpot.  They also have them set so that you just miss the jackpot (for example, two 7's lined up and 1 just missing).  It's been deemed that it's not illegal for them to do it, maybe immoral but not illegal!!

Lastly, the machines sitting on the aisles are usually set a little bit better as they want people to see those hitting hoping to lure players into that aisle to play!  That's where I'll play but it still doesn't work for me!!

Hope that helps out.  They don't build these mega resorts by letting you win easy money but you also gotta send out winners to bring in losers!

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My husband is in the military and will be deployed to Misawa in December.  I've been looking for an English teaching job in or around Misawa but haven't been able to find one.  I have a BA in TESOL and was hoping you might be able to tell me what kinds of jobs are available for English teachers.

ANSWER from Janet K. Cook on 3 September 2002:
Here's the address of the largest English language school in Misawa:

Hitoshi (Mike) Mikami, Principal
Tohoku Foreign Language School
1 Choume 1-7, Matsuzono-cho
Misawa-shi, Aomori-ken, Japan 033-0037
TEL: (+81)- 176-53-2201 FAX:0176-51-1600
E-mail: misawa@mikami.com

I worked for them for three years.  They pay about $25US an hour, better than any other job you can get in the area except freelancing.  You can freelance with no problem.  Just get a home business license from the Family Support Center.  Japan has no regulations about teaching English, nor do they hassle you for taxes if you freelance.  You'll love Misawa.

Janet K. Cook
Science and English Teacher
On her way from Misawa to Katterbach/Ansbach

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What is the mailing address for actor Sean Astin?

ANSWER from Michelle Mock on 6 August 2002:
Imagiverse does not answer fan club inquiries but you might try to search on Google.com.  We found a promising address c/o William Morris Agency, but beware of any posted addresses that "might" be the correct address.  I am sure there are many other people named Sean Astin, so addresses you find might not be the person you are looking for.  Did you get your copy of the Lord of the Rings video or DVD yet?  It came out today!  I am already watching my copy!

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27 August 2005

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