How Much Does Money Cost To Make?

The raw materials and production of bills and coins aren't free, of course. Here's what the US Mint and Bureau of Engraving & Printing spend to make our money:

$0.30: Sacagawea dollar coin
$0.11: $100 bill, quarter
$0.09: $50 bill, $20 bill
$0.08: $10 bill, $5 bill
$0.06: dime, nickel*
$0.05: $1 bill
1.5 cents: penny*

*these prices fluctuate slightly based on copper prices

So it seems like the government could save money by buying pennies instead of making them! I'll sell mine for the cheap price of 1.25 cents each. :)

Along those lines, did you know that all pennies made after 1983 are not primarily copper? They are actually 97.5% zinc with a copper coating. This is due to the rising cost of copper throughout the years.

You might be more trouble than you're worth, pennies!

[sources: Newsweek & about.com]


What Are The "Dog Days"?

Straight from Reader's Digest:
A time of celebration for sure, the winter solstice may also leave you longing for those "dog days" of summer -- the period between early July and early September when Sirius, aka the Dog Star, rises and falls with the sun (and temperatures follow suit). The term dies caniculares ("dog days") was coined in the 1500s.
Now when I look outside on a morning snowstorm and yearn for the dog days of summer, I'll actually know what I'm wishing for!

(And, as a bonus, I'll know what "Sirius" is; not only the Dog Star, but also the brightest in the night sky!)

Shine on, you old dog.

[photo via wikipedia]


What Historic Place On The National Register Moves?

What is the United States National Register of Historic Places anyway?

In 1966, the National Historic Preservation Act established the National Register as "the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation... These include National Historic Landmarks, National Historic Sites, National Historical Parks, National Military Parks/Battlefields, National Memorials, and some National Monuments."

So you wouldn't think that things in the National Register of Historic Places would move, but some objects do. "Objects" can include things such as monuments, sculptures, and fountains. But, aside from objects that move in place (like docked historic ships) or can be moved (like highway markers) there is one thing on the Register that moves independently throughout a town on a daily basis.

Any guesses on what it could be?

Answer: The San Francisco Cable Car System
Oddly enough, it is officially considered a "Structure". It's the only transportation system on the Register, added in 1966. That's pretty impressive, considering that there are over 85,000 places registered!

Congratulations on 134 years of making history!


Types Of Government Explained...

... simply and with a lot of cheesy graphics. This defines American government looking through the eyes of the founding fathers.

I imagine this - as most political things are - is probably biased, but it still contains some good information!