Q: In the bonus round at the end of “Wheel of Fortune,” they always give the letters “R,” “S,” “T,” “L,” “N” and “E” to the contestants. Why do they always start with those letters? What’s the origin of that?
— Buddy Stence, Forest Park
A: Those are among the most frequently used letters in the English language, according to a 2004 analysis by oxforddictionaries.com. In the study, the letter “E” was the most commonly used letter in English, followed by “A,” “R,” “I,” “O,” “T,” “N,” “S” and “L.” Cornell University conducted a 2004 study based on 40,000 words that found that “T,” “N,” “S” and “R” were the most commonly used consonants, but that “H” and “D” were used more frequently than “L.” “Wheel of Fortune” provides those letters to give contestants a head start in the bonus round.
Q: Gas prices are under $3 a gallon in some places, but why is diesel still at last summer’s prices?
— John Dollar, Smyrna
A: Diesel fuel has been more expensive than gas since September 2004, because of international demand for diesel and other distillate fuel oils, among other reasons, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Diesel production and distribution have been cut in the transition to “less polluting, lower-sulfur diesel fuels” in the U.S., and the federal excise tax for “on-highway diesel fuel” is at 24.4 cents a gallon, or 6 cents higher than the gas tax, according to eia.gov.
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A Lawrenceville pastor wants his congregation to know the good news about the Gospel of Mark. Dean Sweetman, senior pastor of the C3 Church, has challenged his members and anyone else interested to read the New Testament book in its entirety over the next year and post Instagram photos of their notes.
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