several unrelated questions

Okay, I have several unrelated questions, and I thought I’d just ask them all at once. Here they are in no particular order:

  1. What do fireflies eat?

  2. What is a spoorn?

  3. What is the purpose of that flap of skin on the underside of some cats? Why do some cats have it while others don’t?

  4. What is the purpose of the metal stars attached to the sides of older brick buildings?

  5. I’ve heard that there are some foreign countries that US businesses are not allowed to do business with. Which countries are these, and is it treasonous if you do do business with them?

This is all that I can think of for now, although I’m sure I have more burning questions which I’l post eventually. Thanks for any and all help with these.

Welcome to the board ratty.

It’s best to post each of your questions as a separate thread with a descriptive thread title; you’ll get better responses that way.

Anyway:
3) Do you mean a flap of skin that stretches between the torso and each of the legs? - if so, it might be to slow the cat’s descent when falling: check this article out:Do cats always land unharmed on their feet, no matter how far they fall?

  1. They are wall ties - the purpose is usually to connect the outer and inner brick walls of the building, adding strength and preventing the downward forces in the wall from causing a ‘bulging’ outwards.

5)Cuba springs to mind, I think the term you’re looking for is ‘embargo’.

Re: Spoorn

From this site on the word as a surname origin.

Welcome to the SDMB, by th’ way.

Check the license agreement on just about any commercial, American published, software you have on your computer. I think it lists the countries that are embargoed. Cuba, Syria, Iraq, Libya and a few others. You agree that you aren’t a national of these countries or an agent of said, blah, blah, blah. I can’t see that it would fall under treason legislation but then again, I can’t see how you could vote George Bush in. :smiley: (little joke, please; no invitations to the pit or GD)

Oh, and

http://dmoz.org/Kids_and_Teens/School_Time/Science/Living_Things/Animals/Invertebrates/Insects/Fireflies/

Thanks for the answers and welcomes, everyone. I’ve been wondering about fireflies a long time. (Sad, I know.) Oh, about the cat-flaps, I asked some people at work- general consensus is that they are most common on neutered males, and one woman refers to them as “powderpuffs”. Disturbing, but cute.

About the spoorn…what’s so special about it?

Spoorn or sporran?

In one of the “The Cat Who” mysteries, the hero gets talked into celebrating his Scots heritage. He gets a kilt, a sash, the whole nine yards. One of these yards is a furry pouch that hangs on the front of his kilt. If I remember right, it’s a sporran. He joked that his cats had sporrans built in. That loose pouchy thing hanging under the belly of the cat is what he was speaking of.

The fact that you asked about flaps on cats and “Spoorns” in the same post made me wonder if you had read the same book.