MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every Friday, Heather Brown takes a look at some of the random Good Questions viewers have asked her recently. Here are this week’s short takes.

Alan from Hanley Falls asked:  “Why are pool tables green?”

Billiards evolved from a croquet-like game back in 15th century Europe.  When it moved indoors, the green cloth was to simulate grass.

Mary Kay from Woodbury wanted to know:  “What’s the difference between a college and university?”

“There really isn’t a definition that will tell you the exact definition,” Dr. Colleegn Hegranes, executive vice-president and provost at St. Catherine University, said. “We can call ourselves whatever we want.”

Generally, a college is known as a liberal arts four-year institution if it’s free-standing.  Colleges can also be part of larger university systems.  Universities are generally larger entities that have graduate programs and colleges within the institution.

In 2009, the College of St. Catherine changed its name to St. Catherine University.  According to Hegranes, university better described the complexity of the institution of St. Kate’s.  She says some schools, like Dartmouth College, aren’t called universities even though they have a variety of graduate schools and programs.

Sue from Cold Spring asked:  “When did the term ‘Black Friday’ start?”

Ever since the 1924 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the day after Thanksgiving has been considered the start to the holiday shopping season.  In the 1960s, some police officers in Philadelphia began referring to that day as Black Friday because of all the problems it caused with traffic and congestion.  It was until the 1980s that advertisers and retailers decided the terminology should reflect profits rather than traffic problems.  In 2002, Black Friday became the single biggest day of the year for sales revenue.  In 2011, the first of the major retailers announced they would start opening on Thanksgiving for Black Friday deals.

Heather Brown

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