MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every Friday, we tackle a bunch of viewers’ burning questions. This week, Heather Brown answers questions about city population signs, school buses and cereal boxes.

Delaney from Olivia wants to know: Why do town signs also tell us population?

It’s a legal requirement in Minnesota that dates back to the 1930s with the rise in automobile travel.

According to Adam Scher, senior curator at the Minnesota History Museum, “Population figures were placed on entry signs by city boosters to promote civic pride and inform motorists of the potential for goods and services in that locality.”

Sandy from Maplewood asks: Why are school buses yellow?

“Probably to alert drivers, ‘Don’t hit us!’,” one Minneapolis woman said.

It’s actually a very specific color of yellow called “National School Bus Glossy Yellow” that is required by the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration.

People notice yellow more quickly compared to other colors, especially out of their peripheral vision.

DeWayne from St. Cloud asks: Why are cereal boxes not filled to the top?

According to the folks over at General Mills, it’s to protect the Cheerios and Lucky Charms. They want to prevent the cereal from being crushed during transport.

Heather Brown

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