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Pitcher soon to face plea hearing

Question: I understand that a Florida minor-league baseball pitcher threw a baseball at a state-protected osprey in April, killing it. What happened to the pitcher?

Answer: Jae-kuk Ryu, 20, who played for the Class A Daytona Cubs at the time, is scheduled to have a plea hearing this month.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission charged Ryu with attempting to kill, injure or molest a migratory bird, a second-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail, the Associated Press reported.

The South Korean is accused of intentionally beaning an osprey from its 40-foot perch at a pregame practice at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on April 21. The bird died a week later at the Audubon Birds of Prey Center in Maitland from septic shock, caused by a ruptured liver abscess.

Ryu, 20, was scheduled to answer the charge June 16 in Daytona Beach, but the hearing was postponed until July 11 to give the sides more time, said Lt. Bill Hightower, an investigator for the fish and wildlife commission.

No comment from Stewart

Question: Did Martha Stewart make any statements or comments about the recent NBC movie Martha Inc: The Story of Martha Stewart?

Answer: If she had any comment, it wasn't made public.

Stewart didn't participate in the making of the film, which starred Cybill Shepherd, nor did she cooperate with the unauthorized biography on which it was based, Martha Inc: The Incredible Story of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, by Christopher Byron.

Asked about the movie, Stewart and her company declined to comment through a representative.

And that's the whole of it

Question: I noticed the expression "kit and caboodle" in a recent article. Where does that come from?

Answer: The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins says that "caboodle," meaning "the whole lot," is the same as the word "boodle," for "a pile of money," deriving from the Dutch boedel, meaning property, possessions, household goods.

The "whole kit" means the entire outfit, the whole lot, the whole bunch.

The phrase doesn't read "the whole kit and boodle" because Americans like alliteration in speech and added a "k" sound before "boodle," the encyclopedia says.

Come in; climate is fine

Question: I saw the list of places in the United States where the climate is best, but except for Honolulu, the top 10 were in California. Can you list the top 10 elsewhere?

Answer: Places Rated Almanac ranks 351 cities and towns in North America for their climate. Excluding Honolulu and those in California, the almanac lists these 10 in North America: Yuma, Ariz.; Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.; Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito, Texas; McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas; Miami; Fort Lauderdale; Corpus Christi, Texas; Victoria, British Columbia; West Palm Beach-Boca Raton; and Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie. Ranking last: Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Summer living at its best

Question: What city in the United States has the most comfortable temperatures and humidity during the summer, making outdoor activity pleasurable?

Answer: Places Rated Almanac does just what its name promises: It rates places.

For climate, it picks San Francisco as No. 1 in the United States. As it states, "San Francisco is known as "the air-conditioned city,' with cool, pleasant summers and mild winters."

The factors used to determine a score are mildness, brightness and stability.

San Francisco has an annual humidity of 73 percent with, on annual average, no days at zero degrees or below; six days at 32 degrees or below; four days at 90 degrees or higher; 160 clear days; and 104 cloudy days. The average annual precipitation is 19.7 inches.

Rounding out the top 10 are Honolulu: Los Angeles-Long Beach; Ventura, Calif.; San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, Calif.; San Diego; Orange County, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.; and Salinas, Calif.

Have a question? Colin Bessonette will try to get an answer. Call (404) 222-2002 or write to him at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, P.O. Box 4689, Atlanta, GA 30302, or e-mail him at q&aajc.com.

Ozzy the osprey died April 27 because of a burst liver abscess. "Most likely that abscess burst or was ruptured when it was hit by the baseball," said Bob Mindick, director of centers for Audubon of Florida.

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