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July 30, 2012 Purple Monkey Publishing

Vol. 2, Issue 14

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A “Reality” Check by Blue Sullivan

Through programming successes like “American Idol” (still the most watched series on television in the United States), “reality TV” has grown to be a huge part of the programming broadcast on both cable and network television. The emergence of reality programming as one of the most successful and profitable genres found on television would seem to suggest this is a relatively new invention. Actually, it stretches all the way back to the 1940s. Here we’ll recount a little about the history of this style of show, along with some things you might not know about reality programs in America and worldwide. • In 1948, the first “reality show” aired. It was Allen Funt’s “Candid Camera,” a precursor to MTV’s popular prank show “Punk’d” (currently hosted by pop superstar Justin Bieber and a revolving rotation of young entertainers). Unlike “Punk’d,” which focuses on pranks played on celebrities, “Candid Camera” featured mild pranks played on everyday individuals, and captured their reactions. • “Candid Camera” actually emerged from another “reality show” from another medium, a 1947 radio version with the same concept called “Candid Microphone.” • “Candid Camera” was followed after each broadcast by another pioneer of reality TV, the Ted Mack talent search show, “Original Amateur Hour.” Ted Mack’s show televised amateurs competing before a live audience, who chose the winner. It was the first example of public voting determining the outcome of a TV show, predating “Idol” by decades. turn the page for more!

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Bits A “Reality” Check (continued): • The longest running reality show in the United States is “Cops,” which has been gracing our sets since 1989. • MTV likes to tout its series “The Real World” (a success since the early ‘90s and still going strong) as the father of what most think of as modern reality TV, but that distinction probably goes to PBS’ “An American Family.” The 1973 series followed a family as they went through a divorce.

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• “An American Life” was so influential that it inspired a well-reviewed cinematic satire by comedian and filmmaker, Albert Brooks. 1979’s “Real Life” follows a filmmaker (played by Brooks) who is so inspired by the success of the PBS series that he tries to replicate it with a different family, with unexpectedly dire results.

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• The incidence of reality programming on TV today is higher than it has ever been. One in four programs in primetime is reality based. In addition to its popularity with audiences, the genre is popular with TV executives for its cost-saving benefits. The average reality show costs about $500,000 per episode, compared to $2 million for a sitcom.

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In a radio interview with former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, Brees admitted it was a lot of money, but assured listeners that it was a business deal, pure and simple. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

The 100 Million Dollar Man If you believe in capitalism, you know that you pay what the market will bear. In New Orleans -- particularly after Friday, July 13, 2012 -- the market has spoken. Drew Brees, 33, the record-setting signal caller for the New Orleans Saints, signed a five-year contract that afternoon that will pay him $100 million. That’s a record, too. According to the NFL, $60 million is guaranteed and it came with a $37 million signing bonus. Next season he will earn $40 million all told. According to Forbes, the Saints’ average ticket prices and their resale value make them the most sought after ticket in the NFL. Put another way, with an average ticket price of $79 at the Superdome, if the team sells out every game, almost every dollar from the box office would go into his pocket. That’s a lot of escarole.

“I can tell you from the start of this negotiation, I have not once thought ‘Hey, I want to be the highest-paid guy.’ In the end, did the contract end up being that? Yes, but it was more about trying to objectively look at the numbers from the last decade for a top-tier quarterback ... and just trying to do what’s fair and justified.” Brees played on a single year’s contract last season and came within four points of going to the NFC Championship game. In other seasons he averaged $6 million per year -- still a lot but not nearly what he was worth. He considered last season an act of faith on his part. Fans might be skeptical -- every team has been burned by a player coming off of a career year. Still, it was some year. He set NFL single-season records with 468 completions, 5,476 yards passing and a 71.2 completion percentage. The Saints set a record for total offense and led the league in home attendance, where they went undefeated. New Orleans, despite its outlandish partying reputation, is actually a pretty blue-collar town. And Brees is the kind of guy you see walking around eating a sandwich in New Orleans (he owns a sandwich shop there) or pumping his own gas (as reported by TMZ on an apparently slow paparazzi day). He’s a self-avowed family man who just happened to win a Super Bowl. “I think it’s very easy to sit back and say ‘this is ridiculous,’” Brees admitted. “[But] I feel like with a contract like this, people can say ‘they are paying you what you earned or what you deserved.’ ... It’s just about representing our team and city the right way.” Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter who lives in Kansas City.


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By Samantha Mazzotta

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

When Rain Barrels Violate HOA Rules

I’m relating the above story as an example of what can be accomplished through persistence when it comes to these associations. Talk directly to the HOA, and talk with members of your community about the rain-barrel issue. What’s really bothering the association about your rain barrels? Is it an aesthetic issue? Is it worried about mosquitoes hatching in the rain barrels? There are solutions to the problem -such as moving the rain barrels out of sight of the street, camouflaging them behind shrubbery and

Q: I keep a very nice lawn in the front and back of my house, along with a small kitchen garden and several flowers and shrubs. To water it -- especially in this dry, hot summer -- I try to use “gray” water as well as water collected in rain barrels placed under my downspouts. Recently I received a notice from my homeowners’ association that the rain barrels are against the rules and will have to be removed. How can I convince them that these are not just environmentally friendly, but also the reason I’m able to keep my yard green and growing as required by the HOA rules? -- Red-Taped in Roswell, Ga. A: While I’m not an expert in dealing with homeowners’ associations, my first thought would be that you should review the most recent copy of your HOA’s rules. You’ll want to find out what rule or rules the association is referring to, and if rain barrels are specifically mentioned. You’ll also want to find out what your rights are as a member of the HOA, how you can appeal the notice, how long you have to comply and whether you can get that deadline extended. Several years ago, a friend of mine renting in a townhouse community related a story to me. The condo association only allowed owners to be members, not renters. And it had set up, early in the community’s history, rules that only owners could access the community amenities like the pool and clubhouse. The trouble was, more than 80 percent of the residents were renters -- meaning very few actual residents could use those amenities. My friend took action, attending association meetings every month and speaking each month, until she convinced the association to vote on whether to allow renters to use the amenities. The vote passed easily.


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covering the barrels to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Get out the word, too, about the environmental benefits of using rainwater, as well as the cost savings from doing so. Chances are many homeowners will agree with you -- but not if they don’t know about the issue. HOME TIP: HOAs can be either a headache or a boon to homeowners. Be aware of your HOA’s rules and bylaws, and be a participant in the association to advocate effectively for changes or improvements to your community. Send your questions or tips to ask@thisisahammer. com, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 328536475.


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A “Reality” Check (continued): • Although reality TV has been a viable genre for over six decades, it’s taken a while for the Emmys to take notice. The first award in the genre, “Outstanding Reality-Competition Series,” was given in 2003 to “The Amazing Race.” • In 2008, an additional category was added honoring “Best Reality TV Show Host.” It went to “Survivor” host Jeff Probst, who has since become a repeat winner in the category. • Reality shows aren’t just influential in the United States. Singer Susan Boyle’s 2009 audition on the UK’s popular show “Britain’s Got Talent” has been viewed 120 million times on YouTube. • Reality television has also reached the Muslim world. In 2010, a show called “Imam Muda” pitted contestants in a variety of challenges. These challenges included tests of Islamic theory, the counseling of teenagers and the recitation of the Quran. The winner received a job as an Imam, along with a free scholarship in Saudi Arabia and a new car.

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• The most popular reality show in the United States is “American Idol,” but few know its origins. “Idol” was created in the ‘90s by Simon Fuller. Fuller rose to prominence as the manager, and some would say manufacturer, of pop sensation The Spice Girls. He was so important to the group’s success that the British press dubbed him “Svengali Spice.” When the group suddenly fired him, Fuller devised a way to create a group over which he had full control, thus “Idol” was born. • “American Idol” was actually supposed to be an online show when Fuller created it in 1997. However, the lack of high-speed internet in most homes made the idea unfeasible, so Fuller went to television to broadcast his idea instead.

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(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc. 1. ADVERTISEMENTS: What product was advertised in TV ads featuring a cartoon character named Charlie the Tuna? 2. BIBLE: How old was David when he become king of Israel? 3. LANGUAGE: What dance and music style from the Portugese language means “new trend”? 4. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is the name of the airport in Atlanta? 5. MUSIC: What was the theme song of country/western singer Gene Autry? 6. MYTHOLOGY: In Greek mythology, what was Pegasus’ unique characteristic? 7. GOVERNMENT: What U.S. government agency’s motto is, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”? 8. GEOGRAPHY: What is the name of the island where Nassau is located in the Bahamas? 9. MATH: What is the distance around a polygon? 10. TELEVISION: What was the name of Angus MacGyver’s employer in the “MacGyver” drama series?



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Summer Fun With Seashore Shells (c) 2012 Donna Erickson Dist. by King Features Synd.

Hunting for treasures at low tide along a favorite beach is one of life’s simple pleasures for tots, teens and adults alike. There’s so much to see, smell and discover in nature’s giant sandbox -- scampering crabs, colorful seaweed, seagulls, jellyfish (they may sting you!) and all those shells. If you’re lucky, you’ll find lots and lots of shells to hand pick and bring back home for a lasting souvenir of the day. Here are some simple lessons and activities that you can do with your young kids and grandkids when you get home. For those who aren’t hitting one of the coasts this summer, look for bags or baskets full of shells at neighborhood tag sales and thrift stores. Some specialty toy and craft stores sell them, too.

PUT SEASHELLS ON DISPLAY Create a bowl full of memories, and keep it on an end table or on the center of your dining-room table for everyone to see. For a dramatic display, use a large, low pasta serving dish with edges. Fill it half-full with clean sand, and arrange shells and other favorite mini seashore finds on top. Set flat shells such as scallops or clams upright in the sand. For added attractions, tuck in a travel postcard, a trip photo in a small Lucite frame and a tiny sailboat or other purchase from a souvenir shop. ***

CLEAN If you have just collected shells at a beach, wash them in a bucket with mild detergent and set them out in the sun on a towel to dry. Use old toothbrushes to scrub the sand out of crevices. Let school-age kids try a science experiment with broken pieces. Place a piece in a jar and cover the piece with vinegar. Set overnight. Did it disappear? Explain that shells are composed of calcium carbonate. The acid in the vinegar dissolves the compound. EXAMINE Sort them by type in piles, and find their names online or in a field guide. Challenge your preschooler to arrange the shells from each pile in rows from largest to smallest. Talk about how the surfaces feel and use adjectives to describe colors and features. Use a magnifying glass to observe details. You might be surprised to discover the colors of the rainbow inside some. Abalone shells have brilliant, rainbow-like hues.

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” (c) 2012 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

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A “Reality” Check (continued): • “American Idol” is actually a spin-off of a similar program in Great Britain called “Pop Idol.” After agreeing to be one of the judges on the upstart American version, Simon Cowell nearly quit in the last week before the first episode aired. Cowell worried that his confrontational, distinctly British personality would not work with American audiences. • In the nonfiction book “American Idol: The Untold Story,” author Richard Rushfield interviewed Cowell about his nearly quitting the show before it ever aired. Cowell said, “I remember calling my lawyer, and I said, ‘I don’t want to do it. I haven’t signed the contract. Get me out of it.” • Fortunately, Fox producers managed to talk Cowell out of abandoning the show. They convinced him he’d have “free rein” and wouldn’t need to alter his abrasive persona for American viewers. One other judge did back out at the last moment, however. Originally, the show was to feature four hosts, but a Los Angeles radio DJ named Stryker quit the show at the last minute. • Stryker was worried the “cheesy singing contest” would hurt his image. With no time to recast, the show decided to go with three judges instead. In an ironic coincidence, Stryker later served as the house DJ for the daytime talk show hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. DeGeneres was briefly added as a fourth judge on “American Idol.” • “Idol” fixture Ryan Seacrest nearly wasn’t on the show as well. After being chosen for the show, contract negotiations stalled between the network and Seacrest’s father, who served as his manager. Seacrest signed his contract mere hours before the first episode was shot.

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A cornerstone of World War II, the USS Arizona Memorial sees more than a million visitors every year come from around the world to pay reverence to the battle of Pearl Harbor.


• Located around two miles west of the Honolulu Airport, the USS Arizona Memorial is on the island of Oahu.



USS Arizona Memorial

• Managed by the National Park Service, the USS Arizona Memorial consists of the actual memorial along with a shore-side visitor center. • During the battle of Pearl Harbor, around 1,777 crewman lost their lives on the USS Arizona, and it is the burial ground of almost all of them. • Of all the ships on Battleship Row affected by the attack, the USS Arizona was the most heavily damaged with four direct hits. A total of 12 ships were sunk and nine damaged during the battle. • Construction of the USS Arizona began in 1914 in New York; the ship was originally called battleship number 39. On the morning of December 7, 1941, Arizona’s first hit came at approximately 8:10 a.m. • The Memorial is part of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which also includes the USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Utah Memorial and other historic quays and bungalows. • The Memorial is accessible only by boat, and The Memorial Tour is about 75 minutes long. Tickets are free. They do, however, go rather quickly and usually run out by 12 p.m. on most days. • With the recent revitalization of the Visitor Center, the total area of the Memorial is about 17 acres. The Memorial site itself is 184 feet long.

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► “When painting, write the name and brand of paint under the room’s light switch. If you ever need to go out and buy more, you will know where to start.” -- R.K. in Montana ► “My family has always used mayonnaise as a salve on minor burns. I heard you can use toothpaste too.” -- S.P., via e-mail




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together. Next, feed the skirt into a leg of pantyhose with the foot cut off. You’ll end up with a nice tube, which you can tuck into the sides of your luggage. ► “When traveling for more than a few days, put your plants in the bathtub with a little bit of water. They’ll soak it up, and you won’t have to have someone come over and water your plants. This will only work for a week or less, though.” -- J.M. in Louisiana

► Add these to the list of items to eliminate the odor of cooking cabbage: a heel of bread, a whole walnut or a pinch of baking soda.

► “I keep grocery lists on my computer. When I am going shopping, I print out the list and fold the paper in half. Then I slip my coupons into the fold. Keeps them handy when I’m shopping.” -- A Reader in Maryland

► To travel with pleated skirts, use this packing trick: Turn the skirt inside out and straighten all the pleats. Then tape the bottom so that all the pleats are held

Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at

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Medicare Medicare questions? 8VaabZidYVn/ 8VaabZidYVn/ questions? me today: Medicare Harry "Gene" Wood Call Hiring a Caregiver Harry "Gene" Wood

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USS Arizona Memorial (Continued): • The Memorial consists of three sectors: the entryway, general area (designed for observation) and the shrine room, which houses a marble wall engraved with the names of all those who lost their lives. • Construction of the Memorial began in 1949, was completed in 1961, and it was dedicated in May 1962. • Alfred Preis was the Memorial’s architect. He says of the Memorial’s design, “The overall effect is one of serenity. Overtones of sadness have been omitted to permit the individual to contemplate his own personal responses... his innermost feelings.” • Visitors frequently drop flowers into the water in honor of those who lost their lives. • A photograph taken of the USS Arizona in the aftermath of the attack was plastered across the front pages of newspapers and soon became the image that most Americans associated with Pearl Harbor.

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who or what you’re getting? If you hire The AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans The the AARP Supplementpays Insurance P carry AARP Medicare name and UnitedHealthcare a someone through an agency, you would The AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans royalty fee to AARP AARP forname use of the AARP intellectual carry the and UnitedHealthcare pa expect that it’s done all the background Amounts are used the general purposes royalty fee topaid AARP forforuse of the AARP carry theagencies? AARP nameproperty. andand UnitedHealthcare a intellec of AARP its members. Neither AARP norpays its affiliate checks. But can you trust the property. Amounts paid are used for the general purp is theuse insurer. royalty fee to AARP for of the AARP intellectual AARP doesn’tand makeits individual recommendations health- nor its affi of AARP members. NeitherforAARP property. used for theinsurance general purposes related services, or programs. You are AARP posted on its website Amounts the results paid isare theproducts, insurer. encouraged to evaluate your needs and compare products. of a study done of byAARP Dr. Lee Lindquist and its members. AARP nor its affiliate AARP Neither doesn’t make individual recommendations for he Insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, Horsham, PA (UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of of Northwestern is University Feinberg related products, services, insurance or programs. Yo the insurer. New York, Islandia, NY 11749 for New York residents). Policy encouraged to evaluate your needs and compare produ School of Medicine. Lindquist discovered AARP doesn’t make individual recommendations for states, healthForm No. GRP 79171 GPS-1 (G-36000-4). In some plans Insured byto persons UnitedHealthcare Com may be available eligible for Medicare byInsurance reason of that only half of placement agencies do related products, services, insurance orbeprograms. You are Compan disability. All plans may not available in your state/area. Horsham, PA (UnitedHealthcare Insurance any background screening or testing of Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government encouraged to evaluate your needs and compare products. New York, Islandia, NY 11749 for New York residents). P or the Federal Medicare Program. caregivers. Only one-third do any drug Form GRP 79171 GPS-1An(G-36000-4). Inmay some states, This is aNo. solicitation of insurance. agent/producer Insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, testing or check out qualifications. And contact you. may be available to persons eligible for Medicare Horsham, PA out (UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of by reas AARP and its affiliate are not insurance agencies or carriers only one-third send supervisors to disability. All plans may not be available in your state/ar and do not employ or endorse insurance agents, brokers, New York, Islandia, NY 11749 for Newwith York residents). Policy check on caregivers. producers, representatives oror advisors. Not connected endorsed by the U.S. Governm Call to receive complete information, including benefits, Form No. GRP 79171 GPS-1 (G-36000-4). In some states, plans Scary, isn’t it? or the Federal Medicare Program. costs, eligibility requirements, exclusions, and limitations. may be available to persons for Medicare by reason of Thiseligible is a solicitation of insurance. An agent/producer AS2647ST contact you. Lindquist developed a list of 10 disability. Allquestions plans may not be available in your state/area. and its affiliate are not insurance agencies or ca to ask agencies if you’re considering Not connectedusing with or AARP endorsed by the U.S. Government and do not employ or endorse insurance agents, bro them to hire a caregiver: or the Federal Medicareproducers, Program. representatives or the advisors. 8. If you’re unhappy with care, will This is a solicitation of insurance. An agent/producer Call to receive complete information,may including ben theeligibility agency provide a substitute? 1. How do they recruit caregivers and costs, requirements, exclusions, and limitat contact you. 9. Is there a supervisor who will evaluate what are their requirements? AARP and its affiliate areAS2647ST not insurance agencies or carriers the quality of the care? How often? 2. What kind of screenings do they do? and do not employ or endorse insurance agents, brokers, 10. Is the supervision via phone or home What level of background check? Any producers, representatives or advisors. visits? drug testing? Call to receive complete information, including benefits, 3. Is there any training, such as costs, eligibility requirements, limitations. Your bestexclusions, bets: Look forand a caregiver through certification in CPR? your church or support group. Ask others AS2647ST 4. How are the caregivers insured? Are for recommendations. Contact seniors they bonded? service agencies for recommendations. 5. What skills do the caregivers have? Are they skilled in transfers, dressing and Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot bathing? personally answer reader questions, but 6. How does the agency assess these will incorporate them into her column skills? Do they reply only on the whenever possible. Write to her in care applicant’s word? of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 7. What is their policy if caregivers can’t 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send do what is stated in the contract? e-mail to




• Although it’s been more than 70 years since the fall of the battleship, oil still leaks from ruptured bunkers. • The Memorial and Pearl Harbor are two of the top tourist destinations in Hawaii. • The Visitor Center is open every day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is only closed three days a year — Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. • Although security has been heightened since the September 11, 2001, attacks, personal cameras are still allowed, but purses, personal bags, backpacks, etc. are prohibited. Baggage storage is available.

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Page 9

Downtown Sarasota’s Only Dog Training Center! quick rise in temperature -- so being left in a parked car can prove fatal. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Hot Cars and Pets Can be Deadly Mix DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I can’t leave my dog “Shadie” alone in the house, so I have to take her with me when I go shopping. How long can I keep her inside my car before it gets too hot? My friend says 20 minutes, if I keep the windows cracked a little. -- Danielle F., Atlanta DEAR DANIELLE: How about never? A parked car in the summer heat, even with the windows open a bit to let in airflow, can quickly heat up to extreme temperatures. Neither pets nor humans can stand the

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If you’re planning to go out for a few minutes to pick up some groceries or handle a quick errand, leave Shadie at home. Your dog should be able to handle a short period without you. If Shadie doesn’t handle it well, such as getting agitated, chewing up furniture or shoes, there are training solutions to solve that problem. Another solution, if you must bring your dog, is to bring along a trustworthy friend who is willing to sit in the car with the dog, with the motor running and the air conditioner on to keep it cool. Your friend will need to monitor Shadie while you shop. But this has its own pitfalls -- I don’t know many people willing to wait around while their friend is in the store.

● The ancient Egyptians were known to use crocodile dung as a contraceptive.



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Send your questions or comments to, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit

● It was beloved American comedian and film star Groucho Marx who made the following sage observation: “There’s one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says ‘Yes,’ you know he is a crook.”

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Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to not leave Shadie alone in the car, for even a few minutes. She easily could suffer heat exhaustion or stroke. Instead, invest some time helping to resolve Shadie’s separation anxiety so she’ll be happy and healthy at home.

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● You may be surprised to learn that when the hit 1950s TV show “I Love Lucy” had its premiere, Lucille Ball was already 40 years old. ● Talk about sneaky: In order to get a photo of Bing Crosby in his coffin, The National Enquirer tabloid had a reporter dress as a priest and sneak into the private funeral service. To top it off, on his way out of the service, the disguised journalist told ABC reporter Geraldo Rivera not to pester the family at such a sensitive moment. ● Every year, about $500 million is spent on beads for Mardi Gras. ● Ever wonder how the statuette taken home by winners of the Academy Awards got its nickname? Evidently, in 1931 a secretary at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw the statuette for the first time and exclaimed, “Why, he reminds me of my Uncle Oscar!” The comment struck the fancy of a reporter who was present, and he put it in a story about the awards, and the name stuck.

● Are you acersecomic? If your hair has never been cut, you are. ● Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was not himself a slave owner. He reportedly did not believe in the institution of slavery. ● If this is an average week, three manmade artifacts hurtling into the atmosphere from space will crash into the Earth. *** Thought for the Day: “The world is round; it has no point.” -- Adrienne E. Gusoff

Page 10 Get The Picture?

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• The first displayed image on a television was only 30 grainy lines. It was displayed in the year 1926 by J.L. Baird. The digital image currently seen on our TV sets is nearly 35 times as dense. In addition to being a much clearer image, the digital signal of modern televisions is 1,080 lines. • Until late last year, the largest plasma TV available for purchase was a 103-inch plasma sold by Panasonic. It comes at the budgetunfriendly (except for the fabulously wealthy) price of $70,000. • However, Panasonic unveiled an even larger one at the most recent Consumer Electronics Show (known as the “Super Bowl of Technology”) in Las Vegas. The 152-inch Panasonic 3D Plasma TV can be had by the true television connoisseur for $500,000. • July 1, 1941, marked the broadcast of the very first advertisement in TV history. It occurred prior to a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brooklyn Dodgers.



Since we spent some time on the stars of reality television, it seems appropriate to allot a little space to the medium that provided them stardom. Here are a few interesting pieces of information about the invention that helped shape the modern age.

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Health Bits

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Viruses Not the Only Cause of Hepatitis DEAR DR. DONOHUE: For the past year, my wife has had to deal with autoimmune hepatitis. It’s something that hardly anyone knows about or understands, and that makes it even more difficult to cope with. Everyone thinks she has an infection. I can only haltingly explain what she has. Will you tell your readers about this illness? -- D.R. ANSWER: Say “hepatitis,” and people automatically think of a viral infection. Say “cirrhosis,” which is sometimes the last stage of hepatitis, and people think of alcohol as the cause. Not all hepatitis is virus-caused, and not all cirrhosis is alcohol-caused. Your wife’s illness is an example. Her liver is inflamed (hepatitis), not from an infection but from an attack on her liver by her immune system. The reason why a person’s immune system, a system designed to keep us healthy, turns on the liver is obscure. Signs that the immune system is the cause are demonstrable by finding antibodies in the blood. Antibodies are the ammunition the immune system makes to fend off dangerous invaders. One special antibody, the anti-nuclear antibody, is a big indication that the liver has come under an immune attack. The course of autoimmune hepatitis is unpredictable. It might be mild with few symptoms, or it may take a more aggressive course in which the skin and eye whites turn yellow, where fatigue is immobilizing, where abdominal pain is common and where the skin develops an itch. Quite often, a liver biopsy is the procedure that provides evidence of autoimmune hepatitis. Prednisone, one of the cortisone drugs, often is the treatment of choice. It reins in an outof-control immune system. Another immune-

modifying drug, azathioprine, can be added to the regimen. It sounds like your wife is responding well to treatment (from parts of your letter that I had to delete). The booklet on hepatitis details the various forms of the illness, and how they are acquired and treated. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 503W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: What is the procedure for removing a tick attached to your skin? Can you remove it yourself, or should it be removed only by a physician? -- T.R. ANSWER: It’s safe for people to remove ticks on their own. You need tweezers with fine grooves on their lower, inner surfaces. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can and as close to the tick’s head. Gently but firmly pull the tick straight out, at a right angle to the skin. Don’t crush it. Don’t bother with popular techniques such as coating the tick with petroleum jelly or applying a just-blown-out match to it. ***

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1. Which surf band wrote and recorded “Underwater”? Bonus for knowing the music label. 2. Name the duo that wrote and released “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.”

ANSWER: Prozac isn’t addicting, but the drug should be stopped gradually rather than abruptly. People with recurring bouts of depression can take it for extended periods of time.

4. What do “Rock-A-Hula Baby,” “Clean

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Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” in 1970? Up Your Own Backyard” and “Today, Tomorrow And Forever” have in common? 5. Who wrote Badfinger’s “Come and Get It”? 6. 6. Who sang “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love)” and when?


1. The Frogmen, in 1961. The label was Candix. The song has appeared on a number of early surf albums, including “Cowabunga! The Surf Box Set No. 1.” 2. Simon & Garfunkel, 1964. The song was on their debut album of the same name. 3. “Hey Hey What Can I Do.” It is Led Zeppelin’s only non-album track released during the band’s existence. 4. All were songs Elvis Presley sang in his movies: “Blue Hawaii” in 1961, “The Trouble with Girls” in 1969 and “Viva Las Vegas” in 1963. 5. Paul McCartney, in 1969. The song was used in the songtrack for “The Magic Christian,” which starred Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. 6. The Isley Brothers, in 1980. The song topped the R&B chart for four weeks.

Page 12




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Get The Picture? (Continued) • The shortest TV commercial ever produced was for a Canadian music and video channel called MuchMusic. It was created by a Canadian named Tharanga Ramanayake. He produced 12 different versions of the commercial. Each of these was a half a frame long. That’s the equivalent of 1/60th of a second! Even those with the shortest attention spans would have a pretty hard time registering that. The first of these micro-commercials was aired on January 2, 2002.


• The current struggle over piracy that has been the focus of the music, movie and gaming industries is by no means the first piracy issue addressed in the courts. In 1970, when Sony first began selling video cassette recorders (or VCRs) capable of recording shows off television, they were sued by the film studios for copyright infringement. Years later, Sony would be vindicated by the Supreme Court. • The two longest-running talk shows in the history of television are found in Ireland and the United States. “The Tonight Show” in America is the longest running, still going strong since first airing in 1954. The second longest is the “Late Late Show” of Ireland. It’s been on since 1962. • The youngest-ever TV host of his own show is in Australia. It’s Luis Tanner, the presenter of “Cooking for Kids with Luis” on that country’s Nickelodeon channel. Though he’s 13 years old now, the first episode of Luis’ weekly show aired when he was just six years old!

Gulf Coast Tidbits  

Volume 2, Issue 14

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