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Flying over land, Please whether or of Bay changeforeign “on the corner Street” to on the NW corner domestic, is quite an adventure. Observing the of Bee and lines 41. checkerboard designs, circles, Ridge curves, and the greens, browns, blues and other color variations from above tells a lot about the land Having choices is important in investing. and water below. Irrigation causes many of the variations. Peter Mason, Financial Advisor • Irrigation is defined as “artificial application of water to land to assist in the production of crops.” Some of the oldest civilizations on earth relied on irrigation to keep their populations alive. • In many climates there is sufficient rainfall to grow crops, however in dry climates farmers must work out a way to get needed water to their fields. Irrigation has been a significant technology underlying the major developments of the world. Early uses of irrigation can be traced back to 6000 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia (present day Iraq and Iran).

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Flooding occurs along the Nile River in Egypt and the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia annually from July through December. Early farmers learned to divert the water to fields for 40-60 days and then drain it back into the river at just the right time in the growing season. turn the page for more!

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IRRIGATION (continued): • A Nilometer was most likely the first device used for measuring a river’s rise and fall. It consisted of a water chamber with a graduated pillar to measure the depth of the river’s water and predict when floods would occur. One of the oldest structures in Cairo, Egypt is a unique historical Nilometer on Roda (Rawda) Island. While it has been rebuilt and restored numerous times, the basics of the structure date back to 715 AD. • Many Nilometers were used in ancient times along the Nile and several others have also been preserved but the Roda Island building is one of the most picturesque. The use of Nilometers subsided when the first major irrigation project was undertaken around 3100 BC. This project included dams and canals to make the water accessible to the people. • Other old methods of getting water where it was needed were used as well. An irrigation shaduf is a device used by early Egyptians. It was a container made of clay or animal skins that was attached to a lever and counterbalanced by stones. The container was dipped into the river and then usually dumped into a canal that flowed to where it could be used. •

Egyptians also used water wheels with clay pots or buckets (called Noria) attached along the circumference. The river’s current turned the wheel. As the buckets or pots were filled they turned around the wheel until they were emptied by gravity into an aqueduct that took the water where it needed to go.

• Noria were the first non-human operated lifting devices. While Egyptians developed Noria water wheels there is a lot of historical evidence that the Chinese were using similar methods to move water in their country as well.

7 Ways to Save (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

Chief Investment Officer Roger Paschke of the Hearst Corp. lists some often underutilized or overlooked ways that many of us can use immediately to generate extra cash and build more financial security. 1. Don’t maintain bank accounts that have monthly service charges, transaction fees or require minimum balances. Plenty of commercial banks, savings banks, credit unions or online banks offer accounts with no fees or minimum balances. 2. Review your home and auto insurance policies and consider increasing your deductible to the highest amount you think you can afford if you had an insurance-covered loss. High deductibles will reduce your monthly or annual insurance payments. Also, combine your home and auto coverage with one company, which will result in additional savings. Insurance is useful when you have a loss, but over the long haul you will almost certainly pay more in premiums than you receive for any claims. So, keep your premium payments as low as possible. 3. Check out deals on monthly charges for your cellphone. Cellphone companies are highly competitive and routinely offer deals on rates, with or without the purchase of a new phone. Avoid signing up for one- or two-year plans, which may appear less expensive upfront, but can be costly if you upgrade to a new phone or switch services midway through the plan.

4. If you have outstanding balances with multiple credit cards, combine the balances under one card with the most favorable rates and terms. Then pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Beyond that, pay off all of your credit-card balances as fast as possible. It’s the worst and most expensive kind of debt you can have. 5. Make one extra payment a year on your mortgage. You can make 13 payments a year instead of 12, and apply that extra payment against the principal balance. If you do that every year, a 30-year mortgage can be paid off in as little as 19 years. 6. Consider requesting that your local property assessor reappraise your home for property-tax purposes. If you’ve owned your home for more than five years, it’s probably worth a lot less now than what you paid for it, which means you may be paying too much in property taxes. 7. If you’re getting a salary raise this year, commit to depositing half of it into your savings, paying down debt or building a college fund for your children. Since you didn’t have that money last year, it’s added income this year, and you should be able to commit some of it to your longerterm financial goals. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to columnreply2@gmail. com.

• On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback from Boston to warn leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching on Concord on a mission to confiscate the Massachusetts militia arsenal and capture Adams and Hancock. • On April 19, 1876, a Wichita, Kan., commission votes not to rehire policeman Wyatt Earp after he beats up a candidate for county sheriff. Earp’s Remington pistol made an effective club: Whenever possible, he preferred to pistol-whip his opponents rather than shoot them. • On April 16, 1897, Frederick Winterbotham, one of Britain’s top code breakers, is born. Winterbotham would play a decisive role in the World War II Ultra code-breaking project, enabling British intelligence to intercept top-secret messages (even from Hitler) transmitted to and between German armed forces. • On April 21, 1930, a fire at an Ohio prison kills 320 inmates, some of whom burn to death when they are not unlocked from their cells. The prison, built to hold 1,500 people, housed 4,300 prisoners at the time of the fire. • On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson, age 28, becomes the first black player in Major League Baseball when he steps onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, N.Y., to compete for the Dodgers. Baseball had been segregated for more than 50 years. • On April 17, 1964, the Ford Mustang is officially unveiled by Henry Ford II at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. That same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America, and almost 22,000 Mustangs were immediately snapped up by buyers. Ford sold more than 400,000 Mustangs in its first year. • On April 20, 1971, the Pentagon releases figures confirming that “fragging” is on the rise in Vietnam, with hundreds of reported incidents. Fragging was a slang term used to describe U.S. military personnel tossing a fragmentation hand grenade (hence the term “fragging”) to kill or wound or a fellow soldier, usually a superior officer or NCO. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

For Advertising Call 941.928.9458


You’ll probably read plenty of warnings on the Internet about attempting to replace them yourself. Since the coils are under tension, especially when the garage door is closed, removing them can be dangerous. I don’t have enough space to tell you how to do it safely, but if you’re interested in what it takes to change these out, a detailed description can be found at DIY’er Richard Kinch provides even more good info in “How I Replaced Deadly Garage Door Torsion Springs and Lived to Tell the Tale,” found here:

By Samantha Mazzotta (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

Slow Garage Door Is Unbearable

A: They’re related in the sense that your garage door probably needs some overall maintenance, but the two issues are otherwise likely not from the same cause. Having to mash the remote operating button several times could indicate that the garage door’s sensor eye is dirty or misaligned. Or, the battery on the remote might need changing. The door’s slow opening speed indicates a more serious problem. One of the door’s torsion springs -- a pair of large coils straddling the horizontal bar at the top of the door that helps control opening and closing -- may be broken or on their way out. A broken spring can’t be repaired; it must be replaced.

• In the year 1800 AD there were 19.76 million acres (7,996,588 ha) worldwide that were irrigated. Today that has risen to an estimated 600 million acres (242,811,385 ha).

• In the arid western U.S., where dry weather is persistent, water rights and water regulations are big issues for landowners and anyone involved in growing crops. The first water regulations date back to King Hammurabi of Babylon in 1792 BC. The regulations then and now include: 1) distribution of water

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• Many patents related to sprinklers for residential watering were issued starting in the late 1800s. As more homeowners, farmers and ranchers moved west and the need for irrigation of lawns, gardens and fields grew, more needs were seen and more inventors got busy. •

• Irrigation is mostly used in areas with annual rainfall of less than 20 inches (51 cm). • There are also regions that “overwater” using irrigation in order to grow crops that need lots of water. The two crops that use the most water are cotton and rice; two of the most essential crops for many lesser developed countries. In southern China, over 70% of the acres (hectares) being cultivated are for rice.

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If you decide against repairing the door yourself, contact a licensed garage-door repair professional to inspect the door and its hardware and estimate the cost of repairs. As with any repair that you need to hire someone for, follow the “rule of three” -- contact three different professionals and get a written estimate from each before allowing any work to be done. While you’re waiting for the repair, do not open or close the door. Park your car in the driveway for now. Operating the door with a broken torsion spring can cause further damage, including misalignment or derailment.

Q: My garage door has been opening very slowly for the past few days. I’ve already had problems opening and closing it -- I have to mash the remote button several times to get it to move. Are these problems related? Are they easy or difficult to fix? -- Jim K., Gulfport, Miss.

IRRIGATION (continued): • There were other ancient devices that were used to help get water where it was needed for consumption as well as irrigation for crops. Windmills and canals played a great part in the early years. Canals and dams on rivers are the most important “big” introductions to irrigation from the ancient days that are still used today.


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Most sprinkling and irrigation is used for agriculture. In fact, 70% of all water use is for agriculture; land with irrigation grows 40% of the world’s food.

• Aquifers are the main source for water for irrigation in North America. An aquifer is “an underground bed or layer of permeable rock, sediment or soil that yields water.” •

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The High Plains aquifer is one of the largest aquifers in the world. It is under approximately 175,000 square miles (453248 km²) of eight states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. The area, considered the High Plains region, uses this important resource for irrigation and supplies about one-fourth of the agricultural production for the nation.

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Almost Ravioli

(c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

This tastes like ravioli, but it sure is a lot easier to make. Even people who think they hate spinach will love it. • • • • • • • • • •

8 ounces extra-lean ground sirloin or turkey breast 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 1 (2.5 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained Sugar substitute to equal 1 tablespoon sugar, suitable for cooking 2 cups cooked shell macaroni, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with olive oil-flavored cooking spray. 2. In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, brown meat and onion. Stir in spinach, Italian seasoning, mushrooms, tomato sauce, tomatoes and sugar substitute. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add shell macaroni. Mix well to combine. 3. Spoon hot mixture into prepared baking dish. Evenly sprinkle Cheddar cheese over top. Bake for 30 minutes. Place baking dish on wire rack and let set for 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings. • Each serving equals: 262 calories, 6g fat, 21g protein, 31g carb., 746mg sodium, 4g Fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 2 1/2 Vegetable, 2 Meat, 1 Starch.

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Pickling Crock Q: While cleaning out my family barn in Kansas, I found an old crock that I am certain was used in my family for pickling. It has a large “10” on the side and is identified as being made by the Western Pottery company. Can you provide me with any other information I might find interesting? -- Steve, Kansas City, Kan. A: You are correct in that your crock was probably used for pickling, since the “10” indicates it is a 10-gallon vessel. The Western Pottery Manufacturing Company was located in Denver and produced stoneware crocks in various sizes. One as large as the one you have is difficult to find in good shape. I suspect it would retail for at least $100, probably more. *** Q: I bought a small music box shaped like a piano at a garage sale for $5. I have five granddaughters who will draw for this item, and since I want to be fair and even, I need to know its value. -- Vivian, Rio Rancho, N.M.

IRRIGATION (continued):. • A recent discovery (2012) in Namibia, the driest country in Africa, may prove to be the most significant discovery in that country’s history. The Ohangwena II aquifer flows under the boundary Namibia shares with Angola. The aquifer’s area under Namibia covers approximately 43 miles by 25 miles (70 km x 40 km). If the water from the aquifer is managed properly, the country should see a huge increase in sustainable agriculture to help the residents survive. Researchers from Germany and other European countries are helping to set up proper well usage for the locals. •

When you hear the “click, click, click” or the swishing noises of modern center pivot irrigation systems or see the canals opened and fields “flood irrigated,” be thankful that people have studied and invented these items to have sufficient food to eat and crops that help to provide us with many other products we use daily.

A: I have seen similar music boxes sell in regional shops in the $10 to $50 range, depending on market, condition and age. *** Q: I am enclosing pictures of three Wedgwood plates that originally belonged to my grandmother. I am not sure of how old they are or how much they might be worth. Can you help me? -- Ron, Bradenton, Fla.

(c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Canavan, who is located in Chesterfield, a suburb of St. Louis, has advised Wedgwood enthusiasts for several decades. Contact her at, and 414-647-7986. Check out her excellent website at *** Q: I have an August 1943 edition of the magazine Better Homes and Gardens. How much do you think I can sell it for? -- Betty, Pueblo, Colo.

Write to Larry Cox in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.

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A: Leslie V. Canavan is a recognized expert of Wedgwood and offers appraisals. There are literally thousands of pieces of Wedgwood, some valuable, some not. To determine values you must rely on the expertise of someone who is schooled in this field of collecting.

A: Most copies of the Better Homes and Gardens from this period sell in the $10 to $35 range. Content and condition are both important.

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Many types of bugs and animals hop. There are also hoppers of other sorts: hopper cars on trains, hoppers that are used on farms and people who hop (or maybe they jump) on trampolines!

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• Usually when we think of insect “hoppers,” grasshoppers and crickets come to mind. These insects from the order Orthoptera have powerful hind legs that allow them to propel themselves long distances. Also noteworthy about the order Orthoptera (sounds a little like opera, right?) is that these insects “sing” by performing “stridulation,” which is the action of rubbing parts of their bodies together.

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• According to neurobiologist, Malcolm Burrows, of the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, the secret to the long jumps of some insects is a “specialized catapult mechanism” that allows the insects to store and then release energy.

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• National Geographic named the weird froghopper bug the “World’s Greatest Leaper” in 2003. The froghopper is a “sap-sucker” that coats plants with foamy spittle – yuk! Froghoppers are about 1/5 of an inch (6 mm) long and can leap an amazing 28 inches (70 mm). That equals 140 times their body length. For a human to leap this distance, in comparison, would mean a long-jump record of 840 feet (256 m)!

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Colorful 3-D Art Is Easy to Create (c) 2013 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

Color or paint both sides of each cutout, making them look as similar as possible. Join your kids in creating art in 3-D with this easy and fun activity using household basics: corrugated cardboard from an empty box, scissors, paint and markers. That’s it. Watch your kids enjoy hours of fun with this clever construction technique. Once they get the hang of assembling the two interlocking pieces they’ve designed themselves, they’ll discover that a threedimensional mobile will look just right hanging over their homework desk. It’s so much fun, preschoolers will want you to join in and help them make an entire town or country scene of buildings, trees and flowers. They can set up the miniature play world, then add their trucks and other toys from their toy box. Or, if there’s a birthday in the house, make a card to greet the recipient from all angles for a 3-D day. Let’s get started by making a 3-D potted cactus in three easy steps. Use the same steps to make other objects. 1. On a piece of cardboard approximately 7 inches by 10 inches, draw a simple cactus shape in a clay pot. For extra fun in making the cactus design, have your child wear a mitten and place her hand on the cardboard. Trace around the mitten to create the cactus shape. Add the clay pot freehand. Cut out the drawing. (An adult may need to help with this.) 2. Trace the original potted cactus onto another piece of cardboard and cut out the second shape.

3. Mark the center point on the top of each cutout. On one piece, cut a slit starting at the top of the cactus and going down to that mark. On the other, cut a slit from the bottom of the flowerpot going up. The slits should be as wide as the thickness of the cardboard. 4. Slide one piece into the other. Extra idea: To hang a 3-D object, poke a hole at the top and string fishing line or lightweight wire through the hole. Hang from a hook in the ceiling or from a windowsill. *** 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.”

Kangaroos, the largest hopping animal, can cover a lot of ground with their hops. When kangaroos need to go faster, they don’t increase the frequency of their hops, instead they increase the distance for each hop. Kangaroos can bound 25 feet (7.6 m) or more forward and 6 feet (1.8 m) high in a single hop. The back legs of kangaroos always move in tandem except when swimming!

• The greater the range of a kangaroo’s hop, the more energy harnessed in their muscles and tendons when they touch down. Kangaroos have tremendous endurance with hearts twice the size of comparable animals and very efficient respiratory systems. • Wallabies are members of the kangaroo family, just in a smaller package. They, like their kangaroo cousins are only found naturally in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

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When most people think about planting a garden in the spring, they think about the fresh vegetables they will be eating all summer. While vegetables are packed with good nutrients, a garden provides many other benefits as well. This year, make planting and tending a garden a family affair, and everyone will harvest the benefits. “Digging in the dirt is just plain fun for little children. Why not give them some seeds to put in that dirt to see what they can produce?” said Tammy Roberts, nutrition and health education specialist with the University of Missouri Extension. “If a child has grown and harvested their own food, they are much more likely to eat it. Also, learning to use small garden tools can be good for the development of gross- and fine motor skills for children.” When we think about planning and caring for the garden, we usually are thinking about the healthful benefits of the food. Make no mistake; while you are paying attention to the chore at hand, your body is benefitting from a good workout as well. “Did you know you are actually doing some strength-training exercises while you work in the garden? Next time you are carrying a watering bucket or large flowerpot, just think about how that can help your muscles,” said Roberts. Maintaining muscle mass is an important part of assuring good flexibility and balance. And when you are bone-tired from getting up and down, know that the slow movement of getting from a sitting to a standing position is good for maintaining your muscles and bones. Gardening also is very good for the mind. Children can learn many science lessons in the garden from the benefits of some bugs to how compost is made and helps the garden grow. Adults exercise their brain power in many ways, such as researching new plants they want to grow, finding the best method to manage pests and learning how to irrigate the garden. Gardening is good for the mind in another way -- it can boost your mood. You can go to the garden in a rotten mood, but it’s pretty hard to leave the same way, especially if you are carrying your first ripe red tomato! Gardening also is the perfect way to introduce children to healthy eating habits that they will continue for the rest of their lives. Once your beautiful herbs and vegetables are ready to eat, try preparing my simple recipe for Garden Fresh Pizza. It’s like a delicious, fresh salad on a piece of flatbread. It’s also the perfect recipe to get your children into the kitchen to help prepare their own meals and to eat more vegetables!

HOPPERS (continued): • Besides their size, the biggest difference between wallabies and kangaroos is in their mouths. Wallabies live in bushy forests and mostly dine on leaves; kangaroos live in more open treeless areas and mostly eat grasses. Kangaroos have high crowns of teeth that are curved in their mouths while wallabies have flat teeth with a single cutting tooth on the top front of their mouths. • Rabbits are also fast hoppers, but kangaroos can go about twice as fast as a cottontail. An Australian red kangaroo can leap at about 35 miles per hour (56 kph); a rabbit would be left in the dust! • Rabbits, hares, and kangaroo rats are hoppers that can be found in the dry desert regions of the western and southwestern United States. Kangaroo rats are native to the desert southwest of the United States. • There are more than 20 species of kangaroo rats that hop on their hind legs and use their tails for balance like kangaroos. They are not related to kangaroos though; in fact kangaroo rats are rodents that have more in common with camels than kangaroos. Camels and kangaroo rats are the only mammals that can survive with virtually no water to drink.

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GARDEN FRESH PIZZA This fresh, easy pizza is the perfect way to bring your children into the kitchen. Older children can slice the softer vegetables using a disposable serrated plastic knife. Younger children can pick the herbs and tear them. Spreading the cheese and placing the vegetables on the pizza crust can be a fun, family affair. Best of all, your pizza is edible art! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1 package (12-inch) prebaked, thin Italian pizza crust, like Boboli Non-stick cooking oil spray 1 cup chopped fresh spinach 1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 cup) 3/4 cup shredded carrots 1/2 cup green onions, roots removed, white and green parts, chopped 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 container (6.5 oz) 50 percent-less-fat garlic-and-herb spreadable cheese 1/2 cup sliced, fresh mushrooms 1/2 cup finely diced, seeded cucumber 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, optional

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Lightly mist a 12-inch pizza pan or cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the pizza crust on the pan. Bake about 8 to 10 minutes to crisp the pizza crust. 2. Using a food processor or blender, puree 1/2 cup each of the spinach, the tomatoes, carrots, 1/4 cup of the green onions, and the basil, oregano, salt and pepper to make a chunky sauce. 3. Spread the cheese over the pizza crust and the vegetable sauce over the cheese. Place the remaining spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms and cucumber on the pizza. Sprinkle with remaining the carrots and green onions. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cut pizza into 4 wedges to serve. Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva!, on Facebook and go to Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.

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1. Who wrote and first released “All Along the Watchtower”? 2. What was the title of Del Shannon’s only No. 1 hit? What year was it? 3. Who sang the 1959 version of “Lonely Boy”? 4. Who released the worldwide No. 1 hit “Mickey” in 1982? 1. Name the song containing this lyric: “They ate up all my food. And I don’t stand to search. Don’t tell me it was a woman Cause a woman don’t eat that much.”

Answers 1. Bob Dylan, in 1967 on his “John Wesley Harding” album. Those who’ve studied the lyrics think the story comes from the Bible, Isaiah, Chapter 21, verses 5-9. Six months later, Jimi Hendrix came out with his own version. 2. “Runaway,” in 1961. After his death in 1990, The Traveling Wilburys recorded a version of “Runaway” to honor Shannon. 3. Paul Anka. He’d recorded his first single, “I Confess,” at age 14. 4. Toni Basil (born Antonia Basilotta in Philadelphia). The former high-school cheerleader has had a long career as a film director, choreographer and dancer, actress, singer-songwriter and filmmaker. 5. “Somebody’s Been Sleeping in My Bed” by funk-soul group 100 Proof (Aged in Soul). The song was a Grammy runner-up in 1971. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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3. AWARDS: In what field are the CLIO awards given?

4. OPERA: What was the name of the tragic female lead in “La Traviata”?


5. MEASUREMENTS: What is a baker’s dozen? 6. FOLKLORE: What tool is Paul Bunyan most

7. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is cereology? 8. MUSIC: Who sang the famous theme


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5. 13

4. Violetta

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In a study last year in the Public Health Nutrition journal, researchers revealed that people who ate junk or comfort

One of the biggest concerns about seniors and junk food (and fast food is included) is that many of us have smaller appetites than before. Maybe it’s because food doesn’t taste like it did, or maybe a medication we’re on has reduced our appetite. Many seniors are at risk for malnutrition even if we’re never hungry, because the types of food we eat don’t support good nutrition. If we turn to junk food, we might not have enough appetite left to eat the foods we should.

dance is the shag?

10. 10. HISTORY: Who was the first U.S. president

6. An ax

While the study wasn’t about seniors, and they used women participants who were much younger, the way they conducted the study makes me believe it easily could apply to seniors. Instead of having subjects appear at the clinic once a week to report on what they’d eaten and how they felt, they were equipped with handheld computers to input their moods and foods multiple times per day, especially just before and after eating.

food were more likely to be depressed -by 51 percent. The more junk food, the more depression.

7. The study of crop circles

An interesting study from the University of Pennsylvania shows that eating “comfort food” to help a bad mood actually can worsen the mood that the food was supposed to alleviate. In a paper presented recently at the American Psychosomatic Society conference in Miami, researchers revealed that positive moods didn’t change one way or the other before or after eating comfort or junk food, but negative moods were made worse.

8. Shirley Bassey



9. U.S. STATES: What two states’ official popular


9. South and North Carolina

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10. Franklin D. Roosevelt

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And if we eat to help a bad mood, we could be making it worse. Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Send email to (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

► Toothpaste works well as a silver polish. Wet your silver; plop a little non-gel toothpaste on it and rub gently with a damp, clean rag. Rinse well with a separate rag, and buff dry. Then just step back and let it shine. ► If you’re expecting your first child, heed this bit of advice: Assemble and otherwise try out complicated devices right away, while you have the time to learn how to work them. New dad Dan had a heck of a time trying to load bags into his brandnew Diaper Genie in the middle of the night.

► IfALWAYS you’ve ever oversalted soup, don’t worry; FREE here’s a great tip to recover your meal. Just cut a single potato into several large slices. Add them ALWAYS FUN to the soup, and they will soak up the extra salt. Remove before serving.

► Bloodstains on clothing can be really tough to treat. The best way to get a bloodstain out of clothing is by dousing the stain with hydrogen peroxide and washing immediately as usual.

► S.W. of South Carolina has this tip to share: “If you can’t seem to keep track of your keys, make an extra set for those mornings when you are running late and can’t spare the time to look for them. It has saved me a lot of stress, for sure.”

► I love to refinish and paint furniture pieces and woodcrafts. I always check my local recycling center for small amounts of “recycled” paint. Usually, someone has gotten rid of good paint, and the people at the recycling center are happy to have it used. -- B.B. in Virginia

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It’s My Mother or the Dog DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My mom keeps complaining that she wants to visit me at my new apartment, but that my dog, “Frankie,” sheds too much and causes her allergies to flare up. Frankie is one of those “no-shed” breeds of poodle, so I don’t know why she thinks he’s the culprit. How can I solve this? I’m not getting rid of Frankie just so she can visit. -- Abigail C., New York DEAR ABIGAIL: Perhaps there’s a happy medium the two of you can reach. First, understand that even dogs whose coats don’t shed much hair are not really “allergen-free.” Dander, which grows close to the dog’s skin, can still be shed and can cause allergies to flare up. Other environmental issues in the apartment can contribute to your mother’s allergies. In winter, dust can build up, and mold spores and pollen can enter even the cleanest apartments through heating air ducts.


area rugs before your mom’s visit. During days with high pollen counts, keep the windows shut and run the air conditioner or heater instead. Be sure to change or clean the unit’s filter, if you have access to it, to reduce the amount of allergens coming through the system. If she still insists that the dog is the culprit, consider boarding Frankie for the day or two that your mother is visiting, or having a friend keep him during that time. You shouldn’t have to give up your pet just so your mother can drop in occasionally, but you probably can come to a compromise that will enable her to visit.

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Lilly the Office Cat Donna, Thank you for sharing “Lily the Office Cat” with us for Bit’s Buddies! “She sits on my desk while I’m working and purrs but occasionally she bites - just like her owner!!!” - Donna Powell of Sarasota Want to see your favorite four legged friend featured? Submit a photo and a few words about your friend on Facebook and you may be chosen for an upcoming issue!

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Jane Austen was a novelist that appealed to female readers at a time when female writers were very rare. No public acknowledgement of her writing was made during her lifetime.

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• Born at Steventon Rectory in Hampshire, England on December 16, 1775, Jane was the seventh child of a clergyman and his wife, George and Cassandra Austen. • Jane and her siblings were educated at home and then at a boarding school. They benefited from their father’s extensive library and the great learning atmosphere that was created for them. Austen’s closest friend was her only sister, Cassandra, three years her senior.


• Austen lived a quiet life with her family but was provided worldly access via London and its theater, art exhibits, and social events through her brothers. Two brothers were in the Royal Navy and involved in the Napoleonic Wars. One brother became a clergyman like his father and another served in the militia and then worked in banking. Her brother, Edward, was adopted by some wealthy cousins, and became their heir.

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suggesting he take out his crayon and write the directions down, he went to work spitting in my sandwich, and I went back to the games.

Off the Radar I was watching the NCAA tournament, and I wanted a sandwich. I had no cold cuts, nor did I have any bread in the house. Well ... actually, that’s not entirely true. We had the bread my wife makes our kid eat that’s made out of bird seed and sticks and some sort of tofurkey nonsense in the fridge, but I would rather eat glass than that stuff. So I picked up the phone to order a sandwich from the local sandwich shop that advertises very fast delivery.

Gonzaga got wrecked by Witchita State. I haven’t seen a team play so scared in my entire life. Witchita State played street ball, couldn’t miss and the players were getting tattoos during TV timeouts, it seemed. Minnesota lost, and responded by firing Tubby Smith. Tubby Smith, the guy who had a .610 winning percentage and took them to the tournament seemingly every year. The powers that be, they said, wanted a “fresh pair of eyes” for the program. They’re nuttier than the bread my kid eats. I can’t wait to see where Tubby goes next. The delivery driver calls.

But since we got rid of the land line and went “cellphone only,” that can sometimes be problematic. You see, my cellphone has a battery with the lifespan of a mayfly and never works. So, after charging it in a wall outlet for a few minutes, it woke up, and 15 minutes later, after it helpfully “synched” and downloaded the 70 inane text messages sent from friends at sports bars (who were no doubt enjoying sandwiches), I was finally able to make the call and order my sandwich.

“Om ... you’re not on my GPS,” he said.

“The GPS says you’re not there,” said the order taker.

Still sans sandwich and with expectations low, I went back to the games. Wow. Florida Gulf Coast University made it to the Sweet Sixteen.

“I can assure you, I am here,” I replied in the assured manner of someone who existed and had just ordered a sandwich. I further explained I lived less than a quarter mile away, on the main thoroughfare and was the sole house on top of the hill ... impossible to miss. He was still befuddled. I still wasn’t showing up on his GPS, even after ordering pickles and chips. After

The first writings of Jane Austen were comic stories in three notebooks that are now referred to as the Juvenilia. She wrote her first novella when she was 19, entitled Lady Susan. It was written in epistolary form, which means as a series of letters. It was not published until long after Jane’s death.

I asked for his name, and his name was Luke. Perfect. “Luke,” I intoned. “SHUT THE GPS OFF. Luke Skywalker turned off his targeting device and blew up the Death Star in one shot! You can do this!” He laughed and promised to be “right there.”

Some things you just don’t see coming. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter who lives in Kansas City. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

Jane and her sister visited Edward’s estate, Godmersham, in Kent, for extended periods of time and were able to be a part of the privileged life of the wealthy. This lifestyle is reflected in her writings. She also spent a great deal of time in Bath, which is the home of the very popular Jane Austen Centre today.

• Another place honoring Austen’s British roots is the Jane Austen Museum at Chawton, UK. She spent eight of her later years in the home that her brother, Francis, provided for Jane and her sister. Many of her popular books were written at the Chawton Cottage. • When Austen’s novels were first published she was not identified as the author. After her death on July 18, 1817, two of the novels, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, were published together by her brother, Henry, in December of the same year. He included a “Biographical Notice,” where he identified Jane as the author of the two novels as well as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Emma and Mansfield Park. • The number of books that Austen authored is low, only six published, especially when you consider the great following of her works. All of Austen’s books have been made into movies,

Health Bits

Page 11

The Debate Over Circumcision DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I recently got into a discussion about circumcision with my granddaughter, who recently gave birth to our great-granddaughter. She mentioned that if her next child were a boy, she would choose not to have him circumcised. She claims her husband made a study of the procedure and says it is mutilation, the same as is practiced on women in some countries. She states it is a religious ritual only. Is circumcision of males considered the same as mutilation of females? -- P.H. ANSWER: The debate on male circumcision is one that generates heat on both sides. It is not the same as female circumcision. That is truly a mutilating procedure. Male circumcision for cultural and religious purposes is one thing, and I’m not talking about the procedure in those circumstances. The benefits of male circumcision include a reduction in urinarytract infection in infancy. It is said to reduce the transmission and acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases. It has been shown convincingly to decrease the transmission of the HIV virus, the virus that causes AIDS; the male acquisition of herpes virus; and the transmission of human papillomavirus, the cause of genital warts in men and women and cervical cancer in women. If readers want a reference for these claims, they can find it in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Oct. 5, 2011, page 1,479. The arguments against male circumcision are that it is unnecessary, doesn’t markedly affect the health of men or women in developed countries and can lead to serious complications, rare but possible. The actual complication rate is 0.2 percent to 0.6 percent, and most of the complications are minor. Furthermore, some feel strongly that it is a mutilating procedure. It is not on a par with female circumcision. I believe the parents of infant boys are the ones to make the decision. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: What does the gallbladder do? I’m going to have mine out. How does losing it affect life? -- J.M. ANSWER: The gallbladder is 3 to 4 inches long and holds about an ounce of bile. Bile is a product of the liver. The gallbladder lies beneath and closely adherent to the liver on the right side of the abdomen.

JANE AUSTEN (continued):

ANSWER: The likely cause is inflammation of the Achilles tendon, the tendon of the calf muscle. It attaches to the heel. Don’t play golf for two weeks. Take Aleve if there’s no reason for you not to use it. Put warm compresses on it for 15 minutes three times a day. Try heel inserts, obtainable in every drugstore. When you start playing again, ice the tendon for 10 to 15 minutes after you’re through playing. *** Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

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It’s not like I didn’t know about the importance of staying fit. I’m a registered nurse. I know that after age 30, we lose 8 to 10 pounds of muscle a decade. For people over 50 like me, it gets worse. The less fit we are, the more susceptible we are to a whole range of ills, from bone thinning, hip fractures and diabetes, to cholesterol and blood pressure problems.

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It’s also not like I didn’t have good intentions. I mean, I had a gym membership. But here’s the thing: a gym membership really only works if you actually USE it. I never did.


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Like many people, I didn’t believe it at first. Then I met Virginia Phillips, who operates 20 Minutes to Fitness, the company that brought this form of fitness training to the Sarasota area. She was my age, but had arm muscles that a 25-year-old would kill for. So I tried it. (The first session was free, so what did I have to lose?) Long story short – I was hooked. The results? Forget about the health benefits, which are certainly there. I can hit a golf ball further. My knees don’t creak. I feel great. I’ve dropped two dress sizes. (Yes, I wasn’t ALWAYS a size 4.) And how about this: I’ve got actual muscle definition in my arms. Yes, I can go ® sleeveless!

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The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) has over 4,500 members affiliated with the society in 70 regional groups in Canada and the United States. Evidently the members agree with Jane’s quote from her book, Emma, “It is such a happiness when good people get together – and they always do.”

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with Pride and Prejudice being the book that has been on film the most (five times).

• Austen wrote about an idyllic life, romance, financial considerations in marriage and used satire quite frequently. Unfortunately she never married and much about her private life was kept private. She died when she was only 41 in Winchester, England and is buried at the cemetery at Winchester Cathedral. •

When people eat a fatty meal, the gallbladder contracts to shoot a stream of bile into the small intestine to aid in the digestion of fat. Without a gallbladder, bile drips into the small intestine directly from the liver. Fat digestion goes on almost as it did with a gallbladder. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: After 18 holes of golf, the tendons on the back of my heels hurt. What should I do? -- C.K.

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Volume 3, Issue 7