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June 11, 2011

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TIDBITS® THINKS LIKE A HOBO HOPPING THE RAILS by Patricia L. Cook Trains have fascinated people since they started rolling on the rails many years ago. One group of people in particular, hobos, made trains a big part of their lives, even though they weren’t authorized to do so! • During the latter 19th century and early 20th century, many people could not find work. The worst time was during the Great Depression years, from 1929 to 1940, when more than 2 million men and around 8,000 women became hobos. • The word “hobo” is generally meant for an itinerant (wandering) person that’s willing to work. Some say the word was derived from “hoe-boy,” which meant someone looking for farm work, hence willing to hoe cotton or other crops. Another possible origination was from the intersection of Houston and Bowery Streets in Manhattan, New York, where “hobos” were known to congregate. There are other theories about the word as well, but it was a word that came into use when trains provided a way to move about the country. • Hobos found that the easiest way to get to a different city or part of the country was to hitch a ride on a freight train. Even though this was illegal, railroads were kind to hobos and generally saw them as harmless people who just needed transportation. turn the page for more!


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HOPPING THE RAILS (continued): • As time passed and more people, mostly men, tried to hop rides on freight trains, problems developed. Many hobos were dirty, some appeared to have mental health issues, and some just appeared to be lazy bums! Some hobos became radical and tried to characterize their way of life as a freedom that they deserved. Hence, railroads sought to stop the free rides. • Chicago was known as the hobo capital of the United States. Hobos gathered in groups for food and shelter. They developed a hobo code of ethics and even devised symbols as a way to spread information and warnings to their comrades. • The hobo life was not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination. When deciding to “hobo,” many would see it as an adventure, but the reality was that it was hard to find work. Money was hard to come by, which also meant food, clothing, hot baths and many other basic needs and wants were not met. Lastly, it was a dangerous way of life. • Reports from the Interstate Commerce Commission show that from 1929-1939, 24,647 trespassers were killed and 27,171 were injured on railroad property. • Hobos were what some call the “original migrant workers.” They would follow harvests in the American West. Hay, corn, wheat, hops, fruit, vegetables and cotton harvests were all potential jobs that hobos would seek. They traveled from Chicago and other Eastern cities to California, to the Rocky Mountains, to the Pacific Northwest, the South, the Southwest and back to Southern California seeking the crops and weather that would provide work.

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¥ Purchase a large tub of cookie dough, and when you make the first batch, go ahead and portion out the remaining dough by teaspoons onto a cold cookie sheet. Freeze as balls, and then replace them in the container they came from. Refreeze. Now you can take out only as many cookies as you want to make, and cook them straight from frozen. ¥ "This is a tip for painting stairs. Paint every other stair. Let them dry. Then paint the other stairs. This will make your staircase useable the whole way through your paint job." -- R.L. in Michigan ¥ Spray old artificial flowers with hair spray to make the look fresh and vibrant. ¥ Many food containers can be reused to store personal items. Glass jars can be cleaned and labels removed. Paperboard boxes can be custom trimmed and covered with leftover wrapping paper or wallpaper. Paper milk cartons can be cleaned with soap and water, dried thoroughly and then painted to hold a variety of items. Don't overlook the many possibilities in a piece of recycling or trash. ¥ Use plain household vinegar to kill grass that grows in the cracks of walkways and driveways. ¥ "Use bathroom fans appropriately. Make sure to turn them off. They vent air to the outside, and that includes your paid-for air conditioning, too. Close the bathroom door after showering and let the fan run for about 10 minutes. Then turn it off." -- D.A. in Texas 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 (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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¥ On June 13, 1971, The New York Times begins publishing portions of the 47-volume Pentagon analysis of how the U.S. commitment in Southeast Asia grew over a period of three decades. The publication of the “Pentagon Papers” precipitated a crucial legal battle over “the people’s right to know.” ¥ On June 14, 1968, Dr. Benjamin Spock is convicted in Federal District Court of conspiring to aid, abet and counsel draft registrants to violate the Selective Service Act. Spock, a physician, was the famous author of “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.” ¥ On June 15, 1215, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or "Great Charter," a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteeing that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church and maintain the nation's laws. Four original copies of the Magna Carta of 1215 exist today. ¥ On June 16, 1738, printer, publisher, postmistress and patriot Mary Katharine Goddard is born in New London, Conn. In 1777, when Congress decided to print the Declaration of Independence, including a complete list of signatures, it chose Mary Goddard as printer. ¥ On June 17, 1885, The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, arrives in New York City's harbor. The dismantled statue was enclosed in more than 200 packing cases. Its copper sheets were reassembled, and the last rivet of the monument was fitted on Oct. 28, 1886. ¥ On June 18, 1984, radio talk-show host Alan Berg, the self-described “man you love to hate,” is gunned down in the driveway of his home in Denver. Berg’s story provided the loose inspiration for the 1988 film “Talk Radio.” ¥ On June 19, 1905, some 450 people attend the opening day of the world's first nickelodeon, located in Pittsburgh. The storefront theater boasted 96 seats and charged each patron 5 cents. Its usual offerings included live vaudeville acts as well as short films. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


HOPPING THE RAILS (continued): • One of the first acts signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in March 1933 created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). By July, 250,000 young men were put to work in forest and park camps. Many of these young men had been hobos, jumping on trains looking for work wherever they could find it. The CCC program helped to “encourage conservation of our natural resources and the salvage of our young men.” • Starting in 1925 “brushless shaving cream” from Burma-Shave was advertised on small red and white signs using wit and wisdom. Over 7,000 Burma-Shave signs dotted the roadsides across America at the height of their popularity. There would be several signs in succession, with the punch line on the last one. The last new signs were made in 1963 and have now disappeared from our roadways. A series of signs in 1951 read: “The hobo lets his whiskers sprout. It’s trains – not girls, that he takes out! BurmaShave.” • Movies helped to romanticize railroads and hobos, and stories of hobos often made riding the rails look fun and easy to do. Operation Lifesaver is a program that started in Idaho with the Union Pacific Railroad in 1972. This program has more to do with the safety of highway traffic at railroad crossings than it does hobos, however, a large function of the program is educating the public that railroads are private property. Education, Enforcement and Engineering, the three E’s, have been used to reduce fatalities on railroads in the last 30-plus years. The program is now used all over the United States and Canada. • The Original Hobo Nickel Society (OHNS) is a club for collectors and carvers of nickels. The hobby of carving nickels started years ago with hobos. Some of the oldest carved nickels are worth thousands of dollars today.

1. LITERATURE: "Ten Days That Shook the World" is an account of what event in history? 2: FASHION: What is an ascot? 3. LANGUAGE: Where might a lunule be found on the human body? 4. ASTRONOMY: When did Edmond Halley determine that a comet (which was later named after him) became visible to observers on Earth every 75 years or so? 5. GEOGRAPHY: What is the capital of Cyprus? 6. HISTORY: Where did the Glorious Revolution of 1688 take place? 7. U.S. PRESIDENTS: What did George Washington do for a living as a young man? 8. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: On which continent did the peanut originate? 9. ANATOMY: To what system of the human body does the gall bladder belong? 10. ARCHITECTURE: Who designed St. Paul's Cathedral of London? (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


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HOPPING THE RAILS (continued): • The Hobo Railroad in Lincoln, New Hampshire, is a popular tourist train that is great for kids TM and adults, whether hobos or not. They offer a Hobo Picnic Lunch, which, of course, comes with a souvenir bindle stick. • Hobo Jim is a singer/songwriter who is an PAW’S CORNER Alaska legend. Not a real hobo, he spent many By Sam Mazzotta years as a commercial fisherman, logger and cowboy before being named “Alaska’s state Are Pets People? These Folks Say Yes balladeer” in 1994 by the state legislature and governor. adore animals. They are great friends and are DEAR PAW'S CORNER: I just read your article • The 5th annual Rail Fest will be held Septemalways there when people may not be. We had about how people feel about their pets. I am ber 16-18, 2011, in North Platte, Nebraska. Why a cat about four years ago that had kittens and one of the pet lovers who believes that they is North Platte important in railroad history? The always killed the litters -- until one day I got are part of our family. My husband and I have main line through the town is the busiest freight angry and saved the last kitten. As "Socks" grew two teenage daughters and a 14-year-old corridor in the world. More than 150 trains and attached he treated me as a mother, and to this deaf and blind border collie named Logan. I 10,000 rail cars are processed at Union Pacific’s day I feel he is my baby boy, even though I am am Mom to Logan, my husband is Dad and Bailey Yard every 24 hours. Bailey Yard is about just 18. I go so far as to give him a little birthour daughters are "Sissy" to her. We got her eight miles long (12.9 km) and up to three miles day each November. -- Sign me, Socks' Mom in through a rescue league when she was about wide (4.8 km). The festival has free tours of the Illinois a year old. massive freight yard as well as real and model I am a big supporter of shelters and helped train exhibits, a carnival and other activities — DEAR READERS: Wow, thanks for the great letform Justice for Dogs with Amy Touchette in including a Hobo Contest. ters! I received quite a response to my question Wolcott, Vt. I'm happy to see that the trend is • Another annual gathering of hobos that has of pet owners. It's clear that owners care deeply going in the right direction about how to treat been held for two decades is the Pullman Hobo for their pets, and that's positive news. animals. Many people have told me over the Fest in the historic Pullman area of Chicago. years that when they die, they want to come This festival occurs on the factory grounds of Send your question or comment to ask@ back as my dog. If you had all day, I could the defunct Pullman Company, which, or write Paw's Corner, c/o King give you the list of reasons why. Thank you. tured passenger rail cars for 100 years. Free Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Or-- Toni M., Hardwick, Vt. camping is allowed on the grounds, called lando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related the “hobo jungle,” which is what typical hobo advice and information, visit www.pawscorner. DEAR PAW'S CORNER: I read your column grounds are called. com. and have to put my say in, as I absolutely • There are 10 to 12 weekend gatherings across the United States every year that welcome old (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc. and new hobos as well as those curious to see the way hobos lived. • This is the end of this little “bit” about hobos. Since hobos never say goodbye, we’ll just end as a hobo would: “Down the road!”



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OVERCOMING THE ODDS: MEL TILLIS Born on August 8, 1932, Lonnie Melvin Tillis, Mel, as he came to be known, suffered from malaria as a child. The disease left him with a chronic stuttering problem that he turned into a plus for his career as a singer, songwriter, actor and entertaining personality.

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• Tillis’ stuttering problem was not always easy to deal with. As a child in the Great Depression, his family moved often looking for work. With each move he had to meet new classmates and teachers and go through the ordeal of them noticing his inability to speak a sentence without stuttering. • Tillis learned to play the drums and guitar and won a talent contest at age 16. Music continued to be a source of encouragement when he performed in a band while in the Air Force. After leaving the Air Force in 1955, he worked odd jobs until moving to Nashville in 1957 to pursue a music career. • Early in his career, Tillis was told by a man who had just refused him a job to overcome his stuttering by changing his outlook on life. He was told to repeat this prayer, a version of the “Serenity Prayer,” every night: “Oh Lord, Grant me the Courage to change the things I can change, the Serenity to accept those I cannot change, and the Wisdom to know the difference. And God, Grant me the Courage to not give up on what I think is right, even though I think it is hopeless.” Tillis obviously worked hard to overcome his stuttering problem and didn’t abandon his dreams.

TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

New Dawn Breaks for Rheumatoid Arthritis Diana Haws

DEAR DR. DONHUE: My daughter, 37, has rheumatoid arthritis. Is it genetic or a diet/lifestyle illness? What can be done to alleviate her discomfort? I read somewhere that cod liver oil brings relief. -- H.B. ANSWER: Arthritis comes in many guises. Osteoarthritis is the most common kind. Nearly everyone has a touch of it before death. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1 percent of adults, with two women afflicted for every man. It makes its appearance most often in the 40s and 50s. The lower two knuckles of the fingers, the wrist, elbows, ankles and foot joints are the ones most often attacked, but any joint can be affected, including the shoulders and hips. It's a symmetrical arthritis, meaning that the same joint on the right is stricken as the one on the left. It's also a systemic illness. The body as a whole suffers. Fever, weight loss and fatigue are common in many stages of this illness. The eyes can become inflamed, as can blood vessels. Changes in the lungs are possible. It's not a diet/lifestyle illness. Genes play a role, but not the entire role. The immune system is involved. Cod liver oil is no longer used for treatment. A new dawn has broken for the treatment of this often-disabling affliction. Formerly, anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin and aspirin were the initial treatment. Now treatment most often begins with drugs called disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, DMARD. These medicines have the potential to stop the progression of the illness. Methotrexate is one example. A brand-new class of rheumatoid arthritis drugs, the biologicals, neutralizes body chemicals that lead to joint inflammation and deformity. They can halt the arthritis process in its tracks -- not always, but enough of the time to

call them amazing. Some names are Humira, Kineret, Actemra, Enbrel and Remicade. They also have powerful side effects that have to be quickly attended to. Your daughter lives at a time that is a good one for people with this illness. The booklet on arthritis describes the various kinds and their treatments. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 301W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient's printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a 76-year-old man with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- emphysema and chronic bronchitis). I am relatively symptom-free and have reduced the use of my inhaler to one puff in the morning and in the evening. I jog and walk two miles, three times a week, in 25 minutes and have done so for the past four years. Am I putting undue stress on my heart? Am I hurting or helping myself? -- R.S. ANSWER: You've stuck with this program for four years and are now using less medicine than you did. It appears to help you. Your regimen isn't a dangerous one. However, I have to stop short of giving you carte blanche approval. Only your doctor can do so. He or she knows all aspects of your medical history; I don't. I'm pretty sure you'll get the doctor's OK. *** 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. (c) 2011 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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1. Who was the last third baseman before Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria in 2008 to win the A.L. Rookie of the Year Award? 2. Name the 1950s N.L. player who, for three consecutive seasons, had at least 40 home runs and had fewer strikeouts than homers each year. 3. When was the last time before 2010 (Sam Bradford) that an Oklahoma Sooner was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft? 4. How many times has Shaquille O'Neal led the NBA in field-goal percentage for a season? 5. In 2010, Chris Kelly became the third Ottawa Senator to score all three of his team's goals in a victory. Name either of the other two to do it. 6. Who was the last driver before Kyle Busch in 2011 to start on the pole and lead all the laps in winning a NASCAR Nationwide Series race? 7. Who was the last Spanish men's tennis champion of the U.S. Open before Rafael Nadal in 2010? (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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BICYCLES (continued): In the 1890s, the first “modern” bicycles appeared: chain-driven vehicles with similarly-sized tires. These were safer than the high-wheel models (and were even called “safety bicycles” as a result), but proved a step backwards in comfort. While the long spokes of high-wheel bikes absorbed bumps and ruts, the smaller wheels on these new bikes, particularly when coupled with the hard-rubber tires of the era, made for jarring, unpleasant rides. More than a million bicycles were sold in the United States by the time 1895 rolled around, but one last improvement would propel the bicycle into the must-own category: the pneumatic tire. Under the guidance of the Pope Manufacturing Company (which made bicycles), the Hartford Rubber Works produced America’s first pneumatic tires in 1895. Providing a much softer ride, they soon became a standard feature on all bicycle models. Dozens of smaller-scale improvements boosted the speed, comfort, longevity and performance of bicycles during the 20th century. As women began to find them as necessary as men, two varieties of bicycle were made. Men’s bikes were built with an extra stabilizer bar across the top of the bike. Women’s bikes omitted the bar, providing for easier mounting and dismounting of the vehicle when wearing skirts. The 1970s saw the development of two bicycle extremes. First came bicycles that took you nowhere. Otherwise known as exercise bikes, these training aids first hit the home market at the beginning of the decade. Then, as time went on and the energy crisis sent fuel prices skyrocketing, mopeds appeared. These bicycle/motorcycle hybrids, most popular with city-centered business workers, could either be pedaled like a regular bike or powered using a small, low-powered gasoline engine.

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STRANGE BUT TRUE By Samantha Weaver ¥ It was American author Paul Auster who made the following sage observation: "Only the good doubt their own goodness, which is what makes them good in the first place. The bad know they are good, but the good know nothing. They spend their lives forgiving others, but they can't forgive themselves." ¥ If summer where you are is starting to heat up, just be grateful you don't live in western Australia. There, the average temperature is 96 degrees F. -- all year long. 2nd Quarter 2006 Week 22 Those who study May 28 - Jun 3such

¥ things claim that the supposed Back pirate tradition of walking the plank Page is a myth. Whenever pirates wanted to get rid of something -- or somebody -- they just tossed the offender overboard without ceremony. ¥ When a baby is born it has more than 300 bones in its body, but due to bone fusion, adults end up with only 206 bones. ¥ The next time you're planning a European vacation, make time to visit the coast of the Netherlands, where you can stay in one of the world's most unusual hotels. Along the banks of the Wadden Sea you'll find Harlingen Harbour Crane, an actual derrick that was once used to haul timber. These days it holds aloft luxurious sleeping quarters designed for only one party at a time. If you need a change of scenery, just head to the control room to swing the crane around until you find a view that strikes your fancy. ¥ You may be surprised to learn that there is a growing interest in the new sport known as chess boxing. It's a hybrid sport in which competitors alternate 4-minute rounds of speed chess with 2-minute rounds of boxing. Since 2008, there have been 10 international competitions in London alone. *** Thought for the Day: "It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into." -- Jonathan Swift (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

MEL TILLIS (continued): • Singer Webb Pierce had great success with songs written by Tillis in the 1950s and 60s. Pierce had a No. 3 hit with “I’m Tired,” and also recorded “Tupelo County Jail” and others. Brenda Lee, Waylon Jennings, and Kenny Rogers and the First Edition recorded hits in the 1960s that were from songwriter Tillis. You may recall this one: “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.” • Tillis has written more than 1,000 songs with over 600 being recorded by major recording artists. He has recorded more than 60 albums himself, including 36 Top 10 singles, with nine of them achieving No. 1. Several of his well-known hits are “Coca Cola Cowboy,” Southern Rain” and “Good Woman Blues.” • Tillis has accomplished a lot with his recording talents, but he also capitalized on his humor and acting ability. Some of his better-known films were: “Every Which Way But Loose” with Clint Eastwood, “Cannonball Run I and II” and “Smokey and the Bandit II” with Burt Reynolds. He starred in several television movies as well: “Murder in Music City” and “A Country Christmas Carol.” • “Stutterin’ Boy: The Autobiography of Mel Tillis” was published in 1984 and tells of his struggles and successes. • He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters International Hall of Fame in 1976, the same year he was named the Country Music Association’s (CMA) Entertainer of the Year. Tillis also won Comedian of the Year for six years in a row in the 1970s. • Tillis was honored to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in June 2007 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in October of that year. It is now 2011, and Tillis, the talented man who happens to stutter, is still touring and entertaining fans. He says, “It’s been one heck of a ride!”

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TOY TRAINS Toy trains have been around since the beginning of railroads. Some of the earliest were actually made to be used as promotional tools for early railroads and subsequently ended up as toys. • During the Victorian era, the reign of Queen Victoria in England from 1837-1901, toy steam engines were very expensive and therefore, only for the wealthy. Other popular toys were pull-along trains in all shapes, materials and sizes and clockwork (wind-up) trains. • Most of the inexpensive toy trains were made in Germany, while Britain and France built the better class steam engines for the aristocracy. The U.S. industry was starting to use more cast iron for model trains. • None of the early toy trains were made as systems or sets with cars and tracks. When tinsmith Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Marklin started making and promoting sets that could be started with one or two pieces and then expanded, the marketing of model trains sets was on its way. Marklin actually got his start making tinplate dollhouses in about 1860. • Marklin’s popularity grew as did another German company, Bing, the country’s largest toy manufacturer, that focused more on accessories to go along with the train sets. • The first model train sets were quite large, but HO train sets are the dominant size for model trains in all countries today, except Britain, where the slightly larger 00 size reigns in popularity. HO train sets are 1/87 the size of real trains.

Trivia Test Answers

1. Toronto's Eric Hinske, in 2002. 2. Cincinnati's Ted Kluszewski, 1953-55. 3. It was 1980 (Billy Sims). 4. Ten times, the last in the 2008-09 season. 5. Bob Kudelski (1993) and Jason Spezza (2008). 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr., in 2003. 7. Manuel Orantes, in 1975. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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1. Russian Revolution 2. Scarf or wide tie used as formal neckwear 3. The crescent-shaped white mark at the base of the fingernail or toenail 4. 1705 5. Nicosia 6. England 7. Surveyor 8. South America 9. Digestive 10. Sir Christopher Wren (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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TOY TRAINS (continued): • Following World War I, most people of the world refused to buy German imports, including toy trains. During this time, other non-German toy makers started making their marks with consumers. • Lionel Trains in the United States, Hornby Trains in Britain and JEP in France were all toy train companies that came on the scene either before or shortly after World War I. They capitalized on the anti-German sentiment and came up with terrific products that developed large followings in the toy train market. The 1930s saw great improvements, and popularity grew for toy trains — but then World War II changed the world, including the world of toy trains. • Toy manufacturers in Europe were greatly affected by the war, but of course, the United States, across the ocean from the conflict, did not suffer as much. Toy trains continued to make great gifts for kids and the adults (mostly men) who loved them. The trains, mainly Lionelmade, could be found in many homes, seen on tabletops and around Christmas trees. Even though popularity waned in the 1960s and 1970s, today many collectors are alive and well. Men have passed the love of trains on to their sons and grandsons. • Many toy train enthusiasts belong to clubs and share their love of the hobby. There are two well-known model railroad museums in the United States: The Golden State Model Railroad Museum in Point Richmond, California, and the Smoky Mountain Train Museum in Bryson City, North Carolina.

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Tidbits of Kingman Issue 7  

Tidbits of Kingman Issue 7

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