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At this time of year when we are bombarded with ads for a wide variety of toys, Tidbits looks at those toys that have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, as well as some of our other favorites.
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• America’s National Toy Hall of Fame, located in Rochester, New York, was established in 1998. It honors those toys and games that have maintained their popularity over many years. In order to qualify for admission, the toy must be “widely recognized, respected, and remembered,” and foster learning and creativity. In addition, it must be more than a passing fad and show innovation. Toys in the Hall are not necessarily brand-name items. For example, the kite, bike, jump rope, rocking horse, and jigsaw puzzles are included. Checkers, yo-yos, jacks, and doll houses are all inductees, along with an item nearly child has played with, the cardboard box, a source of endless creativity.
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• Originally designed as a cereal premium prize, Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on network television. InConsole and Game Repair OP EN troduced in 1952, he met the lovely Mrs. A W 7 DA Buy & Sell Used Games Potato Head in 1953. He sported a pipe for EEK YS at 2 Great Locations many years, but in 1987, it was abandoned when Mr. Potato Head became the official www.seattlegamegurus.com “spokespud” for the American Cancer SoMonday – Thursday 12-9 ciety’s Great American Smoke-Out. turn the page for more! Friday – Saturday 12-11 Sunday 12-7 • A French mechanic took his invention L’Ecran Magique, or “Magic Screen” to the International Toy Fair in Germany in 1959, hoping to find a company to buy it. There turn the page for more! For more than 30 years Queen Anne Painting has earned its exceptional reputation by delivering exactly what you expect in a painting contractor.
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CLASSIC TOYS (continued):
A Note from the Editors
were no takers for his mechanical drawing toy at the fair, but he eventually convinced the Ohio Art Company to take a chance on it. They renamed it the Etch-A-Sketch, and by the next holiday season, it was one of the nation’s most-wanted toys. The red plastic frame housed a f lat gray screen and two knobs connected to a stylus that “etched” lines in aluminum powder on the back of the screen. Turning the toy upside down and shaking it erased the image and recoated the screen.
Happy New Year to each and every one of our readers! Thanks for picking up Tidbits this week. We hope you’re enjoying the festivities of the holidays and preparing your resolutions for 2013! We’re also excited about the Seahawks win against the 49ers last week and the game against the Rams this Sunday! Anyone else ready to cheer them on as the 12th man? We’re always looking for notes from our readers about their favorite stories and puzzles in the paper. Let us know what you want to see more of on our Facebook page. Have a great New Years as we welcome 2013!
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Skillet Corn Bread This delicious homemade corn bread is baked in an oven-safe skillet -- preferably one that’s heavyweight, such as cast iron. 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup yellow cornmeal 2 tablespoons sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 4 tablespoons margarine or butter, cold 1 can (8 1/2 ounces) cream-style corn 1 large egg, beaten 2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno chiles, shredded
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1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease 10-inch skillet with oven-safe handle. 2. In large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and black pepper. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissorfashion, cut in margarine or butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. With fork, stir corn, egg and cheese into flour mixture just until blended (batter will be very stiff). 3. Place greased skillet in oven; preheat pan 5 minutes (to help brown bottom of corn bread). Remove pan from oven; spoon batter into skillet and spread evenly with small metal spatula. 4. Bake corn bread 15 to 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and corn bread is just firm to the touch. Cut into 8 wedges and serve warm. Serves 8. • Each serving: About 290 calories, 9g total fat (3g saturated), 34mg cholesterol, 375mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 7g protein. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our website at www.goodhousekeeping. com/recipefinder/.
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• The Kenner Easy-Bake Oven hit retailers’ shelves in 1963, the brainstorm of inventor Ronald Howes, who was inspired by New York City street vendors roasting chestnuts and cooking pretzels. Two 100-watt light bulbs heated the food in a trendy turquoise oven, after little girls had mixed up the packets of cake mix with water. The first year, 500,000 ovens were sold for $15.95 each. Thirty-five years later, more than 16 million Easy-Bakes had been sold, and today that number tops 23 million. The design has been upgraded 11 times over the years. The oven no longer uses light bulbs to cook, with current models containing a heating element. • A Portland, Oregon organ maker named William Gruber was responsible for the invention of the View-Master. He introduced his creation at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, where it was sold in photo shops and stationary stores as a souvenir. During World War II, millions of View-Master reels were produced for the U.S. government to assist the armed forces with airplane and ship identification. • The name Wham-O has become synonymous with good old-fashioned fun over the years. Although it’s believed that the hula hoop has been around since about 500 B.C., it wasn’t until 1958 that it took on a brand name when Wham-O introduced a plastic hoop. The company promoted the hoop with giveaways at local playgrounds. Four months after its debut, 25 million hula hoops had been sold. That same year, Wham-O’s Frisbee appeared in stores, and quickly became an American icon. In 1961, Wham-O had another hit with its introduction of the Slip ‘n Slide. Voted in the Top 100 toys of all time, this long sheet of plastic was a practical choice for those who didn’t have money or space for a pool. Yet another success story followed in 1965 with the Superball, invented by chemist Norman Stingley, who received the patent for a “highly resilient polybutadiene ball.” Wham-O produced more than 20 million Superballs during the 1960s. • You might not recognize the name “Thousand Wonder Builder,” the name given to a set of wooden sticks and spools. In 1914, Charles Pajeau and Robert Petit observed kids playing with pencils, sticks, and empty thread spools, and created an inspirational toy for children that sold for 60 cents. Renamed Tinker Toys, by 1918 the inventors had sold more than 2.5 million sets. That 2.5 million figure continued every year up until the 1960s. Originally the pieces were all unpainted natural wood, but in 1932, red was added, followed by green, blue, and yellow three years later. • Two of our favorite toys had the same inventor. Reyn Guyer came up with a game that required the players to use their bodies as playing pieces. He called the simple polka-dot vinyl sheet and accompanying spinner “Pretzel,” but when Milton Bradley bought the rights, the name was changed to “Twister.” “The Game turn the page for more!
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Page 3 CLASSIC TOYS (continued):
by Samantha Weaver
• It was iconic pop artist Andy Warhol who made the following observation: “Employees make the best dates. You don’t have to pick them up, and they’re always tax deductible.”
• At one time in Alabama, it was illegal to wear a false mustache to church. • The English word “toast” to describe a piece of browned bread comes from the Latin word “tostare,” which means “roasted.” The word “toast” to mean kind words spoken while sharing wine also comes from the same root, though in a roundabout way. In the Middle Ages, wine was not always of the highest quality; as a gesture of goodwill and hospitality to guests, a piece of toast was sometimes added to improve the flavor. Eventually (as vintages improved, one might assume), the browned bread was forgotten and only the words remained. • You might be surprised to learn that the man who was the lead designer for the original GI Joe action figure also designed the inaugural medal for the John F. Kennedy-Lyndon Johnson administration. • If you’re an arachnophobe, it you probably don’t want to know that a tarantula can live for up to two years without eating a thing. • Have you ever noticed the small bumps that seem to cover your tongue? Many people think that these are taste buds. In fact, there are more than 200 taste buds on each of those bumps. • Those who study such things say that the 15 most commonly used words in the English language are, in descending order: I, you, he, she, it, we, they, me, him, her, them, what, the, a and an. *** Thought for the Day: “The greatest accomplishment is not in never failing, but in rising again after you fall.” -- Vince Lombardi © 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
PICKS OF THE WEEK “Taken 2” (PG-13) -- Ex-CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) made some enemies when he went on a killing spree to rescue his daughter from Albanians. His actions from the first “Taken” movie fuel this sequel, wherein the hero and his ex-wife are kidnapped in Istanbul, and only their daughter can save them. Many brawls and car chases ensue. Many bad guys fall beneath the fists of the calm and collected Neeson. Let’s hope that this one remains the only sequel. Whatever spark the first movie had, it’s just not here. The dialogue is more likely to cause a chuckle than any excitement for the next hasty fight scene. After this, the Mills family should probably just vacation in the continental United States. “To Rome With Love” (R) -- Woody Allen wrote and directed this series of short stories set in Rome. The skits don’t add up to anything, but each one is dense with quips and snappy dialogue. One story follows an American architect (Alec Baldwin) who spends time with a young man (Jesse Eisenberg) who could himself from the past. Another follows a Roman average Joe (Roberto Benigni) who becomes inexplicably famous. This won’t make it to the Woody Allen Hall of Fame, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed. The casting is quirky, to say the least. Some actors I usually like just seemed awkward and unconvincing in their roles. What really matters is that the performers find their groove in the delivery of Allen’s signature one-liners. “The Possession” (PG-13) -- With all of these movies about little girls possessed by demons, some real cliches are starting to solidify. This movie decided to use all of them. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick play parents who are too consumed by their divorce to notice that their daughter has been acting strange ever since she bought an old wooden box at a yard sale. The one twist this time around is that the demon comes from Hebrew folklore, and thus demands rabbinical exorcists. “Wake in Fright” (R) -- Originally made in 1971, the film wasn’t released on home video and never made it to television. It’s shocking, but not sleazy. Brutal, but not exploitive. It’s from that early ‘70s breed of terribly dark stories made into blockbusters. John Grant (Gary Bond) is a schoolteacher who lives way out in the reaches of the Australian Outback. When he loses his travel money in a gamble, he’s stranded in isolation with some repulsive people. The story follows John Grant’s descent into violence, alcohol and madness. TV RELEASES “Merlin: The Complete Fourth Season” “Perry Mason: The Eighth Season, Vol. 2” “Waking the Dead: Complete Season Seven” “Life’s Too Short” “Men of a Certain Age: Season Two” “Twenty Twelve: The Complete Series” (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
that Ties You Up in Knots” sold more than three million units during the first year, and has been played by an estimated 65 million people to date. In 1968, another Guyer invention brought a reprieve to those kids who were in trouble for playing ball in the house. The four-inch NERF ball, which stood for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam, had sales of four million its first year. • As architect Frank Lloyd Wright was building Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel in 1916, his son John was building an idea of his own. As John observed workers using a construction technique of interlocking beams, he visualized a set of toy logs made of redwood. He named them after Abraham Lincoln with a slogan of “interesting playthings typifying the spirit of America.” More than 100 million sets of Lincoln Logs have been sold worldwide. • Play-Doh’s original use was that of wallpaper cleaner. At the request of his preschool teaching sister-in-law, chemist Joseph McVicker tweaked the formula a bit to produce a soft modeling compound for her students. Joe premiered his clay at a 1955 national education convention, and by the next year, he had a hit. Not only have kids played with about 700 million pounds of Play-Doh, it even has its own national day of recognition, September 16th.
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Scottish New Year More Than “Auld Lang Syne” Hogmanay is the Scottish celebration of New Year’s, a great festive time, seeped in many customs and traditions such as the redding, first footing, the bells and black bun. Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year. It is, however, normally only the start of a celebration that lasts through the night until the morning of New Year’s Day or, in some cases, Jan. 2, which is a Scottish Bank Holiday. Here are some of traditions and the reasoning behind them: New Year’s Eve Customs During the day of Hogmanay, the household would be busy cleaning so that the New Year could be welcomed into a tidy and neat house. It is considered bad luck to welcome in the New Year in a dirty, uncleaned house. Fireplaces would be swept out and polished, and some people would read the ashes of the very last fire of the year to see what the New Year would hold. The act of cleaning the entire house was called the “redding,” or getting ready for the New Year. Pieces from a Rowan tree would be placed above a door to bring luck. In the house would be placed a piece of mistletoe, not for kissing under like at Christmas, but to prevent illness to the householders. Home for the Holidays! Last minute remodeling? A check up for your roof? Fireplace cleaning and repairing? With our help, your home can be ready.
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WHO: Tina’s Hair Salon and Tanning WHAT: Food Drive - Bring canned or nonperishable food items or toiletries WHERE: 22726 44th Ave W., Mountlake Terrace - (425) 775-5393 Receive $1.00 off your Service, Tanning or Retail per can donated (Maximum discount of $10 per visit)
WHEN:Donations accepted through December 31st WHO: Kenmore US Bank with Northwest Harvest WHAT: Food Drive - Bring canned foods and non-perishables WHERE: 6460 NE Bothell Way, Kenmore (425) 485-9510 WHEN:Donations accepted through December 31st a bottle of spirit such as whisky to offer a new year Pieces of holly would be placed to keep out misdram. In olden days when people could only afford chievous fairies, along with pieces of hazel and yew, one bottle of spirits a year, this bottle would take which were thought to have magical powers and pride of place on the mantelpiece or by the fireplace, would protect the house and the people who lived and only be opened at the stroke of midnight. The in it. Juniper would first-foot, the first person to cross the threshold, is be burnt throughout supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year. Trathe house, then all the doors of the home ditionally, tall dark men are preferred as the first-foot. Black Bun is a type of fruit cake completely covered would be opened to in pastry. Of Scottish origin, it was traditionally eaten bring in fresh air. The on Twelfth Night but now enjoyed at Hogmanay. house was then considered ready to bring Hogmanay Toasts in the New Year. As people wish each other a Happy New Year there Debts would be are some hogmanay toasts that can be said. A tradipaid by New Year’s tional Scottish New Year toast is: Eve, because it was “Lang may yer lum reek!” considered bad luck It means “long may your chimney smoke,” and to see in a new year originated when people had coal fires, and if the with a debt. chimney was smoking it meant that you could afford Any visitors who arrive before the chimes of midcoal and keep warm. night on New Year’s Eve would be violently shooed Another New Year toast said by Scottish people is: away to prevent bad luck. At midnight, the man of “A guid New Year to ane an’ a’ and mony may ye the house would open the back door to let the old see.” year out and then open the front door to let in the Which new year. The housetranslates to hold also would make English from as much noise as posScots as: “A sible to scare off evil 22725 44th Ave. W. #100 | Mountlake Terrace good New spirits. www.mountlakefamilydentistry.com Year to one (425) 412-3955 and all, and New Year Bells We’re giving you many may The first stroke of you see.” another reason to the chimes at New Year is known as The Bells. People would Walk-ins Welcome sing “Auld Lang Syne” DSHS and PPO Provider this holiday season! together while linking New Patient Specials Evening Appointments Available arms. After the bells have FREE Cleaning and Exam rung, people would with purchase of x-rays. First 200 patients only. go visiting friends and family, or first footing as it is known in Scotland. This would involve carrying
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FAMOUS LANDMARKS OF THE WORLD:
THE NORTH POLE
We’ve all heard that Santa lives at the North Pole. But as you’ll soon learn, the Pole is not exactly the most conducive location for comfortable living quarters! • There are actually two North Poles – a geographic one and a magnetic one. The geographic Pole is the Earth’s northernmost point, also called “true north.” It’s the point where all lines of longitude converge, found at 90° North latitude. All points in the world are south of the Pole, since east and west have no bearing. The magnetic North Pole is hundreds of miles away from the geographic pole, at approximately 82.7° North latitude, but it’s always on the move. It’s the focus of the Earth’s magnetic field, the place where compasses point. This pole moves about 25 miles (40 km) each year. • There is no land at the North Pole, as it sits in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, about 450 miles (725 km) north of Greenland. It’s covered with a constantly-shifting field of ice, typically between 6.5 and 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) thick. Now and then on rare occasions, open water is visible at the exact Pole site. The sea has been measured at 13,980 feet (4,261 meters) deep. • It’s an international law that no country owns the North Pole or any of the Arctic Ocean surrounding it. • There are six months of darkness and six months of daylight at the Pole. The annual
sunrise takes place on the equinox around March 19, taking three months to reach its highest point at the summer solstice, around June 21. During the summer, the sun is always above the horizon. It begins a slow descent after the solstice and the annual sunset occurs around September 24. The sky remains in twilight until early October, when it settles into full darkness. • January temperatures at the Pole average around -29° F (-34° C), and summer temps hover around the freezing point of 32° F (0° C). The warmest temperature recorded was 41° F (5° C). • Although Robert Peary and his assistant Matthew Henson are credited with being the first to reach the North Pole, many believed the team missed the Pole by a few miles. The Peary expedition reached the site in April of 1909, but Peary’s claims were disputed by his rival, Dr. Frederick Cook, who maintained that he had reached the Pole the year before. Cook did not provide detailed original navigational records to prove his achievement, claiming that the records had been left behind. Cook’s reputation was damaged beyond repair. • In 1958, the world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus became the first vessel to voyage under the ice at the North Pole.
graphic North Pole. • Thousands of tourists visit North Pole, Colorado annually, a Christmas-themed family amusement park with a village of 12 alpine buildings established in 1956 on the slopes of Pikes Peak. The park boasts a frozen “North Pole” in the middle of its 25 acres that stays frozen no matter how high the temperature rises.
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• Situated 2,347 miles (3,777 km) north of Seattle and 140 miles (225 km) south of the Arctic Circle is the community of North Pole, Alaska, population 2,200. The town’s name might be North Pole, but it’s nowhere near that site, and is located 1,700 miles (2,700 km) south of the actual geo-
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1. Who was the youngest major-league pitcher to toss a perfect game? 2. How many losing seasons have the Yankees had in their 110-year franchise history in New York? 3. When was the first time two quarterbacks who were each taken No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft faced each other in a conference championship game? 4. Name the last team to score fewer points in an NCAA men’s basketball championship game than Butler did (41 points) in 2011? 5. Who was the last Washington-based pro player before the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin in 2008 to win an MVP award? 6. Name the last time before 2012 (Michigan International Speedway) that NASCAR Cup drivers posted qualifying speeds above 200 mph. 7. At the 2012 Olympics, two male tennis players set a record for longest three-set match (four hours, 26 minutes). Name the players.
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1. MOVIES: What was the name of the planet where Luke Skywalker (“Star Wars”) grew up? 2. LITERATURE: Who wrote the children’s book “The Wind in the Willows”? 3. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is a common name for the dog breed Borzoi? 4. MYTHOLOGY: What was the name of the sun god in Greek mythology? 5. GEOGRAPHY: Where is the island of Curacao located? 6. HISTORY: In what U.S. state did the Battle of Bunker Hill take place? 7. GEOMETRY: How many sides does a quadrilateral have? 8. PSYCHOLOGY: What type of fear is represented by hedonophobia? 9. TELEVISION: What was the name of the lead character on “Miami Vice,” and who played the role? 10. MILITARY: What is the highest decoration awarded for heroism in the U.S. military?
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• “Save egg cartons for children’s painting palettes. It’s very easy to give kids a small amount of many colors, and when they are each in their own cup, they don’t get spread out and run together as quickly. Plus, they are easy to carry.” -- O.L. in Utah • Remove price-tag residue off hard surfaces with hairspray. Or WD40 works well too. • Make your own frozen dinners by purchasing divided trays and using them to store leftovers. Slip each into a plastic bag and label. On busy nights, you can take your favorite out and microwave it. you pay off one card, use that payment amount to put extra on another card payment each month. Here’s what happens if you let the debts linger and only make minimum payments: You’ll keep paying more interest. A sale item is no longer a sale item once you add months of interest to its cost. Your buying power is diminished. You’re paying today with HOW TO DEAL QUICKLY money you haven’t earned yet. WITH HOLIDAY DEBT Your borrowing power is reduced. In the event of an Did you overspend during the holidays? Have you emergency where you must take out a loan, you might be loaded up your credit cards with debt? It’s easy to do. limited in how much you can borrow because of the debt Retailers go all out to get consumers to let go of cash, you’ve already taken on. and there’s the not-so-small desire to provide a happy Your credit score can take a hit if you’ve put too much on season for loved ones. your credit cards. Going over a certain percentage of total Now, however, it’s time to take a hard look at the credit availability shows up as a negative in your score, debt that’s been incurred. and it will continue that way until you pay enough of the When the bills arrive in January, open them immebalance. If the excess debt leads to late payments or paying diately. Make a chart showing the total balance and the only minimum payments, your credit score will suffer. minimum monthly payment for each. Decide how much Debt hangs over your head, day after day. It doesn’t go you can pay monthly on each one until all the balances away -- until you pay it off. are brought to zero. At the very least, pay a few dollars If you received cash for holiday gifts, consider using that more than the minimum, as this is something that goes to bring down some of your debt. on your credit report. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer Check the interest rates and put extra money into the reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column payments for those cards with higher rates. Ideally, you whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features should be able to pay off all your holiday debt in three Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853payments, if not sooner. If you can’t, add extra money 6475, or send email to email@example.com. to those payments to the extent you reasonably can. As
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• “A beautiful but stained or worn tablecloth can find a new life at your dinner table. Cut into napkin sizes, and give any frayable ends a hemming.” -- A.S. in Oregon • Here’s a great winter tip that’s double purpose: After your dishwasher has done its job, open the door and let the dishes air dry rather than machine dry. You’ll save on energy, while you add warmth and humidity to your home’s air. • A damp cloth plus baking soda should by your first weapon against stains in the kitchen and bathroom. It’s eco-friendly and a mild abrasive, which works without scratching! 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 heresatip@yahoo. com.
1. “Catfish” Hunter was 22 when he did it for Oakland in 1968. 2. Twenty-one seasons. 3. The AFC Championship Game following the 1998 NFL season featured Denver’s John Elway versus Vinny Testaverde of the New York Jets. 4. Oklahoma A&M tallied 36 points in 1949. 5. Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, in 1983. 6. It was 1987. 7. Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro.
1. Tatooine 2. Kenneth Grahame 3. Russian Wolfhound 4. Helios 5. Caribbean 6. Massachusetts 7. Four 8. Fear of pleasure 9. Sonny Crockett (played by Don Johnson) 10. Medal of Honor