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October 25, 2012
Vol. 1 Issue 9
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TOO THE ZOO by Kathy Wolfe
• Archaeological excavations have revealed the oldest known zoological collection in Hierakonpolis, Egypt, believed to have been created by Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut around 1500 B.C. The emperor of China Wen Wan established a 1,500-acre zoological garden about 1000 B.C., dubbing it the Garden of Intelligence.
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• The oldest continuously-operating zoo in the world is Vienna, Austria’s Schonbrunn Zoo, established in 1752, and still receivMonday – Thursday ing more than two million visitors annu- 12-9 Friday – Saturday ally. It also holds the honor of being the 12-11 first place to host the birth of an12-7 African Sunday elephant in captivity. • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the site of America’s first attempt to establish a zoo, creating a charter in 1859. However, construction did not begin immediately due to the advent of the Civil War. In the meantime, New York City opened Central Park Zoo in 1864 and grabbed the honor of the first public zoo in the U.S. turn the page for more! • Although the word “hippopotamus” translates from the Greek for “river horse,” this herbivorous mammal is more closely related to the pig. It ranks third in size in land animals, right behind the elephant and rhinoceros. Baby hippos are born underwater and weigh about 100 lbs. (45 kg) at birth. By adulthood, one might weigh as turn the page for more!
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A Note from the Editors Hello again Tidbits readers! This week’s paper is once again, full of delicious bits of information, puzzles to stretch the mind, and a special Halloween Kids Corner page! We’ve also got some great articles that will grab your attention. Be sure to find the Caramel-Nut Brownie recipe too! It’s one of our favorites. With the holidays fast approaching, we want to include fun and local content. Do you know of any fundraisers, food drives, or other events happening that you want our readers to know about? Send us an email and we’ll help promote your event. Don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter and keep an eye out for special coupons for readers, contests and more Tidbits fun!
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THE ZOO (continued):
much as 5,800 lbs. (2,631 kg). Hippos eat about 88 lbs. (40 kg) of food daily. At one time, hippos’ ivory canines, which reach 20 inches (51 cm) in length, were used by dentists for artificial teeth because they don’t turn yellow. In a zoo environment, a hippo will live about 50 years. • Even with its enormous bulk, the rhinoceros can trot along at 40 mph (64 km/hr). The word “rhinoceros” translates from the Greek language, rhino meaning “nose” and ceros meaning “horn.” A baby rhino enters the world weighing about 140 lbs. (63.5 kg) and can grow to about 7,000 lbs. (3,500 kg). • You think your blood pressure is high? Consider that of the giraffe, whose pressure is two to three times higher than that of a healthy human. That’s because of that long neck! The heart of a giraffe measures 2 feet (.6 m) long and weighs 25 lbs. (11.3 kg), enabling it to pump blood with enormous force up the neck to the brain. The average giraffe stands about 19 feet (5.8 m) tall, 6 feet (1.8 m) of which are its legs. At birth it was already 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, and had endured a 6-foot drop to the ground head first! The baby calf is up and walking around only one hour after birth. An adult giraffe can weigh up to 3,000 lbs. (1,360 kg) and lives about 20 years. • The sleek cheetah, the world’s fastest mammal, can reach a speed of 45 mph (72 km/hr) in two seconds from a standstill. It then accelerates to its top speed of nearly 65 mph (104 km/hr). Yet just 300 yards farther on, exhaustion sets in, and the animal must slow down. Half of the cheetah’s running time is spent off the ground, and it can even make a turn in mid-air! • An African elephant weighs upwards of 6 tons (5,443 kg), stands 12 feet (4 meters) tall at the shoulder, and has a trunk about 7 feet (2 meters) long. It consumes about 300 lbs. (136 kg) of food in a day, and sucks up about 2 gallons (7.5 liters) of water into its trunk each time it takes a drink. The elephant is second behind human beings in longevity, with many elephants living well past age 70. • A gorilla may look gargantuan, but in truth the average male gorilla stands only about 5”7” (1.7 m) tall. He is a hefty fellow, however, weighing in at 330 lbs. (150 kg). The female is much smaller, averaging 176 lbs. (80 kg). The lifespan of these very peaceful, family-oriented creatures in the wild is about 35 years, but they will live to about age 50 in a zoo. • An adult male lion eats about 15 lbs. (7 kg.) of meat at a meal, although some
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might consume as much as 60 lbs. (27 kg) at one sitting! The full-grown adult male will weigh somewhere between 330 and 550 lbs. (150 – 259 kg) and can run at top speed of 36 mph (58 km/hr), although not for very long. In the wilds, the King of the Jungle isn’t the great hunter you might think he is – he actually leaves more than 90% of the hunting to his female companion. Lions are the only big cats in which the appearance of males and females is distinctly different. The roar of a male can be heard as far as 5 miles (8 km) away. • Bear with us! An American black bear will reach about 660 lbs. (299 kg) at maturity, and a grizzly bear tops out at 860 lbs. (390 kg), but it’s the polar bear that takes the prize, a whopping 1,760 lbs. (798 kg)! It’s the only bear that will actually prey on humans. Humans aren’t their first choice, however. In their natural habitat, they prefer seal pups, and can smell a seal on the ice 20 miles (32 km) away. The bears frequently eat only the seal’s fat just below the skin, ignoring the rest of the carcass, making for an extremely fatty diet. Yet it doesn’t seem to slow them down! A polar bear can sprint along at a speed of 25 mph (40 km/hr) for short distances, as well as jump a 6-ft.high (1.8-m) pile of snow. • The koala bear isn’t a bear at all, but is actually a member of the marsupial family, joining the kangaroo, wallaby, and opossum. The koala’s diet consists of nothing but eucalyptus leaves, about a pound and a half per day. In fact, the koala would be extinct without the eucalyptus. Sounds like a pretty boring feed, but consider that there are about 600 kinds of eucalyptus trees and to the koala, each one tastes different. If you think your teenager is lazy, consider that the koala sleeps an average of 22 hours per day! There have been koalas at the famous San Diego Zoo since 1925 when the children of Sydney, Australia gifted the zoo with Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.
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FINALLY, COLLEGE COSTS CAN NOW BE COMPARED This summer, the U.S. Department of Education asked colleges across the country to help potential students determine their true costs for a college education. Colleges were asked to provide each accepted student with a “shopping sheet” to make it easier to compare the costs of attending their college versus other schools. The sheets include details such as tuition and fees, housing, books, grants from the school, Pell Grants and grants from the state. Further down the page are the net costs that the student will be expected to provide, as well as the options for paying those, such as work study, loans and family contributions. Other handy information on the page details the graduation rate of the school, and whether it’s considered low, medium or high. The loan default rate also is shown for the school, comparing it with the national rate. One of the most helpful sections of the sheet is the loan-repayment information. The section shows the average levels of borrowing for the school, as well as the expected monthly rate of repayment over 10 years. Students will know going in what their repayments are likely to be.
FAMOUS LANDMARKS OF THE WORLD: THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL The west end of Washington D.C.’s National Mall is home to the majestic Lincoln Memorial, a monument dedicated to America’s 16th president. Here are the facts and figures about this symbol of freedom honoring the “Great Emancipator.” • The building site of the memorial wasn’t even in existence at the time of Lincoln’s death. The Washington Monument stood at the edge of the Potomac River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deepened the river in the late 1800s, and all the silt was deposited along the banks, creating a new land formation. Although the Lincoln Memorial Association was established two years after Lincoln’s death, the monument site wasn’t selected until 1901. In 1911, President Taft signed a bill allotting $2 million for the construction, which began in 1914. • The style of the building, designed by Henry Bacon, is that of an ancient Greek temple, 100 feet (30 meters) high, surrounded by an open portico, constructed
from Colorado marble. Thirty-six fluted columns border the open court, symbolic of the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s assassination in April of 1865, just six days after the end of the Civil War. In the area above the columns are 48 stone garlands and the names of the 48 states in the Union when the Memorial was completed and dedicated in 1922. • To the north and south of the central hall are chambers whose walls are inscribed with the words of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, his second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address. Above these inscriptions are 60 x 12-foot (18 x 3.7-m) murals, painted with special mixtures of paint, kerosene, and wax, formulated to protect the scenes from the elements. The paintings feature principles followed by Lincoln throughout his life, including freedom, liberty, justice, unity, fraternity, charity, and the law. • In the central hall sits Lincoln, immortalized in marble, 19 feet tall (5.8 m) and weighing 175 tons. The original plans called for a 10-ft-tall (3-m) Lincoln, but it was enlarged so that the statue would not be dwarfed by the huge chamber. It took
To see an example of the college shopping sheet, go to collegecost.ed.gov/shopping_sheet.pdf For students just starting the process of applying to schools, the Federal Student Aid site (studentaid. ed.gov) has a wealth of information on financial aid for college. Who gets aid (the criteria) and the types of aid (work study, grants and loans) are linked, with special sections on avoiding scams and aid for serving in the military or being a spouse or child of a veteran. There are links to calculators for repayment comparisons of subsidized and non-subsidized loans, and Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR) IncomeBased Repayment Plan (IBR) loans. Determining just how student aid is calculated can be a big help when it comes to selecting a school. Look for The EFC Formula 2012-2013 information. Dependent students who have already started the online process for financial aid (and who must include the parents’ income in the calculation) can update their information online should there be a change in the family’s financial situation. Students who were accepted at schools that didn’t provide the “shopping sheet” information should ask for it. The Department of Education awards $150 billion per year in grants, loans and work-study opportunities. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send email to email@example.com. © 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
four years to complete the sculpture out of Georgia white marble. Six Italian men, the Piccirilli Brothers, carved the statue in the South Bronx under the supervision of the sculptor Daniel French, and it was shipped to Washington in 28 separate pieces. (The Piccirillis were also responsible for creating the two enormous sculpted lions in front of the New York City Public Library.) If the giant Lincoln were able to stand up, he would be 28 feet (8.5 m) tall. Above Lincoln’s likeness is an inscribed epitaph, “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” • Adding to the height of Lincoln’s statue is an oblong pedestal of Tennessee marble, and another marble platform beneath the pedestal, which increase the height by another 10.5 feet (3.2 m). • When the monument was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1922, by President Warren Harding, Lincoln’s only remaining son, Robert Todd Lincoln, age 79, was in attendance. Ranked seventh on the “List of America’s Favorite Architecture,” the Lincoln Memorial receives about 6 million visitors annually.
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Jokes and Riddles Q: How do you mend a broken jack-o-lantern? A: With a pumpkin patch.
Q: Whom did the monster invite to the Haunted House? A: Evaeryone he could dig up.
Fact or Fiction?
Movie Challenge 1) Monster House is about a house that comes alive and eats up toys left on the lawn. Fact or Fiction? 2) The Monster House belongs to a man named Horace Nutcracker. Fact or Fiction? 3) No one believes Horace’s young neighbor DJ that the house is alive. Fact or Fiction? 4) The house is possessed by the spirit of the neighbor’s wife Corrine. Fact or Fiction?
Monster Haunted houses often have scary monsters lurking in dark corners. Fill in the blanks to name some of the monsters found at a haunted house.
5) DJ and his friends manage to destroy the house and free Horace and his wife’s spirit. Fact or Fiction? 6) Chris Rock stars in The Haunted Mansion as real estate agent Jim Evers. Fact or Fiction? 7) The Evers go to Gracey Manor where they soon learn everyone living there is a ghost. Fact or Fiction? 8) The ghosts are under a curse and cannot leave the manor until its owner, Master Gracey, is reunited with his long-lost love Emma. Fact or Fiction? 9) The Evers help the two ghosts reunite. Fact or Fiction? 10) Master Gracey gives the manor to the Evers as a reward. Fact or Fiction?
W I __ C __ E S
F R A __ __ E N __ __ E I N
V __ M P __ R E S
W __ R __ W O __ V E S
M U __ __ I E S
Z O __ __ I E S
G H __ S T S Answers: 1) Witches, 2) Frankenstein, 3) Vampires, 4) Werewolves, 5) Mummies, 6) Zombies, 7) Ghosts
There are lots of Halloween movies for kids. Some of them even feature haunted houses. Here are some questions about a couple of movies with haunted houses. How many can you answer correctly?
Answers: 1) Fact, 2) Fiction, the neighbor’s name is Horace Nebbercracker, 3) Fact, 4) Fiction, the name of the wife is Constance, 4) Fact, 5) Fact, 6) Fiction, Eddie Murphy stars in the film, 7) Fact, 8) Fiction, Emma is the maid—-Elizabeth is Master Gracey’s long-lost love, 9) Fact, 10) Fact
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3. ANCIENT WORLD: Who kidnapped Helen of Troy, an event that started the Trojan War? 4. LITERATURE: Who wrote the novel “Light in August”? 5. HISTORY: In what year was the first Zeppelin flight? 6. INVENTIONS: What did Elisha Otis invent? 7. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Where is original Mayo Clinic located? 8. U.S. STATES: In what state is Mount Rushmore located? 9. ANIMAL KINGDOM: What is a group of ducks called? 10. RELIGION: What is a more common name for the religious group called United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing?
1. Name the only siblings to each toss a no-hitter in the major leagues. 2. Who was the last Baltimore Oriole to lead the American League in batting average for a season? 3. Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon set an NCAA record for most consecutive games with at least 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. How many? 4. When was the last time before 2011 (Miami Heat) that a team had three players who each tallied at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in the same game? 5. In 2012, goalie Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings became the third American player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoffs MVP). Who were the first two to do it? 6. Name the driver who won the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. 7. Who were the last tennis sisters before the Williamses (2002-03, 2008-09) to meet in Wimbledon’s women’s singles final? © 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
We tested this brownie recipe with several different brands of caramels and, to our surprise, had varying results. If you want the caramels in the baked brownie to be soft and gooey (our test kitchen’s preference), buy a brand that lists sweetened condensed milk as its first ingredient. If you prefer the caramels to be firm and chewy, buy a brand that lists corn syrup or glucose syrup first. 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup packed light brown sugar 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (25 to 30, depending on brand) individually wrapped caramels, each cut in half 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 13- by 9-inch metal baking pan. 2. In 3-quart saucepan, heat butter and chocolate over mediumlow heat until melted, stirring frequently. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in sugars and eggs until well-mixed. Stir in flour, walnuts, vanilla and salt just until blended. Spread batter in pan; sprinkle with caramels. 3. Bake brownie 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from edge comes out almost clean. Cool brownie in pan on wire wrack. 4. When cool, cut brownie lengthwise into 4 strips; then cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces. * Each serving: About 220 calories, 12g total fat (6g saturated), 43mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g protein. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our website at www. goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/. (c) 2012 Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved
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“The Amazing Spider-man” (PG-13) -- With a new cast and new director, the story of Spider-man starts over from the beginning. It seems we did this not so long ago -- with the spider bite and gradual realization of responsibility. However, this new take on the Webslinger packs more emotional punch and has a different edge to it. This new Spider Saga is less colorful, cartoony and campy. Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) plays Peter Parker, who’s on a journey to discover what happened to the parents he never knew. What he finds instead is a radioactive spider and The Lizard, a creepy enemy never before seen in a Spider-man movie. “Arthur Christmas” (PG) -- This animated feature from England has enough heart and visual grandeur to get anyone hyped up for Christmas. Santa has two sons; Steve (voiced by Hugh Laury), the tough-as-nails Christmas commando; and Arthur (James Macavoy), a clumsy little guy with funny voice intonations. When a present for one deserving child is left behind, it’s up to Arthur and Grandsanta to make the delivery in time for Christmas morning. This is the first major computer-animated production from Aardman Animations, the studio famous for “Wallace and Gromit.” Regardless of how you handle British humor, “Arthur Christmas” is cheerful and warm. There are some wicked humorists behind the scenes, but Arthur’s finished product is as bright and cheery as a star on a tree. “Your Sister’s Sister” (R) -- Jack (Mark Duplass) is mourning the loss of his brother when he makes a scene at a memorial. His friend Iris (Emily Blunt) sends him to an old family cabin in the Pacific Northwest to sort things out. Jack finds Iris’ sister is already at the cabin, drinking after a big breakup. Jack and Hannah have a one-night stand, and a perfect love triangle forms when Iris shows up the next morning. What is it with cabins adjacent to water that always makes people have heart-to-heart talks and face their inner wants? This movie is part melodrama, part romcom, but certainly interesting and heartfelt. “Rashomon” (Criterion Collection) -- This 1951 film from celebrated director Akira Kurosawa is often mimicked for its inventive storytelling. In feudal Japan, local authorities try to figure out how a samurai was killed while walking through the woods with his wife. The story is told through the testimony given by each of the witnesses. The stories don’t match up, but certain details seem to stick out. TV RELEASES “Call the Midwife: Season One” “Law & Order: The Eleventh Year” “Entourage: The Complete Series” [Blu-ray] “Christmas With Danny Kaye” “Regular Show: Best DVD In the World (At This Moment In Time) “ “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams: Season One” (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
NO-NO’S We all know that a no-no is something we shouldn’t do – it may even be forbidden! But there are plenty of other words that are “no-“ words that bear looking in to. Here are some unusual terms, all beginning with those same two letters. • About 3.6% of American adults have engaged in noctambulism in the past year. Simply put, they have sleepwalked! This condition is more prevalent in children, aged 6 to 12, and more often with boys. Although the exact cause is not known, it can be heightened by stress, fatigue, and sleep deprivation. Certain medications can also contribute to its frequency. • Before a bullfighter is a matador, he is a novillero, an apprentice bullfighter who fights bulls that are only three years old and under. It might seem that the word takes it origin from “novice,” but the Spanish word for “young bull” is novillo. • Those who are notaphilists have the interesting hobby of collecting banknotes and paper currency, not to be confused with numismatists, who collect coins. Notaphilists narrow down the type of banknotes they’d like to collect, for example, favorite geographical locations, time periods, or security features of the design. • Dentists have been using Novocaine as a local anesthetic since 1905. Procaine hydrochloride is its chemical name, while Novacaine is the trademark name. You can expect its effects to kick in within two to five minutes, with an average duration of one to one-and-a-half hours. It’s the oldest man-made anesthetic. Prior to its invention, dentists actually used cocaine as anesthetic! When cocaine’s addictive nature was discovered, scientists went to
work on an alternative. • If you’ve just been called a noddy, consider yourself insulted. This is a term used for a fool or a simpleton. • Two different meanings for the same word couldn’t be farther apart. A noisette is a variety of rose, a beautiful climbing variety with apricot-yellow blossoms that grows to a height of 12 feet (3.7 m). But it’s also a small piece of veal, lamb, mutton, or beef tenderloin that usually sautéed in lemon juice and assorted seasonings. • Those things having to do with a hospital are referred to as nosocomial. For example, a nosocomial infection is one that a patient picks up during a hospital stay, such as a fungal or bacterial infection. It’s estimated that about 1.7 million of hospital-associated infections are acquired each year, contributing to nearly 100,000 deaths annually. • How much is a novemdecillion? It’s the numeral one, followed up with 60 zeroes. • If you get bonked in the noggin, you’ve received a blow to the head. But a noggin is also a term used for a small drink, a quarterpint, particularly of an alcoholic liquor. Similarly, the Australians refer to a glass of hard liquor as a nobbler. Don’t confuse with nobbler with nobby, which is slang for fashionable and elegant. • Blind people have been greatly aided by the 1806 invention of the noctograph. This is a writing apparatus consisting of a frame and horizontal wires that helps the blind write without running lines together. A metal grid is placed over chemically-treated paper soaked with printers’ ink, and a metal stylus is used to transfer writing onto a plain piece of paper placed underneath.
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• In this season of bitter partisan rivalries, it would be well to remember the following sage observation: “Do not trust to the cheering, for those persons would cheer just as much if you and I were going to be hanged.” The man who first made that observation was Lord Protector of England Oliver Cromwell, considered by some to be a hero of liberty, by others to be a regicidal dictator. He died in 1658, probably from septicemia. He was so reviled that, three years later, he body was exhumed so that he could be posthumously executed, his body thrown into a pit and his head displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall.
• Those who study such things say that if all the gold in the world were combined in one lump, it would result in a cube that measures 20 yards on each side. • If you’re planning a trip to Lima, Peru, you might want to add Puente de Piedra to your sightseeing list. Though the Spanish name means “Bridge of Stone,” the span is popularly known as the Bridge of Eggs. Legend has it that in 1608, the builders the used the whites of 10,000 seabird eggs in the mortar that holds the stones together. • Pumpkins are native to the Americas, not Europe. This is why the original jacko’-lantern was a turnip.
© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc. • Have a stiff straw or corn broom? To keep the ends in shape, cut a band that’s about 4 inches wide from an old pantyhose leg. Slip it over the bristles to keep them together.
• What do the words “obscene,” “tranquil,” “mediate,” “catastrophe,” “dire,” “critical,” “vast” and “apostrophe” have in common? All of them appeared in print for the first time in the works of William Shakespeare.
• Act now to prevent burst downspouts from ice. Clean out leaves and debris from the gutter and add a topper of wire mesh. It will allow water to flow freely, preventing ice dams from forming.
• If you’re contemplating a move to Corpus Christi, Texas, be sure to keep in mind that in that town, it’s illegal to raise alligators in your home. ***
• If you buy a pair of shoes that you LOVE so much you find you’re wearing them almost every day, go back to the store and get a second pair. The lifespan of a pair of shoes is dramatically reduced by overwearing them. Make a mark inside to distinguish the pairs, and alternate them.
Thought for the Day: “One fool can ask more questions in a minute than 12 wise men can answer in an hour.” -- Vladimir Lenin
© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
• “An old pill bottle can make a handy dispenser for rolls of stamps. Remove the top and cut a slit into the side of the bottle using a handsaw. Set the roll of stamps into the bottle, guiding the end out of the slit. Replace lid.” -- A.F. in Connecticut • “This is a senior tip, but it’s useful for everyone! If you get a new pair of shoes that are slick on the bottoms, get a piece of sandpaper and scuff up the soles to get some traction.” -- L.L. in Alabama • “I start now collecting cheap but pretty dishes in all sizes from yard sales and secondhand stores. I use them at the holidays for cookie gifts, when bringing a dish to a friend, etc. They can be reused, and I let everyone know it’s not necessary to return them. Plus, they are sturdier than plastic ware, which usually gets tossed after the holidays.” -- J.D. in Florida 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 email@example.com.
1. Bob Forsch (1978, 1983) and Ken Forsch (1979). 2. Frank Robinson hit .316 in 1966. 3. Twelve consecutive games (2010). 4. Portland’s Isaiah Rider, Brian Grant and Arvydas Sabonis in 1997 (in quadruple overtime). 5. Brian Leetch (1994) and Tim Thomas (2011). 6. Ray Harroun. 7. Maud and Lillian Watson, in 1884.
1. Mediterranean Sea 2. Forearm 3. Paris 4. William Faulkner 5. 1900 6. Elevator safety brake 7. Rochester, Minn. 8. South Dakota 9. A gaggle 10. Shakers