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Volume 1, Issue 1 Publishing by Rapid City Media

of Grand Rapids For Advertising, Call (616) 916-5884 TIDBITS ® IS by Sarah Bates


May 12, 2010



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Tidbits is over the moon this week as we get our space suits on to talk about all the ins and outs, ups and downs, and everything in between the letters M O O N. So buckle up, get your helmets on and prepare for lift off in 5...4...3...2...1... • It’s been done many different ways, but Frank Sinatra holds the title for making it the most popular. “Fly Me To The Moon” was written by Bart Howard in 1954. Nat King Cole recorded a version of the song in 1961, and the 1962 “Fly Me To The Moon - Bossa Nova” instrumental version was the only version of the song to rise significantly on the charts. Frank Sinatra didn’t record a version of the song until 1964. Quincy Jones did the arrangement for this version of the song and changed the timing to give it a more swing feel. The song is played over the end credits of Clint Eastwood’s movie “Space Cowboys” released in 2000. • “Fly Me To The Moon” was also the title of a 2008 animated feature about three junior space exploring flies who stow away aboard the Apollo 11 mission inside the helmets of Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins. The film includes the voices of Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry, Kelly Ripa and Buzz Aldrin. There is also a cameo by Aldrin at the end of the film after the credits. turn the page for more!

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Tidbits® of Grand Rapids

• Need a tablecloth for your picnic table on a windy day? Just use a twin-size fitted sheet. It goes on easy, and the elastic keeps it on the table in even the hardiest gusts. It’s a snap to remove, too.

• “Hi, JoAnn. Here’s a tip: If you are bothered by sweat stinging your eyes while working outside in the hot sun, take a paper towel, fold it three times, and place it in the band of your ballcap. It holds the sweat for two or more hours.” -- M.V.K., via e-mail

• “Instead of digging through a drawer looking for my skewers, here is how I keep them together: After I wash them and they are completely dry, I wrap them in a piece of press-and-seal plastic wrap. The next time I need to use my skewers, they are in one place, neatly wrapped together.” -- S.B in Minnesota

• Go Green Tip: Check your floor vents and air registers to make sure that air can circulate unimpeded by furniture or floor coverings. Change or clean your air filter monthly.

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OVER THE MOON (continued): • The Honeymooners first debuted in 1955. Jackie Gleason famously portrayed Ralph Kramden in the series. But did you know his real name was Herbert Walton Gleason Jr.? Gleason made famous the catchphrase “Bang! Zoom!” and threatened to send his wife Alice “right to the moon!” The comedic shtick has been parodied by modern comedies, including “Family Guy.” Did you know there is a vintage clothing line in Roscoe, New York, called “Right To The Moon Alice”? • Buzz Aldrin is known for many things. He was the second man to walk on the moon, and he has dedicated his life to promoting space exploration. 2009 marked the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, and to commemorate the event, Aldrin teamed up with Snoop Dogg and Quincy Jones to make “The Rocket Experience,” his rap debut and single. Proceeds from the song go to ShareSpace, a non-profit organization founded by Buzz in 1998. • A few more lesser known facts about Aldrin: It’s strange but true; Buzz’s mother, Marion Aldrin, was named Marion Moon before she married! Buzz Lightyear, from the animated classic “Toy Story,” was named for Aldrin.

Make Gardening Fun Again Have you dusted off your gardening gloves yet? I hadn’t planned on having a garden this year. The catalogs that arrived over the winter were beautiful ... and enticing. But I thought I’d skip all the bending and stooping that comes with having a vegetable and flower garden ... until I saw the seedlings at the hardware store. I was hooked all over again. This time, however, I managed to keep my purchases and the size of the garden a bit more manageable. Have you thought that this might be the year you don’t have something growing? There are ways you can experience the satisfaction without so much of the work. Consider growing flowers or herbs in pots right outside your door. Pick the sunny side of the house and remember to keep them well-watered. Grow something others can eat. Even a few rows of carrots or a trellis full of green beans will produce food that the local shelters

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616-916-5884 would love to have. Grow something lovely for others. Bouquets of flowers grown on a patio can be dropped off at the hospital for patients who need a day brightener. If vision is a problem, grow vegetables that aren’t green so they can be more easily seen in the leaves. If there is no way you can grow vegetables or flowers where you live, look around your town. Many communities offer gardening space for seniors, complete with raised beds or vertical trellises that make the work so much easier. Ask at the senior center, too. My garden is of a more modest size this year, but I’m already discovering that it’s the care and feeding of growing things that brings the satisfaction, not how many baskets of green beans I’ll can this summer. Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@ (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc. OVER THE MOON (continued): One more for the record books: Buzz was born Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. but officially changed his name to Buzz in 1988. The moniker came from his older sister who pronounced the word brother as “buzzer.” • Does Mare Tranquillitatis mean anything to you? If you took a Latin class, you know that it means Sea of Tranquility. However, if you’re a space buff, you might know that it is the landing sight of the Apollo 11 lunar module. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their famous steps in the Mare Tranquillitatis, making it a famous landmark in American history on July 20, 1969. • Can you see the Sea of Tranquility from earth? You sure can! The sea, if you hadn’t guessed, isn’t actually a sea but a maria, which is one of the many dark spots we see on the surface of earth’s moon. It’s location will look different depending on which portion of the world you’re in, so be sure to look it up in your local library or favorite search engine. • Rabbit or man? This depends where you’re from. Many Asian cultures believe the dark marias on the surface of the moon form the shape of a rabbit.

There was a time in England when the shapes were believed to be an old witch carrying a bundle of sticks on her back. Some Muslim cultures believe the name of Muhammed’s son is written on the moon, as Ali would be there to reflect the teachings of Muhammed (the sun) after Muhammed was gone. There is even a part of South East India that believes the face of still-living guru Sathya Sai Baba can be seen in the maria. What do you see? • Dr. Eugene Shoemaker was a well-known astronomer and astrogeologist in his lifetime. At one point, he was considered as a candidate for an Apollo lunar mission. He also co-discovered the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. However, Dr. Shoemaker is also notably the only human being whose mortal remains have been laid to rest on the moon. A capsule containing his ashes was sent to the moon aboard the Lunar Prospector on July 31, 1999. • Do you know what a wolf moon is? Or a harvest or ice moon? These names refer to specific full moons in the year. A wolf moon is a full moon that occurs during the month of January, whereas a harvest moon occurs during

Page 3 the month of September. These names originated with the Native American tribes of North America, who named the moons to keep track of the seasons. • In “More English Fairy Tales” by Joseph Jacobs, there is a tale called The Dead Moon (or The Buried Moon) about the moon. After hearing that monsters came out on nights when she didn’t shine, the moon came down to find out if this was true. She fell into a bog and was trapped. While struggling, her hood kept falling in front of her face, causing her light to flicker. A passing man saw the flashing light in the distance and it warned him of the bog and the monsters. Because she was trapped in a bog and not in the sky, the moon stopped rising for a long time. The people wondered what had happened to her. It was a wise woman who told the people where to find the buried moon, and at the wise woman’s advice, the people freed the moon.

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Tidbits® of Grand Rapids


The Right Pet Food By Samantha Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I read all the time about how the

Jamie’s diet can be planned a week in advance, based around

best cat diets are fresh food this, raw food that. I’m all for

your schedule, and some fresh foods can be prepared and

a healthy pet, but I don’t have time to cook “Jamie” a fresh

stored, covered in the refrigerator, for up to three days. For

dinner every night. Is there just a good all-around pet food

example, if you work later on one night than another, that is

she can eat instead? -- Margie in Atlanta

perhaps a good day to feed her dry kibble, which you or a friend can put in her bowl at feeding time (with a full bowl of

DEAR MARGIE. Don’t feel guilty about time impacting what

water nearby, of course).

you can feed to your cat. The fact that you’re thinking and

Canned or fresh food should also be served at the regular

reading about it means you do care, and you’re trying to

feeding time. Once Jamie is finished, wash and dry her bowl

give her the best food you can.

thoroughly before going to bed for the night to prevent

Kibble or canned food mixed with fresh on various days

growth of bacteria.

throughout the week will provide a varied and healthy diet. Choose the best dry/canned food possible, based on

Send your tips, questions and comments to Paw’s Corner,

Jamie’s age and health. Often your cat’s veterinarian will

c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando,

recommend a brand and type. Tell the vet about any fresh

FL 32853-6475, or e-mail them to

foods you plan to feed Jamie, in case there are any foods he or she does not want her to eat.

(c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.



• Earth’s moon is the fifth largest moon in the solar system, but what’s the largest? That would be Ganymede, a satellite of Jupiter. Ganymede is named after a character in Greek mythology. He was a hero and a Trojan prince. Ganymede the moon was discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610, exactly 400 years ago this past January 10th. One more neat fact: Did you know that the red giant has 63 confirmed moons in all? • What exactly is a blue moon? Every calendar year, there are approximately twelve full moons, but because the moon cycles every 28 days and doesn’t fit into our monthly pattern, every 2.7 years there is an extra, thirteenth full moon in the year - a blue moon. So, the saying “once in a blue moon” really does mean something that doesn’t happen very often as a blue moon only happens about every 2.7 years. The next blue moon will occur this year on November 21, 2010, but the next one won’t be until August 21, 2013. • It’s official! As of September 2009, water was discovered on the moon. But don’t rush to get your bathing suits for the first swimming pool on the moon; our satellite is still drier than any dessert on earth. However, it has been discovered that there are very small traces of water on the moon, and that is an advancement for the ages. AMERICAN IDOL: THEN AND NOW If you’re like much of America, you enjoyBICYCLES watching(continued): “American Idol” every spring. This week, Tidbits takes • In the 1890s, the first “modern” bicycles a look at some of the winners years appeared: chain-driven vehicles of with simipastlarly-sized and gives youThese an update on than where tires. were safer the high-wheel models (and were even called they are now. bicycles” a result), but proved a step • We “safety first heard theasname Justin Guarini backwards in comfort. While the long spokes of back in the summer of 2002 during the high-wheel bikes absorbed bumps and ruts, the firstsmaller season of “American Idol.” Idol wheels on these new bikes, particularly waswhen originally scheduled duringtires theof the coupled with the hard-rubber era, made jarring, unpleasant rides. summer as aforreplacement show. It first •

More than a million bicycles were sold in the 1. Which franchise has recorded United States by the time 1895 rolled around, the most major-league no-hitters but one last improvement would propel the bymust-own its pitchers? bicycle into the category: the pneumatic tire. Under the guidance of the Pope Manufacturing Company (which made bi2. Who Rubber held the Works record for most cycles), the Hartford produced bases by a Boston Red ProSox America’s firststolen pneumatic tires in 1895. Jacoby Ellsbury viding a muchrookie softerbefore ride, they soon became a broke it inbicycle 2008? models. standard feature on all • Dozens of smaller-scale improvements boosted 3. There fivecomfort, NFL teams that have never played in the are speed, longevity and performance a Super Name three. of Bowl. bicycles during the 20th century. As women began to find them as necessary as men, two What year did Olsonwere beginmade. coaching men’s varieties ofLute bicycle Men’s bikes basketball thewith University of stabilizer Arizona? bar across the were at built an extra top of the bike. Women’s bikes omitted the bar, 5 Entering 2009, the lastand time the Boston providing forwhen easierwas mounting dismounting Bruinsofwon the Stanley Cup? the vehicle when wearing skirts. • The 1970s saw the development of two bicycle extremes. First came bicycles that took Who the firstOtherwise U.S. female known skier to as capture two you was nowhere. exercise Worldbikes, Cup overall titles? these training aids first hit the home market at the beginning of the decade. Then, Name the went last American golfer to win an LPGA as time on and the energy crisis sent fuel majorprices beforeskyrocketing, Brittany Lincicome won appeared. the Kraft Nabisco mopeds These Championship in 2009. 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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aired on Fox, and Season One is the only Music Awards and has continued tourseason not to air from January to May. ing for her “All I Ever Wanted” tour Justin was runner-up to Kelly Clarkson since the beginning of the year. What’s in the final episode of that inaugural next for Clarkson? We’ll have to wait season. These days, you can find Guarini and see, but we’re sure Idol’s first winon the TV Guide Network hosting “Idol ner will continue to wow us with her Tonight” and “Idol Wrap Up,” as well as career. • Another Idol alumni who rose quickly providing live coverage of the Grammy to stardom was Season Four winner and Emmy Awards. Guarini, a Columbus, Carrie Underwood. An Oklahoma Georgia, native, married Reina Capodici native, Underwood released her first on September 26, 2009, and continues to album just one short year after she work on his career. He has appeared on won Idol back in 2004. She was one the “Today Show,” “Larry King Live,” of the biggest debuts in country music the Style Channel and many more as a in recent years, and her albums have returning commentator. continuously produced hit singles on • Speaking of first season favorites, we both country and pop charts. Undercan’t talk about Justin without talking wood has won four Grammy Awards, about winner Kelly Clarkson. After her 14 American Music Awards and five win on Season One of “American Idol,” Billboard Music Awards and just from Clarkson sky rocketed to super stardom the release of three albums! Looks like and is still releasing hit singles. Her Miss Underwood has many things yet most recent album, “All I Ever Wanted” to show us, too! (2009) is the fourth of her albums to • The state of Alabama has played a key date. Clarkson appeared with Guarini role in producing some “American in 2003’s “From Justin to Kelly “and Idol” favorites, included Season Five has also had acting roles in television’s winner Taylor Hicks. Hicks isn’t the “American Dreams” and “Reba.” The 27 only Alabama native to gain attention year old isn’t slowing down, either. She through the show. Season Two brought has won two Grammy Awards, 12 Billthe world’s attention to the big, cuddly board Music Awards and four American

By Samantha Weaver

• It was a Dutch explorer named Peter Minuit who famously purchased all of Manhattan Island from local Native American tribes in 1626. In return for the land, the tribes received some cloth, beads, hatchets and other merchandise; totaled all together, the goods were worth about $24, which comes out to about $1 for every square mile of land. Not a bad deal -- for the Dutch, anyway. Consider current real estate values in the area: In 2005, the cost of a single square foot of living space averaged over $1,000. • A bat flying at night is able to bounce a sonar signal off a single mosquito. • Noted humorist Josh Billings -- often quoted in this column -- was not only funny, he was an astute student of

the human race. Another example of his wit and wisdom: “I don’t care how much a man talks, if he only says it in a few words.” • The name “Bethlehem” literally, “House of Bread.”


• Have you ever heard of Worcester Polytechnic Institute? Me, neither -at least until recently. A few days ago I learned that WPI (as I imagine the Massachusetts school is known, since the full name is rather unwieldy) offers a useful new amenity to students: WiFi washing machines. Students who are washing their clothes can go online to check the status of their laundry on a dedicated Web page. (c) 2006 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of Grand Rapids

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

Exercise Won’t Make Arthritis Worse DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have osteoarthritis of the hands, and my fingers have bony knobs on the knuckles. They look bad and hurt part of the time. I was a registered nurse and did lots of lifting of patients. Is the arthritis genetic or from the lifting? I go to the gym two to three times a week and have been doing so for two years. Am I making it worse? -- C.S. ANSWER: Osteoarthritis is the most common kind of arthritis. At age 65, one-third of people have evidence of knee osteoarthritis, and close to 100 percent of women have evidence of osteoarthritis of their hands and fingers. Not all these people have symptoms. The tiny bumps on the knuckle below the fingernail are part of the arthritis picture. Genes are involved. Age, misalignment of bones and injury are other contributors. Exercise is not responsible. Continue your exercise program. Strong muscles protect joints, and exercise keeps them limber. Only if an exercise is painful should you stop it. A joint is the place where two bone ends meet. The ends are covered with cartilage, and the entire joint is surrounded by a tough covering called the joint capsule. Cartilage makes it possible for one bone end to move over the other painlessly. Joint fluid, contained in the joint by the joint capsule, oils the joint and also keeps it operating without friction. In osteoarthritis, the joint cartilage begins to fray and crumble, and the joint fluid thins. There is no cure for osteoarthritis; there are treatments. Tylenol is one of the best and safest drugs. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (Aleve, Advil, Motrin, etc.) are widely prescribed. They can cause ulcers, so they have to be used in moderation. Voltaren gel is an anti-inflammatory applied to the skin over an affected joint. Less is absorbed this way, so it has fewer side effects. The doctor can inject a bothersome joint with cortisone. Artificial joints are always worth consideration when arthritis severely limits motion and is quite painful. The joint at the base of the thumb is often bothersome in women. An operation that inserts a small piece of cartilage or other synthetic material can cushion that joint and bring great relief. The arthritis booklet discusses osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 301W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. 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) 2009 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved teddy bear Ruben Studdard, a Birmingham native. Ruben was followed by Diana DeGarmo in 2004 and Taylor Hicks in 2006, both also Birmingham natives. There was also Huntsville’s, Bo Bice in 2005. Studdard and Hicks were the only two Alabama natives to win the show, although DeGarmo and Bice were both runners-up in their respective seasons. • The sixth season brought around Jordin Sparks, a smiling girl who rose to fame when she won “American Idol” in 2007. Sparks, a Phoenix, Arizona, native, is the daughter of former NFL quarterback Phillippi Sparks. To date, Sparks is the youngest winner of American Idol; she was 17 when she won. Something you might not know about Sparks, she actually auditioned twice for the show. She was also the opening act for the Jonas Brothers in the North American section of their 2009 World Tour. Will your money last? With a retirement plan it can. Matthew Sernau, CRPC® Associate Financial Advisor with the practice of David J. Kuyers 3270 Central Boulevard Hudsonville, MI 49426 616.797.0866

Call me today at (616)797-0866.

Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA.

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NASCAR must learn from its Talladega scare

Carl Edwards flies into the catch fence just before the finish line at the conclusion of the Aaron’s 499 on April 26. (photo: Associated Press)

TALLADEGA, Ala. - On the morning of the Aaron’s 499 in Talladega, after spending a couple of hours in the infield, I found to my disappointment that the gate in front of the Talladega Superspeedway press box had been locked. As a result, I had to walk down to the start-finish line -- it’s near the entrance to turn one, not in the center of the trioval as at most tracks -- and cross the track there. I then walked for a half mile or so along the paved pathway at the foot of the grandstands. I looked at the so-called “catch fencing” and thought to myself that it looked neither as new nor as sturdy as at other tracks. This, of course, seemed odd, since a 1988 accident at this track is the very reason such fencing is sturdier than it once was. This was about an hour before the Aaron’s 499 began and about four and a half before that very fencing would be tested. Whether it kept Carl Edwards’ car out of the grandstands by design or good fortune is debatable. Edwards’ whirling mass of twisted metal tore holes in it. His car rose above the top of the fence, where presumably it could have toppled into a crowd of fans. As was also the case in Bobby Allison’s 1988 accident here, the fence held and did its job. As was also the case 21 years earlier, luck was involved. The day won’t live in infamy. Edwards’ car didn’t tumble into the grandstands. A few fans suffered broken bones from sharp, flying debris. Suffice it to say that the incident caused shivers to go down the spines of everyone who saw it, even those who were a bit occupied trying to get their race cars across the finish line. It will be open season on NASCAR for a while. Men and women who don’t particularly care for automobile racing in the first place will treat this almostdisaster as if it were one. The good news is that what could’ve happened didn’t. Edwards emerged uninjured. A few fans, unlucky to be in the wrong place but lucky not to be hurt worse, suffered broken bones, welts and lacerations. There was blood on the scene but not in profusion. Disaster, far worse than declining attendance and TV ratings, was thankfully averted. Now it’s time for NASCAR officials to ensure that, next time, the crucial factor isn’t good luck. Monte Dutton has covered motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette since 1993. He was named writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog NASCAR This Week ( features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. E-mail Monte at (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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guise. Use the downtime to rework your original concepts and see where changes could be made. PISCES (February 19 to March 20) You ARIES (March 21 to April 19) Untanmight not be consciously fishing for gling personal problems might take compliments, but admit it -- won’t you more time than the impatient Lamb feel great when your efforts are noticed? expected. But it’s important to hang in So accept the praise gracefully. You there until all those knotty situations are earned it. straightened out. BORN THIS WEEK: Your love of TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) You still beauty in your personal life extends to need to work out last-minute snags in your efforts to protect and preserve the your dealings with a rival. Hold your natural world around you. ground despite a perceived lack of support. Things should turn around before (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc. you know it. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) Best not to delay preparing for that upcoming family event. The sooner you get things started, the better chance you have of finding potential problems and making needed changes. CANCER (June 21 to July 22) The romantic Moon Child might be reluctant to see the reality behind that “ideal” situation. But by midweek, the practical Crab emerges to help clear away the moonbeams. LEO (July 23 to August 22) Although the Big Cat might be receptive to more “purr-suasion” to get you to agree to a workplace change, make sure you can distinguish the fine line between facts and flattery. VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) Sports Quiz Answers Your positive attitude in the workplace 1. The Dodgers, with 20. helps to get you noticed by the right 2. Amby McConnell, with 31 steals people. Now go ahead and use some of in 1908. that new self-confidence to help shore 3. Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, up a personal relationship. Jacksonville and New Orleans. LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) 4. It was 1983. Although you might still have to work 5. It was 1972. out some problems with a business partner, things go more smoothly on the 6. Lindsey Vonn in 2008 and 2009. 7. Cristie Kerr won the 2007 U.S. home front. An investment opportunity might need more study. Open. SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21) Don’t be reluctant to act on your suspi(c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc. cion. Even if others see nothing wrong, the astute Scorpio could sense an underlying problem that isn’t always obvious on the surface. SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) A new opportunity presents some obstacles that need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Delaying action in hopes that the problems will go away could be counterproductive. CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) A friend or family member’s request might carry some hidden factors that could later create problems. Be sure you know all the facts before you make your decision. AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) A setback in implementing a plan could turn out to be a blessing in dis-

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