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SECRET CODES by Janet Spencer When Roosevelt and Churchill were scheduled to meet in 1943, they knew the Germans were desperate to find out where the meeting would be. News was leaked that it would be at the place identified in code as Casablanca. The Germans figured that since “casablanca” was Spanish for white house, the meeting would take place at the White House. They sent all their spies to monitor the White House while Roosevelt and Churchill had an uneventful meeting in Casablanca, Morocco. • On December 6, 1941, President Roosevelt sent a message to Emperor Hirohito in Japan pleading for peace. He sent the message by telegraph in a simple code used for every-day transmissions. In Japan, the telegram sat for ten hours unread due to a backlog of messages. Had he sent the message in a top security code, it would have reached the Emperor immediately. But it did not— and the next day, Pearl Harbor was attacked. • Actress Lucille Ball reported that every time she walked near a certain area, she heard Japanese radio broadcasts coming across some lead fillings in her teeth. An investigation revealed a Japanese radio station hidden underground. • On December 6, 1941, Japan was preparing to mount an attack on Pearl Harbor. A Japanese spy in Pearl Harbor walked right up to the telegraph office in town and sent a dispatch to his confederates describing where the warships were located. The telegram cost $6.82 and apparently nobody in the telegraph office thought it was suspicious. • On Dec. 6, 1941, a new employee at the Office of Naval Intelligence, Mrs. Dorothy Edgers (who had been employed there only a month), decoded an intercepted Japanese message that indicated Honolulu was to be the target of a Japanese attack. She showed it to her superior officer, who said it needed more work and could wait until Monday. turn the page for more!
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Tidbits® of the River Region SECRET CODES (continued): • In May of 1942, the Japanese were preparing to mount a major attack somewhere in the Central Pacific. The U.S. had broken the Japanese code and were aware of the impending attack. However, they didn’t know what the target would be. The Japanese called the target “AF” and the Americans could not figure out what place that denoted. Then they came up with a scheme: they had Midway send an uncoded message saying their water distillation plant had broken down and they were short on drinking water. Then they monitored the Japanese transmissions. Two days later, they intercepted a coded message from Japan reporting that “AF” was short of drinking water. When the Japanese descended on Midway, the American forces were ready and waiting. • When agents stormed the Japanese embassy in Portugal, they seized a Japanese code book, thinking it would be helpful to the Allies. What they didn’t know was that the Allies had already broken the code. Now that Japan knew the code book had been stolen, they changed the code. It took a year before the U.S. could break the new code. • When American decoding experts intercepted and deciphered a message from Germany to Mexico, they found that Germany was offering Mexico a large chunk of the United States if only Mexico would join with them in the war. This message was pivotal in pushing the U.S. into World War I. • Zeppelin L-49 was returning to Germany during World War I after having bombed London. It was over France when it ran out of fuel. There was no way the aircraft was going to make it back to Germany. The captain, knowing they were doomed to be captured, knew it was essential to get rid of the code books. But he couldn’t burn the books because the zeppelin was filled with flammable gas. So he ordered his men to shred the books and toss the pieces of paper over the side. When they were captured, Colonel Richard Williams of the U.S. Army Intelligence was frustrated when he found that the code books had been destroyed. So he sent the troops out to search the ground following the path the airship had taken. By nightfall they had collected 22 sacks full of tiny scraps of paper. Williams set his men to the task of reconstructing the book. By midnight they had put together a complete map of the North Sea showing the call sign positions for a U-boat rendezvous.
• William and Elizabeth Friedman were a married team of cryptanalysts who were instrumental in cracking many codes. Once the British sent them some sample messages from a new encoding device they were considering using throughout the British Army. Within three hours of receiving the five messages, the Friedmans had deciphered them. The first message, ironically enough, said, “This cipher is absolutely indecipherable.” • A captured slave was brought to General Lysander, leader of the Spartan forces around 400 B.C. A message the slave was carrying was handed to the General. There were many hostilities going on, so Lysander suspected the message would bear important information. However, it did not. Then he noticed the slave’s belt was decorated with a series of letters that made no sense. He took the belt and wrapped it around a thin rod. There, down the side of the rod, was a perfectly legible message. It said that the Persians— who were supposed to be allies of the Spartans— were planning to take over. Thus forewarned, Lysander rushed his forces back to Sparta and ruined the plot. • Around 300 B.C. Histiaeos was the governor of the ancient Greek city Miletus. He was being held under guard and couldn’t get any messages out— but it was imperative that he inform his people behind enemy lines that he planned to overthrow Darius, the king of Persia. He shaved the head of his servant and tattooed the message on his scalp. After the hair grew back, he sent the servant out on an errand. The message was delivered. • During the Revolutionary War, messages were sent via Anna Strong’s clothesline. She signaled an American spy whenever a boatman was ready to carry secret messages across Long Island Sound. A black petticoat hung out to dry meant that the boatman was waiting. The number of hankies next to it indicated which cove he was hiding in. • Paul Bernard was a French spy in World War I who sent his secret messages home by writing the essential information in the top right-hand corner of postcards, and then putting postage stamps over the writing. • Thomas Jefferson invented a coding instrument called the wheel cipher that is still used by the U.S. Navy today.
“Be known before you’re needed” Advertise with Tidbits (334) 202-7285 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon cumin 1 large ripe avocado, halved and pitted 1 cup mild to hot chunky salsa Baked tortilla chips or fresh-cut vegetables 1. In food processor with knife blade attached, puree beans and 1 tablespoon lime juice until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. In same processor, place the cilantro or parsley, spinach, onion, salt, pepper and cumin. Pulse until smooth and thick. Scrape into a bowl. 2. Cut the avocado in half. With a spoon, scoop avocado from the peel into the bowl with the bean mixture. Mash the avocado with a fork until mixture is blended, with some chunks remaining. Gently stir in the salsa to combine with the bean mixture. 3. Serve immediately or cover tightly and refrigerate up to 1 hour. Serve with chips or vegetables. SLOW COOKER BEEF AND BEAN ENCHILADAS
Keep Super Bowl Fare Simple I enjoy watching football games, especially the Super Bowl. I try to keep the snacks and food for our annual gathering as simple as possible. These appetizers are lighter in calories but still packed with flavor. They will satisfy a variety of guests, including folks that are gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian. There’s even a recipe for a hearty Mexican-style dish that you can prepare (and transport) in a slow cooker. Serving these tasty dishes will make you a fan favorite at your Super Bowl party! RATTLESNAKE BITES These easy snacks get their “bite” from the jalapeno peppers. You can tame the taste by removing the seeds and ribs from one or two of the peppers before chopping them and adding them to the mix. 2 (8-ounce) packages light cream cheese, softened 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese 3 large jalapeno peppers, stems removed, chopped 4 large egg yolks 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 tablespoon chili powder 4 cups dry breadcrumbs (Italian-seasoned, whole wheat, plain or gluten-free) 1 cup light Ranch dressing 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the cream cheese, Parmesan, jalapeno peppers, egg yolks, salt, pepper and chili powder in a food processor bowl and mix until smooth. 2. Shape the cheese mixture, a 1/2 tablespoonful at a time, into 1/4-inch round balls. Roll the cheese balls into the breadcrumbs. 3. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with Ranch dressing for dipping sauce, if desired. MOCKAMOLE I love this version of guacamole because it has all the flavors of the dish with half the calories! 1 (15 ounce) can white beans (cannellini) or chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 tablespoon lime juice 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro or parsley 2 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach leaves 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui)
This simple version of traditional Mexican enchiladas has been adapted for a slow-cooker. I like serving it on top of a crisp salad to keep it a little lighter and to make it a dish that guests can serve themselves. 2 pounds ground beef 1 small onion, chopped 2 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 3 dashes hot pepper sauce 1 (15-ounce) can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed 1 (10-ounce) can mild or hot, diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained 1 can (2 1/4-ounce) sliced ripe olives, drained 4 (8-inch) flour or whole-wheat tortillas 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend, plus more for sprinkling 1 (16-ounce) package iceberg and salad greens mix 4 plum or Roma tomatoes, chopped 3 tablespoons apple cider or balsamic vinegar 1 cup light sour cream Minced fresh green onions, white and green parts, roots removed and discarded (optional), for garnish 1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook beef, onion, chili powder, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes, stirring to combine. Stir in the beans, tomatoes and chilies, and the olives. Turn off the heat. 2. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray. Place 1 tortilla in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add about 1 2/3 cups meat mixture and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layering three times using remaining meat mixture and cheese, finishing with cheese (similar to layering lasagna). 3. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, until heated through. Place salad greens and the tomatoes in a bowl and toss with the apple cider or balsamic vinegar. Place a serving of the salad in individual bowls or plates. 4. Using a large serving spoon, scoop up a portion of the tortilla mixture from the slow cooker. Place a scoop of the bean and beef mixture on top of the salad. Place a tablespoon of the sour cream on top and sprinkle with green onions and a little Cheddar cheese (if desired). Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6. Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook and go to Hulu.com. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.
Tidbits® of the River Region
* On Feb. 8, 1587, after 19 years of imprisonment, Mary Queen of Scots is beheaded in England for her complicity in a plot to murder Queen Elizabeth I. Her son, King James VI of Scotland, accepted his mother’s execution, and upon Queen Elizabeth’s death in 1603, he became king of England, Scotland and Ireland. * On Feb. 5, 1631, Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island and an important American religious leader, arrives in Boston. Williams alarmed the Puritan oligarchy by speaking out against the right of civil authorities to punish religious dissension. In 1635, he was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the General Court. * On Feb. 6, 1917, a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the passenger steamer California off the Irish coast. The explosion of the torpedo was so violent that the 470-foot, 9,000-ton steamer sank just nine minutes after the attack. * On Feb. 9, 1942, the Normandie, regarded by many as the most elegant ocean liner ever built, burns and sinks in New York Harbor during its conversion to an Allied troop transport ship. A welder accidentally set fire to a pile of flammable life preservers, and by morning the ship lay capsized in the harbor, a gutted wreck. * On Feb. 10, 1957, Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the best-selling “Little House” series of children’s novels based on her childhood on the American frontier, dies at age 90 in Mansfield, Mo. In 1932, Wilder, then in her 60s, published her first novel, “Little House in the Big Woods.” * On Feb. 7, 1970, Louisiana State University basketball star Pete Maravich scores 69 points in a game against Alabama, setting a Division I record that would stand for 21 years. He died of a heart attack at age 40 in 1988 during a pickup game of basketball in California. * On Feb. 4, 1983, Karen Carpenter, a singer who long suffered under the burden of the expectations that came with pop stardom, succumbed to heart failure brought on by her long, unpublicized struggle with anorexia. She was just 32 years old. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.
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Tidbits® of the River Region
1. Who was the last Milwaukee Brewers pitcher before Zack Greinke in 2011 to finish with a record at least 10 games above .500? 2. In 2012, Jordan Schafer tied a Houston Astros record for longest streak of getting on base to start a season (25 games). Who else holds the mark? 3. Entering the 2012 postseason, who held the NFL career playoff record for grabbing the most interceptions (nine)? 4. Patrick Ewing is Georgetown men’s basketball’s all-time leader in rebounds and blocked shots. Who is the school’s all-time leader in points scored? 5. How many times have the Los Angeles Kings swept an opponent in a seven-game NHL playoff series? 6. In 2012, San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski tied an MLS record for most goals in a season (27). Who else holds the record? 7. Who was the first boxer to win titles from major and minor sanctioning bodies in seven divisions?
1. Is the book of Philippians in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From Mark 8, Jesus healed a blind man by putting what into his eyes? Sand, Wind, Blood, Spit 3. What elderly cousin of Mary was the mother of John the Baptist? Jael, Rahab, Elisabeth 4. Who wrote the letter to the Hebrews? Unknown, Paul, David, Solomon 5. Of these, which book foretold the virgin birth? Joel, Isaiah, Jonah, Malachi 6. Who was Shamgar the son of? Ehud, Samson, Anath, Tola
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Ice-Cream Sandwich Minis for Game Day Wind up the final quarter of the Super Bowl with homemade ice-cream sandwiches. Not too rich and not too fussy, this classic dessert direct from your freezer is easy to slice up in the last minute to bring on extra cheers from your home stadium. A day or two before game day, your school-age kids can have a part in measuring, whisking, beating and spreading out the chocolate cookie dough on a jellyroll pan. When it’s baked and cooled, pick your favorite ice-cream flavor or one with a color that represents your team, assemble and freeze. Ready for the cooking kickoff? Here’s how to make the snack, starting with the cookie. ICE-CREAM SANDWICH MINIS 1 1/3 cups unbleached, all-purposed flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla 2/3 cup milk For the inside: 1 1/2 quarts ice cream 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut parchment paper to generously fit a rimmed 11- by 17-inch jellyroll pan. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa, and set aside. 3. With a mixer, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add and beat in vanilla. Add 1/4 of the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Add 1/2 of the milk and stir until combined, then continue to add the flour mixture and milk alternately. 4. Spoon the thick cookie dough onto the pan and spread as evenly as possible to all edges. Bake 10 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Cool. 5. Loosen the cookie and invert onto a cutting board and peel away parchment. Cut the cookie in half horizontally and vertically to form four rectangles. 6. Let ice cream sit at room temperature until it is easy to cut and spread. Working quickly, slice and spread it evenly over two of the rectangles. (You may wish to have a different flavor on each one.) Top with remaining two rectangle pieces. Wrap both of the large ice-cream sandwiches with plastic wrap and freeze. 7. To serve, remove plastic and cut into serving portions according to taste. (I sliced mine with a large, sharp knife into 1- by 2-inch rectangles to yield 40 small servings.) Extra idea: Think pink and make a batch with strawberry ice cream for Valentine’s Day.
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BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS:
1) New; 2) Spit; 3) Elisabeth; 4) Unknown; 5) Isaiah; 6) Anath
1. Chris Bosio was 16-6 in 1992. 2. Denis Menke, in 1969. 3. Ronnie Lott, Bill Simpson and Charlie Waters. 4. Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, with 2,304 points. 5. Once -- they swept St. Louis in 2012. 6. Roy Lassiter had 27 goals for Tampa Bay in 1996. 7. Hector “Macho” Camacho won his seventh in 2001.
Tidbits速 of the River Region