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April 15 2014 Published by PTK Corp.

of the River Region

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FROGS by Kathy Wolfe Since April is National Frog Month, it only seems fitting for Tidbits to bring you the facts on these little creatures. • F rogs are amphibians, meaning they are coldblooded and sp lit their time between land and water. Their body temperature changes depending on their surroundings. If it’s cold, certain frogs dig underground burrows or hole up in the mud of ponds. • More than 4,700 species of frogs can be found around the world. The U.S. is home to about 90 species. Frogs can survive in an astonishing variety of climates and live on every continent except Antarctica. It’s not just warm tropical climates they thrive in – they also dwell in deserts and on mountaintops. Some wood frogs live north of the Arctic Circle, subsisting for weeks in a frozen state. The glucose in the frog’s blood acts as an antifreeze that collects in the vital organs, preserving them while the body freezes. • The front legs of a frog have four toes each, and the back legs have five toes. While aquatic frogs’ legs are longer and stronger to help them swim, land-dwelling frogs have shorter legs for walking and climbing. The tree frog’s large round toe pads act as suction cups to help it grip branches. • Although it does have lungs, a frog breathes through its skin, which allows oxygen to pass through it, so its skin must always be moist. If it isn’t wet enough, there isn’t enough oxygen and the frog suffocates. The frog doesn’t take a drink when thirsty – all the moisture the frog needs is absorbed through the skin. • At least once a week, frogs shed their skin. After doing a lot of twisting and stretching, a frog will pull the skin over its head. Although the frog will usually eat the skin, some species, like the Australian waterholding frog, uses the shed skin as a cocoon to burrow in. This desert-dwelling water-holding frog can wait seven years for rain in its underground burrow. • Out of all animals with a backbone, frogs are by far turn the page for more

Vol 3 Issue 15 paul@riverregiontidbits.com


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Tidbits® of the River Region FROGS (continued): the best jumpers, with many able to leap up to 20 times their body length. If a human could do that, it would be about a 100-foot (30.5 m) jump. The longest frog jump on record took place at a 1989 South African frog derby when Santjie the frog leaped 33 feet, 5.5 inches (10 m.). • Not all frogs are jumpers. Costa Rica’s flying tree frog soars among the branches aided by its feet. The webbing between its toes fills with air much like a parachute, enabling the frog to fly from tree to tree. • Have you ever tried to sneak up on a frog? It’s “nigh on” impossible because its bulging eyes enable it to see in all different directions without even moving its head. And because its eyes are located on the top of its head, a frog can sit in the water with only its eyes and nose above the surface. Frogs have three eyelids, two of which are used above water, and the other to protect its eyes when it is under water. • An unusual species known as the glass frog has transparent skin, meaning you can see its internal organs, bones, and muscles. An observer can view the heart beating as well as the stomach digesting food. • Although most frogs stick to a diet of insects, snails, spiders, and worms, some species dine on small fish and even mice. Argentina’s horned frogs can eat a mouse in one mouthful, swallowing it whole. Africa’s dwarf puddle frog gobbles up to 100 mosquitoes in one night’s dinner. It takes less than one second for a frog to roll out its long sticky tongue, grab its prey, and return it to its mouth. While the frog does have a row of teeth on its upper jaw, they’re only to hold the prey while the frog kills it. The teeth are not used to chew. • You can distinguish the male from the female frog by checking out its ears, located just behind the eye. If the ear is larger than the eye, it’s a male; if the ear is smaller, it’s a female. • The largest kind of frog is the Goliath frog native to the Cameroon in West Africa. The Goliath’s body can grow to nearly a foot (30 cm) long, and can weigh as much as a housecat, about 7.3 lbs. (3.3 kg). In contrast, one of the world’s smallest frogs can be found in Brazil. The adult Gold Frog measures just 3/8th of an inch (9.8 mm). • What’s the difference between a frog and a toad? Technically, the toad is a frog because it also belongs to the order Anura. Toads are simply frogs with dry warty skin and short hind legs. Frogs have smooth moist skin and long webbed hind legs. • While all frogs have poison glands in their skin, most aren’t potent enough to do any damage. However, some Central and South American varieties, known as poison dart frogs, have extraordinarily strong poisons. The natives use this poison on the tips of their hunting arrows. Although there are about 170 different kinds of these poisonous creatures, the most toxic is the golden poison frog. It contains enough poison to kill eight people. • In the English language, the frog says, “ribbit,” while in the Arabic, it says “far, gar.” Mandarin Chinese frogs croak, “guo, guo,” while Russian frogs make the sound “kva-kva.” • Frogs have their place in folklore as well. Legend has it that if the first frog you see in the Spring is sitting on dry ground, for the next year, you will shed as many tears as the frog would need to swim away in. It’s also not a good sign if Spring’s first frog jumps into the water – you’ll have misfortune all year. Likewise, if it jumps away from you, you will lose some friends. However, take heart! If it jumps in your direction, you’ll have many friends. Why not adopt the Japanese’s view of frogs – they view them as symbols of good luck. • About 120 species of frogs, toads, and salamanders have disappeared over the past 35 years.


“Be known before you’re needed” Advertise with Tidbits (334) 202-7285 PAUL ANKA • One of the world’s favorite crooners hails from Ottawa, Ontario. Born in Canada in 1941 to restaurant-owning parents of Lebanese descent, Paul Anka began singing in the St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church choir at age 12. By 13, he had formed his own group, the Bobbysoxers. • A school contest when he was 13 changed the course of Anka’s life. He collected Campbell’s soup labels for three months and won a trip to New York City, where he determined he was going to make it in the music industry. By 14, he had recorded his first single, “I Confess.” • At 16, Anka headed back to New York and was granted an audition at ABC-Paramount Records, singing “Diana.” The studio signed him immediately and “Diana” quickly skyrocketed to Number One, and continues to be one of the best-selling 45s in music history, with sales of over 9 million copies. Following up with four more singles, Anka was firmly in place as a universal teen idol. • In the late 1950s Anka was traveling the world, singing such hits as “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “Hey There, Lonely Boy.” While touring Great Britain and Australia with Buddy Holly, Anka composed “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” exclusively for Holly, and Holly recorded it shortly before his fatal plane crash in 1959. At age 18, Anka generously bestowed his composer’s royalties on Holly’s widow. • While enjoying a career as a recording star, Anka began songwriting in earnest. He composed the 1960 hit “Puppy Love” inspired by his brief teen romance with Mouseketeer Annette Funicello. At age 19, he wrote the theme song to the hit move The Longest Day, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song. He was also given a part as an army private in the film. • In 1962, Anka wrote the theme song for The Tonight Show, during Johnny Carson’s tenure. During Carson’s heyday, Anka earned $900,000 annually in royalties for just that one song. It’s estimated the song has been played close to a million-and-a-half times. • Paul Anka has written more than 900 songs, including Frank Sinatra’s signature tune “My Way” and Tom Jones’ biggest hit “She’s a Lady.” Sinatra also became noted singing Anka favorites “Fly Me to the Moon’ and “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” Connie Francis, Barbra Streisand, and The Doobie Brothers have had hits with his compositions. The voice of Elvis Presley can heard singing Anka’s “Blue Christmas” every holiday season. • Anka was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in the U.S. in 1993, and into the Canadians Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2008. He’s had a song on the Billboard charts in every decade since his 1957 debut, including singles in the Top 50 during five different decades. Anka has recorded 125 albums, including songs in Japanese, German, Spanish, French, and Italian. Worldwide, he’s sold more than 15 million records. In recent years, he has gravitated to big-band arrangements of popular standards. At 72, he still performs on a regular basis as well as appearing on a motivational speaker circuit. In his words, “I’ve always believed that if you don’t stay moving, they will throw dirt on you.”

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Tidbits® of the River Region

* On April 30, 1888, a hailstorm devastates the farming town of Moradabad, India, killing 230 people and thousands of farm animals. Most of the victims died instantly when hail the size of oranges rained down from the sky, striking them. * On April 28, 1897, the Chickasaw and Choctaw, two of the Five Civilized Tribes, become the first to agree to abolish tribal government and communal ownership of land. By 1902, the other three tribes -- the Cherokees, Seminoles and Creeks -- followed suit, finally throwing open all of Indian Territory to white settlement. * On May 4, 1916, Germany responds to a demand by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson by agreeing to limit its submarine warfare. However, on Feb. 1, 1917, Germany announced the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, and the United States formally entered World War I. * On May 2, 1933, although accounts of an aquatic beast living in Scotland’s Loch Ness date back 1,500 years, the modern legend of the Loch Ness Monster is born when a sighting makes local news. The Inverness Courier newspaper related an account of a local couple who claimed to have seen “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface.” * On May 1, 1941, months before its release, Orson Welles’ landmark film “Citizen Kane” begins generating such controversy that Radio City Music Hall refuses to show it. “Citizen Kane,” now revered as one of the greatest movies in history, made its debut at the smaller RKO Palace Theater and was a failure at the box office. * On April 29, 1968, “Hair,” the now-famous “tribal love-rock musical” that introduced the era-defining song “Aquarius,” premieres on Broadway. “Hair” quickly became not just a smash-hit show, but a genuine cultural phenomenon.

Juanita Shonte Burney DOB: 10/31/1975 Black/Female 5’3” 203 lbs Hair: Black Eyes: Brown

Outstanding Warrants: Theft of Property II

* On May 3, 1980, 13-year-old Cari Lightner of Fair Oaks, Calif., is killed by a drunk driver while walking along a quiet road when the car swerves out of control and strikes her. Cari’s tragic death compelled her mother, Candy Lightner, to found the organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). (c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

Randy Anderson Black/Male 5’9” 160 lbs Hair: Black Eyes: Brown

Outstanding Warrants: Failure to appear on the charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance


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MARATHONS With the Boston Marathon scheduled for Monday, April 21, Tidbits examines the facts on the history of marathons, while focusing on a few famous events. • The official distance of the modern marathon is 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km). It began as a commemoration of legend’s run of the Greek messenger and soldier Pheidippides. At the completion of the Battle of Marathon between the Greeks and the Persians, Pheidippides was sent from the battlefield to Athens to announce the victory. After running the entire distance without stopping, he rushed into the assembly, proclaimed, “We won,” then collapsed and died. • When the modern-day Olympics began in 1896, the marathon was one of the original events, although there was no standardized distance. In 1908, at the London Olympics, the race course was from Windsor Castle to the White City Stadium, followed by a partial lap of the track within, a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards (42.195 km). In 1921, the International Amateur Athletic Federation made this the official length of a marathon. • There was no Olympic women’s marathon until the 1984 Summer Olympics. • The first New York City Marathon was held in 1970 with 127 competitors running several loops around Central Park’s Park Drive. Only 100 spectators were on hand to watch 55 of these runners cross the finish line. Held every year on the first Sunday of November, the race has dramatically changed. The course now winds through all five boroughs of New York City, beginning on Staten Island, finishing up outside Tavern on the Green near Manhattan’s Central Park. • The New York Marathon begins promptly at 10:10 A.M. and has a time limit of 8.5 hours. One of the largest marathons in the world, this past year there were 50,304 finishers, including the millionth runner to start the course in its 43-year history. Since 1970, the race has been cancelled only once, in 2012, due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy the week before. • The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, first held in 1897, the year after the marathon’s premiere in the Olympics. From its humble beginnings with 18 participants, the Boston event has grown to about 20,000 participants, with 2013’s race boasting 26,839 entries. About 500,000 spectators are on hand annually. • Each year, the Boston Marathon is held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday in April. This date commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775. • The Boston Marathon did not officially allow women until 1972. However, in 1966, 23-year-old Roberta Gibb donned her brother’s Bermuda shorts and hooded sweatshirt and hid in the bushes near the starting line. The starting gun went off and after half the pack of runners had started, she jumped in. She had been training for two years, running as much as 40 miles in one day. • In order to compete in Boston, a runner must be at least 18 years old, and have completed a certified standard course within a certain period of time before the Boston event.

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Tidbits® of the River Region

1. In 2013, Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore became the youngest A.L. left-hander (23) to start a season 8-0 since who? 2. Who was the last Pittsburgh Pirate to lead the N.L. in saves for a season? 3. In 2012, the Arizona Cardinals became the second team in NFL history to win their first four games, then lose their next six. Who was the first? 4. When was the last time before 2013 (Gonzaga) that a team not from the six major men’s college basketball conferences was No. 1 in the final AP regular-season poll? 5. Gordie Howe (1,767) and Mark Messier (1,756) are onetwo on the NHL list of most games played. Who is No. 3? 6. At the 2014 Winter Olympics, Norway’s Marit Bjoergen became the oldest woman (33 years, 324 days) to win an individual crosscountry gold medal. Who had been the oldest? 7. In what year did golfer Tom Watson win his last PGA major?

1. Is the book of Galatians in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From Psalm 91, without fear the man who trusts God can trample upon the lion and the ... ? Heathen, Locusts, Cobra (Adder), Lice 3. In James 4, what does one do to the devil, so he will flee from you? Argue, Yell, Swear, Resist? 4. “Lord, save me” is the Bible’s shortest prayer found in which book’s 14:30? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John? 5. From Matthew 18:10, who/what have personal angels in heaven? Children, Birds, Fishes, Elderly? 6. How many times does the word “Easter” appear in the Bible (KJV)? Zero, 1, 3, 17


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by Samantha Weaver * It was physicist Albert Einstein who made the following sage observation: “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from that of their social environment.” * Unlike humans, birds see everything in focus all the time. * You might be surprised to learn that the bagpipe did not originate in Scotland. This ancient instrument existed in Asia in the pre-Christian era. Those who study such things say that the Emperor Nero was a bagpiper, even performing publicly at Roman athletic events. * Sharks have existed for 50 million years longer than trees. * From ancient times in China up until the 19th century, the upper classes considered very long fingernails to be beautiful and a mark of distinction, indicating that one with such long nails never had to perform manual labor. Cracking was a problem with these long nails, though, as they sometimes were grown in excess of 2 inches long. To combat the problem, the ruling classes would wear special gold and silver covers on their nails. * Even cows have best friends, and they will spend most of their time together. * In a single year, your heart circulates about a million gallons of blood. * You almost certainly have a Social Security number, but did you ever wonder what the numbers mean? The first three numbers indicate what part of the country you were in when you applied (or when your parents applied for you), the next two numbers are a code indicating the year of your application, and the last four numbers are considered to be your citizenÕs number. *** Thought for the Day: “I and the public know. / What all schoolchildren learn. / Those to whom evil is done. / Do evil in return.” -- W.H. Auden (c) 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS:

1) New; 2) Cobra (Adder); 3) Resist; 4) Matthew; 5) Children; 6) 1

1. Babe Ruth was 22 when he did it in 1917 for Boston. 2. Dave Giusti, with 30 saves in 1971. 3. The Philadelphia Eagles, in 1993. 4. UMass, in 1996. 5. Ron Francis, with 1,731 games. 6. Italy’s Stefania Belmondo won a gold medal in 2002 at 33 years, 27 days. 7. The 1983 British Open was the last of his eight major titles.


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Tidbits速 of the River Region


Ptk tidbits 2014 04 15 vol 3 15i