Tommy Contest Page 5

of the River Region

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ODD MEASUREMENTS by Janet Spencer Throughout history, humans have come up with all sorts of ways of measuring things. Here are some lesser-known facts about units of measure. HORSES, REINDEER, and DOGS • James Watt, who invented the steam engine, originated the measurement of horsepower. Horsepower is equal to a horse at walking speed, equal to about 750 watts. When a horse is sprinting, it’s generating up to 15 horsepower. A human being can generate about 0.1 horsepower, while a small engine can create 10 horsepower, and a jet engine comes in at about 1,000 horsepower. Europeans call horsepower “pferdestarke” which is German for “horse strength.” • A Finnish measurement known as “poronkusema” is the distance a reindeer can walk without having to urinate. If you’re a Finnish reindeer herder, this is important, because a reindeer has to stop walking in order to pee. The phrase comes from the Finnish words “poron” meaning “reindeer” and “kusema” meaning “peed by.” It’s equal to about 4.5 miles, or 7.5 km. • Another Finnish measurement is the “peninkulma” defined as the distance a dog can be heard barking, from the words “penin” meaning “dog” and “kuuluma” meaning “to be heard.” It equals 6.5 miles (10.5 km). • A peninkulma is equal to about ten versts. A verst is equal to 500 sazhen. A sazhen is defined by the Russian language as the distance between the tips of the outstretched arms of an adult human. • The distance between the tips of the outstretched arms of an adult human is also called a fathom, from the German word “fadum” meaning “embracing arms” which has now been standardized at six feet (1.8m) and was typically used by sailors to measure the depth of the ocean. When it became necessary to bury someone at sea, the body needed to be sunk to a depth of at least six fathoms, leading to the phrase “to deep six” something by disposing of it. The word fathom in the sense of being unable to understand something: “I can’t fathom that” refers to the word’s (Continued next page)

Vol 7 Issue 11 paul@riverregiontidbits.com

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Tidbits® of the River Region (Front page continued)

1. Is the Book of 2 Peter in Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From Matthew 4, how many days and nights did Jesus fast before his temptation(s) by Satan? 3, 12, 40, 70 3. Who said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away”? Satan, Adam, Job, Haman 4. From Proverbs 6, what is held up as an example to the lazy man? Bee, Flea, Locust, Ant 5. How old was Abram when Hagar bore Ishmael? 19, 39, 68, 86 6. From Acts 13:1, where was Lucius from? Cyrene, Zion, Sodom, Canaan Visit Wilson Casey’s new Trivia Fan Site at www.patreon. com/triviaguy. (c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

By Chris Richcreek 1. The Baltimore Orioles had only 19 stolen bases during the 2016 season. Name the last time a major-league team had fewer stolen bases for a season. 2. Kendrys Morales set a Royals team mark in 2015 for most total bases in one game (15). Who had held the record? 3. When was the last time before 2016 that the NFL had two games end in a tie in the same season? 4. How many consecutive years has the Kansas men’s basketball team won its opening game in the NCAA Tournament? 5. When was the last time before the 2016-17 NHL season (Toronto Maple Leafs) that three rookies each reached 60 points for the same team? 6. When Josef Newgarden (26 years old) won the 2017 IndyCar series championship, he was the youngest to do so since who? 7. When was the last time before 2017 that tennis star Venus Williams reached the semifinals of three majors in the same year? (c) 2018 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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by Samantha Weaver * It was Danish scholar and critic Georg Brandes who made the following sage observation: “Poor is the power of the lead that becomes bullets compared to the power of the hot metal that becomes types.” * You doubtless know who Thomas Edison was -- the American inventor of such things as the light bulb, the phonograph and the motion-picture camera. You never learned that he was blind, though, did you? Of course you didn’t -- he wasn’t blind. However, even though he could see, historians say that when he was reading, he preferred Braille to printed text. * Have you ever heard of a lipogram? It’s a work of writing that deliberately leaves out one or more letters of the alphabet. For instance, in 1939 a man named Ernest Vincent Wright published a 50,000-word novel titled “Gadsby,” in which the letter e was not used once -- the longest lipogram in English. * Those who study such things say that the trunk of an African elephant has more than 60,000 muscles. * You might be surprised to learn that the White House had a telephone installed before indoor plumbing was. * I have some bad news for lovers of the snooze button: Experts say that you’re better off not using it. Researchers have found that the last few minutes of sleep are more beneficial if they’re uninterrupted, so it’s better to go ahead and set your alarm for 10 minutes later to begin with. * A study of prison inmates’ medical files revealed this interesting tidbit: The higher the levels of testosterone in a male inmate, the younger that inmate was when he was first arrested. *** Thought for the Day: “I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.” -- Ellen DeGeneres (c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of the River Region

* On March 17, 1762, in New York City, the first parade honoring the Catholic feast day of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, is held by Irish soldiers serving in the British army. * On March 16, 1802, the United States Military Academy -- the first military school in the United States, also known as West Point -- is founded by Congress. West Point was the site of a Revolutionary-era fort that Patriot General Benedict Arnold agreed to surrender to the British in exchange for 6,000 pounds. However, the plot was uncovered and Arnold fled to the British for protection.

Smith, Artavius Martrell Black/Male 6’1” 165 lbs Age: 29 Hair: Black Eyes: Brown

Outstanding Warrants: Trafficking drugs Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substance

* On March 12, 1903, the New York Highlanders join baseball’s American League, changing its name to the New York Yankees in 1913. * On March 18, 1942, the War Relocation Authority is created to “Take all people of Japanese descent into custody,” as well as some Germans and Italians, and put them in internment camps. One Japanese American, Gordon Hirabayashi, fought internment all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled against him. * On March 14, 1950, the FBI institutes the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list in an effort to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives. Only eight women have appeared on the Most Wanted list. * On March 13, 1965, Eric Clapton leaves the Yardbirds. The English guitarist, singer and songwriter was enough of a purist to quit when the band drifted from the blues toward experimental pop with its 1965 hit “For Your Love.” * On March 15, 1970, Boston Bruin Bobby Orr becomes the first defenseman in NHL history to score 100 points in a season. Orr was a young phenomenon, signed by the Boston Bruins to a “C” form at the age of 12. His contract included \$900 worth of stucco for his family’s home and a secondhand car. (c) 2018 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Outstanding Warrants:

Kennedy, Michelle DOB: 3/06/1987 Black/Female 5’7” 190 lbs Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown

Wanted for: Failure to Appear Theft Of Property 2nd

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“Be known before you’re needed” Advertise with Tidbits (334) 202-7285 MADE UP MEASUREMENTS • In Homer’s book “The Iliad,” Helena of Troy is married to a Greek king but runs off with her Trojan lover. The men of Greece are so upset at the loss of their beautiful queen that they launch their entire fleet of ships to go bring her home, starting the Trojan war. In the year 1592, an English playwright named Christopher Marlowe wrote a play called “Doctor Faustus.” In the play, the character Faustus calls upon the mythological Helen of Troy, and writes her a love poem, in which appears the line: “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships?” Some centuries later, a unit of measure, perhaps proposed by Isaac Azimov, was based upon the face that launched a thousand ships: the milliHelen. A milliHelen is defined as the amount of beauty needed to launch a single ship. Its corollary is the microHelen, which is a woman who is capable of launching 1/1000th of a ship, or a model ship in 1/1000th scale. A woman possessing a nanoHelen of beauty is only capable of launching a dinghy. • Artist Andy Warhol once declared that everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. This begat the Warhol unit of fame, coined by writer Cullen Murphy: one Warhol equals 15 minutes of fame, but a kilowarhol equals 15,000 minutes (10.42 days, equivalent to “nine-day wonder”) and a megawarhol is equivalent to 15 million minutes (28.5 years). The “Warhol worm” is a term applied to any potential computer virus capable of infecting the entire Internet in 15 minutes. • The corollary to the New York minute is the New York second (“the shortest unit of time in the multiverse”) defined as the period of time between the traffic lights turning green and the cab behind you honking. • As a humorous tribute to Carl Sagan and his association with the catchphrase “billions and billions” a “sagan” has been defined as a large quantity of anything. • Physicist Paul Dirac was known for his precise yet taciturn nature. His colleagues in Cambridge jokingly defined a unit of a “dirac” which equalled one word per hour. • The Harvard Bridge over the Charles River in Massachusetts is long. People who cross the bridge during bad weather keep their head down, and look only at the pavement. In 1958, a fraternity at MIT decided something should be done to help students know how much farther they had to go. They decided the pavement should be marked off, and the unit of measurement should be one of their pledges. The shortest pledge was chosen. His name was Oliver Smoot and he was 5’7” tall. One evening Smoot and some other pledges showed up on the bridge. They laid him end over end all the way across the bridge, painting Smoot marks every 5 feet, 7 inches. They found that the bridge was 364.4 Smoots long, plus one ear. The fraternity maintains the Smoot marks, re-painting them every year as they began to fade. Police still refer to the Smoot marks when calling for tow trucks or filling out accident reports. • In 1982, John Lloyd and Douglas Adams wrote a humorous book called, “The Meaning of Liff.” The book purported to list the meanings of the odd names of towns throughout the United Kingdom. The Scottish town of Liff supposedly meant “A book, the contents of which are totally belied by its cover.” The town name of Plymouth really means, “To relate an amusing story to someone without remembering that it was they who told it to you in the first place” and the meaning of the town name Shoeburyness is “The vague uncomfortable feeling you get when sitting on a seat that is still warm from somebody else’s bottom.” The Isle of Sheppey was named for the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque, equal to just under one mile.

Tommy Count ______ This week’s winner receives a

Plantation House Restaurant Register to win at www.riverregiontidbits.com and click on “Tommy Tidbits” or click the QRCode above. Fill out the registration information and tell us how many times Tommy appears in ads in the paper for this week. From the correct entries, a winner will be selected. You must be 18 years of age to qualify. The gift certificates will range in value from \$25 to \$50 each week. Entries must be received at the website by midnight each Saturday evening or at PTK Corp, PO Box 264, Wetumpka, AL 36092.

Tommy was hiding:

1. Hart Spine & Rehab, p.4

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TidbitsÂŽ of the River Region

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We’re Here to Stay!!

Fabulous Food

TWINKIES • Continental Bakeries made a variety of items under the Hostess brand in the 1920s and 1930s. One of them was a strawberry shortcake. The problem was that strawberries were a seasonal item, available only a few months of the year. The rest of the year, the equipment used to make the cakes sat idle. • While delivering a load of strawberry cakes to a vendor one day, company vicepresident James Deware decided what he needed was a product that would use this equipment all year. Finally he hit on banana cream cakes because bananas were available year-round. He called them Little Shortcake Fingers, and a nickel bought a package of two. • Later he saw a billboard advertising Twinkle Toe Shoes, and he adopted that name for the product: Twinkies. Originally the cakes were made with eggs, milk, and butter, which gave them a shelf life of only a day or two. The recipe was reformulated, and airtight cellophane packaging helped retain freshness. Today, the typical Twinkie can last 45 days before going stale. • During World War II, a banana shortage led to the need to re-vamp the recipe once again, and the familiar vanilla-flavored snack cake was born. Vanilla turned out to be a far more popular flavor than banana, but banana Twinkies were given another run when the movie “King Kong” was released in 2005. • In 2012, Hostess filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Twinkie sales for the year were down almost 20% from a year earlier. Hostess said customers had migrated to healthier foods. A few months later, Hostess was purchased by Apollo Global Management and Metropoulos & Co for \$410 million and Twinkies returned to store shelves by July of 2013. Apollo subsequently sold Hostess for \$2.3 billion. • Twinkies have been used as an ingredient in other dishes. Hostess published two recipe compilation books, most recently in 2015 for the snack cake’s 85th anniversary • A deep-fried Twinkie, popular at state fairs and ball parks, involves freezing the Twinkie, dipping it into batter, and deep-frying it. • A scene from the 1989 film “UHF” shows “Weird Al” Yankovic’s favorite food, the Twinkie Wiener Sandwich: Split a Twinkie like a hot dog bun. Add a hot dog, cover it in Easy Cheese, and dip in milk before eating. Yankovic has stated that he has switched to using tofu hot dogs since becoming a vegetarian. • When Dan White killed San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in 1978, his lawyers argued he had been suffering from depression, as evidenced by his failure to maintain his previously healthy diet, preferring sugary treats such as Twinkies instead. This became known as the “Twinkie defense.” White served five years in prison for the two murders. • The Twinkies eaten in the movie “Zombieland” were not real Twinkies. Being a vegan and raw-foodist, Woody Harrelson would not eat real Twinkies. Rather, the “Twinkies” he was shown eating were made from cornmeal and were vegan-safe. • When the Clinton White House was assembling the National Millennium Time Capsule in 1999, long lists of possible items were mulled over. In the end, the capsule included icons like the works of William Faulkner and a recording of Louis Armstrong. The capsule very nearly included a Twinkie, which would have been over a century past its “best-by” date when the capsule is opened in 2100. At the last minute, staff pulled the Twinkie from the capsule over concerns that mice would break into the box.

1) New; 2) 40; 3) Job; 4) Ant; 5) 86; 6) Cyrene

1. The Detroit Tigers stole only 17 bases in 1972. 2. George Brett had 14 total bases in a game in 1979. 3. It was 1997. 4. Eleven consecutive years entering 2018. 5. It was the 1980-81 Quebec Nordiques (Peter Stastny, Anton Stastny and Dale Hunter). 6. Sam Hornish Jr. was 23 when he won the title in 2002. 7. It was 2002.

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