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OfGreeley Greeley & & West Weld Colorado Of WeldCounty County Colorado The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®

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Issue 812

Tidbits Researches...

Fun & Unusual Holidays

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By Blue Sullivan

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Valentine Gift Ideas See Page 5

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To people outside of the United States, several of our holidays may seem peculiar. Imagine a foreign person arriving here during our Halloween celebration, for instance. Crowds of people dressed in frightful costumes and wandering the streets looking for candy might appear like an instance of mass insanity to an outsider. All over the world, people conduct similarly unusual (and fun) celebrations. Below, Tidbits explores just a few.

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* Have you ever thought to yourself, “There just aren’t enough holidays where grown men cavort in diapers?” No? Well, Japan has a similar holiday for you anyway. On January 14, people in Japan celebrate The Naked Festival where men gather in loincloths (not actual diapers, thankfully) and galavant all over the city until the clock strikes 12. At midnight, they gather in a Shinto temple to observe another interesting tradition, attempting to catch bits of wood dropped from overhead by a local priest. Catch one and it means good luck for an entire year!

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Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County

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To advertise call 970.475.4829 * Northern Italians engage in fruit-flinging silliness when they observe Iverea Carnevale’s “Battle of the Oranges.” During the three days of the country’s annual carnival (held during February or March), the local populace re-enacts an 1194 revolt by the people against a cruel count and his troops. The original revolt was conducted with stones, but today, the citizenry have smartly taken to instead using the oranges that exceed the country’s yearly production quota. Some locals really re-enact the scene enthusiastically, so if you happen to attend, don’t forget to duck. * In the spring, India celebrates the Holi Festival of Colors. This “colorful” festival was re-created in the 2006 independent film, “Outsourced” (the inspiration for a similarly named NBC sitcom last year). All the colors of the rainbow are tossed around in powders that men and women throw at each other. In addition, people pitch buckets of water on each other, making for a messy good time. These playful activities are accompanied by dancing and the frenzied beating of drums. This festival has political and socio-economic significance as well, since it marks one of the only times where one sees men and women of various social castes mixing in Indian society. * Thailand’s Songkran Festival, held April 13-15, is part of the Thai New Year and is a very wet tradition. While “Songkran” is a Sanskrit word that in Thai refers to the influence of the sun on certain Zodiac signs, it is water that captures the attention and imagination of all the locals. As part of their celebration of the vernal equinox, the people congregate with buckets, hoses, water balloons, water pistols and anything else that can capably transport water for the purposes of drenching everything and everyone from head to toe. This may well be the world’s biggest water fight. Of course, “fight” isn’t really the right word, because the action of tossing water to others is actually perceived as a demonstration of kindness and respect during the festival. Maybe the “world’s biggest water hug” would be more appropriate.

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* Each July, the citizens of the Eastern European republic of Belarus gather for Ivana Kupala Day, a celebration of fertility. Among the customs observed are dancing, singing and the donning of wreaths by both sexes. To add a special twist to their festivities, the people also go skinny-dipping and jump through fire, though presumably not at the same time. * From the country that gives us the annual “Running of the Bulls” comes an even more curious holiday. On August 27, Spain observes La Tomatina. As you may have gathered from the name, this day involves tomatoes. What you may not have known is that it involves 30,000 people en-

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gaged in pitched aerial battle with the beloved red (or green) fruit. For two hours, natives toss tomatoes at each other until 125,000 of them pepper the landscape and people. It’s all in good fun, celebrating a similar spontaneous food fight that broke out during a parade over 65 years ago. Perhaps nowhere else has so much produce gone to such silly and undoubtedly enjoyable use.

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* We’ve featured the world’s biggest tomato, orange and water fights so far, so why not shine a light on the world’s biggest tug-of-war? The Naha Tug-of-War takes place on October 11 in the middle of the Naha Festival, one of the largest celebrations in Okinawa, Japan. One of the region’s biggest thoroughfares, Highway 58, is shut down so that tens of thousands can congregate to decide which of the two masses can pull the other 30 meters. This is no simple length of rope, mind you. Made of rice straw, the rope is so large that no single set of hands could possibly hold it. In fact, it’s so big that a series of smaller ropes are attached all over its surface to acc om m o d ate the swarm of hands there to participate. Seen from a distance, it might look as if a massive synthetic snake several blocks long and taller than a car had taken control of the freeway. Fortunately, it’s just a Guinness-World-Record-breaking competition in a country famous for its fascinating customs.

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* An ex-slave is the focus of the African holiday called Matilda Newport Day, celebrated on December 1 in Liberia. Elderly Matilda Newport was a brave lady who changed the fate of an entire country with a single act. A colony of freed American slaves was attempting to form its own nation in Equatorial Africa. In a battle between the colonists and hostile indigenous tribes, the tribes were winning, and all but a few colonists abandoned the fight. That’s when Matilda approached a cannon that, having been forsaken by colonists, had drawn the attention of tribesmen. Thinking her harmless, they took no notice when she dropped a burning coal into the curious machine. When it went off, it frightened the invaders so much that they fled, making Newport a most improbable war hero.

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CAPITOL RECORDS BUILDING

In the middle of Hollywood, near the famed intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, sits a building like no other in Los Angeles County. Seen from above, it’s the one structure that could pass for an alien installation in some futuristic metropolis. Thirteen stories of architectural innovation with a long white spire sitting atop, it’s the Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower or Capitol Tower. • The Capitol Records Building was the world’s first circular office building. The remarkable structure was the brainchild of designers Welton Becket and Louis Naidorf, and it has been described by the Los Angeles Times as ranking “among the dozen or so best-known landmarks in all of Southern California.” Created as a mixed-use building, the Capitol Tower is less than a 150 feet tall. * Many have suggested that the building’s resemblance to a stack of records was by design, but it was actually a happy accident. The shape was actually a response to the problem of available space created by earthquake regulations that limited the structure’s height. The shape allowed designers to maximize the number and size of offices available within its walls, and the circular shape resulted in considerably lower energy costs. * There is a blinking red light that adorns the building’s spire. Though one could assume its significance lies merely as a signal to low-flying aircraft, it actually blinks the word “Hollywood” in Morse Code. In fact, the light’s initial activation on April 6, 1956, was conducted by the granddaughter of Samuel Morse (for whom Morse Code is named), Leila. * This message has changed only once in the building’s 55-year history. This occurred in 1992, when the message was altered to read “Capitol 50,” reflecting the record company’s 50th year in business. In September of

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Page 4

Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County

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this year, the normally white spire atop the building was lit blue at night, as part of “Blue September,” a month raising awareness about the importance of early detection in preventing prostate cancer. * The first recording made in the Capitol Records Building was actually a series of instrumentals entitled “Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color.” Since then, the tower has been the artistic home of such musical icons as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Tina Turner, Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt and the aforementioned “Chairman of the Board” Frank Sinatra.

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* The 13 circular floors of the building sit on a square base. At the base’s southern face, one can view a large mural created by artist Richard Wyatt entitled “Hollywood Jazz.” Among the fanciful portraits found there are titans of jazz and blues including Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole. The latter is even rumored to be responsible for suggesting the building’s singular shape. The past two decades haven’t been kind to the mural, as it has faded considerably. Yet it remains a beautiful testimony to our rich musical past. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------DO YOU LOVE TIDBITS? Then please tell our advertisers, “I saw your ad in Tidbits!” And please tell the proprietors of the establishment where you get your copy, “Thanks for having Tidbits here!”

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Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County

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Greeley’s Finest Restaurants Welcome YOU & By Samantha Weaver • It was 19th-century German philosopher, composer and poet Friedrich Nietzsche who made the following sage observation: “At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.” • Despite all the cartoons you’ve seen throughout your life, rabbits generally prefer greens to carrots, and mice would rather eat grains and fruit than cheese. • The area that is now the state of California had a population of about 700 in 1854. In 2010, the population had increased to 37,253,956. In the span of just over one and a half centuries, the population increased a whopping 53,000 times. • Rice paper is not made from rice. It’s made from the pith of the rice paper plant. • You may be surprised to learn that, according to the National Sleep Foundation, 33 percent of all preschoolers have a TV in their room, and 20 percent of infants and toddlers have one. • If you ever make a trip to Italy (lucky you!) and visit the town of Modena, be sure to go to the bell tower. There you might see an item that is, to the best of my knowledge, unique in the world: a wooden bucket that started a war. In 1325 a group of soldiers from the then-city-state of Modena raided rival city-state Bologna and returned home with the bucket. Greatly desiring to get the bucket back, Bologna declared war. The war raged on for years, but Bologna never did get its bucket back.

Prepare for the Boom

Magnify Your Mind

Your brain has one hundred billion nerve cells (neurons) that are laced together in a mind-boggling complexity. Each neuron can make contact with thousands - even tens of thousands of others - via �ny structures called synapses; and they never rest. Think about this: every second of your life your brain forms a million new connec�ons. It happens as you see, walk, talk, sleep, think, evaluate, etc. In these changing connec�ons informa�on is processed, habits are learned, personali�es are shaped, and memories are stored. It is happening right now…this very moment…as you read Dr. Ron Ross these words. This jelly-like mass of �ssue weighing only 3 pounds controls everything that happens in your body. Your mind produces every thought, word, ac�on, feeling, and experience and stores it all away for future reference and can recall whatever is needed in a millisecond of �me. Its capacity for knowledge and crea�vity has never been fully tapped – not even close. The account of all that your mind is capable of doing could fill a library of books but would s�ll be astonishingly incomplete. Your mind remains the greatest single untapped resource at your exclusive disposal. Consider this: “There is nothing so elas�c as the human mind. Like imprisoned steam, the more it is pressed, the more it rises to resist the pressure. The more we are obliged to do, the more we are able to accomplish.” – Tryon Edwards Got a problem? Tell your mind to solve it and it will. Need to know more? Tell your mind to learn it and it can. Searching for the right words? Tell your mind to find them and it will. Have something happen in the past you can’t quite remember? Tell your mind to recall it and it is able to do so. Do you want to be smarter, more energe�c, more crea�ve, more sociable, and more successful in every way? Tell your mind to get to work to make you what you want to become and it can do the job. Many may be more educated, and some wiser than you, but you have the capacity to out learn, out speak, out grow, out comprehend, out discover, out persist, out reason, out foresee, and out produce anyone out there if you put your mind to it. Develop an above-average mind and you will be prepared to take advantage of the coming boom; not because you are innately smarter than others, but because your mind is be�er exercised, be�er cul�vated, and be�er fed. You see, your mind is like a fer�le field awai�ng seed and water. Plant worthy seeds therein. Irrigate with pure water. What cul�va�on and fer�liza�on is to your garden so thinking, reflec�ng, and examining is to your mind. Challenge your mind, nurture it, for�fy it, do all you can to magnify your mind.

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” --Thomas Jefferson

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“Prepare for the Boom” is a series of columns that will appear over the next six months. A compilation of the series will be made available toward the end of the series. Dr. Ross is the publisher of Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County. To contact him email: RonaldDRoss@gmail.com

Read Tidbits Online T TrustTidbits.com


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Tidbits of Greeley & West Weld County

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Tidbits of Greeley - Issue 812