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TIDBITS® RESEARCHES CAREERS CUT SHORT by Kathy Wolfe

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The music industry has suffered many sad losses over the years. This week, Tidbits brings a sampling of those talented legends whose premature deaths resulted in promising careers cut short. • Baby boomers will recall Ricky Nelson as one of the biggest teen idols of the 1950s and 1960s. Starting out on his family’s television show “Ozzie & Harriet,” Nelson began his recording career in 1961 with the million-selling “Travelin’ Man,” followed by another chart topper “Hello, Mary Lou.” He was still recording in the 1980s with his Stone Canyon Band when he composed the hit “Garden Party.” As Nelson, his fiancée and band members were jetting to a New Year’s Eve 1985 performance, a fire caused by a malfunctioning heater broke out in their DC-3, and the plane crashed, killing the 45-year-old singer and several others • Soul singer Otis Redding recorded just one million-seller and No. 1 hit. Just three days after recording “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” in 1967, the 26-year-old Redding and his band boarded a plane in Wisconsin, encountered a storm, and crashed into Lake Monona. Four months later, the song hit the top spot on the charts.

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Seasonal Tidbits

OVERCOMING THE ODDS: FAMOUS DISABILITIES Several well-known people have been afflicted with serious disabilities but have risen above their circumstances to succeed. Let’s check out these individuals who have refused to allow their situations to overwhelm them. • When the flow of speech is disrupted by repetitions or hesitations, the speaker has the disorder known as stuttering or stammering. As chronicled in the 2010 Academy Award-winning film “The King’s Speech,” Great Britain’s King George VI suffered from the disorder and struggled until nearly age 40 when an Australian speech therapist enabled him to overcome it. Prime Minister Winston Churchill also stuttered due to a defect in his palate, yet went on to become one of history’s greatest orators. You’d never know from watching the “Die Hard” series of action films that Bruce Willis once had a stuttering problem. He signed up for high school drama as a means to overcome it. Actor Samuel L. Jackson’s speech therapist urged him to take up acting as well to overcome his stammering. Movie icons Jimmy Stewart and Julia Roberts also were afflicted with the disability. • Born six weeks prematurely, Stevie Wonder was blind as a result of the incomplete growth of his eyes’ blood vessels. Yet blindness didn’t stop him from signing his first record contract at age 12 and scoring a major hit at age 13. He has achieved more than 30 Top Ten hits and won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other solo artist. Wonder also took home the Oscar in 1984 for the Best Original Song “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Greatest Singers of All Time” has Wonder as number 9. Continued on page 11


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New Tool to Help Vets Find a Job

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a new online tool to help veterans who are looking for employment. Using the existing My HealtheVet portal, you’ll be able to see your Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) codes (or your service’s equivalent) and the experiences and skills they required. At present there are four apps (some developed by industries) that will translate that information into civilian job requirements and descriptions. You can also locate job openings using those skills. Your military training and experiences can be downloaded so you’ll have it in hand. Additionally, your information can be uploaded from the site to various online job search sites. You’ll need to use the MHV online access (www.myhealth.va.gov). If you’re already signed up for the health-care aspect of My HealtheVet, access is easy. If you don’t have a MHV account, you’ll need to appear at any VA medical center to go through the ID verification. Whether you’ll be able to access all the information about yourself depends on when you retired or were discharged. If that date was after 1980, you’ll have access to your MOS or classification codes. Some of you discharged between 1975 and 1980 will see your MOS, pay details and deployment periods. Post-9/11 veterans will only see deployment periods. In case you’re not signed up yet, My HealtheVet is your portal to view your medical information with the VA. If you’ve done the in-person authentication and started your account, you’ll be able to get wellness reminders, check your appointments, send messages to your health team (depends where you’re located), and use the “Blue Button” to download, print or view your medical information. To learn how to use MHV, go to www. myhealth.va.gov and click How to Use My HealtheVet, then click Take the My HealtheVet Virtual Tour. Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@ gmail.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


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TRIVIA PAGE

1. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Which youth group’s slogan is “Learn by doing”? 2. TELEVISION: Who was the German commandant of Stalag 13 in TV’s “Hogan’s Heroes”? 3. U.S. GOVERNMENT: Which state did Harry Byrd represent in the U.S. Senate for 32 years? 4. INVENTORS: Who was the inventor of the first practical process of photography? 5. MYTHOLOGY: Who was the Greek goddess Persephone? 6. HISTORY: What did Jack Ruby, who killed JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, do for a living? 7. SPORTS: When was the Stanley Cup first awarded? 8. THEATER: Tennessee Williams won a Pulitizer Prize for which one of his plays in 1948? 9. GEOGRAPHY: The city of Cartagena, Spain, lies next to which body of water? 10. EXPLORERS: What was the nationality of polar explorer Roald Amundsen?

- It was American journalist and satirist Ambrose Bierce who made the following sage observation: “There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don’t know.” - Those who study such things say that when a ladybug is frightened, it squirts a foul-smelling goo from its knees. - You might be surprised to learn that approximately 40 percent of the oxygen in the world’s atmosphere is provided by the verdant plant growth of South America’s Amazon River basin. - Mayan artwork dating back as far as 700 A.D. shows people preparing chocolate beverages. Chocolate was so valued by the natives of the Americas, the Maya even used cacao beans as currency. - For reasons that aren’t quite clear, in 1960 Macy’s department store introduced a vending machine that dispensed men’s underwear. After an initial flurry of shoppers coming to see the new contraption, the machine was doomed to obscurity due to lack of interest. - Here’s a question for the ladies: Are you a philematophobe? If you’re a woman who hates to be kissed, you are.

- On Jan. 9, 1493, Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three “mermaids” and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” They were in reality manatees. Mythical mermaids have existed in seafaring cultures since the time of the ancient Greeks. - On Jan. 14, 1639, in Hartford, Conn., the first constitution in the American colonies, the “Fundamental Orders,” is adopted. The Fundamental Orders declared that “the foundation of authority is in the free consent of the people.” - On Jan. 10, 1901, a drilling derrick at Spindletop Hill near Beaumont, Texas, produces an enormous gusher of crude oil, signaling the advent of the American oil industry. The geyser flowed at an initial rate of approximately 100,000 barrels a day and took nine days to cap. - On Jan. 15, 1919, two million gallons of fiery hot molasses floods the streets of Boston, killing 21 people and a dozen horses. The molasses burst from a 58-foot-high tank in the heart of the city. An 8-foot-high wave of molasses swept away freight cars, knocked over the local firehouse and pushed over the support beams for the elevated train line. - On Jan. 13, 1939, Arthur “Doc” Barker is shot and killed while trying to escape from Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay. Barker, of the notorious “Bloody Barkers” gang, was spotted on the rock-strewn shore of the island after climbing over the walls and tying pieces of wood together into a makeshift raft. - On Jan. 11, 1973, the owners of America’s 24 majorleague baseball teams vote to allow teams in the American League to use a “designated pinch-hitter” that could bat for the pitcher, while still allowing the pitcher to stay in the game. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. Name the female singer who had a hit with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” in 1962. 2. How did Quicksilver Messenger Service get its name? 3. Who released “My Fair Share,” and when? 4. Name the group that released “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and “Going to a Go-Go.” 5. Who wrote and sang “Stuck in the Middle” and when? 6. Shep and The Limelites are best remembered for what song?

- In 1958, then-Vice President Richard Nixon made a state visit to Venezuela. It seems he wasn’t terribly popular there, and one of the protesters spit on him. The Secret Service detained the man, and an irate Nixon kicked him in the shins. - Only about 37 percent of the newspapers published in the Unites States are recycled.

1. Is the Book of Sadducee in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From Genesis 3, whom did God ask, “Who told thee thou was naked”? Eve, Cain, Adam, Moses 3. What did Saul use a couple of times in attempts to kill David? Poison, Spear, Mallet, Sling 4. From Judges 8, what city refused to give food to Gideon’s army? Succoth, Thessalonica, Tarsus, Gaza 5. Why did David meet Goliath without armor? Faith in God, Not used to, Too poor to buy, Size not handy 6. Who was the mother of Gad and Asher? Jezebel, Anna, Rachel, Zilpah

- The next time you’re thinking about getting a new pet, consider this: Animal behaviorists say that a puppy can’t hold a memory for more than 45 seconds. - Researchers at Yale University have determined that people think more efficiently in the winter than in the summer.

Trivia Test Answers

1. 4-H 2. Col. Wilhelm Klink 3. Virginia 4. Louis Daguerre 5. Queen of the underworld 6. Ruby was a Dallas nightclub owner 7. 1893 8. “A Streetcar Named Desire” 9. Mediterranean Sea 10. Norweigan

Bible Test Answers: 1) Neither 2) Adam 3) Spear 4) Succoth 5) Not used to 6) Zilpah

Flash Back Answers

1. Connie Francis. The song was her last chart topper. She came close with a No. 7 in 1964 with “Whose Heart Are You Breaking Tonight.” 2. It’s all in the stars: Two members were Virgo, two were Gemini. Mercury rules those signs. Mercury’s other name is Quicksilver. Simple, no? 3. Seals and Crofts, in 1977. The song appeared on the soundtrack for the film “One on One,” but never made it higher than No. 28 on the Hot 100 chart. 4. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, in 1962 and 1965, respectively. 5. Stealers Wheel, in 1972 on their debut album. The song ended up in the film “Reservoir Dogs” in 1992. 6. “Daddy’s Home,” in 1961. The song is about coming home from war.


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Shoveling Snow Is Hard on Heart DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My husband is 73. I am sure he’s going to die this winter. He insists on shoveling our snow, and we have lots of it. He says it’s good for him; it gives him exercise. This from a man whose other exercise consists of popping open a beer can. He comes in after he’s cleared the walk, puffing and exhausted. Please talk some sense into him. -- M.L. ANSWER: After every snowstorm, city emergency rooms fill with older men who have had a heart attack after cleaning their snow-covered walks. Snow shoveling is strenuous exercise. It burns 420 calories an hour. The heart rate of a shoveler rises to 170 beats a minute, and the systolic blood pressure (the first number of a reading) exceeds 200. Of course, the demand depends on the depth and weight of the snow. Older hearts cannot support such stress. In addition to the work of shoveling, cold weather adds more demands on the heart. Unless a man your husband’s age has had medical clearance for such exhausting exercise, he is tempting fate. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: A friend has a case of constant hiccups. Can you suggest any possible cures? -- P.W. ANSWER: Hiccups come from involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, the horizontal muscle sheet that lies between the chest and the abdomen. It is the principal breathing muscle. Sometimes persistent contractions can be traced to gallbladder problems, diseases of the pancreas, reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus (heartburn) or an abscess on the abdominal side of the diaphragm.

However, most of the time, no cause is found. For temporary hiccups, gulping food and simultaneously swallowing air sometimes brings them on. So can carbonated beverages. Through the years readers have provided me with hundreds of home remedies for dealing with hiccups, and I welcome new additions. Swallowing a teaspoon of sugar irritates the throat, which sets in motion a reflex that can end hiccups. Breathing into a paper bag raises the blood carbon-dioxide level, which, in turn, raises blood acidity, and that triggers a release of calcium. Calcium can spark nerve signals to stop hiccups. Putting angostura bitters on the back of the tongue is another sometimessuccessful trick. Hiccups that last longer than 48 hours aren’t likely to respond to home remedies. Medicines have to be turned to. Chlorpromazine, omeprazole, metoclopramide and baclofen are often successfully used. In cases that are resistant to medicine treatment and that are disrupting a person’s life, doctors can interrupt, in a number of ways, the transmission of nerve signals conducted to the diaphragm by the phrenic nerve. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am 34 and have been jogging for 10 years. I do it yearround. I’ve noticed this winter that my knees feel stiff before I run. They don’t hurt during the run or after. Could this be a sign that I’m getting arthritis? -- B.C. ANSWER: It’s not likely that at age 34 you’re coming down with arthritis. It’s more likely a weather thing. Cold weather thickens joint fluid. That makes joints stiff. Warming the fluid by exercise relieves the stiffness. *** 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) 2011 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

That “Free” Lunch Could Cost Plenty Those free-lunch seminar scams are still going on. That’s because it’s lucrative for scammers. They want to separate you from your money, and too often they succeed. The American Association of Retired Persons has released a study on victims of scam seminars and other financial risks to seniors. The study showed that people who are more likely than the general population to fall for investment scams have the following behaviors: They will listen to sales pitches on the phone, attend promotions where a free night’s stay or a meal is given, provide personal information to salespeople, allow people to come into their home for a sales pitch, read junk mail, not hang up on telemarketers, and call 1-800 numbers to send for free information. In other words, they’re opening themselves up to being scammed. Even if one of these financial seminars is hosted by your local senior center or another trusted local organization, do your homework in advance. Call the center to ask who checked it out, and how. Go online and do a search for the company’s name. What are their true qualifications? Are they local? See if there are any complaints at the Better Business Bureau. And if you go to a free lunch seminar (don’t go, but if you do): Don’t fill out any forms that give your personal information. Even giving your telephone number could be a step toward being harassed. They’ll want to visit you at your home, where you’re more vulnerable and have all your financial information handy so they can determine how much you’re worth and decide how to fine tune their approach. And leave your checkbook at home. 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@gmail.com.

(c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Answers on page 14

- “If you are serving a moist cake, preserve the outside pieces by securing a slice of bread to both cut surfaces with toothpicks. The cake will not dry out, meaning every slice is a winner!” -- Ethel B. in Salt Lake City - To remove soot from your carpet, sprinkle it with salt, let sit and then vacuum. Repeat as many times as necessary to remove all traces. - Got extra mittens? If you do, you’ll love this tip from Natalie H. of Portland, Maine: “This year, after unpacking the winter clothes for the season, I noticed I had several pairs of mittens without matches. I use them to dust around the house. They work perfectly.” - Make doctor’s appointments on or near a major holiday every year. That way you don’t end up forgetting when your last annual exam or dental cleaning was. - Fashion mavens suggest using the rule of threes when purchasing clothing: Do not buy an item if you haven’t got at least three other pieces of clothing that will go with it. Another helpful hint for clothes shoppers: Try and buy on separate trips. Go window shopping without your wallet to try on items, then go back the next day for purchasing. Odds are you might change your mind on several items when given the opportunity to think about it. Plus, you can feel free to have fun trying on clothing without the pressure of actually purchasing. - If you store nail polish in the fridge, it will dry more quickly and last longer. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at heresatip@yahoo.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


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SPORTS OF SORTS NASCAR THIS WEEK By Monte Dutton Letting Fans Call The Shots

We all have lapses in judgment ... well, except maybe Drew Brees. Every Sunday, his name is a reliable one across the TV scroll -- 300-plus yards, five touchdowns and another win for the New Orleans Saints. It’s only natural that he gets a lot of talk when it comes to MVP consideration. I don’t consider him the MVP. I consider him a sick maniac that somehow figured out his craft in ways that should land him in a laboratory somewhere so he can be studied, the findings published in a journal. (Because he’s really good.) The other obvious MVP candidate -- and likely winner, in my estimation -- is Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the team that lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in week 14 (the Packers). Rodgers is the complete package in that he can throw and run, and throw while running. He’s levelheaded and accurate; he’s good in the beginning and good at the end. Then things start to get wacky. For whatever reason, there has been more talk about the MVP this year than in recent memory. I don’t remember it being such reliable water-cooler talk before ... not this consistently. Until his crappy game against the Redskins going down the stretch, I was pointing to Eli Manning. With Ahmad Bradshaw hurting and Brandon Jacobs a non-factor, it was Eli who kept the Giants in the playoff hunt. They have the league’s 29th-ranked defense as of this writing, so the other side of the ball hasn’t been much help. Overlooked, because it’s a boring story by now, is Tom Brady. As of this writing, New England has won six in a row, exposed their cartoonish rivals the Jets as wannabes and glided into the playoffs. The Patriots can be beaten, but don’t be surprised if you see Brady holding the Lombardi aloft yet again. Like the Giants, Brady’s stock goes up when you consider that the Pats are last in the league (as of this writing) in passing defense. But, nah, it can’t be Brady this year. And, though you’re not going to want to hear this, Tim Tebow is in contention. Come on, the Broncos weren’t going to be playoff contenders without him, it’s just that simple. Credit coach John Fox with making the offensive adjustments to accommodate the glorified fullback, but Tebow got the job done. And if you equate “value” with money, nobody sells more jerseys or had as great an impact on the bottom line of a franchise this year than Tebow. There would be riots if he won the MVP. But if we’re going to get really silly -- and honest -about things? This year’s MVP is Peyton Manning. The Colts went from Super Bowl contenders to the team that will draft Andrew Luck, all because he didn’t play a down this season. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter who lives in Kansas City. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at nascarthisweek@yahoo.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. Name the four N.L. pitchers to win the Cy Young Award in consecutive years. 2. It took just 1,303 innings for pitcher Kerry Wood to record 1,500 career strikeouts. Who held the mark for fewest innings to reach that mark before Wood? 3. Who holds the NFL record for most TD passes caught in a season? 4. Three No. 11 seeds have advanced to the NCAA Final Four in men’s basketball. Name two of them. 5. True or false: Until the 2010-11 NHL campaign, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Los Angeles Kings had never gone to the playoffs in the same season. 6. How many total medals did U.S. boxers tally in the Olympics between 2000 and 2008? 7. Who was the last senior golfer before John Cook (2010-11) to win the last tournament of one Champions Tour season and the first tournament of the next season?

Answers 1. Dan Uggla (2007-11). 1. Sandy Koufax (1965-66), Greg Maddux (1992-95), Randy Johnson (1999-2002) and Tim Lincecum (200809). 2. Pedro Martinez did it in 1,337 innings. 3. Randy Moss had 23 TD receptions for New England in 2007. 4. LSU (1986), George Mason (2006) and Virginia Commonwealth (2011). 5. True. 6. Seven medals (one gold, two silver and four bronze). 7. Gil Morgan, 1997-98.

And the Winner Is ...

Technically speaking, I’m really not a fan. It’s impossible to write about something and be a fan. To be a fan, I’d have to have outrageous expectations and jaded analyses. I have often been advised to “think like a reader,” which, given my small corner of the world, is similar to “think like a fan.” I try to do so. I mingle. I return emails. More than ever before, this task is made easier by the social networking of Facebook and Twitter. I hear from a lot of fans. I feel their pain and, quite commonly, their anger. So here’s my thinking ... about what fans are thinking. The racing of 2011 seems much better now than it actually was. The expectations for the next season are higher than they have any right to be. But it’s good and easy to have positive thoughts when no racing is actually going on. Naturally, the fans miss it. There are so many references to how many days remain between now and the Daytona 500, you’d think they were shopping days until Christmas. This is the very best time of the year to be a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Maybe things will be better. As long as things don’t actually get appreciably better, this sentiment will be the same every winter. Come to think of it, it probably doesn’t matter. If he wins the championship, they’ll want him to win 10 races and the championship. Then every race and the championship. Those who like any current driver named Busch believe the most important issue is their talent. Those who dislike drivers named Busch believe the most important issue is behavior. This, in a nutshell, is why behavior is so important. The overwhelming majority of fans desperately want something done about tag-team drafting at Daytona and Talladega. A vocal minority likes it just fine. Most of Tony Stewart’s detractors have either gone or gone silent. Those he hasn’t won over, he’s shut up. Other than an Earnhardt Jr. championship, the most popular item on wish lists is a fifth Jeff Gordon championship. The longer Jimmie Johnson goes without a sixth championship, the more popular he will become. This is unquestionably too high a price to pay. He will be more popular next year because a) for once he didn’t win, and b) his last name isn’t Busch.


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COMICS


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Put your business card ad here for 26 weeks; Long term advertising is the key. Call 704-9972 For details.

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• One crash took the lives of three rising stars in 1959. Considered a pioneer of rock and roll, 22-year-old Buddy Holly, only a year and a half into his career, had already scored hits “That’ll Be the Day” and “Peggy Sue.” He was on the “Winter Dance Party” tour in February of 1959 with 17-yearold newcomer Ritchie Valens, a teen idol who had just released “La Bamba,” and 29-year-old “Big Bopper” Richardson. The Bopper had recently scored a big hit with “Chantilly Lace.” The winter weather was bitter cold as the tour got underway, with the situation aggravated by a malfunction of the heater on their bus. After completing their gig in Clear Lake, Iowa, the group was due to play in Fargo, North Dakota, the following night. The Big Bopper had the flu, and Holly made the decision to charter a plane to Fargo. With limited seating on the Beechcraft Bonanza, they flipped a coin for seats. Valens won the toss. Bass player Waylon Jennings gave up his winning seat to the Bopper. Within minutes after takeoff, the craft crashed, killing all aboard. It was “the day the music died,” according to the 1971 Don McLean musical tribute “American Pie.”

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• The learning disability dyslexia impairs a person’s reading comprehension. However, it’s certainly not a reflection of lesser intelligence, since Albert Einstein was a famous dyslexic, as were inventors Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell and authors Lewis Carroll and Agatha Christie. In the entertainment industry, Tom Cruise, Orlando Bloom, Cher, Jay Leno, Danny Glover and Patrick Dempsey have all wrestled with dyslexia. Dempsey counts on memorization to help him with his disability. Henry “The Fonz” Winkler didn’t discover his dyslexia until he was 31 years old, ironically, while making a documentary about it. • Danny Glover has had to deal with not only dyslexia, but epilepsy as well, a condition he developed at age 15. The “Lethal Weapon” star has been a keynote speaker at the National Epilepsy Foundation’s conferences. It was the same double disability for Agatha Christie. This neurological seizure disorder also afflicted Charles Dickens and Alfred Nobel. Singer and guitarist Neil Young faced the obstacle of epilepsy, along with diabetes and polio. It didn’t seem to stop him from recording more than 50 albums.


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Puzzle and Game Answers

PASTA PARTICULARS Since pasta is one of the world’s favorite foods, it’s worth a look into some of its history, ingredients and statistics. • If you’ve eaten pasta this week, you’re part of the 77 percent of Americans who eat it at least once a week. One-third of the population dines on pasta at least three times a week. If you’re an average American, you’ll eat about 20 pounds of the stuff this year. But if you’re a resident of Italy, that figure is 60 pounds! • Not surprisingly, the word “pasta” has its origin in the Italian language, and translates “paste,” meaning a combination of flour and water. High-quality pasta comes from semolina flour, which comes from durum wheat. Using softer flour will result in mushy pasta. North Dakota is the top American producer of durum wheat, 73 percent of the U.S. total. That’s enough to dish up about 13.7 billion servings of spaghetti! One bushel of wheat yields about 42 pounds of pasta. Almost two million tons of pasta is produced in the United States every year. • Not all pasta is produced from wheat flour. Some varieties are made from rice, barley, corn and beans. • Explorer Marco Polo dined on pasta in China in the courts of Kubla Khan during the 13th century. It’s believed that the Chinese were eating pasta as early as 3000 B.C. • Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing pasta to America. During his tenure as U.S. Ambassador to France, he tasted a pasta dish while visiting Naples, Italy, and enjoyed it so much, he had crates of pasta and a pastamaking machine shipped to America in 1789. However, it wasn’t until 1848 that a Frenchman named Antoine Zerega opened America’s first commercial pasta plant in Brooklyn, New York. He used one horse in the basement to power the machinery and placed the strands of pasta on the roof to dry them out. • Don’t confuse pasta with egg noodles. Pasta is produced by kneading flour and water together. According to government regulations, egg noodles must be at least 5.5 percent egg in order to bear that label. The word noodle translates from the German nudel, meaning “paste with egg.” So if a noodle doesn’t contain eggs, it’s not a noodle! • There are about 600 different shapes of pasta, but its main types are flat (such as fettuccine and lasagna), tubular (manicotti, penne and macaroni), shaped (the wheel-shaped rotelle and bowties), strand pasta (spaghetti and angel hair), spirals (fusilli) and the small soup pasta. Those little bowties are officially known as farfalle. But this term doesn’t have anything to do with ties. It actually means “butterflies.” Ditaloni, also known as thimble pasta, is shaped like small cups, and stellini are starshaped, while anellini are tiny rings of pasta. The word linguine translates from the Italian word meaning “tongues,” and the very thin strand vermicelli means “little worms.”


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ShowBiz Weekly

CELEBRITY EXTRA By Cindy Elavsky

JILL JACKSON’S HOLLYWOOD By Tony Rizzo

PHOTO: Christopher Meloni Q: I really miss Christopher Meloni on “Law & Order: SVU.” Please tell me I can see him on another series or in a movie soon. -- Randi E., via e-mail A: You’ll be able to see Christopher as soon as this summer on the small screen when he makes his debut on the sixth season of HBO’s “True Blood.” Details are hush-hush, as it always is with “True Blood,” but according to executive producer Alan Ball, Chris will play “an ancient, powerful vampire who holds the fate of Bill and Eric in his hands.” For the big screen, you can see him sometime this year (a release date has not yet been announced) in the comedy “Awful Nice.” And in June 2013, he co-stars as Colonel Hardy in the new “Superman” film, “Man of Steel,” which also stars Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, and slew of other top-notch stars. *** Q: With Piers Morgan gone, will they be getting another judge for “America’s Got Talent,” or just stick with Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne? -- Callie H., Portland, Ore. A: In a move that is causing some controversy (when hasn’t controversy followed this man?), shock-jock Howard Stern has been tapped to be the third “Talent” judge. Said NBC exec Paul Telegdy: “Howard Stern’s larger-than-life personality will bring a thrilling new dynamic to ‘America’s Got Talent’ starting this summer. He’s a proven innovator, and his track record in broadcasting is truly remarkable. Howard is very passionate about this show and is fully committed to its future success.” *** Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at letters@cindyelavsky.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

PHOTO: Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulas, Sean Hayes

Top 10 Box Office

1. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13) Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law 2. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G) animated 3. Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol (PG-13) Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner 4. New Year’s Eve (PG-13) Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron 5. The Sitter (R) Jonah Hill, Ari Graynor 6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 (PG-13) Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson 7. Young Adult (R) Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt 8. Hugo (PG) Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz 9. Arthur Christmas (PG) animated 10. The Muppets (PG) Jason Segel, Amy Adams

Top 10 Video Rentals

1. Cowboys and Aliens (PG-13) Daniel Craig 2. The Hangover Part II (R) Bradley Cooper 3. The Help (PG-13) Viola Davis 4. Mr. Popper’s Penguins (PG) Jim Carrey 5. Super 8 (PG-13) Kyle Chandler 6. Friends With Benefits (R) Mila Kunis 7. The Smurfs (PG) Neil Patrick Harris 8. 30 Minutes or Less (R) Jesse Eisenberg 9. The Debt (R) Helen Mirren 10. Our Idiot Brother (R) Paul Rudd

Top 10 DVD Sales

1. The Hangover Part II (R) (Warner) 2. The Help (PG-13) (Buena Vista) 3. Cowboys and Aliens (PG-13) (Universal) 4. The Smurfs (PG) (Sony) 5. Mr. Popper’s Penguins (PG) (Fox) 6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (PG-13) (Warner) 7. Cars 2 (G) (Buena Vista) 8. Friends with Benefits (R)(Sony) 9. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (PG-13) (Warner) 10. Star Wars: The Complete Saga (PG-13) (Fox)

The cable station Antenna TV recently revived the old Three Stooges shorts. The Farrelly Brothers homage to “The Three Stooges” is being released in April by Sony Pictures, which just happens to own Antenna TV. Chris Diamantopoulas is Moe, “Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes is Larry, and “Mad TV’s” Will Sasso is Curly. This film won’t be like the 2000 TV film which had Paul Ben-Victor as Moe, “Sex and the City’s” Evan Handler as Larry and “The Shield’s” Michael Chiklis as Curly. That film was about how the Stooges were taken advantage of by Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn, who produced their black-and-white short films. This new film is about the characters in those shorts, with all the physical humor and slapstick. Added star power is provided by “Glee’s” Jane Lynch, “Modern Family’s” Sofia Vergara, “Dreamgirls” Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” Larry David and “Jersey Shore” stars Snookie and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. In true Farrelly Brothers fashion, they’ve crafted a vehicle that has the Stooges trying to save their childhood orphanage, inadvertently stumbling onto a murder plot and starring in a reality TV show. The trailers online look very funny, but can they sustain it for a full-length film? Even the Stooges would?ve done a double take at having to work with Snookie and The Situation! Hey Snookie, “pick 2 fingers!” Send letters to Tony Rizzo’s Hollywood, 8306 Wilshire Blvd., No. 362, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Issue 52 Vol XI Tidbits of North Idaho