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TIDBITS® ASKS READERS HOW’S THE WEATHER? by Kathy Wolfe

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“Nice weather we’re having” isn’t always a true statement! This week, Tidbits looks at rain, snow, wind and storms, bringing you the best and worst of several weather conditions from around the world. •“Rain, rain, go away” might be something the residents of Mawsynram, India, want to say. It’s the wettest place on earth, receiving over 36 feet (11 m) of rainfall every year. Antofagasta, Chile, on the other hand, receives less than a tenth of a millimeter of rain per year, and many years, receives none at all. •The community of Bagdad, California, had no rain for 767 days between October of 1912 and November of 1914. That’s two years and 37 days!

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• You may have heard of Chicago referred to as the “Windy City,” but it’s not the windiest city in America. That distinction belongs to Blue Hill Observatory, Massachusetts, with an average annual wind speed of 15.4 mph. Second place belongs to Dodge City, Kansas, with Amarillo, Texas, at No. 3. Chicago isn’t even in the top ten! About 27 percent of weather-reporting stations average higher annual wind speeds than Chicago.

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Seasonal Tidbits

FAMOUS LANDMARKS OF THE WORLD: GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL Nestled in the middle of downtown Manhattan is the impressive fortress Grand Central Terminal. Read along and learn more about this historical train station, a transportation hub for 750,000 people every day. •Although we usually call it Grand Central Station, its actual name is Grand Central Terminal. Grand Central Station is technically the name of the subway station located under the terminal. In terms of number of platforms, Grand Central is the largest train station in the world. There are 67 sets of tracks along its 44 platforms. About 7,500 people pass by the Terminal’s 42nd Street and Vanderbilt intersection every hour. • The current Terminal building is not the first to sit on the site. The first depot was the brainchild of railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt and was built on property he owned between 42nd and 48th Streets at a cost of $6.4 million, opening in 1871. A tragic train collision occurred in 1902 in a smoke-filled tunnel, killing 17 and injuring 38. Steam locomotives were immediately banned, and plans were made to tear down the station and construct a new terminal for electric trains. • Over the next 10 years, the old station was torn down and replaced in phases, and in 1913, the new Terminal officially opened, with more than 150,000 visitors on opening day. Boasting 75foot (22.9-m) windows and a massive marble staircase, it was an architectural masterpiece. The 125-foot-high (38-m) vaulted, domed ceiling featured a brilliant blue and gold mural of a constellation-filled sky. • The station’s famous four-sided clock has faces of opal and is valued today between $10 million and $20 million. The clock sits on a brass and marble pagoda, inside of which is a hidden spiral staircase that connects to the Terminal’s lower level.

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Make a Family of Readers in 2012

When I go to a friend’s house, I’m always scouting out the bookshelves or poking through piles of reading material on the coffee table or kitchen counter. It’s not that I’m that nosy, but I’ve discovered that I get to know my friends a little better when I see what they enjoy reading. What makes for a good book, newspaper or magazine, anyway? Each can be the promise of adventure, another point of view, a giggle, an alternative way of thinking. I especially love books that grab both myself and the child I’m reading with. If you popped by my house right now, you would find the striking, newly released “Puff, the Magic Dragon Pop-Up Book” (Sterling Children’s Books) on my end table. Paper engineer Bruce Foster animates the timeless lyrics page by page with amazing creativity. And when I joyfully share it with a child, I play the accompanying CD sung by Peter Yarrow of the familiar song I’ve known since childhood as we turn the pages and travel with Jackie Paper and Puff to the land of Honalee. Surely reading good books can enrich us all, no matter our age. But the extra benefits to kids go beyond the printed page. Watch children with a new book as they turn pages with anticipation and scan for things that surprise and intrigue them. Diane Lemke, an elementary principal and curriculum director, believes that reading is the river that runs throughout education and, ultimately, life. “The innately tactile nature of children is rewarded by practice interacting with covers and pages, eye-catching colors, pictures and letters in all shapes and sizes,” she says. “Books are like packages with interesting contents of patterns and sounds. When positive adult touch is paired with book time, a message is translated about the specialness of written words.” As you turn the calendar to 2012, and you feel from time to time you aren’t offering your children or grandkids enough food for thought or possibilities for learning, crack open a book together. Discover how books can unlock a world of thinking and learning in an enriched year of family reading and storytelling. Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday. com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page.

Arlington Report In early December, when the Wreaths Across America program put wreaths on graves at Arlington National Cemetery, I flashed back to the ongoing problem of the graves errors at the cemetery: unmarked graves, headstones with no remains, broken urns with scattered remains, graves with more than one person buried in them. The problems, it was thought at the time, could involve upward of 6,000 graves. Congress demanded that the Army “provide an accounting” of all the gravesites at Arlington. The recently completed report counted (three times) 259,978 gravesites and took digital photos to compare to 510,000 paper records. Of those, 195,748 graves had no discrepancies. But that left 64,230 with errors to be resolved. That’s fully one-quarter of the gravesites. Supposedly the “errors” involve misspelling of names and other inconsistencies. How then does that jibe with discovering multiple remains in one grave last year, or the 117 graves with no marker whatsoever, or the 94 markers with no remains? The report was padded with miscellanea. For example, one narrative went on for three pages citing the problems with the spelling of a Civil War-era wife’s name. But it’s what happens with those other 64,329 unresolved cases that we want to know about. What about those broken, dumped and scattered urns? And those headstones found dumped in a stream in Section 28 last year -- will they be returned to the proper gravesite? I’m lucky. Each year, in conjunction with the Wreaths Across America program, a friend visits my parents’ graves at Arlington. (Yes, they both served.) I get photos back and see instantly that the grave marker is still in good condition -- and that it’s still there. I cannot fathom the pain some relatives must feel when they learn that their loved ones aren’t buried where they believed they were. Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 328536475, or send e-mail to columnreply@gmail.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


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TRIVIA PAGE

1. ENTERTAINERS: Which actor?s birth name was Ramon Estevez? 2. MUSIC: What was the name of Smokey Robinson?s group? 3. INVENTIONS: Who is credited with inventing bifocal lenses? 4. PSYCHOLOGY: What irrational fear is manifested in peniaphobia? 5. LITERATURE: In which of Shakespeare’s plays does the character Shylock appear? 6. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: During which war did Harry Truman fire Gen. Douglas MacArthur? 7. HISTORY: When did Australia become a commonwealth nation, largely gaining independence from Britain? 8. ANATOMY: About how long are the intestines in an adult male? 9. FAMOUS QUOTES: What American psychologist/ philosopher once once said: ?Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.?? 10. MEASUREMENTS: Which month is named for the Roman festival of ritual purification?

During this election season, it might be good to keep in mind the following sage observation, made beloved humorist Will Rogers: “The American people are generous and will forgive almost any weakness with the exception of stupidity.” Mountain goats aren’t actually goats; they’re antelopes. Those who study such things say that a mosquito flaps its wings 1,000 times every second. If you’ve ever been to London -- or if you’ve seen a movie that was set there -- you might remember the iconic black taxicabs that are ubiquitous in that city; the high roofs set them apart from other vehicles on the streets. The headroom offered did once serve a purpose. When the cars were originally designed, top hats were still de rigueur for a properly dressed gentleman, and the high roofs allowed a man so attired to enter and leave the vehicle without knocking off his hat. You might be some ants can

surprised live more

to learn that than 15 years.

Yes, there’s a name for it. The next time you’re opening a bottle of wine, take a moment to consider the spiral part that is inserted into the cork: It’s known as a worm. Washington is the only U.S. state named for a president.

? On Jan. 28, 1855, the Panama Railway, which carried thousands of unruly miners to California via the dense jungles of Central America, dispatches its first train across the Isthmus of Panama. The track went through Panamanian jungle roughly along the route followed by the present-day canal. ? On Jan. 24, 1908, the Boy Scouts movement begins in England with the publication of the first installment of Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys. In September 1909, 10,000 Scouts showed up at the first national Boy Scout meeting in London. ? On Jan. 27, 1926, John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, gives the first public demonstration of a true television system in London. The “televisor” used mechanical rotating disks to scan moving images into electronic impulses, which were transmitted by cable to a screen. ? On Jan. 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., elects its first members: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson. The Hall of Fame has elected 296 individuals in all. ? On Jan. 23, 1968, the U.S. intelligence-gathering ship Pueblo is seized by the North Korean navy and charged with spying and violating territorial waters. Negotiations to free the 83-man crew of the U.S. ship took nearly a year. The crewmen reported horrific treatment at the hands of the North Koreans. ? On Jan. 26, 1979, “The Dukes of Hazard,” a television comedy about two good-old boys in the rural South and their souped-up 1969 Dodge Charger known as General Lee, debuts on CBS. The show was known for its car chases, stunts and General Lee, which had an orange paint job and a Confederate flag across its roof. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

Celebrated 19th-century French poet Arthur Rimbaud wrote for only a few short years in his late teens. Despite critical success, he gave up writing when he was 20 years old and spent the rest of his life as a soldier and a merchant. In medieval Japan, tients’ teeth with

dentists their

removed pabare hands.

1. Who was born Robert Allen Zimmerman? Name the first single he wrote and released. 2. Led Zeppelin ran into a small snag when the band flew into Singapore to do a concert. What happened? 3. Name the singer-songwriter who had a hit with “Crying.” 4. Which group released “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” and when? 5. Name the album with these two songs: “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” and “Fixing a Hole.” 6. Which group released “Where the Streets Have No Name” and when?

1. Is the Book of Amaziah in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From 1 Samuel 23, who asked God, “Shall I go and smite these Philistines”? Samson, David, Cyrus, Moses 3. How much dew (water) was on the fleece the first time Gideon put it out? Sprinkling, Cup full, None, Bowl full 4. From Proverbs 31, which king was taught sayings by his mother? Lemuel, Neco, Ben-Hadad, Jehu. 5. Which Psalms’ verse 12 contains, “We went through fire and through water”? 23, 66, 81, 130. 6. What is the total amount of chapters in Proverbs? 31, 41, 51, 61

Thought for the Day: “Television news is like a lightning flash. It makes a loud noise, lights up everything around it, leaves everything else in darkness and then is suddenly gone.” -- Hodding Carter (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

Trivia Test Answers 1. Martin Sheen 2. The Miracles 3. Ben Franklin 4. A fear of poverty 5. The Merchant of Venice 6. Korean 7. 1901 8. About 28 feet 9. William James 10. February (Februa) Bible Test Answers: 1) Neither; 2) David; 3) Bowl full; 4) Lemuel; 5) 66; 6) 31

Flash Back Answers 1. Zimmerman was Bob Dylan’s birth name. His first single, “Mixed-Up Confusion” backed with “Corrina, Corrina,” was released in 1962. 2. Singapore officials wouldn’t let them off the plane because of their long hair. The concert, in 1972, was canceled. 3. Roy Orbison, in 1961. He released a duet with k.d. lang in 1987, but it’s the original version that ranks No. 69 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. 4. The Ramones, in 1980. All members of the group took on “Ramone” as their last name, starting with Douglas Colvin, who became Dee Dee Ramone. 5. The Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1967. 6. U2, in 1987.


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Inner Ear Often Cause of Dizziness DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am 82 and in pretty good health except for a recent problem. During the day everything is fine, but when I lie down to go to sleep, the room starts to spin. It lasts about 10 seconds. Then if I turn my head to look at the clock, the dizziness returns. In the morning when I wake and turn my head again, the room spins. Do I have an inner-ear infection? How can this problem be fixed? -- J.C. ANSWER: Although I can’t give you 100 percent assurance, I can say on solid ground that you have benign positional vertigo, BPH. Vertigo is dizziness. BPH is not an inner-ear infection. It comes on just as you have written, with a change in the position of the head -- lying down, turning to the side or looking up to a cupboard shelf. The attacks are brief but disrupting. Crystals normally found in one part of the inner ear have migrated to another part. Moving the head activates the displaced crystals, and they send a message to the brain that brings on dizziness. The inner ear is not only for hearing; it’s also for balance. You can bring the crystals back to their original site through a series of movements called the Epley repositioning maneuvers. Sit on the side of a bed and bend your head to the shoulder on the side that triggers dizziness. Let’s make it the right side, so you can follow the instructions. If it’s the left, just change the direction. With the head turned to the right, lie down so your head projects off the other side of the bed.  

When dizziness stops, turn the head to the left side, with the left ear facing down. Next, roll over on your left side so the head faces down for 10 to 15 seconds. Finally, return to the sitting position with your head bent slightly down in front. You might have to repeat the procedure more than twice. If this is too confusing, have your family doctor or an ENT doctor put you through the motions. The booklet on vertigo explains the common causes of it and their treatment. To obtain a copy, write: Dr. Donohue -- No. 801W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 328536475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Why doesn’t the heart ever get cancer? I’ve never seen this question asked or talked about on TV. Blood feeds tumors, so it makes sense that the heart would be a target. -- C.V. ANSWER: Tumors do arise in the heart. A somewhat-common benign tumor is a myxoma. It can disrupt the flow of blood through the heart. Malignant cancers, ones that spread and grow rapidly, also arise in the heart. They are quite rare. A rhabdomyosarcoma is a malignant tumor of heart muscle. The blood contained in the heart doesn’t feed heart muscle. If it did, we’d never have heart attacks. Heart muscle is nourished by its own arteries. So are heart tumors. 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

Avoiding Hospital Readmissions Question: What’s worse than being admitted to the hospital? Answer: Being readmitted quickly after being released. Far too often, just when we’re out of the hospital, something happens and we’re right back where we started. It’s expensive, and those who study these things have looked at the reasons for frequent hospital readmissions. Here are some of the statistics from the Center for Studying Health System Change: --About 8 percent of adults go back into the hospital within a month, and one-third within a year. --One-third of us don’t see a doctor, nurse or anyone else within a month of being released from the hospital. After 90 days, 17 percent of us still haven’t seen a doctor. --Those of us who don’t see a doctor are at a higher risk for going back into the hospital, especially those who also have other medical conditions. The sicker the patient, the higher the rate of return. It doesn’t matter what kind of insurance we have. Researchers say new ways must be found to bridge the gap between the doctors and hospitals. At this point, even where there are programs and coordinators to manage the discharge process, it hasn’t changed the rate of readmissions. There’s one additional, potentially serious glitch: One-third of doctors did not have the final hospital report on patients who did come in. And if they did have them, the reports were incomplete, and new medications might not be listed. Here’s a suggestion to keep from being readmitted: When you leave the hospital, make a nurse write down your prescriptions and instructions for aftercare. The minute you get home, call your doctor. Make the earliest appointment possible, and take your instructions. 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

There’s a reason most refrigerators have more than one crisper drawer. Some items need to be stored separately. For example, keep apples and carrots in different compartments. The apples give off a gas that can give the carrots a bitter taste. Here’s a great tip from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. They can be hurt or even killed by the starting of the motor. Before you start your car in the morning (or any time of day, really) give your hood a nice, loud rap to give the cat a chance to escape. “To keep melting snow, mud and leaves out of your house and off of your floors, line a wide, shallow box bottom with plastic wrap or a kitchen-size garbage bag. Place the lined box near the front door to hold dirty shoes.” -- R.I. in Ohio Apply lemon juice to the cut surface of an apple to prevent browning. “Mix some salt with a little bit of water and rub the mixture over your hands for a few minutes to get rid of the smell of garlic or onions from cooking. Rinse under cold water.” -- J.J. in Nevada “I usually keep a small blanket in the car for spontaneous picnics with the kids in the spring and summer. Last week, when my son and I got into the car to run errands in the morning, the car was really cold, which is kind of unusual for where we live. So, I grabbed the blanket and my son snuggled in it until the heater was able to warm the car. I am glad I had it in the car already.” -- R.T. in Florida

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 Down a Few Pegs What a difference a year makes for Kurt Busch. A year ago he was driving a yellow Dodge from the legendary stable of Roger Penske and getting ready to win the Budweiser Shootout. Now he’s stuck trying to make the best of it with the middling team of James Finch. Finch’s Phoenix Racing has had its moments -- such as Brad Keselowski’s upset victory at Talladega in 2009 -- but it’s not a place Busch could possibly have planned to be. Busch’s wounds, by his own admission, were self-inflicted, but they had nothing to do with his driving prowess, which is considerable. The Las Vegas native, whose career rivals his brother Kyle’s in terms of both success and controversy, berated his crew chief and others via in-car radio. He had spats with writers. But what brought him down was an amateur video of his profane and snarky confrontation with beloved ESPN reporter Jerry Punch in the garage area of Homestead-Miami Speedway. It went “viral” on YouTube, and Kurt Busch learned the negative version of that particular cliche. Who would’ve believed that a talent as prodigious as Kurt Busch could be undermined mainly by words and not deeds? NASCAR is part of the sporting mainstream now, and with it comes unexpected consequences. Corporate image holds much more sway now than it did in, say, 1986, when the late Tim Richmond was in his prime. Nowadays a driver must not only be successful, but also marketable. Kurt Busch now says he has learned lessons he failed to learn earlier in his career. Corporate NASCAR’s response? “Prove it.” When Busch needed friends, he found he didn’t have many. Now he has to start over from somewhere near square one. He has to rebuild a career. At age 33, he still has plenty of time. If he can somehow lift Phoenix Racing’s performance in a tangible way, it will impress his detractors, even if it doesn’t convert them. Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at nascarthisweek@yahoo.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. Who is the San Diego Padres’ all-time leader in career home runs? 2. How many times has a Texas Ranger been named the A.L. Most Valuable Player? 3. When was the last time before the 2010 season that Green Bay and Chicago faced off in an NFL playoff game? 4. How many NCAA men’s basketball championships have the UConn Huskies won? 5. Name the first Eastern bloc player to skate in the NHL. 6. Which was the last team before the L.A. Galaxy in 2011 to win the MLS Cup after being the No. 1 seed entering the playoffs? 7. In 2011, thoroughbred Rapid Redux won his 20th consecutive race, topping the North American record held by two horses. Name either horse. Answers 1. Nate Colbert, with 163. 2. Six -- Jeff Burroughs (1974), Juan Gonzalez (‘96, ‘98), Ivan Rodriguez (‘99), Alex Rodriguez (2003) and Josh Hamilton (‘10). 3. It was 1941. 4. Three -- 1999, 2004 and 2011. 5. Jaroslav Jirik, with St. Louis in the 1969-70 season. 6. The Columbus Crew, in 2008. 7. Zenyatta and Peppers Pride.

Birth of a Footnote

Aaron Rogers was resting comfortably in what was supposed to be an essentially meaningless game for the playoff-bound Packers, who had flirted with an undefeated season before being shocked by the Chiefs in Arrowhead three weeks earlier. Besides, the Packers’ backup quarterback, Matt Flynn, had almost beaten the Patriots last season, tossing three touchdowns in 31-27 loss. So, with nothing on the line, Flynn decided to add himself into the footnotes of football history by shattering two of the Packers’ all-time passing records -- and the really cool ones, too. For on this day, on the frozen tundra, Flynn threw the ball 480 yards, slinging six touchdowns. That led me to pose a question to an old highschool friend: “Does this Flynn kid remind you of anybody we know?” The guy I sent the message to was Jeffrey Cuozzo, son of Gary Cuozzo. In 1965, Cuozzo, a free agent signed by the Baltimore Colts out of Virginia, was finally given his shot to start at quarterback. The legendary Johnny Unitas had the team playoff bound, riding in on a streak of six straight wins. Now sidelined with a severe back injury, it was time to see what Cuozzo could do. Cuozzo had played so little through the years that he actually went back to school to get a degree in dentistry. So there was skepticism in the air -- at least until Cuozzo replaced it with five touchdown passes. At the time, it was the single greatest performance ever for a first-time start. And even the great Unitas never passed for five touchdowns in a game. Unitas was back the next week, however, and he made it clear to Cuozzo he wasn’t going to retire anytime soon, so Cuozzo asked for a trade and got it. He became the first quarterback for the expansion New Orleans Saints and made the cover of Sports Illustrated. This time, expectations were high. The Saints went 3-7 their inaugural season and Cuozzo was traded again, this time to Minnesota, the team he had torched that first game in Baltimore. There, he again found himself mired behind another star quarterback in Joe Kapp, anchored to the bench. But in 1970, Cuozzo was given a chance to be the team’s starter and guided the “Purple People Eaters” to their first-ever NFC Central title. Despite a last-minute touchdown pass, the San Francisco 49ers bounced the Vikings in the first round, and Cuozzo bounced around the NFL for a few more years. Retired, he opened his dental practice and settled down to a cattle ranch in Middletown, N.J., where as kids, we would play on his football field (real goal posts!) or sled into the electrical fence surrounding the cow pasture (real dumb kids!). He watched his three sons quarterback the Middletown South Eagles (Jeff led them to a championship one year). Tragedy struck the family when his eldest son was murdered. But Cuozzo became a born-again Christian. As a drug counselor, he has helped turn things around for those in need for years, proving a local footnote can also become one of the local heroes, too.


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He can be any size and any color. If you find him, go to www.tidbitsinc.com Last week’s Answer On page 12:

• Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, experienced America’s strongest wind ever recorded, 231 mph (372 km/hr). But, based on averages, Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica, is the windiest place in the world. • Mt. Washington also has the second-highest average snowfall, about 260 inches a year (660 cm). Only Valdez, Alaska, ranks higher with 324 inches (823 cm). Back in 1911, Tamarack, California, received 390 inches — 32.5 feet (9.9 m) — of snow in one month! Over the course of that winter, 767 inches (19.5 m) of the white stuff fell on the community. •Lightning strikes the earth about 100 times every second, with each flash carrying over one billion volts. That’s enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for three months! In one short instant, the air surrounding the lightning flash is heated to a temperature five times hotter than the surface of the sun. Lightning will strike the United States about 25 million times this year. Five hundred of those flashes will strike the Empire State Building.

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• Also hidden below the Terminal is a train platform with a secret entrance and an elevator up to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It was used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to enable him to avoid reporters, moving him from his train directly to his hotel. Don’t expect to traverse his route, however, on your New York City vacation. The door to FDR’s secret elevator has been welded shut. • Perched atop the façade on the 42nd Street side of the Terminal is a 50-foot-high (15.2-m), 60-foot-wide (18.3-m) sculpture of Mercury, patron god of travelers. He is flanked by Hercules and Minerva. This was to symbolize the wisdom (Mercury), speed (Minerva) and strength (Hercules) of Grand Central. About 1,500 tons of Indiana limestone went into the creation of the sculpture, which was unveiled 18 months after the Terminal’s formal opening. It also features a clock at its center with a 13-foot (4-m) circumference. • In 1947, Grand Central hosted more than 65 million travelers, a number equivalent to 40 percent of the nation’s population. However, when traveling by rail declined in the 1950s, there was talk of demolishing the Terminal and replacing it with a 6-million-square-foot office building. New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission was responsible for saving the site by having it designated as a landmark. A complete renovation of the Terminal in 1994 restored it to its opening day grandeur.


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Puzzle and Game Answers

OLD WIVES’ TALES Lots of “wisdom” has been passed down from generation to generation that isn’t necessarily the truth. Check to see how many of these old wives’ tales you take as gospel! • Everyone’s mother said that going outside with wet hair will bring on a cold. Actually, viruses cause colds, and viruses tend to spread more easily indoors where people tend to congregate a bit more during cold weather. And will your eyes really stay that way if you cross them? Not at all! The eye disorder Strabismus, something that occurs in 4 percent of U.S. children, is responsible for that. • Did your mom also tell you that swallowed gum takes seven years to digest? While there are ingredients in gum that the body can’t digest, the wad moves through your digestive system and is eliminated within hours, or at the most, days. Large amounts of swallowed gum can, on rare occasions, cause an intestinal blockage. • In the old days when you burned your hand, most likely your mother smeared butter on it. Greasy substances actually hold in the heat, making the situation worse. Running your hand under cold water or using a cool cloth reduces the heat and can reduce the damage to the skin. Applying juice from an aloe vera plant is also a wise choice. • Can coffee stunt a child’s growth? No, not really, but that doesn’t make it a healthy choice. Too much caffeine in a child’s diet can hinder the absorption of calcium and other nutrients. •If you’re worried that allowing your children to play with toads will give them warts, remember that warts are caused by a virus that toads neither carry nor pass on. •Many old wives’ tales are related to women and their babies. For example, if a pregnant woman has frequent heartburn throughout the nine months, her baby will be born with a full head of hair. If that baby has light brown birthmarks, the mother drank too much coffee during her pregnancy. And who needs expensive ultrasounds to determine a baby’s gender? Folklore has other ways of figuring it out, such as suspending a wedding band from a thread. If the ring moves in a circular motion, the baby is a girl, whereas if it moves in a straight line or side to side, a boy is forthcoming. If the motherto-be craves salty foods, it’s a boy, while cravings for sweets and fruit indicate a girl. Moving gracefully throughout pregnancy is a sign of a girl, while becoming clumsy means a boy is on the way. •Got an itch? Old wives’ wisdom says itchy feet indicate you’ll soon be traveling, while an itchy nose means you’re about to kiss a fool. If the palm of your right hand itches, you’ll receive money soon, while an itchy left hand means you’ll lose some. • Don’t worry about spicy foods giving you an ulcer. While they may irritate an existing one, they don’t bring them on. Sixty percent of peptic ulcers are the result of a bacterial infection. Still others are caused by overuse of pain medications.


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ShowBiz Weekly JILL JACKSON’S HOLLYWOOD By Tony Rizzo CELEBRITY EXTRA By Cindy Elavsky

PHOTO: “Dr. Who” star Karen Gillan

Q: When I lived in Canada, there was a show on CTV called “Flashpoint.” Now that I am back in the States, I’ve been told I can catch it on TV here, but I haven’t found it. Can you help? -- Judy T., via e-mail A: All four seasons of “Flashpoint” have aired in the U.S. on Ion Television (check your local listings for channel info). The network recently announced that it has renewed “Flashpoint” for a 13-episode fifth season, which will begin shooting in February. CBS also aired the show here and there Ñ- as a midseason replacement or to fill an empty slot when needed -Ñ but the series has no set schedule on that network. “Flashpoint” centers on a highly skilled tactical team, trained in negotiating and getting inside the subject’s head to understand the emotional breaking point (the “flashpoint”) that triggered the crisis. The series stars Hugh Dillon, Enrico Colantoni and Amy Jo Johnson. Q: I have such a crush on Karen Gillan of “Doctor Who.” Can you tell me what else I can see her in? -- Jonathan F., Bangor, Maine A: The ravishing redhead, who plays Amy Pond in the hit sci-fi series, can be seen next month on Ovation television in the network’s first original movie, “We’ll Take Manhattan.” The movie -- which airs Saturday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. ET -- is set in the 1960s world of fashion photography and is based on a true story. It follows upstart photographer David Bailey as he persuades British Vogue to hire his unknown model and girlfriend, Jean Shrimpton (played by Karen), for a major fashion photography layout in Manhattan. Over the course of the shoot, they shatter every established rule of fashion photography, outraging Vogue fashion editor Lady Clare Rendlesham (played by Helen McCrory of “Harry Potter” fame). Q: A while back I remember reading on your website (celebrityextraonline.com) about a movie with Will Ferrell spoken entirely in Spanish. Is this still happening? -- Dave R., via e-mail A: The movie you are referring to is called “Casa de mi Padre,” which also stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Efren Ramirez. It is indeed in the style of the “telenovela” and is entirely in Spanish (with English subtitles for us gringos). The movie hits theaters March 16, and you can see the first trailer on the movie’s Facebook page and on YouTube (search “Casa de mi Padre”). 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.

Top 10 Movies 1. Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol (PG-13) Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner 2. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13) Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law 3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G) animated 4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (R) Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara 5. War Horse (PG-13) Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch 6. We Bought a Zoo (PG) Matt Damon, Colin Ford 7. The Adventures of Tintin (PG) Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis 8. New Year’s Eve (PG-13) Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron 9. The Darkest Hour (PG13) Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby 10. The Descendants (R) George Clooney, Shailene Woodley

Top 10 Video Rentals 1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13) James Franco 2. Colombiana (PG-13) Zoe Saldana 3. Cowboys and Aliens (PG-13) Daniel Craig 4. The Help (PG-13) Viola Davis 5. The Hangover Part II (R) Bradley Cooper 6. Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG) animated 7. Mr. Popper’s Penguins (PG) Jim Carrey 8. Super 8 (PG-13) Kyle Chandler 9. Friends With Benefits (R) Mila Kunis 10. Straw Dogs (R) James Marsden Top 10 DVD Sales 1. The Hangover Part II (R) (Warner) 2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13) (Fox) 3. Dolphin Tale (PG) (Warner) 4. The Help (PG-13) (Buena Vista) 5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (PG-13) (Warner) 6. The Smurfs (PG) (Sony) 7. Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG) (Paramount) 8. Cowboys and Aliens (PG-13) (Universal) 9. Colombiana (PG-13) (Sony) 10. Cars 2 (G) (Buena Vista)

PHOTO: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo in “The Artist” HOLLYWOOD -- We’ve barely recovered from the holiday season and now the award season is upon us. The forerunner for the Oscars has always been the Golden Globe Awards. The Globes split up some major categories, so this year there are 11 Best Picture nominees. There also are 10 nominees in all the Best Acting categories. It’s not widely known who votes for the Golden Globes. While the Oscars have 6,000 members voting, the Globes only have about 90 members, who write for publications all over the world. Now let’s look at the nominations: In the Best Picture-drama, we have “The Descendants,” “The Help,” “Hugo,” “The Ides of March,” “Moneyball” and “War Horse.” In the Best Picturecomedy or musical, we have “50/50,” “The Artist,” “Bridesmaids,” “Midnight in Paris” and “My Week With Marilyn.” Nominees for Best Actress-drama are: Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”; Viola Davis, “The Help”; Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”; Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”; and Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Best Actress-comedy or musical has Jodie Foster, “Carnage”; Charlize Theron, “Young Adult”; Kristen Wiig, “Bridesmaid”; Michelle Williams, “My Week with Marilyn”; and Kate Winslet, “Carnage.” Best Actor-drama has George Clooney, “The Descendants”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”; Michael Fassbender, “Shame”; Ryan Gosling, “The Ides of March”; and Brad Pitt, “Moneyball.” In the Best Actor-comedy or musical group, we have Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”; Brendan Gleason, “The Guard”; Joseph Gorden-Levitt, “50/50”; Ryan Gosling, “Crazy, Stupid, Love”; and Owen Wilson in “Midnight in Paris.” The supporting categories are not divided. Best Supporting Actress nominees are: Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”; Jessica Chastain, “The Help”; Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”; Octavia Spencer, “The Help”; and Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants.” Best Supporting actors are: Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”; Albert Brooks, “Drive”; Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”; Viggo Mortensen, “A Dangerous Method”; and Christopher Plummer for “Beginners.” Best Director nominees are: Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”; George Clooney, “The Ides of March”; Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”; Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”; and Martin Scorsese for “Hugo.” There are several multiple nominees, among them George Clooney for Best Actor and Screenplay for “The Ides of March”; Ryan Gosling, for Best Actor in both the Drama category and the comedy/musical category; Alexander Payne received nods for both directing and writing “The Descendants.” Jean Dujardin won the Best Actor award at The Cannes Film Festival for “The Artist,” in which he did not say a word! The film has six Golden Globe nominations, the most of 2011. The Golden Globes will be broadcast on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 15, and the Oscars will be shown by ABC on Feb. 26. I’ll save my picks for The Oscars ... let the best horse win this race! 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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