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August 19, 2010

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BEACHES by Rick Dandes

August: a perfect time for a wonderful end-of-summer family beach vacation. It’s a time-honored tradition where some of the best childhood memories are made. Everyone has their favorite sands, but when it comes to family-friendly options, not all are created equal. Tidbits picks some of the best beaches that parents, kids, honeymooners and surfers alike are guaranteed to love. • Located along the shore of Lake Huron, west of Owen Sound, Ontario’s Sauble Beach has been voted the best freshwater beach in Canada by Reader’s Digest readers. There’s a good reason for that: 11 km (6.8 miles) of sandy beach. Here, the water is shallow and warm making it a treat for young and old alike. • The 7 km (4.3 miles) of beaches within the Lesser Slave Lake provincial park in Alberta are simply stunning, offering white sand and inviting water. But Devonshire Beach here is truly something special, with rare sand dune ecology that goes back 1,500 years. It’s also the site of an annual sand building competition. For those who like beach views, hike to the Marten Mountain Viewpoint, within the provincial park. • Slave Lake in Alberta is a hub for recreation and activity when you’ve had enough of the tranquil peace of the provincial park. While you’re in the area, enjoy the Riverboat Daze, the Lesser Slave Lake Song Bird Festival and annual fishing tournaments. • Nova Scotia’s Northumberland Shore offers some of the warmest waters north of the Carolinas. Melmerby’s sandy beach is one of the finest beaches in the province and a fantastic seaside destination. turn to page 5 for more Beaches!

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August 19, 2010

Music Legend

“I don’t count!”

DAVID BOWIE

Glam rock icon David Bowie was born David Robert Jones in Brixton, London, on January 8, 1947. He shares the same birthday as Elvis Presley. He changed his last name from Jones to Bowie because he didn’t want to be confused with Davey Jones of the Monkees. No one would confuse the two today! • Rock guitarist Peter Frampton was Bowie’s friend at school; Frampton’s dad was head of the art department. He’s gone on to play guitar with Bowie many times in his career. • David Bowie was a man ahead of his time. He was always extremely theatrical, and he studied mime to portray his music in a different way from many of the 1960s bands. He believed the future of music would be a combination of acting and video. This would appeal to a greater audience. • At the age of 17, Bowie was interviewed on a BBC program as the founder of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men. He complained: “It’s not nice when people call you darling and that.” • Around the time of Bowie’s 1975 “Young Americans” album, Chic founder Nile Rodgers auditioned to play guitar in Bowie’s band. He didn’t get the part. • The original cover of “The Man Who Sold the World,” showing Bowie in a dress, was banned in the United States. The cover that replaced it was of a man with a shotgun in front of a building. The building is a drawing of the Cane Hill Mental Hospital where Bowie’s brother Terry was a patient. • The fictional character of Major Tom has appeared in three Bowie hit albums: “Space Oddity” (1969), “Ashes to Ashes” (1980) and “Hallo Spaceboy” (1996). • His hit “Ziggy Stardust” is about Vince Taylor, who wrote “Brand New Cadillac,” later covered by The Clash. • Most often thought of as a solo artist, Bowie has been in 10 bands: The Konrads, The Hooker Brothers, The King Bees, The Manish Boys, The Lower Third, The Buzz, The Riot Squad, The Hype, Tin Machine and Tao Jones Index. (Some of these have performed under other names). • Bowie has collaborated often in his career. Bing Crosby recorded his last single with David Bowie. Their duet version of “The Little Drummer Boy” was recorded for Christmas 1977. It was a hit five years later. • Toni Basil of “Oh, Mickey” fame worked as Bowie’s choreographer on his Diamond Dogs tour in 1974. She later worked on his Glass Spider tour of 1987. • He’s also branched into acting. Bowie appeared as Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s movie “The Last Temptation of Christ.” • Bowie now owns a company called UltraStar, which designs websites and is also an ISP. The company has done the websites for two American baseball teams, The New York Yankees and The Baltimore Orioles. • Bowie draws, paints, sculpts and writes in his spare time. His favorite artists are Tintoretto, John Bellany, Erich Heckel, Picasso and Michael Ray Charles.

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TOP TEN MOVIES 1. The Other Guys (PG-13) Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg 2. Inception (PG-13) Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe 3. Step Up 3D (PG-13) Adam G. Sevani, Sharni Vinson 4. Salt (PG-13) Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber 5. Dinner for Schmucks (PG-13) Steve Carell, Paul Rudd 6. Despicable Me (PG) animated 7. Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (PG-13) James Marsden, Nick Nolte (voices) 8. Charlie St. Cloud (PG-13) Zac Efron, Charlie Tahan 9. Toy Story 3 (G) animated 10. The Kids Are All Right (R) Julianne Moore, Annette Bening

PICKS OF THE WEEK Unless you’re champing at the bit to get “Marmaduke” on DVD, there really aren’t any notable movie releases this week. However, we are on the cusp of Back to School season, so to get you in the mood, here’s a list of some of classic school movies you might want to revisit: “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (Unrated) -- Robert Donat won the Best Actor Oscar in 1939 (beating out James Stewart, Clark Gable and Laurence Olivier) for his performance as the headmaster of an English boarding school. “Goodbye Mr. Chips” tells the story of Mr. Chipping, spanning his 50 years at the fictional school, from his first day as an unsure Latin teacher to a wizened old headmaster beloved by thousands. The enchanting Greer Garson made her first film appearance as Chipping’s young wife, who tragically dies in childbirth. Although the film can be a little heavy-handed with sentimentality, it is a heartwarming and entertaining movie from Hollywood’s Golden Age that still holds up today. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (Rated R) -- Before John Hughes showed up and ruined the teen movie genre (yeah, I said it!), there was “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” -- a film more true-to-life than anything that hack ever churned out. It also launched the careers of Cameron Crowe, Amy Heckerling, Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold and Jennifer Jason Leigh. And let’s face it, most guys from my generation saw that movie at least 10 times just for that scene with Phoebe Cates coming out of the swimming pool wearing that awesome red bikini. “Rock ‘N’ Roll High School” (Rated PG) -- The Ramones bring down Vince Lombardi High School with the Power of Their Rock in this low-budget Roger Corman cult classic.

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The acting is horrible, the jokes are cheesy, but it doesn’t matter. The movie has such a frantic, anarchic energy to it that you can’t stop watching. “National Lampoon’s Animal House” (Rated R) -The movie that spawned a thousand high-school cafeteria food fights and made John Belushi a movie star, “Animal House” is the greatest college comedy ever made. Its story about a fraternity of losers, slobs and outcasts getting revenge on the snooty rich kids has been used as a template for hundreds of films ever since. “Back to School” (Rated PG-13) -- How can I do a Back to School feature and NOT include this Rodney Dangerfield comedy classic? Rodney stars as Thornton Melon, a rich guy who returns to college in order to get closer to his son. He’s so rich he gets NASA and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. to do his homework for him. But Melon’s hijinks have a price, and he learns there are some things money can’t buy.

TOP TEN VIDEO, DVD of August 14, 2010 Top 10 Video Rentals 1. The Bounty Hunter (PG-13) Jennifer Aniston 2. Cop Out (R) Bruce Willis 3. The Losers (PG-13) Jeffrey Dean 4. Hot Tub Time Machine (NR) John Cusack 5. Brooklyn’s Finest (R) Richard Gere 6. The Crazies (R) Timothy Olyphant 7. Our Family Wedding (PG-13) Forest Whitaker 8. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (PG) Pierce Brosnan 9. She’s Out of My League (R) Jay Baruchel 10. Green Zone (R) Matt Damon

Top 10 DVD Sales 1. Cop Out (R) (Warner) 2. Losers (PG-13) (Warner) 3. The Bounty Hunter (PG-13) (Sony) 4. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (PG) (20th Century Fox) TV SERIES 5. The Runaways (R) (Sony) “House” The Complete Sixth Season 6. Hot Tub Time Machine (NR) (20th Century “Sons of Anarchy” Season Two “The Vampire Diaries” The Complete First Season Fox) 7. Avatar (PG-13) (20th Century Fox) “Brothers & Sisters” Complete Fourth Season 8. Alice in Wonderland (PG) (Buena Vista) “NCIS: Los Angeles” The First Season 9. The Book of Eli (R) (Warner) “Thriller” The Complete Series 10. Our Family Wedding (PG-13) (20th Century Fox)


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¥ Conservative author and commentator William F. Buckley Jr., a graduate of Yale University, once made the following controversial remark: “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.” ¥ The first auctions in recorded history were held in 450 B.C. in Babylon. Sadly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the items up for sale were humans. ¥ The Goodyear company, known today for its automobile tires, was originally founded to produce rubber clothing and, oddly, musical instruments. ¥ Ellen Axson Wilson is reported to have exchanged approximately 1,400 love letters with her husband, President Woodrow Wilson, during their marriage. ¥ You might be surprised to learn that in 1952, the CIA conducted a study of UFO sightings, and concluded that the objects were a threat to national security. The report stated, “the reports of [sightings] convince us that there is something going on that must have immediate attention.” ¥ If you’re family is like one-third of families across the country, you have a Scrabble game in your home. ¥ It’s been reported that the world’s oldest piece of chewing gum is more than 9,000 years old. After that long, though, I wonder how they could tell what its original use was. ¥ Experienced boot makers reportedly can get three pairs of the footwear out of a single ostrich hide. Thought for the Day: “I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” -- Mark Twain

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BEACHES (continued):

• Qualicum Beach of British Columbia, is one of the “grande dames” of Canadian seaside destinations and a traditional beach resort town. Its location and sandy beaches make it a popular spot for swimming and beachcombing. It offers lovely views of the Strait of Georgia, the Texada and Lasqueti Islands, as well as the Coast Mountain Range. • Brackley Beach, located in Prince Edward Island National Park, offers long stretches of pristine sandy beaches and majestic dunes of the sort that enthusiasts of the “Anne of Green Gables” miniseries are sure to recognize. But look for conservation measures along the dunes: unique flora and fauna are protected by National Parks’ initiatives all along the shoreline. • Set against verdant old-growth forests and punctuated by giant rock monoliths, including Haystack Rock, quaint and kid-friendly Cannon Beach lies just 80 miles (129 km) west of Portland, Oregon. While the Pacific waters here are often too cold for swimming, kite flying, along with tide pooling and sandcastle building, reign supreme on this wide sandy shore. The kites sold at the town’s weathered cedar-clad shops make the perfect summer vacation souvenir. • Eastern vacationers flock to Cape May every summer. Victorian-house-lined streets might not be what comes to mind when you think of going “down the Shore,” but this National Historic District in southern New Jersey is full of surprises. Indeed, while Cape May has the beautiful expanse of beach and requisite ice-cream shops for visitors, it also boasts boutique hotels, horse-drawn carriage rides and a top-rated, seafood-centric culinary scene bound to please grown-ups. • It’s no wonder that after all these years the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts still lures families in droves. After all, aren’t vast beaches, pounding surf and fried seafood what vacation dreams are made of? But of all the Cape’s beaches, the National Seashore’s Coast Guard Beach stands out, not only for the large waves begging to be body surfed, but also for its educational and natural attractions. • The City of Myrtle Beach is in the center of what is called the Grand Strand, a 60-mile (97 km) strip of beach on the South Carolina coast. In the last 25 years, Myrtle Beach has developed into one of the premier resort destinations on the east coast. Continued on page 7!

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BEACHES (continued)

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• Daytona Beach’s 23 miles (37 km) of sparkling Florida sand promise plenty of surfside fun to keep the kiddies content, plus a plethora of off-beach activities to keep them occupied away from the sun. Wildlife excursions on the Halifax River and the nearby Marine Science Center offer eco-education, while the race-car simulator at the Daytona 500 Experience thrills adults and kids alike. • Hilton Head Island’s 12 miles (19 km) of South Carolina beachfront are child-friendly indeed, with shallow waters, gentle waves and sand dollar-dotted shores. Watch the water for a while, and you’ll likely spot frolicking pods of dolphins; you can even see the smiling mammals up close by chartering a dolphin cruise. • If your family is more trendy than traditional, look no further than Newport Beach in Southern California. Frequented by sunbathers, surfers, and yes, families, miles upon miles of sand-castle-ready beach are open to the public. • The crescent-shaped beaches of Hawaii’s Poipu Beach Park, on Kauai’s sunny south shore, are tailor-made for families. Toddlers can splash safely in a calm and shallow cove; teenagers can take surfing or body-boarding lessons near a reef; and while dad is out hitting drives on one of two championship golf courses, mom and the kids can snorkel in the crystal-clear Pacific, swim with green sea turtles, and snap photos of dolphins and endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals. • Large numbers of seashells are yours for the picking on Sanibel Island, known as one of the country’s top destinations for this family-friendly activity. This spot on Florida’s Gulf of Mexico has all the ingredients for a kid’s dream vacation – soft white sand, gentle surf and shallow water – plus the educational possibilities that parents love. • There is no doubt that Australia has some of the best beaches and best waves, which of course are the perfect ingredients for a surfer. Gold Coast City is in the southeast corner of Queensland and is well known for its sunny subtropical climate and surfing beaches. It has been called a surfer’s paradise. • In the Eastern Cape province of South Africa is one of the most famous surfing destinations in the world. It is especially great during the winter months, when surfers come in droves for a great ride on beaches like Super Tubes, Boneyards, Kitchen Windows, Magna Tubes, Point and Albatross.

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4-

Cat’s Aim Is Off the Mark DEAR PAW’S CORNER: We adopted a 2-yearold spayed female cat. “Trudy” has a problem when she pees in her litter box. She tends to spray over the top of the box. Someone suggested a covered cat box, so I found two at garage sales. She still pees to the back, and the pee drips down the back of the box where it clips on. Why is she doing this? I use litter she likes. Is this just a habit, or should I take her to the vet and get checked out? We really don’t want to take her back just because of this. She is so sweet. Is there anything else we can do? -- Linda D., via e-mail DEAR LINDA: It’s always worth a trip to the veterinarian just to rule out any health problems. If Trudy checks out OK, there may not be much else to do after that. I’ve seen cats before that sprayed over the top of their litter boxes. In one case it was a dominant male in a three-cat household that clearly wanted everyone to know this was his box. He refused to use a covered box and would pee outside of the one that was installed, so his owner put the old box back and built a splashguard -- cardboard wrapped with foil -- that drained back into the litter box. That cat loved spraying on the splashguard all the more because of the sound of water hitting the tinfoil. Trudy does not appear to have this problem. She’s not refusing her litter box, which is very good. Don’t take her back because of this minor issue. If the veterinarian doesn’t find anything wrong, continue to rinse the litter box top after every cleaning, and perhaps rig a splash-guard system that prevents the urine from collecting in the rim.

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