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April 7, 2011

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Volume 2011- 14

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TIDBITS® HAS SOME FUN

SCOOTING AROUND by Patricia L. Cook

Now that the weather is warming, and spring is officially here, you probably have noticed more twowheeled vehicles on the streets. Let’s explore the popular rides called “scooters.” Most of them don’t go very fast, but they sure go a long way on one tank of gas!

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• The first powered two-wheeled vehicles that were the predecessors to motor scooters and motorcycles were patented in Munich, Germany, in 1894. Hildebrand & Wolfmueller used a twin cylinder watercooled engine and a step-through frame. • Some of the first scooters in North America were made by Cushman in Nebraska. They were used by the Army, Navy and Air Force in World War II and included an airborne model made to be dropped by parachute. Cushman manufactured motor scooters from 1936 until 1965. • Another scooter introduced in 1936 was the Salisbury Motor Glide. Built in Pomona, California, it was fully equipped with a horn, lights and collapsible handlebars. The 1938 models had the first automatic transmissions. From 1947-1950, Salisbury sold the very popular model 85 Super Scooter, believed to be the world’s first maxi scooter. The sleek model could reach 50 miles per hour (80.5 kph) and is a sought after collectible today. turn to page 5 for more Scooting Around!

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OVERCOMING THE ODDS:

THEODOR SEUSS GEISEL

Born in 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts, Theodor Seuss Geisel credited his mother with his ability and desire to create rhymes. Better known as Dr. Seuss, he rhymed his way into hearts all over the world.

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• The first account of Theodor (Ted) signing his writing as “Seuss” was while he was a student at Dartmouth College. He was editor-in-chief for the campus humor magazine, Jack-O-Lantern until the editor job was taken away because of a drinking party he and some friends held on campus. This was not only against school policy but against prohibition laws at the time. After losing his editor position, he continued to write for the magazine signing his articles as “Seuss.” Geisel was quite the mischievous character, which can be easily deduced by the nature of his books. • Geisel attended Oxford University in England after graduating from Dartmouth, mainly to please his father who wanted him to become a college professor. Academics bored him so he decided to tour Europe instead of attending classes. While touring, he met Helen Palmer who became his first wife. She was a children’s author and editor and encouraged his creative genius. • When Geisel returned to the United States with Helen, he pursued a career as a cartoonist. Some of his early work was published by The Saturday Evening Post and other publications. To make ends meet, the bulk of his early working years was spent creating advertising campaigns for Standard Oil, which he did for more than 15 years. • Geisel’s “big break” into children’s literature came after Viking Press contracted with him to illustrate a collection of children’s sayings in a book titled “Boners.” • The first book that Geisel published with his original writing and illustrations was “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.” His persistence played a big role in his success. The book was rejected 27 times before Vanguard Press accepted it for publication. • After that book, he became known and loved as Dr. Seuss and went on to publish many more children’s books. There have also been animated movies, television specials and even Broadway musicals of his work. • One of Dr. Seuss’ most popular books came along as a result of educators’ dislike of boring early reading primers. “The Cat in the Hat” was published in a joint venture between Houghton Mifflin and Random House when Dr. Seuss was asked to write and illustrate a book that would be interesting to children and use only words from a “new reader” word list. The book delighted everyone. • By the way, Dr. Seuss would frequently wear a hat from his interesting collection while he was working — He called them his “thinking caps.” • Dr. Seuss’ books have been translated into more than 15 languages, and over 200 million copies are scattered in homes all over the globe. He won many awards for his work, while living and after his death. In May 2002, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden was unveiled in Springfield, Massachusetts. His step-daughter, Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, was the sculptor for the fun bronze artwork of Dr. Seuss and his most famous characters. • Dr. Seuss’ first wife, Helen, died in 1967, and he married Audrey, who also encouraged him in his work. He died on September 24, 1991, but generations of children still laugh and rhyme their way through the wonderful books of Dr. Seuss.

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PICKS OF THE WEEK “The King’s Speech” (R) -- Colin Firth stars as Britain’s King George VI, who, following the death of his father (Michael Gambon) and the abdication of his brother Edward (Guy Pearce), is in a spot of bother. It appears our reluctant monarch has a bit of a stammering problem, old bean, and must overcome it. Enter Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), an Australian self-taught speech therapist, whose methods are, shall we say, unorthodox. Despite divisions of class, the two form a lifelong bond, and the King overcomes his impediment in the nick of time to give the most important speech of his life on the eve of World War II. I expected “The King’s Speech” to be another slow-paced costume drama, but was pleasantly surprised that it moved at a quick pace. The performances by the entire cast were brilliant, and there were more than a fair share of humorous moments. Highly recommended. Pip-pip and all that. “Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster” (R) -Donnie Yen stars once again as Ip Man, the kung-fu legend who developed the Wing Chun style of martial arts and was mentor to Bruce Lee. This sequel continues the story of the grandmaster as he moves to Hong Kong to open a kung-fu school, but faces opposition from Master Hung (Sammo Hung), the leader of a group of corrupt masters, leading to a fierce battle between Ip and a Western-style fighter named Twister. Although not as awesome as the first film, “Ip Man 2” is still a great martialarts movie, especially if you love old-school, down-and-dirty fighting styles.

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TOP TEN MOVIES 1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (PG) Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn 2. Sucker Punch (PG-13) Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens 3. Limitless (PG-13) Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro 4. The Lincoln Lawyer (R) Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe 5. Rango (PG) animated 6. Battle: Los Angeles (PG-13) Aaron Eckhart, Bridget Moynahan 7. Paul (R) Simon Pegg, Nick Frost 8. Red Riding Hood (PG-13) Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez 9. The Adjustment Bureau (PG-13) Matt Damon, Emily Blunt 10. Mars Needs Moms (PG) Seth Green, Dan “Tokyo Gore Police” Unrated Blu-Ray Edition -- Fogler Warning: Watching this movie will mess you up for life. It is one of the most gory, sick and twisted films to come out of Japan. So, hooray for it finally com- TOP TEN VIDEO, DVD of April 2, 2011 ing out in high-def. Set in the not-too-distant future, the film stars Eihi Top 10 Video Rentals Shiina (“Audition”) as Ruka, the daughter of a high- 1. The Fighter (R) Mark Wahlberg ranking police officer. Her father is murdered by 2. The Switch (PG-13) Jennifer Aniston a gang of criminals who have been modified into 3. Due Date (R) Robert Downing Jr. super-creatures, their bodies mutilated and “bio- 4. Hereafter (PG-13) Matt Damon fused” with weaponry by psychopathic engineers. 5. The Next Three Days (PG-13) Russell In order to solve the case and avenge her father’s Crowe death, Ruka must do battle with this mob of abomi- 6. Faster (R) Dwayne Johnson 7. Love and Other Drugs (R) Jake Gyllenhaal nations. 8. Jackass 3 (R) Johnny Knoxville 9. Unstoppable (PG-13) Denzel Washington 10. Megamind (PG) animated

TV SERIES

Top 10 DVD Sales 1. Jackass 3 (R) (Paramount) “Glee Encore” 2. Megamind (PG) (Dreamworks) “The Ernie Kovacs Collection” 3. Due Date (R) (Warner Bros.) “American Dad!” Vol. 6 4. The Next Three Days (PG-13) (Lionsgate) “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” The Complete Sixth 5. The Walking Dead: The Complete First SeaSeason son (NR) (Anchor Bay) “Captain Planet and The Planeteers” Season One 6. Faster (R) (Sony) “Howe and Howe Tech” 7. Burlesque (PG-13) (Sony) “Shaun the Sheep: The Big Chase” 8. Megamind Double Pack (PG) (Dreamworks) “Lone Ranger” Compilation 9. Morning Glory (PG-13) (Paramount) “One Piece” Season Three, Fifth Voyage 10. Unstoppable (PG-13) (Fox) “Darker Than Black” Complete Season One


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¥ It was French novelist, essayist and critic Marcel Proust who made the following sage observation: “There is nothing like desire for preventing the things one says from bearing any resemblance to what one has in one’s mind.” ¥ The city of Denver holds the distinction of being the first major metropolitan area to allow women to vote in elections, back in 1893. ¥ Connectivity may finally be going too far. Way too far. Beyond death, even. It seems that someone has now invented the solar-powered eTomb, a headstone that stores information from the deceased’s social networking sites. Visitors to the grave can use a laptop or a smartphone to download photos, blog posts and even videos via a Bluetooth connection. ¥ Famed screenwriter and director Woody Allen started his career in show business in the 1960s as a writer for the TV series “Candid Camera.” ¥ In a traditional Moroccan wedding, the bride must be purified in a milk bath and have her hands and feet painted with henna before the ceremony. ¥ A man named Stephen Burns holds a rather odd world record: He managed to hitchhike through all of the contiguous 48 states in less time than anyone else -- 26 days and 6 hours. ¥ You might be surprised to learn that the largest supplier of foreign oil to the United States isn’t Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq or Kuwait. In fact, we buy more of our oil much closer to home: from Canada. ¥ Between 70 percent and 80 percent of all the world’s fresh water is frozen, stored in Arctic and Antarctic glaciers. ¥ Not all black bears are black; individuals in some populations around the world can be brown, white, cinnamon or even blue.

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SCOOTING AROUND (continued):

• During and shortly after World War II, the Cushman Scooter Company was the main manufacturer of scooters, and they were producing about 300 scooters a day. In the post-war world, scooters were very popular because they were economical. Japan, France and Italy started making their own models. • The U.S. Department of Transportation definition for a scooter is a motorcycle that has “a platform for the operator’s feet or has integrated footrests,” and has a “step-through architecture.” • Scooter owners and admirers sometimes refer to scooters as “putt-putts!” In countries where cars and gas are very expensive and in cities where parking is a problem, scooters are all over the place. • Problems with scooters in the early years discouraged some buyers: They had loud two-stroke engines, they were known to have parts fall off, and they didn’t last very long. In spite of these problems, the companies did a good job selling them with advertising that made them look like must-haves for “cool” people. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck fell in love while riding a Vespa in the movie “Roman Holiday.” Scooters were romanticized as much as horse-drawn carriages. • Vespa is the brand name for scooters built by the Piaggio Company in Italy whose production started in 1946. They produced 2,484 Vespas in their first year; the second year production jumped to 10,535, and almost 50 years later, in 1994, Piaggio built over 10 million of the fun machines. So, where did they get the name? Vespas make a buzzing sound like a wasp — the Italian word for wasp is “vespa.” Many people tend to call all scooters Vespas. • The Piaggio Company was one of several former military aircraft companies that started producing scooters after World War II. Its Vespa was ahead of its time with many new features. It had easyto-change tires, a hidden engine that cut down on noise and messiness, and its parts were better protected from the elements. These machines were seen as more durable and desirable. By 1960, Vespas were being manufactured in Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, France, Spain and still in Italy as well. Continued on page 7!

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Tidbits Banners Effective and Affordable way to Advertise Your Business! Call Now! 208-704-9972 SPORTS QUIZ

LITTLE RED WAGONS

TRIVIA

1. In 2010, the Florida Marlins’ Jorge Cantu set a record with at least one hit and one RBI in the first 10 games of a season. Who held the record of eight games? 2. Who is the all-time major-league recordholder in saves for a left-hander? 3. Who is the only starting quarterback other than Drew Brees to lead the New Orleans Saints to at least a 12-win regular season? 4. When was the last time before 2010 that West Virginia reached the men’s basketball Final Four? 5. Who was the youngest player to tally an overtime series-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Finals before Chicago’s Patrick Kane, 21, did it in 2010? 6. Name the first American men’s soccer player to lead a foreign league in scoring for a season. 7. In 2011, Chris Barnes became the sixth player in PBA history to complete the career Triple Crown. Name three of the first five to do it.

Little red wagons have been a favorite toy for girls and boys for many years. The first were wooden, then metal, and now many are plastic. They continue to amuse the smallest tots and the adults who pull them for rides!

1. GEOGRAPHY: What is an older name for the country of Ethiopia? 2. BUSINESS: Who founded a company called De Beers Consolidated Mines? 3. HISTORY: For what crimes was Socrates executed? 4. LITERATURE: What did Madame Bovary’s husband do for a living? 5. ANATOMY: Where are the conjunctiva located in the human body? 6. GOVERNMENT: Which of the original 13 colonies did not attend the Constitutional Convention of 1787? 7. SCIENCE: What common alloy is made up entirely of copper and zinc? 8. FAMOUS QUOTATIONS: To which U.S. president is the following quote often attributed: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt”? 9. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Who coined the term “muckrakers” for crusading journalists and other writers? 10. POETRY: How old was the Romantic poet John Keats when he died?

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The Tidbits Paper is a Division of Tidbits Media, Inc. • Montgomery, AL 36106 (800) 523-3096 • E-mail: tidbits@tidbitsmedia.com • All Rights Reserved ©2008 ®

1. Who sang “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”? What was the year? 2. Which single by Booker T. & the MG’s was most likely played at 33 rpm by listeners instead of 45 rpm? 3. Who sang “Baker Street” and when? 4. What was “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” about? 5. Which artist released “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You,” and when? 6. What was the stage name of Arthur Andrew Kelm? Hint: He sang “Young Love.”

ANSWERS

TRILOGY

RESERVE NOW!

FLASHBACK TRIVIA

1. The Temptations in 1971. It was the group’s third song to hit No. 1 on the charts. 2. “Green Onions,” which came out in 1962. The pop instrumental stayed on the charts for more than three months. 3. Gerry Rafferty in 1978. The song was used in an episode of “The Simpsons” when Lisa got her first saxophone. 4. The song by Paper Lace in 1974 was thought to be an anti-Vietnam War song, but it was a Civil War song where the hero is begged not to go fight. 5. Sting, in 1993 on his “Ten Summoner’s Tales” album. The song reached No. 17 on the U.S. charts. 6. Tab Hunter. The song stayed at No. 1 for six weeks in 1957. Hunter also starred in dozens of films from the ‘50s to the early ‘90s.

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Information in the Tidbits® Paper is gathered from sources considered to be reliable but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.

1. Abyssinia 2. Cecil Rhodes 3. Corrupting the youth and impiety 4. Doctor 5. Eyes 6. Rhode Island 7. Brass 8. Abraham Lincoln 9. Theodore Roosevelt 10. 25

• The original red wagons were built and sold directly to stores by Antonio Pasin, an Italian immigrant who came to America (Chicago) as a 16-year-old cabinet maker in the early 1900s. Pasin had a hard time finding work but managed to take enough odd jobs to save money for a workshop by 1917. In that workshop he built wagons at night and sold them directly to stores himself. By 1923, he had several employees and named his company the Liberty Coaster Company, after the Statue of Liberty. • By 1930, during the Great Depression, parents everywhere wanted little red wagons for their children, and Pasin’s company was the largest producer of the toys. It was in 1930 that the name of the company was changed to Radio Steel & Manufacturing Company. The name of the company’s wagon was changed to Radio Flyer because Pasin was fascinated with the invention of the radio by a fellow Italian and also interested in flying. • Chicago hosted the 1933 World’s Fair, and Pasin’s company was asked to participate in the celebration. This provided a huge boost to the popularity of the “little red wagons.” A 45-foot-tall (13.7 m) “Coaster Boy” standing in the front of a large wagon was the most popular exhibit, and miniatures were sold for 25 cents. If you happen to come across one of these historic collectibles, it is probably worth more than a quarter now! • Antonio Pasin died in 1990 after many years of wagon making. He was the 44th toy innovator inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame in 2003. His grandsons Robert and Paul run the company now. • In 1992, a film titled, “Radio Flyer” used the fun red wagon to show how wagons have “powered the imagination” of children everywhere. • Another larger-than-life wagon that bears the Radio Flyer name is at Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington. It was created for the Centennial Celebration of Children by the Junior League of Spokane in 1990. A great addition to the park, the handle of the wagon is a slide, big enough for adults! Dedicated to children, it is “a reflection of the past, created in the present, to last into the future.” • The Radio Flyer brand is a top brand for toys 97 years after its founder started the company. WANT TO YOURlittle OWNred BUSI NESS? and a The company stillRUN makes wagons Publish a Pa per in Your lot more. They are the No. 1 maker of Area toy wagons If You Can Provide: Sales Experience · A Computer · and tricycles today.Software With· Asome operations in China, Desktop Publishing Reasonable Financial Investment Weisprovide the opportunity for success! Radio Flyer still headquartered in Chicago. The employees are called “Flyers,” and new employees Call 1.800.523.3096 www.tidbitsweekly.com receive a “welcome wagon” when hired — a wagon of their own to enjoy! • Whether you are a grandparent, child or parent, we at Tidbits hope you enjoy the simple pleasures of life, including little red wagons.

1. George Kelly of the New York Giants in 1921. 2. John Franco, with 424 saves. 3. Bobby Hebert guided the Saints to 12 wins in 1992. 4. It was 1959. 5. Bobby Orr was 22 when he did it for Boston in 1970. 6. Herculez Gomez led a Mexican league in scoring in 2010. 7. Billy Hardwick, Johnny Petraglia, Pete Weber, Mike Aulby and Norm Duke.

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SCOOTING AROUND (continued)

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• Another early scooter in Europe that came about after the Vespa was the Lambretta. It was built by plumber Ferdinando Innocenti with its frame made out of pipes. He wanted to build a more affordable scooter. The name Lambretta came from the Lambro River, which was the site of the factory, near Milan, Italy. • The Rabbit and the Pigeon were two of the first scooters built in Japan, by Fuji and Mitsubishi, respectively. These filled a need for cheap transportation in the far-eastern market from the late 1940s to the 1960s. • With Cushman and Vespa selling scooters in the United States at a very fast pace, Harley-Davidson, the only made-in-America motorcycle company in 1959, decided to manufacture some of the popular small machines. Their ads said, “Tops them all in beauty! Tops them all in performance!” However, it’s estimated that only about 3,000 sold in the five years they were made. A nice 1960 model is on display at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. • Crowded countries like India, Japan and Taiwan still had a need for cheap transportation and vehicles that didn’t take up a lot of parking space. Today, for example, the population in Taiwan exceeds 23 million. There are more than 11 million registered motor scooters in that country alone, with Kymco motor scooters probably the most popular. • A small company that came along with its first scooter in 1954 was Honda — not so small today. Honda’s scooter history in Japan has been progressing since then, but they didn’t enter the North American market until 1983. Honda has marketed numerous scooter models, from two-strokes to the more environmentally friendly four-stroke models. • Honda’s most popular scooter in North America is called the Metropolitan in the United States and the Jazz in Canada. The same scooter model is known as the Crea and Scoopy overseas. Cool names for cool little scooters, wherever you ride! • The last decade has been a good one for Hondas, Vespas and many other brands of scooters in the United States. Thanks to higher gas prices, scooter sales have been brisk. The best year yet for Honda’s small scooters was 2008. Every dealership in the United States sold out by the middle of the summer. In 2009, Honda ramped up production and ended up with too many, but those had sold too by 2010. • You can’t haul children to soccer and baseball practice or drive the family on a cross-country vacation, but commuting to work on a scooter may become the norm, even in prosperous North America in the coming years. Will we become more “scooter-driven” like Paris, Milan, Tokyo and Beijing in our new economy?

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Issue 2011-14 Tidbits of North Idaho