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April 14, 2011

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Volume 2011- 15

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TIDBITS® SAYS–

IT HAPPENED ONE APRIL by Kathy Wolfe

April has been a busy time over the years! Follow along as Tidbits takes a look at some of the interesting events that have taken place during this fourth month of the Gregorian calendar.

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• Noah Webster was 70 years old when he copyrighted the first edition of his 70,000-entry “American Dictionary of the English Language” in April of 1828. Although we’ve depended on Webster’s dictionary all our lives, his first edition sold only 2,500 copies. When it came time to issue the second edition, Webster mortgaged his home in order to finance it, and he lived in debt the remainder of his days. • In April of 1973, Martin Cooper stood on the streets of New York City and did something no one had ever done before. He placed a call from a portable cellular phone! Cooper, the general manager of Motorola’s Communications Division, called his competitor at AT&T labs using a 30-ounce (850-g) brick-like phone. Compare this with today’s phone at about 3 ounces (85 g). The process of bringing portable cell phones to the consumer market took 10 years, and Motorola introduced their 16-ounce (453-g) DynaTAC phone in 1983, carrying a price tag of $3,500. turn to page 5 for more April Events!

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OVERCOMING THE ODDS:

SCOTT HAMILTON

It’s tough enough to become an Olympic champion under the best of circumstances, but figure skater Scott Hamilton has had more than his fair share of hardships. Let’s see what makes Hamilton a true victor.

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• At the age of two, Ohio-born Scott Hamilton contracted an illness that caused him to inexplicably stop growing. Extensive tests followed, as did wrong diagnoses. One physician diagnosed cystic fibrosis and gave the toddler six months to live. A trip to the Boston Children’s Hospital resulted in a special diet and exercise plan, and miraculously, the disorder corrected itself. However, the end result was that Hamilton’s stature remained small at just over 5 feet, 2 inches (1.6 m) and 108 pounds (49 kg). • After watching his older sister at an ice rink, Hamilton became interested in skating. At age 13, he began training for national competition with former French Olympic champion Pierre Brunet, winner of three Olympic medals. In order to meet the expenses of Hamilton’s training, his mother, a second grade teacher, returned to school to become a college professor. Another obstacle hit the Hamilton family’s path when Mrs. Hamilton was diagnosed with breast cancer. When she was forced to quit work, the money for Hamilton’s training stopped, and as a high school senior, he faced having to quit skating. When anonymous benefactors stepped forward with the offer to finance his training, he was able to continue. • Cancer claimed the life of Hamilton’s mother in 1977 when he was 19, and he vowed to make her proud. When he earned third place in the 1980 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, he earned a spot on the Olympic team. At the Olympics in Lake Placid that year, he proudly carried the American flag in the opening ceremony and went on to finish in fifth place. The next year he took the gold in the World Figure Skating Championships, a feat he repeated for the following three years. In 1984, he was the gold medalist at the Olympics in Sarajevo, after which he turned professional. • After a stint with Ice Capades, Hamilton co-founded Stars on Ice and performed regularly until 2001. He has also served as a skating commentator for various networks. In a national sports survey, Hamilton ranked in the top eight most popular American athletes, ahead of Michael Jordan, Troy Aikman, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Montana. • In 1997, another obstacle appeared in Hamilton’s path when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After treatment he returned to skating, only to have a benign brain tumor discovered in 2004. When the tumor returned in June of 2010, Hamilton underwent surgery, during which an artery was nicked. This caused a brain aneurysm, which was removed successfully, but it resulted in the loss of two-thirds of the vision in his right eye. • Yet Hamilton refuses to give up. In November, five months after brain surgery, he raised $1.1 million for his organization CARES (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship), devoted to finding a cure for cancer. He is frequently sought as a motivational speaker, and his 2009 book “The Great Eight” shares his secrets to happiness and how he has met life’s challenges head-on.

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TOP TEN MOVIES 1. Hop (PG) James Marsden, Russell Brand 2. Arthur (PG-13) Russell Brand, Helen Mirren 3. Hanna (PG-13) Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana 4. Soul Surfer (PG) AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid 5. Insidious (PG-13) Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne 6. Your Highness (R) Danny McBride, James Franco 7. Source Code (PG-13) Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan 8. Limitless (PG-13) Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro 9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (PG) Zachary Gordon, Steve Zahn 10. The Lincoln Lawyer (R) Matthew McConaughey, Ryan Phillippe

PICKS OF THE WEEK “The Green Hornet” (PG-13) -- For nearly a decade, “The Green Hornet” languished in Hollywood’s Development Hell, with virtually every leading man and director seemingly attached to the project at one time or another. For fans of the 1960s TV series starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee, it was beginning to look like this picture was never going to be made. Then someone had the bright idea to attach Seth Rogen to the project, and any hopes for a gritty, “Dark Knight”-style action/adventure version of “The Green Hornet” went out the window in favor of a Judd Apatowesque slacker doofus farce. Great. Another bromance comedy. But hey, it’s in 3-D! Right? Right? That’s gotta be ... special. But somehow, in the midst of this ridiculous, convoluted mess of a movie, there are a few shining bits. Jay Chou’s Kato is a performance that even Bruce Lee would be proud of. The fight choreography is pretty good. And the gadget-packed Black Beauty is still one bad supercar. It’s a shame that Columbia couldn’t have found a better lead actor and script, because “The Green Hornet” had the potential to be a great franchise. Instead, it wound up being yet another superhero misfire relegated to the midwinterrelease junk pile along with the other films that weren’t good enough for the summer or holidayseason slots. “Once Upon a Time in the West” (PG-13) -- Sergio Leone’s epic 1968 masterpiece is without a doubt the “Citizen Kane” of Spaghetti Westerns. The film stars the ravishing, almost supernaturally beautiful Claudia Cardinale as a widow trying to save her homestead against the evil machinations of a railroad tycoon who sends a steel-eyed, child-murdering desperado (Henry Fonda) to kill her.

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Thankfully, there are two men to help her: Cheyenne (Jason Robards), the outlaw framed for the murder of her family, and the enigmatic Harmonica TOP TEN VIDEO, DVD of April 16, 2011 (Charles Bronson), a man with a troubled past who Top 10 Video Rentals also is the fastest gun in the West. 1. Black Swan (R) Natalie Portman “Taps” (PG) -- Timothy Hutton stars as a cadet at a 2. The Tourist (PG-13) Angelina Jolie military school run by George C. Scott in this 1981 3. Tangled (PG) animated drama. When the cadets learn that the school has 4. The Fighter (R) Mark Wahlberg been sold to real-estate developers, they take mat- 5. Skyline (PG-13) Eric Balfour ters into their own hands, turning the school into a 6. How Do You Know (PG-13) Reese Withermilitary fortress under siege. When one of the boys spoon accidentally kills a police officer, things take a turn 7. Yogi Bear (PG) animated for the worse as the young cadets find themselves 8. The Switch (PG-13) Jennifer Aniston in a standoff between themselves and the military. 9. Hereafter (PG-13) Matt Damon 10. The Next Three Days (PG-13) Russell Crowe

TV SERIES “Being Human” Season 3 “Drop Dead Diva” The Complete Second Season “Boy Meets World” The Complete Fifth Season “According to Jim” Complete Third Season “PJ’s” Season 1 “Penn & Teller” Eighth Season “Melrose Place” Sixth Season V.1 “Make It or Break It” Season Two, Volume Three

Top 10 DVD Sales 1. Yogi Bear (PG) (Warner Bros.) 2. The Tourist (PG-13) (Sony) 3. Skyline (PG-13) (Universal) 4. The Fighter (R) (Paramount) 5. How Do You Know (PG-13) (Sony) 6. Megamind (PG) (Dreamworks) 7. Barbie: A Fairy Secret (G) (Universal) 8. Due Date (R) (Warner Bros.) 9. Jackass 3 (R) (Paramount) 10. The Switch (PG-13) (Lionsgate)


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¥ It was American novelist and editor Edgar Watson Howe who made the following sage observation: “Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.” ¥ Those who study such things say that ancient Egyptians had bowling alleys. ¥ In 1980 a woman named Rosie Ruiz appeared to have won the Boston Marathon in the fastest time ever recorded for a woman in that race. However, after a number of suspicions surfaced (including a strange lack of fatigue at the end of the long race), it was found that she hadn’t actually run the entire race and was stripped of her medal. The tale doesn’t end there, though. Once word got out about her fraud, people came forward with information regarding her recent running of the New York Marathon. It seems that Ms. Ruiz started the race and then took the subway to a spot 2 miles from the finish line. And in a further note, she didn’t come to a good end: Two years later she was arrested for embezzling $60,000 from her employer, and she was later arrested again for allegedly trying to sell two kilos of cocaine to a Miami police officer. ¥ If you’re afraid of lightning, you might want to skip over this next tidbit: At any given time around the world, there are 1,800 thunderstorms taking place. ¥ You may have heard that the air that leaves your body when you sneeze can reach speeds of up to 115 mph, but you may not know that ordinary exhalations travel at about 15 mph.

*** Thought for the Day: “When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn’t the slightest intention of putting it into practice.” -Otto von Bismarck

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APRIL EVENTS (continued):

• April has been an eventful month in the world of baseball. In April of 1912, Detroit’s Tiger Stadium and Boston’s Fenway Park both opened on the same day. Eleven years later, Yankee Stadium had its opening day in April. New York Mets’ Shea Stadium was inaugurated in April of 1964. It was an especially memorable occasion when the world’s first domed sports stadium opened in April of 1965. Houston’s Astrodome was built at a cost of $37 million and included a sophisticated air conditioning system to deal with Texas’ July and August average temperatures of 97 degrees. Opening night entertainment at the Astrodome included performances by Judy Garland and The Supremes. The Astros were up against the New York Yankees in an exhibition game, and Mickey Mantle hit the first home run in the Astrodome off Houston pitcher Turk Farrell. •The Titanic departed from the port at Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912, bound for New York City. The ship set sail with 2,227 passengers on board and lifeboats for only 1,178 of those people. In the wee hours of the morning on April 15, two and a half hours after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic, the Titanic sank, taking 1,517 people to their deaths. • You’ve probably never heard of Harriet Quimby, but she’s quite famous in her own right. Quimby was the first woman to earn a pilot’s license in the United States and less than a year later, became the first woman to fly across the English Channel. In April of 1912, she took off from Dover, England, and landed on a French beach 59 minutes later. Unfortunately, her amazing feat didn’t get much coverage in the newspapers, as the tragic sinking of the Titanic had taken place the day before. • Earth Day was first observed in April of 1970, with 20 million participants. It was the brainstorm of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who came up with the idea after touring a disastrous oil spill in the Santa Barbara, California, area. In his words, “It had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country.” Continued on page 7!

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TRIVIA

1. Name the last baseball team before LSU in 2008-10 to win three consecutive SEC tournaments. 2. In 2009, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim set a major-league record for most hitters in one season having at least 50 RBIs. How many were there? 3. Who was the first player in NFL history to earn a Pro Bowl selection at two positions in the same season? 4. In 2011, David Lighty became the third Ohio State men’s basketball player to tally 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists for his career. Name the first two to do it? 5. In 2009-10, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, at 20, became the third-youngest NHL player to hit the 50-goal mark for a season. Who were the two younger players? 6. Who won the first gold medal in the Olympic men’s speed skating team pursuit in 2006? 7. Name the last European golfer before Lee Westwood in 2010 to be No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

The World Trade Center was officially dedicated on April 4, 1973, after nearly seven years of construction. This week, Tidbits takes a look at these structures, destroyed on September 11, 2001.

1. ASTRONOMY: The star called Rigel is part of which constellation? 2. MYTHOLOGY: What did the god Frey represent in Norse mythology? 3. CHEMISTRY: What gas has the chemical symbol of CH4? 4. MOVIES: Who directed “The Magnificent Ambersons” and “Touch of Evil”? 5. HISTORY: Who was the first English king to hold the title “Prince of Wales”? 6. INVENTIONS: What was the name of the first submarine commissioned by the U.S. Navy? 7. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Who drew the famous image of Uncle Sam proclaiming, “I Want You”? 8. GEOGRAPHY: To what island group in the Caribbean does St. Croix belong? 9. LITERATURE: Which writer’s autobiography is called “Black Boy”? 10. POLITICS: Who was Adlai Stevenson’s vice-presidential running mate in 1956?

Limited Edition Book Set Reprints of Books I, II, & III.

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1. Which singer had a debut hit with “I Only Want to Be with You”? 2. Name the group that released the ever-popular “Shout.” 3. Who sang the 1962 hit “Party Lights”? 4. Name the group that wrote and released “Mr. Lee.” What was the song about? 5. Who sang “River Deep -- Mountain High,” and when? 6. Which band released “Baby, Come Back”?

ANSWERS

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FLASHBACK TRIVIA

1. Dusty Springfield in 1963. Samantha Fox covered the song in 1988. 2. The Isley Brothers in 1959. Amazingly, the song never rose higher than No. 47 on the charts, but became gold through long use. “Shout” continues to be played at athletic events and weddings. 3. Claudine Clark, who also composed the song. 4. The Bobbettes, an all-girl group from Harlem, wrote the 1957 song about a crush on a schoolteacher. The original version was negative about poor Mr. Lee and had to be rewritten. 5. Ike and Tina Turner, in 1966. Except you won’t hear Ike. Legend has it he was paid $20,000 to stay out of the studio while it was recorded. 6. Player. The 1977 song has been used in films and currently is being used in a commercial for Swiffer.

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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. Orion 2. Frey is the Norse god of fertility 3. Methane 4. Orson Welles 5. Edward II 6. U.S.S. Holland 7. James Montgomery Flagg 8. U.S. Virgin Islands 9. Richard Wright 10. Estes Kefauver

• Groundbreaking for the complex of seven buildings took place in August of 1966. Built at a cost of about $1.5 billion, the complex contained 13.4 million square feet of office space. • The address of 1 World Trade Center belonged to the North Tower, which was completed in December of 1970. For two years, the North Tower ranked as the world’s tallest building, edging out the Empire State Building, which had held the title for 40 years. The North Tower was 1,368 feet (417 m) tall at its completion, but a telecommunications antenna was added eight years later, increasing its height by 360 feet (110 m). Chicago’s Sears Tower surpassed the Tower as the world’s tallest building in 1974. • The Twin Towers were not identical twins. Although they both contained 110 stories, 2 World Trade Center (the South Tower), completed in 1973, was actually six feet (1.8 m) shorter than the North Tower. In 1976, the Windows on the World restaurant opened on the North Tower’s 106th and 107th floors at a cost of more than $17 million. • In addition to the Twin Towers, five other buildings occupied the 16-acre plot, including a 22-floor Marriott hotel and the U.S. Customs Service. Underneath the complex was an underground shopping mall. The development was large enough to merit its own zip code. About 50,000 employees worked in the Twin Towers on an average workday. Another 200,000 people passed through the buildings on a daily basis. • The Towers seemed to attract their share of daredevils. In 1974, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit walked a tightrope between the Towers. Three years later, a Brooklyn toymaker named George Willig climbed to the top of the South Tower in 3.5 hours. At the top, he was pulled in through a window hatch where he was promptly arrested. New York City’s mayor later fined Willig $1.10, a penny for each of the Tower’s 110 floors. His feat did earn him a job as a stuntman on television’s “The Six Million Dollar Man.” • The first attack on the World Trade Center came in 1993. A Ryder truck loaded with 1,500 pounds (680 kg) of explosives blew up in the underground garage of the North Tower, resulting in a 100-foot (30-m) hole through five sublevels of the structure WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? and six fatalities. Publish a flag that was Paperflying in Your • The American inArea front of the If You Can Provide: Sales Experience · A Computer · World Trade Center was foundFinancial the Inday after the Desktop Publishing Software · A Reasonable vestment provide the for success! The flag bombings,We tangled upopportunity on a streetlight. was rescued Call and three months later was taken on 1.800.523.3096 www.tidbitsweekly.com a flight of the space shuttle Endeavor to the International Space Station. On Flag Day, 2002, it was returned to the city of New York by NASA and is now a part of the Ground Zero memorial ceremony every September.

1. Alabama, 1995-97. 2. Eleven players. 3. Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson, in 2009. 4. Jim Jackson (1989-92) and Evan Turner (2007-10). 5. Wayne Gretzky and Jimmy Carson, both 19 years old. 6. Italy. 7. Nick Faldo, in 1994.

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APRIL EVENTS (continued)

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• April has been a big month for space adventures. In April of 1961, Soviet Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space aboard Vostok I, edging out American Alan Shepard by a mere 23 days. Apollo 13 blasted off on April 11, 1970, commanded by James A. Lovell Jr. and scheduled as the third space mission to land on the moon. Two days later, an oxygen tank aboard the craft exploded, placing the crew in grave danger. They returned safely on April 17. Apollo 16 made an April 1972 flight to the moon, under the command of John Young. The first launch of the space shuttle Columbia also occurred in April, in 1981, and in 1990, the shuttle Discovery headed into space carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Telescope. • The press dubbed it “The Wedding the Century” when actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in April of 1956. Thirty-six seamstresses worked on the 26-year-old Kelly’s wedding dress for six weeks in preparation for the nuptials. She had met the prince the previous April while doing a photo shoot in connection with the Cannes Film Festival. After eight months of correspondence, Rainier traveled to America, met the Kelly family, and three days later, he proposed. Her family was required to provide a dowry of $2 million to him before marriage plans were to proceed. Six hundred guests attended the wedding, and the royal couple departed that evening for a seven-week Mediterranean honeymoon cruise aboard the prince’s yacht. • April has had its share of tragedies. In 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed by Timothy McVeigh. In 1999, Colorado’s Columbine High School shootings occurred. It was also the month of the assassinations of President Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. The devastating nuclear accident at the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl plant also took place in April. • Twenty-seven-year-old James Cash Penney headed out to Wyoming in 1902, and on April 13 of that year in the community of Kemmerer, he opened his first dry goods and clothing store called The Golden Rule. He chose the name because it was his philosophy to treat others the way he would like to be treated. In his free time, Penney worked as a lumberjack felling trees. Ten years later, his chain of stores had grown to 34 stores, and he incorporated them all as the J.C. Penney Company. By 1924, he was generating an income upwards of $1.5 million a year. Today, the company operates over 1,100 stores with 150,000 employees and sales approaching $18 billion annually. And that little store in Kemmerer? Still there, operating on a daily basis.

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Issue 2011-15 Tidbits of North Idaho