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GRANITE by Patricia L. Cook

Granite is a rock formed by the slow cooling of molten material called magma found deep beneath the earth’s surface. Typically, granite contains the minerals quartz, feldspar and mica.

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• All of us have probably seen granite as a rock in science class, as tombstones in cemeteries, as countertops in kitchens and in many memorials worldwide. It can also be observed in natural land features such as Stone Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia. • Stone Mountain Park contains the largest mass of exposed granite on earth. A carving on one side of the large granite rock is of three Confederate heroes, President Jefferson Davis, Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. It is the biggest bas relief sculpture in the world. (Bas-relief sculptures are made by chipping away at slabs of rock.) • The Confederate figures measure 90 x 190 feet (27 x 58 m) and are surrounded by a carved surface that covers three acres (1.2 ha). It is recessed 42 feet (13 m) into the mountain. The idea for the memorial was hatched in 1909, but it was not dedicated until 1970. • Carver Gutzon Borglum started the project, but his work was later totally blasted from the mountain. He went on to his most famous work of art, Mount Rushmore. turn to page 5 for more Granite!

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OVERCOMING THE ODDS:

TOM DEMPSEY

In 1970, the New Orleans Saints professional football team only won two games, played in Tulane Stadium and were often called the “Aints!” One highlight of those lean years was Tom Dempsey, a kicker who set the record for kicking the longest field goal in National Football League (NFL) history. • Thomas John Dempsey was born on January 12, 1947, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He made the basketball, football, baseball and wrestling teams at San Dieguito High School in Encinitas, California. He started kicking at Palomar College when the team needed a kicker, and he hit it out of the end zone twice in practice. • Dempsey is known for his record-setting 63-yard (57.6-m) field goal kicked in Tulane Stadium on November 8, 1970. The three-pointer on the game’s final play lifted the New Orleans Saints past the Detroit Lions for a 19-17 win. • Dempsey stood out on the football field not just for his great kicking ability but also his disability. He was born without a right hand and without toes on his right foot, which was his kicking foot. He wore a modified shoe with a flattened and enlarged toe area; some said it looked like a hammer. • Dempsey kicked using a straight approach as opposed to the soccer style angled approach used by most kickers today. • After Dempsey’s famous kick, the NFL passed a rule requiring that all footgear be “normal” regardless of the kicker’s personal situation. This rule, passed in 1977, is known as the “Tom Dempsey” rule. • Dempsey’s 63-yard field goal record has been equaled once but not beaten. Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos tied the record on October 25, 1998, in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dempsey congratulated Jason on his accomplishment. • Dempsey understands that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Even though he is remembered for the Lions win, the same year that he kicked that 63 yarder, “I missed a 30-yarder!” • Dempsey was very happy with his record kick but quick to point out that he didn’t do it alone. As he said, “Everything was perfect for me that day: I got a perfect snap. I got a perfect hold, and I got a lot of protection. No one ever accomplishes anything alone in football.” • Dempsey kicked for the New Orleans Saints from 1969-1970; the Philadelphia Eagles from 19711974; Los Angeles Rams from 1975-1976; the Houston Oilers in 1977; and the Buffalo Bills in 1978. • Retired from football now, Dempsey and his wife live in the New Orleans area. They were there when Hurricane Katrina hit the city in 2005 and much of his memorabilia was destroyed when their house was flooded. “The hurricane flooded me out of a lot of memorabilia, but it can’t flood out the memories,” he said. • Dempsey loves to watch the New Orleans Saints play and is thrilled with their success in recent years. Most of the time, he watches alone from home and only his wife is there with him. He says that is fine, “provided she doesn’t talk!”

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PICKS OF THE WEEK “Unstoppable” (PG-13) -- If you like movies about runaway trains and the buff, determined Choo-Choo Boys charged with stopping them, then Boy Howdy, have I got the perfect film for you. In “Unstoppable,” an unmanned train carrying tons of deadly chemicals is barreling across the Pennsylvania countryside -- 1 million tons of ironclad mayhem on a collision course with Scranton. Engineer Denzel Washington and conductor Chris Pine are the only two people who can save Scranton from going up in flames and being awash in steaming toxic death -- and never have I wanted two people to fail more. “Waiting for Superman” (PG) -- In “Waiting for Superman,” Davis Guggenheim, director of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the Academy Award-winning documentary on climate change, turns his sights on America’s ailing education system. In this controversial documentary, Guggenheim suggests that one of the major problems with education today is teachers unions, which protect bad teachers all for the sake of perpetuating tenure agreements. He also is a proponent of the charter school system, which hasn’t been proven to be substantially better than public schools. The lottery system used to pick the students is absolutely soul-crushing to watch. While it’s clear that Guggenheim has an agenda, “Superman” isn’t one of those Michael Moore-style films that are long on propaganda and short on facts. No matter where you stand on the issue, this film is sure to provoke thoughtful and passionate discussion. “Dr. Who: A Christmas Carol” (Unrated) -- This innovative take on the Charles Dickens’ holiday classic makes for one of the most enjoyable Doctor Who Christmas specials in recent memory.

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TOP TEN MOVIES 1. No Strings Attached (R) Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher 2. The Green Hornet (PG-13) Seth Rogen, Jay Chou 3. The Dilemma (PG-13) Vince Vaughn, Kevin James 4. The King’s Speech (R) Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter 5. True Grit (PG-13) Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld 6. Black Swan (R) Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassell 7. Little Fockers (PG-13) Robert De Niro, Owen Wilson 8. The Fighter (R) Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale 9. Yogi Bear (PG) animated It’s Christmas Eve, and honeymooners Amy Pond 10. TRON: Legacy (PG) Jeff Bridges, Garrett and Rory Williams are aboard a luxury cruise ship Hedlund that becomes disabled by a mysterious cloud formation above the surface of an alien planet. They TOP TEN VIDEO, DVD of January 29, 2011 and the ship’s 4,000 passengers have less than an hour before they crash. In order to save them, the Top 10 Video Rentals Doctor (Matt Smith) must warm the frozen heart of 1. The Social Network (PG-13) Jesse Eisenthe planet’s most powerful man, the miserly Kazran berg 2. Dinner for Schmucks (PG-13) Steve Carrell Sardick (Michael “Dumbledore” Gambon). Filled with whimsy, pathos and humor, this Christ- 3. Salt (PG-13) Angelina Jolie mas special is a delight for adults and children alike. 4. Resident Evil: Afterlife (R) Milla Jovovich 5. Machete (R) Danny Trejo 6. The Town (R) Ben Affleck 7. Case 39 (R) Renee Zellweger TV SERIES 8. The Other Guys (PG-13) Will Ferrell 9. Piranha (R) Elisabeth Shue “The Twilight Zone” Season 3 “Around the World in 80 Days” The Complete Epic 10. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (PG-13) Michael Douglas Mini-Series “Top Gear” Complete Seasons 14 and 15 Top 10 DVD Sales “Spin City” Season Four “The Fugitive” The Fourth and Final Season, Vol- 1. Machete (R) (Fox) 2. Dinner for Schmucks (PG-13) (DreamWorks) ume Two 3. Despicable Me (PG) (Universal) “Murphy’s Law” Series Three 4. The Last Exorcism (PG-13) (Lionsgate) “Paddington Bear” Complete Classic Series “He-Man and The Masters of the Universe” Season 5. Salt (PG-13) (Sony) 6. Resident Evil: Afterlife (R) (Sony) One “Johnny Test” Complete First and Second Seasons 7. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (PG-13) (Summit) 8. Case 39 (R) (Paramount) “Sabrina the Animated Series” A Touch of Magic “Taggart” Complete Original Series Starring Mark 9. The Other Guys (PG-13) (Sony) 10. The Town (R) (Warner Bros.) McManus


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¥ It was legendary American crime novelist Rex Stout who made the following sage observation: “Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.” ¥ If you have an aversion to bugs, you might not want to take a vacation in Borneo anytime soon. The world’s third largest island is home to a particular stick insect that, measuring in at 14 inches, is the longest insect in the world. ¥ You might be surprised to learn that the earliest recorded reference to a vending machine dates back to the first century. It seems that a mathematician and engineer named Hero of Alexandria invented a mechanism that dispensed a fixed amount of holy water when a patron deposited a coin. ¥ In the African nation of Somalia, a man is permitted to have as many as four wives -- but only if he can support them all. ¥ Between 70 percent and 80 percent of the world’s fresh water is stored in glaciers, and all but 1 percent of the world’s glaciers are found in the Arctic or Antarctic. ¥ You’ve probably heard of solar-powered cars (even if they’re not in common use), but you may not realize that there have also been examples of solar-powered airplanes, motor scooters and boats. ¥ Those who study such things say that of the 785 million adults in the world who are unable to read, two-thirds are women. *** Thought for the Day: “Moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world’s champions.” -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

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GRANITE

(continued):

• Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota was worked on by about 400 men and women from October 1927 to October 1941. Doane Robinson is known as the “Father of Mount Rushmore,” since it was his idea for colossal carvings in his home state. He contacted Gutzon Borglum about the project while Borglum was working on Stone Mountain. • Dynamite was used for 90 percent of the carving on Mount Rushmore, blasting about 450,000 tons (408 million kg) of rock out of the way for the artistic renderings of four U.S. presidents. The presidents and the years their carvings were finished were: George Washington, 1934; Thomas Jefferson, 1936; Abraham Lincoln, 1937; and Theodore Roosevelt, 1939. The area receives about three million visitors per year. • One of the earliest railroads in America was constructed specifically to haul granite. Located near present-day Quincy, Massachusetts, the 12-mile Granite Railway was used to transport granite rock from the Granite Railway Quarry to dock facilities on the Neponset River. Loaded onto ships, the granite was transported to other locations, often including Boston to supply the city’s growing construction industry. • One of the first noteworthy structures constructed of granite was King’s Chapel in Boston. This small church was completed in 1754 and was built of granite quarried from the Granite Railway Quarry. The church still stands but is dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers of downtown Boston. • Mount Airy is also known for being the home of Andy Griffith. His television show about life in the fictional town of Mayberry is celebrated each September with “Mayberry Days.” Also, the 50th Anniversary of the “Andy Griffith Show” was held at the Andy Griffith Museum in October 2010 in Mount Airy. • Granite is the name of an unincorporated village in Baltimore County, Maryland. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was built in the 1830s using the locally quarried granite, mainly for the bridges. The local quarries provided granite for parts of the Washington Monument, Library of Congress and more government buildings in Washington, D. C. The Granite National Historic district includes about 62 properties all from the late 19th century.. Continued on page 7!

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1. What was the name of Bon Jovi’s first No. 1 hit single? 2. Who wrote and released “Doctor My Eyes,” and when? 3. Which band released “Come Sail Away”? Bonus for knowing the album title. 4. Name the only Kool & the Gang song to reach No. 1 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B charts. 5. Name the song that became Motown’s first million-seller, as well as the group. 6. Who were Wolfman Jack and Cousin Brucie?

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FLASHBACK TRIVIA

1. “You Give Love a Bad Name” in 1986. That same year he scored another No. 1 with “Livin’ on a Prayer,” both from his “Slippery When Wet” album. 2. Jackson Browne on his 1972 debut album. 3. Styx, 1977, from their “The Grand Illusion” album. The song hit No. 8 on the charts. 4. “Celebration” in 1980. The group had many hits on the R&B charts, but only one on the Billboard Hot 100. 5. “Shop Around” by The Miracles (with Smokey Robinson) was Motown’s first millionselling single in 1961. 6. Robert Weston Smith and Bruce Morrow were competing DJs until Smith (Wolfman Jack) died in 1995. Morrow will host Cousin Brucie’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekend this March in upstate New York.

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

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1. Four 2. 500 3. St. Luke 4. Shakespeare 5. Neutrality 6. 1825 7. Light intensity 8. “I forbid” 9. Aphrodite 10. Louisiana

• One of the most famous staircases in the world is at the Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley of France. It is a double spiral staircase that surprisingly allows two people to climb without ever crossing paths, even though they can see each other. This Château was built as a hunting lodge for Francois I starting in 1518, using 1,800 workers and taking 15 years to finish. There are 440 rooms and 365 fireplaces! • If you have ever been to Rome, you probably went to “The Spanish Steps,” built from 1723-1725. These 138 stone steps lead from the Piazza di Spagna to the hill of the Pincio and the church of Trinita dei Monti at the top. The funds for the Spanish steps came from the French, and keep in mind that Rome is in Italy! This staircase is the longest and widest in Europe and a great gathering place for tourists and locals. • Probably the most photographed staircase in the world is also in Italy. The spiral staircase that leads from street level up to the Vatican Museums in Vatican City was designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932. This staircase consists of two intertwined spirals; one leading up and the other down. • Some stairs that were an exit point for many slaves from Africa are on Goree Island off the coast of Senegal. An estimated 26,000 of the 12 million slaves taken from Africa are believed to have passed through the island between 1670 and the late 1700s. • In October 2010, Bellevue, Washington, was the site of an inaugural fundraising event, “The Fight for Air Climb,” for the American Lung Association. Hailed as the longest multi-building stair-climb event in the United States, it took place at Bellevue Towers, the city’s newest high-rise condominiums, which has two towers, each 45 stories tall. For the climb, the options were for climbing 45, 91 or 182 stories, which translated into 800, 1,621 or 3,242 stairs. Participants climbed up and were rushed down in express elevators. • San Francisco has many stairs built into its hills to aid walkers. In August 2005, a special mosaic staircase was unveiled at 16th Avenue and Moraga. The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps project was a huge undertaking conceived and fabricated by ceramicist Aileen Barr and mosaic artist Colette Crutcher. WANT RUN YOUR OWN BUSI NESS? Considered theTOworld’s longest mosaic staircase, Publish a Pa per in Your Area there are 163 steps made from over 2,000 handIf You Can Provide: Sales Experience · A Computer · made tiles plus many fragments of tile, and Desktop Publishing Software · A Reasonable Financial Investmirror ment We provide for success! stained glass. Lookthe foropportunity these stairs to add to your photo album!Call 1.800.523.3096

1. Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1968. 2. Jeff Torborg (1990-’91), Gene Lamont (‘92’95), Terry Bevington (‘95-’97) and Jerry Manuel (‘98-’99). 3. Running backs Earl Campbell (1977) and Ricky Williams (1998). 4. Cleveland (1981-’82), Detroit (‘83-’92), New Jersey (‘92-’94) and Orlando (‘97-’99). 5. It was 2000, when they lost to New Jersey in the conference quarterfinal round. 6. He had 26 top-five finishes in 35 races. 7. Bjorn Borg, with six.

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GRANITE

(continued)

• The “Granite Center of the World,” Barre, Vermont, is internationally recognized for its high number of artists adept at stone cutting, etching and sandblasting. “Barre Gray” granite has been quarried and used for products since the late 1700s. According to geological estimates, the quarries in Barre have a supply that should last about 4,500 years. The city is home to the Vermont Granite Museum & Stone Arts School. • Across the Canadian border from Vermont is another city known for granite and with a granite museum. Stanstead, Quebec, is the “Granite Capital of Canada” and home of the GranitExpo & Museum of Stanstead. The area was originally made up of three villages, which were Stanstead Plain, Rock Island and Beebe Plain. The name Stanstead was adopted in 1995. “Stanstead Grey Granite” is, “the cornerstone of the local economy, the rock, as it were, upon which Stanstead is built.” • Canadians are known for loving their winter sports, and one of them is played with granite stones. The sport of curling became an official winter Olympic event starting with the 1998 Nagano Games. Players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. The stones used are discs made of polished granite and defined by the World Curling Federation as weighing between 38 and 44 pounds (17-20 kg), with a maximum circumference of 36 inches (910 mm) and a minimum height of 4.5 inches (110 mm). Since becoming an official winter Olympic sport, Canada has emerged as the Olympics’ dominant nation winning eight medals — three gold, three silver and two bronze. • Franconia Notch State Park in the White Mountains of New Hampshire had one of the most famous granite natural landmarks in the world. The “Old Man of the Mountain,” also known as “the Profile,” was an illusion formed by five granite ledges 1,200 feet (366 m) above Profile Lake. The illusion gave the appearance of an old man looking to the east when observed from a very small area. If you were in the wrong spot, he just looked like the side of a rocky mountain! Nature carved the profile thousands of years ago, and nature took it away on May 3, 2003, when it collapsed.

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