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A PINCH OF SALT by Kathy Wolfe

Life is tasteless without salt! In addition to providing seasoning, it’s a component of your blood, sweat and tears and is essential to the proper function of the human body. What don’t you know about this important commodity? Read along and see! • The Bible contains the first written reference to salt, recorded in the Book of Job around 2250 B.C. Salt is mentioned in 31 other places, including the story of Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt when she disobeyed the words of angels. As she and her family were fleeing the destruction of the wicked city of Sodom, she was told not to look back, but she turned to gaze at the blaze and was transformed. • There are two chief methods of producing salt — evaporation and mining. In the evaporation process, salty sea water is guided into large clay forms for natural evaporation by the sun. Sea salt is the source for about 80 mineral elements essential to proper body function, including iron, iodine, sulfur and magnesium. In underground mines, salt is found in veins and domes and is mined by large machines snaking their way through passageways. Large underground deposits can be found around the globe, including parts of Ontario, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan in Canada, and New York, turn the page for more! WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

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A PINCH OF SALT (continued):

Michigan, Texas, Ohio, Kansas and New Mexico in the United States. There are such large beds near Salzburg, Austria, it was aptly named “The City of Salt.” The United Kingdom is also home to extensive salt beds. • Throughout history, salt has been a valuable item of trade. Governments have frequently controlled the price of salt, maintaining a monopoly by charging special taxes. Salt taxes have supported monarchs and funded wars. During the Middle Ages, salt was so expensive, it earned the nickname “white gold.” • Salt has been used as currency for centuries. Even up to the beginning of the 20th century, one-pound bars of salt were used as money in what is now the country of Ethiopia. Early civilization advanced tremendously once salt’s ability to preserve food was discovered. No longer were people dependent on what was readily available to eat, and long-distance travel also increased as preserved provisions could be transported. Early Roman soldiers’ wages were paid in salt, or salarium argentum, a term from which we derive our English word “salary.” Romans even built roads specifically for transporting salt, such as the Via Salaria, which led from Rome to the Adriatic Sea, where a salt-producing area was located. In ancient Greece, salt was traded for slaves, leading to the expression, “He is not worth his salt.” In early American history, President Thomas Jefferson hoped that the Lewis and Clark expedition would be able to locate a mountain of salt rumored to stand near the Missouri River, which would have been a very valuable find. American soldiers also received salt as salary during the War of 1812 because the government lacked currency to pay them.

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• Many cultures use salt in their religious rituals because it symbolizes “incorruptible purity.” The Shinto religion uses salt to purify an area. A handful of salt is even thrown into the center of the wrestling ring by Shintos to ward off wicked spirits before Sumo wrestlers begin their match. Buddhist custom calls for throwing salt over the shoulder upon entering a house after attending a funeral. This is to frighten off evil spirits that might be clinging to the homeowner’s back. Several European countries follow the tradition of throwing a handful of salt into a dead person’s coffin before the burial in order to keep the devil away. In some cultures, a bride pours it into her shoes for luck, and parents rub it all over newborn babies. • Lots of folks believe that spilling salt will bring bad luck. This superstition may have its origins in Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper. Close observation shows an upset salt container at the place of Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ betrayer. The remedy for spilled salt is to toss a pinch over your left shoulder, which supposedly blinds the devil waiting there. Those who really want to be safe also crawl under the table and come out the opposite side. The Norwegians’ superstition about spilled salt says that a person will shed as many tears as necessary to dissolve the amount spilled, while superstitious Germans believe that spilling salt brings about hostility, the result of the devil disturbing peace. • Because fruits and vegetables are nearly salt-free, vegetarians are often at risk for dietary problems. The human body needs electrolytes to function, and without salt, it runs out of electrolytes.

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Being ashamed of who we are or guilty of what we have done or what has been done to us are two anchors in life that immobilize us and keep us from moving forward. Even when we think we have succeeded in hiding our feelings, thoughts, and attitudes our guilt and shame comes out in other ways. Some of these behaviors can include compulsive behaviors, sexual addictions, overeating, chemical and alcohol abuse, and depression. Here are a few tools to help you get rid of the guilt and shame.

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A PINCH OF SALT (continued):

• The familiar cylindrical salt container with the metal spout was introduced by Morton in 1911. Prior to that, salt was packaged in large cumbersome bags, which, during wet weather, wouldn’t allow the pouring of salt. Morton’s slogan “When it rains, it pours” touted its moisture-proof container. In 1914, the company introduced its famous “umbrella girl” on packaging. Her appearance has been updated five times since, in 1921, 1933, 1941, 1956 and 1968. • Salt has about 14,000 different uses, including helping in household tasks. When added to one tablespoon of lemon juice, it removes rust from scissors and other household tools. Just mix into a paste and rub on the rusty area. Salt also removes coffee stains from glass coffee pots. Mix 4 teaspoons of salt with a cup of crushed ice and a tablespoon of water and swirl it around in the pot. A handful of salt thrown into the flames in your fireplace helps loosen chimney soot. Are you troubled by weeds and grass growing up in your patio or sidewalk bricks and blocks? Spread salt in the cracks and sprinkle with water. You can remove the odor of fish from your hands by rubbing them with a lemon wedge dipped in salt. • Only about 6 percent of the world’s salt finds its way to the table. The de-icing of streets and highways eats up another 17 percent of the production. It’s also used in the leather tanning process; in the production of paper, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, paint products, batteries, glass, ceramics and adhesives; and as a refrigerant.

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Most everyone is familiar with the phrase “Remember the Alamo!” but how much do you really remember about this famous landmark? Read along, and you might just learn some new details about this San Antonio, Texas, site. • Franciscan monks and Spanish settlers began construction on the Mission San Antonio de Valero in 1724. It served as home to Catholic missionaries and their American Indian converts until 1793. The Spanish government then closed the mission and distributed the remaining lands and buildings to the Indian residents. • In the early 1800s, the mission became home to a Spanish cavalry unit. It was this group who gave the structure the name Alamo, the Spanish word for “cottonwood,” in honor of their hometown in Mexico, Alamo de Parras. The military remained occupants of the Alamo up until the time of the Texas Revolution. • As western expansion continued, more and more people were migrating to Texas, and in 1821, Stephen Austin led a group of 300 U.S. families to the area. As the population increased, the Texans sought independence from Mexico. In late 1835, a group of Texans overtook the Alamo, wresting control from the Mexican troops, putting Colonel William Travis and Colonel Jim Bowie in command of the fort. Reinforcements arrived in early 1836 to help with the defense, including American frontiersman and former Tennessee congressman Davy Crockett. About 200 volunteers were in place to defend the Alamo. • On February 23, 1836, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna marched his Mexican force of soldiers numbering in the thousands to the outskirts of San Antonio and laid siege to the Alamo in an attempt to retake Texas. Although caught off guard while they slept, the Texans refused to give up their fight for independence and were determined to defend the fort, despite their small numbers. The Texan commander sent urgent pleas for reinforcements and supplies, but response was minimal. • Several skirmishes took place over the next 12 days but with few casualties. On the 13th day, the Mexican army broke through a breach in the courtyard’s outer wall. Santa Anna’s orders were to take no prisoners, and all but two of the defenders were killed. But the Texans had fought valiantly, with the Mexican forces suffering casualties estimated anywhere between 600 and 1,600. This final battle lasted about 90 minutes. • For the next three months, the Alamo was in the control of the Mexican army. In April of that year, 800 Texans led by Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna’s 1,500-man force near the site of present-day Houston. “Remember the Alamo!” was their battle cry as they attacked. • Over the course of its long history, the Alamo has served as a mission, military quarters, housing for American Indians, a hospital, army supply depot, jail, commercial store, Masonic lodge, movie set and historic tourist attraction. The 4.2-acre site in the heart of downtown San Antonio receives more than 2.5 million visitors each year. • “…I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country.” – Colonel William Barret Travis

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STRANGE BUT TRUE by Samantha Weaver ● It was pioneering British film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock who made the following sage observation: “Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it -as well as contributing to the need for it.” ● The grapefruit is so cause of any relation to to a grape (obviously), hangs from the tree in ters.

named not beor resemblance but because it grapelike clus-

● Those who study such things say that the three most recognized words in the world are God, Coca-Cola and Titanic. ● Although darts is a traditionally English pub game, there are now more than three times as many darts players in the United States than there are in the United Kingdom. ● Jazz musician Glenn Miller was the recipient of the first gold record ever awarded, for the big-band hit “Chattanooga Choo-Choo.” ● The amount of fuel in a jumbo jet single tank would be enough to allow a car to drive around the world -- four times. ● If you had visited Peru in the mid1980s, you could have bought toothpaste with cocaine in it. ● Before he became the celebrated author of such novels as “Pale Fire” and “Lolita,” Vladimir Nabokov was a tennis instructor. ● It’s traditional in Italy for a prospective groom to spend a full year’s earnings on an engagement ring. *** Thought for the Day: “If a rabbit defined intelligence the way man does, then the most intelligent animal would be a rabbit, followed by the animal most willing to obey the commands of a rabbit.” -- Robert Brault (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Vitamin Supplements & Bone Fractures The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported on the relationship between vitamin D supplements and bone fractures. Researchers at Oregon State University analyzed 11 different studies done with and without calcium, which often is given at the same time as vitamin D. All participants were age 65 or older. The study concluded that there is a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and early death in older adults. Specifically, researchers looked at vitamin D levels in “frail seniors,” a group defined by having three of the following five characteristics: exhaustion, slow walking, muscle weakness, low levels of physical activity and unintentional weight loss. “Pre-frail” seniors have two of the above five. The frailest seniors had the lowest amount of vitamin D in their blood. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found “strong evidence” that seniors need both vitamin D and regular exercise to prevent fractures from falls. So how do we get vitamin D? Ideally we get it from our diet (though there’s not much in our food) and sunshine. But many of us live in areas where it’s too cold to continue walking outside when winter comes. That’s where vitamin D supplements come in. Ask your doctor if you need a test to determine your vitamin D levels. Ask, too, whether you are in a high-risk group and perhaps need to have your balance, gait and vision assessed. Getting more vitamin D could be as simple as adding certain types of fish to your diet and taking calcium and vitamin D supplements. Don’t try this on your own because your personal dose will vary. Ask your doctor first.

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“NATIONAL” WORDSIA(continued): Cedar Rapids, 52402 • French: Chefs know what it means to 319-892-0284 “french” a food item. It’s a verb that means to cut into thin strips, like, well, french fries. (And yes, that’s how the finger-friendly poSaving a Life from a Catastrophe tato every dish tookminutes! its name.) Green beans are 11 another item commonly prepared in this manner.

I live

• Maltese: These tiny spaniels are easy to identify thanks to their long, silky coats. The American Kennel Club groups them with other “Toy Dogs” like Pugs and butYorkshire Terriers. . Feline aficionados . also use the term Maltese to describe cats that have a similarly silky, grayOne touch of a button blue coat.


I’m never alone I have

sends help 24/7. things • Colombian: This term fast, means different to different people, depending on how you get your “jones.” Narcotics dealers may refer to their products as Colombian, although the Foractual a source brochure call: Luckily, the is often unknown. majority of us prefer a bit of legal Colombian, as in the coffee grown in the South American nation. The prevalence of coffee shops throughout America is proof enough that many of us just can’t get along in the morning without a hot cup of Colombian.



• Chinese: The generic term “chinese” now represents types of food that are very different from the meals that are (or ever were) served in China. That said, the same argument could be made about what we consider “American” food. Hamburgers? Ice cream? Hot dogs? Pizza? Our national favorites seem to have originated everywhere except in the United States! 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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(Alabama residents LIMITED EDITION BOOK SET please add $1 sales tax.) Reprints of Books I, II & III WHILE THEY LAST!

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1Q2009 :: Wk 03 :: Jan 11 - Jan 17 :: Pg. 8 All Rights Reserved · Copyright © 2009 Tidbits Media, Inc.

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 (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Look for puzzle answers on page 8.

August 29th 2012

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Most of us know that camels are referred to as “ships of the desert,” but what else do you know about this unusual creature? Follow along and learn some new facts! • One hump or two? A one-hump camel is of Arabian descent and is known as the dromedary. The two-humped Asian variety is called the Bactrian. Although subjected to East Asia’s blistering summers of over 100ºF, they are also able to endure winter temperatures of -20ºF . • Although you might think the camel is a homely animal, its name comes from the Arabic word meaning “beauty.” • A camel is an ungulate, in other words, a mammal with hooves. Each foot has two toes and a pad, and the pads spread as it walks, enabling it to maneuver on soft sand without sinking. The camel’s body is specially designed to protect itself from sand — It has three eyelids to protect the eyes from blowing sand and can also close its nostrils as a defense. Like the cow, camels are ruminants, meaning they have a multi-chambered stomach. • The camel’s legs are very thin, yet they are able to support not only the 1,500 pounds of the camel’s body weight, but heavy cargo weighing up to another 1,000 pounds. • If you think the camel’s hump is a reserve of water to help him through the hot desert, you’re mistaken! The hump, rising about 30 inches out of the body, is actually fat, up to 80 pounds worth, that the animal can metabolize for energy and water as needed. As the camel travels great distances without sustenance, it uses up its hump’s stores, and it arrives at its destination with a flabby hump or no hump at all! A camel is able to tolerate a 40 percent loss in body mass. • When the camel is ready to replenish its water supply, it can drink 30 gallons in just 13 minutes! A camel has the ability to carefully preserve its body’s hydration by increasing its own body temperature, thus preventing sweating and subsequent water loss. Nostrils also trap water vapor and return it to the body’s fluids. In addition, the green plants the camel ingests contain moisture that further contributes to its hydration. It’s not unusual for a camel to endure several weeks or to travel up to 100 miles without water. • Although the camel might appear clumsy or ungainly, it can actually run up to 40 miles per hour in a short burst and sustain longer distances at 25 miles per hour. • Many of the deserts’ nomadic tribes count on camel milk as one of their staple foods. The milk is rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins and is lower in fat and cholesterol than cow’s milk. Bedouins frequently process it into a nutritious drinkable yogurt, and some of these roaming tribes live on nothing but camel milk for six months. • The female carries her young between 12 and 14 months. The season and the availability of food both affect the length of gestation. The average camel lives 40 to 50 years. Salt Fact: In the early 1800s salt was 4 times as expensive as beef on the frontier. It was essential in keeping people and livestock alive.


August 29th 2012

Hawkeye Publishing, L.L.C.

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Page 8

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303 8th Ave S.E. Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 319-363-5010

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Tidbits of Northern Johnson County,Ia  

August 29th, 2012

Tidbits of Northern Johnson County,Ia  

August 29th, 2012