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“AS SEEN ON TV”

by Blue Sullivan America is a country full of would-be inventors. For most, it’s as simple as discovering a problem that no one’s ever solved and coming up with a creative and inexpensive solution. Here are just a few of the countless TV marvels that have been advertised on our sets since this phenomenon began. • A good example of the whole “discover a problem, discover a solution” method of inventing is the “Snap-It Screw.” It’s a method of replacing the tiny, and difficult to handle, screws that hold eyeglasses together. • The “Snap-It Screw” was invented by Nancy Tedeschi. “The old saying that necessity is the mother of inventions is what inspired [it],” said Tedeschi. She meant it literally, as it was her own mother who inspired the invention’s creation. • Tedeschi’s mother was overseas doing volunteer work when a hinge screw in her glasses broke. Left with no other immediate remedy, Tedeschi’s mother pulled the pin out of one of her earrings and placed it where the former hinge had been. turn the page for more! WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

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• “She wore this dangling bead from the hinge of her glasses for about a year. She traveled to several foreign countries with it in, and people would literally stop her on the streets and ask her where she got this charm,” said Tedeschi. “My mom came to me and said, ‘You have to invent charms for glasses.’” • For Tedeschi, inventing the “Snap-It Screw” was the easy part. The difficult part was doing all the things necessary to produce and market her new invention. She had to set up patents all over the world. She had to set up a factory in China and a warehouse in Seattle, Washington. She had to spend countless hours marketing her idea to retailers. Today, the “Snap-It Screw” is a success, and Tedeschi says that despite all the hard work, she wouldn’t change a thing. • “Bling To Go” was invented by Abby Appelt during a period where she was forced to use crutches. She felt the dull metal could use a little pizzazz. So she created some decorative wrap-on decals to give her crutches some personality, and her invention was born. • Appelt said, “When I wore my crutch décor, I had people stop me, literally everywhere I went, complimenting me on how awesome my crutches were!” • As Appelt notes, people decorate a million different things with stickers, so it made sense to do likewise with crutches!

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• Perhaps one of the more peculiar and innovative creations making the invention circuit is the “Bogdon Bass.” It’s a standing bass guitar whose main component is a cardboard box! • The “Bogdon Bass” is literally a large cardboard box sealed with tape, with a wooden neck and vinyl strings. It can be played with or without an amplifier. Because of the use of these materials, it is lightweight, inexpensive and recyclable. • This peculiar instrument was invented by a man named Chris Badynee. He named the instrument after his father, Bogdon. • “The inspiration to make my Bogdon Box Bass was that I had the desire to own something that I couldn’t afford, so I made one myself,” explained Badynee. “All I wanted was a natural-sounding upright bass for my own home recordings of songs I wrote.” • After assembling what he thought was just a silly idea only he’d use, Badynee was shocked by how good the makeshift instrument sounded. “[It] sounded so fantastic that I had to tell someone. So I filmed a 60-second video and posted it on the web. I got 1,000 hits on Youtube in less than a day.” • The video became a bit of a viral sensation, and Badynee was asked by “Good Morning, America” for the right to show the video on their program.

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“AS SEEN ON TV” (continued): • Almost immediately after the video was shown on television, Badynee received requests to buy a “Bogdon Box.” He brought in his uncle and a couple of acoustic technicians to help him perfect it. Once they got the instrument exactly right, they began selling it on Ebay to a huge response. Hundreds were sold, almost as quickly as they could turn them out. • Badynee took the profits from those sales to protect and patent his invention. Eventually, his belief in his invention paid off in praise, when his bass was given a rave review in “Bass Player Magazine.” • A well-known invention marketed via television infomercials is the Snuggie. This blanket with sleeves solved a problem most people didn’t even know they had. • Since it covers your entire body but keeps your hands free thanks to its armholes, Snuggie wearers stay warm while still retaining the ability to take sip of their drink, change the channel or turn the page of a book. • The Snuggie was introduced in 2008 and was an instant success. By 2009, 20 million Snuggies had been sold. But there was actually a similar product already on the market, The Slanket, invented by Gary Clegg when he was a college freshman. • Because it is difficult to patent a textile product, Clegg had not patented The Slanket, so the makers of the Snuggie were able to make and market their product legally. • Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s a safe bet that Clegg felt something other than pride when he first saw the Snuggie.

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FAMOUS LANDMARKS OF THE WORLD:

SUNSET BOULEVARD

As one of Los Angeles’ most popular entertainment districts and tourist destinations, Sunset Boulevard is home to a variety of trendy restaurants, nightclubs, attractions, shopping spots and much more. • SunsetBoulevardisanapproximately22-milelong, immensely famous street beginning in downtown Los Angeles and continuing west toward the Pacific. It eventually becomes Sunset Strip as it runs through Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Santa Monica and ends at the ocean. • The boulevard is a direct link between the lower-income areas of Hollywood and the lush, incredibly upscale ones. As the road continues west, it undergoes several transformations. It gives tourists the ability to experience both sides of Hollywood and is rich with sights and attractions all along the way. • It encompasses a surplus of must-see sites including Echo Park, Hollywood Memorial Park, Paramount Studios, KTLA Studios, Fox Network, Columbia Square and the iconic Sunset Grill made famous by Don Henley’s song. • It is at least four lanes its entire duration, and thanks to its curvy, winding route and frequent traffic congestion, car accidents are prevalent. • It is sometimes referred to as “Guitar Row,” as it is home to a wide selection of guitar stores and music-industry-related buildings. • One of the most famous nightclubs in the ‘40s and ‘50s was the glamorous Earl Carroll Theatre on Sunset, said to host the most beautiful girls in the world. After it was sold, it functioned as Moulin Rouge for a number of years. • Hollywood High School, built in 1904, is on Sunset Boulevard and has a reputation for being one of the most beautiful schools in the state. Many famous entertainment personalities are among its graduates. • The iconic thoroughfare inspired the popular 1950s feature film “Sunset Boulevard,” starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson. There was also a 1993 musical named “Sunset Boulevard” that starred Glen Close. • Sunset Boulevard has been highlighted on TV shows, album covers and in song names, including the 1960s TV series “77 Sunset Strip” and the 1990s’ “Below Sunset.” • The best known section of Sunset Boulevard is Sunset Strip, which before its glory days, was nothing more than scattered buildings and nurseries. Once the movie industry took off, studios and glamorous houses began popping up everywhere. It was once called Beverly Boulevard. • Sunset Strip is about 1.5 miles long. It got its name because many Los Angeles County workers referred to it as “that strip” for years. • Sunset Boulevard can brag that it has hosted most of the early motion picture companies; the area near the intersection of Gower Street was famous for the many Westerns made there. However, this section was also known as “Poverty Row,” as many of the films made there failed. • Although many film companies popped up, the smaller ones tended to end quickly — some of them included California Film Co., Century Film Co., H. Paulis Studio and Francis Ford Studio. • A few film companies were able to survive; some of these include Warner Brothers Studios, Christie Film Co. and Columbia Studios. • Today, visitors from all over the world come to Sunset Boulevard to get a glimpse of what makes Tinsel Town glitter and glow.

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● In 1938, Time magazine featured Adolph Hitler on the cover as its Man of the Year. ● You might be surprised at some of the amazing feats that can be accomplished with the aid of modern medicine. In 2008, two women in India gave birth at the age of 70. With the aid of egg donation and postmenopausal in vitro fertilization, Rajo Devi Lohan gave birth to her only child, a girl. Charan Singh Panwar and his wife, Omkari Panwar, already had two daughters and five grandchildren, but they wanted a son. Using the same procedure, Omkari had twins, a boy and a girl. ● The first time a toilet was ever seen on television was in the pilot episode of “Leave It to Beaver,” in 1957. ● The most common name in the world is Muhammed. ● If you live in the South, home of huge roaches, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that a cockroach can live for a week without a head. When the headless insect does finally die, it’s from starvation, not from the loss of its head. ● Those who study such things say that there are 45,000 chickens for every person on the planet. *** Thought for the Day: “The reason that adulation is not displeasing is that, though untrue, it shows one to be of consequence enough, in one way or other, to induce people to lie.” -- Lord Byron (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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The Medicare open-enrollment period is coming up soon. During that time you’ll have the chance to review plans and coverage that you’ll want in 2013. You’ll be able to add, drop or change drug coverage. You can switch from an original plan to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa. You can go from one Advantage plan to another, such as one that has drug coverage versus one that doesn’t. The good news is that the drug plan rates aren’t going up. The average premium for basic drug coverage is likely to be $30 for the third year in a row. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the “doughnut hole” is shrinking. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 52 million people on Medicare have saved $3.9 billion on drug costs, which averages more than $600 per person per year. Between now and 2020, coverage will increase until the doughnut hole is closed altogether. This year we’ve had a 50 percent discount on name-brand drugs during the time the doughnut hole has been in effect, plus a discount of 14 percent on generic drugs. Next year, in 2013, that will increase to 52.5 percent and 21 percent respectively. Figuring out just when you initially need to sign up for Social Security and Medicare can be tricky because the year, month and date you’re born determine your eligibility. Go online to www. medicare.gov and look for the eligibility tools and the plan finder. Or call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. The number for Social Security is 1-800-772-1213. Put this on your calendar: The Medicare enrollment period this year starts Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, 2012. The new choices take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

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“NATIONAL” WORDSIA(continued): Cedar Rapids, 52402 • French: Chefs know what it means to 319-892-0284 www.pastoralcarecentercr.com “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.

alone

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.

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• 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.

Can’t Get Enough

TRILOGY III

(Alabama residents LIMITED EDITION BOOK SET please add $1 sales tax.) Reprints of Books I, II & III WHILE THEY LAST!

The Tidbits® Paper is a division of Tidbits Media, Inc. · Montgomery, AL 36106

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 columnreply@gmail.com. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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September 5th 2012

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Having provided some fun facts about those marvelous inventions sold on TV, it makes sense to share a little interesting information about the evolution of home shopping. For anyone who has ever enjoyed the luxury of finding a good deal from the comfort of their couch, here’s how it all came about. • The first example of “home shopping” as we know it was offered by The Home Shopping Network (or HSN). HSN started with humble beginnings in 1977 in Clearwater, Florida, by selling 112 electronic can openers on an AM radio station. This turned into a regular radio shopping show called “Suncoast Bargaineers.” • In 1981, the televised “Home Shopping Channel” was launched as a Tampa Bay local access cable channel. In 1985, it began broadcasting nationwide, 24-hours a day on cable and local TV. • Today, The Home Shopping Network is a $3 billion retailer that stretches across multiple channels and includes online, mobile, catalog and brick and mortar stores. It offers products 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 364 days a year. • HSN now reaches 96 million homes, and its online site is one of the top 10 e-commerce sites on the web. Its catalog division, Cornerstone, distributes 275 million catalogs a year. That’s a lot of postage! • In 2010, legendary rocker Rod Stewart was the first popular performer to debut a new album on a shopping channel. He debuted his CD “Fly Me To The Moon” with a live, one-hour concert on HSN. It was the highest viewed program in the history of the network and broke all its music sales records. • The other prominent shopping channel is QVC. It was founded in 1986 by Joseph Segel, founder of the Franklin Mint. Seasoned viewers of late-night TV commercials will recognize the Franklin Mint as the seller of commemorative plates, figurines, painted coins and other collectible items. • QVC’s first live broadcast was shot in a studio in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The company broke American business records for sales by a new public company. Part of its early success came through an exclusive agreement with Sears to sell their products on the air. • Showing the influence of home shopping as more than just niche programming, QVC reported record sales of T-shirts heralding “Dallas Cowboys 1994 Super Bowl Champs.” The network sold over 6,000 shirts in just the first few seconds after the game ended! • In 1995, QVC’s success in home shopping was expressed by a few remarkable landmarks. In March of that year, they recorded over 250,000 phone calls in a single day. • It also shipped its 200 millionth package during March of that year, the equivalent of one package for every person in America at the time. In August of that year, QVC held a “Klondike Gold Rush Day,” where revenues topped $19 million dollars in 24 hours. • Today, QVC receives more than 181 million calls in the United States per year, and it ships about 166 million packages worldwide. Its reach is to more than 166 million homes, and sales recently topped $7 billion in a single year.


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