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December 27 2012

Hawkeye Publishing, L.L.C.

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by Kathy Wolfe At this time of year when we are bombarded with ads for a wide variety of toys, Tidbits looks at those toys that have been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, as well as some of our other favorites. • America’s National Toy Hall of Fame, located in Rochester, New York, was established in 1998. It honors those toys and games that have maintained their popularity over many years. In order to qualify for admission, the toy must be “widely recognized, respected, and remembered,” and foster learning and creativity. In addition, it must be more than a passing fad and show innovation. Toys in the Hall are not necessarily brand-name items. For example, the kite, bike, jump rope, rocking horse, and jigsaw puzzles are included. Checkers, yo-yos, jacks, and doll houses are all inductees, along with an item nearly child has played with, the cardboard box, a source of endless creativity. • Originally designed as a cereal premium prize, Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on network television. Introduced in 1952, he met the lovely Mrs. Potato Head in 1953. He sported a pipe for many years, but in 1987, it was abandoned when Mr. Potato Head became the official “spokespud” for the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smoke-Out. turn the page for more! WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

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CLASSIC TOYS (continued): • A French mechanic took his invention L’Ecran Magique, or “Magic Screen” to the International Toy Fair in Germany in 1959, hoping to find a company to buy it. There were no takers for his mechanical drawing toy at the fair, but he eventually convinced the Ohio Art Company to take a chance on it. They renamed it the EtchA-Sketch, and by the next holiday season, it was one of the nation’s most-wanted toys. The red plastic frame housed a flat gray screen and two knobs connected to a stylus that “etched” lines in aluminum powder on the back of the screen. Turning the toy upside down and shaking it erased the image and recoated the screen. • The Kenner Easy-Bake Oven hit retailers’ shelves in 1963, the brainstorm of inventor Ronald Howes, who was inspired by New York City street vendors roasting chestnuts and cooking pretzels. Two 100watt light bulbs heated the food in a trendy turquoise oven, after little girls had mixed up the packets of cake mix with water. The first year, 500,000 ovens were sold for $15.95 each. Thirty-five years later, more than 16 million Easy-Bakes had been sold, and today that number tops 23 million. The design has been upgraded 11 times over the years. The oven no longer uses light bulbs to cook, with current models containing a heating element. • A Portland, Oregon organ maker named William Gruber was responsible for the invention of the View-Master. He introduced his creation at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, where it was sold in photo shops and stationary stores as a souvenir. During World War II, millions of View-Master reels were produced for the U.S. government to assist the armed forces with airplane and ship identification.

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December 27th 2012

Hawkeye Publishing, L.L.C. For Advertising E-mail: or Call (319) 360-3936

TOOLS 4 LIFE BY DR. JIM COYLE New Year Opportunity

Amidst the recent global tragedies that have blanketed a country in sadness and grief, there is hope for a better new year if we can embrace an opportunity to change. Healthy change is a direct result of a changed attitude and behavior. We have an undisciplined world that is running rampant with fuel from fear, anger, and depression. The only way to bridle an effective change is DISCIPLINE. Discipline is doing the things you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing them. Discipline is the glue between words and accomplishments. Discipline is bringing your state of being to obedience of authority (disciple). BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT DOING THE THINGS YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD DO, BUT DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING USE THE SCRIPTURES TO GUIDE YOU DISCIPLINE (DISCIPLE)YOURSELF PUT YOUR VICTORY TROPHIES ON THE MANTLE OF YOUR HEART AND GIVE GOD THE GLORY

CLASSIC TOYS (continued): • The name Wham-O has become synonymous with good old-fashioned fun over the years. Although it’s believed that the hula hoop has been around since about 500 B.C., it wasn’t until 1958 that it took on a brand name when Wham-O introduced a plastic hoop. The company promoted the hoop with giveaways at local playgrounds. Four months after its debut, 25 million hula hoops had been sold. That same year, Wham-O’s Frisbee appeared in stores, and quickly became an American icon. In 1961, Wham-O had another hit with its introduction of the Slip ‘n Slide. Voted in the Top 100 toys of all time, this long sheet of plastic was a practical choice for those who didn’t have money or space for a pool. Yet another success story followed in 1965 with the Superball, invented by chemist Norman Stingley, who received the patent for a “highly resilient polybutadiene ball.” Wham-O produced more than 20 million Superballs during the 1960s. • You might not recognize the name “Thousand Wonder Builder,” the name given to a set of wooden sticks and spools. In 1914, Charles Pajeau and Robert Petit observed kids playing with pencils, sticks, and empty thread spools, and created an inspirational toy for children that sold for 60 cents. Renamed Tinker Toys, by 1918 the inventors had sold more than 2.5 million sets. That 2.5 million figure continued every year up until the 1960s. Originally the pieces were all unpainted natural wood, but in 1932, red was added, followed by green, blue, and yellow three years later.

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December 27th 2012 For Distribution E-mail: or Call (319) 360-3936

CLASSIC TOYS (continued): • Two of our favorite toys had the same inventor. Reyn Guyer came up with a game that required the players to use their bodies as playing pieces. He called the simple polka-dot vinyl sheet and accompanying spinner “Pretzel,” but when Milton Bradley bought the rights, the name was changed to “Twister.” “The Game that Ties You Up in Knots” sold more than three million units during the first year, and has been played by an estimated 65 million people to date. In 1968, another Guyer invention brought a reprieve to those kids who were in trouble for playing ball in the house. The four-inch NERF ball, which stood for Non-Expanding Recreational Foam, had sales of four million its first year. • As architect Frank Lloyd Wright was building Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel in 1916, his son John was building an idea of his own. As John observed workers using a construction technique of interlocking beams, he visualized a set of toy logs made of redwood. He named them after Abraham Lincoln with a slogan of “interesting playthings typifying the spirit of America.” More than 100 million sets of Lincoln Logs have been sold worldwide. • Play-Doh’s original use was that of wallpaper cleaner. At the request of his pre-school teaching sister-in-law, chemist Joseph McVicker tweaked the formula a bit to produce a soft modeling compound for her students. Joe premiered his clay at a 1955 national education convention, and by the next year, he had a hit. Not only have kids played with about 700 million pounds of Play-Doh, it even has its own national day of recognition, September 16th.

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Jim was in a bad mood, and anyone who got in is way was going to regret it. Jim walked into his favorite restaurant and plopped himself down on a chair. “Get me a steak well done with mashed potatoes. ” Three minutes later when his order came, Jim screamed “DIDN’T YOU HEAR ME SAY WELL DONE?!” “Why thank you sir” the waitress smiled, ”that was the first compliment I got all day!” Look for puzzle answers on page 8.

We’ve all heard that Santa lives at the North Pole. But as you’ll soon learn, the Pole is not exactly the most conducive location for comfortable living quarters! • There are actually two North Poles – a geographic one and a magnetic one. The geographic Pole is the Earth’s northernmost point, also called “true north.” It’s the point where all lines of longitude converge, found at 90° North latitude. All points in the world are south of the Pole, since east and west have no bearing. The magnetic North Pole is hundreds of miles away from the geographic pole, at approximately 82.7° North latitude, but it’s always on the move. It’s the focus of the Earth’s magnetic field, the place where compasses point. This pole moves about 25 miles each year. • There is no land at the North Pole, as it sits in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, about 450 miles north of Greenland. It’s covered with a constantly-shifting field of ice, typically between 6.5 and 10 feet thick. Now and then on rare occasions, open water is visible at the exact Pole site. The sea has been measured at 13,980 feet deep. • It’s an international law that no country owns the North Pole or any of the Arctic Ocean surrounding it. • There are six months of darkness and six months of daylight at the Pole. The annual sunrise takes place on the equinox around March 19, taking three months to reach its highest point at the summer solstice, around June 21. During the summer, the sun is always above the horizon. It begins a slow descent after the solstice and the annual sunset occurs around September 24. The sky remains in twilight until early October, when it settles into full darkness. • January temperatures at the Pole average around -29° F , and summer temps hover around the freezing point of 32° F. The warmest temperature recorded was 41° F. • Although Robert Peary and his assistant Matthew Henson are credited with being the first to reach the North Pole, many believed the team missed the Pole by a few miles. The Peary expedition reached the site in April of 1909, but Peary’s claims were disputed by his rival, Dr. Frederick Cook, who maintained that he had reached the Pole the year before. Cook did not provide detailed original navigational records to prove his achievement, claiming that the records had been left behind. Cook’s reputation was damaged beyond repair. • In 1958, the world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus became the first vessel to voyage under the ice at the North Pole. • Situated 2,347 miles north of Seattle and 140 miles south of the Arctic Circle is the community of North Pole, Alaska, population 2,200. The town’s name might be North Pole, but it’s nowhere near that site, and is located 1,700 miles south of the actual geographic North Pole. • Thousands of tourists visit North Pole, Colorado annually, a Christmas-themed family amusement park with a village of 12 alpine buildings established in 1956 on the slopes of Pikes Peak. The park boasts a frozen “North Pole” in the middle of its 25 acres that stays frozen no matter how high the temperature rises.

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STRANGE BUT TRUE by Samantha Weaver

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● It was beloved American film star Katharine Hepburn who made the following sage observation: “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give -- which is everything.” ● You might be surprised to learn that one out of every 18 people has a third nipple. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Windmill Manor Proudly Presents Senior News Line by Matilda Charles

Resolutions Made Easy The New Year is coming, along with all that potential for a fresh start in the form of resolutions. It doesn’t need to be difficult to make changes. All we need to do is start small and decide on what can add positives to our life. Consider asking your doctor what you can do in the New Year to increase your level of health. The answer might be rather simple, such as, “Get some 3-pound hand weights and strengthen your arms and wrists.” Or, “Add one fruit to your diet each day. Canned is OK.” How easy that would be. Vow to stay in better touch with friends. Make a list of people who’ve started to drift away from lack of contact and make a call or send a letter to each one. Stay in touch with them every month. Learn a new skill. The senior center or recreation department will have classes of all kinds. Pick one, but give it some thought. Choose something you can stick with. Does it have a writing class? A beginning drawing class? Photography? How about teaching a class and passing along a skill you have? Do something for others on a regular basis. Schedule two or three days a month when you’ll shelve books at the library, socialize dogs at the animal shelter to give them a better chance of being adopted, answer phones at the food bank or anything else you think is meaningful. Here’s one suggestion with a tangible benefit: Pick one coin denomination, whether it’s a nickel, dime or quarter, and save it in a jar every time you get one in change. Save the coins all year and reward yourself next December.

“NATIONAL” WORDS (continued): • French: Chefs know what it means to “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 potato dish its name.) Green beans are * E took another commonly prepared in this SAV item % manner.


• 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 Yorkshire Terriers. Feline aficionados also use the term Maltese to |describe anniversary | birthday just because cats that have a similarly silky, grayblue coat. Hurry! Flowers from $19.99 +s/h • Colombian: This term means different things Visit or call 888.483.7528 to different people, depending on how you “jones.” Narcotics Joinget Over your 12 Million People Who Have Found adealers Better Waymay to Sendrefer Flowers todiscount their products as Colombian, the *20% off will appear upon checkout. Minimum purchase of $29.00. Doesalthough not apply to gift cards or certificates, same-day or international delivery, shipping and handling, taxes, or third-party hosted products (e.g. wine) and actual source is often unknown. Luckily, cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Discounts not valid on bulk or corporate purchases ofthe 10 units or more. Offer expires: 12/31/12. 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.

Can’t Get Enough



Send $24.95 (plus $5 S&H) by Check or Money Order to: Tidbits Media, Inc. 1430 I-85 Parkway, Suite 301 Montgomery AL 36106

(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 (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Look for puzzle answers on page 8.

December 27th 2012

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Hawkeye Publishing, L.L.C. For Advertising E-mail: or Call (319) 360-3936

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Hawkeye Publishing L.L.C. considers it’s advertisers reliable and verifies as much data as possible. Consequently, readers using this information do so at their own risk. It is suggested that the investors contact the appropriate consumer agency before sending payment. Although persons and companies ® mentioned herein are believed to be reputable, neither Tidbits of Linn county publication, Hawkeye Publishing L.L.C., The Nations Online Listings nor any of it’s employees accept any responsibility whatsoever for their actions. For more information about credit scams and advanced fee loans write: FTS Washington, DC 20580

December is National Egg Nog Month as

well as National Fruit Cake Month. Here we present some interesting and amusing facts about these two holiday treats!

• There are disputing views as to the origins of egg not. Some historians say that the concoction came from a 1500s English beverage called “Pousset,” a mixture of eggs, wine, and milk. It was mostly consumed by those who were welloff, because a readily available supply of fresh milk and eggs was necessary. Other historians claim that the name comes from a Colonial drink made with rum called “egg and grog,” which was eventually shortened to “egg’n’grog,” and finally “egg nog.” Still others say that part of the name is from the old English word “noggin,” a germ used for a small wooden mug that was used to serve alcohol. • Egg nog can be enjoyed with or without alcohol. The traditional old English beverage contained wine or brandy. When the English settled in America, brandy and wine were heavily taxed by the mother country, and rum was substituted by the Colonists. Most Americans who add alcohol to their egg nog now use bourbon. Many Europeans typically mix egg nog with white wine. The Germans add beer to theirs and call it Biersuppe. Egg nog in Mexico is called Rompope and has grain alcohol added along with a large amount of cinnamon. • The fruitcake dates back to ancient Roman times when pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins were mixed into a barley mash. During the Middle Ages, the recipe was expanded to include honey, spices, and preserved fruits. During the 1400s, when the exporting of dried fruits to Great Britain from the Mediterranean began, fruit cake became a very popular item. Queen Victoria was very fond of the delicacy and it was regularly served at tea time during her reign. In the 1800s, it was the preferred cake at weddings and Christmas gatherings. • Traditional fruitcakes are soaked in brandy, whiskey, or liqueur, which helps to prevent mold. Storing the cake in brandy-soaked linens also increases its life. • Although some folks think that fruitcake gets better with age, it’s the subject of mockery to others, particularly late-night comedians. In a December, 1985 broadcast, Tonight Show host Johnny Carson joked, “There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.” The fruitcake bashing continued after Carson’s death, countered with appearances by Marie Rudisill, known as “The Fruitcake Lady,” who had sent a copy of her book about fruitcake to the producer. Jay Leno continued the tradition by sampling a fruitcake on the show that was reportedly baked in 1878, and has been kept as an heirloom by a Michigan family. • Looking for a creative way to get rid of your unwanted fruitcake? Visit the community of Manitou Springs, Colorado each January, where you can participate in the Annual Great Fruitcake Toss. Any method of hurling the cakes is permissible – your outfielder’s arm, slingshot, golf club, or mechanical device. If you want to attend, but don’t have a cake, you can rent one for $1.00. Don’t expect big rewards for being the winner – there is no prize money! • An old English custom calls for unmarried guests at a wedding to put a slice of fruitcake under their pillow following the wedding. Legend has it they will dream of the person they will marry.

December 27th 2012

Hawkeye Publishing, L.L.C.

Page 8

-Tidbits® The paper that readers of all ages can enjoy-


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1. What 1955 toy featured a magnetic wand Uses for old fruitcake: Bookends, scratching and metal shavings to draw whiskers and hair post for the cat, boat anchor, fireplace brick, on a cartoon face? 2. One of the oldest games in the world, it’s doorstop, stepstool, weight training also known as iguni, abhadho, cincos marias, and huripapa. What is it? MOMENTS INoneTIME 3. Two figures, red and one blue, were set up in boxing ring. What were they called? ● On Dec. 29, 1878, the first game is played The History Channel 4. These homely figures of the 1960s featured ● On Dec. 28, 1869, the a labor between two teams of the first professional woolenKnights hair, glass eyes,ofandLabor, odd bodies. What were they? union of tailors in Philadelphia, holds the first baseball league in Cuba. Baseball was 5. What item was used aboard Apollo 8 to Labor Day ceremonies in tools American hold down in zero gravity? history. In introduced in Cuba around 1864, when some

5. Silly Putty

1. What game is also known as “draughts” is designated the first Monday in students returned home from studying in the 1894, Congress some countries? toys” lately, September a legal holiday for all federal employees United States and introduced their fellow islanders to the bat and ball. and the residents of the District of Columbia. with outdated 2. A naval engineer invented this steel coil to 4th Quarter 2012 at at least 25 keep ship instruments stable. What is it? cell phones, Week 52 dfills? Many uch as lead, “The worst gift is fruitcake. There is and drinking only one fruitcake in the entire world, ing them on and people keep sending it to each ated model, other”. - Johnny Carson This word means: an enjoyable anization, or activity such as a game, hobby, or TEXT : 319-530-36948 FOR CURRENT DEALS! form of entertainment y.



If you’re watching your weight, egg nog might not be your best choice. One cup contains a whopping 342 calories, of which 167 are from fat. And that’s1.without Checkers any alcohol! If you consume a quart of egg 2. A Slinky nog, that’s equal to a third of a pound.

Susan Lucci 12/23/46 Ryan Seacrest 12/24/74 Jimmy Buffett 12/25/46 Ozzie Smith 12/26/54 Cokie Roberts 12/27/43 Denzel Washington 2/28/54 Jude Law 12/29/72


● On Dec. 24, 1979, the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan under the pretext of upholding the Soviet-Afghan Friendship Treaty of 1978. Within days, the Soviets had secured the capital of Kabul after overcoming fierce but brief resistance from the Afghan army. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Tidbits of Northern Johnson County, IA  
Tidbits of Northern Johnson County, IA  

Week of December 27th, 2012