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September 5, 2010 Dania Beach, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Edition

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In this Issue: HealthBits • GreenBits TastyBits • PetBits Games & Laughs

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As the fall and winter holiday season rapidly approaches, Tidbits takes a look at holidays both familiar and little known around the world, from the America and Canada to China, Africa and Australia.

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• Immigrants from Great Britain and Ireland brought Halloween (October 31) customs to the United States, but the festival did not become popular until the latter part of the 19th century. This may have been because it had long been popular with the Irish, who migrated here in large numbers after 1840.

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• Groundhog Day evolved from Candlemas Day, observed for centuries in parts of Europe on February 2, where the custom was to have the clergy bless candles to be used for church functions and distribute them to the people. By the 1840s the idea caught on in the United States, particularly in Pennsylvania, whose earliest settlers were German immigrants. •

T o d a y , Groundhog Day “predicts” the weather. If the groundhog sees its shadow, six more weeks of winter are ahead. Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is the headquarters of the celebration where the groundhog “Punxsutawney Phil” looks for his shadow at Gobbler’s Knob, a wooded knoll just outside of the town.

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HOLIDAYS (continued)

• The origin of Thanksgiving Day has been attributed to a harvest feast held by the Plymouth, Massachusetts, colonists, although such celebrations date from ancient times. In 1621, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony proclaimed a day of “thanksgiving” and prayer to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first harvest in America. • President George Washington in 1789 issued the first presidential thanksgiving proclamation in honor of the new constitution. • On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a presidential proclamation naming the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day. • The official national day of Australia is Australia Day, also known as Anniversary Day and Foundation Day. Celebrated annually on January 26, it commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788, the unfurling of the British flag, and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia. • Canada Day, formerly known as Dominion Day, is Canada’s national day, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the enactment of the British North America Act, which united Canada as a single country on July 1, 1867. • Most communities across Canada host organized celebrations for Canada Day, usually outdoor public events such as parades, carnivals, festivals, barbecues, air and maritime shows, fireworks and musical concerts. • Those in the United States tend to think of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America as their own special event, but in fact, many countries in the New World and elsewhere celebrate the anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. • Columbus Day has many names: Columbus Day in the United States, Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many Latin American countries, Día de las Culturas (Day of the Cultures) in Costa Rica, Discovery Day in The Bahamas, Día de la Hispanidad (Spanish Day) in Spain, Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay, and Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela. These holidays all have been celebrated unofficially since the 18th century and officially in various countries since the early 20th century. • Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the longest and the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is often called the Lunar New Year, especially by people in mainland China and Taiwan. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called the Lantern Festival. • The origin of Chinese New Year is centuries old and legends relate its annual observance to a beast known as Nian. The beast came out to eat people on the eve of each New Year, until an old man found a way to conquer it. In celebration, people began to observe Chinese New Year. • Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of Chinese New Year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decorations, food and clothing. It is also tradition throughout the country for every family to thoroughly clean their house to sweep away any ill fortune and make way for incoming good luck. • Fiji Week is seven days of festivities culminating in Fiji Day on October 10, the anniversary of Fiji’s independence from British colonial rule in 1970. A different theme is chosen every year, but common elements include religious ceremonies and cultural performances.


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• Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday celebrated in India to mark the occasion of the birthday of pacifist Mahatma Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation.” Celebrated on October 2 every year, this is one of only three officially declared National Holidays in India and is observed in all its states and union territories. • The holiday recently went worldwide. The United Nations General Assembly announced on June 15, 2007, that it adopted a resolution that declared October 2 the International Day of Non-Violence to celebrate the life of Gandhi.

For Advertising Information Call 954-667-3237 • The last Monday of October, or the Halloween Holiday, is a time of celebration in Ireland. Many cultural and sporting events are held during the holiday weekend. Some of these include: the Dublin marathon, arts and fashion festivals and music performances by Irish musicians or inspired by Ireland’s his-tory. • Shortly after the 2008 U.S. presidential election result was announced, Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki declared November 6 as Obama Day in his country because Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., was Kenyan. • Sinterklaas, also called Sint-Nicolaas or De Goedheiligman in Dutch and Saint Nicolas in French, is a traditional winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles and Belgium. He is celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas’ eve, December 5, or in Belgium, on the morning of December 6. • Sinterklaas is the basis for the North American figure of Santa Claus. • Christmas Day is celebrated as a major festival and public holiday in most countries of the world, even in many whose populations are not majority Christian. Major exceptions, where Christmas is not a formal public holiday, include People’s Republic of China, (except Hong Kong and Macao), Japan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Thailand, Nepal, Iran, Turkey and North Korea.

-OLOGISTS It’s pretty obvious that a bacteriologist studies bacteria, but what about all those other experts who devote themselves to a certain field? Tidbits takes a closer look at some of the more unusual specialists. • What a difference one little letter makes! A nephologist specializes in the study of clouds and their formation, while a nephrologist deals with the function and diseases of the kidneys. A cytologist is an expert in the branch of biology that studies the structure and function of cells, but a cetologist is an authority in the field of whales and other aquatic mammals. While an ethologist studies animal behavior, an ethnologist analyzes cultural and ethnic differences among humans. And a cartologist and a carpologist are miles apart! The former specializes in creating maps and the latter does research on fruits and seeds. • A graphologist claims to be able to tell much about you from studying your handwriting. By examining your dots, crossed t’s and curlicues, this specialist identifies personality traits, emotions, areas of tension and even potential psychological problems. • An ichthyologist will know that there are more than 31,500 different species of fish that have been discovered. One of history’s earliest ichthyologists was the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who had catalogued 117 different species of Mediterranean fish as early as 322 B.C. • A spelunker enjoys exploring caves, but a speleologist delves into their origin and physical structure, and the plant and animal life within them. They are often responsible for the mapping of caves as well as rescue techniques. • Herpetologists and ophiologists are closely related. Herpetologists study the broader field of reptiles and amphibians, while ophiologists narrow it down to the specialized area of snakes. • No, a phonologist isn’t the person behind the counter at the cell phone store. It’s really one who investigates sounds and patterns in a language. • Someone who spends a lot of time around workers, drones and a queen might be an apiologist, one who studies honey bees. Early apiologists discovered that the queen is the mother of all the female worker bees and the male drones. By researching the biology and social network of the bees, pollination and honey production can be increased. • A person with a degree in equestrian studies can be referred to as a hippologist, one who is knowledgeable about horses. The root of the word, hippo-, comes from the Greek language, meaning “horse.” The name of the enormous African river-dwelling hippopotamus actually translates “river horse,” and hippodrome refers to an open-air stadium with a track used for horse racing. • If you’re familiar with a Fairy Lorikeet, Gloss-mantled Manucode or Band-tailed Oropendola, you just might be an ornithologist, an authority in the field of birds.

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FAITH HILL Country singing sensation Faith Hill was born Audrey Faith Perry on September 21, 1967, in Jackson, Mississippi, and began singing at a young age. Her successes have brought her fame and fortune. Her career also brought her a family, when she married fellow country music star Tim McGraw. • Faith Hill was adopted by Ted and Edna Perry. She only met her biological mother in the early 1990s. She has two siblings: Wesley and Steve Perry. • Hill attended McLaurin High School in Mississippi, where she was a cheerleader and the prom queen. • The first album Hill owned was Elvis Presley’s “A Legendary Performer, Vol. 1.” Her favorite movies are “The Color Purple,” “My Fair Lady” and “Roman Holiday.” • Hill dropped out of Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, to try her luck at music in Nashville. Life wasn’t easy in the Music City, and she worked as an office clerk while at the same time singing with a Southern Gospel Group, The Steeles. • In fact, Hill had several jobs before becoming famous: selling t-shirts, working as a receptionist at a music publishing company and packaging merchandise for Reba McEntire. • Hill released her debut album, “Take Me As I Am” in 1993. Sales were strong, led by the chart success of “Wild One” and a version of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” • She sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. • Hill almost considered quitting her music career after all the drama surrounding the Country Music Association’s 2006 Female Vocalist of the Year Award. Television cameras caught her shocked and angry reaction when the honor went to Carrie Underwood instead of her. She claimed that she


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was only joking when she made that face, but it was widely believed that she was serious. • She and her husband Tim McGraw often collaborate and have had hit duets together including “It’s Your Love” (1997), “Let’s Make Love” (2000) and “Like We Never Loved At All” (2005). When McGraw proposed to her in a trailer before a concert, he had to go perform before she answered, so Hill wrote her response on the mirror. • On September 16, 2008, Hill released her first Christmas album entitled “Joy to the World.” Included on the album along with newly arranged classic Christmas tunes was the new song “A Baby Changes Everything.” Among the guest artists on the recording are the Nashville Orchestra, Metro Voices and the London Oratory School Boys Choir. • Hill serves on the celebrity committee of the Afghanistan World Foundation, an organization dedicated to the restoration and development of Afghanistan. She is also affiliated with the charitable 4-H Club. • Hill is a big fan of the group Coldplay. She listens to their music just before she goes on stage. She also loves music by Elton John and Queen. • One of Hill’s favorite junk food snacks is a pack of barbecue chips with homemade ranch dip. She can eat a whole bag in one sitting.


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6 • September 5, 2010

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition

• On Sept. 15, 1858, the new Overland Mail Company sends out its first two stagecoaches, inaugurating government mail service between the eastern and western regions of the nation. Overland later competed with the Pony Express until May 10, 1869, the day the first transcontinental railroad was completed. On that day, the U.S. government canceled its last overland mail contract. • On Sept. 17, 1884, Judge Allen disposes of the 13 criminal cases on his Oakland, Calif., docket in only six minutes. Although he apparently set a new record for speed, defendants in Oakland’s criminal court did not stand much of a chance of gaining an acquittal. In a 40-year period at the turn of the century, only 1 defendant in 100 was acquitted. • On Sept. 14, 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the PanAmerican Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. When McKinley was operated on after being shot, doctors had failed to find the bullet, and gangrene soon spread throughout his body.

For Advertising Information Call 954-667-337 • On Sept. 16, 1940, Selective Service is born as Congress passes the Burke-Wadsworth Act, imposing the first peacetime draft in the history of the United States. By the end of World War II, approximately 34 million men had registered, and 10 million served with the military. • On Sept. 19, 1959, in one of the more surreal moments in the history of the Cold War, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev explodes with anger when he learns that he cannot visit Disneyland. Government authorities feared that the crowds would pose a safety hazard for the premier. • On Sept. 13, 1971, a four-day riot at Attica Prison in New York comes to a violent end as law-enforcement officials open fire, killing 29 inmates and 10 hostages and injuring many more. The prison insurrection was the bloodiest in U.S. history. • On Sept. 18, 1981, the 20,000-car parking lot at Canada’s West Edmonton Mall makes the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest parking lot in the world. However, in Dubai, a 40,000-space parking lot is under construction at a shopping center. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

Getting a Grip on Debt

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• It was author, journalist and political consultant Vic Gold who made the following sage observation: “The squeaking wheel doesn’t always get the grease. Sometimes it gets replaced.” • The record for the longest space flight in history is held by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov. In 1995 he completed a 438-day stay aboard the Mir space station.

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• It’s commonly believed that Eskimos have 50 or more words for different types of snow but no word for just plain snow. In point of fact, that statement is misleading, as the Eskimo language is composed largely of roots and suffixes that can be combined in virtually unlimited ways. • A traditional groom in Norway wears short pants, knee socks, and a silk shirt along with a vest and topcoat. • Everyone knows that China is the most populous country on Earth today, with nearly 20 percent of the world’s population. But you might not realize that there are now more people living in China than lived on the entire planet 150 years ago. • A recent item in this column stated that Henry Heimlich believed peanut butter to be the food upon which people most commonly choke. As it turns out, that quotation did not come from Dr. Heimlich. Don’t be mistaken, though - according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, peanut butter is a high-risk food. • The IRS reportedly spends $2.45 for every $100 in taxes it collects. ***

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thought for the day: “I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.” -- Isaac Asimov (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

If you’re making only minimum monthly payments or have skipped one or more, if you keep charging things to credit cards that are nearly maxed out, if you keep checking your available credit or if you avoid taking phone calls until you check Caller ID, these are signs you could be overloaded with debt. Before you get to that point, though, you may experience extra stress, lack of sleep, fear of opening the mail -- all clues that your spending may be out of control. Before the situation gets critical, you might consider getting credit counseling. A credit counselor your financial talk with you got into the crucial because isn’t given to your way into will happen

will go over situation and about how you situation. This is if consideration how you spent debt, it likely again.

Ideally, the counselor will contact your creditors and arrange a debt management plan that could include lower interest rates or monthly payments. Past-due accounts will be re-aged to bring them current. You’ll be required in most cases to close the accounts in question. With the new payment arrangements you’ll have an opportunity to pay on time and build new, positive credit. For problems you want to handle yourself, many people choose debt settlement as a way of reducing debt. This is where the creditor agrees to take a portion of the amount you owe and cancel it while you make smaller payments on the remaining balance. Debt settlement, however, can get you a Form 1099-C, and you’ll pay taxes on the forgiven amount, as it’s added to your income. If you get one of these, talk to your tax preparer and ask about filing a Form 982. You maybe be able to reduce the taxable amount of the forgiven debt. That’s not to say all will be well. Settled accounts and those under a debt-management program will stay on your credit report for many years, nearly as long as a bankruptcy, and it might be difficult to get loans as long as those stay on your report. No matter which way you choose to handle the problem, the faster you get a grip on your financial problems, the faster the stresses will go away. And that counts for a lot. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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September 5, 2010 • 


Easy Cinnamon Rolls (Sticky Buns) Eat More to Weigh Less According to the annual “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future” report for 2010, released by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Americans are losing the battle of the bulge. Elizabeth Pivonka is a registered dietitian and CEO of produce for the Better Health Foundation, the nonprofit entity behind the national public-health initiative “Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters.” Pivonka says that most adults don’t get the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables each day. “Eating more fruits and vegetables in place of options that are higher in fat and calories is an important step in losing weight and keeping it off. “Fruits and vegetables play important roles in the process of weight loss and weight maintenance,” says Pivonka. “Not only because they are low in calories, but also because they provide a wide range of valuable nutrients like vitamins and potassium. They also are high in fiber and water, so eating them will keep you feeling full longer. “Fruits and vegetables are the cheapest form of health insurance you can buy,” according to Pivonka, “since eating them may help reduce the risk of obesity and many diseases. Everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables, so fill at least half of your plate with them at every meal. There is no need to eat the same thing day after day when there are so many delicious fruits and veggies from which to choose. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is easy when you remember that all product forms count -- fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice.” Here are some ways you can easily increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you consume each day: • Set out raw vegetables with dip to snack on before starting to prepare the evening meal. • Don’t forget about dried fruits and veggies! Keep a bag of your favorites in your handbag or in the car for those times when a craving strikes while you’re on the go. These also work well as fast additions to breakfast cereals or soups and stews. • Use a smaller plate, like an 8- or 9-inch luncheon plate, not a 10-12 inch dinner plate, and make sure to fill at least half of it with fruits and veggies at every meal. • Have fruit instead of processed sweets for dessert. Or try chocolate with your fruit instead of fruit with your chocolate! • Keep a variety of canned fruits and vegetables on hand. They are pre-cooked as part of the canning process and need just a few seconds in the microwave or on the stove to heat up. Healthy and fast! • Add frozen vegetables to box meals to boost their flavor, color and nutrition. They won’t add to the cooking time, will make the meal go further, and you won’t have to fix an extra side dish. • Spend the few extra cents to buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are already washed and cut up, or buy larger bags and clean and cut them up yourself and put them into portioncontrolled containers. Keep them on hand for ready-to-eat snacks, pack them into lunches and take them on car trips. • When shopping, let kids select a new fruit or vegetable for the whole family to try -- remember, all forms count: fresh,

frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice!

SUPER SUPPER SALAD Get home late and don’t want to cook? Try this easy salad to provide a well-balanced, healthy and delicious meal guaranteed not to “weigh” you down! 1 (6 to 8 ounce) bag mixed salad greens or baby spinach 1 (6 ounce) can tuna or chicken, drained 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, cannellini beans, black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes 1 large peach or apple, pit or core removed and sliced 1 medium bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, and diced 1 small cucumber, sliced 1/4 cup sliced almonds or walnut halves 1/4 cup low-fat salad dressing 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper Top the bag of pre-washed salad mix with the tuna or chicken, beans, tomatoes, fruit, bell pepper and cucumber. Sprinkle on the nuts. Drizzle salad with low-fat dressing. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serves 4. *** Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of six cookbooks. Her latest cookbook is “The New African-American Kitchen.” She is known as The Kitchen Diva and is the executive producer and host of “The Kitchen Diva!” cooking show on Visit her Web site at (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

COMFORT FOODS -- Made Fast and Healthy! By Healthy Exchanges

Broccoli Harvest Salad

1/2 stick margarine or butter, melted 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup nuts, chopped 1 tablespoon water 1/2 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon (to 1 1/2 teaspoons) cinnamon 2 cans (11-ounce) refrigerated regular or buttermilk biscuits 1. Take 2 tablespoons melted butter with the brown sugar, nuts and water and place in the bottom of 10-inch Bundt pan. 2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon together. Dip each biscuit lightly in rest of melted butter, then into sugar and cinnamon mixture. 3. Place each biscuit on end in Bundt pan; pinch tips or sides of biscuits slightly together (this helps prevent ring from falling apart when served). Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. After baking, turn biscuit ring out onto plate. Serve immediately. (Or cool the rolls to serve later. Reheat to serve if you like.) • Each serving: About 350 calories, 17g total fat, 725mg sodium.

Stuffed Peanut Butter French Toast Peanut butter isn’t just for kids’ lunchboxes anymore! It adds protein and flavor to family meals from breakfast to dinner. 2 large eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup peanut butter 8 slices white bread 1 banana, sliced diagonally 1 tablespoon margarine or butter 1. In pie plate, with fork, beat eggs and milk. Spread peanut butter on the eight slices of bread. Top 4 slices of bread with banana slices. Top with remaining pieces of bread, to make 4 sandwiches. 2. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter on medium. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture to coat. Add sandwiches to skillet and cook for 6 minutes, or until golden on both sides. Drizzle with maple syrup. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our Web site at (c) 2010 Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

Summer is almost over. Winter will be here sooner than most of us want. Let’s gather family and friends together for one last chance to have fun in the sun. You provide the meat for grilling, and we’ll provide a tasty salad dish! 2 3/4 cups chopped fresh broccoli 1/4 cup raisins 1 cup unpeeled, cored and chopped Red Delicious apples 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion 1/4 cup bacon bits 1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise 1 tablespoon white vinegar Sugar substitute to equal 2 teaspoons sugar 1. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, raisins, apples and onion. Stir in bacon bits and Cheddar cheese. 2. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar substitute. Add mayonnaise mixture to broccoli mixture. Mix well to combine. 3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Gently stir again just before serving. Makes 6 (2/3 cup each) servings. • Each serving equals: 94 calories, 2g fat, 5g protein, 14g carb., 409mg sodium, 2g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Fruit, 1 Vegetable. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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 • September 5, 2010

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition

Summer Memories Come Into Focus “Now, say CHEEEEEZE!” was a common refrain from 12-year-old Kerynn Smith as she snapped dozens of photos while on vacation with her parents and 8-yearold sister at a family camp this summer. “ W h e n K e r y n n received her own digital camera for a gift last Christmas, there was no doubt in our minds that she would become our designated t r a v e l

photographer,” says 43-year-old mom and Head Start consultant Kristen Smith. She and her husband, Glenn, encourage their daughters to take an active role in their trips, and photography fit Kerynn’s skills and interest this year. “When we return home from our travels, we’ve barely unpacked our bags when we download photos into our computer,” says Kristen. “I pop popcorn, play some music, and when we turn out the lights the girls shout, ‘Time for the slide show!’ We watch all of our previous and new vacation pictures. It’s a photo tradition that puts an exclamation mark on our special times together.”

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Don’t let this summer’s travel photos hide in files on your hard drive. Here are more snappy ways you can enjoy your pictures. Fun PostProduction Alterations Photocopy favorite photos in black and white on plain white paper and change the look of the photo by coloring over the subjects and adding details with colorful markers. What would dad’s fishing hat look like with purple polka dots? Paint your car bright-pink, or add a shy bear cub peeking through a branch of a tree. Write Creative Photo Captions As you sort photos into events on your computer, or if you print them for a photo book, encourage your kids to think up and write silly and serious captions to capture the memory of the moment the picture was taken. Share and Compare Across Generations When your family gets together with grandparents, show off your vacation photos and then take a look at albums from yesteryear to discover what the grandparents did for summer fun and what they looked like when they were your kids’ ages. Decorate with Photos and Souvenirs As you unpack from vacation, set aside your favorite souvenirs, and for visual impact, arrange them in one place in your home such as on an end table or low shelf. Add a framed collage of travel photos to prompt storytelling and to make the collection personal. *** Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” (c) 2010 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.

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September 5, 2010 • 9

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition

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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a 78-year-old, semiretired man. I am very active and look a lot younger. I work parttime as a truck driver delivering auto parts to garages. Now I am out of work because of pain in my lower back. The pain runs down to my foot. I have been diagnosed with sciatica. My doctor sent me for an MRI, and it showed a bulging disk. What is the best remedy? I use ice packs, heating packs and hot packs. I am on crutches to take pressure off my leg. Would surgery help? -- J.S. ANSWER: Back pain is one of the leading problems that send people to doctors. Most cases of back pain go away on their own, even if they’re due to things like a bulging (also called herniated or ruptured) disk. Even though your back hurts, you can be as active as your pain allows. Don’t sit for prolonged periods; sitting puts more pressure on your back than does standing or walking. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees. Continue with heat, cold or alternating heat and cold, whichever gives you the most pain relief. Tylenol or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (Aleve, Advil, Motrin, etc.) can make you more comfortable. If the pain doesn’t let up in six weeks, you have chronic back pain. Sciatica is pain that travels from the back down the leg to the foot. It comes from pressure on the sciatic nerve. In your case, the pressure most likely comes from your bulging back disk. Back disks are cartilage pads placed between adjacent backbones to absorb the shock those bones take from our walking, bending and pushing. The disk has a tough outer ring. Gelatinous material makes up the inner core. If there’s a break in the outer ring, the inner core pushes through -- a bulging, herniated or ruptured disk, whichever term you want to use. If sciatica doesn’t resolve on its own, a doctor can inject the back with cortisone to reduce inflammation. That can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. The procedure is called an epidural. Surgeons, aided by a microscope, can remove the bulge through small incisions, about an inch long. This technique is called a microdiskectomy and usually is quite successful. The booklet on back problems covers this topic in detail. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 303W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.

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Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2010 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved



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10 • September 5, 2010

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition

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After awhile though, Cat started leaving through the window again and coming back a few hours later. She also seemed to get fatter and fatter, until we realized she was pregnant. Cat delivered four babies on towels my mother laid out on the bathroom floor. My mother gave three of the kittens to neighbors and we kept the fourth, an all-white male we named “Whitey.”

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For Advertising Information Call 954-667-337

September 5, 2010 • 11

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition

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Wasps No Match for Vacuum Hose Q: I liked your answer to the reader’s question about what to do regarding the yellow jackets that have embedded themselves inside his home’s siding. It’s probably a good idea to go have a pest control specialist look at the problem. We had a somewhat similar problem with my house: A wasp nest built beside a second-floor window. I puzzled about what to do, and then came up with a solution. I taped a vacuum cleaner hose to the opening in the window frame where the wasps were going in and out. (Use good, weather-resistant tape and check in often.) It was a warm day, and it took about three or four hours to get all of the wasps out, but I got ‘em all. Best of all, it was cheap. Thought you’d like to know about this option. -- Ron L., Lakeville, N.Y. A: That’s definitely an interesting option! I’m not sure where the other end of the vacuum cleaner hose was attached, though. Have any other readers used a similar method to clear wasps from a nest? *** READER TIP: I was reading a recent article of yours on replacing vinyl tiles in the kitchen and have a suggestion. Whenever I need to lift up a vinyl tile or even pull up an entire floor, which doesn’t happen often and is why I don’t own a heat gun to melt the glue. Instead I use a plain old clothes iron to loosen the tile. The way to do this is to lay a cloth or towel over the tile you’re removing, set the iron to its highest setting, and once it’s heated up, smooth the iron over the cloth for about a minute. The tile pulls right up. -- Clark S., via e-mail

HOME TIP: Clean stinky sink drains by pouring half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let it foam for a few minutes, then rinse with hot water. Send your home repair and maintenance questions to, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Remember, when in doubt as to whether you can safely or effectively complete a project, consult a professional contractor. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Everyday Green’s Definition of Recycling According to the definition of recycling is: –verb (used with object) • To treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse: recycling paper to save trees. • To alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of: The old factory is being recycled as a theater. • To use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: The governor recycled some speeches from his early days. • To cause to pass through a cycle again: to recycle laundry through a washing machine. –verb (used without object) • To pass through a cycle again; repeat a process from the beginning. • To undergo reuse or renewal; be subject to or suitable for further use, activity, etc.: The industry will recycle and become profitable once more. –noun • The act or process of recycling. While making sure that we put cans, bottles and paper in the right bins, bringing broken electronics and old cell phones to either electronic stores or recycling centers are the core of recycling, there are so many other ways to keep things out of the ever growing land fills. Getting together with friends and family to hold a garage sale is a great way to help rid yourself of items you no longer want or need, but is a great way to keep usable (often desirable) items from going to waste. The old cliché that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure should be a mantra to anyone trying to leave a smaller environmental footprint. Bringing old clothes, furniture, household goods and artwork to thrift stores is another simple and effective way to recycle. Around the house you can also find great ways to recycle by reusing common items. Coffee cans glass jars make great storage bins for nuts, bolts and screws, as well as keeping cereal and pasta fresh. Thinking outside the box and focusing on your goals of living a greener life you can find a multitude of ways to stretch the idea of recycling to new levels.

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1 • September 5, 2010

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition


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Tidbits of Greater Fort lauderdale #14  

“All the news you never knew you needed to know” Tidbits of Greater Fort Lauderdale is a free publication serving the Southeast Broward area...

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