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December 26, 2010

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WHERE DID 2010 GO? by Patricia L. Cook

Young children think it takes forever for a year to pass. Waiting on Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, summer, etc. is almost painful to some. As you age you discover it’s just a matter of perspective. The years fly by for older folks! Regardless, this year is nearly history. Below are a few stories that made the news in 2010. • For many sports fans in the United States, the biggest day of the year is Super Bowl Sunday. In 2010, the New Orleans Saints, with their exciting play during the regular season and playoffs, seemed destined to defeat the Indianapolis Colts; they did, winning 31-17. After being “underdogs” since their inception, the Saints made it to the top! Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Super Bowl win was a big boost for morale and tourism for the entire state of Louisiana. • The first Olympic Winter Games were in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The Canadian hockey team outscored their opponents 110 to 3, winning five matches and the gold medal. Canada won the gold in the following three winter Olympics, and settled for the silver in 1936. Since then, Canada’s hockey dominance has waned even though the popularity of hockey remains strong among the Canadian people. Prior to 2010, Canada’s most recent hockey gold was in 2002 in Salt Lake City, and that win followed a 50year gold medal drought. In 2010, however, at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada had a chance to win hockey gold on Canadian soil. In one of the most exciting games in hockey history, Canada defeated the USA 3-2 in overtime to win the gold medal. There were many other great Olympic moments, but considering how much Canadians love hockey, this was a colossal victory for them. turn the page for more!

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a “cute” purple octopus was found by a team of Canadian and Spanish researchers off the coast of Newfoundland in July 2010. It is one of 11 possible new species found in the deep-sea expedition. They used a remotely operated vehicle • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is famous for its that journeyed to a maximum depth of 9,800 feet (3000 m). golf courses and “island paradise” beauty. The island is Doesn’t it make you wonder what else is undiscovered? also notable for the number of alligators in its lagoons and waterways. In July 2010, three ‘gator wrestlers and a truck • For the superstitious, 2010 should have been a good year, pulled an 11-foot-long (3.4 meters), 500-pound (226.8- with only one Friday the 13th, which occurred in August. kilograms) behemoth from a lagoon. So, you may want to Friggatriskaidekaphobia and paraskavedekatriaphobia both keep your eyes open while riding or walking around the mean “fear of Friday the 13th.” Hopefully you don’t suffer island’s many lagoons. from this malady – mainly because the long words are • We’ve all heard that “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” The huge 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond has been part of the British Crown Jewels for about 150 years. When Prime Minister David Cameron was asked this year by Indian officials to return the diamond to India where it originated, he refused. He said it will “stay put.” (This question has been asked many times before and answered the same way!)



extremely hard to pronounce!

• The world’s largest oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The BP (British Petroleum) well released almost five million barrels of oil. Compared to the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989, this spill released 10 times more oil. The Exxon Valdez spill had previously been the worst in American history. The BP spill also surpassed the 3.3 million barrels spilled off the eastern coast of Mexico in • Do you remember listening to news reporters trying to 1979, which had been the world’s largest oil spill. pronounce “Eyjafjallajökull” last spring? (It is pronounced AY-uh-full-ay-ho-kul, just so you know!) This was the • In more sports news: The Colorado Rockies dazzled volcano in Iceland that spewed ash and grounded flights baseball fans with a record-setting 12-run eighth inning to going into and out of Europe. (The last eruption of the defeat the Chicago Cubs 17-2 on July 30, 2010. volcano on the Eyjafjallajökull glacier was 189 years ago.) Flight disruptions in Europe cascaded around the globe and • Due to the ongoing economic recession, the year 2010 eventually affected approximately five million passengers. saw the closure of Coastal Community Bank in Panama The volcano caused the biggest flight disruption since City Beach, Florida. This closure, which included the World War II. The bad news was that many people had incorporation of Apalachicola State Bank, occurred July problems getting where they wanted or needed to be…The 30, 2010. Apalachicola State Bank started as a branch good news? No airplanes went down because of the natural of Tallahassee’s Capital City Bank in 1897 and was disaster. incorporated in 1906. More than a century of service has

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• With old banks and other things going by the wayside, new technologies and new ways popped up in 2010. Blackberry picking may mean it’s time for a new phone instead of selecting juicy berries; an Android is not a fantasy of the future but of toady; and an iPhone will make your head spin with its selection of apps. (That would be “applications!”) What will 2011 bring?


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GRAND OLE OPRY The Grand Ole Opry is not a person that is a music legend but rather a legendary show. Many musicians have contributed to the history of the Opry, which has been in existence since 1925 after starting as a radio show in Nashville, Tennessee. • The National Life and Accident Insurance Company started a radio station in Nashville in 1925, five years after commercial radio started in the United States. It began as a public service, but the main goal was to advertise their insurance policies. The call letters for the station, WSM stood for “We Shield Millions.” WSM hired George D. Hay, who was the most popular radio announcer in the country at the time, having been on WSL-AM in Chicago and WMC-AM in Memphis. Originally Hay’s weekly show was called the WSM Barn Dance, but he changed the name to the Grand Ole Opry in 1927. • Hay’s weekly program was so popular that the show was moved several times to accommodate the crowds eager to attend the live broadcasts. Through the years it was held at Hillsboro Theater near Vanderbilt University, Dixie

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Tabernacle in East Nashville, War Memorial Auditorium and then Ryman Auditorium in 1943. The Opry remained at the Ryman until 1974, when it moved to the current location, the Grand Ole Opry House. It has now been at the Opry House for 36 years.

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• The Opry has been called “the show that made country music famous.” The show also put Nashville on the map for tourism where it is the city’s No. 1 tourist attraction. Along Ice sculptures at fancy restaurants, weddings and other with the Opry House, owner Gaylord Entertainment now special events are fascinating. Artists use chainsaws, operates a large hotel in the same area. chisels and other tools to impress us with their skills. Some artists create frozen masterpieces on larger ice • Many country music stars have performed at the Grand canvasses in cold cities worldwide. Ole Opry. Names like Roy Acuff, Patsy Cline, the Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Ernest Tubb, Loretta Lynn, Minnie • The annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Pearl and many more made the Opry what it is today. When Festival is held in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. today’s new stars are invited to perform, they literally stand Harbin is the largest city on a part of the old Ryman Auditorium stage. A circle of the in northeast China, on dark oak wood was cut from the Ryman stage and installed at the Songhua River. The the new Opry home when it opened in 1974. Performers say area has plenty of snow, a it is a magical moment to stand on the floor where so many very cold climate, and the stood in the past. Some of the recent inductees into the Opry frozen river provides lots to grace the stage include Vince Gill, Martina McBride, of ice. The festival began Brad Paisley, Ricky Skaggs and Carrie Underwood. The in 1985 and opens every younger generation is just as thrilled to play at the Opry as January, lasting as long the audience is to hear them. as the weather allows. The sculptures are not • In May 2010, flooding in Nashville inundated the Grand ordinary by any means. Ole Opry House. During restoration, the Opry performances They include life-size ice were moved back to the Ryman Auditorium. Remember, buildings that are lit up at the “Opry” itself is not the building, but the show and the night with many different show continued! colors, ice slides and more to thrill all ages. • One interesting bit of Opry trivia concerns GooGoo Clusters, made by the Standard Candy Company, founded • Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1901. Standard Candy uses milk chocolate, peanuts, hosted winter carnivals in the 1930s that included ice marshmallows and caramel to make the famous confection. sculpting. In 1989, the winter fun was revived with the One story of the candy’s origin says that “GOO” stands Annual World Ice Art Championships. Competitions for for Grand Ole Opry, but that is not the real story. Howard single block and multi-block carvings in abstract and Campbell, the inventor, told fellow streetcar riders of his realistic sculptures attract ice artists from the world over. baby son’s first words, and a teacher onboard suggested that The month-long events are run by Ice Alaska, Inc., which Mr. Campbell name his delicious treat “GooGoo,” saying is a nonprofit organization. Recent years have hosted as that it was so good people would ask for it from birth! many as 70 teams and 45,000 visitors. The 2011 events will be held from February 22 – March 27.

• Some places struggle to have enough ice for an annual competition, but Ice Alaska harvests ice from O’Grady Pond, which is a man-made pond. The pond usually supplies over 4.1 million pounds (31859728.7 kg) of ice for the championships. The ice, nicknamed “The Arctic Diamond,” is exceptionally thick and clear and is loved by ice sculptors. It has been shipped to Seattle, Pittsburgh

and even as far away as Israel! • The original ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, is now open for its 21st season. Starting with 645-squarefoot (60-square-meter) igloo, it is now the world’s largest hotel of ice and snow at about 59,201 square feet (5,500 square meters). An overnight stay includes reindeer hides to sleep on (inside cozy sleeping bags with thermal underwear), hot lingonberry juice at your bedside when you awaken, and a hot sauna and hot buffet breakfast! The ICEHOTEL also has warm accommodations and recommends combining one night in the cold with nights in the warm rooms. So, if you are looking for some adventure this winter, join the 50,000 visitors expected at the ICEHOTEL, 124.3 miles (200 km) north of the Arctic Circle. • The Hôtel de Glace in Quebec received its inspiration from the ICEHOTEL. The only ice hotel in North America, built on the shores of Lake St. Joseph each year, it will be open this year from January 7-March 27. The temperature in the guest rooms averages about 27ºF (-3ºC). Polar fleeces and deer skins are provided for warmth. This large hotel has a disco room for 400 dancers, an ice chapel, two art galleries of ice carvings, an ice chandelier and a bar with furniture and even glasses made of ice! Overnight stays include a heated and lighted bathroom inside the hotel and hot beverages and breakfast. • So, tonight as you rest under your electric blanket with the heat set at 68ºF (20°C) or higher, think of the folks enjoying the beauty of ice sculpting!

4 • December 26, 2010


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people opt out of having regular checking and savings accounts. Some lack good credit; many don’t want to incur credit-card interest; while others simply want the convenience of not carrying cash. The prepaid cards, however, don’t come with the same protections as credit cards: Those CARD Act laws don’t Prepaid Cards: Load at Your Own Risk cover prepaid cards, especially when it comes to fees. If you put, say, $100 on a prepaid card, you’d think you’d have The government did us a favor when it created the CARD that whole $100 of your own money to spend. Not so. Act, which reined in banks and credit-card companies that had been collecting millions of extra dollars from Prepaid cards can come with: purchase fees, activation fees, consumers. minimum deposit fees, card-replacement fees, withdrawal fees, ATM inquiry fees, cancellation fees, monthly fees, Thanks to the Card ACT, we gained 21 days to make a reload fees, annual fees, PIN fees and even fees to talk to payment, 45 days notification of serious changes in terms, customer service. Prepaid cards generally put a temporary the little box on the statements that shows how long it will lock on your funds when used at a gas station or for hotels, take to pay off the debt if we only pay the minimum, and denying you access to your own money. more. Some of the prepaid cards even include a line of credit or Now a new industry has sprung up, devising new ways to overdraft protection. If you don’t keep careful track of the separate us from our dollars: the prepaid card, also called associated fees, you can spend more than you expect and the “reloadable” card. incur debt. There’s also no credit reporting with prepaid cards, which means they can’t be used to build up a credit Consumers are invited to use the prepaid cards as they would history. a bank: deposit a paycheck, have bills automatically paid out of the balance, buy groceries. The cards can be purchased Instead of paying fees to use your own money, open a bank and reloaded nearly anywhere, including convenience stores account and use the debit card that comes with it. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader and big-box stores. Prepaid cards are becoming big business as more and more

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


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• On Jan. 9, 1768, Englishman Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in London. Astley, a former cavalry sergeant major, found that if he galloped in a tight circle, centrifugal force allowed him to perform seemingly impossible feats on a horse’s back. He invited the public to see him wave his sword in the air while he rode with one foot on the saddle and one on the horse’s head. • On Jan. 6, 1838, Samuel Morse’s telegraph system is demonstrated for the first time at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, N.J. The telegraph eventually would revolutionize long-distance communication, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. • On Jan. 5, 1933, construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge, as workers started excavating 3.25 million cubic feet of dirt for the structure’s huge anchorages. The Golden Gate Bridge officially opened on May 27, 1937. At 3,000 feet, it was the longest bridge span in the world at the time. • On Jan. 7, 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team, formerly known as the Savoy Big Five, travels 48 miles west from Chicago to play its first game, in Hinckley, Ill. The Globetrotters won 101 out of 117 games that first season. • On Jan. 8, 1946, Elvis Presley receives a $6.95 guitar from the Tupelo Hardware Co. store for his 11th birthday. It’s said that what Elvis really wanted for his birthday that year was a rifle or a bicycle.

8 • December 26, 2010



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Wayne was a huge man physically, and one of the few stars who were larger than life both onscreen and off! Who do we have like him today? Fans of “Burn Notice” have a treat coming. Creator and executive producer Matt Nix is doing something rarely If a movie is a classic, should someone try to improve on done in episodic TV, he’s created a two-hour prequel of his perfection? Take Warner Brothers, for instance. It acquired hit series. When I talked with Matt, he explained how it “The Wizard of Oz” in Ted Turner’s library and has happened. announced no less than three possible remakes. Why remake a classic film? “The Wizard of Oz” was not a moneymaker “I had an idea the first season to tell the back story of Bruce Campbell’s Sam in its l939 release. In character and his last fact, MGM producers field operation as a wanted to cut the Navy Seal before he song “Somewhere wound up in Miami. Over the Rainbow,” Jeffrey Donovan thinking it slowed directed an episode down the film. How of the show that aired wrong they were. The in June, and I thought only Oscars the film it would be great to won were for song, have him direct the musical score and a film to kind of keep miniature Oscar for it in the family.” Judy Garland. A remake of “True Grit” is now showing with last year’s Oscar winner, Jeff Bridges, in the role of Rooster Cogburn, created by John Wayne. “True Grit” not only won an Oscar for Wayne in 1969, but it spawned a sequel, “Rooster Cogburn” (1975), that teamed him with the great Katherine Hepburn. The Coen Brothers, who won an Oscar for “No Country for Old Men,” said the current film is more of a faithful adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel than a remake. I recall when I sat down with John Wayne, and we talked about “True Grit” for Photoplay Magazine. I asked him if he’d ever imagined “True Grit” as the vehicle that would win him an Oscar, and Wayne told me, “I’d made a lot of Westerns in my career, and I played a lot of heroes, but when I read ‘True Grit,’ I knew this was the role of MY lifetime! At the time I didn’t think it was the role that would win me my Oscar. But once the nominations were announced and the ride began, I knew it was my BIG chance!”

Further, keeping it in the family, Campbell and Donovan will join Matt Nix as executive producers. They’ll shoot the movie in Bogata, Colombia, in January and probably will air it between the winter and summer seasons. Oscar-winner Daniel Day Lewis and Steven Spielberg are planning a film about Abraham Lincoln based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book “Team of Rivals.” The story revolves around three of Lincoln’s cabinet members who ran against him for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination -- and President Barack Obama thinks he has problems with HIS cabinet? Send letters to Tony Rizzo’s Hollywood, 8306 Wilshire Blvd., No. 362, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Dog’s Nails Cut to the Quick DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I take my dog to the local animal hospital for nail trimming, as my little “Freda” is just too feisty for me to do it myself. But lately, I noticed the nurses were cutting Freda’s nails into the quick and making them bleed. My friend also experienced the same problems there with her dog, and she said that one of the nurses told her that cutting them so far back that they bled was the only way to control and keep the dog’s nails from being so wild. Is this true? -- Curious in Kingston Springs DEAR CURIOUS: It’s true, but cutting into the quick (the blood vessel extending through the center of a dog’s nail) can be painful for the dog and make regular nail trimming not just an uncomfortable experience, but a traumatic one. When the trimmer cuts into the quick, the blood vessel -- providing it closes quickly and heals normally -- will retract slightly over a one- to three-week period. If the owner brings the dog back for a nail trimming within that three weeks, the trimmer can cut the nails even shorter the next time. Neatly trimmed nails are essential to a dog’s health, but you can figure out some of the problems with cutting into the quick each time. In addition to the pain and trauma, infection is a real possibility, even in a veterinary clinic. Sometimes though, with really long, ragged or even ingrown nails, more drastic trimming has to take place to prevent bigger problems. How can a dog owner reduce the frequency with which cutting into the quick occurs? Regular nail trimming, every three to four weeks, is a must. If you want to try and encourage the quick to recede without cutting into it, file your dog’s nails daily until the nail is safely cut back to a healthy length. Then, just make sure those trimmings happen regularly. If you’re concerned about the way the animalhospital personnel are handling the procedure, speak with the veterinarian. And, if you’re still not satisfied, you can take your business elsewhere. Looking for more pet advice and information? Check out online! Send your pet questions and tips to, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.


December 26, 2010 • 

10 • December 26, 2010

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• It was American author, social critic, economist and political commentator Thomas Sowell who made the following sage observation: “Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.” • Visiting the longest chain of mountains on Earth requires some rather special arrangements -- aquatic ones, to be precise. The 10,000-mile-long Mid-Atlantic Ridge, as its name indicates, is located on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The only parts of the chain above water are a few volcanic islands, including Iceland and the Azores. • Those who live in Florida probably won’t be surprised to learn that they live in the state with the most instances of lightning every year. • If you travel to Alaska, you can go to the North Pole -- the town of North Pole, that is. It’s not the real deal, though. The town is actually 1,700 miles south of Earth’s geographic North Pole. • Famed American composer Philip Glass was a member of both the cab driver’s union and the steelworkers’ union before he became enough of a success in his chosen field to become a member of the musicians’ union. • In 2000, psychiatrists at Italy’s University of Pisa published their finding that being in love is biochemically indistinguishable from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. • If you’re like 24 percent of the Americans who responded to a recent survey, you believe that people should be allowed to be naked in their own back yards. • What do the lawn sprinkler, rubber shoe heels, portable ironing boards and tire treads have in common? They were all invented by the same man, Elijah McCoy, an AfricanCanadian inventor and engineer.

By Samantha Mazzotta

Cleaning Mold Off Stucco Q: My South Florida house has a white stucco exterior that’s in good condition, with no cracks or holes. But the base of the walls has greenish-brown streaks that I’m not sure is mold or just left by dirt and leaves (the sand splashes up during heavy rainstorms). How can I remove this? -- Diego S., Deerfield Beach, Fla. A: Some do-it-yourself instructions will tell you to use a pressure washer to clean a home’s exterior, but avoid doing this with stucco or similar masonry unless you’re sure the material won’t crumble under a high pressure stream. Instead, test wash a section of the wall. Rinse with a garden hose (you can use a sprayer attachment to assist) and then scrub with a nylon brush dipped in a mixture of 2 gallons warm water and 1/2 cup liquid dish soap. You can add a 1/2 cup of Borax to this if you like, but wear rubber gloves if you touch the solution at this point. Rinse the section to see if this simple wash helps. If this doesn’t work, trisodium phosphate (available at home-improvement stores near the paint section) can be tried. TSP is stronger than common household cleaners. Once you’ve found a cleaning solution that works well to remove the streaks, scrub the walls starting at the top and working your way down. Rinse frequently so the cleaning solution doesn’t dry on the wall. When complete, leave the stucco alone to dry thoroughly. This can take a few days, so avoid doing any painting or stucco repairs until then. Send your questions or home tips to ask@thisisahammer. com, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. When in doubt as to whether you can safely or effectively complete a project, consult a professional contractor. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

HOME TIP: Small cracks or chips in exterior stucco can be patched using flexible concrete caulk; just overfill the crack and smooth away excess -- feathering the edges out -- let dry and paint to match.

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December 26, 2010 • 11

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Statins Aren’t Only Way to Lower Cholesterol DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My doctor prescribed statin drugs to control my LDL cholesterol. First I took lovastatin (Mevacor) and then simvastatin (Zocor), but I had muscle pain and weakness with them. I am reluctant to start the pravastatin (Pravachol) that he now has prescribed. Are there alternatives? How about Enduracin? CoQ10 has been suggested. -- D.L.

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ANSWER: Statins are the most potent cholesterollowering drugs, including lowering LDL cholesterol -- bad cholesterol, the kind that clings to artery walls. They’ve been around for 20 years, and their safety record has been good. Some people develop muscle pain. Those people can try a different statin. You did. However, you might be reacting a bit too fast in rejecting pravastatin (Pravachol). It is the statin that most infrequently is involved with muscle complaints. I don’t know any herb on the list of herbs you included (in an edited part of the letter) that compare with medicines for cholesterol control. However, there are things you can do to lower cholesterol, including reducing your saturated fat and cholesterol intake. Saturated fats are the fats found in many meats, whole-fat dairy products and many other commercially prepared foods. You have to look on the label. Omega-3 fatty acids lower cholesterol. They’re found in fish. If you cannot stand fish, take the omega-3s in pill form. Questran, Colestid, Welchol and Zetia are cholesterollowering drugs that are unrelated to statins. Niacin can increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and lower triglycerides, fats that also figure into artery clogging. Endur-acin is a slow-release preparation of niacin. Slow-release preparations were introduced to lessen flushing, one of the side effects of niacin. Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an antioxidant made by the body and also is available in pill form. Antioxidants counter the damaging byproducts coming from cell chemistry. I don’t see any references mentioning that it lowers cholesterol. The cholesterol booklet gives an in-depth treatment of cholesterol. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 201W, 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. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am an 80-year-old male. I work out on a Cybex weight machine and also on a treadmill. I was diagnosed as having an umbilical hernia. Please discuss it. Is surgery recommended at my age? Will working out aggravate it? -- C.R. ANSWER: All hernias are protrusions of internal organs or tissues through a defect in the wall that’s supposed to hold them in place. In your case, the defect is the umbilicus -- the navel, the bellybutton. With age, the scar that closes the umbilicus (the site where the umbilical cord from the placenta attaches to the fetus) weakens, and a hernia can form. If the hernia isn’t large, isn’t bothering you and doesn’t put a crimp in your lifestyle, nothing has to be done. When you work out, does the hernia bulge larger? If it does, you should limit the amount of weight you lift. If it doesn’t, then you can continue as you are, so long as your doctor concurs. *** 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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Tidbits of Greater Fort Lauderdale #22  
Tidbits of Greater Fort Lauderdale #22  

Happy Holidays Everybody! Tidbits of Greater Fort Lauderdale is a free publication serving the Southeast Broward and Northeast Miami-Dade ar...