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November 4, 2011



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Flying South with the Birds by Patricia L. Cook

As the daylight hours shrink and the weather cools, heralding the coming of winter, wouldn’t you like to be like the birds and just head south? This Tidbits will explore the interesting phenomenon of bird migration.

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• According to, migration is “seasonal movement of a complete population of animals from one area to another. Migration is usually a response to changes in temperature, food supply, or the amount of daylight, and is often undertaken for the purpose of breeding.” • If you spend time in cold climates, you can easily understand the advantage birds gain by flying south in the winter. Cold temperatures and the lack of food make it quite unattractive to stay in the north where snow and ice cover the ground.

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• Approximately 4,000 species of birds are regular migrants. That’s about 40 percent of the total bird species in the world. In North America, there are about five billion land birds from 500 species that leave their nesting areas and choose to spend winter south of the border. It is estimated that more than 100 species that spend their summer breeding time in the United States leave the country in the winter for the warmer climates of the West Indies and/or Latin America. turn the page for more!


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THE BIRDS (continued):

approximately 22,000 miles (35,400 km) for migration annually. They live many years with the longest on record • Much food needed by birds is not available in cold climates living 34 years. That adds up to a lot of frequent flier during winter: seeds, fruits and insects are absent or covered miles! with snow. Mice and small mammals, food for larger birds, hibernate or hide from the cold. • Another long-distance migrant bird is the red knot, which is a large beach shorebird that nests in the Arctic in the spring • Birds take their cues for timing migration from nature. and summer. Before heading south, red knots increase their The change in daylight hours, not the weather, is what spurs body weight by 40-50 percent. The extra weight, their “fuel them to fatten up for their long journeys south. Weather load,” allows them to fly about 1,850 miles (3,000 km) is unpredictable, but daylight hours change the same way without stopping. They are truly masters of long-distance every year. aviation, flying more than 9,300 miles (14,967 km) from south to north in the spring and repeating the trip every • The northern U.S. states, Canada and even as far north fall. Of the five varieties of red knots, the rufa is known to as the Arctic provide the breeding grounds for many birds. w i n t e r at the southern tip of South America in Tierra After breeding and spending long days tweeting and flying del Fuego and breed in the summer on the in the north, birds start eating extra food to mainland and islands within the Arctic prepare for migration as the days Circle. get shorter. Many increase their size substantially to help them endure • Not all migrant birds migration. Some fly extreme distances are large with big wings to at amazingly high altitudes. make the trip. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are tiny birds that • Not surprisingly, larger birds fly weigh as little as one-tenth of an ounce faster than smaller ones. Speeds (2.6 g). They fly 500 miles (800 km), nonstop, range from 20-50 miles per hour across the Gulf of Mexico! (32-80 km/hr). Some flocks fly for about 10 hours a day, which could • Ornithologists, scientists who study be as much as 500 miles! Studies have shown birds, have studied migration for years that most birds fly lower than 10,000 feet (3 and identified four North American km), but some have been recorded flying as routes, or flyways, that birds use for high as 29,000 feet (9,000 m)! flying north and south. They are: the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific • The height record is held by bar-headed geese, Flyways. They follow coastlines, major mountain chains known for crossing the Himalayas at heights up to 29,000 and the Mississippi River valley. The landmarks help birds feet (9,000 m), traveling between central Asia and India. stay on course. • A mallard holds the record for the highest documented • The main reason migration persists in the bird world is flight altitude for a bird in North America. The duck met his for breeding success. Birds are able to raise more offspring demise when he hit an airplane at 21,000 feet (6,400 m). when they get away from extreme heat and cold. Long daylight hours in the spring, summer and fall provide • A flock of whooper swans was observed at 27,000 feet protein-rich food for birds that give them strength for (8,230 m) by a pilot as they moved from Iceland to Western breeding. Different species go to different areas depending Europe. on their eating habits and needs. • The Arctic tern has the longest annual migration in not just the bird world, but also the entire animal kingdom! It flies from the far north, in or near the Arctic, where summer days are longest, to its wintering grounds in the southern hemisphere off of Antarctica, where days are longest from November to February, which is summer there. The Arctic tern probably encounters more sunlight during the year than any other creature on the planet. Arctic terns travel

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• The breeding grounds for snowy owls are in the far northern Arctic tundra. When snowy owls migrate, they go south, but may only go as far south as Canada. When the winters are exceptionally harsh or their food supplies are scarce, they will venture farther south and may be seen in the northern United States. Although considered a North American bird, they occasionally migrate to areas of northern Europe and Asia. • Harry Potter fans are probably aware that Hedwig, Harry’s famous companion, is a snowy owl. They are not known in real life for magic, but they are known for their striking white plumage and large size. While most owls are nocturnal, which means they are active at night, snowy owls are diurnal; they hunt and are active during the night and day. • While you sit around the fireplace or enjoy your wood stove this fall and winter, read a book or two about birds that migrate to maintain their existence.


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DR. BEN CARSON Born in a poor area of Detroit, Michigan, on September 18, 1951, Benjamin Solomon Carson was called “Bennie” by his mom but “Dummy” by many of his classmates. • It is very obvious now that the classmates were wrong. Dr. Ben Carson is a worldrenowned pediatric neurosurgeon today. • Carson and his brother, Curtis, were raised by their mother, Sonya, after their father left the family when they were young. Sonya only had a third grade education, but she had love for her boys and was determined to help them succeed. • Sonya required her boys to read at least two books a week and write book reports for her. Carson learned to love reading and saw great rewards in school from the knowledge he gained from it.

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• One of the hardest things for Carson growing up was dealing with teasing from other kids because of the clothes he wore. He was not as fashionable because of a lack of money. He developed quite a temper and even became violent at times. When he almost stabbed a good friend, whose big belt buckle protected him, he realized his attitude had to change.

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• Carson finished school at the top of his class and earned high honors in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program. At graduation, he was offered a full scholarship to West Point Military Academy. Carson, however, had many doors open for him due to his excellent scholastic record. • Carson had only $10 for a college application fee and used it to apply to Yale University and was accepted. He graduated from Yale in 1973 and entered the University of Michigan Medical School. Carson discovered he was skilled with a knife in his hand — this time to save lives, not to hurt others. He developed a love for neurosurgery, working on the brain and the central nervous system. • After medical school, Carson was awarded one of only two positions as an intern in neurology for Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Carson married his wife, Candy, while at Johns Hopkins. After his successful internship and four years as a resident in neurosurgery there, he and Candy moved to Perth, Australia, for a oneyear residency. • After returning to the United States, Carson became the



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954.964.8122 youngest Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery in U.S. history at Johns Hopkins. From that time on, he has done amazing work, including a hemispherectomy on a small girl who had epilepsy. This operation involved removing part of her brain to prevent seizures. He also made medical history in 1987, leading a medical team of 70 in separating a pair of Siamese twins who were joined at the head. • Dr. Ben Carson has written several books and had movies made about his life. He is also a motivational speaker, encouraging young people to set goals and work hard to reach them. He established the Carson Scholars Fund in 1994 to help “young achievers make the most of their brain power.” In addition, Dr. Carson is still saving lives with his surgical skills.

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 • November 4, 2011

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• On Nov. 17, 1421, a storm in the North Sea batters the European coastline. Over the next several days, approximately 10,000 people in what is now the Netherlands die in the resulting floods. Fatal floods struck in 1287, 1338, 1374, 1394 and 1396. After each, residents fixed the dikes and moved right back in. • On Nov. 14, 1851, “Moby-Dick,” a novel by Herman Melville about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, is published. “Moby-Dick” is now considered a classic of American literature and contains one of the most famous opening lines in fiction: “Call me Ishmael.” • On Nov. 15, 1867, the first stock ticker is unveiled in New York City. The advent of the ticker revolutionized the stock market by making up-to-the-minute prices available to investors around the country. Prior to this, information from the New York Stock Exchange traveled by mail or messenger. • On Nov. 20, 1923, the U.S. Patent Office grants Patent No. 1,475,074 to 46-year-old inventor and newspaperman Garrett Morgan for his three-position T-shape pole traffic signal. By having a position other than just “Stop” and “Go,” it regulated crossing vehicles more safely than earlier signals had. • On Nov. 16, 1959, “The Sound of Music” premieres on Broadway. While the real-life Maria did marry Count Georg von Trapp and become stepmother to his children, she never did the other things shown in the musical, such as run singing through the Salzburg, Austria, mountains. • On Nov. 19, 1969, Brazilian soccer great Pele scores his 1,000th professional goal. Under Pele’s leadership, Brazil won the World Cup in 1958, 1962 and 1970. During his career, Pele scored 1,282 goals in 1,363 games.


Spices come from dried plant parts — the leaves, seeds, stems or others. Spices have inspired and been a part of many crucial events in world history. • Thousands of years ago, the people of Southeast Asia were the only ones to enjoy many of the spices we know today. • Prestigious and valuable, spices in the early years of civilization provided profitable business for countries that grew them, mainly China, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Spices played a part in the Christian Crusades from 1095-1300 A.D. and the Spice Wars from the late 1400s to the 1700s. • Wealthy Europeans became interested in the profits and prestige of making bland meats and vegetables tastier in the 1400s. Trade for the five “noble spices,” pepper, ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, was fought over by seafaring nations. Routes to find spices were dangerous as many merchants fought for control. Spanish, Portuguese, British and Dutch merchants lied, cheated, smuggled and even killed to control spice routes. • When Columbus discovered the Americas, he was on a trip to find spices in “the Indies” of Southeast Asia. He named the American tropics the West Indies and opened the waters for shipping American spices to Europe. • French spy Pierre Poivre, which translates Peter Pepper, also had an impact on the early spice trade. He smuggled spice plants out of Indonesia in the 1700s and made them available for plantation-building in tropical areas of the Americas and Africa. This helped lower prices by increasing supply.

• One spice still demanding a high price is saffron, which comes from the flower of a crocus species that only blooms for about two weeks. Each flower contains three stigmas, the tiny parts ground for the spice. It takes about 200,000 stigmas to produce one pound (.45 kg) of saffron. Fortunately, it only takes a tiny amount of saffron to flavor most dishes. • Saffron was brought to Pennsylvania in the 1700s by a German Amish family and has been a flourishing crop and common in Amish dishes ever since. It is grown commercially in Iran, India, France, Spain, Greece, Turkey and Morocco. Saffron is used liberally in paella, the national rice dish of Spain. •

Cloves are the flower buds from tall tropical trees native to Indonesia. Buds are picked when they are pink and then dried to a dark brown color. Cloves are now grown in Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Grenada as well as Indonesia. The trees, planted from seeds, must grow about five years before they flower and can live to be over 100 years old. Cloves are handharvested and are not just for flavoring foods. Clove oil, called eugenol, is used in perfumes, mouthwashes and more.

• The most common spice in the world, black pepper, comes from a climbing vine first cultivated in India. Arabs controlled the pepper trade to Europe for many years. Many European explorers began looking for pepper in their explorations. Ships brought pepper from Southeast Asia to America in the late 1700s. Salem, Massachusetts, once known as the “Pepper Port,” processed 7.5 million pounds (3.4 million kg) of pepper in 1805. • Visit your local library to learn about more the spices that have had an impact on our world and our dinner tables.

• On Nov. 18, 1978, People’s Temple leader Jim Jones leads hundreds of his followers in a mass murder-suicide at their commune in Guyana. Cult members who refused to take the cyanide-laced fruit-flavored drink were forced to do so at gunpoint or shot. The death toll was 913, including a U.S. congressman who was investigating the commune. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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November 4, 2011 •  tips for being green when the temperature goes below 80 in Florida: By turning fans off when you leave a room, FPL (Florida Power and Light) estimates that you can save $7 a month per fan in your house. Even if your home or condominium, or apartment is warm when you are home, don’t forget to raise the air to outside air temperature when you leave.

By Samantha Mazzotta

Key Snapped Off In Door Lock

A Greener Winter In Florida

Q: A couple of days ago, I was struggling to unlock the deadbolt of the side door on my garage, which tends to stick, when the key actually snapped in half! I can’t reach the part Florida’s version of winter is quickly approaching, which inside the lock because it broke too far inside. I don’t want means cooler but rarely cold temperatures and a great to spend a lot of money on a locksmith, either. Meantime, I can’t unlock the door. How can I fix this? Do I need to replace the entire deadbolt? -- Jolanda W., Dallas A: If you’ve already tried to retrieve the broken half of the key with needlenose pliers, a hat pin or thin wire with no success, you can try the desperate measure of dabbing a tiny amount of Superglue onto the half of the key you do have, and carefully inserting it -- without touching the sides -until the broken halves meet. Let it sit for a few seconds and then carefully try to pull the entire key straight out. If this doesn’t work, you can consider purchasing a key extractor kit, but the ones that are most effective cost as much or more than a locksmith visit

If you and/or your family work a steady schedule, a programmable thermostat will pay for itself, and give you the option to cool your home before you get home. The world of living green is not limited to your home. Leaving a recycling bag in your car will help you to recycle cans and water bottles if you eat at places that don’t offer recycling. Also reusable bags that you can either buy or just use a bag you have at home are a great alternative when shopping. Don’t think that there is a better time of year to help the environment, there isn’t. Our individual efforts count all year long. As always our efforts to make the world healthy, keep helping to revive it, and helping to build our community is a year round effort that begins with nothing more than a smile and picking up a can or bottle off the street and recycling it.

A good locksmith is licensed and bonded, and should provide a written estimate of the type of work to be done and the cost. He or she should offer a couple of options once the key is extracted: either lubricating the existing lock and opportunity to lower your energy usage. Here are some replacing the key, or replacing the entire deadbolt.

A GREEN BIT: Do you know what you can recycle? Do you know where your local recycling center is? Search Engines are easy, searching for information that impacts the planet is just as easy! Please take the time, a little effort, and help to save the planet.

Because your garage deadbolt is a non-emergency, you have an advantage in that you can take your time and contact more than one locksmith for an estimate. Try to get a wordof-mouth recommendation from friends; otherwise, insist on an estimate first, and do not give any locksmith your credit-card information or other payment information ahead of the visit or before work is performed. Send your questions or comments to, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

To make the most nutritious and safest homemade food, owners should check out at least one pet food recipe book. There are some ingredients, like onions, that should never be included in a pet’s meal.

Fight Skin Allergies With Custom Pet Foods DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I read your article on the Bichon Frise that had skin allergies with interest. My own Bichon Frise, “Ally,” had severe skin allergies. The manager of my local pet store recommended that I look for a dry dog food that had a single protein (rather than proteins from different sources). I tried one called “Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance.” In a very short time, Ally’s skin allergy was cleared up. I hope this information will help your readers. -- Dorothy C., Richfield, Minn. DEAR DOROTHY: Thanks! The type of food recommended is also known as “limited ingredient” food and is developed specifically for pets with sensitive stomachs or that have skin rashes or other allergic reactions to food. Other manufacturers of limited ingredient pet food include Blue Buffalo with its “Basics” line of foods, Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient, Wellness Dog Simple Food Solutions, and Pinnacle. Owners whose pets have allergies can try one or more of the foods above to see if the problem clears up. Another alternative is to make food for your pet from scratch, avoiding or limiting ingredients that can cause an upset stomach or skin reaction. These ingredients include dairy, fish, corn, wheat, soy and yeast. Beef, chicken, fish or lamb also may cause problems, and owners making homemade food should feed each meat individually to their pet to determine which one is tolerated best.

Send your question or comment to ask@pawscorner. com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.

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Busy families sometimes have trouble fitting in three healthy meals each day. Like it or not, snacking has become an important contributor to daily food intake. According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey of nearly 10,000 children, twice as many kids today eat snack foods, like crackers, popcorn, pretzels, and corn chips, as kids did just 20 years ago. Soda consumption has increased 37 percent for six- to nine-year-olds during the same time period. While children are eating extra calories, many still fall short on meeting their needs for vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, vitamin B6, zinc, and iron. What does this all mean? You’ll want to take extra care to make certain your child’s snacks are every bit as healthful as the meals you serve. The easiest way to do this is to use the same guidelines for snack planning as for meal planning. Many healthy, convenient options can be found within each of the New Four Food Groups—fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Whether eaten on the go or at home after school, healthy snacks are easy and quick to put together and eat, and offer important nutrients and energy in each delicious bite. Keep healthy beverages, such as water, juice, and soymilk, and snack foods, such as the ones listed in the table below, on-hand at home and encourage your children to pack them into their bags before leaving the house. Healthy Snack Ideas • Chopped raw vegetables and dip • Chunks of avocado, cucumber, or cooked sweet potato • Breadsticks or pita chips with hummus • Pretzels or popcorn • Tortilla chips with bean dip • Cheerios, granola, or other cereal in a bag • Toasted whole grain breads or crackers with fruit spread or nut butters • Graham crackers or gingersnaps dipped in applesauce • Mini rice cakes with peanut butter


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• Apple slices with hazelnut butter • Fresh fruits • Dried fruits, especially raisins • Frozen bananas blended with a little non-dairy milk • Applesauce or other fruit cups • Nuts, especially mixed with dried fruit • Soy yogurt • Soy ice cream • Individual boxes of soymilk, rice milk, or fruit juices • Homemade muffins or cornbread • Ramen soup with added vegetables • Fresh soybeans (edamame) • Bite-sized tofu cubes • Tofu hot dogs

Snack Recipes for Kids Maple Walnut Granola Makes about 6 cups

3 cups rolled oats 1 cup wheat germ 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/2 cup raisins 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 tablespoons molasses 1 teaspoon cinnamon Preheat oven to 300 F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Bake, turning often with a spatula, until mixture is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Per 1/2-cup serving: 231 calories; 7 g protein; 39 g carbohydrate; 6.5 g fat; 2.5 g fiber; 5 mg sodium; calories from protein: 11%; calories from carbohydrates: 66%; calories from fats: 23%


Makes about 6 cups 6 large, tart apples (gravenstein, pippins, Granny Smith, etc.) 1 cup undiluted apple juice concentrate 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon For chunky applesauce, peel apples, then core and dice. Place in a large pan. Add apple juice concentrate, then cover and cook over low heat, stirring often, until apples are soft. Mash slightly with a fork if desired, then stir in cinnamon. Serve hot or cold. For smoother applesauce, cut apples into quarters and remove cores. Chop finely in a food processor. Transfer to a pan and add apple juice concentrate and cinnamon.

Cover and cook, stirring often, over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Per 1/2-cup serving: 101 calories; 0.3 g protein; 26 g carbohydrate; 0.5 g fat; 2 g fiber; 6 mg sodium; calories from protein: 1%; calories from carbohydrates: 95%; calories from fats: 4%

Pumpkin Spice Muffins Makes 10 to 12 muffins

2 cups whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 15-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin 1/2 cup raisins Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Add pumpkin, 1/2 cup of water, and raisins. Stir until just mixed. Spoon batter into oil-sprayed muffin cups, filling to just below the tops. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until tops of muffins bounce back when pressed lightly. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool on a rack. Store cooled muffins in an airtight container. Per muffin: 131 calories; 3 g protein; 31 g carbohydrate; 0.5 g fat; 4 g fiber; 236 mg sodium; calories from protein: 10%; calories from carbohydrates: 87%; calories from fats: 3%

Veggies in a Blanket Makes 2 large roll-ups

2 flour tortillas 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese 1 grated carrot 2 lettuce leaves (or a handful of baby spinach leaves) Warm tortillas in a dry pan. Spread vegan cream cheese on them. Add carrots and lettuce or spinach. Roll up and serve or wrap in plastic wrap for snacking later. Variations: Add thin sticks of cucumber or sweet red pepper before rolling. Per roll-up: 159 calories; 4 g protein; 22 g carbohydrate; 6 g fat; 2 g fiber; 230 mg sodium; calories from protein: 10%; calories from carbohydrates: 55%; calories from fats: 35% Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine 5100 Wisconsin Ave N.W Ste.400, Washington DC, 20016 Phone: 202-686-2210 Email:

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What’s the best way to treat them? They aren’t getting any better. I use ice on them, and it helps, but they come back. -- M.C.

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its intensity and frequency are cutting back on caffeine, stopping smoking and exercising daily. Eliminating alcohol is a most helpful remedy.

Sometimes restless leg syndrome is associated with iron deficiency and the anemia due to iron deficiency. Your doctor will want to check you for that. Pramipexole (Mirapex) and ropinirole (Requip), both drugs for Parkinson’s disease, are used for this syndrome, even though it has no relationship to Parkinson’s disease. They stimulate certain brain areas that control movement. Levodopa, another Parkinson’s medicine, also is prescribed. There are others, should these fail. Periodic limb movements of sleep is another condition that frequently occurs along with restless leg syndrome. It’s involuntary movements of the legs and feet during sleep. The kicking and jerking last about two seconds and recur every 20 to 40 seconds. Often the affected person is unaware of them. The bed partner plays a nighttime role of being a drop-kicked football and is quite aware of what’s happening. The affected person is quite tired during the day. The same medicines used for restless leg syndrome can be used here, too. Daily exercise might put an end to the nocturnal movements. The booklet on restless leg syndrome and nighttime leg cramps explains both conditions. To obtain a copy, write to: Dr. Donohue -- No. 306W, 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. Please allow four weeks for delivery. ***

ANSWER: Those puffy bags under your eyes aren’t filled with water; they’re globs of fat. In younger years, tough strands of fiber held them in place. With age, those strands weaken, and the fat bulges out. Look around and watch for them on TV. You’ll see that most people over 60 have them. They’re not a sign of illness. I have seen all sorts of ads for creams and gels that say they can shrink these bags. I can’t vouch for any of them. I don’t know if they work. I have reservations. One way to correct them is surgical removal. You can forget the ice treatment unless you want to keep it up. It’s not a solution. *** 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) 2011 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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of your purchase. Purchases must total more than $50, and each item must be $15 or more.

Use Layaway Instead of Credit Cards It’s time for merchants to go into high gear with their enticements to spend money. After all, their holiday decorations have been up for at least a month now. But are you ready? Even if you’ve saved and are ready to pay cash for your purchases, new tricks by banks could add expenses in the form of debit-card fees unless you keep a high account balance, and you won’t want to carry cash while you shop. (Be sure to read the literature from your bank to be forewarned about changes to your account.) If there are must-have items on your children’s lists this year, chances are those items also are on other children’s lists. If you don’t have all your cash handy, by putting merchandise on layaway, you guarantee that those items will be held for you. Walmart has brought back its holiday layaway program. You’ll be required to pay a $5 fee and put down 10 percent

Kmart and Sears also have layaway: There’s a $5 fee for the layaway contract, and $15 if you cancel before paying for your merchandise. You’ll need to pay $20 or 20 percent down, whichever is greater.

spending money will be in hand. 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) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

At Best Buy, your layaway items must total more than $250. You’ll also have to pay 25 percent down as well as a 5 percent fee. This can still be a good deal if it helps you grab an expensive item when it’s on sale. Do the math. Toys “R” Us has a layaway plan for eligible merchandise. You’ll pay a $5 fee and put down at least 20 percent. The cancellation fee varies by state. Beware using online layaway for purchases you make over the Internet. These retailers offer an enticing low fee, but consider the ramifications of putting your banking information online: Money is automatically deducted from your account at regular intervals. If you cancel, they’ll hit your account for $25 or 10 percent of the layaway total. Consider, too, the hassle of merchandise that is delivered late or damaged. Once the holidays are over, open a Christmas Saver Club account at the bank or credit union. If you make regular deposits, by the time next year rolls around, your holiday

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HOLLYWOOD -- “Footloose” opened strong, in second place, its first week. Originally set for last April, it suffered from not being a summer lead-in movie. Most critics liked it, but felt the old plot -- banning dancing in a small town -was dated. It couldn’t happen in this day and age! Imagine my surprise to learn that Palm Desert High School, in Palm Desert, Calif., had banned a production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tennessee Williams play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” because of “references to sex, homosexuality, alcohol and mild curse words.” Principal Bob Hicks said, “There’s censorship for every high school play because the audience of parents, grandparents, younger siblings and other students has to be considered.” What’s next -- book burning? They substituted Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” also a Pulitzer Prize-winning play but no “Cat on A Hot Tin Roof,” which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman and was nominated for a best picture Oscar. In other words, Bob Hicks feels “Our Town” is not allowed to have a “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”! *** “Les Miserables” is the longest running stage musical in history. It’s played more than 10,000 performances in

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London during the past 25 years, and is the third Use Promo code Vocal016 and longest running musical on try our voicemail to email transcription for free! Broadway. “The Phantom of the Opera” is the yes, he’ll do his own singing as part of becoming Dennis longest running musical on Broadway, and the film version, starring Gerard Butler, Wilson. He’ll also make sure the set is beachy-keen and Emmy Rossum and Patrick has “Good Vibrations”! Wilson, received mixed reviews and was an underperformer Send letters to Tony Rizzo’s Hollywood, 8306 Wilshire at the box office. They aren’t Blvd., No. 362, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. taking any chances with the (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc. film of “Les Miz,” casting Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush. Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) must have decided on “Les Miz” to distinguish it from the l998 non-musical version with Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush and Uma Thurman. “Les Miz” will hit screens in December 2012. *** Right on the heels of being Frankenstein’s monster in “I Frankenstein,” Aaron Eckhart will play “Beach Boy” drummer Dennis Wilson in “The Drummer.” Two of Dennis’ children, Jennifer and Scott Wilson, are on board, working with Sony Pictures to ensure the story about the last six years of their father’s life will show him as the great artist he was. Dennis, who starred in the 1971 film “Two-Lane Blacktop” with singer James Taylor and Warren Oates, died in l983 at the age of 39. He was on the verge of a solo career with his album “Pacific Ocean Blue,” first released in 1977 and re-released in 2008. Eckhart insisted on being a producer as part of his deal. Oh

• Velcro came to market in 1957, after a Swiss inventor named George De Mestral spent nearly 10 years developing the idea. His inspiration came to him in 1948 on a hike, when he had difficulty removing tenacious little burrs from his clothes. He reasoned that if he could create synthetic burrs, they could be used as fasteners. by Samantha Weaver • It was British writer and humorist Jerome K. Jerome who made the following sage observation: ‘It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen.’ • According to an international survey of taxicab drivers, passengers who use cabs in London are twice as likely as those in eight other major metropolises to leave a laptop behind when exiting the taxi. • Sharks can live for a century or more.

• The Parker Brothers game Monopoly is the best-selling game in history. ItÕs available for purchase in 28 countries, and it can be played in 19 different languages. • If you speak some French, you might know that the phrase ‘tout a l’heure’ means ‘see you later.’ You might not realize, though, that that phrase is the origin of the English term ‘toodle-oo.’ • Chances are, there’s a Park Street in your town. It’s the most common street name in the United States. • Europe is the only continent without a desert. Even icy Antarctica has deserts -- including the world’s largest cold desert.

Thought for the Day: ‘We need anything politically important rationed out like Pez: small, sweet, and coming out of a funny, plastic head.’ -- Dennis Miller (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

12 • November 4, 2011

November 6th is Saxophone Day Saxophone Day is celebrated on November 6th of each year in honor of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax (November 6th of 1814 – c. February 4th of 1894) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet. Mr. Sax invented many other instruments but the saxophone is what he is most well known for. Having constructed saxophones in several sizes in the early

TIDBITS - Please Support Our Advertisers 1840s, Mr. Sax received a 15-year patent for the instrument on June 28th of 1846 ®

The instrument invention made his reputation and secured him a job teaching at the Paris Conservatoire.

For Advertising Information Call 954-667-3237 80 years old making new inventions and defending then against sarcasm and slanders, always on the verge of ruin, and always winning his lawsuits, while receiving the highest awards in all exhibitions. During his last years, he was very poor and lived on a modest pension. Saxophone Day is a day to remember Mr. Sax a definitively different and unique individual and his great invention the saxophone

Mr. Sax lived to the age of

• “For that nagging toilet where the chain on the flush lever keeps getting stuck, here’s what I do: Trash that chain and use some curling ribbon. Tie it on and adjust the length. Once you’ve got it set, you shouldn’t have to mess with it again for a very long time!” -- M. in Minnesota • Need pumpkin pie spice? Mix 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves for each teaspoon needed. • “Clearance aisles and sales are a savvy shopper’s best friend. I buy age-appropriate games and toys all year from the sales rack and with coupons, so that I’m always armed with birthday presents and donations for holiday drives.” -- A.P. in Pennsylvania

“The Night Circus”

by Erin Morganstern (Doubleday, $26.95) Reviewed by Ealish Waddell Still just children, Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair are plucked separately from ordinary lives and bound into a supernatural feud that they barely understand. It is to be a test of their skills in magic, and they are to create the battlefield from scratch -- an elaborate traveling circus, open only from dusk till dawn, a breathtakingly beautiful chessboard in black and white where their moves can be traded in ever-increasing displays of imagination and grandeur. Of course, it is inevitable that Celia and Marco fall in love. But how can they ever have a future together, when the game decrees that one of them must win and one of them must die?

Interwoven with this intriguing main tale are a variety of sketches fleshing out the odd folk who call this precarious place home. Chief among them are the psychically gifted Murray twins, born on the night the circus opened and mysteriously linked with its health and fate. Their lives intersect that of dreamy Bailey, a regular kid who longs for a life beyond the farm, and whose destiny may prove vital to the circus’s continued existence. The circus itself is a masterpiece. Tents contain not only acrobats and animal tamers, but also a garden made completely of ice, a labyrinth among the clouds, a tree covered in wishes and a room full of bottled scents that evoke a lifetime of memories. The novel’s greatest strength is its atmosphere, which manages to pull off the tricky feat of feeling delicate and magical without succumbing to either twee or cloying in one direction or oppressively macabre in the other. A substantial air of the sinister gives heft to the circus’s whimsy, but it is still a place more of joy than of darkness. “The Night Circus” is a confection of a book, a virtual feast for the senses. When you’re done, you’ll want to don a crimson scarf and run off to join the circus, too. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

• “I try to keep a backpack of ‘just in case’ items in my car trunk. In the summer, it has sunblock, bug spray, etc. I have just refilled it for winter. There is a bottle of water and snack items, large towels that double as blankets, tools and a road flare, socks, an extra pair of shoes, etc. It pays to be safe!” -- C.C. in North Carolina • Make your own “hot pocket” using rice: Fill an empty sock with rice to about three-fourths full. Tie or sew closed. Create a pouch by using a bandanna to wrap it up; either tie or sew the bandanna into a removable pocket. To use, microwave the sock for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove carefully. Remove bandanna and wash from time to time. • Here’s a great cooking hint: When you want to sear meat, make sure you pat it dry using either paper towels or a kitchen cloth specifically for that purpose. Any moisture on the meat will cause it to steam-cook. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


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TIDBITS - Please Support Our Advertisers On the critical list are NBC’s ‘Prime Suspect’ and ABC’s ‘Man Up!’ NBC’s ‘Pan Am’ started fairly well, but has been hemorrhaging viewers left and right. However, this seems to be NBC’s darling, so it might get the network support it needs to survive the season. ®


Q: I’m writing to inquire about ‘Human Target.’ Is it coming back this fall, or maybe as a midseason replacement? At the end of the program last summer, it said it was the season finale, not the series finale. -- Fran N. in Ohio A: Everyone involved in a show is always hopeful that it will get picked up for another season, hence the wording of ‘season finale’ versus ‘series finale.’After the secondseason finale aired, Fox decided not to renew ‘Human Target’ for a third season. But hey, at least it got to have two seasons. Even more of this fall’s new shows have been canceled after airing only a few episodes, including the CW’s ‘H8R,’ ABC’s ‘CharlieÕs Angels’ (which will air its remaining produced episodes) and CBS’s ‘How to Be a Gentleman,’ starring ‘Entourage’ star Kevin Dillon.

Q: When will ‘Merlin’ return for another season on Syfy? -- Mary D., via Facebook A: Syfy confirmed at this summer’s San Diego ComicCon that ‘Merlin’ will return in early 2012 for its fourth season. However as of this writing, no firm date had been set. Also, BBC-One, which produces and airs the show first in the U.K., has approved a fifth season of the popular fantasy, and considering its good ratings on Syfy, there’s a great chance we’ll get a fifth season

here as well. ***

Q: Is ‘Shark Tank’ gone from TV? I loved that show. Will it come back? --Anonymous, via e-mail

water and place a floating candle in the middle. You’re only limited by your imagination and creativity. The Thanksgiving table would not be complete without the cranberry sauce. There’s no need to open a can when this delicious Holiday Cranberry Sauce is so simple to make at home! HOLIDAY CRANBERRY SAUCE

Craving Cranberries Cranberries are often part of a holiday feast, but their nutritious tastiness is worth having anytime. Like many fruits, cranberries are high in fiber and vitamin C and low in calories and fat. A fresh cup of these tangy berries has just 51 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 24 percent of the vitamin C that the average person needs in a day. Cranberries are packed with antioxidants that may help maintain heart health and reduce cholesterol. The tannins in cranberries may help prevent gum disease and urinary tract infections. In the lab, cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract and the gum line. According to the November 2010 Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, “a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating cranberry intake and urinary-tract infections showed that there has been some benefit established in reducing the number of infections in women.” Cranberry juice is often the choice when trying to prevent infection. The fluid in the juice also helps maintain hydration, which is known to help prevent infection. Cranberries are very tart and are often consumed in combination with sugar. For example, a glass of cranberry juice cocktail has about 30 grams of sugar and 137 calories. To add whole cranberries to your diet year-round, try baking cranberry nut bread, sprinkling dried cranberries on salads or including them in trail mix. Cranberries also can be used to decorate your home during the holidays. Try placing cranberries in a glass bowl with

This sauce can be made ahead and will keep in an airtight container for two weeks in the refrigerator. Combine cranberry sauce with 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and pour it over leftover turkey, baked fish, chicken or pork. It’s a delicious way to finish the dish and a wonderful use for any Thanksgiving leftovers. 1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled Granny Smith apples (about 1/2 pound) 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup white grape juice 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until thick (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Cool completely. Makes 16 (3 tablespoon) servings. *** Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, a culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. She’s known as The Kitchen Diva and is executive producer and host of “The Kitchen Diva!” cooking show on Her latest inspirational book is “Ten Ingredients for a Joyous Life and a Peaceful Home -- A Spiritual Memoir” and was co-written with Pastor Salem Robinson Jr. ( Visit her website at (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

November 4, 2011 • 13 A: ‘Shark Tank’ will be back midseason 2012 on ABC for its third season, along with ‘Secret Millionaire,’ which returns for its second season. Producers for the hit entrepreneurial reality show have not yet announced an exact airdate for the season premiere of ‘Shark Tank,’ but if past seasons are any indication, expect it sometime between January and March 2012. And keep checking the Celebrity Extra website ( for late-breaking info on all your favorite shows. *** Q: What is going on with Netflix? Is it still going to be around, or is it going to be Qwikster? I am so confused. -- Dee Dee T. in Georgia A: Netflix recently reversed its decision -- in a rare move of a big corporation actually listening to its customers! -of having two separate websites/companies for its DVDmailing service (which was to be Qwikster) versus its streaming service (Netflix). Because customers did not want the hassle of having two separate accounts, movie queues and billing statements if they wanted both mail and streaming DVDs, they voiced their complaints, and Netflix listened. Look for everything at Netflix to remain the same -- at least for the time being. Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

14 • November 4, 2011

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Tidbits of Greater Fort Lauderdale Vol. 2 Issue 21  
Tidbits of Greater Fort Lauderdale Vol. 2 Issue 21  

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