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If you’ve ever wondered where some of your favorite businesses came up with their names, check out what Tidbits has discovered about the origins of several company monikers. • A hike in the mountains provided the revelation for a unique fastener for fabric. Swiss engineer George de Mestral was walking his dog and both came home covered with cockleburs. Upon examining one of the burs under his microscope, he discovered it was covered with thousands of hooks that had gripped his wool pants and his dog’s fur. The invention of Velcro followed soon after, with its tiny hooks fastening to loops of fabric. The name came from combining “velour” with “crochet,” and his was idea patented in 1955. • Paul Orfalea’s college chums dubbed him “Kinko” because he had a mass of curly hair. In 1970, when Orfalea borrowed $5,000 and rented a 100-square-foot building near the University of California campus, he named his new business Kinko’s. Students could obtain copies from his single copier for two-and-a-half cents apiece, as well as purchase school supplies and get their film processed. Within ten years, there were 80 stores, and in 2004, Orfalea sold his enterprise to FedEx for $2.4 billion. • A department store janitor suffering from asthma was the inventor of the first upright vacuum. James Spangler set out to improve on the carpet sweeper he used at work, hoping to alleviate his attacks. He started with a tin box, a fan, a broom handle and a pillowcase to suck away the dust. He gave one of his new “Electric Suction Sweepers” to his cousin, Susan Hoover, whose husband “Boss” Hoover provided the financial backing, eventually purchased the patent from Spangler and gave the contraption a new name.


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• It’s convenient that Arby’s sells roast beef (R-B), but that’s not the source of the company’s acronym. It really stands for the initials of its founders, the Raffel Brothers, Forrest and Leroy, who opened their first restaurant in Boardman, Ohio, in 1964. They had initially chosen the name Big Tex for their establishment, but another Ohio businessman was already using it. There are now more than 3,000 Arby’s across the United States. • Brothers Henry, Hilal, and Herman Hassenfeld were the founders of the world’s second-largest toymakers. Hasbro got its start in 1923 when these Polish immigrants started selling school supplies. In the late 1930s, they made the switch to toys, beginning with junior doctor and nurse kits and modeling clay. Today we know them for Mr. Potato Head, G.I. Joe and Transformers. • In 1927, a factory in Gothenburg, Sweden, rolled out its first automobile, christened the Volvo. The name came from the Latin, meaning, “I roll.” Eighty years later, the company had produced nearly 15 million vehicles. • The big business of athletic shoes has some interesting brand name origins. Adidas shoes draw their name from their founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler, who founded the company in 1949. NIKE is the winged goddess of victory in Greek mythology, and its famous swoop is said to resemble the wing of that goddess. ASICS uses an acronym of a Latin phrase Anima sana in corpore sano, which translates to, “A sound mind in a sound body” to label their footwear. The speed of an African antelope, the rhebok, was the inspiration behind Reebok’s company name. • The name of German Henri Nestlé is synonymous with good chocolate, but the world’s first baby formula was actually his first creation in 1867. Nestlé didn’t get into the chocolate-making business until 1929, when he acquired a Swiss chocolate company. The company logo is the original Nestlé family coat of arms, which features a bird’s nest containing a mother bird and two baby birds. • Louis Chevrolet was a Swiss auto racer who went into partnership with William Durant in 1911 to produce automobiles. Chevrolet had already been in the news as a frequent race winner, driving his Buick up to 72 miles per hour. He wanted to build a luxury car, while Durant’s idea was to produce inexpensive cars to compete with the Ford Model T. Chevrolet won the debate and lent his name to the Classic Six. However, a few years later, while Chevrolet was on a European vacation, Durant implemented changes for a smaller car. Upon Chevrolet’s return to Michigan, the two men’s dispute grew, and Chevrolet sold out his shares and left the company. Durant went on to control General Motors, acting as its president until 1920. • Fiats have been around since 1899 when the Fabbrica Italiana Automobli Torino (translation: Italian Automobile Factory of Turin) was founded. The company built its first factory in the United States in 1908. NAME ORIGINS (continued): • What ever happened to Datsun vehicles? They were taken over by Nippon Sangyo, which translates to “Japan Industries.” Nissan is an abbreviated version of Nippon Sangyo • Two former electrical engineering students at Stanford University are responsible for the search engine Yahoo, used by millions every day. David Filo and Jerry Yang initially called their site “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” but later selected an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.” The two also like the definition of a yahoo: “rude, unsophisticated, and uncouth.” • The computer coding used to write web pages, “HTML,” was the source for the name of one of the nation’s most popular e-mail sites. Its creators incorporated the four computer language letters into the service HoTMaiL in 1996, and within five months, had more than eight million subscribers. Just a year later, the founders received a cool $400 million from Microsoft to be added to its list of services. • Jesse Shwayder founded the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company in 1910 in Denver, Colorado. Touting his reputation as the maker of strong luggage, he named one of his suitcases the “Samson” after the Biblical personage endowed with tremendous strength by God. The company name was eventually changed to Samsonite, and it ran an ad campaign flaunting the fact that their hard-sided luggage was “hard enough to stand on.” • A character in an 1851 novel was the inspiration for the name of the world’s largest coffeehouse. Captain Ahab’s first mate in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” was named Starbuck. The chain started out with one location in Seattle’s Pike Street Market in 1971 and has grown to more than 16,000 outlets throughout the world.


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From mellow ballads to disco, the Bee Gees have made their mark in the music field. Join Tidbits as we look at a group of brothers who have impacted music for four decades.

• Barry Gibb was nine years old and his brothers, twins Robin and Maurice, were six when they started their singing career in 1955. The trio began by singing popular hits at a Manchester, England, movie theater. Although the brothers were natives of England, the family moved to Australia while the boys were young and lived there eight years before returning to London in 1967. • The trio wasn’t always known as the Bee Gees. They started out as the Rattlesnakes and later called themselves Wee Johnny Hayes & the Bluecats. It was later changed to the Bee Gees, referring to the Brothers Gibb. • Pick your favorite – some of the Bee Gee’s number one hits include: “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” (their first No. 1 hit), “You Should Be Dancing,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” and “Jive Talkin’.” Most people won’t remember their first single, produced in 1963, “The Three Kisses of Love,” released in Australia. “How Deep Is Your Love” seems to be the most popular, since nearly 400 versions by other artists have been recorded. • The Gibb Brothers are the only songwriters who have had a No. 1 hit in four different decades. They are also the only writers to achieve five songs in the Top Ten at the same time, a feat accomplished in 1977. • The Bee Gees are sixth on the list of all-time top-sellers, behind Elvis, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney. • It was Robin’s vibrato and Barry’s high falsetto that gave them the distinctive sound that makes their music easily recognizable. • The “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack was the high point of the Bee Gees’ career. The 1977 movie starring John Travolta featured three Bee Gees’ singles that rocketed to No. 1 on the charts. This disco music soundtrack became the highest-selling album in history to that date, a distinction it held until Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” came along. With sales of more than 40 million copies, “Fever” remains music’s best-selling soundtrack. • Not only did the Bee Gees record many of their own compositions, they also wrote songs recorded by other top artists, such as Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Diana Ross and Destiny’s Child. They were the writers for the title song of the Broadway play and subsequent film, “Grease.” They were inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and have won eight Grammy Awards. • 1978 was a big year for the Gibbs, with 12 of their compositions hitting the Top 40. At one point during the year, nine of the Top 100 were either written and/or performed by the group. • Although the Bee Gees consisted of three brothers, younger brother Andy achieved fame as a solo act, frequently performing songs composed by his brothers. Andy’s life was unexpectedly cut short in 1988 at age 30, when he died of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. Maurice, the group’s musical director, passed away suddenly in 2003 from a heart attack, just before he was to undergo surgery.

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May 2, 2010 • 

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition

DR. SEUSS From the Cat in the Hat to Horton, Yertle and the Grinch, Dr. Seuss has brought us some of our favorite characters and stories. This week, Tidbits looks into the life of this genius, author of 44 children’s books, who passed away in 1991. • Dr. Seuss was really Theodor S. Geisel, son of a Springfield, Massachusetts, parks superintendent and zookeeper. He took his pen name from his middle name, Seuss, which was his mother’s maiden name. • Dr. Seuss claimed that his ability to make clever rhymes came from memories of his mother lulling him to sleep as a child with “chanting” rhymes. She had used the technique to memorize the menu at the establishment where she had been a waitress. • His first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” debuted in 1937, and was named for a Springfield street. “The Cat in the Hat” didn’t come along until 1957. Along the way, Geisel enjoyed other careers as an ad man, creating campaigns for Standard Oil pesticides, as an Army filmmaker and a political cartoonist. • It’s a good thing Ted Geisel was persistent. “Mulberry Street” was submitted to 27 different publishers and rejected 27 times before it was finally accepted by Vanguard Press. • As a Lieutenant Colonel and commander of the Animation Department of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Seuss made animated training movies and propaganda films. His creation “Design for Death” earned him the 1947 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In addition, he was awarded the Oscar for 1951’s best cartoon, two Emmy awards, a Peabody and the Pulitzer Prize. • “Green Eggs and Ham” was the result of a wager. Seuss’ close friend Bennett Cerf bet him that he couldn’t write a book using 50 or less different words. The result was the English language’s third largest-selling book in history. • Dr. Seuss’ beginning readers, including “Ten Apples Up on Top”, “Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog”? and “Many Mice of Mr. Price,” were published under the name of Theo Lesieg, and were not illustrated by him. Look carefully, and you’ll see that Lesieg is his real name Geisel spelled backwards. • “The Cat in the Hat” was written in response to a magazine article about the problems of teaching children to read. Seuss used a mischievous cat who barged his way into a home where a young brother and sister were alone while their mother was out. The cat brought Thing One and Thing Two with him to create further havoc for Sally and her brother, who narrates the 1,626-word story. • Seuss’ books have been translated into 15 languages. If you’ve read “Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit,” you’ve read the Latin version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” first published in 1957. Grinch experts will recall that he lived on Mount Crumpet with his dog Max, overlooking the village of Whoville. And why did he hate Christmas? Because his heart was two sizes too small! The 2000 movie featured a green-skinned Grinch, but in the book, he was black and white, with a few red and pink splotches.

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15 Ways to Go Green 1. Pull the plug: Use a power strip to turn off televisions, stereos and computer systems when you’re not using them and unplug appliances such as phone chargers, extra refrigerators, and printers until you need them. 2. Put your fridge on a diet: If your fridge is equipped with a power-saving feature, use it. Set your refrigerator temperature at 38 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit; your freezer should be set between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Green Planet Services, Inc. An environmentally friendly company* 954.667.3237 • *Green Planet Services makes every effort to offer a newspaper that is environmentally friendly, earth friendly, and recycled as often as possible. Please recycle your copy of Tidbits to help the green planet movement worldwide.

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All rights reserved ©2010 Green Planet Services, Inc. All items in this publication are the property of Green Planet in conjunction with Tidbits Media. The use of any content of items presented by this publication are the sole property of Tidbits of Greater Fort Lauderdale and any use of any content of Tidbits of Greater Fort Lauderdale is strictly prohibited without the written consent of Green Planet Services, Inc. Tidbits Media, Inc. 1430 1-85 Parkway, Suite 301, Montgomery, AL 36106. 1-800-532-3096

3. Power down your computer.


4. Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees (Farenheit). 5. Test your windows and doors for leaks: Hold a ribbon near the windowsills or door jamb. If it’s fluttering, you have a leak. Caulk it up to save energy and money. 6. Fix leaky faucets and pipes. 7. Make your water multi-task: Use it more than once while grooming, cleaning, washing dishes and playing. 8. Install a CFL or compact fluorescent light bulb. 9. Grasscycle: Leave grass clippings on your lawn (instead of bagging them up) where they will naturally decompose and hold in soil moisture and return nutrients to the soil. 10. Stop your junk mail. 11. Weigh your waste: Every night for a week, collect your household garbage and weigh it on your bathroom scale. Record your results every few weeks and celebrate your success as your trash slims down. 12. Plant a tree, a flower, or a garden with your children. 13. Bring your own reusable shopping bag. 14. Buy organic. 15. Green your laundry.


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 • May 2, 2010

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition

For Advertising Information Call 954-667-3237





Dog Life Vests, Safety Belts Several years ago, a frightening incident inspired automotive safety specialist Christina Selter to found BarkBuckleUP, a program that promotes pet safety. “We had a near-accident with our dogs in the car. (We were) only traveling about 2 mph from a stop sign, when a car ran a red light and our little Betty fell off the seat. (She) wasn’t hurt, but didn’t want to be on the seat or in the car. It took some time to get her confident again.” Selter, who has an SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) certification, created BarkBuckleUP to remind owners to restrain their pets properly in the car, using safety belts specially designed for pets. She travels the U.S. throughout the year, promoting the message and working with police and fire departments to support the safety program. BarkBuckleUP also focuses on other safety issues, and Selter wants pet owners to stay aware. May is National Water Safety Month, and she reminds owners to keep a close eye on their pets while playing near or in the water. While explaining that most dogs love water, she warns, “Dogs get tired just like us. They need to take breaks.” Dogs also should wear a pet life vest when on the water with owners -- in a boat or other watercraft, for example. To keep dogs healthy, wash them off after they’ve finished their swim. “A few years ago in California at a pet event, there was a huge breakout of hot spots (on dogs) after going into the ocean,” Selter says. “Clean their fur thoroughly and their feet. Clean them off every time.” The BarkBuckleUP website ( features safety products for pets, including restraints for dogs and for pet carriers, life vests, first-aid kits, and more. Send your pet questions to Sam Mazzotta at, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Find more pet resources at (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Senior Adoption Program Fort Lauderdale, FL – Studies have shown that having a pet can help lower your pressure and keep you active. If you’re over the age of 60 and adopt a dog three years of age or older, or a cat six months of age or older, you may qualify for the Senior Scholarship Program at the Humane Society of Broward County. This program lets seniors adopt a dog for just $50 and cats for $35. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from the offer please stop by the shelter located at 2070 Griffin Road, just a block west of I95. Adoption hours are Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Call 954-989-3977 and press 3 for adoptions or visit www.humanebroward. com The pet you adopt will be spayed or neutered before going home, given preliminary vaccinations, a microchip and registration, 14 day limited health care courtesy of VCA Animal Hospitals, a bag of Purina ONE pet food, heartworm test or feline leukemia test and you’ll be getting a friend for life.

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WIN A HARLEY If you’ve always wanted to own a Harley, now is your chance while helping the homeless animals at the Humane Society of Broward County. Only 500 tickets will be sold at $100 per ticket, for a chance to win a 2010 Harley Davidson Street Glide. This gorgeous, sleek bike is on display at the shelter so stop by to take a peek and purchase your ticket. The winning ticket will be drawn on Saturday, May 8th at the Harley Dog Days event. Winner need not be present to win, but will be responsible for tax, title and tag. The Humane Society of Broward County is a private, nonprofit organization that relies on donations from people and companies who want to make a difference for homeless animals. The shelter is not affiliated with any other organization, receives no funding from the state or any national group and has only one location at 2070 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale. Visit to learn about upcoming events, see pets for adoption or purchase a Harley ticket or call the shelter at 954-9893977.


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Bunny Basics is Back! Fort Lauderdale, FL -- Did you get a bunny for Easter and need some guidance? If so, hop on over to the Humane Society of Broward County and attend “Bunny Basics” on Saturday, May 29th from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and learn everything you need to raise a happy, healthy house rabbit! Our behavior staff will discuss rabbit health, measures to curb common behavior issues, creative housing ideas, toys and exercise, bunny matching and more! Please call 954266-6875 to register for this FREE seminar. The shelter is located at 2070 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312




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Strawberry Creams This pretty pink dessert works well as a celebratory sweet for the non-chocoholic in your life. 1 envelope unflavored gelatin 1/2 cup water 1 lime 1 pound strawberries 1 cup strawberries, for garnish 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon sugar, for garnish 1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream 6 round sugar or shortbread cookies (about 3-inch diameter) Whipped cream (optional)

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May 2, 2010 • 

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition


For Advertising Information Call 954-667-3237

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4. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat about 5 minutes or until gelatin is completely dissolved, stirring frequently. Stir gelatin mixture into strawberry mixture. 5. With rubber spatula, stir strawberry mixture frequently just until it begins to mound, about 20 minutes. Remove bowl from ice bath. 6. In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form; fold into strawberry mixture with rubber spatula until blended. 7. Spoon strawberry mixture into six 6-ounce ramekins; top each with cookie. Place ramekins on tray for easier handling; cover and refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Mother’s Day Chocolate Dessert Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and special women in our lives will all be honored on Mother’s Day. We’ll take care of the dessert, and you take care of the rest. 18 (2 1/2-inch) chocolate graham cracker squares 1 (8-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese 2 cups reduced-calorie whipped topping sugar substitute to equal 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 (4-serving) packages sugar-free chocolate fudge pudding mix 1 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder 2 1/2 cups water 1. Arrange 12 of the chocolate graham crackers in a 9by-13-inch dish. In a large bowl, stir cream cheese with a spoon until soft. Add whipped topping, sugar substitute and vanilla extract. Mix gently to combine. Carefully spread mixture evenly over cracker crust. 2. In a large bowl, combine dry pudding mixes, dry milk powder and water. Mix well using a wire whisk. Pour pudding mixture evenly over cream cheese layer. 3. Crush remaining 6 graham crackers and evenly sprinkle crumbs over top. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serves 8. • Each serving equals: 157 calories, 1g fat, 9g protein, 28g carb., 403mg sodium, 0g Fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 1/2 Meat. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

8. For garnish, about 15 minutes before serving, cut each strawberry, from 1 cup strawberries, into quarters. Place in bowl with 1 tablespoon sugar and toss well. Set aside.

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9. Meanwhile, to unmold creams: Run tip of knife around inside of ramekin. Tap side sharply with hand to break seal; invert cream onto dessert plate. Garnish with strawberries with their juice. Serve with whipped cream, if you like. Serves 6. • Each serving: About 230 calories, 9g total fat (4g saturated), 18mg cholesterol, 55mg sodium, 35g total carbohydrate, 3g dietary fiber, 3g protein.

Nellie’s Custard Bread Pudding This recipe was a winner in our Mother’s Day Cooking contest. 6 cups whole or 1 percent milk 5 slices firm white bread 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 6 large eggs 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, or to taste 1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish. 2. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat milk just to boiling over medium-high heat. 3. Meanwhile, toast bread. Spread butter on 1 side of

slices; cut each diagonally into quarters. 4. In medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until blended. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture until well-combined. Pour custard into baking dish. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on top of custard; sprinkle with nutmeg. 5. Set baking dish in large (17-by-11 1/2-inch) roasting pan; place pan on oven rack. Pour enough boiling water into pan to come halfway up sides of baking dish. 6. Bake custard 50 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer baking dish to wire rack; let stand 15 minutes to cool before serving. Or cover and refrigerate to serve cold later. Serves 12. • Each serving: About 225 calories, 9g total fat (5g saturated), 265mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate, 0g dietary fiber. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our Web site at (c) 2010 Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

 • May 2, 2010

TIDBITS® of Greater Fort Lauderdale - Southeast Broward Edition

For Advertising Information Call 954-667-3237

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Low Sodium Level Causes Many Symptoms DEAR DR. DONOHUE: What can you tell me about a low sodium level? My visiting friend (from England) was refused embarkation on his cruise because he was acting belligerent and confused. The ship’s doctor sent him to a hospital. He had scans, an EEG and numerous blood and urine tests. Everything was normal except he had low sodium. His insurance carrier sent a doctor from England to accompany him on a flight back to London. He has since seen his own doctor. His sodium level has risen. What happened to him? -- B.L.

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ANSWER: Sodium has many functions. It keeps body fluids at the right level. It maintains blood pressure. It’s essential for muscle contractions. It participates in generating the heartbeat. It carries a positive electric charge, so it balances the negatively charged body substances. A drop in blood sodium leads to fatigue, nausea and weakness. If the level dips farther, people become confused and dizzy. At very low levels, they could have a seizure and lapse into a coma. Your friend’s doctor has the task of finding out why your friend’s sodium level fell. In quite a few instances, it comes about from an inappropriate release of a body hormone called ADH, antidiuretic hormone. This hormone stops kidney urine production. The result is too much water in the body. The extra water dilutes sodium and produces a low reading. Liver diseases, troubles with the adrenal glands and a sluggish thyroid gland are other causes for a lowering of blood sodium. Restoring the body’s sodium content is not too difficult. Tracking the reason why it dropped is. Has your friend’s mental function normalized now that his sodium level has returned to normal? If it has not, then his doctor has to look for explanations of his erratic behavior that have nothing to do with his sodium. The booklet on sodium and potassium explains why these minerals are so important and what happens when they are out of kilter. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No 202W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 328536475. 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 have been eating ice cream and cookies sweetened with Splenda for about four years, enjoying them very much and not experiencing any bad side effects. Then someone told me that Splenda is really bug poison and that it has made a lot of people sick, so I stopped

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using it. I have noticed no improvement, but I didn’t have anything wrong in the first place. I miss Splenda foods. What is your opinion? -- N.B. ANSWER: Splenda is not bug poison. It’s made from sugar. It’s a product that is 600 times sweeter than sugar. It is not absorbed, so it contributes no calories to those who eat it. It’s FDA-approved, and I trust the people at the Food and Drug Administration more than I trust your informant. There’s no reason for you not to use it. Some people delight in passing on alarming information. Your “someone” has to be one of them. *** 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 - Southeast Broward Edition

NOW HERE’S A TIP By JoAnn Derson

May 2, 2010 • 


• “To keep deer from eating plants, slip remnants of bar soap into pieces of pantyhose and hang on plants. The deer can’t stand the smell.” -- M.R. in California • Here’s a great, decorative way to absorb excess odor in damp spaces (like bathrooms or basements). Wrap a plastic container with pretty shelf paper and add charcoal briquettes or kitty litter to the box. Place a lid on top with holes poked in it. It will absorb the moisture. Check it periodically and replace the contents. • “To get rid of the smell of burned food in the microwave, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to 4 cups of water in a microwave-safe glass bowl. I use a measuring cup. Microwave on high until boiling, about four minutes. Let it set in the microwave for a few minutes and then remove carefully. You also can boil the mixture on the stove, and it will make the room smell fresh.” -- R.F. in Indiana • “Window blinds can be dusted by wiping each blade with a dryer sheet. It discourages dust from settling, and I find that I have to dust them less often.” -- C.S. in Delaware


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• “Use pencil shavings (most are made of cedar wood) around the base of plants that attract pesky bugs. They don’t like the smell of cedar.” -- A Reader, via e-mail • Filling up that cooler for a day at the park or beach? Freeze juice boxes for small coolers; they help keep snacks cool and will be perfect to drink as they melt. Milk jugs can be cleaned and filled with water to be frozen. They make long-lasting ice blocks that maintain a cold temperature better for a larger cooler filled with food. 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) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits of Greater Ft Lauderdale Issue #5  

Tidbits® is a light and interesting newspaper dedicated to publishing things you didn’t know. A “tidbit” is defined as “a tasty morsel to be...

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