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• The ear or cob is the female part of the plant and houses up to 1,000 seeds called kernels. Each ear is enveloped in a whorl of leaves called husks. Ears occur along the plant’s main stalk. The tassel is the male part of the plant and occurs at the top or end of a stalk. From the tassel comes pollen that fertilizes eggs in the ear that eventually produces the kernels. Wondering why they are called ears?

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• If you think “ears” of corn are called “ears” because they stick out like human ears, you are not alone. Many people think that, but it is wrong. The term “ear” comes from an old English measurement called an ear of grain. It is related to the Dutch word, “aar” and the German word, “aehre.” Also, the Gothic word for husk of corn is “ahs.”

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• Corn originated in present-day Mexico and is known also by the name “maize.” Botanically, corn is a member of the grass family. Cornstalks can grow from 2 to 20 feet (0.6 to 6.1 m) high, with the average being about 8 feet (2.4 m).

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by Patricia L. Cook This Tidbits examines corn, the No. 1 field crop in North America. Corn is grown on every continent in the world except Antarctica.

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• On Sept. 3, 1783, the American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris. The signing signified America’s status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies. • On Sept. 7, 1936, Charles Harden Holley is born in Lubbock, Texas. Writing and performing under the name Buddy Holly, he would have an influence on rock ‘n’ roll that would far outlast his tragically shortened career. He left behind a legacy that includes “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Not Fade Away,” It’s So Easy,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy!” and “Maybe Baby.”

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• On Sept. 9, 1776, the Continental Congress formally declares the name of the new nation to be the “United States” of America. It replaced the term “United Colonies,” which had been in general use.

• On Sept. 6, 1943, a new high-speed train traveling between New York City and Washington, D.C., derails, killing 79 people and seriously injuring 100 more. The Congressional Limited traveled at an unprecedented speed of 65 mph. • On Sept. 4, 1957, Ford Motor Company unveils the Edsel, the first new automobile brand produced by one of the Big Three car companies since 1938. One reporter called it “an Oldsmobile sucking a lemon.” In addition, at highway speeds the famous hood ornament had a tendency to fly off and into the windshield. • On Sept. 5, 1972, during the 1972 Summer Olympics at Munich, Germany, a group of Palestinian terrorists storms the Olympic Village apartment of the Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine others hostage. The terrorists were part of a group known as Black September. • On Sept. 8, 1986, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is broadcast nationally for the first time. It went on to become the highest-rated talk show in TV history. By 2008, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” had an estimated weekly audience of some 46 million viewers in the United States and was broadcast around the world in 134 countries. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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The VRAP Scam If you’re signed up for Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) and are expecting to hear about approval and payments, beware ... especially if you get a call from a 202 area code. There’s word of a scam going around to steal money from VRAP recipients. As posted on the Department of Veterans Affairs page, it works like this: The scammers will call you and congratulate you on being approved for the program. You’ll be told you can have your money within minutes ... if you give your bank deposit information and agree to a $205 service fee. Whomever it is, that person isn’t affiliated with the VA. The scammer takes your money. Nobody at the VA will ever call you like that and ask for your banking information. If you get a similar scam call, phone the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357. (As a side note, I hunted down some information on the scam and found a phone number. If the powers-that-be want to look for the scammer, it shouldn’t be too hard: The phone is a landline in Washington, D.C.) VRAP is a training program for high demand occupations. If you haven’t signed up for VRAP and want to start school in September, there’s still time. The early group (until September) is limited to 45,000 veterans. They’ve reached that number of applications, but only half have been accepted. If you want to apply now, it’s worth a shot. Otherwise you’ll be in the next group, which starts in October and runs until March 2014. The qualifications are: Ages 35 to 60 Unemployed Don’t have a dishonorable discharge Aren’t eligible for other education benefits through the VA Don’t get compensation for not being employable Aren’t in a federal or state job training program For more information go online to benefits. or call the VA at 1-800-827-1000. Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.



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1. Is the book of Labor in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From Ecclesiastes 4:9, how many are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor? Two, Three, Five, Seven 3. In 1 Kings 5:13-14, how many thousand men comprised the labor force that King Solomon raised? 1, 5, 10, 30 4. From Exodus 20:9, how many days shalt thou labor and do all thy work? Two, Four, Six, Seven 5. What son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor in David’s kingdom? Baal, Adoniram, Cyrenius, Phaneul 6. From Proverbs 14:23, “In all labor there is” what? Love, Hope, Light, Profit?

NOW, THAT’S CORNY! (continued): • About 40 percent of the world’s corn is grown in the United States. Over half of the U.S. corn grows in four states: Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota. The “Corn Belt” in the United States is typically defined as the above four states plus Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. The corn-growing region has relatively level land, adequate rainfall and rich, fertile soil. • For the last two decades Iowa has produced the largest corn crop of any state. Actually Iowa produces more corn than most countries. For example, Iowa grows about three times as much as corn as Mexico, even though the corn consumption per person there is almost three times higher than in the United States. • Approximately 90 percent of the corn in the United States is grown on family farms. Irrigation is usually unnecessary, with 87 percent of the corn grown using only natural rainfall. • There are five varieties of corn: 1) field corn, which is used for livestock feed, fuel and industrial products; 2) popcorn; 3) foodgrade corn, used for numerous food products like corn bread and tortillas; 4) sweet corn, the best to eat; and 5) seed corn, grown for kernels to be used for the next year’s crop. • Most things in nature that have rows or lines tend to grow in even numbers. This comes about with cell division; one cell dividing into two and continuing evenly. Corn kernels always grow in an even number of rows. An average ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows. • One of the primary uses of field corn is animal feed. Approximately 40 percent of the U. S. corn crop is used as livestock and poultry feed.

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• Included in this 40 percent is the production of distiller’s grain, a co-product from ethanol production that is a great supplement for animal feed. • Another use of field corn is ethanol production. In 2010, 36.5 percent of the U.S. corn crop was used to produce ethanol. Ethanol is a clean alternative fuel that is blended with 70 percent of the gasoline produced in the United States and comprises about 4.6 percent of total U.S. gasoline consumption. • Lastly, field corn is used for a variety of industrial products, including bioplastics, fabrics, crayons, compostable tableware and food containers. • Popcorn has been part of American cuisine since before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. In fact, research indicates that likely ancestors of Native Americans enjoyed popcorn before the birth of Christ. • Nutritionally, popcorn is a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates yet low in fat and calories, making it a great betweenmeal snack. Air-popped popcorn contains 31 calories per cup, oil-popped popcorn contains 55 calories per cup, and lightly buttered popcorn contains 133 calories per cup. Three cups of popped popcorn equals one serving from the grain group.

Cailan Gray, Regional Manager Max Muscle Sports Nutrition By: Jeremy Scott

Asparagus If you didn’t know asparagus is amazing, the health benefits are endless and if it’s not currently in your diet it should be. The basics about asparagus, it’s a perennial that can be planted as seeds or roots anytime of the year. It’s a super anti-aging, detox vegetable that can help transform your body inside and out. Here are the top 3 reasons you need asparagus in your life. 1- Fighting Anti-Aging None of us are getting any younger, so why not try and combat Father Time with this green superhero. Asparagus is full of vitamin A, potassium and glutathione – which is an amino acid compound with strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are crucial in the fight against aging –they also protect cells from free radicals. 2. Doing it BIG with Detox Asparagus has over 280 milligrams of potassium per cup. Why is that important? Potassium has been known to reduce belly fat, this reason alone should send you to the store in search of the mighty green stalks. The sodium content of asparagus is almost nothing, making it a “NO” bloat food and with zero fat and only 40 calories per cup it’s a great addition to any meal. It truly is the ultimate detox food. 3. Fighting with Folate When it comes to protecting yourself from Cancer –you can never have enough armor in the fight. Folate is your firepower – asparagus is high in folate –which is known to be an important weapon in the fight with Cancer. Folate is also great for reducing inflammation and pain, as well as reducing the risk of heart disease. So what we know now – asparagus helps reduce pain, inflammation, fights cancer, heart disease, is pumped full of antioxidants, and is rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, potassium, high in fiber, with zero sodium and fat. Not to mention it tastes amazing, are you sold yet? If you have any questions that you would like answered regarding general health, nutrition, or fitness please email Cailan @

• Reports in March 2012 from a study conducted at the University of Scranton indicated that the crunchy hull of popcorn is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that prevent damage to cells and may have disease-fighting properties. • By the way, when popcorn pops, it forms two basic shapes: snowflake and mushroom. Movie theater and ballpark popcorn are snowflake-shaped because this form looks and pops bigger. Mushroom popcorn is used more for candy because it doesn’t crumble.

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Ambrose Charges Into Chase Mix When the final lap at Watkins Glen International commenced, Marcos Ambrose was running third. He knew he had Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski in front of him. What he didn’t know was that he also had an oily track in front of him. Keselowski took the lead by nudging Busch out of the way. He got the same medicine from Ambrose, enabling the Ford driver from Australia (Launceston, Tasmania) to win at the Glen for the second year in a row. “I was the first one to slip in the oil, and it was just getting worse and worse,” Ambrose said later. “You could tell the car was staying out there because the oil was moving around the race track and you just take your chances. You’ve got to commit at that point in the race, and it was great racing with Kyle and Brad. They’re the two best guys to race. It’s just awesome fun, and that’s the way racing should be, and we got the No. 9 Stanley Ford in Victory Lane.” It was one of the more exciting final laps in NASCAR history. Both of the 35-year-old’s wins are at Watkins Glen. He has a chance to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, thanks to the victory, but it will require at least another win in the final four races of the regular season. But Ambrose holds the qualifying record at Michigan International Speedway, the next stop on the schedule. “We got the pole at Michigan. We were running top five all day there. There’s no reason why we can’t go there and surprise them again,” he said. Ambrose had to settle for ninth in the Quicken Loans 400 on June 17. For the second time, Ambrose managed to win at one of few tracks where his owner, Richard Petty, never took a checkered flag. “You go and you run, and you do the best you can, and then you try to take advantage of the circumstances that are there,” Petty said. “That’s what Marcos did. He didn’t create any of those circumstances. He took advantage of those circumstances.” For the second week in a row, the Sprint Cup winner was neither first nor second when the final lap began. *** Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc. After his win at Watkins Glen, Marcos Ambrose remains in the hunt for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. (John Clark/ NASCAR This Week photo)

1. FOOD & DRINK: What is French “pate de foie gras” made from? 2. GEOGRAPHY: The island of Madagascar lies in what body of water? 3. LANGUAGE: What is a similar way to describe a “ribald” joke? 4. AD SLOGANS: What movie was promoted with the slogan, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”? 5. HUMAN ANATOMY: What is the most common type of blood? 6. POLITICS: What longtime Ohio senator was known as “Mr. Republican”? 7. LITERARY: What famous author used the pen name “Boz” in his early career? 8. MOVIES: Which three actors have starred in major roles as Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther movies? 9. CHEMISTRY: What does the “Ag” stand for in the chemical symbol for silver? 10. HISTORY: When did Queen Anne’s War (Third Indian War) begin in colonial America?

The Medicare open-enrollment period is coming up soon. During that time you’ll have the chance to review plans and coverage that you’ll want in 2013. You’ll be able to add, drop or change drug coverage. You can switch from an original plan to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa. You can go from one Advantage plan to another, such as one that has drug coverage versus one that doesn’t. The good news is that the drug plan rates aren’t going up. The average premium for basic drug coverage is likely to be $30 for the third year in a row. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the “doughnut hole” is shrinking. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 52 million people on Medicare have saved $3.9 billion on drug costs, which averages more than $600 per person per year. Between now and 2020, coverage will increase until the doughnut hole is closed altogether. This year we’ve had a 50 percent discount on name-brand drugs during the time the doughnut hole has been in effect, plus a discount of 14 percent on generic drugs. Next year, in 2013, that will increase to 52.5 percent and 21 percent respectively. Figuring out just when you initially need to sign up for Social Security and Medicare can be tricky because the year, month and date you’re born determine your eligibility. Go online to and look for the eligibility tools and the plan finder. Or call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. The number for Social Security is 1-800-772-1213. Put this on your calendar: The Medicare enrollment period this year starts Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, 2012. The new choices take effect Jan. 1, 2013. Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@ (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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As part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri, the Gateway Arch is the tallest national monument in the United States. At 630 feet (192 m), the arch is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. • The base width is also 630 feet (192 m). The foundations for the arch were sunk 60 feet (18 m) into the ground. It is built to withstand earthquakes and to sway up to 18 inches (46 cm) in 150 mph (241 km/hr) winds. • Opened in 1965, the striking stainless steel structure offers spectacular views from the observation room at the top. Eero Saarinen, an architect from Detroit who had emmigrated from Finland with his family at the age of 12, won the competition for the honor to design the monument to westward movement. Thomas Jefferson’s vision to spread freedom and democracy from “sea to shining sea” was the inspiration for Saarinen’s design. • The city of St. Louis was quite significant in the westward movement, considered the “Gateway to the West.” The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a memorial to Jefferson’s role in expanding the country to the west. The park consists of the Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion and St. Louis’ Old Courthouse.

• Construction of the Arch occurred from February 12, 1963, until the last section was put in place on October 28, 1965. The cost was $13 million. • More stainless steel was used to build the Arch than for any other project in history: Nine hundred tons (900,000 kg). The Gateway Arch weighs 17,246 tons

(17,240,000 kg). • One of the most fascinating things about the Gateway Arch is the ride to the top. The two one-of-a-kind trams that go up each leg to take visitors to the observation room are amazing. Dick Bowser, a highly intelligent man with no college degree, conceived the idea for the trams in two short weeks. • Bowser’s design had to meet the criteria to

transport 3,500 people in an eight-hour day or up to 11,000 people in a 14-hour day. The conveyance system could not distort the exterior of the Arch. • Bowser’s tram system consists of eight capsules linked in tandem for each leg of the Arch. Each capsule seats five people and rotates approximately 155 degrees during the trip to the top. Each tram completes the trip to the top of the Arch and back in 9-10 minutes, including time for loading and unloading. As the capsules go up and down, the weight of the passengers helps to keep the capsules upright. When the trams are running near capacity, 400-450 passengers per hour experience the unique ride to the top of the Arch. • At the top of the Arch, the 16 windows on each side are small at 7 inches x 27 inches (18 cm x 69 cm), hinged and locked. The room is small as well but accommodates 100-160 caviews ll tod people. The are aybreathtaking, with the toRiver Mississippi of Illinois to get and notthe icestate d the east and the city of St. Louis and state of Missouri to the west. • The grounds surrounding the Gateway Arch and the rest of the park were carefully designed with the buildings. Renowned landscape architect Dan Kiley worked with Dick Bowser from the beginning to make the park a reality.

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Home Improvement

THIS IS A HAMMER By Samantha Mazzotta

Use Bolts to Anchor Pictures to Wall Q: I have to hang some heavier pictures, and I’m a little confused by all the choices in different kinds of bolts. What options do I have? -- Frank in Tuscon





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A: Depending on the weight of the item you’re hanging on the wall, a variety of bolts are available -- but the most common are expansion bolts or anchors (also known as Molly bolts, for some reason), and toggle bolts. Both kinds of bolts are helpful in anchoring somewhat heavy objects to drywall when a stud can’t be located or used. Expansion bolts have an exterior plastic sheath, which is straight when inserted into a hole drilled into the wall, but expand behind the wall once placed. They’re designed for heavy objects like large framed pictures, mirrors or shelves. Toggle bolts have metal wings that unfold once inserted on the other side of the drywall, providing a sturdy backing for much heavier

objects like small cabinets. To use an expansion bolt, mark the spot on VETERAN the wall where you plan to hang a picture or landscape management and design OWNED heavy item. Drill a hole at the width specified to fit the expansion bolt. With the metal screw inserted fully into the expansion sheath, push the bolt through the hole or gently tap in with a hammer. Turn the screw head clockwise until it’s tight -- this action expands the sheath so that it sits snug against the wall. Unscrew the metal screw from the expansion bolt sheath and mount the picture by inserting the screw through the picture’s hanger or screw hole and back into the expansion bolt. To use a toggle bolt, first drill a hole in the wall at the width specified. Unscrew the metal -ask how to get a water bill credit flange (the spring-loaded expansion unit) from -free estimates design the metal screw. Run the screw through the installation screw hole or the picture’s hanger, then screw 970-682-8342 maintenance the metal flange back onto the screw, on the opposite side of the hanger or screw hole. Pinch the flange closed with one hand and push it through the drilled hole while guiding the picture into position. Once the flange is all the way through, pull the metal screw until you can feel the flange pressing against the back side of the wall. Tighten the metal screw until it and the picture are secure.

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1. In 2010, the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez set a record for most consecutive seasons of at least 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. How many seasons? 2. Name the four majorleague players to play in at least 140 games for 16

consecutive seasons. 3. When was the last time before 2011 that the Detroit Lions started a season 5-0? 4. Harvard made the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 2012, the first time for the Crimson since when? 5. Who is the leading goal scorer in Buffalo Sabres history? 6. Which NASCAR Cup driver has the most victories at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway? 7. In 2012, Maria Sharapova became the sixth woman in the Open Era of tennis to have a career Grand Slam. Name four of the first five to do it.

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Acupuncture for Pets? DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I recently read an advertisement by a pet hospital that is offering acupuncture for pets. Does this even work for pets? I’m skeptical. -- Janice T., Orlando, Fla. DEAR JANICE: I can’t say for sure, but the idea of providing acupuncture treatment for pets is intriguing. Acupuncture has been shown to have positive results for humans trying to manage pain, and some anecdotal reports indicate that acupuncture might help reduce pain in animals, as well. Wadsworth Animal Hospital in Lakewood, Colo., for example, recently reported that as many as 75 percent of the pets in its care treated with acupuncture

PAW’S CORNER By Sam Mazzotta experienced “a significant or major improvement, although some symptoms may remain.” The hospital used acupuncture to treat pets suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia, nerve damage or other chronic health conditions. Pet acupuncture sounds pretty odd, and it’s really a new type of treatment for pets, coming into vogue just in the past few decades. But it’s not the only holistic pet treatment out there that looks to help improve pets’ health without the use of drugs or surgery. And it’s growing in popularity: some 800 pet acupuncturists are registered with the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture (http://, the Washington Post reports, an increase of 600

since 2002. So, how do you find a qualified acupuncturist for your pet? The AAVA has a listing on its site, but be sure to ask questions of the pet acupuncturist you find locally. He or she should be certified to practice veterinary medicine as well as veterinary acupuncture. Send your questions or comments 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. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

PETBITS SPONSORED BY: Pet Club S. Ft. Collins 2226 E. Harmony RD. Fort Collins, CO 80528

(970) 226-1300

Pet Club Fort Collins 1107 W. Drake Rd. Fort Collins, CO 80526

(970) 204-4800

• The first time a toilet was ever seen on television was in the pilot episode of “Leave It to Beaver,” in 1957. • The most common name in the world is Muhammed. • It’s still not known who made the following sage observation: “To succeed in politics, it is sometimes necessary to rise above your principles.” • It was beloved American poet Robert Frost who made the following sage observation: “A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.” • In 1938, Time magazine featured Adolph Hitler on the cover as its Man of the Year. • You might be surprised at some of the amazing feats that can be accomplished with the aid of modern medicine. In 2008, two women in India gave birth at the age of 70. With the aid of egg donation and postmenopausal in vitro fertilization, Rajo Devi Lohan gave birth to her only child, a girl. Charan Singh Panwar and his wife, Omkari Panwar, already had two daughters and five grandchildren, but they wanted a son. Using the same procedure, Omkari had twins, a boy and a girl.

• If you live in the South, home of huge roaches, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that a cockroach can live for a week without a head. When the headless insect does finally die, it’s from starvation, not from the loss of its head. • Those who study such things say that there are 45,000 chickens for every person on the planet. *** Thought for the Day: “The reason that adulation is not displeasing is that, though untrue, it shows one to be of consequence enough, in one way or other, to induce people to lie.” -- Lord Byron (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Magic Maze

Answers 1. Thirteen seasons. 2. Hank Aaron, Johnny Damon, Brooks Robinson and Pete Rose. 3. It was 1956. 4. It was 1946. 5. Gilbert Perreault, with 512. 6. Richard Petty, with 13. 7. Billie Jean King (1972), Chris Evert (1982), Martina Navratilova (1983), Steffi Graf (1988) and Serena Williams (2003).

BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1) Neither; 2) Two; 3) 30; 4) Six; 5) Adoniram; 6) Profit (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Answers 1. Goose or duck liver 2. Indian Ocean 3. Vulgar 4. “Jaws II” 5. O positive 6. Robert A. Taft 7. Charles Dickens 8. Peter Sellers, Alan Arkin and Steve Martin 9. Argentum, the Latin word for silver 10. 1702 (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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