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June 4, 2011
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TIDBITS® HAS FUN WITH
WEIRD PASTIMES by T. A. Tafoya
With our limitless imaginations, humans have come up with all sorts of interesting activities in an effort to stave off boredom. Tidbits takes a look at a few of the wackiest pastimes. • Chess Boxing requires both brains and brawn. This Dutch event combines a game of chess played in between rounds of boxing. Two individuals go at it for up to 11 rounds. The game starts with a four-minute chess round followed by two minutes of boxing. The World Chess Boxing Organization’s motto is: “Fighting is done in the ring, and wars are waged on the board.” The match can be won through domination in either activity or some combination of a knockout, checkmate and exceeding the time limit on speed chess or by a judges’ decision. • Ever thought of chasing cheese? In a battle of pursuit, people risk life and limb to chase an eight-pound Double Gloucester cheese down a very steep hill in the annual Cheese-Rolling Festival at Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire. There are ﬁve races, and the ﬁrst person to make it to the bottom still on their feet wins the cheese! turn the page for more!
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1. HISTORY: When did the Franco-Prussian War end? 2. INVENTIONS: What was the name of Robert Fulton’s ﬁrst commercially successful steamboat? 3. RELIGION: Who is the patron saint of Wales? 4. MUSIC: What famous singer’s 1950s TV show featured the Vic Schoen Orchestra? 5. LITERATURE: Who wrote the novel “Rebecca”? 6. MYTHOLOGY: In Greek mythology, who was Telemachus’ father? 7. ADVERTISEMENTS: What is “the beer that made Milwaukee famous”? 8. GEOGRAPHY: Where is Lake Maracaibo? 9. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: For what line of work was Fannie Merritt Farmer best known? 10. POLITICS: What system of government does the Fabian Society support?
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WEIRD PASTIMES (continued) • Can you talk afterwards? The World Stinging Nettle Challenge is held at The Bottle Inn in Marshwood, Dorset, U.K., every year as part of a charity beer festival. Competitors come from all over the world to see how many nettle leaves they can eat off two stalks in an hour’s time. The bare stalks are measured, and the winner is the one with the greatest accumulated length. It takes skill and endurance to chew and swallow the leaves and not blister the tongue. • You shouldn’t be asleep for this one! Bed Racing is a sport enjoyed by the people of North Yorkshire Town in the United Kingdom who hold the annual Knaresborough Bed Race. Competitors race beds in teams of six, plus one on the bed. The bed has to run on four wheels and must also ﬂoat. The race is 1 mile (3 km) long with ﬁve up-hill climbs leading to a ﬁnal challenge of crossing a river. • Ferret Legging is a male-only competition that started in Yorkshire, England, and is now held at the Richmond Highland Games & Celtic Festival in Richmond, Virginia. Men compete with one another by trapping two live ferrets in their pants. The pants must be tied at the ankle and secured at the waist with a belt to prevent the ferrets from escaping. The animals cannot be sedated and must have a full set of teeth. No ﬁling or blunting of teeth is allowed. After the ferrets are secure in the trousers, the competitors stand in front of the judges. The winner is the man who can last the longest. There are two important additional rules to Ferret Legging: The ferrets must have free access from one leg of the trousers to the other, and no underwear can be worn! The current record stands at 5.5 hours. • Witcham in Cambridgeshire, England, hosts an annual Pea Shooting contest where the competition is ﬁerce! Contestants shoot a pea 12 feet (3.64 m) through a 12-inch (30.48 cm) tube towards a 12-inch (30.48 cm) target. Pea shooting recently moved into the 21st century with laserguided shooters.
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Week Five A Friend’s Diagnosis - Pre-Diabetes It seems like yesterday, but actually it was 6 years ago. I was shopping in a whole foods store when my cell phone rang. It was my good friend Frank and I could tell he was very upset. This was during the time that I was handling my Diabetes very well. Early in the first year of my Diabetes, I had read a book called Diabetes Solution by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein. (www.diabetes-solution.net) I suggest that everyone either get this book and read it or check out his website. Frank had just been told he was “prediabetic” and he wanted me to tell him what to do. I reviewed my plan with him and referred him to Diabetes Solution. Frank was never obese, but he did carry 30 extra pounds around. When I saw him 4 months later he was rail thin and feeling great. He This is the beginning, April 17, 2011 had done just what I had advised and it had worked beautifully. I had been on the same plan for eight years and had never dropped a pound. The difference? Frank started the plan before the disease had become full blown diabetes. I had started when a lot of damage had already occurred. So, if you have been told you are “pre-diabetic”, don’t despair, celebrate! This is your chance to take control of it, before it takes control of you. Call me to share your diabetes story or struggles: Chris 541-450-0940.
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1. Name the Dodger who played all 13 of his major-league seasons under manager Tommy Lasorda. 2. Only one American League player in the 1970s had a season in which he amassed 400 or more total bases.
Name him. 3. Who was the coach of Southern Cal’s football team before Pete Carroll’s nineseason reign? 4. When Chris Bosh became the Toronto Raptors’ career leader in points scored in 2010, whose mark did he surpass? 5. Name the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs won the Northeast Division. 6. FC Dallas set a Major League Soccer record in 2010 for longest unbeaten streak in a single season. How many games was it? 7. True or false: World heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyﬁeld was once a world cruiserweight boxing champion.
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WEIRD PASTIMES (continued) • Wife Carrying started in Finland and is now played all over the world. In this race, male competitors run a 278-yard (253.5-m) track with two dry obstacles and one water obstacle while carrying their wife on their back. The fastest time wins. The wife must weigh at least 108 pounds (49 kilograms) and may be carried piggyback, ﬁreman’s carry or Estonian style, where the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, holding onto his waist. The prize is the wife’s weight in beer. • A conker is a nut of the horse chestnut tree. During The World Conker Championships, conkers are threaded onto pieces of knotted string to prevent them from coming off. The aim of the game is to smash your opponent’s conker. Who goes ﬁrst is decided by a coin toss, and the loser of the toss holds up a hand with the dangling conker on the end of its string. The other player then attempts to hit the dangling conker as hard as he can with his own conker by swinging it over-arm. If he hits it, he gets another go. If he misses or hits the opponent’s knuckles, the play switches, and the receiver gets a crack at his opponent. This continues until one of the conkers is so damaged that it falls off the string. • Big crowds regularly attend the Great
Cat’s Taste for Plastic Could Signal Diabetes By Sam Mazzotta
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I’m replying to Dave, the reader whose cat chews on his wife’s oxygen hose. This may sound weird, but he should consider having his cat checked for diabetes. Our cat, “Tuffy,” started chewing on our clear plastic shower curtain. We waited a bit too long to have him checked out, and he was in dire condition by the time the veterinarian saw him. It was my wife who read something in a cat magazine and suggested that the vet test Tuffy for diabetes. Sure enough, he had it. And while our cat’s prognosis was initially not good -- the vet said he might have three months to live -- thanks to regular insulin injections and care, Tuffy lived another four and a half years. So Dave, keep the faith, and have your cat checked for diabetes. -- Tom W., via email DEAR TOM: Thanks so much for calling attention to this possible health condition! Chewing on clear plastic as a signal for possible diabetes is not something I have heard of before, but I’m very glad your wife made that connection. Readers, keep in mind that many, even most, cats chew on weird things. Plastic shopping bags and crumpled paper are especially fascinating, and it’s not unusual to see cats gnawing at them. Of course, you should take efforts to stop them from ingesting such items. This type of gnawing does not necessarily signal a health problem, but if you’re unsure, take your pet to the veterinarian to ease your suspicions. Other signs of feline diabetes include a voracious appetite and/or drinking large quantities of water, as well as frequent urination or urinating a much larger amount than usual. Weakness in the cat’s back legs is another serious symptom. Send your pet questions and tips to email@example.com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Find more pet advice and resources at www.pawscorner.com.
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“Minding Frankie” By Maeve Binchy (Knopf Doubleday, $26.95) Reviewed by Rose M. Croke In her latest novel, best-selling Irish author Maeve Binchy delivers an emotional story about a single father who agrees to take guardianship of his terminally ill former-girlfriend’s baby after the young woman dies in childbirth. Noel, a recovering alcoholic, adapts to the demands of fatherhood as best he can in spite of the crushing weight of his ever-present demons. He soon realizes, however, that he can’t do it alone. Fortunately, he has the help of a competent network of caring family and neighbors, all of whom rally around Noel and “mind” Frankie while he works and
attends evening classes. But not everyone is so supportive of this unconventional arrangement. Moira, a jaded social worker with family issues of her own, is convinced that Frankie would be better off in a foster home. Set in a close-knit working-class community in Dublin, Ireland, “Minding Frankie” is populated with a colorful cast of well-developed characters. There is a lyrical quality to Binchy’s writing style as she reveals what’s inside the hearts and minds of these ﬂawed characters. Fans of Binchy will be pleasantly surprised to see the reappearance of characters from her previous novels. While Binchy weaves them seamlessly into the story line, readers new to her work may feel bogged down by remembering so many ancillary characters and their relationship to the main characters. In a tale where relationships aren’t quite what they seem, “Minding Frankie” explores unconventional families and what it means to be a family. At the heart of the story is Noel’s moving relationship with Frankie, and how she completely changes his life and the lives of everyone around her in ways they could never imagine. “Minding Frankie” is a reminder that is really does take a village to raise a child.
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● It was 20th-century Belgian writer and philosopher Raoul Vaneigem who made the following sage observation: “There are more truths in 24 hours of a man’s life than in all the philosophies.” ● The next time you’re annoyed by a bad case of the hiccups, consider poor Charles Osborne. In 1922, when he was 28 years old, Mr. Osborne got the hiccups. For the next 68 years, he continued to hiccup, finally stopping in 1990, one year before his death at the age of 97. ● Those who study such things claim that an average bank robber in the United States nets about $4,000 for every heist. No info at hand on how the researches acquired their data. ● If you’re planning a trip to the United Kingdom in the near future, you might want to be sure Windsor Castle, located in the county of Berkshire, is on your itinerary. Built in the 11th century, it is both the longest-occupied palace in Europe and, with more than 500 people living and working there, the world’s largest inhabited castle. As a bonus, through April of 2012 you’ll be able to view a special exhibit on royal cakes. Yes, cakes. Amazingly, included in the exhibit are two pieces of cake from the wedding of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert, which took place on February 10, 1840. ● Stephen Spielberg, who has earned two Academy Awards for Best Director, and three of whose films have set box-office records, was rejected -- twice -when he applied to the film program of the University of Southern California. Thought for the Day: “Every man possesses three characters: that which he exhibits, that which he really has, and that which he believes he has.” -- Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
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WEIRD PASTIMES (continued) Christmas Pudding Race held in London’s Covent Garden’s West Piazza. It is a relay event where teams in fancy dress negotiate a challenging 164yard (150-meter) obstacle course while carefully balancing a dish of Christmas pudding on a tray. The race supports cancer research in the U.K. • The ancient sport of shin-kicking is part of the annual Cotswold Olimpicks. The goal of shinkicking is to kick your opponent as hard as you can in the shins. Each time your opponent falls to the ground you earn a point. The winner is the person with the highest score in the best of three rounds. Competitors are encouraged to pad their legs with as much straw as possible. • The World Toe Wrestling Competition started in 1976, and it has made it to the big time in the adult sporting world. Competitors face each other toe-to-toe across a “toedium,” where they lock their big toes together and try to force their opponent’s foot to the ground. Organizers of the sport applied for its inclusion in the Olympic Games, but it was not accepted. • Extreme Ironing is a dare-devilish sport that combines the dangerous and exciting with the dull and mundane. Participants call themselves “ironists.” They take their ironing board, iron and some wrinkled clothes to extreme places and set to work. Individuals and teams participate in world competitions to set new records for ironing clothes underwater, hanging off cliffs, on top of moving vehicles, even near the top of Mount Everest. Photographs are taken for proof.
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Macho Burritos The name says it all -- meaty and spicy, hearty and hot as you like it. Real he-man food! 8 ounces ground extra-lean sirloin or turkey breast 1/2 cup chopped onion 2 teaspoons chili seasoning 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce 4 (6-inch) ﬂour tortillas 1/2 cup chunky salsa (mild, medium or hot) 1 (8-ounce) can tomatoes, ﬁnely chopped and undrained 1 teaspoon dried parsley ﬂakes 1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet sprayed with olive oil-ﬂavored cooking spray, brown meat and onion. Add chili seasoning and tomato sauce. Bring mixture to boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 2. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the mixture on each tortilla. Roll up tortillas and place on a cookie sheet, seam side down. Lightly spray tops with olive oil-ﬂavored cooking spray. 3. In a medium bowl, combine salsa, undrained tomatoes and parsley ﬂakes. Evenly spoon mixture over tortillas. Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons Cheddar cheese over top of each. Continue baking for 3 minutes or until cheese starts to melt. Serves 4. ● Each serving equals: 232 calories, 8g fat, 17g protein, 23g carb., 944mg sodium, 2g ﬁber; Diabetic Exchanges: 2 Meat, 1 Vegetable, 1 Starch.
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THE GAMBLER He is alone now in his cabin in the woods His old dog Hank asleep by the fire The women he loved has long been gone The gambling stamped out her desire He was given to drink and given to poker The gin never far from his lips He was up on his luck and lucky in love But now he is down in the chips The gin is all gone and so are the games The leaves from the trees have all fallin He had his seasons but the seasons have past This gambler, in life, is now all-in. Christie Lynn 2011
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Q: While putting up my screen windows for summer, I noticed that a few of them have small bends or punctures in the screen. Do I have to replace the entire screen or is there a way to patch these up? -- David J., Detroit A: Most small marks, rips or holes in window screens can be quickly repaired, and should be, as left alone they may only get bigger. Of course, if the damage is large or widespread, or you just want completely unmarred screens, replacing the screens is not too difﬁcult, though
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you will need a screen replacement kit and enough screening material to go around. Here are a few quick ﬁxes for minor screen damage: ● Punctures: Use a pointed tool like an awl, a small pick or a scissor prong to straighten and reposition the strands of wire. To protect the repair, dab the area with several coats of clear nail polish and let dry. ● Rips: Use a pointy tool to position the wire strands in place. Then, thread a large needle with sturdy nylon thread, or use a spare piece of screening wire, and stitch the rip shut. Protect by dabbing on several coats of clear nail polish. ● Holes: Get a scrap patch of screening that closely matches the type of screen you’re ﬁxing. Straighten the hole and trim away jagged edges so all the edges are even and ﬂat. Cut the patch so it’s slightly larger than the hole. Apply clear silicone caulking around the edges of the patch and press into place, wiping away excess caulk. Let dry for 48 hours.
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Q: I was thrilled to see CMT’s disaster-relief concert beneﬁting victims of the tornadoes that affected the Southeast this past April. How did the idea come about, and how can I help? -- Jan H., via e-mail A: Living legend Hank Williams Jr. was the main brainchild behind “Music Builds: The CMT Disaster Relief Concert,” which aired May 12 on CMT. When I spoke with Hank recently, the Louisiana native and sometimes-Alabama resident told me why he felt he had to do something to help. “This is about the victims, the people who are affected,” Williams said. “I really want this to hit home. There was a guy down there I know -- I know the whole North Alabama, Birmingham, Muscle Shoals, been in Tuscaloosa forever, off and on -- and he really put it in a nutshell. He said, ‘It’s not about the homes and the vehicles, we’re looking for our children and wives and fathers and mothers this morning.’ And the death count is still rising. It’s one small little thing for me to raise money for the Red Cross.” If you want to help those devastated by the storms in the Southeast, you can donate any amount by going to americanredcross.org/cmttelethon, or you can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to support the Red Cross disasterrelief efforts. Q: Did Alicia Silverstone have her baby yet? If so, how are they doing? -- Roxie R., Denver A: Alicia and husband Christopher Jarecki welcomed 7-pound, 15-ounce baby-boy Bear Blu Jarecki into the world on May 5. She posted the details on her website, thekindlife.com: “We are all three in love! I’m so grateful to this community
Q: Will “Harry’s Law” on NBC be renewed? I sure hope so; it is one of the best new shows on TV this year. -- Bob and Ann B. in Florida A: NBC just announced that it has renewed David E. Kelley’s legal comedy-drama series starring Kathy Bates for a second season. Word of “Harry’s” renewal comes hot on the heels that NBC decided to pass on the “Wonder Woman” reboot, which also was created by the aforementioned David E. Kelley. NBC also passed on the Don Johnson-starring vehicle, “Mann’s World,” which I was looking forward to seeing if only because of my long-standing crush on the series’ star. Fans of the “The Event” also will get no closure, as NBC declined to renew it for another season. However, spy-drama “Chuck” will return for its ﬁnal season this fall.
THE HISTORY OF SPORTS Sports most likely extend back as far as humans have been in existence. We are active and competitive beings, and through competition, we have developed many of our most basic skills. Through the history of sports and the changes to the rules of games, we can see how society has changed its beliefs over the years. The winner of the game is no longer the last man alive but the one with the most points or best time. Tidbits looks back at sports from centuries ago to modern day. • In Ancient Greece, athletic competitions were held during religious festivals in every Greek city. Swimming and ﬁshing were regular sporting events, as was javelin throwing, high jumping, boxing and wrestling. Ancient Persia is where polo and jousting are said to have originated. • The Olympic Games began in Olympia in 776 BC in honor of Zeus. People came from all over Greece to take part in them. Wars were stopped to allow everyone to participate, except women. They were not even allowed to watch. If they did and were caught, they were executed by being thrown off a cliff. Originally the Olympic games only included a single sprinting event. • During the Roman Empire, the ﬁrst gladiators fought for sport (sometimes to the death), in 264 BC. Romans also competed in chariot and horse racing. They held foot races, wrestling matches and played a form of handball. Less physical games included gambling with dice and board games. • In the Middle Ages, knights competed in jousting tournaments. The main sport of the upper class was hunting deer and wild boar. • A very rough form of football called “mob football” was invented during the Middle Ages and played between neighboring villages. The
Q: Who is going to replace Charlie Sheen on “Two and Half Men”? -- Paul F., via e-mail A: CBS announced Ashton Kutcher as Charlie’s replacement, after negotiations with Hugh Grant fell through. Ashton said: “I can’t replace Charlie Sheen, but I’m going to work my ass off to entertain the hell out of people.” Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at email@example.com. For more news and extended interviews, visit www. celebrityextraonline.com and twitter.com/Celebrity_Extra.
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HISTORY OF SPORTS (continued) ball was an inﬂated pig’s bladder and any means could be used to move the ball to a goal, as long as it didn’t lead to murder or manslaughter. The game of golf was developed in Scotland in the 15th century. • A billiard game became popular in 16th-century France. The game was played with two balls that were struck with the edge of what resembled a hockey stick on a table made of wood covered in a green woolen cloth with felt sides. The game of curling became well established by the 16th century in Scotland and the Netherlands. • King Charles II made yachting a popular sport in the 17th century, and a game of “Nine Pins,” much like today’s bowling, was played as an indoor and outdoor sport. • In the 18th century, horse racing became a professional sport, and the Jockey Club was formed in Britain in 1727. • During the 19th century, sports became more organized with leagues and rules. The London Football Association devised the rules of football in 1863. In 1867, John Graham Chambers wrote a list of rules for boxing. And today’s baseball, believed to have evolved from earlier forms of the game, became an organized sport in 1845. • In the 20th century, motorized sports became popular, and the ﬁrst Grand Prix was held in 1906. The ﬁrst Le Mans 24-hour race was held in 1923.
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it flat over the mattress and cover with a beach towel. Then put the sheet over that. The garbage bag protects the mattress; the towel makes it comfortable.” -- U.D. in Tennessee
● Use a mesh bag to hold flowers in place in a vase. Just roll or wad it up and put it down in the bottom of the vase. When you’re done with the flowers, you can use a stick to swish the bag around and loosen any gunk inside the vase when cleaning. Launder the mesh or just toss it. ● When freezing leftovers, especially soup or stew, consider using zipper-closing bags. They can be filled and frozen flat, then stacked nicely. They take up much less room than standard containers. ● “To make a waterproof mattress protector in a pinch, slit a large garbage bag down the side and bottom, lay
● “Keep extra liner bags in the bottom of the garbage can. They are handy, so you’ll be more likely to reline the can as soon as you take the garbage out.” -- K.P. in Massachusetts ● Keep a box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors. When it’s time to replace it, dump it down the drain and follow with a small bottle of vinegar and a hot water flush. Keep your kitchen smelling nice and use fewer chemicals to do it. ● “Here’s a fun invitation to make and receive: Blow up a balloon and pinch (don’t tie). Write the details of the party on the balloon in permanent marker. Let it dry fully before you deflate it. Then send it!” -- R.A. in Washington
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Q: I have a perfume bottle that was given to me almost 50 years ago, and I wonder if it is worth anything. There is no label or markings on the bottle, so I am unable to identify it. I am enclosing a photo. -- Geneva, Franklin, Ky. A: Although I was unable to ﬁnd your exact bottle in any of my reference books, I did ﬁnd one that was similar in “The Wonderful World of Perfume Bottles: Identiﬁcation and Value Guide by Jane Flanagan (Collector Books, $29.95). The top of your bottle is what is called a “feather” or “fan” stopper, which was especially popular during the 1930s and ‘40s. The one most like yours in Flanagan’s guide was manufactured by New Martinsville Glass during the 1930s and is valued in the $50 to $75 range. Q: I have an old straight razor in a small case. It was originally purchased at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and manufactured by H. Boker & Company, Germany. The blade in engraved on one side with the exposition site and has a black handle. Can you tell me its approximate value? -- H.W.S., Sod, W.Va. A: Most straight razors generally sell in the $10 to $50 range, depending on condition and design. The razor most similar to the one you have that I was able to ﬁnd is from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair and referenced in “1904 St. Louis World’s Fair: Mementos and Memorabilia” by the late Robert L. Hendershott. The blade is engraved and also made by a German company. Hendershott places its value in the $100 to $200 range, which should be helpful to determine the value of your Columbian Exposition razor. Q: I have a “silver bullet” pen issued as a premium for the Oldsmobile automobile. Can you tell me anything about it? -- Carol, Edgewood, N.M. A: Throughout the decades, automobile companies have given away premiums to promote their brand. These items included coin banks, toy replicas of their cars, beverage glasses, scratch pads, and pencils and pens. To ﬁnd out more about the pen you have, you might want to contact the Oldsmobile Club of America through its Website: www.oldsclub.org.
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1. Current Angels skipper Mike Scioscia. 2. Boston’s Jim Rice had 406 total bases in 1978. 3. Paul Hackett (1998-2000). 4. Vince Carter, with 9,420 points. 5. It was the 1999-2000 season. 6. Nineteen games. 7. True. He held the WBA cruiserweight belt (1986-88) and the IBF and WBC cruiserweight belts (1987-88) before going on to win world heavyweight titles.
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1. Who was Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe? 2. Which group released “American Woman,” and when? 3. Name the 1963 song released by Jackie Wilson. 4. Where is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located? 5. Name the ﬁrst artist with an album titled “Have Guitar Will Travel.” 6. Who sang “Want Ads,” and when? Answers at bottom of page
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1. Thor (PG-13) Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins 2. Bridesmaids (R) Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph 3. Fast Five (PG-13) Vin Diesel, Paul Walker 4. Priest (PG-13) Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet 5. Rio (PG) animated 6. Jumping the Broom (PG-13) Angela Bassett, Paula Patton 7. Something Borrowed (PG-13) Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson 8. Water for Elephants (PG-13) Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson 9. Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (PG13) Tyler Perry, Loretta Devine 10. Soul Surfer (PG) AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid
● On June 10, 1752, Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects a charge in a jar when the kite is struck by lightning, enabling him to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning. Inventor Franklin coined a number of terms used today, including “battery,” “conductor” and “electrician.” ● On June 7, 1893, Mohandas Gandhi commits his first act of civil disobedience. Gandhi, a young Indian lawyer working in South Africa, refused to comply with racial segregation rules on a South African train and was forcibly ejected. ● On June 6, 1949, George Orwell’s novel of a dystopian future, “1984,” is published. The novel’s all-seeing leader, known as “Big Brother,” becomes a universal symbol for intrusive government and oppressive bureaucracy. It described a grim vision of a future where all citizens are watched constantly and language is twisted to aid in oppression. ● On June 11, 1955, a racing car in Le Mans, France, goes out of control and crashes into stands filled with spectators, killing 82 people. The tragedy in the famous 24-hour race led to a ban on auto racing in several nations. ● On June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats repeatedly attack the USS Liberty in international waters off Egypt’s Gaza Strip. In all, 34 Americans were killed and 171 were wounded. Israel later apologized for the attack, claiming that it had mistaken the Liberty for an Egyptian ship. ● On June 9, 1973, Secretariat becomes the first horse since Citation in 1948 to win America’s coveted Triple Crown -- the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. In 1999, ESPN added Secretariat to the list of Top 50 North American athletes of the 20th century, the only non-human on the list. ● On June 12, 1987, in one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany. Two years later East and West Germans did break down the infamous barrier.
1. Sutcliffe was the original bass player of The Beatles. A talented artist, he died at age 22 of a brain hemorrhage. 2. The Guess Who, in 1970. The song shot to No. 1 on the charts. 3. “Baby Workout.” While appearing on stage in 1975, Wilson suffered a heart attack. Failure to resuscitate him quickly left him in a coma until he died in 1984. 4. Cleveland, likely chosen because that’s where DJ Alan “Moondog” Freed hosted the ﬁrst rock concert in 1952. 5. The legendary Bo Diddley, in 1960. The album title was probably a takeoff on “Have Gun -- Will Travel,” a television Western of the time. 6. Honey Cone, a girl group from Los Angeles. The 1971 song climbed the charts to No. 1, as did their next song, “Stick-Up,” released the same year.