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In honor of Mother Goose Day on May 1, Tidbits revisits those whimsical little rhymes we grew up on, as well as providing history on their origin. • A common image that comes to mind when Mother Goose is mentioned is that of an elderly lady in a bonnet and glasses reading to children in front of a fire. Sometimes she is depicted as riding an enormous white goose, while other drawings show an actual goose wearing a tall hat. • The origins of Mother Goose differ among sources. The most reliable is that she may have evolved from an 8th-century noblewoman named Bertrada II of Laon, wife of France’s King Robert II and the mother of Charlemagne, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. She was known as “Goosefoot Bertha” and “Queen Goosefoot” due to a malformation of her foot, and was well-known as one who told many stories to children. • Other sources maintain that Mother Goose was Elizabeth Foster Goose, a Massachusetts woman who married Isaac Goose in 1692. They had a blended family of 16 children, to whom Elizabeth told stories and sang rhymes. Claims have been made that she authored a collection of her stories, published in 1719, but no evidence of its existence has been found.
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MOTHER GOOSE (cont'd)
• The earliest recorded comment about Mother Goose is 1650, prior to Elizabeth Goose ’s birth. But that hasn’t stopped the City of Boston from making her gravesite a tourist attraction. • The term “Mother Goose” was a common one in the mid-1600s in France, and referred to a woman who enthralled children with charming tales. A 1697 volume by Charles Perrault was entitled “Tales from my Mother Goose.” In 1729, these were translated into English by British writer Robert Samber, who called the collection “Histories or Tales of Past Times, Told by Mother Goose.” The volume came to America in 1786, printed by Isaiah Thomas, who called his edition Mother Goose’s Melody: Sonnets for the Cradle, a book that included old favorites such as Jack and Jill and Little Tommy Tucker. • In the first printed version of Jack and Jill in the 18th century, the rhyme was actually named Jack and Gill, and the accompanying woodcut illustration showed two boys rather than a boy and a girl as we know it today. Jack is the most common name used in English nursery rhymes, including “Jack Be Nimble,” “Jack Sprat,” “Jack A Nory,” “Jack, Come Give Me Your Fiddle,” and “Little Jack Horner.” • “Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,” but what exactly is a tuffet? The definition differs depending on the source, with the 16th version leaning toward a tuft, as in a “bunch of something,” such as hairs or fur. In the 17th century, the word denoted a grassy hill or knoll. Later sources suggest a small footstool. And what were the “curds and whey” she was eating? The closest thing we have in modern times is cottage cheese! ...continued
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• How do you picture Humpty Dumpty in your mind? As an egg? If you read through the rhyme, you’ll notice that it never mentions that Humpty is an egg. Although the rhyme dates back to 1797, it wasn’t until Lewis Carroll’s 1872 book Through the Looking-Glass that he was described as an egg. In the original nursery rhyme, the last lines read: “Fourscore men and fourscore more could not make Humpty Dumpty where he was before.” In the 1600s, “humpty dumpty” was a hot drink of brandy boiled with ale, while in the 1700s, the term referred to a short and clumsy person. It’s believed that the 1797 rhyme was really a riddle for children, with the answer “an egg,” which could explain why he is always represented as such. • Is there more to “Little Jack Horner” than meets the eye? Legend has it that in the 1800s, Thomas Horner, steward to the Abbot of Glastonbury under Henry VIII, was sent to London carrying a huge Christmas pie, in which were hidden deeds to several English manors as a gift to Henry. It was the Abbot’s hope that he could convince the King not to nationalize lands that belonged to the Church. It’s said that Horner opened the pie and took the deed to one of the manors for himself. “He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum” perhaps might refer to the lead mines contained on that property, a play on words for the Latin word “plumbum,” meaning lead. Records show that Horner did indeed become the owner of the property, but his descendants strongly asserted that he came by the title lawfully.
MOTHER GOOSE (cont'd)
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• “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” dates back to about 1744. Mary, who plants “silver bells and cockle shells” may be a reference to Mary, Queen of Scots, with the silver bells a reference to Catholic “sanctus bells” and “pretty maids all in a row” denoting her ladies-in-waiting. ...continued
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• On May 7, 1789, President George Washington attends a ball in his honor. The event provided a model for the first official inaugural ball, which later became an annual tradition. The record number of inaugural balls attended in one night by a president is 15, set by President Bill Clinton in 1997. • On May 11, 1947, the B.F. Goodrich Company announces it has developed a tubeless tire, a technological innovation that would make automobiles safer and more efficient. In 1952, Goodrich won patents, and the tubeless tire quickly became standard on most new automobiles. • On May 13, 1958, anti-American demonstrators pelt then-Vice President Richard Nixon's limousine with rocks in Caracas, Venezuela. Despite warnings not to send Nixon to Venezuela, where anti-American sentiment ran particularly high, he went anyway. • On May 12, 1963, Bob Dylan walks out on "The Ed Sullivan Show" after network censors rejected the song he planned to perform, "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues." Sullivan had heard the song days before and had no concerns. • On May 9, 1971, the last original episode of the sitcom "The Honeymooners," starring Jackie Gleason, airs. Although a perennial rerun favorite in syndication, only 39 episodes actually aired. • On May 8, 1984, the Soviet Union announces that it will boycott the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. It was a response to the United States' decision to boycott the 1980 Moscow games. Thirteen other communist nations also refused to compete. • On May 10, 1990, the government of the People's Republic of China announces the release of 211 people arrested during the massive protests held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in June 1989. Observers viewed it as an attempt by China to dispel much of the terrible publicity it received for its brutal suppression of the 1989 protests. © 2018 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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MOTHER GOOSE (cont'd)
• “Georgy Porgy” also seems to have historic roots, with the title character believed to be George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham, who had a romance with Anne of Austria (the Queen of France and wife of King Louis XIII). It might also be related to the 1666 Great Fire of London, which consumed 13,200 homes. The fire started in Pudding Lane and finished at Pye Corner, coinciding with the nursery rhyme’s verse “Georgy Porgy, pudding and pie.” “When the boys came out to play” could refer to the firefighters, with Georgy depicted as the arsonist. • In the nursery rhyme, Little Bo Peep lost her sheep, but in the 16th century there was a child’s game known as “bo-peep,” similar to the game of “peek-a-boo,” and one that was even mentioned by Shakespeare in his play “King Lear.” In the 1300s, the meaning wasn’t nearly as sweet. “Playing bo-peep” referred to punishment similar to the stocks. Offenders’ hands and head were secured to a wooden post known as a pillory, situated in a public place so as to make the humiliation more severe.
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• “Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it” goes the old rhyme. It’s believed these two ladies were courtesans in the court of King Charles II. The name Lucy Locket was mentioned in a 1728 opera, and Kitty – Catherine Marie Fischer – was a character in several 18th-century novels, as well as a 1945 film “Kitty.”
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Having trouble keeping up with all the latest scams? AARP has just made it a bit easier with its 12-episode weekly series “The Perfect Scam.” Go online to www.aarp.org/podcasts/the-perfect-scam and start with Episode 1 — the grandparent scam. This might well be the cruelest scam directed against seniors. We love our grandchildren, and if one calls saying they’re in trouble, we’ll try to help, of course. The problem comes when it’s not our grandchild after all. Listen to this podcast to see just how sneaky thieves can be. Episode 2 is another bad one ... the jury duty scam. We’re law-abiding citizens and if we’re called to jury duty, we go. Getting a scary call saying there’s an arrest warrant out for us for not showing up in court ... we don’t need that kind of fear, but some of us fall for it. Episode 3 has the scammers either calling us or putting a message up on our computer screen. They say they’re from a big computer company and are trying to save the computer from viruses. They claim the computer is being accessed and attacked. Most of these guys are from call centers in India or Malaysia or even the U.S., and they want to sell you their repair services. They will threaten you if you object, threaten to put pornography on your computer, and threaten to post your personal information on the Internet. If there is a scam to avoid, this is the one. Take notes. Play it for your friends. Every week for 12 weeks there will be a new half-hour scam podcast on AARP. You can go back at any time and listen again, and you can listen to these podcasts on your computer, smartphone or tablet.
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“I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” goes the old song composed in 1944. This week, in honor of National Coconut Cream Pie Day on May 8th, Tidbits brings a lovely bunch of facts about the fruit of the cocos nucifera palm tree. • The coconut palm, which grows throughout the tropics and subtropics can reach a height of 98 feet, with leaf fronds nearly 20 feet long. A tall coconut palm tree might yield up to 75 fruits a pear, provided it is grown under proper conditions. It takes six to ten years for a palm to produce its first fruit, and the tree doesn’t reach peak production for at least 15 years. The palm is grown in more than 80 countries, with the Philippines, Indonesia, and India leading the pack in production. More than 20 billion coconuts are grown each year. • In the 1500s, Portuguese sailors aboard the ship of explorer Vasco da Gama discovered the fruit and thought the three small holes on the shell looked like a human face. As a result, they named it “coco,” meaning “grinning face.” Much later, the word “nut” was tacked on to the end. • The fruit is not really a nut at all, but rather a drupe, from the same family as peaches, plums, and cherries. A full-sized coconut weighs about 3.2 lbs. The white fleshy part of the fruit is called the meat, which is rich in manganese, potassium, and copper. It’s the meat that’s used in sweet treats such as macaroons. Dried coconut meat is known as copra, which is often processed to produce oil, soaps, and cosmetics.
• Coconut water is a refreshing drink, full of fiber, protein, antioxidants, sugars, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also been used as a short-term substitute for human blood plasma, and as an IV for severely dehydrated individuals. Coconut milk isn’t the same as coconut water. It’s lower in sugar and its fat content is upwards of 20%. Just like cow’s milk, coconut cream will rise to the top, separating from the milk. • In Malaysia and Thailand, a certain primate, the pigtailed macaques, has been trained for 400 years to harvest coconuts. A single macaque can pick 800 to 1,000 coconuts per day, and is even trained to tell the difference between ripe and unripe fruits. • It’s estimated that about 150 people are killed every year from falling coconuts. • Coconuts aren’t just for eating! The fiber of the husk, known as coir, is used in the manufacture of ropes, brushes, sacks, mattresses, and can also be used to buff floors. The leaves are used in broom-making, the weaving of baskets and mats, and as thatch for roofs. The wood from the tree trunk makes for an outstanding building material for bridges, houses, and boats, due to its straightness, strength, and salt resistance. In fact, in 1978, Philippines Ferdinand Marcos commissioned the construction of the Coconut Palace, a guest house with seven bedrooms, for the visit of Pope John Paul II to the Philippines. The structure, built of 70% coconut lumber, cost $10 million to erect. Ironically, the Pope refused to stay there, believing it was too lavish. • Do you remember the 1971 hit song “Coconut,” recorded by Harry Nilsson? The song, which was on the Billboard charts for 10 weeks, advised a girl with a stomachache to “put the lime in the coconut and drink ‘em both together,” then “call him in the morning.”
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FOR G.F. COUNTY SHERIFF
Former and longtime Deputy Sheriff & K9 handler, Mike Lee, announces that he will seek out election as Grand Forks County Sheriff in 2018.
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Mike Lee accomplishments and agenda items: • 18 years of law enforcement experience and is highly decorated. • Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department’s first ever to receive a lifesaving award after responding to an active shooter situation where a man was shot in the chest. • Received the “Beyond the Traffic Stop” award from the North Dakota DOT for criminal interdiction. • Mike and his K9 partners have won numerous K9 competitions for drug detection, as well as the Iron Dog competition. • Received numerous traffic safety awards. • Will focus on making the department proactive rather than reactive. • Another item on Mike Lee’s agenda is the high recidivism (repeat offenders) rate at the jail. • Will take an active role in curbing the drug epidemic, as well as work with the community in tackling the opioid problems we are facing. • Believes the Sheriff should be a leader in creating a solution to these issues. • Mike has a plan that would reduce the County budget by more $400,000.00 annually. “Effective leadership only happens when great leaders are willing to do uncomfortable things.” Paid for by Big Al’s Construction
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• It was famed journalist and news anchor Edward R. Murrow who made the following sage observation: "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar." • Thomas Jefferson was an inventor as well as a statesman, but he refused to take out patents on any of his ideas. He believed that inventions should benefit all of humanity, not just himself. • Many people know American counterculture figure Ken Kesey as the author of the 1962 novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," which presents a disturbing portrait of life in a mental institution. It's less well known, though, that Kesey got an inside view of the system when he worked as a janitor in a mental hospital before he became famous. • Those who study such things say that a typical newspaper contains just 30 percent editorial content -- 70 percent of the paper you buy is taken up by advertising. • The last country in the world to get telephones was the South Asian nation of Bhutan, and both television and the Internet were banned there until 1999. Incidentally, Bhutan also is the only nation in the world in which the well-being of the citizens is so important that the government measures the country's Gross National Happiness. • The Beatles was not the first band in which John Lennon played. Those previous groups obviously didn't work out, though; in fact, at one point Lennon broke a washboard over a bandmate's head during a dispute. After the Beatles' success, though, Lennon apologized in style: He bought the poor guy a supermarket. • In Germany, Rice Krispies don't say "Snap, Crackle, Pop"; they say "Knisper, Knasper, Knusper." *** Thought for the Day: "A hick town is one in which there is no place to go where you shouldn't be." -- Alexander Woollcott © 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.
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© 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.
(Answers located on next page)
April 23, 2018
• “Spring-cleaning tip: To wash off houseplants, stick them in the shower. Cover the pot with a plastic grocery bag, run the shower and then wipe the leaves clean. It works for me.” — G.I. in North Carolina • Got pet hair in the car? No worries. Simply mist the upholstery (not wet), then use a squeegee to remove the hair. When you’re done, go out and get a removable seat protector so Fido won’t ruin your back seats! • D.D. in Missouri writes: “How to keep your crispy cereal from getting soggy: Put milk in one bowl and the cereal in another bowl. Get a spoonful of milk, then dip it in the cereal.” Or vice versa, my friend. • “When cracking open an egg, crack closer to the edge of the egg (preserving one large side). The bigger half can be set upright in the egg carton, and filled with dirt and seeds. Spray lightly with water. Place in sunlight. In about two weeks, it should be ready for planting. The eggshells also help with fertilizing.” — C.J. in Idaho • “To keep kitties (or kids) from running out your whole roll of toilet paper, squish the cardboard core so that it crimps. It will still roll but not so freely. My cats would get a hold of it and keep pulling it down, but now it is harder and they don’t do that as often, thankfully.” — V.A. in Florida • Get more juice out of a lemon by rolling it firmly on a countertop before slicing. If the lemon has been refrigerated, put it in the microwave for 10 seconds, roll, then cut. You’ll double your juice. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
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To honor International Firefighters Day on May 4, Tidbits looks into the history of firefighting, which dates back over 2,000 years.
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• In 24 BC, the Roman emperor Augustus instituted a corps of fire-fighting watchmen and set up regulations to prevent and check for fires. Their primary equipment was buckets, which were passed from hand to hand, delivering water to the fire. Much of early firefighting was simply removing the fuel to prevent the spread of the fire, accomplished with an ax or long hooks that pulled down buildings to create a firebreak.
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• Around 115 BC, Marcus Crassus created Rome’s first fire brigade of 500 men. When a fire was discovered, the men rushed to the scene, where they stood by while Crassus negotiated a price for services with the distraught building owner as the fire raged on. If a price could not be agreed upon, the brigade let the structure burn down. Crassus then offered to buy the property for a fraction of the value.
• After the Great Fire of London occurred in 1666, burning 2 sq. miles of the city and destroying Options more than 13,000 homes, insurance companies Eff,fire 1, 2,brigades & 3 to Located began forming private protect Options Near Di their patrons’ property.Bedroom Only the buildingsUND of Located Eff, 1, 2, & 3 Variety of clients were saved from harm. The firefighters Apartments Near UND Different Bedroom knewFloor whether the home was covered by their inPlans if there was a “fire mark” on the strucApartments (701) 780-9901 surance Close t Over 40 SEARCH OUR AVAILABLE APARTMENTS Close toture. This was an iron, copper, or lead emblem Over ONLINE AT: 40 to Shopping door. WWW.GOLDMARK.COM/GRANDFORKS & was placed near the front Properties Properties to Shoppingthat
You can also search for available apartments at www.GOLDMARK.com
Choose Restaurants • In 1631, in an attempt to reduce the From number ofRestaura fires, Boston city official John Winthrop outlawed wooden chimneys and thatched roofs.
PLEASE TELL OUR You ADVERTISERS can also search for available apartments at www.GOLDMARK.com YOU SAW THEIR AD IN TIDBITS!
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Professional Home Inspection Service CERTIFIED INSPECTOR
DIFFERENCES: 1. Sign is different. 2. Cornerstone is missing. 3. Arm is moved. 4. Glasses are missing. 5. Book is moved. 6. Fireplug is missing. © 2018 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.
• During the 17th century, the first “fire engines” came on the scene, which were merely tubs carried on runners or wheels, which served as Answer: Dell. a reservoir for water. The tub also contained a A VERY LARGE NUMBER hand-operated pump that pushed water through •a Edward Kasner was aUnfortunately, mathematician. 1938 pipe to fill buckets. theInbuckhe was asked to come up with a name for a et brigade was still the only way to fight the very large number: the numeral one, followed fire. 1672, azeros. flexible firetwo hoseyoung was by aInhundred Heleather asked his invented, everysuggest. 50 feet, ennephewswith whatbrass namefittings they would abling firefighters to bring water through nar• Nine-year-old Milton suggested a name row and up A stairways outopenings of the funnies. cartoon into stripbuildings, character with the hose connected to a pump out in the named Barney was very popular. Milton chose street. Barney’s last name for the number. • The 1800s brought more newname innovations to • Kasner announced the new for the big number in his next book, altering the spelling. the industry, including cotton-covered rubber and a steam-pump engine. Fire trucks •hose Sixty years later, Larryfire Page and Sergey Brin developed a new internet search engine. Other became motorized in the 20th century with the search engines searched each webpage and invention of the internal-combustion engine. ranked them according to how many times a • Benjamin Franklin is usually credited as and the specific term appeared on them, but Page originator of America’s first volunteer fire deBrin designed their search engine to search for partment, launched in Philadelphia 1736. At the specific term and then find outinhow many first it was a “co-op,” meaning that members’ links there were that led back to that page, whichwere resulted in a better search homes protected from fire. engine. But Franklin expanded his brigade to include the prop• They decided they needed aallname that erty of the community, it became reflected how many and websites the knowns search was searching. They took the name asengine The Union Fire Company, a group that of Edward Kasner’s very large number, only gathered together every month to develop imthey misspelled it slightly, proved firefighting methods.so it ended up being spelled exactly the same way the cartoon • There wereBarney no government-run fire departcharacter spelled his last name. What’s ments in America until the Civil War it called? (Answer at bottom of page)era. COMPUTER • There are close to 30,000FACTS fire departments in firefighters •the In U.S. 1981Approximately Bill Gates said,1,160,000 “640 kb of memory serve departments, with an estimated oughtintothese be enough for anybody.” of those volunteers. About half of •70% Moore’s Lawbeing states that computer performance the total number of firefighters are between 30 doubles every 18 to 24 months, and ever since and 49 years old. About 1971, this has been true.8% are over the age of 60. • HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple were all started in garages. THANKS FOR READING TIDBITS! Answer: Google, from googol.
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7. $10 bill: 1. Jack Sprat 2. Nine days old Alexander 3. “Full of Hamilton; grace” $100 bill: 4. “Hot Cross Benjamin Buns” Franklin 5. “Boy” (1980) 8. Mount Sinai 9. The beaver 6. -40 degrees
Sports Answers 1. Kevin Garnett 5. Derek Fisher 2. 30 times: (259), Tim Duncan (251), won 14, 2nd-6 Robert Horry times, 3rd-4x, 4th-5x, 5th-1x. (244), Kareem 3. Dale EarnAbdul-Jabbar (237). hardt, Jr, in 6. 3rd behind 2000. 4. Bjorn Borg, Magic Johnson & John Stockton in 1976.
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