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LES • PUZZ A I V I R S •T FACT • FUN January 3, 2019

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DIABETES by Janet Spencer

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar and carbohydrates into energy. The cause is a mystery, though both genetics and environmental factors play roles. It is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.


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Quiz Bits 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6. Which band had a No. 1 hit in the 1980s with “The Flame”? 7. What message did the Wicked T or F: Animals can suffer Witch of West write in the sky from diabetes. in “The Wizard of Oz”? Are men or women more 8. What are the first and last likely to become diabetic? names of the six main characHow many Americans use ters on TVs “Friends”? insulin regularly? 9. In the 1980s TV series “FamWhat percent of people with ily Ties” who was Alex P. type 2 diabetes are overweight? Keaton’s idol? What percent of American TRIVIA senior citizens have diabetes? SPONSORED BY:


DIABETES FACTS (continued):

• Jeff O'Connell uses this analogy in his book “Sugar Nation”: Imagine there are oil tankers loaded with oil (glucose) sailing from port to port. The oil needs to be loaded onto smaller boats (insulin) in order to be taken to shore where it can be used in cars (cells). But the smaller boats (insulin) are unable to dock and so they just bounce off the shore uselessly. No matter how many small boats the company sends, the oil still cannot get to shore, and all the cars run out of gas. • Whereas most of the cells in the body prefer to burn glucose as fuel, they can turn to burning fat instead if glucose is not available. However, some areas of the body are unable to burn fat as fuel. Those areas include the lens of the eye and the kidneys. If glucose is not available, these areas of the body are starved for fuel. Therefore it is no surprise that diabetics often deal with blindness and kidney failure as a side effect of their diabetes. • In a healthy person, the bloodstream usually contains no more than a teaspoon or so of glucose at any given time. If the bloodstream contains as little as 1 1/4 teaspoon of glucose, tissues begin to suffer damage.

TYPE 1 vs TYPE 2


• In type 1 diabetes, the immune system goes haywire and attacks healthy tissues in the pancreas. The pancreas then can no longer produce insulin. Diabetes usually appears during childhood which is why it used to be called juvenile diabetes. Before insulin became available in 1923, children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes seldom lived long.


• Type 2 diabetes is caused by diet and inactivity combined with genetics. Type 2 diabetes usually appears in adulthood which is why it used to be called adult-onset diabetes. Now that incidents of type 2 diabetes are so prevalent in both children and adults, these labels are being dropped.

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DIABETES (continued):

• In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas just doesn’t produce enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas produces plenty of insulin, but the body is ineffective at using it. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than type 1 diabetes, and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes worldwide. • Even people who are thin can develop type 2 diabetes, especially if their diet is loaded with sugar and carbohydrates and if they don’t get much exercise. Being overweight and inactive is not a guarantee that a person will develop type 2 diabetes. They also must have a genetic predisposition for the disease. • If you are at risk, type 2 diabetes can be prevented with moderate weight loss and regular physical activity along with careful control of the diet. One study found that for each 2 pounds of body weight lost, a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes dropped by a whopping 16%.





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• A study in Finland found that people who exercise regularly have a 70% less chance of developing diabetes than those who never exercise at all. Even those who were overweight but still exercised regularly had a 44% lower risk of diabetes. It was better to exercise vigorously for half an hour for six days a week than to exercise three full hours once a week. It as if exercise works as effectively as an anti-diabetic drug: It's best to take the pills constantly every day than to take no pills for six days and then take all of them on the seventh day. • Studies have shown a link between consumption of sugar and refined grains and the odds for developing cancer, particularly of the esophagus, kidney, and pancreas. Doctors theorize it's not necessarily the sugar promoting the cancer as much as the perpetually high level of insulin in the bloodstream that does the damage. ...continued


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• On Jan. 4, 1785, the older of the two Grimm brothers, Jacob, is born in Hanau, Germany. His brother Wilhelm is born the following year. As young men, the brothers published "Children's and Household Tales," later known as "Grimm's Fairy Tales," in several volumes between 1812 and 1822. • On Dec. 31, 1879, in the first public demonstration of his incandescent light bulb, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison lights up a street in Menlo Park, New Jersey. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company ran special trains to Menlo Park in response to public enthusiasm over the event. • On Jan. 5, 1933, construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge, as workers began excavating 3.25 million cubic feet of dirt for the structure's huge anchorages. The bridge officially opened on May 27, 1937, the longest bridge span in the world at the time. • On Jan. 1, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issue a declaration, signed by representatives of 26 countries, called the "United Nations." The signatories vowed to create an international postwar peacekeeping organization. • On Jan. 2, 1962, an appearance by The Weavers on NBC's "The Jack Paar Show" is canceled when band members refuse to sign an oath of political loyalty. The folk group saw their careers nearly destroyed by the anti-communist Red Scare of the early 1950s. • On Jan. 6, 1975, some members of a large crowd in line to buy tickets to the rock band Led Zeppelin break into the Boston Garden arena and cause $50,000 in damage. In response, Boston's mayor Kevin H. White bans the band from Boston for five years. • On Jan. 3, 1987, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame admits its first female artist, Aretha Franklin. Since then female inductees have included The Supremes, Janis Joplin and The Shirelles. © 2018 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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DIABETES FACTS (continued):

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• In ancient times it was difficult for any human to ingest enough sugar to develop type 2 diabetes. It took a lot of energy to forage for fruits, vegetables, and grains, and the amount of sugar they added to the body was burned up during this hunting and gathering. Now it requires very little energy to load up on sugary treats and carbohydrates at a supermarket or drive-through restaurant. • Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. Most notably, they are projected to increase by over 80% in upper-middle income countries.

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• When researchers studied the diets of over 90,000 people over the course of eight years, they found that people who drank more than one soft drink every day were twice as likely to develop diabetes as people who drank only a single soda pop every day. There was no link at all between people who drank sugar-free soda and diabetes. • Another study found that people who drink 2.5 cans of sugary soda pop each day are three times more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety than those who drink little or no soda pop. Diabetics are twice as likely as non-diabetics to suffer depression. • Diabetics are more than twice as likely as nondiabetics to suffer from heart attacks. Approximately 75% of all diabetics will end up dying of heart disease. • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. • It is also the leading cause of blindness in people aged 22 to 74. • Diabetes is also behind approximately 84,000 amputations every year in the U.S. 60% of lower limb amputations occur in people with diabetes. Prosthetics sales have nearly doubled since 1996.

*Answer located further back in this issue.



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Remarkable People

• Mega-savant Kim Peek worked his way through the entire high school curriculum by the age of 14. Yet, standardized IQ tests put his intelligence at around • In the 1988 film “Rain Man” actor Dustin Hoffman 87, which is below the normal range of 90-110. portrays an autistic savant. The character was based on real-life savant Kim Peek: streaks of pure genius • CT scans and MRIs showed that the bundle of nerves standing in stark contrast to an overall handicap. that connects the left hemisphere of the brain to the right was missing. His brain had wired itself differ• Kim was born in 1951 in Utah, with an enlarged head ently. Peek probably suffered from FG syndrome, a and very little motor control. Doctors said he would rare genetic abnormality that causes physical anomnever be able to walk, talk, or learn. His parents poured alies such as low muscle tone and a large head. themselves into his education, reading to him constantly while pointing at the words on the page. • Peek was known as a human computer and earned the nicknames “Kimputer,” and “human • The doctors seemed to be correct in some Google.” He could give driving directions regards, in that Kim Peek didn’t learn to to cities across the world based on maps he walk until the age of four, and never mashad seen only once. He could tell instantly tered enough motor control to be able to what day of the week any date fell on, past dress himself or groom himself. or future. He could reel off area codes and • However, at the age of two he was able to zip codes, regional TV and radio stations, pull encyclopedias off the bookshelves and dates of historical events, and instantly add leaf through their pages. His parents thought long columns of numbers. he was just playing. Then one day at the age






of three he asked them what the word “confidential” • He presented a confounding mix of disability and brilliance. He had problems with basic reasoning meant. They were joking when they told him to look it and lacked social skills. It was difficult for him to up for himself- and were astonished to see him pull the follow simple directions. He could recall any fact dictionary off the shelf, look up the word, and read the requested but was unable to carry on a conversation. definition out loud. Further investigation showed that not only had he been reading the encyclopedias, but he • In 1984, Peek met screenwriter Barry Morrow, who had memorized them. had written a movie called “Bill” about a mentally retarded person. As a result, he was invited to a sym• As he grew, they noticed that he would read the leftposium on mental retardation where he was astonhand page with his left eye, while reading the rightished by Peek’s abilities. The result was the movie hand page with his right eye. He had a photographic “Rain Man.” The popularity of the movie led to memory and could recall 98% of the information he many public appearances for Peek, who acted as an read. He devoured newspapers, maps, phone books, emissary for people with mental disabilities. By the and books by the armload. He often read as many as time Kim Peek died of a heart attack at the age of 58 eight books per day, and could absorb all the informain 2009, he had read – and memorized – over 12,000 tion on a page within ten seconds, retaining that inforbooks. mation for the rest of his life.

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King Features Weekly Service ©2018 King Features Syndicate, Inc. All rights reserved.

© 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

(Answers located further back)

December 17, 2018

• Putting up new calendars? Before you toss your old one, be sure to look through it for important anniversaries, and cut out and save any pictures or art that might be reusable for craft projects. • Wrapping up your decorations is a snap with a visit to the recycling bin: egg cartons for ornaments, paper towel cores to wrap lights around, and newspaper for tinsel or lengths of fake boughs. • “Is your showerhead spraying in all directions? There may be a buildup of mineral deposits blocking some of the holes. Here’s a good way to get that cleaned out, and it’s no scrub, mostly. Fill a plastic baggie halfway with a vinegar and water solution. Lift it up and put the showerhead into the vinegar. Then secure the bag over the pipe tightly using tape or a hair elastic. Let it sit while you’re at work or running errands. Then remove and run the shower normally.” — R.E. in Oklahoma • Do you use the clutter basket trick? As you clean your home, or just when tidying, carry a basket from room to room. Items that belong in another room go in the basket to be delivered to the right room along the way. • “Make your own coffee creamer with this easy recipe: Combine 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 2 cups of whole milk and 1/3 to 1/2 cup flavoring syrup, available in the coffee aisle of your grocery store. Add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract for additional flavor.” — W.B. in New York • Use dry flour or cornstarch on a microfiber cloth for stubborn grease on stainless steel. It absorbs and buffs. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.

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• It was beloved American comedian and film star Groucho Marx who made the following sage observation: "There's one way to find out if a man is honest -- ask him. If he says 'Yes,' you know he is a crook." • You might be surprised to learn that, in addition to his holiday duties, Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of children, coopers, sailors, fishermen, merchants, broadcasters, the falsely accused, repentant thieves, brewers, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, Aberdeen, Galway, Russia, Greece, Hellenic Navy, Liverpool, the Italian town of Bari, the city of Siggiewi in Malta, Moscow, Amsterdam and the Lorraine region of France. • The next time you've enjoyed a happy hour out with friends, you might want to consider the virtually unknown adjective "gambrinous," which means "to be content and happy due to a stomach full of beer." • A pregnant goldfish is known as a "twit." • Sometimes looking at local ordinances can make you wonder what inspired lawmakers to pass such laws. For instance, in Florida it's illegal to wear nothing but liquid latex while in a public place. • If you make a serious study of Hungarian gypsies, you probably already know that you're a "tziganologist." • Ever wonder how the statuette taken home by winners of the Academy Awards got its nickname? Evidently, in 1931 a secretary at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saw the statuette for the first time and exclaimed, "Why, he reminds me of my Uncle Oscar!" The comment struck the fancy of a reporter who was present, and he put it in a story about the awards, and the name stuck. *** "It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." -- Felix Adler © 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

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• In the Kurdish province of Kirkuk in 1972, the local doctor was perplexed. Dozens of people had come to him suffering from strange neurological disorders: numb hands, clumsiness, stumbling, sensory loss, blindness, deafness. He called for help from other doctors, only to find that hospitals all across the region had been seeing hundreds of similar cases every single day, mostly coming from the northern Kurdish provinces. Most of the victims were farmers. • A terrible drought had descended upon the area two years earlier. Many rural families had been forced to eat their seed wheat, leaving them with nothing to plant. The Ministry of Health stepped in, and the Iraqi government bought a large shipment of seed grain from Cargill Corporation of Minneapolis. It arrived in the country in the fall of 1971 and was distributed across the northern Kurdish provinces. There was enough grain to meet the planting needs for all of Iraq for that year. • By the time the grain reached the rural farmers, the time for planting the critical winter wheat crop was over. Farmers had depleted their own native seed stock for the planting, so the American seed went into their sheds and storehouses instead of going into the ground. And when there was a need for bread, they went to the American seed sacks for their grain. • At the request of the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Cargill coated the grain with alkyl-mercury fungicide, which inhibited spoilage. It also dyed the seeds red so people would know the grain had been treated. It also attached labels to the grain sacks clearing stating in plain English as well as Spanish that the grain had been adulterated. There was a picture of a skull and crossbones on the label. ...continued

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• Alkyl-mercury had been banned in Sweden in 1966, and Britain in 1971. But the U.S. and Mexico Dell. still used it in agriculture to kill fungus Answer: that caused seeds to spoil. A VERY LARGE NUMBER • The hungry farmers could barely read and write • Edward Kasner was a mathematician. In 1938 their own native Arabic, much less English or he was asked to come up with a name for a Spanish, sonumber: they could not read one, the warnings. very large the numeral followed The skull and crossbones was merely an inby a hundred zeros. He asked his two young teresting of American art suggest. as far as they nephewspiece what name they would knew, perhaps the logo of the company. red • Nine-year-old Milton suggested a The name dye easilyAincartoon plain water, the outwashed of the off funnies. strip leaving character colorless, odorless, tasteless alkyl-mercury funnamed Barney was very popular. Milton chose gicide on the Barney’s lastgrain. name for the number. • •Chickens and other livestock who ate Kasner announced the new name for the thegrain big number in his next book, altering the spelling. showed no side effects, because effects of fungicide areSergey cumulative. •eating Sixty alkyl-mercury years later, Larry Page and Brin developed internet search engine. By the timeaitnew reaches a toxic level in theOther body, search engines searchedof each webpage and it’s too late. Thousands people milled toxic ranked them according to how many times a grain into bread and ate it for weeks. They fed specific term appeared on them, but Page and the grain to their livestock, and then ate the Brin designed their search engine to search for mercury-contaminated meat. the specific term and then find out how many • When the government of Iraq the links there were that led backfigured to that out page, problem, they issued declarations making it ilwhich resulted in a better search engine. the contaminated Farmers re•legal Theyto use decided they neededgrain. a name that acted by dumping the grain into rivers and wareflected how many websites the search terway, contaminating water engine thereby was searching. They took thesupplies name of Edward very large number, only and local fishKasner’s with mercury. theydamage misspelled it slightly, so it ended up being • The was irreversible. In 1972, over spelled exactly the same way the cartoon 6,500 people were treated at Iraqi hospitals for character Barney spelled his last name. What’s mercury it’spage) estimated that it called?poisoning, (Answer atalthough bottom of perhaps as many as 60,000 others remained COMPUTER FACTS untreated, being unable to reach hospitals. The •death In 1981 kb ofItmemory toll Bill mayGates be assaid, high“640 as 5,000. was the ought to be enough for anybody.” largest case of mercury poisoning in the world •atMoore’s Law states that computer performance the time. doubles every 18 to 24 months, and ever since • Because ofhas thisbeen disaster, 1971, this true. the World Health Organization has enacted tighter controls, better • HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple were all regulations, and stricter requirements regarding started in garages. labelling. Answer: Google, from googol.

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Tidbits of Grand Forks - January 3, 2019  

"Diabetes," "Kim Peek" and "Accidental Poisoning"

Tidbits of Grand Forks - January 3, 2019  

"Diabetes," "Kim Peek" and "Accidental Poisoning"