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• Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, has undergone a few name changes over the years. This peak, with an elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level, stands in Alaska’s interior, about 240 miles from Anchorage. For centuries, the Koyukon Athabaskans who live in the area have referred to the mountain as Denali, based on their word for “high” or “tall.” When the Russians owned Alaska, Denali was called Bolshaya Gora, which translates “big mountain.” For a short time in the 1880s, it was known as Densmore’s Mountain, after an Alaskan prospector who was the first European to reach its base. But in 1896, another gold prospector gave it the name that stuck for decades, Mt. McKinley, naming it after a U.S. presidential candidate, William McKinley, who became president the following year. It wasn’t until 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill to establish Mt. McKinley National Park, that the peak became formally recognized under that name, remaining so for nearly 100 years. In August of 2015, the name of Denali was officially restored.
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5. Which U.S. state borders only one other state? 6. Which actor played the dad Which two U.S. states donated in the TV series “Eight is land to establish Washington Enough” (1977-1981)? D.C. in 1791? 7. What is the nickname of What continent is home to the country music singer Hank Gobi Desert? Williams Jr.? What country’s name comes 8. What is the name of the from the Iroquoian word for young girl who stars in “village”? “The Nutcracker”? Name the city that was first to TRIVIA reach a population of 1 million. SPONSORED BY:
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• A brand-new island was formed in 1963, 20 miles off the southern coast of Iceland, the result of a volcanic eruption. The eruption began 430 feet below sea level, reaching the surface in November, 1963. The eruption continued for 3 ½ years until June of 1967, when the island’s maximum size of 1.0 sq. miles was reached. The island was named Surtsey after the Norse fire god Surtur. Abundant plant life, insects, and birds can now be found on the rock, with 89 recorded species of birds. • Deserts occupy one-third of the Earth’s land surface. In order to be categorized scientifically as an arid desert, an area must receive less than 250 mm of annual precipitation, while a semi-arid desert receives 250 mm to 500 mm. • The world’s smallest semi-arid desert is in an unlikely area, Canada’s Yukon. It’s about 1 square mile of sand dunes, and receives less than 500 mm of precipitation a year. North Africa’s Sahara Desert is the world’s largest hot desert, with an area of 3,600,000 square miles, comparable to the size of the United States. Yet for scientific purposes, it’s not the world’s largest desert. Strangely enough, even though they are polar regions, Antarctica and the Arctic are larger deserts, again, because they receive so little precipitation. Antarctica receives just 8 inches a year, while the Arctic’s annual precipitation is about 20 inches. The Sahara’s temperatures are more indicative of what we think of as a desert – the average high temperature exceeds 100 degrees F, with a high of 116.6 F. ...continued
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4. How long was boxer George Foreman’s first 1. In his 22-year major-league heavyweight championship reign—372, 515, 646 career, how many times or 751 days? did Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry pitch in the playoffs? 5. Since 2000, how many major-league teams have 2. Name the last coach before won 20 or more consecuBarry Trotz in 2018 to not tive games in a season? return to his NHL team the 6. In 2017, Le’Veon Bell season after winning the set a Pittsburgh Steelers Stanley Cup? record for most rushing 3. Golfer Phil Mickelson yards in a playoff game holds the record for com(167). Who had held the peting in the most Ryder Cups. How many is it? mark?
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• When we think of the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, St. Martin, or Aruba come to mind. But did you know there are more than 7,000 individual Caribbean islands in an area of about one million square miles? There are 13 sovereign island nations and 17 dependent territories, speaking a wide variety of languages, including English, Spanish, French, Dutch, and Antillean Creole. Only 2% of the 7,000+ islands are inhabited. The 176-acre Buck Island, about 1.5 miles off the coast of St. Croix, is closed from sunset to sunrise every day to protect nesting sea turtles. Jamaica, the fourth-largest island country in the Caribbean, spans 4,240 sq. miles in area, and is home to more churches per square mile than any other country in the world, with a total of more than 1,600.
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• The world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, Venezuela’s Angel Falls, isn’t named after heavenly beings. With a height of 3,211 feet and a plunge of 2,368 feet, this natural wonder has been known as Angel Falls since the mid-20th century, taking its name from an American aviator. In 1933, Jimmie Angel became the first person to fly over the falls. He returned to the falls in 1937, hoping to land his monoplane on top of the mesa from which the falls drop. His plane was damaged when the wheels sank into the mesa’s marshy ground. Angel, along with his three passengers, had to make the descent on foot, a journey that took 11 days. Shortly afterward, the falls became known as Angel Falls in his honor. The plane remained on the summit for 33 years until it was lifted out by a helicopter. Since its restoration, it has been displayed at a Venezuelan airport. Jimmie Angel’s ashes were scattered over Angel Falls in July of 1960. ...continued
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• On Jan. 18, 1882, A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, is born in England. In 1920, his only son, Christopher Robin, was born. In 1925, the family bought Cotchford Farm in Sussex. A nearby forest inspired the 100-Acre Wood where Winnie-the-Pooh's adventures would be set. "Winnie-the-Pooh" was published in 1926. • On Jan. 17, 1916, professional and leading amateur golfers gather in New York City in a meeting that will result in the founding of the Professional Golfers Association. The first annual PGA Championship took place in October. James "Long Jim" Barnes defeated Jock Hutchinson, taking home a silver trophy and $500. • On Jan. 14, 1943, during World War II, Franklin Roosevelt becomes the first president to travel on official business by airplane. The secret and circuitous journey across the Atlantic began Jan. 11. • On Jan. 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States. At age 43, Kennedy was the youngest candidate ever elected to the presidency and the first Catholic president. • On Jan. 15, 1972, Don McLean's "American Pie" hits No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The song references the 1959 plane crash that killed famous stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "the Big Bopper" Richardson. • On Jan. 16, 1991, President George H.W. Bush waits to see if Iraq will withdraw from Kuwait by a midnight deadline mandated by the United Nations, or if war will ensue. Just after midnight in the U.S. on January 17, Bush gave the order for U.S. troops to lead an attack on Saddam Hussein's army. • On Jan. 19, 2007, Beijing, China, gets its first drive-through McDonald's restaurant. The opening ceremony included traditional Chinese lion dancers and a Chinese Ronald McDonald. Kentucky Fried Chicken first opened in China in 1987. © 2018 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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• The deepest lake in America, Crater Lake, can be found in south-central Oregon. The lake, 1,943 feet deep, formed in a volcanic caldera, which is simply a hole made by the collapse of a volcano. Crater Lake isn’t the deepest lake in North America – that honor belongs to Canada’s Great Slave Lake, with a depth of 2,014 feet, situated in the Northwest Territories. Yet neither of these can compare with the world’s deepest, Russia’s Baikal Lake, 5,387 feet deep. The Trans-Siberian Railway winds around the southwestern end of the Lake, and required 200 bridges and 33 tunnels for that portion of the railway.
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• There are 23 countries and nine dependent territories in North America, with Canada and the United States making up nearly 80% of the total land area. This may seem like a lot of countries for one continent, but that number isn’t even close to Africa, with 54 countries, more than any other continent.
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• Until 2014, Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway was the longest railway line in the world. Built between 1891 and 1916, the line spanned 5,772 miles connecting Moscow with the eastern Russia, and it’s still being expanded. In 2014, the Yiwu-Madrid Railway Line was launched, connecting the Chinese city of Yiwu to Madrid, Spain, a distance of 8,111 miles. The train passes through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France before arriving in Spain on its three-week journey. The railway speeds up a trip by sea, which takes up to six weeks.
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• After two years of working at an investment firm, at 26, Buffett started up his first partnership, and a year later, was operating three partnerships. He and his wife and children moved into a five-bedroom stucco house in Omaha, purchased for $31,500.
• Warren Buffett, the son of an Omaha stockbroker, got an early start in the investment business. Spending many hours at his father’s office as a child, Warren could be seen at the blackboard there, chalking in stock prices. At age seven, he borrowed a book from the Omaha public library, One Thousand Ways to Make $1000, and he was on his way!
• In 1965, when Buffett was 35, he assumed control of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate holding company. While under his control, the company became owners of GEICO, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, BNSF Railway, among many others, as well as owning a significant share of Kraft-Heinz, American Express, Wells Fargo, CocaCola, Bank of America, and United, Delta, Southwest, and American Airlines.
• Even with his hefty donations, in the last quarter of 2018, Buffett’s estimated worth still topped $90 billion, making him the world’s third-wealthiest. Not bad for a guy whose yearbook picture notation read: “likes math; a future stockbroker.”
• A mathematical genius, Buffett was able to add large columns of numbers in his head, and seemed to have a natural-born aptitude for business. Yet Harvard Business School rejected him, causing Buffett to enroll at Columbia Business School, where he had earned a Master’s degree in Economics by age 21. By graduation, his savings account totaled $9,800, the equivalent of $101,000 in today’s money.
• Although Buffett owns a $4 million dollar house in Laguna Beach, California, he spends the majority of his time in that stucco house he purchased in Omaha in 1957. He loves the game of bridge (plays 12 hours a week!) and enjoys playing the ukulele.
• At 13, Buffett was delivering newspapers and selling a horseracing tip sheet. He filed his income taxes at that tender age, being sharp enough to claim his bicycle as a $35 deduction. At 14, he dipped into his savings and bought a 40-acre farm for $1,200. During high school, he partnered with a friend to buy a used pinball machine for $25, which they set up in a barbershop. In less than a year, they owned several machines, and sold the business for $1,200.
• In 2008, Buffett was the richest person in the world, with a net worth of about $62 billion. For several years, he and Bill Gates had traded places as number one and two. In 2009, Buffett dropped to number two with $37 billion, after donating billions of dollars to charity. Between 2006 and 2017, Buffett gave away nearly $28 billion. He has challenged other wealthy people to give away the majority of their fortune.
• He was just 11 when he handed over $114 to invest in three shares of Cities Service Preferred stock. He learned about the volatility of the stock market when his stock quickly dropped by $9 a share, but held on until he made a $6 profit.
How does a young man from Nebraska progress to being one of the world’s wealthiest people? Follow along as Tidbits chronicles the story of this remarkable achiever.
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December 31, 2018
• “I save individual milk jugs from my kids’ fast-food meals. They’re the perfect size for packing milk in a lunchbox, and also for taking a bit of coffee creamer for the office fridge — not too big, and easily portable.” — D.L. in Maine • Got extra mittens? Then you’ll love this tip: If find yourself with several mittens without matches, simply use them to dust around the house. Slip on a glove and dust away! They work perfectly. • Removing sticky residue, five ways: 1) Rubbing alcohol; 2) WD-40; 3) Vinegar; 4) Nail polish remover (not for use on glossy surfaces — spot test first); 5) Dish soap. • P.H. in Pennsylvania writes: “Got non-washable plush toys? Freshen up by spraying with women’s dry shampoo, and then rub with a dry cloth.” • To clean spills in the oven, cover with baking soda and let cool. Then scrape out as much as possible with a metal spatula. Use damp steel wool for thick messes, or a plastic scrubbie for small jobs. • Don’t forget to open and close all windows regularly, just to keep the tracks free of obstructions and clean. It might not be a big deal now, but in the spring, if you want to air out your home, you might find yourself with a stuck window. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
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• It was English journalist, political essayist and novelist George Orwell, probably best known for his works "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and "Animal Farm," who made the following sage observation: "Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting." • Considering their unsavory reputation, you might be surprised to learn that jackals often help raise their younger siblings, even after they're fully grown. • If you want to have an especially memorable -and chilly -- vacation, consider heading to Finnish Lapland. There, more than 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle, you can stay at the Kakslauttanen Hotel. The quarters aren't luxurious, but the sights are amazing. All the accommodations are geodesic glass igloos, offering amazing views of the aurora borealis. • Are you a snollygoster? If so, you're shrewd -and that isn't a bad thing, of course. However, it also means that you're rather lacking in principles, a trait you might not want to advertise. • The next time you're tempted to whip out the plastic to make a purchase, you might want to consider this little factoid: The average American spends 20 percent to 30 percent more when using a credit card than when paying with cash. • The heaviest rainfall in a 24-hour period ever to fall in the United States occurred in Alvin, Texas, in 1979. In that year, a total of 43 inches of rain fell in the space of a single day. *** Thought for the Day: "Catch-and-release, that's like running down pedestrians in your car and then, when they get up and limp away, saying -- Off you go! That's fine. I just wanted to see if I could hit you." -- Ellen DeGeneres
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THE GRAND CANYON
This week, Tidbits makes the journey into the Grand Canyon, located in Arizona’s northwest corner, 90 minutes from Flagstaff. • The Colorado River carved the Grand Canyon, flowing west through the canyon. The River has an average depth of 100 feet, an average width of 300 feet, and an average flow speed of about 4 mph. The Colorado River winds along for 277 miles, separating the canyon into the North and South Rims. The canyon is larger than the state of Rhode Island. • The canyon’s average depth is about 1 mile, but its deepest point reaches to 7,800 feet at the North Rim. At its widest point, it’s 18 miles across. • Native Americans built villages within the Canyon and its caves thousands of years ago, and have inhabited the area continuously. It’s regarded as a holy site by many of the tribes that populate it, including the Hopi, Navajo, Havasupai, Paiute, and Hualapai. • The first documented viewing by a European was in 1540, when Garcia de Cardenas, a member of Spanish explorer Francisco Coronado’s expedition, traveled to the South Rim, along with Spanish soldiers led by Hopi guides. It was unseen by Europeans for the next 200 years. • John Wesley Powell was the leader of the canyon’s first official U.S. government-sponsored expedition through the Canyon in 1869. Powell had served during the Civil War as a cartographer and topographer, and had lost most of his right arm in battle, yet this didn’t deter him from making a three-month trip down the Colorado River, enduring dangerous rapids, loss of much of the group’s food supply, and the sinking of one of their boats. Two years later, Powell, who was now a geology professor at an Illinois university, led yet another expedition, bringing back photographs and an accurate map. ...continued
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GRAND CANYON (cont.)
DIFFERENCES: 1. Moon is changed. 2. Shutters are added. 3. Coat is different. 4. Horn is missing. 5. Streamer is longer. 6. Number is transposed. © 2018 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.
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• Powell was the first to use the name Grand Canyon for the natural wonder. When the Glen Canyon Dell. Dam was completed on the Colorado Answer: River in 1963, the nation’s second-largest manA VERY LARGE made reservoir was formedNUMBER behind the dam, and •named Edward Kasner was a mathematician. In 1938 Lake Powell in honor of the explorer. he was asked to come up with a name for a • The Canyon the wasnumeral designated official veryGrand large number: one, an followed national monument 1908, andhis became Amerby a hundred zeros.inHe asked two young ica’s 17th what national 1919.suggest. More than 5 nephews namepark theyinwould visitors visit theresuggested every year. a name •million Nine-year-old Milton out Grand of the Canyon funnies. is A inhabited cartoon strip character • The by six differnamed Barney was very popular. Milton chose ent rattlesnake species, including a remarkable Barney’s lastreptile name for number. pink-colored thatthe blends in with the can•yon’s Kasner announced the new name forhikers, the bigas rocks. It’s a common sight for number in his next book, altering the spelling. it coils up on sunny rocks, waiting for lizards, a •favorite Sixty years prey.later, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new internet search engine. Other • Although the Grand Canyon is awebpage massive and one, search engines searched each it’s not the world’s deepest by any means. ranked them according to how many times Tia bet is home to the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand specific term appeared on them, but Page Canand yon, a depth of search 17,567engine feet, nearly 2 miles Brinwith designed their to search for the specific termGrand and then find out manyis deeper than the Canyon. Thehow Yarlung links30there that led back to that page, also mileswere longer. which resulted in a better search engine. • The Bright Angel Trail is one of the canyon’s •more They popular decidedhiking they trails. neededIt abegins nameonthat the reflected how many websites the search south rimwas andsearching. descends 4,380 thename Coloengine They feet tooktothe rado River. It can be a dangerous trek, very narof Edward Kasner’s very large number, only row spots, with hikers encountering theyinmisspelled it slightly, so it ended uphazards being such as sudden fallspelled exactlyrainstorms, the same flash way flooding, the cartoon ing rock, extreme heat, and Mules are character Barney spelled hiswildlife. last name. What’s it called? (Answer at bottom page) also frequently found on the of trail, transporting people and gear. COMPUTER FACTS • In 1981 Bill Gates said, “640 kb of memory ought to be enough for anybody.” • Moore’s Law states that computer performance doubles every 18 to 24 months, and ever since 1971, this has been true. • HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple were all started in garages. Answer: Google, from googol.
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