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Who isn’t familiar with the phrase “Fe-Fi-FoFum,” from the children’s tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”? This week, Tidbits investigates the meaning of the phrase, along with some unusual facts about words that begin with the same letters. • FAn poem O RK S1890 • E AST G RANbyD Joseph F O RK S Jacobs includes the rhyme, “Fe-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Publications Englishman. Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.” Yet Jacobs wasn’t the first to use the phrase. A written work by Englishman Thomas Nashe in 1596 incorporated a similar expression, and William Shakespeare wrote “Fie, foh, and fum, I smell the blood of a British man” in his 1603 play “King Lear.” “The History of Jack and the Giants” in 1711 also utilized the phrase. • Some historians believe the phrase has its origins in the ancient Gaelic language, translating “Fa!” as “behold,” “Fe” as “food,” “Fi,” as “good to eat,” “Fo,” meaning “sufficient,” and “Fum,” as “hunger.” Put it all together and it becomes, “Behold! Food, good to eat, sufficient for my hunger.”
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• In 1972, four male mice and one female mouse orbited the moon for six days and four hours aboard Apollo 17, along with the crew, Eugene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt, and Ronald Evans. Turn the page for more!
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Issue # 1,115
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• The five mice, named Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, and Phooey, had alternate identification numbers A3326, A3400, A3305, A3356, and A3352, and were studied after the mission for possible effects on their bodies. One mouse died while on the journey. • A person whose job is to remove hair or wool from animal skins, particularly sheepskins, in preparation for tanning and leathermaking, is known as a fellmonger. The term was first used in the 1500s, when the process was much more difficult. Today, a chemical solution of sodium sulfide is applied to the animal skin. It soaks through the skin and destroys the wool follicles, making it easier to separate the wool from the skin. • Only birds have feathers, which, along with enabling flight, provide insulation, waterproofing, camouflage, and protection from the sun. Most birds’ feathers weigh more than their skeletons. A tiny hummingbird has about 1,000 feathers, while swans possess 25,000. Penguins have more than most birds – about 100 feathers per square inch. During cold weather, a typical bird will have 50% more feathers than it does in the summer. • Who knew there was a special term for the thin edge of a ruler? It’s known as the fiducial edge. • When a politician wants to prevent a bill from going to a vote, he or she utilizes a filibuster, a rule that permits senators to talk as long as they wish on any topic they choose. The practice dates clear back to ancient Rome when a Roman senator who opposed the political legislation of Julius Caesar spoke continuously until nightfall, since that Senate had a rule for all business to conclude by dusk. The senator, Cato the Younger, first used the filibuster to obstruct Caesar’s measures in 60 B.C. ...continued
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3. Name the top three coaches in terms of wins in Miami Heat history. 1. T or F: The last World Series before 2017 featuring 4. Sergio Garcia set a Ryder Cup record in 2018 for two teams that each won most career points (25.5). 100 or more games during Who had held the mark? the regular season, was (hint: Team Europe) over 40 years ago. 2. Which Yankees player hit 5. What are the five colors of the Olympic Rings? the most home runs in his 6. How many PGA tour first three full years (at wins does Tiger Woods least 100 games per year) now have after winning in the majors: Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, or Mickey this yearâ€™s Masters TourMantle? nament?
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• In modern times, U.S. senators have even read from cookbooks and phone books in order to stonewall a bill. • America’s longest filibuster was given by South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond in 1957 in an attempt to delay the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Thurmond took the podium shortly before 9:00 PM on August 28, and stepped down at 9:12 the following evening after 24 hours and 18 minutes of talking. In preparation for his speech, Thurmond had a steam bath to rid his body of liquid so that he would not need to use the rest room. His filibuster included reading the voting laws of each of the 48 states, reading of the U.S. criminal code, and the Declaration of Independence. For all of Thurmond’s efforts to prevent the bill from passing, the bill passed successfully, without the change of a single vote. Legislation now allows a filibuster to be broken with a vote of three-fifths of the Senators. • In addition to being the organ of sight for underwater creatures, a fish eye can be a look of suspicion cast upon a shady character. In the world of photography, a fish-eye is an extremely wide angle view, with the panorama reaching nearly 180 degrees. The image curves outward, thus creating a somewhat distorted image. The term was coined by an American physicist and inventor in 1906, based on how a fish might see an expansive view from beneath the water. • Babies are born with a soft spot on their skull between the cranial bones. The official name of this spot is fontanelle, and it allows for the stretching of the cranium as the brain expands faster than the bones can grow. ...cont'd
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• Fortuna was the goddess of chance, fortune, and luck in Roman mythology. Ancient Romans often consulted the goddess for information about their future. Fortuna is depicted as carrying a cornucopia in one hand, symbolizing the gift of abundance, and a ship’s rudder in the other hand, denoting her control of destinies. She stands on a ball to represent the uncertainty of fortune, since she was not only the goddess of good luck, but of bad luck as well. • Back in 1968, at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, American athlete Dick Fosbury introduced a new method of high jumping he had perfected. Fosbury’s technique involved going over the bar backwards, back first, landing on the shoulders and back. Prior to this, high jumpers used the straddle technique, going over the bar face down, lifting the legs over the bar individually, or the scissors method, with the jumper running toward the bar facing forward, lifting the legs one at a time over bar. Fosbury’s technique, now known as the Fosbury Flop, requires the runner to sprint diagonally toward the bar, then curve and leap backwards. Dick Fosbury took the gold medal as well as setting a new Olympic record that year.
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• Football fans know that when a player fails to catch and hold onto the ball, it’s called a fumble. But how about a fumblerooski? That’s when the football is intentionally placed on the ground by the offense (usually the quarterback), and his teammates try to trick the defense by pretending that the ball carrier is running one direction, while another offensive player picks up the ball and runs in a different direction. The hope is to gain considerable yardage before the opposing team realizes who really has the football.
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• On April 23, 1014, Brian Boru, the high king of Ireland, is assassinated by retreating Norsemen shortly after his Irish forces defeated them. A small group of fleeing Norsemen stumbled on Brian's tent, overcame his bodyguards and murdered the elderly king. • On April 25, 1719, Daniel Defoe's "The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe," a fictional work about a shipwrecked sailor who spends 28 years on a deserted island, is published. It's based on the experiences of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor who spent four years on a small island off South America. • On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth is killed when Union soldiers track him to a Virginia farm 12 days after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. Killing Lincoln was part of a conspiracy to simultaneously kill the vice president and secretary of state, neither of which happened. • On April 22, 1915, German forces shock Allied soldiers along the Western Front by firing more than 150 tons of lethal chlorine. The Germans were perhaps as shocked as the Allies by the devastating effects of the poison gas. • On April 27, 1956, world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano retires from boxing at age 31. He ended his career as the only heavyweight champ with a perfect record, 49-0. Marciano had started boxing in the Army to get out of kitchen duty. • On April 28, 1969, following the defeat of his proposals for constitutional reform, Charles de Gaulle resigns as president of France. He had first resigned in 1946, but was called back in 1958 when the Algerian War sent nearly a million Algerians into France. • On April 24, 1996, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Washington Capitals, 3-2, in 139 minutes of game play, making it the fifth-longest match in NHL history. Playoff games aren't allowed to end in a tie. © 2019 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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• Jackie entered UCLA to continue his education, and became the university’s first student to win varsity letters in four sports – football, baseball, basketball, and track – and was named to the All-American football team in 1941. Sadly, shortly before graduation, he had to leave UCLA because of financial difficulties. A move to Honolulu brought him a spot on the semi-pro football team, the Honolulu Bears, but when the season was cut short due to the United States’ entry into World War II, Jackie enlisted in the Army. • Jackie’s ability to stand up against racial discrimination was put to the test when, after two years in the Army and the rank of second lieutenant, he was discharged for refusing to give up his seat on a segregated bus. • Jackie began his professional baseball career in 1945, playing just one season with the Negro Baseball League, before he was tapped by Branch Rickey, president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to begin the desegregation of Major League Baseball. Robinson spent the 1946 season as the only black man on the Dodgers’ farm team, the Montreal Royals.
• Jackie Robinson stepped onto Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947, challenging racial segregation. He endured boo’s, racial slurs, and outright threats from the crowd, the opposing team, and even his fellow Dodgers. Dodgers’ team captain Pee Wee Reese made his feelings known when he stepped over to Robinson on the field and put his arm around him in a now-famous gesture of support. • Jackie persevered through the obstacles, and was named the season’s Rookie of the Year. The Dodgers won the National League pennant that year, aided by Robinson’s 12 home runs, 29 steals (more than anyone else in the League), and .297 batting average. The 1949 season with a .342 average brought his selection as the league’s Most Valuable Player of the Year. • During his decade with the Dodgers, Jackie achieved 1,518 hits, 137 home runs, and 734 RBI’s, finishing with a .311 batting average. He led the team to a 1955 World Series victory over the New York Yankees and set a league record for stealing home. At the time of his retirement, he was the highest-paid Dodger in the team’s history. • Following his retirement after the 1956 season, Jackie and his wife were active in the civil rights movement, and he served on the board of the NAACP. He was an executive for a restaurant chain, as well as helping establish the African American-owned Freedom Bank. • Jackie became the first African-American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. Following his death in 1972 at age 53, the Dodgers retired his jersey number 42.
• Born into a family of Georgia sharecroppers, Jack Roosevelt Robinson and his four siblings were raised in poverty by a single mother. Athletics was his gift from a young age, playing four sports throughout high school. Athletic ability ran in the family as Jackie’s older brother won a silver medal in the 200-meter dash at the 1936 Olympics, edged out for the gold by Jesse Owens.
April 15 has been designated Jackie Robinson Day, a day to honor the remarkable athlete who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
• Jackie’s .349 batting average with the Royals led to his bump up to the Dodgers. Prior to the first game, Branch Rickey acquired a promise from Robinson that he would not fight back when confronted with racism.
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April 8, 2019
• “Soak a cotton ball in vinegar to apply to bruises. It speeds healing. Apply for an hour.” — J., via e-mail • “For our kids’ art and schoolwork, we purchased a scrapbook for each grade. As the year progresses, we put the standout papers in the book, and add photos and jot down notes about friends and teachers. It not only makes a lovely keepsake, but you know when a drawing was done, and it makes it easy to limit what we keep.” — R.W. in Indiana • Taking a pill? Sip of water, pill, sip of water. It’s easier to take even larger pills after a small sip of liquid. • Secure small stuffed animals to a length of sturdy rope, then hang the rope from the ceiling or across a wall like art. It gets them up off the floor during that period when kids want to keep them all but don’t regularly play with them. • Rinse your hands with lemon juice to remove berry stains. This also works on marker stains. • You know how happy you feel when you get to the bottom of the bag of chips and find all the extra-flavory ones? How’s this for a mind-blowing hack: Flip the bag over and open up from the bottom. The saturated chippies will be on the top. • Denture tablets are great for cleaning tough stains in the toilet bowl. Just drop them in the bowl and let it sit overnight. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks by Samantha Weaver
• It was 19th-century French novelist Gustave Flaubert who made the following sage observation: "Our ignorance of history makes us libel our own times. People have always been like this." • Visitors to Chicago might want to keep in mind that in that city, it's against the law to dine in any establishment that is on fire. • In 1856, a soldier of fortune (who was also a journalist, doctor and lawyer) by the name of William Walker and his hand-picked group of mercenaries took over Nicaragua. Walker appointed himself dictator, thus securing for himself the distinction of being the only native-born American citizen to become head of state of a foreign nation. • If you're like the average American, you consumed more than 250 eggs last year. • You might be surprised to learn that the giant bullfrogs of South Africa have sometimes been known to attack lions. • If you like to go out and hit the greens on a nice summer day, you might want to consider this fact the next time you're thinking about breaking out the irons and putters: More people are struck by lightning on golf courses than anywhere else. • Mike Edwards, one of the founding members of the British band Electric Light Orchestra, met with an untimely death decades after he left the group. In 2010, as Edwards was driving in the rural southwest of England, a farmer lost control of a 1,300-pound bale of hay. This wheel-shaped bale rolled down a hill and over a hedge, and just happened to smash into the van Edwards was driving. *** Thought for the Day: "I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter." -Sir Winston Churchill
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April 14 – 20 has been designated National Karaoke Week in honor of this popular form of entertainment. Sing along with Tidbits as we learn about karaoke! • Back in the early 1960s, NBC television broadcast the series “Sing Along with Mitch,” a karaoke-like program that offered home audience participation by superimposing a song’s lyrics at the bottom of the screen. Viewers were invited to “follow the bouncing ball,” as a little white ball led would-be singers through the lyrics. • In 1971, a Japanese musician named Daisuke Inoue developed the basic idea of karaoke. Inoue led a band that provided back-up music in clubs where wannabe singers took the stage. When a certain businessman asked Inoue to provide music for the man’s business trip, instead, the musician handed over a reel of taped accompaniment for several songs.
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• When the businessman came back to him a few days later asking for more songs, Inoue realized the potential of such a concept, and asked the man to help him create eleven “Juke 8s,” a machine made up of an amplifier, microphone, coin box, and eight-track car stereo. • It took two months for the machines to be completed, at a cost of $425 each. They were called karaoke machines, translating from Japanese “kara,” meaning “empty,” and “oke,” for “orchestra.” First used in clubs in Osaka, Japan, the machines were an instant hit, and a year later, Inoue’s company had created 25,000 of them. The popularity spread to Tokyo, then throughout Japan, Asia, and eventually to the world.
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DIFFERENCES: 1. Boy's pants are black. 2. Box has been moved. 3. Garage is gone. 4. Shirt zipper is missing. 5. Tree stump is taller. 6. Boy's left arm can't be seen. © 2019 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.
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• Unfortunately, Daisuke Inoue failed to see the enormous potential of the karaoke industry, and didn’t patent his invention, losing out on beAnswer: Dell. coming one of Japan’s wealthiest people. AnA VERY LARGEdel NUMBER other inventor, Roberto Rosario, invented •a Edward a mathematician. In 1938 similar Kasner systemwas in 1975 and did patent it as he “Minus-One,” was asked to come a namepatentfor a the and heupis with the current very large number: the the numeral one,machine. followed holder for what we call karaoke by a hundred zeros. He asked his two young • Inoue didn’t give up on inventing, however, nephews what name they would suggest. and developed a pesticide that prevented cock•roaches Nine-year-old suggestedthe aelectronname and rats Milton from destroying out of the funnies. A cartoon strip character ics inside the karaoke machines. In the 1990s, Barney was very popular. Milton chose henamed launched a business that acquired licenses Barney’s last name for the number. for karaoke music. He was honored by TIME •magazine Kasner announced theinnew name for thethe bigIg in 1999, and 2004, received number in his next book, altering the spelling. Nobel Peace Prize, a parody of the Nobel Prize, •awarded Sixty years later, Larry Page and Sergey Brinin to celebrate unusual achievements developed a new internet Other scientific achievement thatsearch “firstengine. make people search engines searched each webpage and laugh, and then make them think.” Inoue’s ranked them according to how many times a award was for “providing an entirely new way specific term appeared on them, but Page and for people to learn to tolerate each other.” Brin designed their search engine to search for • Early karaoketerm singers had printed the specific and then find outlyric how sheets, many but as there technology advanced, words aplinks were that led backthe to that page, peared on the machine’s screen. The first time which resulted in a better search engine. that singers couldthey see lyrics on aavideo monitor • They decided needed name that came with the invention of Laser Disc technolreflected how many websites the search ogy, a 12-inch DVD. engine was searching. They took the name of Edward Kasner’s verysingers large could number, • Prior to the 1990s, karaoke onlyonly sing they misspelled it slightly, so it ended up being songs that were available on tapes, and later Laser spelled the same way the cartoon Discs, thatexactly were supplied by the individual clubs. character Barney spelled his last name. What’s However, newer machines, known as “communiit called? (Answer at bottom page) a remote cation karaoke,” accessed songsofthrough COMPUTER FACTS content provider, and nearly any song could be Today’s even a singer •requested. In 1981 Bill Gatesmachines said, “640 kballow of memory toought change pitch offor theanybody.” music and choose a key to the be enough forLaw their vocal range. •suitable Moore’s states that computer performance 18 tomarathon 24 months, and ever • Indoubles 2011, aevery karaoke was held insince Hun1971,one thiswhich has been true.for over 1,011 hours. gary, lasted Each song had to be moreand than threewere minutes • HP, Google, Microsoft, Apple all instarted length,inand the gap between songs had to be garages. less thanGoogle, 30 seconds. No song could be repeatAnswer: from googol. ed during a 2-hour period.
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