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BIRDS

OR UP TO $250 OFF!

by Janet Spencer

Come along with Tidbits as we admire birds!

BIRD FACTS

• As Jim Robbins explains in his book, “The Wonder of Birds,” there are two categories of newly-hatched birds. Those that require weeks of careful attention from their parents are called “altricial” meaning “requiring nourishment.” This includes most song birds and raptors: robins, sparrows, owls, eagles etc. Then there are those that are able to function as soon as they hatch, called “precocial” from the Latin words meaning “mature before its time.” Precocial birds include most domestic species such as chickens, turkeys, and ducks; game birds like pheasants and partridges; and big birds like ostrich and emu.

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• Capsaicin is the substance that makes spicy chili peppers hot. In humans, a dilution of ten Donate Blood in November and parts per million of capsaicin will send senreceive a coupon sations of pain and distress to the brain. But for a FREE Slice O F G RAN D Fbirds O RK S •lack E ASTtheGnerve RAN D Freceptors O RK S that register this of Pumpkin Pie sensation, and can eat capsaicin in dilutions from PerkinsPublished on Columbia by Road Wick Publications While Quantities Last of 20,000 parts per million without noticing Call or e-mail for appointment: anything. The seeds of the pepper plant are 780-LIFE (5433) blooddonations@altru.org thus spread far and wide after being eaten by www.dakminnbloodbank.org birds and landing in a pile of fertile bird poop far away. Some bird seed manufacturers add capsaicin to their bird seed to deter squirrels.

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Quiz Bits 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. T or F: Only male canaries sing. 6. What female singer told Dick Clark on “American BandT or F: Every species of woodstand” that she wanted to rule pecker has its own distinctive the world? drumming rat-a-tat. 7. Who played Yogurt in the parody How many pounds of excrecomedy film “Spaceballs”? ment will a single pigeon 8. What was the name of Michael produce each year? Jackson’s pet Chimpanzee? What percent of newly hatched 9. What is the symbol for the eagles reach adulthood? chemical element gold? T or F: Female songbirds prefer TRIVIA males with the best songs. SPONSORED BY:

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• Comics • Trading Cards • Warhammer • Board Games • RPGs • Dice • Gaming Rooms

BIRDS (continued):

• There are about 350 species of hummingbirds, all of which live in the Americas. The smallest is the calliope hummingbird, which weighs about as much as two paperclips. Hummingbird eggs are the size of a kidney bean. Hummingbirds display more colorful plumage than any other bird species, and their feathers reflect light. The tiny calliope hummingbird migrates 3,000 miles each year, from the U.S. to Mexico and back again in the spring. • A hummingbird’s heart is the size of a pea, which is actually the largest heart-to-body size ratio of any bird. It beats anywhere from 1,260 times per minute down to 50 beats per minute when the bird is hibernating overnight in cold temperatures. Almost 80% of a hummingbird’s weight is composed of its pectoral muscles. Proportionately speaking, they are the most powerful pectoral muscles in the entire bird kingdom. A hummer is capable of hovering like a helicopter in place for up to 90 minutes at a time, something no other bird can do.

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• Pheasants were introduced into the U.S. in 1881 from their native China, when 26 were released in Oregon. Nine years later, the first pheasant hunting season was held in Oregon, with around 50,000 birds shot. Since then, the pheasant has spread to 40 states.

BIRDS IN TROUBLE

• The Hudsonian godwit is a shore bird that has one of longest migrations on Earth: From northern Canada to southern Chile in the fall and back again in the spring, a distance of 6,000 miles (9,656 km) each way. Because of climate change, insects that normally appear at the same time the chicks hatch are instead hatching earlier and earlier due to warming temperatures in Arctic regions. This leaves nothing for the chicks to eat, and they starve to death in their nest. ...continued


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SPORTS QUIZ 1. Currently their are only two players in the top 50 for career points in NBA history, that averaged over 30 points per game. Name them. 2. In 2019, Carli Lloyd of the U.S. set a world record for most consecutive Women’s World Cup matches with at least one goal. How many was it? 3. What year did Denver make it to their first Super Bowl?

4. How many times have the Minnesota Timberwolves had the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft? 5. T or F: All five of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series Championships were won in 7 games. 6. Since 1980, only 4 teams have had back-to-back No. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft. Name 3 of the teams. 7. Name the only NFL starting QB to win Super Bowls for two different teams.

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BIRDS IN TROUBLE (continued):

• In 1890, a hundred European starlings were imported from Europe and released in Central Park by an organization that wanted the U.S. to enjoy all the species of birds mentioned by Shakespeare. The next year, 100 more starlings were released. Some 60 years later, the population of starlings in the U.S. reached an estimated 200 million, and they can now be found from coast to coast. Along the way, they usurped the bluebird by invading its territory, taking over its nesting sites, and preying on fledglings, thereby decimating its numbers.

• Swainson’s hawks eat mainly grasshoppers. The birds live in North America in the summer, and in South America in the winter. One researcher became alarmed at the sudden drop in the population of Swainson’s hawks, so he attached radio transmitters to several, and then followed one when it pinged a satellite indicating it was living in Argentina. • When he arrived in Argentina and tracked that particular Swainson’s hawk to a farmer’s field, he was dismayed to find dozens of Swainson’s hawks dead on the ground. In talking to the farmer, he discovered that local farmers had recently started using a new pesticide to kill grasshoppers that were eating their crops. The Swainson’s hawks were eating the poisoned grasshoppers, and then dying from ingesting the toxin. The grasshopper problem kept getting worse and worse, because the hawks were dying in such numbers that they could no longer keep the grasshopper population under control. The fewer hawks there were, the more grasshoppers there were.

H LEAF PICK-UP IS IN FINAL STAGES! H Disposal Options:

For immediate disposal haul your leaves to your nearest compost site through November 15th or Rake them loosely to your berm -NO BAGS. We will attempt to make 2 complete passes through town on street maintenance days, weather permitting. DO NOT mix grass clippings, branches, brush & garden waste. Keep piles away from parked cars, fences & trees, & out of gutters.

Public Works

For More Information go to: www.grandforksgov.com or call 311

...continued

© 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.

Fall Leaf Disposal

• The researcher was able to convince the local farmers to stop using the deadly pesticide in order to let the hawk population rebound, and their numbers have since increased.

*Answer located further back in this issue.


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BIRDS IN TROUBLE (continued):

GAME TIME

• What was probably the world’s largest ever flock of birds passed over Ontario, Canada, in 1866. Composed of perhaps 3 billion passenger pigeons, the flock darkened the skies and was a mile wide and more than 300 miles long. It took 14 hours to pass a single point in southern Ontario. It may have been the largest assembly of any animal on the planet ever, with perhaps only locusts topping it for sheer numbers. It’s been estimated that 40% of all birds that existed were passenger pigeons. Their droppings nourished entire forests. Due to over-hunting, the passenger pigeon went extinct in 1914. • In 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong of China declared that since every sparrow ate an average of 4 pounds of grain each year, killing 1 million sparrows would free up enough grain to feed 60,000 people. The entire country was mobilized to drive the sparrow into extinction. Only after the campaign ended did scientists discover that sparrows actually eat primarily insects, not grain. With no sparrows around to eat bugs, the bugs had free rein to eat the crops, and the resulting famine killed about 30 million people.

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• During World War II, a plane landed on the isolated island of Guam, where there were thriving populations of birds and no snakes to be found. However, it’s likely that a single pregnant brown tree snake escaped from the cargo onto the island, where it found no natural enemies and a plentiful supply of birds. Today Guam has an estimated 3,000 brown tree snakes per square mile, and ten out of the 12 species of birds that used to inhabit the island are extinct. Without the birds, the population of spiders skyrocketed, and there are now 40 times more spiders on Guam than there are on neighboring islands. The forests of Guam are in decline because there are no birds to spread the seeds.


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• It was influential American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman who made the following sage observation: "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." • Those who study such things say that an eagle's feathers weigh twice as much as its bones.

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NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE

The chickadee alerts others to the presence of danger by adding extra “dees” onto its simple call of chick-a-dee-dee-dee. A very dangerous owl in the vicinity might warrant 20 extra “dee” calls while a harmless pigeon might evoke just a single extra “dee.”

• You've probably read about the unprecedented casualties suffered on all sides in World War I. You probably didn't know, though, that 60,000 of those casualties were due to avalanches caused by gunfire in the Alps. • In 1962, a group of oceanographers sailed off to watch an undersea volcano off the coast of Japan whose eruption seemed imminent. It seems that they got the timing right, but not the location; or, rather, they got the location too right. The eruption occurred directly beneath their vessel, destroying it. • If you ever visit the Alpine village of Saint Veran, take a good look at the construction of the early buildings -- none of the walls meet at a 90-degree angle. Why aren't they square? According to the beliefs of early townsfolk, the devil lurks in square corners. • Studies show a correlation between tight shoes and larger appetites.

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Thought for the Day: "A premarital lovers' quarrel should never last more than three minutes. In the first year of marriage, a four-minute quarrel should be acceptable. After six years, and eightminute quarrel is allowed. A 10-minute quarrel is permissible after a decade. Those married longer have more to quarrel about." -- E.V. Durling © 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.


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• Medicare Contact your local agent for for more information: Coverage more information: t for more information: • Group <Agent Name> A Medical INSURANCE AGENCY <Agency Name> Life Ins. • <Address> Rick Asche • 701-772-1138 H2409, H2410, H2450_2058 (01-2009) <City, ST ZIP> <Phone> 1521 24th Ave. S. • Grand Forks, ND <Hours of Operation> > “Since 1988”

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Remarkable People

• Floyd’s brother Homer wriggled into the cave to assess the situation. He brought food that he hand-fed Floyd, and tried to dig him out. When Homer emerged in de• When a large cave was found in Kentucky, at first it feat eight hours later, he found 100 or so townfolk gathwas important only because of its reserves of saltered around the cave entrance, discussing options. peter, used in the manufacture of gunpowder. In the mid-1800s, a cave explorer mapped much of this • On February 1, a newspaper reporter crawled into the cave, finding it so large that it was dubbed “Mamcave and came out with a newspaper story that went moth Cave.” When the saltpeter reserves ran out, it coast-to-coast within days. Radio newscasters picked it was promoted as a tourist attraction instead. up, and soon people thronged to the cave bringing ideas,

FLOYD COLLINS

Answer

Weekly SUDOKU

Answer

King CROSSWORD

• In the early 1900s, tourism to the area boomed, and food, and cameras. Over 4,000 cars bearing 10,000 peoaccess to any of a number of entrances to the cave ple crowded the cave entrance, awaiting news. Rescuguaranteed a steady income to whoever owned that ers strung electric lights all the way down to Floyd. entrance. The Collins family lived nearby, and Floyd • On February 2, Floyd’s cave-exploring buddy made it Collins was determined to cash in. In 1917, he found down the tunnel, and organized a group who wrapped a wonderful cave, naming it Crystal Cave. But it was a rope around Floyd and tried to pull him out. On Febdifficult to access and few tourists came. Floyd conruary 3, a bucket brigade hauled tons of stones out of tinued to search for a better cave. the cave, but no matter how much rock they removed • Floyd Collins began methodically exploring every from around Floyd, more rock fell to take its place. On nook of the cave whose opening was big enough February 4, the reporter returned to Collins with a jack, for him to squeeze into. On January 30, 1925, the spending hours trying to remove the overburden. On 37-year-old explorer wiggled into an opening that February 5, a cave-in cut off all access to Floyd. he’d been working on expanding for weeks. With nothing but a kerosene lantern and a rope, he dropped • On February 6, the National Guard started digging a shaft. On February 16, they finally penetrated the cave into a skinny tunnel and slithered through a narrow opening underneath Floyd Collins. By then he’d been downward-sloping chimney until he entered a large trapped for 17 days, of which 12 had been without food, underground room. When his lantern began to sputwater, light, or companionship. There was no sign of ter, he headed out. But as he worked his way through life. Floyd had died perhaps three days earlier, alone the tight passage, the ceiling collapsed. One large and in the dark. rock landed on his legs, while gravel and sand filled • Two months later, Floyd Collins’ body was finally rein the spaces around his legs. He was trapped. moved. His father sold the cave. The media attention • It took more than a day for a friend of his to figure out surrounding this event convinced the government that where he was and wiggle down into the cave close Mammoth Cave needed to be a national park, rather enough to yell, confirming that Floyd was trapped. than private property. Floyd is now buried in a local He took the news back to Floyd’s family. Floyd was church cemetery, and the entrance to the cave where he 60 feet below the surface, at the end of a claustrophodied is permanently blocked off to be sure it never hapbic 140-foot twisting tunnel, lying on his back in an pens again. opening the size of a coffin, with his legs trapped.


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© 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.

(Answers located further back)

October 28, 2019

• What’s on sale in November? Try for good deals on shoes, boys clothing, blankets and pre-Christmas sales. They start earlier and earlier each year. Also, look for deals on cooking and serving pieces just before and after Thanksgiving. • Clean your coffee carafe regularly by scrubbing with soap and water. Run a descaler or a mix of vinegar and water through the brewer to clean out the reserve tank. Follow with a plain water rinse. • Need an egg substitute in a pinch? Mix a teaspoon of vinegar with a teaspoon of cornstarch. Making a recipe with rise? You could also use baking soda in place of the cornstarch. • Use aluminum foil on the back side of your radiator coils to reflect heat back into the room. One easy way to do this is to measure a piece of cardboard to fit the space behind the radiator. Then wrap the cardboard with aluminum foil and place behind the coils. • “Great gravy is only a plastic bag away! This is my great tip for separating the fat from pan drippings to make gravy. I take a quart-size plastic bag and set it in a glass measuring cup. Pour the pan drippings through a strainer, right into the bag. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, and the fat will separate to the top. Seal the bag, and snip a small hole in a bottom corner, drain the liquid into a saucepan to make gravy. It’s that easy.” — T.C. in Idaho • Give your loose tea a boost of flavor by adding a dried orange or lemon peel to the tea tin. It will impart a delightful citrus flavor the longer it’s in the tin. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.


• On Nov. 15, 1867, the first stock ticker is unveiled in New York City. The ticker revolutionized the stock market by making up-to-the-minute prices available to investors. Previously, the information traveled by mail or messenger. • On Nov. 11, 1942, Congress approves lowering the draft age to 18 and raising the upper limit to age 37. In 1940, Congress had imposed the first peacetime draft in U.S. history for men between the ages of 21 and 36. But with the United States fighting in World War II, the draft ages had to be expanded. • On Nov. 12, 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts its doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Following World War I, Congress passed quota laws, which sharply reduced the number of newcomers. • On Nov. 17, 1968, the Oakland Raiders score two touchdowns in nine seconds to beat the New York Jets -- and no one sees it. With just 65 seconds left to play, NBC had switched to its previously scheduled programming -- the children's movie "Heidi." • On Nov. 13, 1979, during a game at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Philadelphia 76ers center Darryl Dawkins slam-dunks the basketball, shattering the fiberglass backboard. After a second incident, the NBA commissioner told Dawkins he'd be fined $5,000 and suspended every time he broke a backboard. • On Nov. 14, 1985, a volcano erupts in Colombia, killing over 20,000 people as nearby towns are buried in mud, ice and lava. Few people evacuated after radio reports instructed residents to stay in their homes. • On Nov. 16, 1999, construction begins on the massive annual bonfire at Texas A&M University. Two days later, the 59-foot-high lumber structure snapped, with scores of students caught on the huge log pile. Twelve people were killed, and 27 were injured. © 2019 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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VETERANS DAY

SAILING TERMS

O HONORING ALL WHO SERVED O

*Answer located back 4 pages.

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• Makeshift wooden blockhouses would often be built on the decks of ships, providing extra quarters for sailors. When invaders boarded the ship, sailors would enter these blockhouse quarters, close and lock the doors, and then start shooting through holes in the planks. This set up a withering crossfire on the deck of the ship few pirates could withstand. The phrase “closed quarters” came out of this practice, and “close quarters” now denotes any situation in uncomfortably tight proximity. • The Dutch word “vrijbuiter” means “free booter” and described pirates, rogues, and privateers who could be hired to wage wars on the open sea, or paid to provide a blockade at a crucial port. The term transferred into Spanish and then French before coming into English as “filibuster.” In the 1800s the American government hired many of these privately-funded fleets to destabilize central American countries, and “filibuster” came to mean any sort of blockade or stonewalling that killed forward momentum. • In the 1600s, British war ships were divided into “first rate,” “second rate,” “third rate,” and so on, all the way down to “sixth rate,” and this rating system described how large they were, how many sailors were on board, and how many guns they had. • Before the invention of radios, communication between ships was by semaphore signals delivered with a series of flag movements. Whenever anything happened, the flagmen would be busy waving those flags around, and the flags would be flapping away. Today a “flap” means any sort of agitated situation. • There were only two reasons for a ship to lower its flag, or “colors”: the arrival of a senior vessel, or as a gesture of surrender. Any ship emerging from battle “with flying colors” was announcing a triumphant win. ...continued


SAILING TERMS (continued):

DIFFERENCES: 1. Sign is different. 2. Boy's slacks are black. 3. Ghost is added. 4. Boy is pointing. 5. Stocking hat has been added. 6. Rocks are added in cave. © 2019 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.

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• Large ships such as battleships and aircraft carriers are called “high profile” while submarines and small fishing boats are called “low profile.” • When a ship was trying to track down another ship in international waters but had only a vague idea of where it was, it was called a “cold pursuit.” When the ship came into view and the chase heated up, it was called a “hot pursuit.” Ships engaged in a hot pursuit were allowed to leave international waters and follow their quarry into a nation’s waters in order to secure their prey. • Cannonballs were more dangerous if they were heated to red-hot before being fired. It took a skilled team to be able to heat the cannonball, load it into a cannon, and fire it without damaging or injuring anyone on the team. This team became known as “hot shots.” • When sea captains were sizing up an opponent for battle, the ships would often sail right by each other, offering a chance to size up the likely outcome of an engagement, leading to the term “to make a pass.” • The “cap” of a ship was the prow, and when a ship was preparing for battle, the helmsman would be ordered to “set your cap” in a direction designed to start the engagement. It then became a phrase denoting a woman setting her sights on a particular man. • The height of a ship’s flag was determined by a number of pegs installed along the mast, and which peg the flags were tied to. There was an entire etiquette that dictated the height of a flag, and warships coming into proximity of a ship being captained by a superior were expected to lower their flag by switching which peg it was tied to. When applied to a soldier being reprimanded, it was called “being taken down a peg or two.”

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"Birds" and "Sailing Terms"

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"Birds" and "Sailing Terms"

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