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These colorful people, brought to you by Tidbits, all claim a color as part of their name. • Fans of Major League Baseball may remember the left-handed pitcher Vida Blue, who pitched for the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, and Kansas City Royals over the course of his 17-year career from 1969 to 1986. Blue was the Cy Young Award winner, a league MVP, three-time World Series champ, and a six-time All-Star. Blue is on the list of only five pitchers in major league history who was a starter in the All-Star game for both the American League and the National League.
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COLORFUL PEOPLE (cont.):
• Alice Roosevelt Longworth was the eldest child of President Theodore Roosevelt, who, at age 17, when her father entered the White House, immediately became a fashion icon. At her social debut in 1902, her gown was of a pale azure blue (azure defined as “the color of the sky on a clear day”). She wore the color frequently, creating a fashion trend. Even her wedding dress was blue when she married Nicholas Longworth III, a congressman who later became Speaker of the House. Her gowns were the inspiration for a 1919 song “Alice Blue Gown,” composed for a Broadway musical. Alice Blue is an official color, and is used by the U.S. Navy in its insignia and trim on Navy vessels named for Theodore Roosevelt.
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• Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth Prime Minister, was primarily raised in the United States after emigrating to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from her native Ukraine. Even as a high school student, Golda was active in Zionist groups that advocated the establishment of Palestine as the Jewish homeland. After graduating as a teacher, at age 23, she immigrated to Palestine with her new husband, where the couple lived in a communal kibbutz. Her early political career included serving as a delegate to the World Zionist Organization, working toward Palestine becoming an independent nation. When Israel declared its independence in 1948, Golda was one of the signers of the declaration. In 1969, at age 71, she became prime minister, serving until 1974. ...continued
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COLORFUL PEOPLE (cont.):
• The singer/songwriter known professionally as Pink has sold more than 90 million records worldwide, one of the world’s best-selling artists. Known for her raspy voice, this daughter of a nurse and an insurance salesman was born Alecia Beth Moore and began performing in Philadelphia clubs at age 14, taking on the stage name Pink. Her nickname was taken from the name of the character “Mr. Pink” in the 1992 move “Reservoir Dogs.” She suffered from asthma through her early years. By the time she was 16, she and two other teenagers had a record contract, which had to be signed by their parents because they were all minors. It was Pink’s childhood dream to sing the U.S. national anthem at the Super Bowl, having seen Whitney Houston perform at Super Bowl XXV in 1991. Her goal became reality on February 4, 2018, however, not without its hurdles. Being sick with the flu didn’t keep her from performing at Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium. Pink’s bold hairstyles have included fluorescent spikes, pink dreadlocks, and basic black. Her many accomplishments include three Grammy Awards, seven MTV Video Music Awards, and a Daytime Emmy Award, and her earnings last year topped $52 million. Not only is Pink’s name colorful, so is her daughter’s, whose middle name is Sage. • The bright red-purple color of fuchsia takes its name from the flower of the same name, which in turn takes its name from a 16th-century German botanist named Leonhart Fuchs. Fuchs was the author of a noteworthy book about plants and their use as herbal medicines. The book, published in Latin in 1542, contained 500 detailed illustrations of various plants, taken from sketches and printed from carved woodcuts. The first fuchsia flower wasn’t discovered until 1696 by a French botanist on a Caribbean island. Charles Plumier named the flower in Fuch’s honor. ...continued
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COLORFUL PEOPLE (cont.):
• Violet Jessop dodged death on three famous occasions. In 1911, Violet was aboard the world’s largest ocean liner, the RMS Olympic, the first of the White Star Line’s luxury fleet. After five voyages, the ship collided with a British naval ship, when the HMS Hawke suddenly swerved into the Olympic’s side, presumably sucked in by the liner’s huge propellers. The Olympic survived and repairs were completed on the liner by procuring parts from the construction of White Star Line’s second luxury ship, the RMS Titanic, which delayed the sister ship’s maiden (and only) voyage until 1912. On April 10 of that year, 24-year-old Violet Jessop boarded the Titanic, having secured a position as a stewardess on the vessel. Four days later, she was spared from the disastrous sinking of the ship when it struck an iceberg. Ironically, Captain E.J. Smith had commanded both of her voyages, perishing aboard the Titanic. During World War I, Violet was aboard the Britannic, the third sister of the White Star fleet. It had been converted into a hospital ship, and Violet was serving as a stewardess for the British Red Cross. In 1916, the ship struck a German mine and sank in the Aegean Sea 55 minutes later, killing 30 of its 1,066 passengers. Violet Jessop’s life was spared once again, having survived three disasters of the White Star Lines. • Beloved “Golden Girl” actress Betty White was the first woman to produce a sitcom, “Life with Elizabeth,” which premiered in 1953. She was also the first woman to receive an Emmy for hosting a game show. She met her husband on the game show “Password,” enjoying 18 years of marriage before Allen Ludden died of stomach cancer in 1981. Betty has never remarried, and is quoted as saying “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?” She is also famous for being the oldest person to host “Saturday Night Live,” something she did in 2010 at age 88.
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• It was noted 20th-century American humorist and journalist Don Marquis who made the following sage observation: "Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." • Kangaroos can reach speeds of up to 44 mph, but they can't take a single step backward. • As the holiday shopping season gets well under way, here's an interesting tidbit to keep in mind: According to the annual Coinstar Holiday Survey, 31% of Americans don't remember what gifts they received last year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, more women remember those details than men do. • No less a notable than William Shakespeare described Limburger cheese as "the rankest compound of villainous smell that ever offended nostril." • In the Shetland Islands you can find a breed of small, hardy cows that eat fish. • Did you ever wonder why the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks — better known as the Elks Lodge — chose that particular animal as its symbol? Other animals were considered and rejected for a variety of reasons: Foxes were thought to be too cunning, beavers too destructive and bears and too coarse and brutal. • Before World War II, suspenders were more popular than belts, but the trend reversed after the war. • You might be surprised to learn that in 1766, students at Harvard University protested against their living conditions; evidently, the butter they were served in the refectory left something to be desired. In what became known as the Great Butter Rebellion, students shouted, "Our butter stinketh!" • Those who study such things say that if your dog has fleas, they don't actually live on your pet; they spend 90% of their time elsewhere. *** Thought for the Day: "Bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which you put your money in your pants pocket and give your coat to the creditors." -- Joey Adams © 2019 King Features Synd., Inc.
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• In his 30s, da Vinci began an intense study of human anatomy, even dissecting human and animal bodies to aid in his research. His detailed drawings of fetuses, the heart, vascular systems, reproductive organs, skeletons, and muscular systems are some of the earliest on record. In 1490, he sketched “Vitruvian Man,” a male figure in two superimposed positions, arms and legs apart, inside a circle and a square. • Da Vinci was commissioned to paint “The Last Supper” in 1495 on the wall of the dining hall of a Milan monastery. The painting, which depicts Jesus and his 12 disciples in the Upper Room, has undergone at least 8 restorations, one lasting 21 years, due to its deterioration. It was painted on a thin wall, and the paint did not adhere to the wall properly. Within three years, the paint was flaking and deteriorating. • In 1503, da Vinci started on a privately-commissioned painting which would become known as the “Mona Lisa.” Although the identity of the woman in the masterpiece has never been absolutely confirmed, it’s believed that she was Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of a wealthy Italian silk merchant. However, if so, Giocondo family never received the painting, as da Vinci kept it in his possession the remainder of his life.
• Da Vinci sketched his illustrations on loose sheets of paper and in notebooks that he tucked inside his belt. It was one of these notebooks that found its way to the 1980 auction. This particular notebook of 72 pages contained more than 300 notes and detailed drawings. It was discovered in 1690, 171 years after da Vinci’s death. In 1717, the first Earl of Leicester, Thomas Coke, purchased the manuscript and displayed it at his family’s English estate. In 1980, the current Earl was forced to sell it to pay inheritance taxes on his estate. • In 1994, the notebook was sold once again, this time for $30.8 million, the most expensive book ever sold. The record high price was paid by none other than Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Once a year, Gates loans the manuscript to various museums for public display. • Another auction yielded a record-setting amount when a da Vinci painting entitled “Salvator Mundi” (Latin for “Savior of the World”) sold for $450.3 million in 2017.
• Born near a small Italian village in 1452, da Vinci had very little formal education. At 14, he began an apprenticeship with a well-known artist in Florence, where he honed skills in metalworking, leather, carpentry, sculpting, and painting.
• Although da Vinci may be best known for his paintings, there are less than two dozen of his paintings known to exist. He wasn’t a prolific painter because he had so many other interests. Serving as a military engineer in the early 1500s, da Vinci surveyed construction projects, sketched city plans, and drew maps. He was ahead of his time when he sketched a “flying machine” based on a bat’s anatomy. He drew military tanks and weapons, submarines and bicycles.
On December 12, 1980, a notebook of writings by Leonardo da Vinci was sold at auction for $5,126,000. Tidbits toasts that anniversary by presenting the facts about this esteemed artist, sculptor, architect, and inventor.
• Considered the world’s most famous painting, the “Mona Lisa” holds the record for the highest known insurance value, equivalent to about $650 million in today’s dollars. The painting measures just 30 x 21 inches.
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December 2, 2019
• A potato peeler plus a bar of chocolate makes for a very fancy garnish for cake tops or even for hot drinks. • Holidays got you stressed? Take a breathing break. Deep belly breaths, sometimes called “focus breaths,” can lower blood pressure, calm stress-induced heart rate and induce a relaxation response. Simply sit or lie down somewhere safe and close your eyes. Breathe in deeply, and let your belly rise with the inhalation. Breathe out slowly and evenly. • “If a gingerbread house is just too complicated for the kiddos, try this: They can make a holiday forest of trees! Give the kids several ice-cream cones to frost and set them upside down on a tray. Decorate with small candies, etc. You can chip out a ‘door’ and make one of them an elf house if you feel like it.” — W.L. in North Carolina • Candy canes can be pulverized in a food processor to dust cookies and cakes. Add a bit of confectioner’s sugar to stretch it if needed. • “Our family of carol singers is happy when they return home from a singing sleigh ride: We serve everyone a big mug of hot chocolate. Our secret for keeping it hot for a crowd? We use our slow cooker and ladle it straight out of the pot!” — R.E. in Minnesota • Potatoes can be boiled whole, then plunged into icy water briefly when cooked. The skins should slip right off. No need to spend all that time peeling potatoes! Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.
• On Dec. 16, 1773, in Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor. The raid was in protest of the British Parliament's Tea Act of 1773, which granted the East India Company a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. • On Dec. 19, 1843, Charles Dickens' classic story "A Christmas Carol" is published. Dickens was sent to work in a factory at age 12 when his father was thrown into debtors' prison. • On Dec. 22, 1864, Union Gen. William Sherman presents the city of Savannah, Georgia, to President Abraham Lincoln. Sherman captured the key Confederate port after his famous March to the Sea from Atlanta. • On Dec. 18, 1878, John Kehoe, the last of the Molly Maguires, is executed in Pennsylvania. The Irish secret society, which had allegedly been responsible for incidences of vigilante justice in the coalfields of eastern Pennsylvania, defended their actions as attempts to protect exploited Irish-American workers. • On Dec. 21, 1945, Gen. George Patton, commander of the U.S. 3rd Army during World War II, dies from injuries suffered not in battle, but from a freak car accident less than two weeks earlier. He was 60. • On Dec. 20, 1963, more than two years after the Berlin Wall was constructed by East Germany to prevent its citizens from fleeing its communist regime, nearly 4,000 West Berliners are given oneday passes to cross into East Berlin to visit relatives. • On Dec. 17, 1979, Hollywood stuntman Stan Barrett blasts across a dry lakebed at California's Edwards Air Force Base in a rocket- and missilepowered car, becoming the first person to travel faster than the speed of sound on land. He reached an estimated top speed of 739 mph.
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PRESIDENTIAL QUOTES: “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
BROWN AND BLACK
Tidbits is narrowing down the color spectrum by concentrating on these folks named Brown and Black! • Thomas Jacob Black, better known to his fans as Jack Black, was the son of rocket scientists! Both of his parents were satellite engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. His first acting job was a TV commercial for a video game when he was 13. Several television series roles followed until his breakout film role in the 2000 film High Fidelity. It was his role in 2003’s School of Rock that was particularly well-received, earning him a Golden Globe nomination. Black is also the lead vocalist in the Grammy Award-winning rock duo, Tenacious D, formed in 1994. • Margaret Tobin Brown became known as “unsinkable” after surviving the sinking of the Titanic, and heroically helping others to safety during the tragedy. Molly Brown was touring Egypt in 1912 when word came to her that her grandson was ill. She booked passage on the illfated ship to return to Colorado. In addition to her heroism at the ship’s demise, Brown headed up the Titanic Survivors’ Committee, providing aid to immigrants who had lost everything, and published her account of the sinking in newspapers. From her humble beginnings in a threeroom cottage, Brown relocated to Leadville, where she met her husband, who struck it rich in the mines. With their fortune, she established soup kitchens in Colorado mining communities, founded the Denver Woman’s Club, raised money for Denver’s Catholic cathedral, and worked as a volunteer during World War I. ...continued
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BROWN & BLACK (continued):
DIFFERENCES: 1. Boy's pants are black. 2. Ball near boy's foot is missing. 3. Mom's hat is gone. 4. Drapes are wider. 5. Girl's bow is different. 6. There's more trash on floor. © 2019 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.
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• Shirley Black began life as Shirley Temple, the beloved child star who started her career at the tender age of three. Within two years, she was internationally famous, and the following year, 1935, she received a special Juvenile Academy Award. By 1938, she was the number one box-office favorite. During the 1930s, Shirley Temple dolls were introduced, and sales reached $45 million by 1941. Shirley’s royalties from merchandise exceeded the salary paid for her movies. In 1936, when she was 8 years old, royalty income exceeded $200,000. When she retired in 1950 at age 22, she had appeared in 44 movies and numerous short films. That year, Shirley married Charles Black, a San Francisco businessman and former Navy intelligence officer, who admitted to her that he had never seen a single one of her movies. Shirley Temple Black entered politics in 1967 with an unsuccessful campaign for Congress, and became a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, followed by an appointment as Ambassador to Ghana, and later Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. • Many football fans believe Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown is the greatest pro football player in history. During his nine seasons, he broke most of the rushing yards records, including leading the league in rushing yards for eight out of those nine. Football wasn’t his only skill. In high school, he nabbed 13 letters playing football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, and track. Brown retired in 1965 at the height of his career and entered the world of acting. In 1966, he was already famous for his role in The Dirty Dozen, a World War II saga of 12 convicts sent to France to assassinate German officers. Brown’s movie career spanned 44 films.
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