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5. Is there more water in the atomosphere as vapor, or in all the world’s rivers? 6. Mount Waialeale gets an average of 460 inches of rain per year, making it the wettest spot in the U.S. What state is it in? 7. Is there more water in underground aquifers or in all the world’s lakes and rivers combined? TRIVIA SPONSORED BY:

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1. What city is the driest in the U.S., getting only 3 inches of rain annually? 2. What city is the rainiest urban area in the country, averaging 65 inches or rain per year? 3. Which U.S. state has the most thunderstorm days annually? 4. Does more rain fall on land, or on the oceans?

RAIN TRIVIA (continued):

• When rain falls on dry surfaces, it traps air bubbles under the weight of the water, which then rise upwards and burst out of the droplet. The air bubbles carry various trace chemicals, which are released when the bubble bursts, such as oils secreted by nearby plants, bacteria that live in the soil, pollen, and mold spores. When these items are released into the air, it results in a characteristic odor. This pleasant, earthy scent has an official name: petrichor. Two Australian geologists coined the term in a 1964 research paper, from the Latin words “petra” meaning “stone” and “ichor” meaning “ethereal fluid.” • Scientists have found fossils containing indentations of raindrops dating back as far as 2.7 billion years ago when rain fell on layers of ash from volcanic eruptions, and then more ash fell on top, preserving the dents from the raindrops. • Forecasting the weather got a boost in the U.S. after there were 1,914 shipwrecks on the Great Lakes in the year 1869. People in the region petitioned Congress to set up some sort of early warning system to track the formation and progress of the storms that were routinely sinking ships. In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a resolution stating that all military stations in the country should track the weather and develop a warning system for storms. Once the War Department was involved, weather forecasting grew in importance because it was a matter of safety for soldiers and sailors. Information about the weather passed from station to station via telegraph and a set of signal flags was developed. • The saying is that “it’s raining cats and dogs” may spring from the Old English word for waterfall, “catadupe.” ...continued

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PLEASE TELL OUR ADVERTISERS YOU SAW THEIR AD IN TIDBITS! 4. In 2018, the Golden State Warriors set an NBA record for most consecutive 1. The New Jersey Devils home postseason victories have had the No. 1 overall (16). Which team had held pick in the NHL Entry the mark? Draft twice. Name either 5. Dale Murphy is one of player selected. four outfielders in major2. Who holds the Texas league history to win Ranger’s record for most back-to-back regular seahits in a season? son MVP awards. Name 3. Simone Biles set a record two of the other three. in 2019 for most career medals by any gymnast at 6. How many times have the Vikings make the playoffs the world championships. How many medals is it? since the 2010 season?

SPORTS QUIZ

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RAIN TRIVIA (continued):

• In the 1800s, a meteorologist in Britain named Luke Howard came up with the first official classification of different cloud types. He named cirrus clouds after the Latin word meaning “fiber,” stratus for the Latin word for “layer,” and cumulous for the Latin word for “heap.” Nearly a century later, a coalition of meteorologists met in Paris to refine Howard’s classifications, breaking clouds into nine different categories. The iconic towering puffy cloud was renamed the “cumulonimbus” which is Latin for “heaped cloud” and it was on top of the list of the nine different cloud types specified in the new list. This list of cloud types generated a new saying: “being on cloud nine.” Later the list was revised, and the cumulonimbus is now actually #10 on the list. • Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon, have reputations as soggy cities, but both cities are drier than any major city on the Eastern Seaboard. However, both Seattle and Portland are cloudy an average of about 230 days per year when perhaps just a trace of drizzle falls, compared to only 160 cloudy days in Boston and 120 in Miami. • On the west side of the Olympic Mountains in Washington state, the area gets up to 170 inches of rainfall a year. On the east side of the same mountains just 30 miles away, the town of Sequim, Washington gets only 15 inches a year, which qualifies the area as a semi-arid desert.

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• The overcast city of Manchester, England, gets an average of 30 minutes of sunlight each day during the winter season. Although it gets a whole lot of consistent drizzle, it does not rank in the top ten of England’s rainiest cites. The town of Seathwaite, just northwest of Manchester, is drenched with 140 inches of rain each year, making it England’s wettest town.

*Answer located further back in this issue.


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RAIN TRIVIA (continued):

• The first TV weatherman was Jimmie Fidler of Cincinnati’s WNBT in the 1940s. David Letterman started out as a news anchor and weatherman in Indianapolis. Raquel Welch got her start as a weathergirl in San Diego, and Diane Sawyer worked as the weathergirl in her hometown station in Kentucky. • The Weather Channel launched in 1982 and took five years to break even. The channel got a big boost in popularity when cable TV took off, reaching 50 million subscribers during Hurricane Andrew in 1992. NBC purchased it in 2008 for a cool $3.5 billion. • Two towns called Cherrapunji and Mawsynram in the state of Meghalaya in India are the rainiest places on Earth. They average about 470 inches of rain per year. The world record for the greatest amount of rainfall in one year is 1,042 inches in Cherrapunji in 1860-1861. Most of the rain occurs during monsoon season, between June and September. The word “monsoon” comes from the Arabic “mausim” meaning “season.” Meghalaya means “land of the clouds.” • Most rain in one minute: 1.23” July 4, 1956 in Unionville, Maryland.

*Answer located further back.

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• Most rain in one hour: 12” June 22, 1947 in Holt, Missouri. • Most rain in 24 hours: 71.9” Jan. 8, 1966 in Cilaos, Réunion, during Tropical Cyclone Denise. • Most rain in 48 hours: 98.1” June 15-16, 1995 in Cherrapunji, India. • Most consecutive days with at least one-tenth of an inch of rainfall: 331 days, Oahu, Hawaii • The longest time that a place remained without any measurable rainfall was 14 years, in Arica, Chile, from October of 1903 to January, 1918.

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*Answer located further back in this issue.

© 2019 King Features Syndicate. All rights reserved.


by Samantha Weaver

Earn Your 5% APY*

• It was Nobel Prize-winning French poet, journalist and novelist Anatole France who gave the following sage advice: "Never lend books -- nobody ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are those which people have lent me." • One-quarter of the city of Los Angeles is taken up by automobiles. • Ancient Egyptian priests were bald. And not just on their heads -- they would pluck every hair from their bodies, including their eyebrows and eyelashes. • In many parts of Spain, Dec. 28 is traditionally observed as the Feast of the Holy Innocents. To celebrate, the young boys of a town gather together and light bonfires. One of them is designated as the mayor for the evening, and he goes about ordering citizens to do tasks such as sweeping the streets. Anyone who refuses is fined. • The deluge of mail around the holidays has been an issue longer than you probably realize. In 1822, the postmaster of Washington, D.C., was disgruntled by the surge and complained about having to hire 16 extra mail carriers. He wanted a law to be passed limiting the number of cards a person could send. • Have trouble remembering all the words to our national anthem? Be glad you're not Greek -their national anthem has 158 verses. • If all the blood vessels in one human body were stretched out end to end, they would stretch all the way around the world. • The rivalry between those Ivy League giants, Harvard and Yale, is legendary. Not many people know, however, that Yale was founded by graduates of Harvard.

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• The closing musical number of the film is a tapdancing extravaganza featuring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Conner, and Debbie Reynolds. It took 40 takes to get the scene right, filmed over a 14hour time span. By the time they wrapped up, Debbie had to be carried off the set because her feet were bleeding.

"SINGING IN THE RAIN"

• One of the most iconic golden oldie films is the 1952 movie “Singing In the Rain.”

Answer

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Answer

King CROSSWORD

• The script was cobbled together in order to showcase a selection of songs that had been written by producer Arthur Freed. Some of the songs from the film had been used in other previous movies. “Good Morning” was performed • Debbie Reynolds later said, “The two hardest by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in the 1937 film things I ever did in my life are childbirth and “Babes in Arms.” Garland also performed the film’s title “Singing in the Rain.” track, “Singing in the Rain,” in the 1940 film “Little Nellie • Donald O’Connor performed the memorable Kelly.” The title song also appeared in three other films in comedy dance routine “Make ‘Em Laugh” in various years. The only two songs that were written specifiwhich he runs up the walls and turns a back cally for the movie were “Make ‘Em Laugh” and “Moses flip on the way down. O’Connor completed the Supposes.” scene and made it look easy in spite of being a • The screenwriters said they were told by 4-pack-a-day smoker. Freed that they were going to be writ• Gene Kelly was sick with a fever during much ing a movie called “Singing in the Rain” of the the seven days it took to film the iconic and given the instructions to put all his title number, in which he dances with an umsongs in it. “All we knew was there brella on a rainy street at night. He danced in would be some scene where someone the rain for six hours a day. The tap dancing would be singing, and it would be rainsounds were edited in later, because it’s hard to ing.” get good tap dancing sounds when dancing in • Gene Kelly not only starred in the film, but also directed wet loafers. As a result, the taps do not exactly and choreographed it. Debbie Reynolds was only 19 years match up with the dance steps. To make the rain old when she was cast in the film, in spite of having no exvisible, the rain was backlit in front of the plate perience as a dancer. Her training in gymnastics served her glass windows of the shopfronts and the crew well. had to make sure the equipment wasn’t reflected • The plot of the film hinges on the idea that, as “talkies” in the glass. replace silent films, Debbie Reynold’s character steps in • Although today it’s considered one of the best to provide the singing and speaking voice of shrill movie musicals of all time, the film earned no Oscar star Lina Lamont, played by Jean Hagan. The role of Lina nomination for Best Picture, but it did earn a Lamont was written with actress Judy Holliday in mind. Best Supporting Actress nod for Jean Hagen, But when Holliday won an Oscar for Best Actress in 1951, and Best Original Score for instrumental comshe suddenly became too big of a star for MGM to afford. poser Lennie Hayton. The part went to Holliday’s understudy, Jean Hagen, who did a drop-dead impression of Holliday during her audition.


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December 23, 2019

• “Cabbage leaves go limp in freezer, making them easier to roll. This is especially helpful if you are making a big batch of cabbage rolls!” — V.W. in California • Clean and decorate a Pringles chip can to store a collection of colored pencils. Keep the lid on for portability. You can even roll up some plain paper to store inside for an on-the-go drawing kit. • Need to heat up two plates of leftovers? Form the food into a ring (which is better for even heating anyway), then set a microwave-safe glass or mug on the center of the plate. Set the second plate of leftovers on top. • If you can’t paint your dorm or rental apartment walls, here’s some ways to dress up your decor: Try removable stickers from home decor stores or online. Also you can hang a tapestry. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, and if the material is light enough, you can use removable hooks, like Command strips. Or, try creating a pattern with washi tape, which also is removable. • “If you thread a Slinky-type toy onto the pole of your bird feeder, the squirrels can’t get to it. You can usually find these at the dollar store in a plastic version, too.” — C.D. in Ohio • Common substitutions: Recipe call for buttermilk? Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice per cup of milk. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.

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Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks

• On Jan. 8, 1835, President Andrew Jackson achieves his goal of entirely paying off the United States' national debt. It was the only time in U.S. history that the national debt stood at zero, and it precipitated one of the worst financial crises in American history, the Panic of 1837. • On Jan. 9, 1861, a Union merchant ship is fired upon as it tries to deliver supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, in the first exchange of shots between North and South. The shots were fired by gunner George E. Haynsworth, a cadet at The Citadel in Charleston. • On Jan. 7, 1927, the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team travels west from Chicago to play their first game, in Hinckley, Illinois. Coach Abe Saperstein decided to promote his new team's racial makeup by naming them after Harlem, the famous black neighborhood of New York City. • On Jan. 12, 1932, Ophelia Wyatt Caraway of Arkansas becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate. Caraway had been appointed earlier to fill the vacancy left by her late husband, Thaddeus Horatio Caraway. • On Jan. 11, 1949, on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., the cornerstone is laid at the first mosque of note in the United States. The Islamic Center was complete with a 160-foot minaret from which prayers were to be announced. • On Jan. 6, 1975, "Wheel of Fortune," the longest-running syndicated game show in American television, premieres on NBC. In over 7,000 episodes, show hostess Vanna White has never worn the same gown twice. • On Jan. 10, 2008, Tata Motors in India debuts the Nano, billing it as the world's cheapest car. The bubble-shaped mini-vehicle had a base price of $2,000. It had a body made of plastic and sheet metal -- and one windshield wiper.

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EDWARD BULWER-LYTTON

• Edward Bulwer-Lytton was an English writer and politician. He wrote prolifically, turning out novels, plays, poems, and operas. In his day, he was more widely read than Charles Dickens. He coined the phrases “the great unwashed,” “pursuit of the almighty dollar,” and “the pen is mightier than the sword.” • But he is perhaps best known for the opening line of his novel called “Paul Clifford” which was published in 1830: “It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents – except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” • This memorably bad opening line might have been lost to memory had it not been for Scott Rice, who was attending college when he was assigned to write a paper on a minor Victorian novelist. He chose Bulwer-Lytton. The sheer audacity of that opening line never left him, and when he became a professor in the English Department at San Jose State University, he wanted to find out if modernday would-be authors could come up with opening lines equally bad. In 1982, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest was born. • Entrants are tasked with composing the worst possible opening sentence to the worst possible novel. • The contest had only three entries in its first year, but media reports boosted that number to over 10,000 by the second year. Now there are so many entries that they are divided into categories, with one grand prize winner and innumerable runnersup. The winners receive a pittance in prize money along with all the prestige of knowing they have penned a deliberately bad sentence. ...continued


BULWER-LYTTON (cont.)

Here are some notable winners of the contest: • Space Fleet Commander Brad Brad sat in silence, surrounded by a slowly dissipating cloud of smoke, maintaining the same forlorn frown that had been fixed upon his face since he’d accidentally destroyed the phenomenon known as time, 13 inches ago. -M. Archer

DIFFERENCES:: DIFFERENCES 1. Blouse is black. 2. Breath "puffs" are gone. 3. Picture has been added. 4. Pillow is missing. 5. Temperature is lower. 6. Moustache is gone. © 2019 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.

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• Anthropologist Roland Weatherby stumbled upon the detritus of the cannibal camp, including the smoldering remains of his faithful guide Davey, and raged in disbelief at the thought that, even in this digital information age, primitive tribes feasted on the red meat of human flesh paired with a subpar 2016 Chardonnay. -Doug Purdy • Realizing that his symptoms indicated a virtually undetectable, fast acting neurotoxin, CIA coroner Quinn Abner frantically wrote up the details, lay on the floor and, as a professional courtesy, did his best to draw a chalk outline of himself. -Jeremy Das • Cassie smiled as she clenched John's hand on the edge of an abandoned pier while the sun set gracefully over the water, and as the final rays of light disappeared into a star-filled sky she knew that there was only one thing left to do to finish off this wonderful evening, which was to throw his severed appendage into the ocean's depths so it could never be found again, and maybe get some custard after. –T. Menezes • He glanced at his unsuspecting guests, his slight smile hiding his hateful mood, his calm eyes hiding his evil intentions, and his smooth skin hiding his tensed muscles, skeletal structure, and internal organs. -Dave Agans

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Sports Answers 1. Nico Hischier 4. Barry Bonds, Mickey (2017), Jack Mantle, and Hughes (2019) 2. Michael Young, Roger Maris 221 hits (2005) 5. Four times: 2012, 2015, 3. 25 medals 2017, 2019 4. Chicago Bulls, 15 in 1990-91

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Tidbits of Grand Forks - January 2, 2020  

"Rain," "Singing in the Rain" and "Edward Bulwer-Lytton"

Tidbits of Grand Forks - January 2, 2020  

"Rain," "Singing in the Rain" and "Edward Bulwer-Lytton"

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