Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks
July 11, 2013
IGH TS RES 13 ERVED ©20
Issue # 825
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TIDBITS® GOES OVER
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More than 168,000 cubic meters (6 million cubic ft) of water go over Niagara Falls every minute during peak hours. It has the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). Come with Tidbits as we remember daredevils and fools who have gone over the falls.
OVER A BARREL • Annie Edson Taylor was the first person ever to go over Niagara in a barrel. A widowed and unemployed schoolteacher, she was 63 years old in 1901 when she pulled off the stunt on her birthday. She was strapped into a harness inside an oak wine barrel padded with cushions. A bicycle pump was used to increase the air pressure inside the barrel after she climbed in. Then she was towed into the river above the falls. After the plunge, she spent 17 minutes bobbing around before assistants were able to snag the barrel and pull her to shore. Emerging dazed but unhurt, she said, “No one ought ever do that again.” She was incoherent for several days afterwards. Alas, the fame and fortune she was hoping for eluded her – perhaps because she was neither young nor beautiful – and she spent the next 20 years working as a Niagara street vendor, selling photos of herself with her barrel for a penny. She died, destitute and unknown, 20 years later. Turn the page for more!
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OVER A BARREL (continued):
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5. What amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave women the right to vote? How many millions of people 6. In the movie “Speed,” what was visit Niagara Falls annually? the lowest speed that the bus How fast does the Niagara could travel without blowing up? River flow? 7. In the music industry, how many How many deaths by suicide does copies does an album have to sell Niagara record on average per year? for it to go platinum? How many times would you have 8. Which musical group released “I Think I Love You” in 1970? to fill your bathtub to equal a single second of water flow over TRIVIA Niagara Falls?
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• Circus stuntman Bobby Leach went over the falls in a steel barrel in 1911, surviving with minor injuries. While on tour with his famous barrel in New Zealand in 1925, he slipped on an orange peel on a street and fell. He broke his leg, which later had to be amputated, leading to gangrene, which killed him. • On the 4th of July in 1928, Mr. Jean Lussier survived the trip not in a barrel but in a 6-foot rubber ball lined with rubber tubes and filled with oxygen. The tubes had valves that could be released, providing oxygen should he become trapped behind the falls. He was the first person to take the trip in an inflatable device instead of the more traditional wooden barrels or steel drums. After bobbing about at the bottom of the falls for an hour, he was pulled to shore and emerged unharmed in front of an audience of over 100,000. Afterwards he sold small souvenir pieces of the inner tubes for fifty cents each. When he ran out of authentic pieces, he peddled rubber purchased from a nearby tire store. • 46-year-old Greek chef George Strathakis went over in 1930 to generate publicity for his book entitled The Mysterious Veil of Humanity Through the Ages, which was a rambling incoherent treatise. His barrel was trapped behind the falls for over 14 hours before it finally broke loose. Strathakis, with only enough oxygen for several hours, suffocated. However, his pet turtle named Sonny Boy, reputed to be 105 years old and taken along for good luck, survived. • Nathan Boya made the trip in 1961 in a steel sphere covered by six layers of rubber, which he called the “Plunge-o-Sphere.” He included 13 canisters of oxygen on the advice of Jean Lussier. He emerged unhurt to find the police waiting for him. He was fined $100 – the minimum sentence for violating the Niagara Parks Act – and he had to pay court costs of $13. Let us put a smile back on your face. Call Tidbits® for some great ad rates! 701-772-8239
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1. Among Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry and Tommy John, which pitcher won at least 20 games in a season the most times for the New York Yankees? 2. Who holds the record for playing in the most NBA Christmas Day games? 3. Who was the first female tennis player featured on a Wheaties cereal box?
4. How many times has Bob Stoops won a Big 12 football conference championship during his 14 seasons as coach of the Oklahoma Sooners? 5. Terry Sawchuk is the alltime leader in career goaltender wins for the Detroit Red Wings, with 351. Who is No. 2? 6. In the past five seasons, how many times has Joe Gibbs Racing won NASCAR’s Nationwide Series owners championship?
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OVER A BARREL (continued): • Karel Soucek became the first Canadian to survive the plunge. In 1984 he went over in a cylindrical barrel with fiberglass moldings, liquid foam insulation, a twoway radio, and a snorkel for breathing. The fall took 3.2 seconds and the force of the fall snapped off his radio antennae, leaving him without communication. He was trapped in dangerous waters for 45 minutes before being pulled free. He suffered only minor injuries. He was fined $500. Six months later he was re-creating the spectacle at the Houston Astrodome in front of 45,000 spectators. His barrel was lifted to the top of the astrodome by a crane and released above a water tank only ten feet wide and ten feet deep. It hit the edge of the tank and he was killed. He was buried at the Niagara Falls cemetery. Of all the people who have gone over the falls seeking fame and fortune, he came the closest to achieving it. He would have earned a quarter million dollars through public appearance contracts in the year following the feat if he hadn’t died in Houston. • Dave Munday, a mechanic and skydiving instructor from Ontario, has dared the falls on several occasions. In 1985 a police officer witnessed him enter the water and immediately radioed the Hydro Control Dam upstream. They cut the water flow
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of the Niagara River and the water level dropped five feet in three minutes. The barrel got stuck in shallow water a mile above the rim of the falls. But Dave Munday was persistent. Later that year he tried again, this time launching himself scant yards above the falls, and made the trip successfully in an aluminum barrel equipped with video and radio equipment. In another attempt in 1990, his barrel got stuck on rocks at the very brink of the falls and he had to be rescued by a cable on a crane. In September of 1993 he tried again, this time in a converted diving bell. At age 56, he became the first person to go over the falls twice.
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Tidbits Laughs Two adventurers went to see Niagara falls. After a few drinks, one bet the other $500 he couldn’t carry him across the falls on a tightrope. After a very scary trip, his friend managed to stagger safely across, and the wager was duly paid. “That was close!” said the loser. “When you wobbled halfway across, I was sure I’d won!”
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OVER A BARREL (continued): • A Rhode Island bartender named Steven Trotter wrapped two plastic pickle barrels in inner tubes and a tarp and went over the falls in 1985. At the age of 22, he became the youngest person ever to make the trip. He was fined over $5,000 for the stunt, but he more than made up for that with his talk show fees. On the tenth anniversary of the stunt, he returned with a woman named Lori Martin and they became the first co-ed couple to go over together. This time instead of pickle barrels, Trotter used hot water tanks welded together, covered with Kevlar, and equipped with oxygen tanks – a contraption that weighed 900 lbs. and is reputed to have cost some $19,000. The barrel became trapped in a rock crevice at the base of the waterfall. Members of the fire department and the police department were able to reach the barrel and pop the hatch, releasing the two unharmed occupants. The barrel remained lodged in place for 9 days before being removed by a crane. Trotter later returned to reclaim the barrel, but he had to pay the costs of the rescue before they handed it over. • In 1989, Peter DeBernardi and Geoffrey Petkovich, Canadian residents of Niagara Falls, were the first people to go over the falls as a team, face to face in the same ten-foot steel barrel. They had known each other only a couple of months. DeBernardi’s original partner had chickened out and Petkovich took his place. The steel-plated barrel was equipped with oxygen, two-way radio equipment, and two plexiglass windows. It was painted with the slogan, “Don’t put yourself on the edge – Drugs Kill.” The team suffered only minor injuries and refused treatment. Petkovich, who had been drinking, emerged wearing only a necktie and cowboy boots. They were promptly arrested by the Niagara Parks Police and charged with infractions.
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Women in History:
• At that point, going over Niagara Falls in a barrel had not yet been done. However, plenty of people had crossed the waterfall on tightropes or swum the rapids below the falls. A barrel maker named Carlisle Graham rocketed to fame by building his own barrel in which he successfully negotiated the rapids below the falls. The stunt resulted in so much publicity that he repeated the feat four more times. He nearly died on his fifth trip on July 14, 1901, when the barrel got caught in the whirlpool downstream from the falls. By the time he made it to shore, he was half dead from suffocation. • By now, negotiating the rapids in a barrel had become passé, and Carlisle needed something better to regain the spotlight. His opportunity arose when Maud Willard approached him, saying she wanted to be the first woman to float the rapids of Niagara using one of Carlisle’s barrels. Carlisle decided that to get his share of the publicity, he would seal Maud in the barrel, and after it had negotiated the rapids, he would jump in the river and swim alongside it all the way to Lewiston, several miles downstream. • They chose the date September 7, 1901 for two reasons. First, the Pan-American Exposition being held nearby in Buffalo, New York, was bringing record numbers of tourists to Niagara. Second, President William McKinley was scheduled to visit the Expo on that day, guaranteeing record crowds. Carlisle arranged for movie cameras to film the entire stunt.
: i The first space tourist paid $20 million
for a ten-day trip to the International Space Station. i More men are color-blind than women.
West Nile Virus Risk Increases July thru September Most human West Nile virus cases in North Dakota occur from late July to mid-September. People infected with this disease typically develop syptoms between 2 and 14 days after the infected mosquito bites them. Protect yourself from mosquito bites and West Nile virus. North Dakota - West Nile Virus Cases By Date 2002 - 2012 Number of Cases
• Maud Willard was born in Canton, Ohio around 1875. She became a dance hall actress but longed for more. Money was tight and she wanted to buy a home for her aging mother. She decided she needed a big dose of fame to put her on the path to riches. There was only one way to do that: Niagara Falls.
Weekly Data 2002 - 2012 Total Human Cases in ND - 1,385
What Are the Symptoms of West Nile Virus? Symptoms vary: Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These sympotoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected will display symptoms which can include fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have been sick for several weeks. No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms at all.
For information about West Nile virus protection visit www.gfmosquito or call 701-787-8144 “Property is the fruit of labor... property is desirable...is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
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NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE About 500 other waterfalls in the world are “taller” than Niagara. The Angel Falls in Venezuela is tallest at 3,212 ft.. However, some of the tallest falls in the world have very little water flowing over them. It’s the combination of height and volume that makes Niagara Falls so remarkable.
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• It was actor-turned-politico Arnold Schwarzenegger who made the following sage observation: “Everybody pities the weak; jealousy you have to earn.” • Southern California has more cars than India has cows. If cows are sacred in India, what does that say about how Californians feel about their automobiles? • If you’re like an average person, the time you spend blinking in one day adds up to about 30 minutes of shut-eye. • A New Yorker named Ashrita Furman holds the world record for the most world records: He has set 462 of them and currently holds 160. Among his exploits are the longest yodel (more than 26 hours); the longest distance traveled via acrobatic somersaults (12 miles, 390 yards); jumping up steps on a pogo stick (1,899 steps in 57 minutes, 51 seconds); the fastest time skipping through a marathon (5 hours, 55 minutes, 13
seconds); running the fastest mile with a milk bottle balanced on his head (7 minutes, 47 seconds); creating the largest popcorn sculpture (20 feet, 10 inches tall); underwater hula hooping (2 minutes, 38 seconds); the most candles burning simultaneously on a cake (48,523); the longest rally while playing table tennis with an egg (14 hits); and the fastest time for orange peeling and eating (3 oranges in 1 minute, 9.72 seconds). • In the Middle Ages, chicken soup wasn’t just comfort food for those suffering from a cold; at the time, it was considered to be an aphrodisiac. • Scientists at NASA are working on developing a kind of space broom. The device will use a laser to sweep debris out of the way of the International Space Station. * * * Thought for the Day: “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” -- H.G. Wells
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MAUD WILLARD (continued): • When September 7th arrived, things started to go wrong. First, Leon Czolgosz assassinated President McKinley that day, which drew attention away from Maud and Carlisle’s stunt. Second, Maud decided her pet dog, a fox terrier, would ride along with her in the barrel. Little did she realize that this would turn out to be a fatal mistake. • Still, things proceeded as planned. Maud crawled into the barrel. With her dog in her lap, the barrel was sealed, except for a single hole through which she could get fresh air. A boat towed it into the river. A film crew was positioned to capture the event on film. • But then the barrel got caught in the grip of the giant whirlpool. Carlisle waited for the whirlpool to release the barrel from its grip so that he could join it in the water and proceed downstream to Lewiston as planned. When an hour went by with the barrel still floating helplessly, and with dusk quickly approaching, Carlisle decided to go ahead with his swim without Maud and her barrel. The film crew followed him downriver. • Hours later, Carlisle triumphantly climbed out of the Niagara River at Lewiston. When he returned to the whirlpool to check on Maud’s progress, he was dismayed to find the barrel still trapped in the current. It was 9:30pm by the time the barrel came close enough to shore to be hauled out of the water. By then, Maud and her little dog had been in the water for more than five hours. • When the lid was removed, Maud’s dog jumped out unhurt. However, Maud Willard was not so lucky. All efforts to revive her were in vain. The barrel had only one air hole. It was believed that her pet dog stuck his nose out the hole, depriving her of oxygen and contributing to her death by suffocation. Maud’s mother died of the shock a few days later, and they were buried side by side.
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MATCHES • In 1826, English chemist John Walker was attempting to create a new explosive. Stirring an antimony sulfide and potassium chloratebased formula with a wood stick, he noticed a tear-drop shaped glob had dried on the stick’s tip. He scraped the stick against the stone floor to remove it and, to his surprise, the stick caught on fire.
• On July 21, 1899, Ernest Miller Hemingway, author of such novels as “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea,” is born in Oak Park, Ill. The influential American literary icon became known for his straightforward prose and use of understatement.
equivalent of 15,000 to 20,000 tons of TNT. The original $6,000 budget for the Manhattan Project ballooned to a total cost of $2 billion. • On July 19, 1956, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announces that the United States is withdrawing its offer of financial aid to Egypt to help with the construction of the Aswan Dam on the Nile River. The Soviet Union rushed to Egypt’s aid, and the Aswan Dam officially opened in 1964. • On July 18, 1969, shortly after leaving a party on Chappaquiddick Island, Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy of Massachusetts drives an Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge into a tideswept pond. Kennedy escaped the submerged car, but his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. The senator did not report the fatal car accident for 10 hours.
• A French scientist named Georges Lemoine found that red phosphorus was not poisonous. A patent was filed on this method of matchmaking in 1898.
• On July 17, 1920, Nils Bohlin, the Swedish engineer and inventor responsible for the three-point lap-and-shoulder seatbelt, is born. Before 1959, only two-point lap belts were available in automobiles, and for the most part, the • On July 20, 1973, the actor and maronly people who regularly buck- tial-arts expert Bruce Lee dies in Los led up were race-car drivers. Angeles at age 32 from a brain edema • On July 16, 1945, the Manhattan possibly caused by a reaction to a Project comes to an explosive end prescription painkiller. His film, “Enter as the first atom bomb is success- the Dragon,” was released in the Unitfully tested in Alamogordo, N.M. ed States one month after his death. The destructive power was the © 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.
• In 1830, French chemist Charles Sauria discovered how to make matches using white phosphorus instead. They didn’t smell as bad, they burned longer, and they were less explosive. However, it turned out to be a disastrous development due to the toxic nature of the phosphorus. Inhaling fumes from burnt matches had deadly consequences. When the fumes of white phosphorus are inhaled, or when fingers that have contacted phosphorus contact the mouth, or when a drinking glass is used that has been in the presence of phosphorus fumes, the toxin enters the body. A single pack of matches contained enough phosphorus to kill a person.
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• On July 15, 1888, the Bandai volcano erupts on the Japanese island of Honshu, killing hundreds and burying many nearby villages in ash. The eruption left an 8,000-foot crater in the earth. In the aftermath, the ash from Bandai dimmed the sun slightly worldwide for months.
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• In 1827 Walker began selling “Friction Lights” but he never applied for a patent. They had tips coated with a potassium chlorideantimony sulfide paste, which ignited when scraped between a fold of sandpaper. They came in a tin, each with a piece of sandpaper. The user folded this over the match, held it tightly and pulled the splint hard. Walker made little money off the invention and copycats soon abounded. There were problems with the matches, however. They ignited with the force of a firework and they smelled terrible.
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MATCHES (continued): • The Diamond Match Company purchased DEERE. JOHN (continued): the patent and then,DEERE. at the urging of President • Taft, It was while living in Illinois that John nomade the patent public domain so that the problems that farmers faced allticed match manufacturers could use thewhen forattempting to till soil. Because the area had mula without paying royalties. formerly been woodland, the soil was rich MATCH COMPANY withDIAMOND hummus, which clumped and clung to the increasing blades of the plows farmers were accus• The popularity of smoking coutomed to using. While repairing a broken pled with the advent of gas for lighting cirand cularcaused saw, Deere stumbled an idea. He heat the demand forupon matches to skyemployed his smith skills to fashion the steel rocket. Mechanized methods of matchmakblade into the shape of a plow. He affixed ing were needed. To solve this difficulty, the two wooden spokes, then hitched the device country’s largest manufacturers banded toto a horse. It plowed the heavy Illinois soil gether in 1881 to form a single company, The like a charm. In fact, a farmer who happened Diamond Match Company. The best features to be observing the test run immediately put ofinthe machinery that each had developed inan order for his own John Deere plow. dividually were combined. • In short order, Deere gave up his blacksmith shop MODERN and focusedMATCHMAKING on making plows. The company grewthat steadily andStrike-Anywhere added many em• The machines turn out ployees. In the late 1840s, John relocated the matches at the rate of more than 300 a second entire operation Moline, Ashamed are about 60 feettolong and Illinois. two stories high. of his own lack of education, John sent his Wooden matches are made out of white pine children to the state’s finest schools. One or aspen wood. It takes an hour for a splint of of his proudest occurred when son Charles wood to traveldays through the factory. earned the equivalent of an MBA from Bell’s ��� The matchbook became the “best read book Commercial College in Chicago. in America” and the warning, “Close Cover • With his son Charles managing the company, Before Striking” became the most printed John found time to pursue philanthropic inphrase in the history of the printed word. For terests. He co-founded both the First Nation40 years, matchbooks were the most popular al Bank and the First Congregational Church. advertising medium in the of nation. He was elected the mayor Moline in 1873,
• Matchbooks the –most popular where one ofare his one first of actions the replacement of theincity’s open drains sewer collectibles the world. In thewith U.S.ait’s the pipe system saved countless lives by reducsecond most –popular collecting hobby after ing the spread disease. stamps. Peopleofwho collect them are called phillumenists, meaning light.’ To• The original John Deere‘lovers logo, of registered in day, more booka matches any 1876, depicted deer that are was used nativethan to Afriother kind. ca. Thirty-six years later, in 1912, it was re-
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placed with the of ahas North American • The market for image matches declined by white-tailed deer. In the decades thatoffolsome 80 percent since the introduction the lowed, the now-familiar “outline” logo took disposable lighter in 1972. over as the symbol of the John Deere brand.
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