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August 15, 2013
Issue # 830
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by Kathy Wolfe
Are you left-handed? Then August 13 is your day! In honor of Left Handers’ Day, Tidbits is studying up data on these special folks. • It’s estimated that about 10% of the population is left-handed. But while many are considered left-handed, very few are 100% lefthanded, because they perform many tasks right-handed, such as golf or batting a ball. In contrast, the percentage of “righties” who are 100% right-handed is very high.
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• People are left- or right-handed due to an unequal distribution of motor skills, and handedness is determined by which hand is more dexterous when performing tasks. Lefties use the right side of their brains, and right-handers operate in the left hemisphere. • Infants have usually developed hand preference by six months of age. Some babies show a preference for one hand while still in the womb, which can be seen by observing which hand is predominantly held close to the mouth. Ultrasounds reveal that 90% of the unborn favor their right thumb. Research suggests that premature babies and those who have experienced trauma during gestation are more likely to be left-handed. There’s also a link to mothers who are over 40 – they are 128% more likely to have a left-handed baby than a woman in her 20s. Turn the page for more!
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6. In the entertainment world, what are PATSY awards? 7. What company’s advertising sloWhat gender is more likely to gan is “Because you’re worth it”? left-handed? 8. What was Annie Oakley’s nickName the left-handed member of name? the Beatles. 9. Who wrote and recorded “Loves Which puppet was left-handed, Me Like a Rock” in 1973? because his puppeteer was? 10. What 19th-century ranching aid did Joseph Glidden invent? What are the first names of the comedian duo Abbott and Costello? 11. What’s the capital of Oregon? What was the name of Barbie TRIVIA fashion doll’s best friend?
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LEFTIES (continued) • Left-handedness appears to be an inherited trait. Left-handed members of the British royal family include the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and Prince William. But if both parents of a child are left-handed, there is only a 26% chance that the child will be as well. • About 1% of the world’s adults are equally skilled with both hands and are dubbed ambidextrous. Other people are awkward with both hands and are said to be ambisinister or ambilevous. • There is no definitive answer as to why handedness exists. Many studies have been conducted in an attempt to identify characteristics shared by left-handers. Research indicates that they have unusually good visual-spatial skills. Creativity, music, perception, emotions, and spatial awareness are controlled by the right side of the brain. This makes lefties good architects, artists, mathematicians, and musicians. Consider that Albert Einstein, Mozart, Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci, and Henry Ford were all left-handed. Four out of the five designers of the original Macintosh computer were lefties as well. • University studies suggest there are more lefties with an IQ over 140 than right-handed people, a list that includes Einstein, Isaac Newton, and Benjamin Franklin. A study of 100,000 students taking the SAT test revealed that 20% of the top-scoring group were lefties, twice the rate of left-handedness in the general population.
• There also seems to be a connection with athletic ability. About half of fencers are lefthanded. Tennis greats Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, and Rod Laver are lefties, and we can’t deny the talent of baseball southpaws Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Reggie Jackson. Let us put a smile back on your face. Call Tidbits® for some great ad rates! 701-772-8239
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LEFTIES (continued) • But all is not easy for left-handed folks. Because the left hemisphere of the brain controls speech, language, and writing, lefties controlled by the right side of the brain are more likely to be dyslexic, stutter, and have autism. They also process emotions differently than righties and are more prone to negative emotions, such as anger. In the physical realm, lefties seem to have more allergies, migraines, and insomnia. And since the right side of the brain has a lower tolerance for alcohol, left-handed people are more likely to become alcoholics. • Being left-handed has had negative connotations for centuries. In the 17th century, lefties were thought to be witches and warlocks, and black magic is often referred to as the “left-hand path.” But Incas believed that left-handers possessed magical abilities and could perform healing. If you receive a “left-handed compliment,” it is deemed unflattering. The Bible mentions the right hand 100 times, all in a positive light, while the left hand is mentioned 25 times, all negatively. The English language even derives the word “sinister,” which means threatening or menacing, from the Latin word sinistra, which can mean either “left” or “unlucky.”
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• Even folklore seems to paint lefties in a bad light. If your right palm itches, legend has it that you’ll be coming into some money, but if the left one itches, you’ll be paying money out. A twitch in your right eye means you’ll soon be seeing a friend, while a twitching left eye denotes an enemy on the way. A ringing in your right ear says someone is praising you, while a ringing left ear means someone is cursing you. Going on a trip in the near future? An itching right foot promises a pleasant journey, but if your left foot itches, the trip is going to be a bad one.
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• It was noted wit, playwright, essayist and poet Oscar Wilde who made the following sage observation: “A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.” • If you’re heading to the state of Washington with mischief on your mind, you’ll need to keep in mind this state law: “A motorist with criminal intentions (must) stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he (or she) is entering the town.” I’ll bet that one has been really effective in stopping crime. • You might be surprised to learn that only 3 percent of all mammal species actually mate for life. • If you’re an average person having an average dream, it will last about 20 minutes. • It was Irishman Cedric Gibbons who designed the Oscar statuette given to the recipients of the annual Academy Awards. Interestingly, Gibbons moved to Hollywood and worked for MGM as an art director and
set designer, and his work earned him 11 of the Oscars that he himself designed. • Those who study such things say that bats always turn to the left when exiting a cave. • You probably think you know that bears love honey -- after all, popular culture is full of images of bears going after a hive. The bears do, in fact, eat the honey, but they’re really after the bees, their pupae and their larvae. • There are more than 2,000 species of plants that contain some form of cyanide. • If you are a logophile, you might know that the word “obstreperous” means “noisy and difficult to control.” You probably don’t realize, though, that the noun most likely to follow the word “obstreperous” is “teenager.” But I doubt you’ll be surprised. * * * Thought for the Day: “Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.” -- T.S. Eliot © 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.
LEFTIES (continued) • Further superstitions say that if your left foot hits the floor first when you get out of bed, you’ll have a bad day. And be careful at wedding receptions! Some swear that giving a toast with your left hand is the same as placing a curse on the people you’re toasting! • The world seems to be built for right-handers. Power tools and machinery are generally manufactured with a leaning toward righthanded users. The emergency on/off switch is usually placed in a location convenient to righties. Scissors and a computer mouse are designed with the right-hander in mind. How many school desks are built for left-handers? Pick up a coffee mug with a novelty design on it, and you’ll see that the picture is placed for a right-handed pick-up. Those items specifically designed for lefties frequently cost more. On the bright side, some scientists believe that left-handers are more independent because they’ve had to adapt to a world built largely for righties. • Four out of the seven most recent U.S. Presidents have been left-handed – Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Gerald Ford. Ronald Reagan was ambidextrous, but he was not the first president with this characteristic. The 20th president, James Garfield, was not only ambidextrous, he frequently entertained his friends by writing Greek with his left hand while writing Latin with his right. • There is one community in America where everyone is left-handed. Left Hand, West Virginia, population 390, can legitimately call all its residents “Left Handers.”
5 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT WEST NILE VIRUS Myth #1: There’s not much I can do about WNV.
Myth #4: Repellents containing DEET are not safe.
Truth: There is a lot that you, personally, can do to reduce your chance of getting West Nile virus infection. • Make it a habit to apply mosquito repellent with DEET when you’re spending time outdoors. This will reduce the number of mosquito bites you get. • Mosquitoes are usually most active from dusk to dawn. Pay close attention to protection during these hours, or avoid being outdoors if possible. • Reduce mosquito breeding habitat around your house. The species of mosquito most common for transmitting WNV generally stays close to the habitat that it hatched from. • Eliminate any standing water that remains longer than 7 days. Inspect your yard once a week: get rid of containers that aren’t being used, empty water from flower pots, change water in bird baths and maintain clean gutters.
Truth: Repellents containing DEET are very safe when used according to directions. • Because DEET is so widely used, a great deal of testing has been done. When manufacturers seek registration with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for products such as DEET, laboratory testing regarding both short-term and long-term health effects must be carried out. • There are products with different strengths (percentage of DEET) available. The longer the protection you need the higher percent of DEET needed. • Repellent with DEET can be used for both adults and children, according to directions.
Myth #5: As long as my area has a mosquito control program, I don’t have to worry about using repellent.
Myth #2: Kids are at the most danger of getting sick from West Nile Virus. Truth: People over 60 are at the highest risk for developing severe West Nile disease. • Relatively few children have been reported with severe West Nile Virus disease. By contrast, most of the deaths due to WNV were among people over 60 years old. • It is always a good idea for children to avoid mosquito bites, but it’s also important for adults - especially older adults - to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
Myth #3: It’s only people who are already in poor health who have to worry about West Nile virus.
Truth: Healthy, active older adults who spend time working and exercising outdoors have been affected by severe West Nile virus infection. • Being over 60 is a risk factor for developing severe West Nile disease if infected with the virus. There is a risk of getting mosquito bites while leading an active life outdoors. This doesn’t mean you have to stay inside - it does mean that it’s important to use repellent when you go outside.
Truth: Mosquito control activities don’t eliminate every mosquito, so personal protection is still important. • Grand Forks Health Department maintains a proactive mosquito control program designed to reduce mosquito populations and mosquito-borne diseases. However, this program cannot eliminate all mosquitoes. Personal protection, such as using repellent, keeping window screens in good condition, and control of household breeding sites are important steps for the public.
• Grand Forks currently has a very low population of nuisance mosquitoes. This gives a false impression about the risk of WNV. Even though there are very few mosquitoes in our community, the risk of WNV is still elevated. Please take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
For information about West Nile Virus and the Grand Forks mosquito control program visit our website at www.gfmsoquito.com or call the Information Line at 701-787-8144
FAMOUS WOMEN OF THE WORLD
In keeping with this week’s left-handed theme, here are facts about some famous left-handed ladies who’ve made their mark in history. • In 1954, this lovely Swedish-born actress was named “the most beautiful woman that ever lived.” Born Greta Gustafson, she achieved Hollywood fame under the name of Greta Garbo. Between 1922 and 1941, Garbo starred in 28 films, receiving four Best Actress Oscar nominations. During the 1930s, she was one of the highest-paid women in America. Yet at age 35, she walked away from the fame and retired to a very private life, avoiding all publicity. Garbo is frequently linked with the phrase “I vant to be alone,” one of her lines from the 1932 movie Grand Hotel. And so it seemed, since she made no public appearances and lived alone quietly in Manhattan, never marrying, until her death at age 85. • Another left-handed American actress, Betty Grable, made her acting debut at the age of 12 in a 1929 film. At age 30 she was the highest-paid woman in the country, earning $300,000 a year. Grable was 20th Century Fox’s top money-maker and the most popular box office draw in the country, and made more than 60 films over the course of her career. Famous as having “the most beautiful legs in Hollywood,” her legs were insured by the studio with Lloyds of London for $1 million. She was quoted as saying, “There are two reasons why I am successful in show business and I am standing on both of them.” Her famous bathing suit poster during World War II is included in LIFE magazine’s list of “100 Photos that Changed the World.”
• England’s Queen Victoria had the longest reign of any British monarch, 63 years and seven months. (Her left-handed great-greatgranddaughter Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne over 61 years.) When Victoria was born in 1819, she was fifth in line of succession behind her father and his three brothers. Her father died while she was an infant, and following the death of her three uncles who had left no heirs, Victoria ascended the throne at age 18. She married her first cousin, Prince Albert at age 21 and the pair had nine children and 42 grandchildren. Her children were linked with so many European royal families, Victoria was nicknamed “the grandmother of Europe.” After 21 years of marriage, Albert was struck down with typhoid fever and died at age 42. Victoria sank into despair and never overcame her grief, wearing black for the remainder of her life. She was the first British monarch to live in Buckingham Palace and the first to ride a train. Victoria survived eight assassination attempts on her life during her reign. A devoted writer, she filled 122 journals during her adult life. • Leftie Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill got her start taking once-a-week group lessons at age 8. Over the next several years, Dorothy’s father spent close to $20,000 a year on the expenses involved in training an Olympic medalist. Dorothy nabbed the gold medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and instantly became “America’s Sweetheart,” setting a new fashion trend with her bobbed hairstyle. She is also credited with the invention of a figure skating move that became known as the “Hamill Camel,” a camel spin that turns into a sit spin.
Presidential Quotes: “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
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• On Aug. 24, 1873, William Henry Jackson becomes the first person to photograph Colorado’s elusive Mount of the Holy Cross, providing reliable proof of its existence. Two deep snow-filled ravines at 90-angles form a large cross on the steep northeast face of a 14,000-foot mountain peak. • On Aug. 23, 1989, as punishment • On Aug. 19, 1909, the first race for betting on baseball, Cincinnati is held at the Indianapolis Motor Reds manager Pete Rose accepts Speedway in Indiana, now the home a settlement that includes a lifetime of the Indianapolis 500. The track’s ban from the game. Rose continued surface of crushed rock and tar to proclaim his innocence, but in proved a disaster, breaking up and 2004, Rose published “My Prison causing the deaths of two drivers, Without Bars,” in which he finally two mechanics and two spectators. confessed to gambling on the Reds. © 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.
: i Male woodchucks are called he-chucks;
females are called she-chucks. i The smallest bone in the human body is shorter than a grain of rice. i The Sun is 400 times larger than the moon.
• One billion is written as 1,000,000,000 and is equal to one thousand million. So how much is that? One billion seconds is just shy of 32 years, and one billion minutes is about 1,900 years. A billion hours ago was about 114,000 years in the past. If you want to count from one to one billion, notch out 95 years to accomplish that task. If you were to travel a billion inches, you could go more than halfway around the world, about 15,783 miles (25,400 km). • Over 1.06 billion people use Facebook regularly every month, and about that same amount are viewing YouTube. • According to Forbes magazine, 1,426 people in the world are billionaires, with a combined net worth of $5.4 trillion. The United States has the most billionaires (442), followed by Asia-Pacific with 386 and Europe with 366. Carlos Slim Helú, a Mexican businessman, investor, and philanthropist, has been the richest man in the world since 2010. He amassed his $73 billion fortune in the fields of communication, technology, retail, and finance. Microsoft magnate Bill Gates isn’t far behind with $67 billion. • Although U.S. businessman Warren Buffett fell to the #4 spot on the billionaire list this year, he still managed to add $9.5 billion to his fortune over the course of a year. This chairman of Berkshire Hathaway was a millionaire at age 32 and a billionaire at 60. Buffett has pledge to give away 99% of his fortune to worthy causes. In the meantime, he spends 12 hours a week doing something he dearly loves – playing bridge.
• On Aug. 25, 1950, in anticipation of a crippling strike by railroad workers, President Harry Truman issues an executive order putting America’s railroads under the control of the U.S. Army. The railroad strike lasted for 21 months. He used the same justification for seizing control of steel plants when the United Steel Workers union struck later in the year.
We hear the word billion tossed around a lot, but have you ever thought about how much that really is? Here’s a little perspective on this number along with some facts on those who are worth a billion.
• On Aug. 20, 1862, New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley publishes a blistering editorial, “The Prayer of Twenty Millions,” calling on President Abraham Lincoln to declare emancipation for all slaves. Unbeknownst to Greeley, Lincoln was already moving in the direction of emancipation.
• On Aug. 21, 1935, the Swing Era begins with Benny Goodman’s triumphant Palomar Ballroom performance in Los Angeles. When his relatively staid arrangements began to lose the young crowd, Goodman pulled out upbeat, syncopated rhythm arrangements -- to the crowd’s immense delight -- and swing was born.
• On Aug. 22, 1776, the British arrive at Long Island -- between Gravesend and New Utrecht -- with 24,000 men, and on Sept. 15 captured New York City. It would remain in British hands until the end of the war.
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THANKS A BILLION! (continued): • Brazilian mining and oil magnate Eike Batista DEERE. (continued): still rankedJOHN #7 onDEERE. the billionaires’ list, even • though It was his while living in Illinois Johnbillion nowealth dropped bythat $19.4 ticed theyear. problems farmers faced when this past How that much is that? About $50 attempting to till soil. Because the area had million a day! formerly been woodland, the soil was rich • Twenty-nine the 1,426 are with hummus,ofwhich clumpedbillionaires and clung to under 40 years old, including Facebook cothe blades of the plows farmers were accusfounder Mark Zuckerberg. This Harvard tomed to using. While repairing a broken dropcircularwealth saw, Deere stumbled idea. He out’s is estimated at upon $13.3anbillion. But employed his smith skills fashion the steel the 29-year-old is not theto world’s youngest blade into That the shape a plow.toHehisaffixed billionaire. honorofbelongs former two wooden spokes,and then hitched the device Harvard roommate Facebook co-founder to a horse. It plowed the heavy Illinois soil Dustin Moskovitz, who is eight days younger like Zuckerberg. a charm. In fact, a farmer who happened than to be observing the test run immediately put • The Waltons arehisone ofJohn the richest families in in an order for own Deere plow. the world, thanks to the efforts of their father • In short order, Deere gave up his blacksmith Sam founderon of the world’s largest shopWalton, and focused making plows. Theretailer, Wal-Mart. The family still controls over company grew steadily and added many em48% of the company and John their relocated six members ployees. In the late 1840s, the are worth about $116 billion. Wal-Mart operentire operation to Moline, Illinois. Ashamed ates more than 10,700 retail stores 27 counof his own lack of education, Johnin sent his tries worldwide, employing 2.2One million children to the state’s finestnearly schools. of his proudest days occurred when son Charles people. About 1.4 million of those employees earned equivalent of an MBA from Bell’s are in thetheU.S. Commercial College in Chicago. • One billion dollars seems like a lot of money, • but With hisdoes son Charles the company, how it relatemanaging to a trillion? One bilJohn found time to pursue philanthropic lion is .001 of a trillion. So figure it would intake terests. co-founded the First close to He 17,000 billionsboth to equal theNationnational al Bank and the First Congregational Church. debt. He was elected the mayor of Moline in 1873, where one of his Reading first actions Tidbits! – the replaceThanks for ment of the city’s open drains with a sewer pipe system – saved countless lives by reducis Available at: ing theTidbits spread of disease.
East logo, Grandregistered Forks in All Grand • The original Forks, John Deere & Crookston 1876, depicted alocations deer that of: was native to Africa. Thirty-six years later, in 1912, it was replaced with the image of a North American white-tailed deer. In the decades that followed, the now-familiar “outline” logo took and Grand Forks over as the symbol of the John Deere brand.
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