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March 20, 2014

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On March 16, 1966, Neil Armstrong and David Scott launched into orbit in Gemini 8. The space flight was the first instance of a catastrophic failure nearly claiming the lives of the astronauts. Come along with Tidbits as we ride along with astronauts!

NEAR CATASTROPHE • Neil Armstrong and David Scott were orbiting in Gemini 8. Their mission was to dock with a craft already orbiting. After completing the first space docking in history, a short circuit set off a rocket booster, sending the Gemini 8 into an uncontrollable spin, at one revolution per minute. They worked to stabilize the craft. Armstrong struggled to regain control by using the retro rockets, wasting precious re-entry fuel. Fearing an explosion, Ground Control immediately ordered an emergency splashdown. Would our astronauts survive? ABC interrupted a new TV show to give a bulletin. The interrupted TV show was a campy TV version of a popular comic book hero, who fought crime by employing intellect and detective skills combined with science and technology. A thousand angry calls flooded operators complaining of the interruption and insisting that the channel be returned to the regularly scheduled program. What was the spell-binding action and adventure show that viewers couldn’t stand to miss? Answer on next page.

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Quiz Bits 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. Apollo astronauts were not allowed to be over what height because otherwise they would How long does it take light from not fit into the cramped quarters the moon to reach Earth? of the space capsule? What is the worldwide average 6. Which golf club did Alan Shepard rise and fall of the tides due to use to hit some golf balls around the gravitational pull of the moon? on the moon? What does the moon smell like, 7. What year did Gene Cernan become the last man to set foot according to astronauts? on the Moon? Did Neil Armstrong first step on the moon with his left foot or his TRIVIA right foot?

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ASTRONAUTS (continued): • The TV show that was interrupted by a news bulletin about the gripping situation of the Gemini 8 was called Batman. Neil Armstrong and David Scott survived the event, while Batman and Robin outwitted the Catwoman. ANOTHER BAD DAY IN SPACE • The ill-fated Apollo 13 mission was supposed to be the third landing of a man on the moon. Instead, it turned into a hair-raising ordeal when an oxygen tank in the service module exploded due to faulty wiring only 56 hours after launch. The lunar landing was cancelled as the astronauts swung around the moon and headed back to earth. Their damaged command module was abandoned and all three astronauts crowded into the lunar module Aquarius as a lifeboat for the four-day return trip home. • The lunar module was intended for use on the moon and was outfitted to support two people for two days, and now it had to support three people for four days. Much jury-rigging was done in order to accomplish the safe return to earth, as much of the world watched the ordeal unfold on TV. • The crew was extremely lucky that the emergency occurred when they were still on the first leg of their journey to the moon and still had enough supplies, equipment, and power to get them home again. If it had happened on their return journey, especially after the lunar module had already been left behind, it is likely that they would have died. • Against all odds, the astronauts returned home in good condition except for exhaustion and dehydration, and one of them had a urinary tract infection from the lack of water. • Superstitious people point out that the mission was, after all, Apollo 13, that the mission blasted off at 13:13 military time, and that the accident happened on April 13, 1970.

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SPORTS QUIZ

4. In 2012, Frank Gore set a 49ers record with his 51st NFL career rushing touch1. In 2013, Henry Blanco bedown. Who had held the came the second major-league record? catcher to hit a grand slam at 5. Wayne Gretzky is the allage 41 or older. Who was the time leader in NHL hat tricks first? with 50, and Mario Lemieux 2. How many players were is second with 40. Who is picked ahead of Yankees third? shortstop Derek Jeter in base- 6. Which of the major boxing ball’s Amateur Draft in 1992? title belts he has won, has 3. What is the length of a stanFloyd Mayweather, Jr. dard tennis court—74, 78, 82 defended the most times or 86 feet? during his career?

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APOLLO 13 • The most famous line that came out of the near-disastrous Apollo 13 mission is, “Houston, we have a problem.” However, the actual quote was, “Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” which was uttered by Pilot Jack Swigert to Ground Control. Commander James Lovell then echoed: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” None of the three men aboard the Apollo 13 ever went into space again. A CORRECTION • On January 13, 1920, the New York Times ridiculed Professor Robert Goddard, who pioneered rocket science, because they felt a rocket could never fly in the vacuum of outer space. “He seems only to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools,” said the article. Nearly 50 years later, as Apollo 11 zoomed towards the moon, the paper printed a retraction: “It is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum. The Times regrets the error.” ASTRONAUT FACTS • The most expensive colds in history occurred on Feb. 27, 1969, on the night before a flight to orbit earth. All three of the Apollo 9 crew came down with colds, and NASA postponed the launch at a cost of $500,000. This was the first time that illness, rather than weather or technicalities, caused a delay. The three men recovered in a week and the launch went up. • Neil Armstrong reportedly listened to Muzak on the way to the moon. • Astronauts on their way to the moon 238,857 miles away travelled at a peak of 24,679 mph. The distance can be traversed in 60 to 70 hours. If you were to drive to the moon in your car at 70 mph it would take you 135 days to get there. Today an astronaut can reach the moon in less time than it took a stagecoach to travel the length of Great Britain.


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ASTRONAUT FACTS (continued): • News commentator Walter Cronkite was generally never at a loss for words. The one time in his career when he could think up not a single comment was during the first moon landing when he was overwhelmed. “I just went blank,” Cronkite explained. • Astronaut Alfred Worden of the Apollo 15 mission stayed on board the command module while David Scott and James Irwin explored the surface of the moon in 1971. As he orbited the moon, he was 2,234 miles away from his fellow astronauts, and nearly a quarter million miles away from Earth. This guaranteed him a spot in the Book of World Records for being the most isolated human being in history. • Each Apollo space suit was made of over 1,000 individual parts and cost around $100,000 in 1968 dollars. The space suits worn by astronauts on the moon landings weighed 180 lbs. on earth, but only 30 lbs. on the moon, which has one-sixth the gravity. Because the moon suits were bulky, astronauts found it easier to hop than to walk. • Moon-walker James Irwin of Apollo 15 left his moon jacket on the moon in order to lighten the load on the return trip home. However, he cut out and kept the fabric NASA nametag before abandoning the suit. The six-inch by twelveinch nametag, dirty and embedded with moon dust from Irwin’s three moon walks, later sold at auction for $310,500. • The maiden name of Buzz Aldrin’s mom was Moon. IT'S A FACT • A bookie in London named David Thelfall bet $24 in 1964 that a man would walk on the moon by 1971. The odds were 1,000 to 1. When the lunar module landed, he was awarded a check for $24,000 on national TV.

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FAMOUS CANADIANS:

CHRIS HADFIELD

• Of all the little kids who say they want to be an astronaut when they grow up, Chris Hadfield was one of the few who did so, becoming the first Canadian to walk in space. • Born in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1959, he was nine years old during the first moon walk, which inspired him to become an astronaut.

2014

• After attending school in Oakville and Milton, Hadfield joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, earning his glider pilot scholarship at the age of 15, followed by a powered pilot’s scholarship at the age of 16. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces where he earned a degree in engineering. • Next he began training as a tactical fighter pilot and then began flying intercept missions for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). He once intercepted a Soviet longrange bomber in the Arctic.

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• In 1992, he was accepted into the Canadian astronaut program, where he became the first Canadian ever to board the Russian Mir space station. In 2001, he became the first Canadian to walk in space when he visited the International Space Station and helped install a robotic arm called the Canadarm2.

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• The Canadian Space Agency assigned him to a position at NASA in Houston, where he served as Chief of Robotics, followed by a position as Chief of International Space Station Operations. He also served as the voice of Mission Control for 25 different space shuttle missions.

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• In 2010 he spent 14 days living underwater in the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations lab (NEEMO 14) which is located 62 feet under the surface of the ocean off the coast of Florida.

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CHRIS HADFIELD (continued): • NASA announced that Hadfield would become the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, leading a crew of five. He launched on December 19, 2012, and arrived at the ISS on December 21, where he remained for the next five months.

UNITED STATES PRESIDENTS James Monroe

5.

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1817-1825

MOMENTS IN TIME • On March 30, 1775, hoping to keep the New England colonies dependent on the British, King George III endorses the New England Restraining Act. The Act required New England colonies to trade exclusively with Great Britain. An additional rule would come into effect banning colonists from fishing in the North Atlantic. • On March 28, 1814, the funeral of Guillotin, namesake of the infamous execution device, takes place outside of Paris. When first used, the crowds seemed to miss the gallows, but the guillotine quickly caught on. The device symbolized equality, as it was used on both commoners and the nobility alike. • On March 27, 1912, in Washington, D.C., Helen Taft, wife of President William Taft, and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, plant two Yoshina cherry trees on the northern bank of the Potomac River. The event was held in celebration of a gift by the Japanese government of 3,020 cherry trees to the United States. • On March 26, 1920, "This Side of Paradise" is published, immedi-

The History Channel

ately launching 23-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald to fame and fortune. While in Europe, Fitzgerald finished his masterpiece "The Great Gatsby" (1925). He also published dozens of short stories in his lifetime. • On March 24, 1958, Elvis Presley is inducted into the U.S. Army after being granted a two-month deferment to finish his third movie, "King Creole." While stationed in Germany, Presley met his future wife, 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu. • On March 29, 1971, Lt. William L. Calley is found guilty of premeditated murder at My Lai by a U.S. Army court-martial. Calley, an infantry platoon leader, had led his men in a massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, in 1968. • On March 25, 1983, during filming of the television special "Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever," Diana Ross, formerly of the Supremes, shoved singer Mary Wilson out of the spotlight. It later had to be edited out. Smokey Robinson stepped in onstage to keep between the two warring Supremes.

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• Hadfield achieved fame by becoming “perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth,” as described by Forbes magazine. With the help of his tech-savvy sons, he built a Twitter following of over a million fans, as well as a blog on Tumblr and a Facebook page. He delighted his fans with postings of many experiments in space as well as a chronicle of daily life. His interactions with Star Trek actors received wide media coverage. • Hadfield, who arrived at the space station on Dec. 21, became the first person to record music in space when he recorded a song written by his brother on Dec. 23 and posted it online on Christmas Eve via YouTube and Twitter. The guitar he played in the song had previously been brought to the space station by another astronaut. He recorded more songs, using satellite links to perform with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and the Chieftains for Music Mondays. Just before returning to Earth, he recorded a version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” which led some people to speculate on the legal issues surrounding recording a copyrighted song while in orbit, as no one is sure how far from the surface of Earth a copyright extends. • After returning to earth, Hadfield announced his retirement, having spent 25 years in service to the Canadian Space Agency. He was eager to move back to Canada after spending nearly 30 years living in the U.S., stating that he was making good on a promise he made to his high school sweetheart wife that they would eventually move back home.

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THE MOON

• The word moon derives from the Old English word mona. The word ‘month’ comes from the word moon because calendars were based upon its rhythmic 28-day cycle of waxing and waning. The Latin word for moon is Luna. Luna was the Roman goddess of the moon. From ‘luna’ come the words lunatic and lunacy, from the old wives tale that a full moon could drive people insane. • The story that the moon was made of green cheese came from a 16th century English myth in which a simpleton mistakes a reflection of the full moon in a pool of water for a round wheel of un-aged (“green”) cheese. THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON • We here on earth are able to see only about 59% of the moon’s surface. The reason we see only a single side of the moon is because there is an unequal density of mass in the moon. The moon is not perfectly round, but is shaped more like an egg, similar to earth. The heavy side is pulled towards Earth’s gravity and is locked into place like a magnet, turning at exactly the same speed as the earth. The term “dark side of the moon” does not mean that the other side of the moon is lacking light. Both sides of the moon receive the same amounts of sunlight. “Dark” simply means “unknown.” The surface of the moon actually has reflective properties equal to coal.

by Samantha Weaver

therefore, may have been surprised that when he arrived in the U.S. he moved into a run-down house in Brooklyn Heights with roommates ranging from novelist Carson McCullers to composer Benjamin Britten to stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.

© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

Answer

Weekly SUDOKU

MOON FACTS • The moon is the fifth largest moon in the solar system. Its surface has about the same area as Africa. If it were placed on the surface of the U.S., it would reach from San Francisco to Cleveland. The moon’s diameter is 2,160 miles. Flying once around the moon is equal to a round trip from New York to London. If the earth were the size of a fist, the moon would be the size of a postage stamp placed ten feet away.

Answer

• The state of Colorado is named (unsurprisingly) after the Colorado River. In Spanish the word means "reddish," a reference to the appearance of the water in some places. • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 21 percent of all people living in America speak a language other than English at home. While Spanish is the most frequently spoken after English, several Chinese languages, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese and German are each spoken in more than a million households across the country. * * * Thought for the Day: "Dogma is the sacrifice of wisdom to consistency." -- Lewis Perelman

King CROSSWORD

• It was President John F. Kennedy who made the following sage observation: "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." • If you're planning a trip to Kentucky anytime soon, you'd better keep a close rein on your interactions with strangers. It seems that flirting there is illegal and could get you 30 days in jail. • If you're like me, social situations can be a nightmare of trying -- and usually failing -- to remember the names of all your new acquaintances. The next time you find yourself struggling to name the person you're conversing with, you can always segue into this interesting tidbit: The inability to remember names is technically known as anomia. • Those who study such things claim that more JellO is eaten in Utah than anywhere else in the world. • W.H. Auden was already a celebrated poet when he left Great Britain for America in 1939. His admirers on the other side of the Atlantic,


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THE MAN IN THE MOON • Dr. Eugene Shoemaker was a U.S. Geological DEERE. JOHN DEERE. (continued): Survey astronomer who always wanted to be problems • an It astronaut. was while Unfortunately, living in Illinoishealth that John nokept him from ever going into space. Instead, ticed the problems that farmers faced when heattempting trained the astronauts. toApollo till soil.mission Because the area had formerlywith beenDavid woodland, the soil discovered was rich • Together Levy, Eugene withShoemaker-Levy hummus, which clumped and clung to the Comet which crashed the blades of the plows farmers were accusinto Jupiter in 1994. When he died in a car tomed to using. While repairing a broken ciraccident at the age of 69 in 1997, he was crecular saw, Deere stumbled upon an idea. He mated. NASA placed his to ashes in athecapsule employed his smith skills fashion steel aboard the Lunar Prospector spacecraft. blade into the shape of a plow. He affixed

Find at least 6 differences in details between panels

DIFFERENCES: 1. Poster is missing. 2. Holster is reversed. 3. Bullet belt is missing. 4. Gun is moved. 5. Star is missing. 6. Rope is missing. © 2014 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.

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two craft wooden then hitched deviceon • The wasspokes, deliberately crash the landed to a horse. It plowed the heavy Illinois the moon on July 31, 1999 after orbitingsoil the like afor charm. In fact, as a farmer who happened moon 18 months it collected data. The to be was observing the test run immediately put crash designed to help scientists deterin an order for his own John Deere plow. mine whether there is any water on the moon so order, it was Deere designed toup crash water • orInnot, short gave his where blacksmith would likely beon found: in theplows. bottomThe of a shop most and focused making company steadily and added manywhere emdeep cratergrew at the moon’s pole, a place ployees.never In thereaches late 1840s, John relocated the sunlight and where water would entire operation to Moline, Illinois. Ashamed forever remain ice. of his own lack of education, John sent his

• The crash kicked up a huge cloud of debris children to the state’s finest schools. One of which was analyzed for the presence of water. his proudest days occurred when son Charles The crash scattered theMBA ashesfrom of Eugene earned thealso equivalent of an Bell’s Shoemaker theinsurface of the place he Commercialacross College Chicago. most wanted to visit in his life. Since then, • further With his son Charles company,of studies have managing proven thethepresence John found time to pursue philanthropic inwater ice in deep craters at the poles.

terests. He co-founded both the First NationMORE MOON FACTS Church. al Bank and the First Congregational • The temperature onmayor the moon reaches 243 F. He was elected the of Moline in 1873, inwhere the sun and drops to 261 below zero in the one of his first actions – the replacedarkness lunar night. That’s dement of of thethe city’s open drains with aa 500 sewer pipedifference system – saved countless lives by reducgree between day and night. ing the spread of no disease. • Because there is atmosphere, there is also

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4. Left 5. 6 feet tall 6. 6 iron 7. 1972

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• no The original Johnastronauts Deere logo, registered in sound. When broke rocks with (Next(Next to Happy Joes) to Happy Joe 1876, depicted a deer that was native to Afrihammers, they operated in complete silence. ca. Thirty-six years later, in 1912, it was re• The surface record the Moon is 11.2 placed withspeed the image ofon a North American mph set by the Apollo lunar rover on a white-tailed deer. In the16decades that folSome discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not slightly downhill slope which covered about lowed, the now-familiar “outline” logo took Some discounts, coverages, available in all states or in all GEICO companies. See geico.com for payment plans and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies. more details. GEICO and Affiliates. Washington DC 20076. GEICO See geico.com for 16 miles. DC 20076. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2013. Gecko image © 1999-2013. © 2013 GEICO.© 2013 GEICO. over as the symbol of the John Deere brand. more details. GEICO and Affiliates. Washington Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies. See geico.com for more details. GEICO and Affiliates. Washington DC 20076. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2013. © 2013 GEICO.

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"Astronauts" and "The Moon"

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