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Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks
May 22, 2014
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CREEPY CRAWLIES They creep, they crawl, they scuttle. This week, Tidbits studies up on the good, the bad, and the ugly of creepy crawlies of the world.
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• What makes a creature an insect? In order to be classified as an insect, it must have three body parts (the head, thorax, and abdomen), six jointed legs, two antennae, and an outside skeleton. That counts out spiders and centipedes! There are 1,017,018 known species of insects in the world, but experts feel there might be another nine million that haven’t yet been discovered. Ninety-five percent of all the animal species on Earth are insects. • Insects are divided into 32 orders, with beetles as the largest order. There are 125 different families of beetles, and half a million different species. Did you know that one out of every four animals on Earth is a beetle? In fact the world’s largest insect is a beetle found in South America, the longhorn beetle measuring 9.85 inches. The world’s heaviest insect is also a beetle, the African Goliath beetle, which can weigh up to 3.4 oz.
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Quiz Bits 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
6. What is the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories? 7. What is February’s traditional What word refers to an abandoned birthstone? spider web? 8. What do Louis Armstrong, The What is the official mascot for Four Seasons, The Kinks, and the national sorority Alpha Sigma The Who have in common? Alpha? 9. What was Memorial Day origiName the word that mean an nally called? 10. What year did the classic movie abnormal fear of spiders. “Forrest Gump” debut in theaters? What insect lives the longest? How many holes does the musical TRIVIA instrument called a recorder have?
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CREEPY CRAWLIES (continued): • There’s a difference between an insect and a bug. A bug is actually an insect with characteristics other insects don’t have, such as a stylet mouth (one that is shaped like a straw) that is used to suck plant juices. True bugs have thickened front wings, which are colored close to the body, but clearer and thinner at the wing’s hind end. Cicadas, aphids, and stink bugs are truly bugs, but ticks, beetles, and flies are not. • Perhaps one of the most unpopular crawlies is the cockroach. It is one of the most adaptable creatures on Earth, which makes getting rid of them very difficult. There are more than 4,000 species of this pest worldwide. They are coldblooded and can live without food for a month. They can even survive for a week without a head. Because they breathe through little holes in each body segment, they don’t need a mouth or head to breathe. After a week of being unable to drink water, they die of thirst. A cockroach is able to hold its breath for 40 minutes, and can survive being under water for 30 minutes. No wonder they are so hard to get rid of! It doesn’t take long for a cockroach to spread bacteria throughout a home – they can run 3 miles per hour. Although the average cockroach is ½” to 2” long, one South American species is 6” long and has a 12” wingspan. • In the British Isles, the ladybug is called the ladybird. The ladybug is a type of beetle that can be red, yellow, black, grey, or brown, depending on the species, and might have spots, stripes, or no markings at all. Red and orange ladybugs have seven spots, three on each side and one in the middle. The number of spots has nothing to do with this beetle’s age. The number and placement of spots are determined by its species and are fixed well before the ladybug is born.
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4. When was the last time before 2014 that a South American country hosted the 1. Only two players in majorWorld Cup for men’s soccer? league history have had a 5. Who was the only world season of at least 30 home heavyweight boxing chamruns and 50 stolen bases. pion not to win a title bout? Name them. 6. Seattle scored 43 points in 2. How many major-league the last Super Bowl. What seasons did Julio Franco play, was the last team to do so and did he ever appear in a prior to them? .......... World Series? 7. On the flip side the Broncos 3. Who was the first black quaronly scored 8 points. Who terback to win the Heisman was the last Super Bowl Trophy? team to score less than 8?
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CREEPY CRAWLIES (continued): • Many countries, including Russia, Turkey, and Italy consider the ladybug a sign of good luck and those folks will make a wish when one is sighted. Ladybugs are very useful creatures, as they feed on aphids and other garden pests. • Termites cause nearly $5 billion in damage every year. These wood-destroying insects can destroy a home from the inside out before a homeowner even notices. Add up the weight of all the humans on Earth, and it will be less than the total weight of all the world’s termites! About 10% of the world’s animals are termites. Damp wood is an ideal nesting place for termites. So avoid infestation by dealing with leaking plumbing issues immediately. Be sure water drains away from the house, don’t stack any wood next to your home, and keep an 18” gap between soil and your foundation. Although termites can be extremely destructive, they can be ecologically beneficial. They break down dead and decaying trees in the forest into rich new soil. • Another 10% of the world’s animals are ants, with at least 1.5 million ants for every human being on the planet. There are more than 12,000 species of ants, and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica. One acre of Amazon rainforest is home to up to 3.5 million ants. Ants are hardy creatures, able to survive 24 hours underwater, with many varieties able to swim. They are the longest living of all insects, with a life span of up to 30 years. When seeking food, the colony sends out a scout ant, who wanders about until it finds a food source. After eating some of the food, the ant heads back to the nest in a straight line, leaving a trail of secreted pheromones, a scent that the other ants will be able to follow back to the food.
PRESIDENTIAL QUOTES: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” ~ Ronald Reagan
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• Lyme Disease is the 5th most common disease reported to the Centers for Disease Control. It's transmitted by the black-legged deer tick, who pick up the Borrelia species of bacteria. Although they are called deer ticks, they actually acquire the bacteria from infected rodents, such as the white-tailed mouse. The disease takes it's name from Lyme, Connecticut, where several cases were identified in 1975. • Bedbugs are very difficult to get rid of. Those hardy pests can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Farenheit.
CREEPY CRAWLIES (continued):
• Massive communities of ants called supercolonies have been discovered stretching for thousands of miles, with the largest ever found over 3,750 miles wide. Ants are capable of carrying 5 times their body weight with their mandibles. • The 40,000 different species of spiders are arachnids, not insects, since they have eight legs and only two body segments and have no antennae. While birds and bats eat a significant amount of insects, spiders eat more than those combined. • The largest species of tarantulas have a leg span of nearly 10 inches and have been known to kill mice, lizards, and birds. When tarantulas feel threatened, they defend themselves by throwing needly, barbed hairs at their attackers. Being hit by one of these causes an irritating rash and sometimes an allergic reaction, but very rarely does it result in death. Tarantulas molt continually, replacing their exoskeletons as they grow. This gives them the ability to even regenerate legs that have been lost. They are very fragile creatures, and a fall from a short height can easily kill them. The female tarantula can live 20 years in captivity and 30 years or longer in the wild. However, males have an average lifespan of between five and ten years.
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Did you know that famous funny-man Dan Aykroyd hails from Canada? Here’s the scoop on this Ontario-born actor, comedian, and screenwriter.
SUMMER PROGRAMS and EVENTS
• Aykroyd was born in Ottawa on Canada Day, July 1, 1952. His father, a civil engineer, was a policy advisor to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, while his mother worked as a secretary. Dan was born with two unusual physical characteristics, syndactyly, meaning he has webbed toes, and heterchromia – his right eye is green and his left eye is brown.
MAY 15 - AUGUST 15
• It was Aykroyd’s original ambition to become a priest, and he attended Catholic academies until age 17. He switched gears and decided, as the grandson of a Canadian Mountie, to study criminology and sociology at Carleton University, although he dropped out before finishing. For a time, he worked as a mail sorter for the Canadian postal service, as a train brakeman, and as a surveyor.
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• Aykroyd started out in comedy in assorted Canadian nightclubs. He met John Belushi in Toronto where Belushi was scouting out talent for the National Lampoon series. In 1975, the pair were hired for the new late-night show Saturday Night Live. Aykroyd, hired as a writer and doubling as a cast member, was just 23, the youngest on staff. For the program’s first four seasons he established himself as a talented impersonator, famously mimicking Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Julie Child, and Rod Serling. He was the well-known father of SNL’s Conehead family and one of the “wild and crazy guys” alongside Steve Martin. Aykroyd received an Emmy Award for his writing in 1977, and four other nominations during his tenure. He and Belushi created the black-suited, sunglass-wearing Blues Brothers duo for the show and took it to the big screen in 1980 with a highly successful movie.
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MOMENTS IN TIME • On May 30, 1593, playwright Christopher Marlowe, 29, is killed in a brawl over a bar tab. Marlowe was nearly denied his master's degree in 1587 until advisers to Queen Elizabeth intervened, recommending he receive the degree. Marlowe's activities as a spy for Queen Elizabeth were later documented by historians. • On June 1, 1779, the courtmartial of Benedict Arnold convenes in Philadelphia. After a clean record in the early days of the American Revolution, Arnold was charged with 13 counts of misbehavior. Arnold's resentment and his perceived mistreatment by the American Army would fuel his coming traitorous defection.
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• On May 29, 1922, the United States Supreme Court rules that organized baseball did not violate antitrust laws as alleged by the Baltimore franchise of the defunct Federal League in 1915. The Supreme Court held that organized baseball is not a business, but a sport. • On May 28, 1937, the government of Germany -- then under the control of Adolf Hitler -- forms a new state-owned automobile company, later named Volkswagenwerk. After World War II ended, with the factory in ruins, the Allies would make Volkswagen the focus of their attempts to resuscitate the German auto industry.
• On May 27, 1941, the British navy sinks Germany's largest battleship, Bismarck, in the North Atlantic near France. Three days earlier, Bis• On May 31, 1889, the South marck had destroyed HMS Hood, Fork Dam collapses, causing a the pride of the British fleet. The Gerflood in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, man death toll was more than 2,000. that kills more than 2,200 people. • On May 26, 1959, Harvey Haddix At 900 feet by 72 feet, it was the of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches 12 largest earth dam (made of dirt perfect innings against the Milwaukee and rock) in the United States, and Braves, only to lose the game on a it created the largest man-made two-run double by Braves' first baselake of the time, Lake Conemaugh. man Joe Adcock in the 13th inning. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
DAN AYKROYD (continued): • The idea of Ghostbusters came to Aykroyd from his fascination with the paranormal after reading an article about quantum physics. He and fellow actor Harold Ramis wrote the script in a Martha’s Vineyard bomb shelter, tailoring the roles to fit John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, and John Candy. When Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982 and Murphy and Candy were unavailable, the script was tweaked and Bill Murray, Ramis, and Aykroyd starred in the 1984 smash hit and its 1989 sequel. • In 1989, Aykroyd switched to a dramatic role in the classic Driving Miss Daisy and received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his efforts. • Over the years, he has continued writing and acting, and occasionally appearing on Saturday Night Live. He last appeared as guest host of SNL in 2003. • In keeping with his love of the blues, in 1992, Aykroyd co-founded a nightclub in Cambridge, Massachusetts called The House of Blues, an operation that has grown into 13 locations. He also owns several wineries in Canada’s Niagara region. • Aykroyd’s wife Donna Dixon, whom he married in 1983, was a former Miss Virginia in 1976 and Miss District of Columbia in 1977. The couple has three children. Although a permanent resident of the United States, he retains his Canadian citizenship and maintains an estate on Ontario’s Loughborough Lake. Every year, he spends his Canada Day birthday performing civil service in Kingston, Ontario, including swearing in new Canadian citizens.
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Since May 24 is National Escargot Day, let’s take a look at another creepy crawly, the snail. • Snails aren’t insects, but rather are gastropods, a member of the Mollusks phylum along with slugs and conches. Their one-piece shell is coiled or spiraled. Gastropods rank second behind insects in the number of named species. Snails are triploblastic protostomes, which is a fancy way of saying they are made up of three parts – one foot, a head, and an unsegmented body. • The thousands of snail species include land snails, sea snails, and freshwater snails. The French delicacy escargot is simply cooked garden snails. (The name escargot is the French word for snail.) They are prepared by removing the snails from their shells and cooking in garlic butter, chicken stock, wine, and thyme or parsley. The snails are then placed back into their shells and served with the sauce.
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• Since a snail could never hope to escape a predator, if danger is nearby, snails can withdraw completely into their shells. A flat plate on the back of their foot called the operculum seals up the opening. • How can you tell a male snail from a female snail? The answer is…you can’t! A snail is actually both, as they are hermaphrodites, which means their reproductive organs enable them to both lay eggs like a female and fertilize them like a male.
• You might be surprised to learn that the U.S. state that is closest to Africa is Maine. • If you listen to the radio for one hour, you will • Those who purport to predict hear approximately 11,000 the future usually have pretty words spoken (or sung). poor track records. You might be surprised to learn, then, that • It was beloved British auin 1900, a journalist named thor (and, of course, creator of John Watkins successfully pre- Sherlock Holmes) Sir Arthur dicted a number of significant Conan Doyle who introduced developments that came to pass the sport of skiing to Switin the 20th century. In an arti- zerland, thereby transformcle in the Ladies' Home Jour- ing that snowy country into nal, Watkins wrote that within a premier tourist destination. the following 100 years, "Man • Those who decide to go into will see around the world. Per- goat farming should know sons and things of all kinds that the group of goats they're will be brought within focus raising could be called a of cameras connected electri- flock, a herd, a tribe or a trip. cally with screens at opposite * * * ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span." Also, "Hot or Thought for the Day: "An ounce cold air will be turned on from of mother is worth a pound of spigots to regulate the tem- clergy." -- Spanish proverb
• On a per-pound basis, your brain uses 10 times the calories as any other part of your body.
• That little garden snail has 14,000 teeth, all of which are on its tongue. It hibernates during the winter while living on its stored fat. Although most ground snails are passive little vegetarians, sea snails are predators with a sharp tongue resembling a harpoon that injects a deadly venom into their victims. The poison of certain cone snails can kill a human.
perature of a house"; "readycooked meals will be bought from establishments similar to our bakeries of today, .... equipped with electric stoves, coffee-grinders, egg-beaters, stirrers, meat-saws, dishwashers and the like"; and "wireless telephone and telegraph circuits will span the world."
• It was Spanish philosopher George Santayana who made the following observation: "Sanity is a madness put to good uses."
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SNAILS (continued): • Snails produce a thick slime as they move DEERE. JOHN DEERE. which protects them as they(continued): travel across any • kind It was while living in Illinois Johnacross noof terrain. They can eventhat crawl ticed theofproblems farmersoutfaced when the edge a razor that and come uninjured, attempting to till soil. Because the area due to this shielding lubricant. The slime had also formerly been woodland, the soil was rich creates a suction that enables them to crawl with hummus, which clumped and clung to upside down. the blades of the plows farmers were accus• Everybody knows thatrepairing snails are slow movtomed to using. While a broken cirers, justDeere how stumbled slow areupon they?anThe cularbut saw, idea.averHe employed his smith skillsattoabout fashion theinches steel age adult moves along 0.04 blade into the shape of aatplow. Hemiles affixed per second. Some travel 0.0004 per two wooden spokes, then hitched the device hour. If those snails could circumnavigate the to a horse. It plowed the heavy Illinoisyears. soil Earth, it would take upwards of 7,000 like speckled a charm. garden In fact, asnail farmer whofastest, happened The is the able to be observing the test run immediately put to navigate at speeds up to 55 yards per hour, in an order for his own John Deere plow. compared to just 23 inches per hour for most • land In short order, Deere gave up his blacksmith snails. shop and focused on making plows. The • Snails have very poor and eyesight cannot company grew steadily addedand many emhear, so their senses of touch and smell are ployees. In the late 1840s, John relocated the very important task ofIllinois. findingAshamed food. entire operationintothe Moline, of his own lack of education, JohnAustralian sent his • The world’s largest snail is the children to the state’s finest schools. One of trumpet, a sea snail found on that continent’s his proudest days occurred when son Charles northern and western shores. Its shell is as earned of an MBA from Bell’s large as the 30 equivalent inches in length, and the flesh can Commercial College in Chicago. weigh as much as 40 lbs. The length of most • species With hisofson Charles managing company, snails ranges in sizethe from a fracJohn found time to pursue philanthropic intion of an inch to 12 inches. terests. He co-founded both the First National Bank and the First Congregational Church. He was elected the mayor of Moline in 1873, where one of his first actions – the replacement of the city’s open drains with a sewer pipe system – saved countless lives by reducing the spread of disease.
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A cobweb A ladybug Arachnophobia Queen termite, 50 years 5. 7 in front and a thumbhole in the back
6. Yellowknife 7. Amethyst 8. All inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 9. Decoration Day 10. 1994
• The original John Deere logo, registered in 1876, depicted a deer that 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 May 26, 2014 over as the symbol of the John Deere brand. Information in the Tidbits® Paper is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.
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Sports Answers 5. Ken Norton 1. Eric Davis lost to Larry (1987) and Holmes Barry Bonds 6. Tampa Bay (1990). scored 48 vs. 2. 23 seasons; no Oakland in World Series Super Bowl 37 3. Houston’s Andre Ware, 7. Giants scored 7 vs. Ravens in in 1989 Super Bowl 35 4. Argentina, 1978
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