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June 12, 2014

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HORSES, DONKEYS, & MULES

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• Horses have 64 chromosomes; donkeys have 62. When mated they produce mules or hinnies that have 63 chromosomes. A mule is the offspring of a mare (female horse) and a jack (male donkey). The offspring from male horses (stallion) and female donkeys (jinnets) are called hinnies. Most people just lump mules and hinnies together and call them mules. (We’ll call them mules in most of this article.)

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• Other names used for mules and hinnies are: Johns or Jacks (male) and Mollies or Jennys (female). Turn the page for more!

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Horses, donkeys, and mules are similar, related animals. The biggest differences are in their chromosomes. (Now, if you want to study the genetics, research it elsewhere, not in Tidbits!)

• Mules are hybrids, each having one donkey and one horse parent. They can be male or female but they can’t reproduce because of the odd number of chromosomes; they are sterile (99.9% sterile). Very rarely, 1 in 1 million, female mules have given birth but no male mule has ever been known to sire a little one. Male mules actually need to be gelded or castrated so they are more sociable, mild mannered and, hence, safer for their handlers.

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by Patricia L. Cook

Sharon Opdahl, Agent Sharon Opdahl 2534 17th Avenue South Grand Forks, ND 58201 Agent Bus: 701-746-0495

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5. What famous Western author also wrote under the pseudonym of Tex Burns? 6. What country lies directly north of Sudan? 7. In poetry, how many lines are in a sonnet? 8. Elvis topped the charts in 1956 with his “Don’t Be Cruel.” Which R&B artist released a song by the same name in 1988?

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1. What is the Spanish word for “donkey”? 2. What is the “unusual” way that horses, donkeys and mules are measured? 3. What does the above measurement unit (answer to #2) equal in inches? 4. What do you get when you breed a horse and zebra?

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• The tails of mules, donkeys and horses are different. Donkey tails are similar to cow tails with a tuft of hair on the end. They are not as long as the tails of horses and mules. Tails of horses and mules have long thin hair that goes all the way to the end of their tails. • When a horse is scared or “spooked,” it will run but a donkey will either stand and defend its ground (fight) or just simply “freeze.” So, what does a mule do? It can choose either one since it is part horse and part donkey!

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HORSES, DONKEYS & MULES (cont.): • Have you heard the term “longears?” It is an endearing term used for donkeys and mules. Horses have small ears, donkeys and mules have long ones. Mules’ ears are not quite as long as donkeys. A hinny’s ears are shorter and much wider than donkey ears.

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• Donkeys and mules are considered more intelligent than horses. When they “freeze” it is part of their “well-developed instinct for self-preservation.” Considered stubborn, most experts think they are just thinking over the situation at hand and are not likely to put themselves in danger. Horses allow themselves to be worked until they are exhausted; mules won’t. According to ruralheritage.com, “a mule will trust its own judgement before it trusts yours.” • Mules, as with most hybrids, were bred to join the desirable qualities of donkeys and horses. They get their strength and stamina from horses and their patience, sure-footed gate and intelligence from donkeys. • Even when working regularly mules and donkeys live longer than horses. A farm mule can work hard for 18 years, where a horse is only good for about 15. Mules that are well cared for and do lighter work have been known to live for 30-40 years.

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4. In 2013, Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez set an NFL record for consecutive seasons (11) with at least 70 receptions. Who had he been tied with at 10? 5. The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded to the MVP of the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs. Only two players have won it in back-to-back seasons. Name the last to do so. 6. Six NFL players have led the NFL in sacks twice. (No one has done it three times). Name five of them.

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HORSES, DONKEYS & MULES (cont.): • Most donkeys and mules are used for work on farms and trail rides, either packing humans or cargo. They are considered “beasts of burden.” The term, defined as “animals used for transporting loads or doing other heavy work,” is also used for elephants and oxen. • Mules are used by the U.S. Army to carry supplies in Afghanistan and other places where the terrain is difficult. • There are 185 breeds of donkeys, with about 41 million in the world today. Used in many places around the world, China has the most with about 11 million. • George Washington is considered to be the “Father of the American Mule.” In 1785 he was gifted a large Spanish jack from King Carlos III of Spain. The next year, 1786, he received a Maltese jack and two jennets from French General Lafayette. He had his prize mares (horses) bred to his new jacks and became the first mule breeder in America. • Other famous Americans who “connected” with mules were: Buffalo Bill Cody, Mark Twain, Harry Truman, Ken Curtis and Ronald Reagan. Ken Curtis played Festus on the long-running television western, Gunsmoke. • Not only were mules used in western ranch settings, they were used to help populate the western United States. Mules could pull loaded wagons 30 miles per day as compared to wagons pulled by horses or oxen that could only average about five miles (8 km) per day. • The discovery of borax in Death Valley, California in the early 1890’s, lead to a major job for mules in the west. You’ve probably heard of 20 Mule Team® Borax. Sodium tetraborate is the scientific name for borax.


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your local agent Medical & agent for Contact Contact your local for more information: moreMedicare information: t for more information: Coverage <Agent Name> Financial Services <Agency Name> <Address> Roger Parkinson • 701-772-1872 H2409, H2410, H2450_2058 (01-2009) <City, ST ZIP> ©2009 Medica. Medica contracts with the federal government. <Phone> 2750 17th Ave. S. • Ste. B • Grand Forks <Hours of Operation> >

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Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine.

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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.

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies. See geico.com for

Some discounts, coverages, 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 more details. GEICO and Affiliates. Washington DC 20076. GEICO Gecko image © 1999-2013. Gecko image © 1999-2013. © 2013 GEICO.© 2013 GEICO.

Tired of paying more than $129 a month for your Medicare supplement plan? Medica® has affordable Medicare plans with the features you value: • Tobacco users pay the same premium • No health underwriting • Does not replace your Original Medicare • No waiting for Medicare enrollment periods • Large network of doctors and hospitals

HORSES, DONKEYS & MULES (cont.): • Borax is a “naturally occurring substance produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes.” It looks like cotton balls! Nothing is added to borax for household cleaning and laundry use. The product is washed, dried and boxed. Borax is also used in other ways, such as in the glass industry. • The removal and hauling of borax from Death Valley was not an easy chore. The nearest railroad junction for getting the product out of the valley to consumers was in Mojave, California, 165 miles away. Mules were an important part of the solution for bringing borax to market. • The idea of using 20-mule teams started with William Tell Coleman’s borax company. (By the way, the 20-mle teams were actually 18 mules and 2 horses!) Two teams were hitched together to form a 20-mule team that was 100 feet long. The teams pulled two 16-foot long wagons loaded with borax and a 1,200 gallon water tank. The total weight pulled by each 20mule team was over 36 tons. • Between 1883 and 1889, more than 20 million pounds of borax was hauled out of Death Valley by the 20-mule teams. The mule teams were eventually replaced by a rail spur. • The “20-Mule Team” symbol, still seen on boxes of detergent and other places, was first used in 1891 and registered as a trademark in 1894. • The Twenty Mule Team Museum in Boron, California, has been opened since 1984. The museum offers interesting information about the borax industry and the famous mule teams.

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Medicare plans made simple. For more call Medica’s Center for Healthy at 1-800-906-5432. 8 a.m. For moreinformation, information, call Medica’s CenterAging for toll-free Healthy AgingSM toll-free atto 8 p.m CT, 7 days a week. TTY users, please call the National Relay Center at 1-800-855-2880. You must continue to 1-800-906-5432, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT, 7 days a week. TTY users, please pay your Medicare Part B premium. Medica is a Cost plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in call Medica depends on contract renewal. Y0088_3450 CMS Accepted. You must continue to pay © 2013 Medica the National Relay Center at 1-800-855-2880. your Medicare Part B premium. Medica is a Cost plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Medica depends on

Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks

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FAMOUS CANADIANS:

RICK MORANIS Frederick Alan Moranis was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on April 18, 1953. Known as Rick, he is mostly known for the nerdy characters he has played, usually wearing large glasses, and his short (5 ft. 4 in.) stature.

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• Moranis started his career as a high school student in Toronto with a part-time job as a radio engineer, eventually becoming a popular deejay. • His big break came when he landed a hit part on the popular Second City TV (SCTV) show in 1980. A requirement for actors on the show was that they had to include “identifiable Canadian content” in each episode. Moranis and his cohort, Dave Thomas, created two silly dimwitted brothers, Bob and Doug MacKenzie, who were a pair of “beer-guzzling, back-bacon-chewing hosers.” • Thomas and Moranis played the brothers on the weekly show called The Great White North and have been credited with instilling the Canadian “eh” at the end of sentences, getting many extra laughs from their fellow Canadians and the North American fans to the south. The series spawned a feature film, Strange Brew, in 1983.

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• After leaving Second City TV, Moranis was in two Ghostbusters movies, Little Shop of Horrors, and his very memorable role as the eccentric inventor, Wayne Szalinski, in Honey I Shrunk the Kids in 1989, and Honey I Blew Up the Kid in 1992. Later, in 1997, he played Szalinski again in the direct-to-video movie, Honey We Shrunk Ourselves. • Some other films that Moranis has been a part of are: Little Giants, in 1994: Big Bully, in 1995; and he played Barney Rubble in The Flintstones, in 1994.

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MOMENTS IN TIME

The History Channel

• On June 22, 1611, after spending a winter trapped by ice in present-day Hudson Bay in Canada, the starving crew of the Discovery mutinies against its captain, English navigator Henry Hudson, and sets him, his teenage son, and seven supporters adrift in a small, open boat. Hudson and the others were never seen again.

feeling within Britain. He changed the surname of his own family from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to Windsor.

• On June 17, 1885, The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, arrives in New York City in more than 200 packing cases. The last rivet of the disassembled monument was fitted on Oct. 28, 1886.

by the time of President Kennedy's assassination in November 1963.

• On June 21, 1947, after an interim of seven years during World War II, the first post-war Mille Miglia ("Thousand Miles") auto race is held in Brescia, Italy with 155 starters. The race on public roads had • On June 20, 1782, Congress been delayed two years as Italy's adopts the Great Seal of the United infrastructure had to be rebuilt. States. The front of the seal depicts a • On June 16, 1961, President John bald eagle clutching an olive branch F. Kennedy agrees to send 900 in its right talon and arrows in its left. U.S. troops to train and supervise The eagle's beak clutches a banner Vietnamese troops in combat. The inscribed, E pluribus unum, a Latin number of U.S. personnel rose to phrase meaning "Out of Many One." 3,200 by the end of 1962 and 16,000

• On June 19, 1917, during World War I, Britain's King George V orders the British royal family to dispense with the use of German titles and surnames due to strong anti-German

• On June 18, 1983, the space shuttle Challenger is launched on its second mission. Aboard the shuttle was Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel into space. During the six-day mission, Ride, an astrophysicist from Stanford University, operated the shuttle's robot arm, which she had helped design. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

Tell ‘Em You Saw Their Ad in Tidbits! Advertisers make Tidbits possible

RICK MORANIS (continued): • Moranis lost his wife, Ann, after a battle with liver cancer in 1991. He moved from his transplanted home in Hollywood back to Canada in 1997 to raise his two children. Moranis intended for his “retirement” to only last a few years, but realized that he didn’t miss the pressure of life in Hollywood. • Moranis still does occasional voice work on movies, such as Brother Bear. On acting, he has said, “I’m really not an actor. I’m a guy who comes out of comedy, and my impetus was always to rewrite the line to make it funnier, not to try to make somebody’s precious words work.” He liked the ability to change lines like he did in his earlier movies. • A few extra notes about Moranis: He was featured on the cover of the first issue of Disney Adventures magazine in 1990; he was the only cast member on SCTV who didn’t come from the Second City theatre; he had a letter published in Mad Magazine, Issue #120, July 1968, titled, “Don Martin Looks at Frogs;” and, he released a comedy/country album in September 2005, titled The Agoraphobic Cowboy. • In 2013, eight years after The Agoraphobic Cowboy, Moranis released another musical comedy album. My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs, brings music and laughter derived from his Jewish upbringing. Included songs are “Oy, The Mistakes I Made” and “I Can’t Help It, I Just Like Christmas.” • This funny man loves to talk about his fellow Canadians: “We stand on guard at red lights, even when there is no traffic. We wait for clear, green governing lights to signal our turn and lead us on. Then we tuck our heads down, under wooly toques and worn-out scarves, one eye barely open, squinting headlong into the harsh prairie wind, cautiously, quietly, demurely Canadian.”

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STAR H MAP

by Linda Thistle

Draw a star in exactly 10 of the empty squares in the diagram below so that each numbered square accurately indicates how many immediately adjacent squares (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) contain a star.

Safe Mosquito Repellents for Children The recent rains have the mosquitoes in a feeding frenzy and the best way to avoid them is by staying indoors or applying an insect repellent before venturing outside. DEET-based repellents are safe and effective and provide several hours of protection. Here’s some more information about DEET.

H Easy HH Moderate HHH Yowza © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

W ! NO EN P O

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• The American Academy of Pediatrics says products containing DEET are “the most effective” repellents available and should be used when necessary to protect against insect and tick-borne disease. The AAP says use DEETbased repellents containing up to 30% DEET on children older than 2 months of age. • As reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, insect repellents containing DEET provide complete protection from bites for longer periods than other repellent products. According to the study, “Only products containing DEET are dependable for long-lasting protection after a single application. • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency evaluates and registers all DEET-based products before they can be marketed in this county. The EPA has determined that the use of products containing DEET according to label direction, does not pose unreasonable risks of adverse effects to humans, regardless of the concentration (amount) of DEET. For information about mosquito control visit our website at www.gfmsoquito.com or call the Information Line at 701-787-8144

K TRIVIA by Ava & Sophia

Answers: 1. Melman 2. Pharrell Williams 3. Moe, Larry and Curly 4. Thomas Edison 5. 724,000

© 2014 by King Features Syndicate. All rights reserved

1. What is the giraffe's name in the animated movie "Madagascar"? 2. Who sings the popular song "Happy"? 3. What are the names of the three characters in The Three Stooges? 4. Who invented the lightbulb? 5. As of 2013, what is the estimated population of North Dakota?


HUMMINGBIRDS

The tiniest birds in the world, hummingbirds, have brains that are 4.2% of their body weight, the largest proportionally to all creatures in the bird kingdom. Another amazing fact: their breast muscles are actually 30% of their body weight! • Hummingbirds, frequently called “hummers” from the sound their wings make, belong to the avian, or bird, family named Trochilidae. Swifts, another fascinating bird species, are their closest relatives. • Hummers are only found in North, South and Central America (the “new” world). They are found from Alaska and Canada in the north to Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of South America. They reside in deserts below sea level and the Andes Mountains at elevations up to 16,000 feet!

© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

• Ecuador claims the most hummingbirds. There are 132 species found in the small country that is about the size of Colorado. • The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common species of hummingbird that breeds in the eastern half of North America. The most widely-distributed hummingbird in all of North America is actually the Rufous. The Rufous has been observed in every province and state except Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Hawaii. • While the Rufous winters in Mexico and Panama, Ruby-throated birds winter in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Islands, with some remaining in the Gulf states and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Answer

Weekly SUDOKU

• The 1950s TV show "The Adventures of Superman" starred George Reeves, and for the rest of his short life he was best known for that title role. After his untimely death at the age of 45, he was buried in the same suit he wore as Clark Kent on the show. • Those who study such things say that more babies are born after the new moon and the full moon than at any other time of the month. Interestingly, more girls are born after the new moon, and more boys after the full moon. • For one week in April of 1964, the top five songs on the Billboard chart were all by The Beatles. That also was the year that the band had a whopping 31 songs on the charts. * * * Thought for the Day: "Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor." -- Truman Capote

Answer

• It was famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright who made the following sage observation: "Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions." • According to statisticians, about 200 people a year die while watching -- not playing -- football. • Collective nouns are fascinating, especially when one kind of animal has multiple ones that can be used. Take ducks, for instance: A group of them can be called a flock, a badling, a brace, a plump, a sord or a waddling. If you see them on water you can call them a bunch, a paddling or a raft; and a group of ducks flying together is known variously as a skein, a string or a team. • Noted industrialist John D. Rockefeller was the son of a notorious con man, William Avery Rockefeller. • It takes about one minute for blood to make a complete circuit of your body.

King CROSSWORD

by Samantha Weaver

• There are more than 340 species of hummingbirds. Most are in South America. Seventeen species occur in the United States with only three known to be in Canada. Most hummers in the U.S. are near the Mexican border.


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HUMMINGBIRDS (continued): • Hummingbirds are capable of going into torDEERE. JOHN DEERE. por, an unusual, very deep(continued): sleep-like state • where It wasmetabolic while living in Illinois nofunctions slowthat to a John minimum ticed problems low that body farmers faced whenis and anthe extremely temperature attempting to till soil. Because the arealonger had maintained. When torpor happens for formerly been woodland, the soil was rich periods of time, it is called hibernation. Humwith hummus, which clumped and clung to mingbirds can go into a state of torpor any the blades of the plows farmers were accustime when food conditions and temperature tomed to using. While repairing a broken cirspur the need. cular saw, Deere stumbled upon an idea. He

employed his smith to fashion the steel • Hummingbirds haveskills the highest metabolism into the a plow. insects. He affixed ofblade any animal onshape earth, of excluding With two wooden spokes, then hitched the device heart rates of hummingbirds as high as 1,260 to a per horse. It plowed the heavy soil beats minute, they have a needIllinois to consume likeofa nectar. charm. In In fact, fact, they a farmer who happened lots consume more than to be observing the test run immediately put their weight in nectar daily! Now hummingin an order for his own John Deere plow. birds only weigh .07-.7 ounces. Most animals, • including In short order, Deere gavebe upextremely his blacksmith humans, would obese shop and focused on making plows. The if this kind of eating occurred! company grew steadily and added many em-

DIFFERENCES: 1. Belt is shorter. 2. Card is missing. 3. Rug is different. 4. Picture is missing. 5. Skirt is different. 6. Boy is turned. © 2014 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.

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• When observing hummingbirds, most people ployees. In the late 1840s, John relocated the think they use their long beaks to drink in the entire operation to Moline, Illinois. Ashamed nectar from flowers. Actually, they lap it of his own lack of education, John sent hisup with their tongues! Theyfinest also eat smallOne insects. children to the state’s schools. of

his proudest occurred when Charles • Swifts and days hummingbirds areson sometimes earned the equivalent of anThey MBAare from Bell’sof called “avian helicopters.” capable Commercial College in Chicago. making power strokes on up and down move• ments With of histheir son Charles wings. managing They can the beatcompany, their tiny John found time to pursue philanthropic inwings from 60-200 times per second. terests. He co-founded both the First Nation-

• Hummingbirds tremendous agility al Bank and the have First Congregational Church.in flight. They are the the mayor only vertebrates the He was elected of Moline inwith 1873, capability of sustained hovering, and can even where one of his first actions – the replaceflyment upside down andopen backwards! of the city’s drains with a sewer

pipe system countless feat lives that by reduc• Migration is –asaved phenomenal many ing the spread of disease. birds accomplish. Some hummingbirds travel • asThe Deere logo, registered in far original as 2,000John miles, including a remarkable 1876, depicted a deer that was native to Afri500 mile nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico – ca.they Thirty-six years jet later, in 1912, it was reand don’t have engines!

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placed with the image of a North American white-tailed deer. In the decades that followed, the now-familiar “outline” logo took Thanks for Reading Tidbits! over as the symbol of the John Deere brand.

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