Tidbits Grand Forks July 17 Issue

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Since 1997



Little Paper Ever Read®


Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks

July 17, 2014

Published by: Wick Publications




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On July 14, 1868, Alvin Fellows of Connecticut patented the retractable measuring tape which had a button that would lock the measuring tape in place and allow it to roll up inside the case when released, a design still used today. Fellows' measuring tape made it easier to measure things, so come along with Tidbits as we look at ways things are measured.

QUICK QUIZ: How many feet in a mile? How many ounces in a gallon? How many acres in a square mile? How much does a quart of water weigh? (Answers at the end of the issue.) RULE OF THUMB • Long ago, the width of the thumb equaled one inch, a handy measurement for carpenters and tailors. A rule of thumb came to mean any simple method that was based on practicality. • The Romans decreed the width of the thumb was one inch, and that 12 thumbs equaled one foot-length. The Latin word 'uncia' meaning one-twelfth was shortened to 'unch' and gave us our inch. An English law decreed the inch should equal the length of 3 barleycorns. • One Sunday in the year 1120, King Henry I of England lined up the first 12 men leaving church and measured the total length of their feet. He divided that by 12, and called the result the official foot. WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Publish a

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RULE OF THUMB (continued): • The Anglo-Saxon word for a man's waist measurement or girth was 'gyrd,' which became our yard. In the 1600s Queen Elizabeth I decreed it should equal the length of her arm. • The Romans noted that a two-step pace of a marching man was about five feet. 1,000 paces, or 5,000 feet, became their mile, which they called 'milia passuum' meaning 1,000 paces. However, farms in England were measured in furrow-longs, or furlongs, which equaled 660 feet. In 1575 Elizabeth I proclaimed that the mile should henceforth be 5,280 feet, so that it could easily be divided into 8 furlongs. • The Latin word for pound, 'libra,' gave us our abbreviation 'lb.' The Italian ounce was called an 'onzia,' leaving us with 'oz.' • 'Tun' was the early Anglo-Saxon word for tub or vat, giving us our ton.

Quiz Bits 1. 2.

3. 4.

5. What was the name of Fred’s boss on “The Flintstones”? 6. Who was Sherlock Holmes’ archWhat measurement, derived from enemy? the Roman word “galeta,” origi7. What music video of Tom Petty nally meant a pailful? and Heartbreakers featured the What is the oldest known meacharacters of Alice and The Mad Hatter? surement in recorded history? (hint: It’s the length of the forearm 8. In the international radio alphabet, what is the standard word from elbow to fingertip). that represents the letter “P”? Where does an object weigh more: at the equator, or the North Pole? TRIVIA Which weighs more, wine or water? SPONSORED BY:


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• The short ton is 2,000 lbs. The long ton is 2,240 lbs. The metric ton is 1,000 kilograms, or 2,204.6 lbs. Why is a long ton 2,240 lbs? Because when London merchants sold 2,000 lbs. of wine, the 8 oak barrels the wine was kept in weighed 30 lbs each, so the total weight of wine and barrels was 2,240 lbs. MORE MEASUREMENT ORIGINS • The Egyptians called 200 paces a 'stade.' Greeks revised it to 'stadion,' which became a standard length for Olympic foot races. Today races are held in a stadium. • An early English system for measuring grains used the 'measure-full.' Eight measures equaled a peck, and 16 pecks equaled a 'hlot.' Eventually the 'hlot' became 'a lot', so when you say you have 'a lot' of peaches, you're talking about 16 pecks!

60+ Years Experience

• The tuffet Miss Muffett sat on was used to measure corn.

STROKE is an Emergency! FACE






Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

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TO CALL 911 If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get him or her to the hospital immediately.

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.gfmosquito.com or call the Information Line at 701-787-8144

NAUTICAL MEASUREMENTS • A knot is one nautical mile per hour. A nautical mile is 1/60th of 1 degree of the Earth's surface, or 1.150779 land miles. Ships carried a line wound on a reel. A chip of wood on the end of the line was allowed to drag in the water behind the ship, causing the line to unreel. The line was knotted at intervals of 47'3" and the line was allowed to drag for exactly 28 seconds. (47'3" are to 1.150779 miles what 28 seconds are to one hour.) If the line unwound to the 5th knot in 28 seconds, the ship was moving at 5 knots per hour. • A fathom (measuring depth) was fingertip to outstretched fingertip, and now equals 6 feet. • The film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea should have been called 20,000 Feet Under the Sea. A league equals 3 miles. 20,000 leagues would equal 60,000 miles, equal to nearly three times around the earth. At no place is the ocean deeper than 36,000 feet. FULL MEASURE • The English adopted this system for measuring liquids: a handful was a jigger, two jiggers were a jack, two jacks were a jill, two jills made a cup, two cups made a pint, two pints made a quart, two quarts made a pottle, two pottles made a gallon, two gallons made a peck, two pecks made a half bushel, two half bushels made a bushel, two bushels made a cask, and two casks made a barrel. • In the 1600s King Charles I lived lavishly and spent the royal treasury. To raise money, he tried to increase taxes paid on liquids. Parliament vetoed him. So he reduced the size of the jack and jill, while leaving the taxes the same. To get around the tax, people stopped using the jack and jill as measurements, and they made up a rhyme: "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water / Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after." The crown refers to the English unit of money.


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4. When was the last time before 2014 that golfer Phil Mickelson missed a cut at 1. In 2013, Alex Rodriquez the Masters—1997, 2000, became the all-time leader in 2003 or 2006? career grand slams, with 24. 5. How many times has Jim Who had he been tied with? Boeheim led the Syracuse (hint: it was another Yankee) men’s basketball team to 2. The New York Yankees have the NCAA Final Four? won the most A.L. Division 6. In 2013, Raiders QB Terrelle titles since 1969 (18). What Pryor set a franchise record team is second? for longest touchdown run 3. Who holds the record for most (93 yards). Which Raider career shutouts by a New York running back had held the Rangers goalie? mark?

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A DISASTER • In Baltimore in 1904, a store caught fire. When the fire spread, the fire chief telegrammed to Washington for help. Help arrived in record time and the people of Baltimore cheered as the fire crew got out their hoses—only to find that their hoses would not fit the hydrants. Help came from Philadelphia, New York, Wilmington, Annapolis, and Altoona, but every fire company discovered the same thing— there was water, but no way to make the connection from hose to hydrant. Most of the business district burned down. A subsequent study found that there were 600 different sizes of hoses and hydrants being used in the U.S. at that time. Obviously, there was a need to standardize measurements. THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT • 300 years ago, the pound was applied to 391 different weights across Europe, and the foot indicated 282 different lengths. Thomas Jefferson, traveling across Europe, found that the mile from country to country could be as short as 3,600 feet or as long as 36,000 feet. Even today, the U.S. uses two kinds of miles, 56 different bushels, eight types of tons, two pounds, and three different ounces. Corn is sold by the bushel, shipped in tons, and stored in cubic feet. A bushel of wheat does not equal a bushel of potatoes or apples. • Our measurements evolved by happenstance. They have no simple formulas, equations, or relationships. For instance, consider the acre. It's defined as an area that can be plowed in one day with two oxen. To figure acres, you must multiply the width of the land by the length and divide by 43,460. A one-acre square lot measures 208 ft. 8 in. per side. There are 640 acres in a square mile. Easy to remember? Easy to calculate? No way! What we need is a system that makes more sense. • Today more than 25,000 items are covered by national standards, from nuts and bolts to twoby-fours and light bulbs.

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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. PAGE <Phone> FILLER 2750 17th Ave. S. • Ste.2B • Grand Forks <Hours of Operation> 1Q09 - WEEK 03 >

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PRESENTS TRIVIA NEWSFRONT™ by Kara Kovalchik & Sandy Wood

What British duo hit number one in 1983 with “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)? Place a number in the What actress portrayed Patsy Cline in the 1985 empty boxes in such a way that each row biographical film Sweet Dreams? across, each column DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: down and each small What cartoon owned a ghostly horse Moderate Challenging 9-box square character contains all of the numbers from HOO BOY! named one Nightmare? to nine. What 17th century author coined the phrase “To © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc. World rights reserved.


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• William Henry Domm, better known as Bill, was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, in 1930. He was the son of a minister for the United Church of Canada. Educated at the Ryerson Institute of Technology, he later became a radio broadcaster in Peterborough. In 1979 he became a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Canadian House of Commons, representing Peterborough. He served as an MP until his defeat in the 1993 election. • Bill Domm took strong stands on several issues, most notably gun control, abortion, capital punishment, and the metric system. Bill Domm was against the metric system. More specifically, he was against the mandatory adoption of the metric system. • The liberal federal government of Pierre Trudeau first began implementing the switch to the metric system in Canada in 1970. The Metric Commission was established in 1971 to help facilitate the nationwide change. By the mid-1970s, metric product labelling was introduced. In 1972, the provinces agreed to make all road signs metric by 1977. Not everything went smoothly, however. • Bill Domm's hometown of Peterborough was one of the government's three test centers for the switch to the metric system. And, led by Bill Domm, Peterborough subsequently became a hotbed of opposition to the switch. The backlash was epic. Public outrage was palpable. There was civil disobedience— carpet sellers defiantly selling product by the yard rather than the meter. There were protests. Citizen indignation filled radio call-in shows and letters-to-the-editor pages.

• Bill joined forces with 37 other Progressive Conservative Members of Parliament to press the issue. By 1981, gasoline and diesel fuels were required to be dispensed in liters rather than gallons.

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• In 1983, the 37 Conservatives all contributed funds in order to operate a gas station which dispensed gasoline not only in the required liters but also in the outlawed gallons. Located in Carleton Place, Ontario, it was dubbed the "Freedom to Measure" gas station. Customers were offered the option of purchasing their gas using whatever measuring system they preferred: one pump dispensed in liters and the other in gallons. • The purpose of the gas station wasn't to make money selling gas; it was to provoke the government to arrest them for using non-metric methods of dispensing gas so a legal challenge could be brought against the mandatory use of metric. Bill Domm vociferously dared the government to arrest the operators and was frankly disappointed when they did not. He claimed that 79 percent of the gas was dispensed in gallons rather than liters. The government steadfastly ignored the station and it closed after a year. • By 1984 when the Metric Commission was disbanded, rules on enforcing metrics were loosened, making it voluntary, and offering businesses the option of selling their goods using either system, or both. However, the "metrification" of the country was not reversed. By the time Bill Domm died in 2000, Canadians were using a mix of metric and Imperial measurements. Since 1976 the law requires that prepacked food products declare their volume in metric units, though Canadian Imperial units are still legally permitted. Milk has been metric since 1980. In 1975 Fahrenheit temperatures were replaced by Celsius. • The use of the metric and Imperial systems varies according to generation. The older generation mostly uses the imperial system, while the younger generation uses the metric system more frequently.

Tidbits of Grand Forks/ East Grand Forks is Locally Owned and Operated.


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.

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• On July 23, 1888, Raymond Chandler, creator of detective Philip Marlowe, is born in Chicago. During the Depression, Chandler turned to writing to support himself. He published his novel "The Big Sleep" in 1939, followed by "Farewell My Lovely" and "The Long Goodbye."

• On July 25, 1917, in Paris, exotic dancer Mata Hari is sentenced to death by a French court for spying on Germany's behalf during World War I. Since 1903, Margueretha Gertruida Zelle had performed in Paris as a dancer under the name Mata Hari, claiming she was an Indian priestess. • On July 21, 1925, John T. Scopes is convicted of violating Tennessee's law against teaching evolution in public schools. The case was only for show, and the jury only conferred for a few moments. The American Civil Liberties Union had advertised for a teacher who would let himself be arrested to challenge the law and open it for public debate.

The History Channel

• On Julytor to fly solo around the world. Post flew a Lockheed Vega monoplane, nicknamed the Winnie Mae. • On July 26, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt seizes all Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China. Britain and the Dutch East Indies followed suit. The result: Japan lost access to three-fourths of its overseas trade and 88 percent of its imported oil. • On July 24, 1959, during the grand opening ceremony of the American National Exhibition in Moscow, Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev engage in a heated debate in the middle of a model kitchen set up for the fair. The "kitchen debate" became one of the most famous episodes of the Cold War.

• On July 27, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee recommends that America's 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, be impeached and removed from office. The impeachment proceedings • On July 22, 1933, American resulted from a series of political scanaviator Wiley Post returns to New dals known as Watergate. On Aug. 8, York, becoming the first avia- Nixon announced his resignation. © 2014 by King Features Syndicate. All rights reserved

© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.


The Greek word 'metron,' from which we get meter and metric, means 'a measure.' Gram is French for 'weight.' The metric system is the only system deliberately designed to be easy to learn and simple to use. No other system of measurement links units of length, volume, and mass as the metric system does. The metric system has 7 base units that account for all measurements. Our Imperial system has over 20. Today, the only countries that do not use the metric system are the U.S. and the trend-setting nations of Liberia and Burma. MEASURE FOR MEASURE • The metric system was invented in France in 1799. A meter was defined as one ten-millionth of the length of the imaginary line from the North Pole to the Equator as it passes through Paris. (39.37 inches.) It has also been defined as 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of the orange-red light from the isotope Krypton 86, as measured in a vacuum. Today one meter is more accurately measured as the distance travelled by light in a vacuum during 1/299,792,548 of a second.

• If you're in the neighborhood of Bessemer, Alabama, you might want to stop in its Hall of History. Though the connection to local history isn't clear, Hitler's typewriter is on • The next time you look out display to curious onlookers. the window and see banks • You may be among those of freshly fallen snow, repeople who think good deeds member that only about 8 and selfless acts are on the percent of that fluffy whitedecline. If so, consider this ness is actually water; the story: In 2010, an employee remaining 92 percent is air. • During the course of filming all eight Harry Potter movies, actor Daniel Radcliffe went through 160 pairs of glasses and 70 magic wands. *




Thought for the Day: "Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: All of them make me laugh." -- W.H. Auden © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

SYSTEM SIMPLICITY • With metrics, if you know how big an object is, then you can find out what its weight is just by moving the decimal point. Learn how on the next page.


at a recycling company came across 23 U.S. savings bonds while sorting through a bin of discarded papers. Instead of trying to cash the $22,000 worth of bonds himself, Mike Rodgers decided to track down the owner. It turned out that the woman who had bought the bonds, Martha Dobbins, had been dead for almost two decades. Rodgers didn't give up, though; he began a search for Robert Rob-

• In 1866, the U.S. passed a law that said Americans could use the metric system if they liked. In 1900, Congress was close to adopting the metric system, but then the machinist's lobby went to work. They painted a picture of complete chaos if the metric system went through. All factories would have to close! Property deeds would be invalidated! All bottles, bushels, and boxes would have to be discarded! Grocery stores would have to shut down! The economy would collapse! None of this was true, but inertia prevailed, and prevails still.


erts, who was also named on the bonds. Though the name is common and Rodgers hit many dead ends, he eventually located the correct Robert Roberts, the son of Martha Dobbins. Roberts hadn't even been aware of the bonds' existence. Rodgers, his good deed finally being done, refused a reward.


• It was English poet Martin Farquhar Tupper who made the following sage observation: "Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech."


by Samantha Weaver

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HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS • A decimeter is 1/10th of a meter. A cubic deciDEERE. JOHN DEERE. meter equals one liter. A liter(continued): of water weighs • 1,000 It was while living in Illinois John nograms. Alexander Grahamthat Bell, arguing ticed problems farmerssystem, faced when for the the adoption of that the metric gave attempting to an till soil. Becauseproblem: the area had Congressmen imaginary You formerly been woodland, the soil was rich have a tank containing 123,456,789 cubic with hummus, which clumped andthe clung to inches of water. You want to know weight the blades of the plows farmers were accusand volume of the water. First you must go to tomed to using. repairing broken cirthe library to findWhile out how manyacubic inches cular saw, Deere stumbled upon an idea. He of water are in a gallon and how much a galemployed smith skills fashion the steel lon of waterhis weighs. Then to you must complete blade into the shape of a plow. He affixed difficult calculations. But if the tank contains two wooden spokes, then hitched the device 123,456,789 cubic centimeters of water, you to a horse. It plowed the heavy Illinois soil need only to move the decimal point over to like a charm. In fact, a farmer who happened find out that it holds 123,456.789 liters and to be observing the test run immediately put that it weighs in an order for123,456.789 his own Johnkilograms. Deere plow.

INCH INCH • In short order, DeereBY gave up his blacksmith • The Army and Marines metrics. So The does shop and focused on use making plows. NASA. The Olympics have been metric since company grew steadily and added many emthey beganIn in The first inthe the ployees. the1896. late 1840s, Johncountry relocated Western Hemisphere to adopt metrics was entire operation to Moline, Illinois. Ashamed Columbia, why cocaine of his ownwhich lack ofexplains education, John sent hisis purchased in the grams andfinest kilograms. Your children to state’s schools. Oneelecof tricity is measured in metric kilowatt hours, his proudest days occurred when son Charles and you the buyequivalent skis in centimeters. The Bell’s power earned of an MBA from ofCommercial your motorcycle is in expressed College Chicago.in cubic cen-

medication dispensed • timeters, With hisand son your Charles managingisthe company,in milligrams. John found time to pursue philanthropic interests. co-founded the First Nation• After oneHespeech whereboth a government offial Bank and the First Congregational Church. cial vowed that "The inch will never die!" a He was elected mayor Moline 1873, pro-metric man the arose and of asked theinspeaker onethe of questions his first actions – the replacetowhere answer that appeared at the ment of the city’s open drains with a sewer beginning of this issue: How many feet in a pipe system – saved countless by reducmile? How many ounces in alives gallon? How ing the spread of disease. many acres in a square mile? How much does

• a The John DeereThe logo, registered in quartoriginal of water weigh? speaker was un1876, depictedany a deer that was native to Afriable to answer of these questions. ca. Thirty-six years later, in 1912, it was re............................................................................ placed with theare image of feet a North • Answers: There 5,280 in a American mile; 128 white-tailed deer. In the decades that folounces in a gallon; 640 acres in a square mile; lowed, the now-familiar “outline” logo took and water weighs 2.0825 lbs. per quart. 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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