Tidbits Grand Forks - August 21 Issue

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Since 1997



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Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks

August 21, 2014

Published by: Wick Publications


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On August 17, 1835, the first wrench was patented by Solyman Merrick of Massachusetts. Come along with Tidbits as we use tools! CAULKING GUN • Canadian Theodore Witte of Chilliwhack, BC, was pretty good at home repairs but he sure got tired of trying to smooth out putty around windows using a putty knife. One day in 1894, he was at the bakery, watching a baker put icing on a cake using a cake decorator’s gun to force the frosting into a smooth, controllable line. Why couldn’t putty be that easy? Witte went home and designed what he called a “puttying tool” that allowed putty to be applied in one continuous smooth seam. Unfortunately, the putty industry didn’t pay much attention and Witte never made much money from his invention, today known as the caulking gun. HAMMER FACTS • The word 'smith' comes from the Saxon word which means 'to smite.' In the olden days, a smith was anyone who worked with a hammer, whether he was hammering wood, metal, or stone. Thus there were blacksmiths, clocksmiths, coppersmiths, goldsmiths, gunsmiths, locksmiths, silversmiths, and so on. And since all these smiths needed a hammer, there were also hammersmiths. WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Publish a

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5. What sport was featured in the 2009 movie “Invictus”? 6. What fear is represented in the condition known as hemophobia? 7. Which two countries surround the Dead Sea? 8. How many muscles does a cat have in each ear? 9. What year did U.S. Senator John Glenn make an unsuccessful bid for the presidency?


1. What percentage of paint purchased in the United States is thrown out unused? 2. What kind of paint always comes in a metal can? 3. It is estimated that 70% of houses in the United States are painted what color? 4. What famous scientist invented the color wheel in 1706?


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QUICK QUIRK QUIZ: A NEW SCREW • Henry, a businessman from Portland, Oregon, noted that sometimes screws and screwdrivers just didn’t work like they should. They were fine for home repairs and general carpentry, but there were problems when it came to assembly lines. In the 1930s, automobile manufacturers were screwing millions of screws per minute with power screwdrivers. With power tools, not only was it difficult to fit the screwdriver into the slot of a standard screw, but centrifugal force tended to force the screwdriver to slide out of the slot. Once the standard screw was screwed in all the way, the power screwdriver continued to spin, which either stripped the screw, stalled the screwdriver, or damaged the part. • Henry invented a screw with a cross-shaped slot that could be driven with more torque and would hold tighter than regular slotted screws. He named it after himself. His new screwdriver, with its pointed tip, engaged the screw much more easily and did not slip out. The indentation in the screw was so shallow that when the screw was finished screwing, the screwdriver tip simply popped out. • The new screw was first used in building the 1936 Cadillac and proved so effective that within two years all car manufacturers had switched. In 1936 Henry received patents for both the screw and the screwdriver, but it was so widely copied that he lost the patent in 1949. Henry died in 1958 at age 68 after seeing his screw- named after his last name- become an industry standard. What was his name? (answer at top of next page) BLACK & DECKER • In 1910, Duncan Black and Alonzo G. Decker set up a small machine shop in Baltimore. In 1917 they invented a portable handheld drill which led to them becoming one of the most successful tool companies in the U.S.

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3. Who is the only football player in NCAA Division I FBS history to surpass 4,000 1. In 2012, Texas’ Yu Darvish yards rushing and 10,000 became the fourth first-year yards passing for a career? pitcher to win at least 16 4. Two NBA players since the games and strike out 220 bat1985-86 season have had six ters in a season. Name the last consecutive games of at least pitcher to do it. 20 points, 50 percent shoot2. Of the three Yankee managing overall, and 50 percent ers who guided the club at on 3-point field goals. Name least 10 seasons, who had the them. best winning percentage: Joe 5. In how many NHL seasons McCarthy, Casey Stengel or has Jarome Iginla tallied at Joe Torre? least 30 goals?


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Henry Phillips invented the Phillips screwdriver. RACHET WRENCH Sales & Installation • Before 1964, there were socket sets but the old701-746-8684 fashioned socket wrench that went with the set View our Displays in our showroom at: had to be twisted endlessly. In 1964, an 18-year4224 Gateway Dr. • Grand Forks old kid named Peter Roberts was tinkering www.sunroomsplusgf.com On 4 season Solariums when around in his dad’s garage. His father repaired ordered by July 15! FREE ESTIMATES! lawn mowers in his spare time and sometimes FREE UPGRADE Peter helped him out. to High Efficiency Glass • One day Peter decided that repairing lawn mowOn 4-Season Solariums ers would be a lot easier if only the socket wrench when ordered by August 31 had a button that would release the socket from Create your personal Haven with a Sunspace enclosure or sunroom and take the grip of the wrench. He made one up himself, advantage of the warmth from the sun and it worked. The ratchet wrench was born. without the bugs and wind! Get started by stopping by Sunrooms ‘Plus’ today! • Peter, who was a junior in high school, worked part-time at the local Sears store. He took the new wrench to show his boss, who showed it to his boss, who showed it to all the company executives at headquarters in Chicago. Nearly a year went by and Peter assumed no one was interested in his invention. Then a lawyer came to visit Peter. • He informed the youth that Sears was prepared to offer him two cents for every one of his ratchet wrenches they sold- with the stipulation that they would not owe him any further royalties after $10,000. He said it might take Peter years to collect the maximum amount of the royalties owed him. Peter signed the patent over to Sears. A year later he was amazed to receive the entire $10,000 in a single check. • Suspecting that he had been taken, Peter went to court. His lawyer argued that Sears was guilty of fraud by leading Peter to believe that they would only be able to sell a few wrenches per year when in reality they had sold over a million. He also pointed out that Peter had been a minor when he signed the contract. The judge agreed. Not only did he award Peter Roberts damages of around a million bucks, but he also gave Peter the patent back.

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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



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MOMENTS IN TIME • On Aug. 31, 1888, Mary Ann Nichols, the first victim of London serial killer "Jack the Ripper," is found murdered. The police were at a complete loss for suspects. However, two letters alluded to facts known only to the police and the killer. These letters, signed "Jack the Ripper," gave rise to the serial killer's nickname.

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woman. His assailants -- the woman's husband and her brother -- were found "not guilty" by an all-white jury that deliberated for less than an hour.

• On Aug. 29, 1962, Robert Frost leaves for the Soviet Union on a goodwill tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department in an effort to thaw Cold War relations. Frost's poetry has es• On Aug. 27, 1937, George E.T. tablished his international reputation Eyston breaks his own automobile as American's unofficial poet laureate. land speed record at the Bonneville • On Aug. 30, 1974, a train enterSalt Flats in Utah, raising the mark ing a Zagreb, Yugoslavia, station to 345.49 mph. Eyston described derails, killing 153 people. The train his built-for-speed Thunderbolt as should have slowed to 30 mph as having two 2,000-horsepower Rolls it approached the station; howRoyce motors geared together. ever, the engineers not only failed • On Aug. 26, 1944, French Gen. to slow the train, but went through Charles de Gaulle enters Paris, a red signal at about 60 mph. which had been formally liber- • On Aug. 25, 1985, Samantha Smith, ated from the Germans the day the 13-year-old "ambassador" to the before. As he entered the Place Soviet Union, dies in a plane crash. de l'Hotel, French collaboration- Smith was best known for writing to ists took a few sniper shots at him. Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, who in• On Aug. 28, 1955, while vis- vited her to visit the Soviet Union. The iting family in Money, Missis- Russian government responded to her sippi, 14-year-old Emmett Till, death by issuing a stamp in her honor a black from Chicago, is mur- and naming a mountain after her. dered for flirting with a white © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

QUICK QUIRK QUIZ: A FLASHLIGHT BATTERY • Russian immigrant Akiba Horowitz changed his name to Conrad Hubert when he came to America in 1891. He was fascinated by the invention of electricity. Hubert began to tinker. He invented a number of electrical novelties, such as a portable fan and an illuminated flower pot. He named his business the American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company. • Then he hired an inventor name David Misell, who had invented the bicycle light. While working for Hubert, Misell invented the flashlight, assigning the patent to Hubert. It was called the flashlight because at first it would only light up for a moment or two before going out. Hubert tinkered with the invention, improved it, patented it in 1903, and handed out samples to New York City cops, who gave him rave reviews. Within a few years Hubert was a millionaire. • In 1914 the National Carbon Company (which supplied Hubert with his materials) bought half interest in the company, and the name of the firm was changed. Production of the batteries used in flashlights overtook production of flashlights. During the Great Depression, advertisements for the company consistently depicted a child, a pet, and a flashlight in various Norman Rockwell-like situations. One such ad showed a young girl checking on a litter of nine kittens using her flashlight. This image became so popular that thousands of posters were sold, giving the company a new icon: a cat with nine lives. What is the name of the company? (Answer at bottom of the page.) IT'S A FACT • When Commander Alan Bean walked on the moon, he tried to fix a TV camera that was not working by hitting it with a hammer. He failed. Answer: Eveready, now owned by Energizer



Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks

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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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• Norman James Breakey was born February 25th, 1891 in Pierson, Manitoba. Around 1940, he came up with an idea that would make painting large areas much easier. • At the time, the standard paint brush was the only method available, and the labor was difficult: "Take a paint brush in your right hand, or your left hand if you are left handed, or both hands if it is a big brush. Dip the brush into a can of paint and raise it above your head, being careful not to let the paint roll down your arm. Dab it on the ceiling, repeat the process hundreds of times. Then—take a bath." Norman Breakey devised a cylinder covered in fabric that picked up more paint than a brush. It was the pre-curser to the modern paint roller. • Breakey approached Tom Hamilton, an executive for A.B. Caya Fabrics, for advice on what type of fabric to use to cover his roller. Years later, Hamilton recalled: "He wanted my opinion on the best kind of fabric that offered a stiff bristly nap. I asked for what purpose, and he said 'For rolling paint.' I scratched my head at that but he resolutely went on and described to me something with a handle shaped like a '7' that would hold a cardboard, fabric-covered cylinder. 'If my theory is right this thing will revolutionize painting in Canada,' he said. Well, the best thing I could think of was that bristly green mohair velour that was used to cover railway touring coaches in those days. So I sold him a bolt of that, told him how to cut it on the bias, suggested some glues and away he went, beaming out the door. Later he came by and thanked me for my advice. He gave me one of his original rollers and a tray that had been hammered out by a local tinsmith. Neither of us knew then how big his invention would get to be."

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• Unfortunately, Breakey lacked the money to produce a significant supply of rollers on his own. Attempts to persuade investors to back him failed. Meanwhile, people started tinkering with the design, altering it just enough to that they were able to apply for their own patents. • When hogs' hair bristles became scarce during World War II, an inventor named Richard Croxton Adams working for Sherwin-Williams in Cleveland, Ohio, made a paint roller called a "RollerKoater" that did not use bristles. Adams became the first U.S. patent holder for a paint roller. • At least one account claims Breakey died poor and unknown not long after he came up with his invention. He went without public notice until 1967, when he was listed in both the inventors volume of McClelland & Stewart’s Canadian Centennial Library and a Maclean’s feature called “Who’s Who of Canadian What’s His Names.” Breakey may have been under-heralded in life, but his work has aided generations of painters. • Here are some tips for the next time you use one of Norman Breakey's rollers: Use a lint roller on your paint roller to get loose bits of fuzz off it prior to painting. Use a Swiffer on your walls to collect dust before painting. Line your paint tray with a plastic bag so you won't have to clean it, then put the paint tray inside a cardboard box tray, such as the ones that come underneath a flat of water bottles. Paint large surfaces using a pattern of large 'Ws' across the wall, back and forth. Cover places like hinges and door knobs with Vasoline to prevent paint from sticking. If the painter's tape won't peel, put it in a microwave for 10 seconds. Alcohol wipes such as those found in first aid kits will wipe up paint drips, and Q-tips will touch up tiny spots. Store the paint roller in a Ziplok baggie in a Pringles can to keep it fresh over night.

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


by Linda Thistle

d Cities Gam n ra G


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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QUICK QUIRK QUIZ: TWO INNOVATORS • In 1866 Henry bought an Ohio paint manufacturing company for $2,000. Four years later, he became a partner with a man named Edward. Back then, painting was a tricky, difficult business, and only professionals did it. The paint had to be hand mixed, stirred often, and used before it dried in the container. Henry and Edward wanted to be able to sell paint directly to the people, so they knew they had to make it easy. • First they developed pre-mixed paint, then they invented the re-sealable paint can. They created different paints for different surfaces, since metal, wood, and brick all react differently to paint. They perfected interior and exterior paints. They even developed different paints for different climates.

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• When the partners discovered that automobile paint took 21 days to dry, they developed a quick-dry paint that would dry in a matter of hours. They supplied the Army with camouflage paint during the war. Their company transformed the industry from something that was difficult even for professionals to accomplish to something that was entirely userfriendly. The company is named after Henry and Edward's last names. What’s the company called? (Answer at top of next page.)




of 11 he became the youngest person to enroll in Harvard University, and when he was 12 he lectured the Harvard Mathematical Club on four-dimensional bodies. He graduated cum laude at 16. • If you wanted to circle the equator with onedollar bills, it would take 257,588,120 of them. • In 1889, a magazine called The Literary Digest made the following prediction: "The ordinary 'horseless carriage' is at present a luxury for the wealthy, and although its price will probably fall in the future, it will never, of course, come into as common use as the bicycle." • Before Charlton Heston became a famous actor, he earned cash by serving as an artists' model -- and posed in the nude. * * * Thought for the Day: "When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before." -- Mae West


• A newspaper reporter once asked General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces during World War II and later president of the French Fifth Republic, if he was happy. De Gaulle replied, "What do you take me for, an idiot?" • If you're like a million other Americans, you admit to drinking Coke for breakfast. • The next time you're planning a trip to Indiana, keep in mind that in that state it is illegal to talk behind a person's back or engage in "spiteful gossiping." • It's been claimed that prodigy William James Sidis had the highest IQ ever recorded (though any record of the test has been lost). At the age of 18 months, he was reading The New York Times; by the time he was 8, he had taught himself Latin, Greek, French, Russian, German, Hebrew, Turkish and Armenian and had invented his own language he called Vendergood. At the age


by Samantha Weaver

• Because there had been so many shoddy paint companies selling such poor quality paint for so long, paint had a very negative stigma which needed to be overcome. Henry and Edward decided to offer people a ‘money-back guarantee’ stating that their money would be cheerfully refunded if they were not completely satisfied. This was the first company ever to offer a money-back guarantee, and it gained the public’s confidence.

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Answer: Sherwin-Williams QUICK QUIRK QUIZ: FISH OIL PAINT DEERE. JOHN ran DEERE. • Robert Fergusson away (continued): from his home in at the living age ofin12,Illinois and went seek •Scotland It was while that to John no-adventure on the sea. His duties included swabticed the problems that farmers faced when bing and re-painting rusty metal attempting to till soil.the Because the areadeck, had a tedious chore. day he lunged open formerly beenOne woodland, the soilfor wasanrich with hummus, clumped clungittobecontainer of raw which fish oil trying and to catch theitblades of but the failed. plows farmers accus-the fore spilled, It spreadwere all over tomed to using. repairing a broken cirdeck. In the days While following the spill, he noticed cular saw, Deere stumbled upon an idea. He that the rust that had been relentlessly creeping employed his smith skills to fashion the oil steel across the deck stopped where the fish had blade He intoremembered the shape ofthis a plow. He affixedhis spilled. fact throughout twocareer wooden then hitched the device long as aspokes, sea captain. to a horse. It plowed the heavy Illinois soil • After Newa Orleans, he happened frequently like asettling charm. in In fact, farmer who experimented with paints.put The to be observing thefish test oil-based run immediately problem was that they smelled terrible and took in an order for his own John Deere plow. forever to dry. When Fergusson was 42 years •old, In he short gave his of blacksmith wasorder, put inDeere charge of aupfleet ships durshop and focused on making plows. ing World War I. Taking the opportunity The to do company grew steadily and added many emfurther experiments with fish oil, he finally hit ployees. In the late 1840s, John relocated the on a formula that smelled better, dried fast, and entire operation to Moline, Illinois. Ashamed stopped rust overnight. of his own lack of education, John sent his • After the war, a paintschools. companyOne in 1921, children to he thefounded state’s finest of which did quitedays well.occurred Today it’s a worldwide leadhis proudest when son Charles er earned in protective paints and both home the equivalent of coatings an MBA for from Bell’s andCommercial industry, and still offers the famous rust-fightCollege in Chicago. formula thatCharles startedmanaging it all back 1921. The •ingWith his son theincompany, company’s motto, Neverphilanthropic Sleeps’, wasincreJohn found time‘Rust to pursue ated by the members of the rock group Devo when terests. He co-founded both the First Nationthey worked OhioCongregational advertising agency prior al Bank andfortheanFirst Church. to He becoming famous. theMoline name ofinthe comwas elected the What’s mayor of 1873, pany? (Answer at bottom of page.) where one of his first actions – the replacement of theDÉCOR city’s open BYdrains ABE with a sewer pipe system – saved countless lives reduc• When Abe Lincoln was a boy, he by saw some ing the spread of disease. boys wading in a mud puddle near the house.


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called themJohn overDeere and one one he held •HeThe original logo,byregistered in 1876, depicted a deer native to Afrithem upsidedown and that hadwas them "walk" their ca. Thirty-six years later,and in 1912, waswhiteremuddy feet up the walls acrossitthe placedceiling. with theAsimage North American washed soon of as ahis stepmother quit white-tailed deer. Abe In the decades that follaughing, she made re-paint. lowed, the now-familiar “outline” logo took Answer: Rust-oleum 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 1. Dwight Gooden, 4. Larry Bird & Detlef in 1984 Schrempf 2. McCarthy (.627), 5. Twelve times Stengel (.623) in 17 seasons Torre (.605) 3. Colin Kaepernick

Tidbits Laughs A farmer's wife became ill and her husband sent for the doctor, who hurried over with his black bag in hand. After looking at the patient, he stepped outside the sick room and asked the farmer for a corkscrew. A few minutes later he called for a pair of pliers. Later, the door opened and he requested a hammer and chisel. The distraught farmer could stand it no longer. "For gosh sakes, Doc, what ails her?" he cried. "Don't know yet," replied the doctor. "Can't get my instrument bag open!"


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