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Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks
December 11, 2014
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TIDBITS® LOOKS IN THE
State of of State $avings. $avings. Sharon Opdahl, Agent
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On December 7, 1926, the first U.S. patent for a household refrigerator which operated on gas was issued to The Electrolux Servel Corporation. The new concept was far safer than older model refrigerators which used toxic gases that killed people if they leaked. Come along with Tidbits as we look at refrigerators! THE ICEBOX • Before the invention of refrigerators, iceboxes were common. The first models didn’t work efficiently because the designers failed to understand how ice cools. The ice, placed in an airtight container on top, took a long time to melt but failed to impart its coolness to the food kept in a storage box below. After studying the principles of ice, a new model was designed that contained the crucial element of air flow: Ice in the top part of the icebox absorbed the heat from the warm air rising from the food storage box below. The cool air, now denser and heavier than the warm air, sank to the bottom of the ice box, allowing the warmer air to flow upward in a never-ending cycle. Drip pans below the icebox had to be emptied every day, and new ice blocks had to be purchased from the iceman at frequent intervals.
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THE BIRTH OF THE FRIDGE • The death of the icebox began with the birth of refrigeration, and that began with a scientific principle and a bunch of feverish patients.
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5. T or F: The more items you have in your fridge, the more efficient it is. 6. What is the average life expectancy of a typical refrigerator? 7. In the movie Forrest Gump, what was Forrest’s home state? 8. What group performed the hit song “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone”? 9. In chemistry, what is the symbol for the element tungsten?
1. Approximately, how much of the cold air in a fridge escapes when you open the door? 2. How many times a day does the average American open the refrigerator door? 3. What is the ideal temperature to keep your refrigerator set to? 4. 90% of refrigerators in America are one of what two colors?
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• If you take a gas or liquid and compress it tightly and then allow it to expand, it absorbs heat from its surroundings as it is expanding. This is the basic principle behind refrigeration, air conditioning, and ice making. Various people experimented with the principle and managed to make small amounts of ice. JOHN GORRIE • In 1833 Dr. John Gorrie moved to Apalachicola, Florida. One of the main illnesses afflicting his patients was yellow fever. He noted that people who slept under mosquito netting tended to stay healthier than those who did not, but never realized that mosquito netting kept out the mosquitoes who carried the germs that caused yellow fever. • Gorrie noted that feverish patients recovered faster if they were kept cool, which was not easy to achieve in Florida. He tried hanging buckets of ice from the ceiling with fans to circulate the cool air. This helped, but ice had to be shipped from Boston and cost a lot. • Gorrie was familiar with the fact that compressed gasses absorb heat from their surroundings when they expand. He built a steam engine that drove a piston back and forth inside an airtight cylinder which was surrounded by water. First the piston would press down, compressing the air inside. Then it would pull back, and the compressed air expanded, pulling heat from the water. Then a valve would open at the end of the cylinder and the next time the piston pumped, it would push the cool air out and pull hot air in, to repeat the cycle over and over. The surrounding air became cool and the water became ice. Fever patients recovered.
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4. In 2013, Tony Romo passed for 506 yards in a game, setting a new record for the 1. When was the last year the Cowboys. Who had held the Chicago Cubs won a division Dallas passing mark? title? 5. Entering 2015, how many 2. Tennis player David Ferrer consecutive years has a has won more than 20 singles Chevrolet driver won NAStitles, but has been in only CAR’s Brickyard 400 at Inone Grand Slam final. Which dianapolis Motor Speedway? one was it, and to whom did 6. Who had been the fastest he lose? MLB pitcher to reach 500 3. Who holds the Chicago Blackstrikeouts before Texas’ Yu hawks record for most postDarvish (401⅔ innings) set season game-winning goals? the new mark in 2014?
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JOHN GORRIE (continued): • Gorrie announced his new discovery on July 14, 1850. The New York Globe reported, “There is a Dr. Gorrie, a crank down in Apalachicola, Florida, that thinks he can make ice by his machine as good as God Almighty.” • Gorrie quit the medical business, convinced that his fortune was made. However, he was never able to find financial backing, because investors were reluctant to back artificial ice when natural ice was delivered each year by ship. The natural ice business had a powerful lobby and discouraged potential investors. Gorrie died in 1853, broke and broken. FERDINAND CARRE • Three years later, Ferdinand Carré introduced his ice-making machine to widespread acclaim. Carré’s model used ammonia instead of air. Under pressure, the ammonia would be in liquid form, but when pressure was released, it would evaporate into gaseous form (thereby absorbing heat and cooling the surrounding area) and the gas would be collected and condensed into liquid once again. When the Civil War cut off the supply of ice to the southern states, Carré shipped several of his ice-making machines past the blockade and was in business. In 1877 he designed the first refrigerated ship. However, his refrigerators were bulky and heavy and tended to kill people when the ammonia leaked. Still, Carré’s design remains the fundamental system of modern refrigeration. THE FRIDGE DEVELOPS • As electricity became common, electrical refrigerators began to rise in popularity. By 1920, there were over 200 types for the American consumer to choose from. Across the U.S., thousands cancelled their contracts with the Ice Man.
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FRIGIDAIRE • In June of 1918, General Motors bought out a small Detroit refrigerator company and renamed it Frigidaire. They set their engineers to work improving the fridge. One of the main problems was that the various coolants used – ammonia, methyl choloride, sulfur dioxide –killed people when the refrigerator leaked. They were also corrosive and explosive, killing people when the fridge blew up. What was needed was a coolant that was non-toxic, non-corrosive, nonexplosive, and cheap.
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MOMENTS IN TIME
• On Dec. 18, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony. That winter of 1620-1621 was brutal, and the Pilgrims struggled to find food and ward off sickness. By spring, 50 of the original 102 Mayflower passengers were dead. • On Dec. 15, 1791, Virginia becomes the final state to ratify the Bill of Rights, making the first 10 amendments to the Constitution law. The Anti-Federalist critics of the Constitution believed that it gave too much power to the federal government. The Bill of Rights assuaged their concerns. • On Dec. 17, 1944, Public Proclamation No. 21 declared that JapaneseAmerican "evacuees" from the West Coast could return to their homes. In 1942, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were relocated to remote internment camps built by the U.S. military. • On Dec. 20, 1957, Elvis Presley receives his draft notice for the United States Army. After basic training, he © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
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served in 3rd Armor Corps in Friedberg, Germany, where he attained the rank of sergeant. • On Dec. 19, 1968, Warner Brothers releases the movie "Bullitt," starring Steve McQueen, in Sweden, two months after its debut in U.S. theaters. Many critics consider "Bullitt" to be one of the greatest action movies ever made, because of the sevenminute car chase through the streets of San Francisco. • On Dec. 16, 1973, the Buffalo Bills running back "OJ" Simpson becomes the first player in the National Football League to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. After leading the University of Southern California Trojans to a Rose Bowl victory and winning the Heisman Trophy, Simpson was drafted by Buffalo in 1969. • On Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 explodes in midair over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members aboard, as well as 11 Lockerbie residents on the ground. A bomb hidden inside an audio cassette player detonated in the cargo area when the plane was at an altitude of 31,000 feet.
FREON • Thomas Midgley was one of GM’s best researchers and he went to work on the task working under the direction of Charles Kettering. It only took him three days of experimenting to solve the problem. As a result, on December 31, 1928, Frigidaire received the first patent for chlorofluorocarbons which they gave the trade name of Freon. To demonstrate Freon’s characteristics at the meeting of the American Chemical Society, Midgley inhaled a lung full of Freon gas, then exhaled over a lit candle. The candle was snuffed out by the gas, Midgley did not keel over, and the assembled chemists hailed Freon as the perfect non-toxic non-flammable coolant. Soon refrigerators containing Freon were standard issue. No one had even heard of the ozone layer. MODERN FRIDGES • Today a chemical called tetrafluoroethane is used in modern refrigerators. It turns into a liquid when it is cooled to -15.9ºF. A motor and compressor squeezes the chemical. When it is compressed, the gas heats up as it is pressurized. When the compressed gas passes through the coils on the back or bottom of the fridge, it expands and the heat goes into the room, leaving the interior of the fridge cool.
this gift is just what i wanted (not!) By Lucie M. Winborne item as soon as possible after it’s purchased.
It’s happened to everyone at some point -that ugly, duplicate, wrong-sized (or just plain wrong) gift, to which we smile and say, “Thanks. It’s just what I wanted!” Then, as soon as the coast is clear, we get in our cars and make a beeline for the customer-service counter. Because being gracious about a gift doesn’t mean we have to live with it. Of course, if an item is homemade or unique, you’re generally stuck with it, but if not, there are a couple of alternatives.
This option requires care. Who doesn’t have “stuff” they’d like to eventually downsize, and what better way than to pass it on to another deserving soul? While thrift-store boutiques are a good option, if you decide to regift to a friend or relative, remember: be sure the item is something the new recipient will appreciate; leave it in the original packaging; and (it should go without saying) avoid
regifting within the same circle of friends or relatives.
In lieu of a receipt, explaining that the item was a gift will sometimes work, but if not, be ready to show verification of the purchase, such as a bank statement. You may also be asked to show ID in an effort to weed out “serial returners.” If an item is defective, your chances of getting your money back just went up exponentially, but then again, sometimes a store credit is as good a return as you’ll get.
And if you’re asked about the status of the gift? It’s better to err on the side An exception, of course, is gag gifts ... the of kindness rather than a lie that could wackier the better. Family traditions have come back to haunt you. A simple, been born out of these, some of them last- “Would you believe so and so already ing for years. gave me one? I knew you wouldn’t mind if I exchanged it for a (fill in the Returning Whether you’re on the giving or receiv- blank)” can ease a sticky situation. ing end, if regifting isn’t an option you’ll Happy gifting. And many happy rewant require one, but you’re also more turns! likely to be successful if you return an © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
'tis the season to be ...ugly! By Lucie M. Winborne Tinsel, lights, 3-D ornaments and even gift-wrapped packages aren’t just for the Christmas tree anymore. Throw in a few clashing patterns, some cheesy animals and just the right amount of sparkle, attach all to a cozy cardigan, and voila! You’ve got a custom creation virtually guaranteed to make you a laughingstock.
grassroots fundraising movement that has inspired non-stop giving around the globe.” Their yearly bash now attracts over 1,000 celebrants, with ticket sales generating thousands of dollars for charities and non-profits.
And the proud owners of ugly Christmas sweaters wouldn’t have it any other way ... because as one authority on the subject noted, “It’s the most fun you can have with your knitwear on.” But what’s behind this annual fashion ada, claims) “ugly” party, in 2001, helped madness? launch them back into the mainstream, No one has so far seen fit to 'fess up, but where they’ve remained ever since. And what started as a fad and ended up a full- why not, in a season that’s often filled blown industry appears to have origi- with as much stress as cheer, many of us nated in that decade of excess, the ‘80s. could use a good laugh? Like other fashion choices we now view with regret, those early “jingle bell sweaters” were no doubt considered charming. Their popularity waned in the ‘90s, but the first (or so the city of Vancouver, Can-
Whether you’re out to raise funds or merely have fun, it’s time to get your holiday ugly on! Serve Ugly Sweater cookies at your next party. Spring for that dreadful pullover. There’s no shortage of suppliers, from department stores to Amazon. com. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, you can easily find instructions online. And if you ever have second thoughts about your sartorial choices, chances are good you’ll get a return on your investment over on eBay, where collectors have been known to spend hundreds of dollars on the jersey of their dreams.
Even better is getting ugly for a cause. The brains behind that Vancouver cel- Merry Christmas! May your days be merebration, Jordan Birch and Paul Boyd, ry and bright ... and may all your Christadmit they never dreamed that “a joke mas sweaters be ugly. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc. between friends ... would evolve into a
• Henry Ruttan was born on June 12, 1792, in Adolphustown, Ontario. As a young boy, he went out with his brother one day to tap maple trees for sap in order to make maple syrup. Unfortunately, there was an accident with the axe and Henry lost several fingers on one hand. His father reasoned that he would never be able to handle a job that involved manual labor. Because of this, he sent Henry to school. • Henry’s education lasted until he was 14 years old. At that time he left to become a store clerk in Kingston. He worked his way up from apprentice to partner and eventually ran his own store in Grafton. • His career was long, varied, and distinguished. He served in the military beginning with the War of 1812, reaching the rank of colonel. In 1820, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada for Northumberland. He served until 1824 and was reelected in 1836. He served as speaker of the house from December 1837 to January 1838. In 1827, he was named sheriff for the Newcastle District. But he’s known best for his innovations in heating and cooling methods for homes and railroad cars. • The conservation of fuel and the proper ventilation of houses were impossible to achieve with the inefficient fireplaces and stoves then in use. Ruttan began to design air heaters and ventilating equipment using methods that involved drawing outside air through a duct. The air then flowed through a heater and circulated by convection throughout the various rooms in the household. Finally, it flowed through another duct and exited the building.
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• In that day and age, Henry’s system of heating and cooling homes was a revolutionary system. He was granted seven patents on the process between 1846 and 1858. • Henry then turned his attention to devising a system for the heating and ventilation of railway coaches which were notoriously hot and stuffy. • His methods were similar to what he designed for homes: outside air was forced into the rail cars through ducts, with the motion of the train drawing the air in. The air passed through a water tank located underneath the floor of the rail car. Pipes led the air on a serpentine path through the water where it was cleaned, humidified, and cooled. This clean cool air was then directed to another set of pipes to be sent to the rail cars, where it was discharged just above the passengers’ heads. In the winter, the system was modified so that the air was heated before entering the rail cars. Ruttan’s system, probably the first to provide an air-conditioned vehicle, was used by several railways in Canada and the United States. By 1886, over 300 rail cars had been outfitted with his system. • In 1861 he published a book with the lengthy title, “Ventilation and warming of buildings: illustrated by fifty-four plates, exemplifying the exhaustion principle; to which is added a complete description and illustration of the ventilation of railway carriages, for both winter and summer.” • In 1816 Ruttan married Mary Jones. They had nine children of whom his son Henry Jones continued his father’s interests in ventilation and heating. When Henry was 68, he was thrown from a carriage and suffered injuries from which he never fully recovered. He died Cobourg in 1871 at the age of 80.
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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.
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PRESIDENTIAL QUOTES: “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” ~ Ronald Reagan
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FROZEN FOODS: QUIZ
• Barbra Streisand once had a • One Washington state pris- shopping mall installed in the on offers inmates cats to aid basement of her Malibu, California, home. in their rehabilitation. • In 1856, a soldier of for- • The next time you see a group tune (who was also a jour- of cats together, you can call nalist, doctor and lawyer) by them a "cloudier." If the cats are the name of William Walker young ones, though, the appropriand his hand-picked group ate term for a group of kittens is of mercenaries took over Ni- a "kindle." lishment that is on fire.
caragua. Walker appointed himself dictator, thus securing for himself the distinction of being the only native-born American citizen to become head of state of a foreign nation. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.
• Those who study such things say that cockroaches can run as fast as 3 mph. ***
Thought for the Day: "A man can't be too careful in the choice of his enemies." -- Oscar Wilde
JOHN’S MOM • Edward Piszek worked in a bar making crab cakes in 1946. One night he made 172, but only sold 50. Not wanting to waste them, he packed them into a freezer. A week later, they were still good. He and his friend John decided to go into business selling frozen fish patties.
• If you counted up all the Mc• A football in an NFL game Donald's, Dunkin' Donuts, Pizza lasts, on average, only 6 Hut, Burger King, Domino's Pizminutes. za, KFC, Wendy's and Taco Bell • If you're planning to visit locations in the United States Chicago anytime soon, you and added them together, you might want to keep in mind still wouldn't reach the number that in that city, it's against of pharmacy locations across the the law to dine in any estab- country.
• You might be surprised to learn that the Earth experiences a million earthquakes every year; however, most of them are so small that they aren't even noticeable.
• It was American author and illustrator Oliver Herford who defined a manuscript as "something submitted in haste and returned at leisure."
by Samantha Weaver
• Clarence went on an Arctic expedition in the 1920s. One day he went ice fishing when it was -20ºF and the fish he caught froze instantly when he removed them from the water. Back at camp, he tossed a fish into a bucket of warm water and was amazed to see it come to life again. He concluded that it had survived because it had been frozen so quickly. This gave him an idea. He tried flash-freezing food. Freezing food quickly prevents large ice crystals from forming, preventing damage to the cells so that it tastes the same when thawed. In 1924 Clarence began marketing the first line of frozen food – fish. They didn’t sell well, because few people, including grocers, owned freezers. One day heiress Marjorie Post of Post cereals was on a yacht with her husband E. F. Hutton when their chef served a goose dinner, even though goose was out of season. She asked the chef where he’d gotten the goose and he introduced her to Clarence. She convinced her husband and the board of directors of Post to sign up Clarence and invest in this new technology. By 1930 they were selling 26 kinds of frozen foods. In the mid-1930s they introduced a freezer display case leased to grocers who couldn’t afford to buy one. By the time Clarence died in 1956, the company he started, named after himself, was one of the best known names in frozen foods. What was his last name? (Answer at top of next page)
ANSWER: Clarence’s last name was Birdseye. • Air • Cruises • Tours • Funjet • MLT Vacations • Amtrak • Vacation Packages www.stentrav.com
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JOHN’S MOM (cont’d) DEERE. JOHN DEERE. • Feeling their frozen fish (continued): patties needed a • woman’s It was while living in Illinois that John their notouch, they resolved to name ticed the after problems that farmers facedPiszek’s when company a woman. Edward attempting to till soil. Because the area mother pressured them to name it after had her, formerly been woodland, the soil was rich but they named it after John’s mother because with hummus, which clumped and clung to her name was easier to spell. Edward teamed the blades of the plows farmers were accusup with his wife to sell grocers on his prodtomed to using. While repairing a broken ciruct. First, would go in and the sales cular saw,heDeere stumbled upongive an idea. He pitch, then his wife would enter the store and employed his smith skills to fashion the steel exclaim overthe it. shape Next Edward would hire his blade into of a plow. He affixed friends to go into the store and buy up the two wooden spokes, then hitched the device product, creating artificial He bought to a horse. It plowed the demand. heavy Illinois soil out John’s portion of the business but kept the like a charm. In fact, a farmer who happened name of John’s mother. What was her name? to be observing the test run immediately put (Answer at bottom of page) in an order for his own John Deere plow. • In short order, Deere gave up his blacksmith FROZEN MEALS shop and focused on making plows.a lunch The • In 1922 Abraham and his wife opened company grew steadily and added many emcounter. It was successful, so they opened anployees. In the late 1840s, John relocated the other one in 1923 with the help of their son entire operation to Moline, Illinois. Ashamed Vernon. With the success of the second resof his own lack of education, John sent his taurant, they incorporated, naming the firm children to the state’s finest schools. One of after themselves. continued to open new his proudest daysThey occurred when son Charles restaurants. Customersofkept asking forBell’s extra earned the equivalent an MBA from entrees that they could take home to eat. With Commercial College in Chicago.
1. 2008 (Central 4. Don Meredith (460 yards in Division) 1963) 2. 2013 French 5. Twelve years Open; lost to 6. Kerry Wood of Rafael Nadal 3. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Cubs (404⅔ innings) with 10
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the advent of refrigerators and freezers, Ver-
• The original John Deere logo, registered in with over 150 varieties including frozen lasa1876, depicted a deer that was native to Afrigna, French bread pizzas, frozen dinners. ca. Thirty-six years later, and in 1912, it was reWhat’s it called? John’s mom was Mrs. Paul. placed with the image of a North American white-tailed In theis decades that folThe frozen fooddeer. company called Stouffer’s lowed, the now-familiar “outline” logo took Thanks for Reading over as the symbol of the John Tidbits! Deere brand.
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• With his son Charles managing the company, non decided to expand into the frozen food John found time to pursue philanthropic inbusiness. At first he just had the chefs cook terests. He co-founded both the First Nationextra food which was frozen and sold to real Bank and the First Congregational Church. tailers. demand outstripped supply and He wasSoon elected the mayor of Moline in 1873, the chefsonecouldn’t keepactions up. In– 1954 Vernon where of his first the replacefounded a frozen food operation bearing the ment of the city’s open drains with a sewer family name. In the 1960s he also opened pipe system – saved countless lives by reduc-a chain of spread hotels.ofToday that firm is the leading ing the disease.
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