Tidbits Grand Forks - February 19, 2015

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February 19, 2015

Of Grand Forks • East Grand Forks Published by: Wick Publications


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• World War I was the sixth deadliest conflict in history with nearly 8.6 million total military deaths for all countries involved. The Great War, as it was called at the time, was fought on every ocean and nearly every continent, although most of the fighting took place in Europe. It began in the summer of 1914 when a Serbian national assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary. One month later, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Because of treaties that had been signed, binding countries to come to each other’s aid in time of war, countries began choosing sides. The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and Germany signed a treaty within just five days of the declaration of war against Serbia. • President Woodrow Wilson the United States neutral in 1914. He held with this decision even after 128 Americans were killed when a German submarine sank the British passenger ship, the Lusitania, in May, 1915. Throughout Wilson’s campaign for his second term, his slogan was, “He kept us out of war.” However, in 1917, when German U-boats sank three U.S. merchant ships, just one month after Wilson’s victory, the U.S. declared war against Germany. turn the WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Publish a

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This week, Tidbits continues its coverage of war trivia.

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5. Name the president of the Confederate States of America. 6. Which country suffered the largest number of World War II casualties? 7. What was the name of the competing bar in the TV sitcom “Cheers”? 8. What are the names of the 2 siblings who had acting roles in the 1980s movie “Sixteen Candles”?


1. What document was signed to end World War I? 2. Which U.S. state was the first to secede from the Union in 1860? 3. During which war did the words “In God We Trust” first appear on a U.S. coin? 4. What was the name given to the 20-year period following the Civil War when the South was rebuilt?


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WARS, PART TWO (continued): • The Allies of World War I were led by the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and the United States, who defeated the Central Powers, led by the German Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Ottoman Empire. • The greatest numbers of deaths were from the countries of Germany, with 1.77 million deaths, and Russia with 1.7 million. • The longest battle of World War I was the Battle of Verdun in France, spanning from February to July of 1916, resulting in nearly a million casualties. • During World War I, Manfred von Richthofen gained notoriety as the highest-scoring fighter pilot. Nicknamed “The Red Baron,” this German officially shot down 80 enemy aircraft in 20 months of combat. This included 21 planes in just one month, April, 1917. His plane was shot down near Amiens, France, in April, 1918, and the 25-year-old Richthofen perished in the crash. • America’s “Ace of Aces” was Eddie Rickenbacker, a man with a colorful history. At age 24, he was a daring race car driver, setting a world speed record of 134 mph (216 km/hr) at Daytona in 1914. He didn’t even have his first ride in an airplane until 1916. Although he had a lifelong fear of heights, he had a desire to fly. Flight training required a college degree and a maximum age of 25. Claiming to be 25, he applied for training, and after just 17 days as a student pilot, he graduated and was made a lieutenant in the 94th Aero Squadron. Rickenbacker flew more combat hours than any other American pilot, and survived 134 aerial enemy engagements. After the war, he was General Motor’s head of sales for Cadillac and LaSalle automobiles. He purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1927 and operated that for 15 years. In 1933, he became the general manager of Eastern Airlines, and later became part owner and president of the company.

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WARS, PART TWO (continued): • The top Canadian flying ace of the war, credited with 72 “kills” was Ontario-born hero Billy Bishop, who downed 67 of that total in just six months.

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• Because of the late entry into World War I, the United States only experienced 53,402 battle deaths. The estimated death toll for all countries involved topped 8.5 million. The Spanish flu was responsible for about one-third of the total military deaths.

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• Thirty different poisonous gases were used during World War I, with France the first country to employ gas against enemy troops. The French fired tear gas grenades on the Germans early in the war in August, 1914, and the Germans followed up the following April with poisonous chlorine gas. It wasn’t until 1918 that gas masks with respirators were used as protection. Many countries signed treaties at the end of the war outlawing chemical weapons. • World War I came to an end on November 11, 1918, when Germany accepted the settlement terms. More than 65 million men from 30 countries had fought in the war. November 11 was declared a holiday known as Armistice Day, which today Americans call Veterans Day and Canadians call Remembrance Day. • World War II was history’s deadliest war, with an estimate of 50 million to 72 million deaths, up to 3.1% of the world’s population. The Axis Powers consisted of Germany, Japan, and Italy, along with Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Croatia, and Slovakia. Their enemy, the Allied Forces, was made up of the U.S., Great Britain, China, and the Soviet Union. About 70 million people fought in the armed forces of the Allied and Axis nations. The total civilian casualties from bombing raids, massacres, starvations, and death camps will never be known.

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MOMENTS IN TIME • On Feb. 25, 1828, John Adams, son of President John Quincy Adams, marries his first cousin and inadvertently follows a pattern of keeping marriages within the family. John Adams' grandfather, President John Adams, had married his third cousin. John's daughter also married a family member -- her second cousin. • On Feb. 24, 1938, Variety reports that the film studio Metro-GoldwynMayer has bought the rights to adapt L. Frank Baum's children's novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" for the screen, and that MGM has cast 16-year-old Judy Garland in the film's central role, Dorothy. • On Feb. 27, 1942, the U.S. Navy's first aircraft carrier, the Langley, is sunk by Japanese warplanes, and all of its 32 aircraft are lost. The Langley had parted company from its convoy when nine Japanese twin-engine bombers attacked. Of the 300 crewmen, only 16 were lost. • On Feb. 28, 1953, Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Frances H.C. Crick announce that they have determined the double-

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helix structure of DNA, the molecule containing human genes. Watson later claimed that Crick announced the discovery by walking into the nearby Eagle Pub and blurting out, "We have discovered the secret of life." • On Feb. 26, 1968, allied troops who recaptured the city of Hue from the North Vietnamese during the Tet Offensive find the first mass graves in the former imperial capital. It was discovered that communist troops who had held the city for 25 days had massacred between 2,800 and 5,700 civilians. • On March 1, 1971, musician James Taylor makes the cover of Time magazine. The article contrasted Taylor's gentle rock sound to the "walloping folk rock of Bob Dylan," the "thunderous eloquence of the Beatles" and the "leer of the Rolling Stones." • On Feb. 23, 1980, speed skater Eric Heiden wins the 10,000-meter race at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, setting a world record with his time. Before Heiden, no other athlete in Olympic history had ever won five individual gold medals.

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WARS, PART TWO (continued): • In September, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, and France, all of which fell to Germany. Only the United Kingdom remained to oppose them. • The 41-day Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944 and January, 1945 took place in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, and was Germany’s attempt to split the Allied armies. About 610,000 American forces were involved in the battle, with nearly 100,000 killed or wounded. It remains the deadliest battle U.S. Army troops ever fought. • Over 16.1 million U.S. troops served in World War II, with total deaths over 405,000. Of the total number of Soviet males born in 1923, only 20% survived World War II. • Eighteen out of 96 ships anchored at Pearl Harbor were sunk or seriously damaged during the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. • On June 6, 1944, D-Day, Allied forces landed at Normandy, France in a tactic code-named Operation Neptune. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history, with over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and more than 150,000 soldiers participating. The 50-mile (80-km) stretch of the coast was divided into five beaches – Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. The Allies suffered more than 4,400 deaths. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force on D-Day. • During World War II, there were 1.7 million military courts-martial cases. Of these, 142 were sentenced to execution for murder or rape charges. Only one soldier was executed for desertion, 24-year-old Private Eddie Slovik, the first American executed for this crime since the Civil War. He remains the only execution for a purely military offense to this day. A child asked his father, "How were Tidbits Laughs people born?" So his father said, "Adam

and Eve made babies, then their babies became adults and made babies, and so on." The child then went to his mother, asked her the same question and she told him, "We were monkeys then we evolved to become like we are now." The child ran back to his father and said, "You lied to me!" His father replied, "No, your mom was talking about her side of the family."

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There aren’t too many folks who haven’t heard of Bissell carpet care products, but how much do you know about the inventors? This week, Tidbits focuses on Melville and Anna Bissell, the people who brought us the carpet sweeper. • Anna Sutherland was a 19-year-old schoolteacher when she married Melville Bissell and moved to Michigan. They opened a crockery and china business together in Grand Rapids in 1871. She found it very frustrating that all the dust from their business settled in the carpets and it was impossible to remove it from the fibers with a broom. The dust was also contributing to Melville’s health problems. He began working on a device that would sweep it all away! • Melville Bissell’s carpet sweeper utilized rubber wheels whose back-and-forth motion drove a set of bristles, which in turn agitated the dirt and swept it inside. He received a patent for his sweeper in 1876. When friends began asking where they could purchase the contraption, Bissell moved away from crockery and toward the large potential market of the sweeper.

• The Bissells hired women neighbors, who worked out of their homes in Grand Rapids to tie bundles of hog bristles with string. The bunches were then dipped in hot pitch and inserted into brush rollers and trimmed. Anna made the rounds of the homes, collecting the pieces in a clothes basket, returning to the Bissell shop to assemble the sweepers. • Once production was underway, Melville hit the road to peddle his new product, knocking on doors and calling on houseware stores.

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THE BISSELLS (continued): • During his demonstrations, Melville tossed a handful of dirt onto the carpet and quickly swept it up with his newfangled gadget. The price was $1.50 and the sweepers sold like hotcakes. Anna took a trip to Philadelphia and persuaded John Wanamaker, owner of that city’s first department store, to take on the carpet sweeper.

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• In 1883, the Bissells built their first manufacturing plant in Grand Rapids. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the factory the following year. Anna quickly secured loans from local banks which enabled the Bissells to begin manufacturing just 20 days after the fire.



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• More tragedy struck in 1889 when Melville passed away at age 45. Although she was raising their five children, Anna quickly stepped up to lead the company, becoming the first female CEO in America. She expanded the business internationally, and within a few years, the factory was producing 1,000 sweepers daily. Even Queen Victoria of England was a fan, demanding that the castle be “Bisselled” on a weekly basis.

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• Anna was responsible for introducing progressive labor practices such as workmen’s comp and pension plans to her company. She became a civic leader, opening the Bissell House, a refuge for youth and immigrants. • Anna Bissell held the reins of the company for more than 30 years before she passed the baton to her son, Melville, Jr., who pushed the company toward the new era of the vacuum cleaner and rug shampooer. Even today, Bissell remains a family-owned company. In the midst of all the world’s technological advances, the original carpet sweeper remains virtually unchanged.

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March is National Caffeine Awareness Month, so Tidbits is spotlighting this well-known substance and its characteristics. • Caffeine is a naturally-occurring stimulant found in the leaves, beans, or fruits of more than 60 different types of plants across the globe, including the coffee plant, tea bush, kola nut, and guarana berries. Caffeine is also produced synthetically and added to many products.

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• Besides improving alertness, caffeine is also used to treat asthma, low blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. For some suffering from migraines, combining caffeine with aspirin or acetaminophen has proven beneficial. In fact, caffeine can improve the effectiveness of a painkiller by 40%, and can help the body absorb the medication more quickly. Caffeine is even added to creams applied to skin, which can reduce the itching and redness associated with dermatitis. Research also indicates that caffeine can offer a fair amount of protection against Parkinson’s Disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.



man/woman." According to the abstract, "the spherically shaped body and adhesion surface form a building component for facilitating the construction of the snow man/woman." • If you're a pickle-maker in Connecticut, you should know that your product cannot legally be considered a pickle unless it bounces when dropped. • Philadelphia brand cream cheese was originally made in New York. • According to a recent survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores, 11 percent of adult Americans have at some point in their lives worked at a convenience store or gas station. For 3 percent of adults, that was their first job. *** Thought for the Day: "Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." -- Albert Einstein


• It was British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who made the following sage observation: "All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope." • Though an electric eel is born with the ability to see, by the time it becomes an adult it is blind. This lack of sight is not a hindrance, though; the fish uses electricity to create an image of its surroundings in much the same way that we use radar. The electricity is also how the electric eel kills its prey, producing a 600volt shock -- five times more powerful than a shock from a household outlet. • For reasons unclear today, in 18th-century England, bumblebees were commonly known as "foggy-toddlers." • You might be surprised to learn that in 2011, a man by the name of Ignacio Marc Isperas was granted a U.S. patent for "apparatus facilitating the building of a snow


by Samantha Weaver

• Everyone knows that caffeine can give you a temporary boost during the day, fighting off drowsiness, boosting energy, and improving mental alertness. It does this by stimulating the central nervous system, the heart, muscles, and controllers of blood pressure. Caffeine is completely absorbed by the small intestine within 30 to 45 minutes after consumption. It is then distributed throughout the body’s tissues. The greatest blood concentration is reached within one to two hours, and its effects diminish in three to five hours. This isn’t true of all folks, since body weight and frequency of consumption can affect absorption. Those who don’t consume caffeine regularly are more sensitive to its effects.

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DIFFERENCES: 1. Cap is reversed. 2. Cuffs are missing. 3. Leash is shorter. 4. Collar is different. 5. Fence board is missing. 6. Tail is shorter. © 2015 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.

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CAFFEINE (continued): • It’s estimated that 90% of North Americans consume caffeine on a daily basis, averaging about 280 mg/day. A low to moderate intake Answer: Dell. is between 130 mg. and 300 mg. per day. VERY LARGE NUMBER An 8-oz.A cup of coffee varies from about 95 • mg. Edward Kasner was a mathematician. In type 1938 to 200 mg. per cup, depending on he was asked to come up with a name for a of coffee and brewing time. It would seem very large number: the numeral one, followed to make sense that dark roast coffees would by a hundred zeros. He asked his two young be higher in caffeine, but they actually have nephews what name they would suggest. less than lighter roasts. Because the process • of Nine-year-old suggested a name roasting burnsMilton off caffeine, dark roast has out of the funnies. A cartoon strip character anamed lowerBarney contentwas because of a longer roasting very popular. Milton chose time. Barney’s last name for the number.

• • The average cup oftheblack contains Kasner announced new tea name for the bebig tween 40 and 120 mg. of caffeine, with green number in his next book, altering the spelling. tea totaling 60 mg., depending how long • Sixty years later, Larry Page andonSergey Brin the bag is steeped. developed a new internet search engine. Other search engines searchedPepsi each and webpage and • In the soda department, Coke deranked them according to how many times liver around 35 mg. of caffeine in a 12-oz.a specific term appeared on them, but Page and serving, while Mountain Dew has 54 mg. Brin designed their search engine to search for and Barq’s root mg. energy the specific termbeer and has then22 find outThe how many drink Red Bull mg.toand 16 links there werecontains that led80 back thatthepage, oz. Monster Energy drink packs a punch which resulted in a better search engine. of • 160 Theymg.decided they needed a name that reflected websites the search • While mosthow folksmany can handle the caffeine in 2 engine was searching. They took the name to 4 cups of coffee, too much can cause headof Edward Kasner’sabnormal very large number, only aches or dizziness, heart rhythms, they misspelled it slightly,irritability, so it ended and up being dehydration, insomnia, the spelled exactly the same way the cartoon jitters. There have been of an character Barney spelled his instances last name. What’s overload of caffeine resulting in death. The it called? (Answer at bottom of page) amount necessary to be fatal would be equal COMPUTER FACTS to about 80 to 100 cups of coffee, but is more • likely In 1981 Gates said, “640 memory theBill result of caffeine pillskborofpowder. ought to be enough for anybody.” • Moore’s Law states that computer performance Thanks Reading doubles everyfor 18 to 24 months,Tidbits! and ever since 1971, this has been true. • HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple were all started in garages. Answer: Google, from googol.


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