Tidbits Grand Forks - April 28, 2016

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S PUZZLE • A I • TRIV N FACTS • FU April 28, 2016

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





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FLAVORS by Janet Spencer

In the year 1918 the average American used about half a pound of various spices in a single year. That’s the first year that the Department of Agriculture began tracking spice consumption. Today Americans eat about 3 ½ pounds of flavorings each year. Come along with Tidbits as we take a taste of spices, seasonings, and flavorings!

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• The average human tongue has about 10,000 taste buds. You may have seen a diagram of the human tongue which maps out what areas of the tongue are responsible for tasting what sorts of things, whether salty, sweet, bitter and so forth. This map of the human tongue has since been disproved. Every taste bud on Carpet Cleaning the tongue is equipped with five different reServices, Inc. ceptors and each is capable of detecting all of Carpet Cleaning • Carpet the five basic tastes. Cleaning SPECIAL! • Upholstery • The five basic tastes are sweet, sour, salty, $99 Cleaning bitter, and ‘unami,’ a Japanese word meaning 3 Rooms & savory or meaty. Hallway • Water Not valid with any other offer. Extraction Expires 5-30-16 • Each taste bud in the mouth dies off and is replaced about once every 14 days. • You can’t see your taste buds. The bumps you can see on your tongue are called papil701-775-8500 Residential & Commercial lae and the tiny taste buds rest on top of these projections. Did You Know Vacuums Require Regular Maintenance? • There are eight muscles in the tongue.

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• In the year 1930, an accident in the laboratory led to an amazing discovery. One scientist was tinkering with the formula for a blue dye in a lab owned by DuPont Chemical Company. As he was pouring a container of white powder into another container, he fumbled and the *Installation must be chemical powder puffed into the air. He accibooked by May 6, 2016. In-stock only. dentally inhaled some of the powder, as did the SoundDecisionND.com • 701-738-0713 • 1923 DeMers Ave., Grand Forks scientist standing next to him. He was surprised when the scientist next to him started to gag Let me help you choose because the powder was so bitter. He had tasted Medicare Health Plan Options nothing whatsoever. Each of the scientists put a tiny dab of the powder onto their tongue. The (for you or your parents) Part D Options WE HAVE: • Great Plans Medicare Health Plan Options scientist who had bobbled the formula tasted • Great(forLocal Services you or your parents) Part D Options ™ whatsoever. His coworker grimaced nothing ™ because it tasted very bitter to him. They went By Bonnie Baglien throughout the department testing other people By Bonnie Baglien Long Term Care Professional with 30 Years Experience to see if they could taste the bitter powder or Long Term CareMany Professional with 30 Years Experience Representing of America’s Premier Insurance Providers Representing Many of America’s Premier Insurance Providers not. Some could, some could not. This was the 701-795-1070 Grand 701-795-1070 Grand Forks, ND Forks, ND first realization and the first proof that people’s sense of taste varies from person to person 6. What was the first country to recognize Mexico’s indepenand is not at all uniform. Since then a marker dence in 1821? in DNA has been identified which determines 1. T or F: Taste buds are found 7. Which state capital is the only only on the tongue. whether a particular human is sensitive to the one that ends in the letter “x”? 2. T or F: The same ginger that 8. What Arabic number doesn’t taste of the bitterness or not. goes into gingerbread also

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have a counterpart in Roman makes ginger ale. numerals? 3. How many dots are on a pair 9. The song “East Bound and of standard dice? Down” was from what late 4. The Tropic of Capricorn crosses 1970s movie? three continents. What are they? TRIVIA 5. Which planet is closest to the sun?


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• When a human tastes something bitter, the result will usually be a scrunched-up face: the mouth will frown, the nose is wrinkled up, and the tongue sticks out. Even babies make this face when they taste something bitter. Amazingly, animals do too.


• Vanilla comes from the seeds of an orchid flower. It takes 18 months for a blossom on an orchid plant to be turned into vanilla extract. Madagascar, an island nation off the coast of Africa, is one place where vanilla grows in abundance.



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SPORTS QUIZ 1. Who holds the majorleague record for most consecutive games reaching base to start a season? 2. Name the last 3 (different) QBs drafted No. 1 overall that won a Super Bowl. 3. Ron Washington holds the record for most games managed by a Texas Rangers skipper (1,275). Who is No. 2?

4. T or F: Super Bowl 50 was the first Super Bowl that both starting quarterback’s were No. 1 overall draft picks. 5. Roger Federer, in 2016, became the first male tennis player to win 300 Grand Slam singles matches. Who is second on the list? 6. T or F: 2016 is the first time ever that the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers both made the NHL playoffs in the same year.


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• In 1975 officials in Madagascar deliberately destroyed much of their vanilla crop in order to create scarcity to make the price go higher. One of their major buyers was McCormick, one of the biggest spice companies in the world. When the price of vanilla spiraled out of control, researchers at McCormick discovered how to make imitation vanilla out of pine cones, and then how to make it out of cloves. The result is called vanillin, more commonly known as ‘artificial vanilla flavoring.’ Vanillin still counts as a ‘natural’ flavor because there’s nothing unnatural about pine cones or cloves.


• In 1965 there were fewer than 700 chemicals that imitated flavors. Today there are over 2,200. • It’s been estimated that every person in America eats about 2 pounds of chemical flavorings every year. • Chemical flavorings are even added to livestock feeds to encourage animals to eat more so they get fat more quickly in order to turn a higher profit. • When given nothing but straw to eat, livestock will eat more of it and thus gain weight faster if the straw has been treated with various artificial flavors making it taste like clover or rye grass. These are the same sorts of artificial flavorings used in human food as well. A child might not want to drink a glass of nothing but sugar water, but add some artificial flavorings to make it taste like fruit juice and they will drink every drop.


• In the years between 1949 and 1959, chemists invented over 400 additives to help preserve and process food.

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• Cinnamon is made from dried tree bark. • Cloves are dried flower buds from a tree that grows in Indonesia. • Nutmeg is made from the pit of a sweet fruit, similar to the pit inside a peach. Mace is the lacy covering of a nutmeg, slightly more pungent in taste. • Peppercorns are the dried berries of a tropical vine. • Today, saffron is the most expensive spice, nearly worth its weight in gold. It takes 14,000 dried stigmas of a certain crocus flower to make one ounce of saffron. It cannot be harvested by machine but must be harvested by hand. In Bavaria in 1444 it was the law that any merchant found selling adulterated saffron was to be burned alive. • In the 1800's, Catholic priests wandered among the Indians in California to spread their religion. It is said that as they travelled, they would drop mustard seeds behind them. Later they could find their way back by following the trail of bright yellow mustard blossoms. • Coriander helps inhibit inflammation in the human body. Ginger can relieve nausea and vomiting. Dill helps skin become more elastic. Basil kills viruses and lowers cholesterol. Cinnamon helps decrease blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes. Black pepper has antidepressant properties and stimulates digestion. Turmeric can increase cognitive function. • Allspice is a berry, not a blend of spices. It was named because it tastes like a blend of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. • Herbs are derived from a plant’s leaves whereas spices come from the bark, buds, roots and seeds of a plant.

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Over 2,500 years ago, the Chinese made a sauce out of fermented fish. When Buddhism became popular, vegetarianism became the norm. Reluctant to give up their tasty fish sauce, Buddhists tried making it out of soybeans instead. The result was soy sauce, still relished today.

*Answers located further back in this issue.

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by Samantha Weaver

• A proverb of unknown origin states, "The length of a piece of wood can only be too short on one end." • Scotsmen and their descendants make up almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and almost three-quarters of American presidents. • An adult human has 60,000 miles of blood vessels. • There was a scientist once who made it his mission to taste as many different kinds of meat as he possibly could. In his opinion, the worst tasting was mole meat. I won't argue. There probably aren't very many people who would be willing to gain enough experience in that field to be able to debate the matter. • Hong Kong has more Rolls Royce cars per capita than any other city in the world. • The main cabin of Air Force One, the airplane in which the president flies, is 4,000 square feet. That's more than many people's homes. Air Force One has seven bathrooms and 16 TVs. And there is enough food aboard to serve 2,000 meals. • There is a popular, bright green melon liqueur, "Midori," which is used to make fruity drinks such as melon balls. The name is very descriptive -- in Japanese, "midori" means "green." • Most people know that a human has 46 chromosomes, but how do we compare to other living things? Not surprisingly, an ant has only two. A fruit fly has eight. A garden pea has 14. Your pet dog has 78. And a garden fern? It has 1,260 chromosomes! • The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work is Alaska. *** Thought for the Day: "Reading the fine print may give you an education -- not reading it will give you experience." -- V.M. Kelley

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Amazing Animals:

PRIMATE COMMUNICATION • Vervets are small monkeys that live in small social groups and communicate by grunting. For years people thought their series of grunts were merely a way of keeping track of where each member of the troop was located. But then two researchers in Kenya began to record the grunts while at the same time videotaping the vervets. Their analysis of the monkeys’ grunting revealed some surprising things. • The vervets have three alarm calls signaling the presence of predators. One signifies eagle; one means leopard; and one designates snake. These three different calls were recorded and then played back to the monkeys on hidden loudspeakers. When the call for eagle was played, every monkey looked to the sky. When the cry for the leopard was played, they looked to the ground. When the warning for snake was played, they looked to the trees. • Next, the researchers studied the grunts vervets made when meeting other members of the group. They found the grunt a vervet makes when meeting a socially superior monkey is different from the grunt it makes when meeting an inferior. There is a different grunt altogether for a monkey from a different tribe. Researchers also isolated the grunt that means a monkey is moving into an open area. • They played a practical joke on one vervet by occasionally playing that monkey's "Stranger!" call on the loudspeakers when no stranger was present. The other members soon learned the monkey was unreliable because he was always "crying wolf." They soon learned to ignore him, not only when he legitimately gave his "stranger" call, but also whenever he gave his other calls.

• In an experiment in 1962, researchers recorded the sounds a group of baboons made in the wild while storm clouds were gathering. Later the tape was played to a group of captive apes in a zoo. Even though the day was perfectly clear, the apes rushed to shelter as if a storm had been imminent. • Washoe, a chimp at the University of Nevada, learned about 350 words using American Sign Language. She was able to use these words to make up her own terms, such as "drink-fruit" for watermelon; "water-bird" for swan; "white-tiger" for zebra; and "food-drink" for refrigerator. She even taught her adopted chimp son some sign language before she died at the age of 42 in 2007. • Koko, a gorilla taught to use sign language, learned 645 signs by the time she was seven years old and now knows over 1,000 signs. She can also understand about 2,000 words of spoken language. Like Washoe, Koko is also capable of making up her own signs for things she does not know the word for. She made the signs for "finger" and "bracelet" indicating a ring. • A bonobo (pygmy chimpanzee) named Kanzi was being trained to communicate in a lab by using a computer and typing in symbols. Kanzi was shown videos of Koko the gorilla using sign language. Kanzi’s handler was surprised when Kanzi began using sign language after viewing the videos in spite of the fact that sign language had not been part of the curriculum. • An ape named Chantek was learning sign language when his handler gave him a bunch of grapes and indicated that she wanted the ape to share them with her. Chantek ate all the grapes, and handed the empty stem back to his handler.






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• On May 8, 1792, Congress passes the second portion of the Militia Act, requiring that every free able-bodied white male citizen between the ages of 18 and 45 be enrolled in the militia. • On May 7, 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania is torpedoed without warning by a German submarine off Ireland, sinking within 20 minutes. More than 1,100 people perished, including more than 120 Americans, hastening the U.S. entry into World War I.

We have been able to find only three common English words that end in the letters "cion," although there may be others. Name two of them. *Answer located further back in this issue.

• On May 2, 1939, New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig benches himself for poor play and ends his record streak of consecutive games played at 2,130. Gehrig was the first majorleague player to have his uniform number retired. • On May 5, 1961, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles. • On May 6, 1970, hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation shut down as thousands of students join a nationwide campus protest. The protests were a reaction to the shooting of four students at Kent State University by National Guardsmen during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration. • On May 3, 1986, 54-year-old Willie Shoemaker, aboard Ferdinand, becomes the oldest jockey ever to win the Kentucky Derby. Even as a fullgrown man, "Shoe" was just 4 feet 11 inches tall and 98 pounds.

© 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.

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• On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island, the colony founded by the most-radical religious dissenters from the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony, becomes the first North American colony to renounce its allegiance to King George III. Ironically, Rhode Island would be the last state to ratify the new American Constitution.

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Give Donald Trump credit for planning ahead. He is preparing to be a sore loser. Trump’s complaints that he is being undone by a rigged system crafted by a corrupt Republican Party is the dress rehearsal for his campaign’s closing argument should it come up short in Cleveland. Trump will, in his telling, have been stabbed in the back by insiders and be fully justified in wreaking a terrible revenge on the party that he briefly sought to lead. Facts and logic don’t particularly matter to Trump or his mouthpieces, yet the “rigged” charge is absurd even by the standards of his standard-less campaign. Colorado occasioned the latest Trump fusillade. Colorado’s offense against fairness and decency was Ted Cruz winning all of its delegates in the same caucus system it has used for years. The only change in the state, implemented back in August, before many people took Trump seriously, was canceling its presidential preference poll, which didn’t have any role in binding delegates anyway. The Colorado system — precinct caucuses electing delegates to district and state assemblies, where they are selected for the national convention — isn’t undemocratic. But it rewards a different, more demanding and engaged sort of participation than a primary. For understandable reasons, Trump

would prefer that every contest be an open primary. The Republican calendar has plenty of those. But it has other varieties of contests as well, reflecting the different histories and characteristics of the state parties. The diverse, patchwork system forces a candidate to demonstrate strength all over the geographical map and in myriad ways. If Trump is a master at message and free media — both driven by his outsized personality — the delegate game has shown Cruz’s campaign is much more technically proficient. For all of Trump’s complaints, the nomination system was set up to favor the front-runner and get him over the top as soon as possible. He’s won about 37 percent of the vote and 45 percent of the delegates. Still, the whining serves several Trump purposes. It feeds his psychological compulsion to never admit he’s been beaten or outmaneuvered; and it sets the predicate for his argument at a convention (it’d be “unfair” if he didn’t get the nomination), and, more importantly, for ditching the party if he loses. It is hard to think of a major presidential candidate, let alone a front-runner, who has ever had so little regard for the unity or interests of his own party or is so clearly preparing to bring it down, like Samson at the temple of Dagon, if it doesn’t bend to his will. Trump is doing all he can to delegitimize the GOP in the eyes of his voters. Trump portrays himself as a perpetual winner, yet also cultivates a sense of aggrieved victimhood that is clearly part of his appeal to his supporters. Most unsuccessful candidates seek to avoid the appearance of being a sore loser, no matter what their true feelings. In another departure from the rules of politics, Trump would embrace the role with gusto. His signature line would go from “Make America Great Again” to “We Wuz Robbed.” Rich Lowry is editor of the National Review. © 2016 by King Features Synd., Inc.

King Features Weekly Service

© 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.

(Answers located on next page)

April 18, 2016

• “If you have china that has small, fine cracks in it, put it in a pot with enough milk to cover (not fat-free milk) and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. The milk bonds in the cracks and somehow seals it right up.” — B.I. in Virginia • After each use, clean a grill with aluminum foil. Simply wad up a piece of foil, and use it as a scrubber to remove stuck-on foods. If you’re starting out with a dirty grill, you can still scrub with foil, and give the foil wad a spritz with cooking spray to oil the grate before cooking. (Never spray a lighted grill directly with cooking spray.) • “Kids counting down until the end of school? Make a handy paper chain that doubles as a countdown calendar. Write the date and the number of school days left in the year on each link in a paper chain. Then hang it somewhere close at hand. Each day, your child can remove a link to see the days till summer vacation shrink.” — O.P. in Ohio • “Here’s a tip to find your car in a large parking lot. Take a photo of your vehicle with a landmark in the background. This can be an entryway or a store, or you maybe the sign that shows the section and floor of the parking garage.” — A.L. in Texas • A hanging toiletry bag makes a great backseat catch-all in the car on road trips — especially for kids. Look for one that includes a hook so it can be hung from the front-seat headrest. Snacks, small notebooks and a box of crayons or a portable gaming device and extra games can be stored securely and neatly, then gathered up easily to bring with you to rest stops, diners and motels. If you’re traveling solo, just hang it in the passenger seat to keep your essentials organized and at hand! Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.


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• Columbus was looking for a shorter route to the black pepper supply of India when he discovered the New World. Because he was so desperate to find pepper, everything that he came across which had a hot taste was dubbed ‘pepper.’ That's why today we have green peppers and chili peppers. These are fruits rather than berries, and their ‘hot’ taste is caused by a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin isn’t really a taste; it’s a pain. Capsaicin stimulates the pain-sensing neurons inside the mouth. • There are 30 species of pepper plants and all belong to the genus Capsicum, which comes from the Greek ‘kapto’ meaning bite or gulp. • The Scoville test for measuring the amount of heat in a hot pepper was developed by Wilbur Scoville. He was working for a pharmaceutical company, trying to make different uses out of plant alkaloids including capsaicin. A rating of 1 million Scoville units means that the extract from that plant must be diluted to a concentration of 1 part per million before its heat dissipates. • A pepper called the Carolina Reaper comes in at 2.2 million Scoville heat units, which ranks it as the world’s hottest pepper. By comparison, police-grade pepper spray rates about 5 million Scoville units, which causes temporary blindness, difficulty in breathing, and total incapacitation. • If a hot sauce is too hot for you, don't try to cool your mouth with water or tea. They just spread the volatile oils around more. Instead, try soaking up the peppery oils with milk, fatty foods, or high-alcohol drinks. • Red peppers are high in vitamin C, and fresh paprika made from newly dried chili peppers contains more vitamin C by weight than lemon juice.

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• Chili plants pump their fruits full of capsaicin, but why? According to an article in Discover magazine, a researcher found that mammals Answer: Dell. such as mice and pack rats think that capsaA VERY LARGE NUMBER icin tastes horrible. Therefore, they do not eat •hot Edward Kasner was awill mathematician. In 1938 peppers. Rodents readily eat peppers he was asked to come up with a name for a that are capsaicin-free (such as bell peppers) very large number: the numeral one, followed but they stay away from the hot stuff. The reby a hundred zeros. He asked his two young searcher digestive system nephewsalso whatfound name that theythe would suggest. of mammals such as mice and rats destroys the • Nine-year-old Milton suggested a name seeds of the chili pepper plant. However, birds out of the funnies. A cartoon strip character can’t taste capsaicin, and popular. they eat Milton chili peppers named Barney was very chose - Barney’s and the seeds inside them all the last name for the number. time. Chili seeds that have been eaten by birds and then • Kasner announced the new name for the big expelled arehisthree times altering more likely to gernumber in next book, the spelling. minate than those that haven’t been eaten by • Sixty years later, Larry Page and Sergey Brin birds. Due to the bird’s flight range, the Other seeds developed a new internet search engine. are deposited far from the original plant where search engines searched each webpage and they can grow without competition. Therefore, ranked them according to how many times a the presence capsaicin a hotbut chili pepper specific termofappeared oninthem, Page and isBrin a survival strategy for theengine species. designed their search to search for the specific term and then find out how many • Some bird seed manufacturers add chili powlinks there were that led back to that page, der or capsaicin to athe seedsearch to prevent squirrels which resulted in better engine. and deer from eating the food intended for the • They decided they needed a name that birds. reflected how many websites the search • One researcher did everything he could try engine was searching. They took the to name of Edward Kasner’s very large number, only to condition a set of laboratory rats to like hot they misspelled it slightly, so ait hot ended up being peppers. Some rats were fed pepper diet spelled exactly the same way the cartoon from the moment of their birth. Others had character Barney spelledadded his last name. chili powder gradually into theirWhat’s feed. it called? (Answer at bottom of page) Sometimes the researcher spiked the non-pepCOMPUTER FACTS pery food with a substance that would make •the In rats 1981feel Billsick Gates said, “640 kb of memory so that they would choose the ought to be enough for anybody.” peppery food instead. Sometimes he fed them •aMoore’s states that computer diet thatLaw contained no vitamin C performance hoping they doubles every 18go to for 24 months, and ever since would naturally their vitamin C-laden 1971, this has been true. peppers. But no matter what he did, he could •not HP,train Google, and Apple were all rats toMicrosoft, like hot peppers. started in garages. Answer: Google, from googol. Tidbits! Thanks for Reading


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