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THE WORLDâ€™S TOP MOUNTAINS
by Rick Dandes
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Is there any sight greater and more majestic than that of a snow-capped mountain? This week, Tidbits takes you on an exploratory trip around the world. Itâ€™s sure to be a peak experience. s In the Oxford English Dictionary, a mountain is defined as â€œa natural elevation of the earth surface rising more or less abruptly from the surrounding level and attaining an altitude which, relatively to the adjacent elevation, is impressive or notable.â€? s There are five basic kinds of mountains: fold mountains (folded mountains), fault-block mountains (block mountains), dome mountains, volcanic mountains and plateau mountains. Geologists believe mountains make up about one-fifth of the worldâ€™s landscape. s The absolute heights of mountains and hills vary greatly according to an areaâ€™s terrain. Major mountains occur in long linear arcs, indicating tectonic plate boundaries and activity. Two types of mountains are formed depending on how the rock reacts to the tectonic forces â€” block or fold mountains. s The Appalachian Mountains are the oldest mountain chain in North America. They extend from Newfoundland to Alabama. s The Appalachian Mountains are made up of mountains, ridges and valleys. The Great Smoky Mountains are in this region, and they run from Tennessee to North Carolina. s The Blue Ridge Mountains are the backbone of the Appalachian Mountain system. They extend from Georgia to Pennsylvania. s Mt. Mitchell, in the Appalachians, is the highest mountain on the eastern coast. It is about 6,684 feet high (2,037 meters). s The Andes Mountain range is an uninterrupted chain of highland that is situated along the western coast of (continued on page 4)
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Vibration Therapy for Bone Loss
by Matilda Charles
© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
Vibration therapy is said to address a number of ills: prevent varicose veins, break up cellulite, rev up the lymph system and reduce knee and leg pain. The big benefit, however, is that it’s possible for vibration therapy to address the problem of bone loss. Here’s how vibration therapy is thought to work: The machine platform that one sits or stands on vibrates at 30-90 cycles per second, the same rate as muscles in the human body. The vibrations in essence mimic the body and do what the body isn’t doing anymore — creating bone, in this case. The studies are numerous and come from all over the globe. In China, a 24-week study in postmenopausal women show an increase in the bone and mineral density of the hip. In Belgium, researchers compared vibration therapy with regular resistance training, and the vibration therapy showed that strength increased. In Florida, a study concluded that whole-body vibrations
“improve quality of life, walk, balance and motor capacity in elderly patients.” Even NASA has gotten into the act with LIV, or Low Intensity Vibration. With astronauts spending long periods of time in space with no real way to exercise, bone loss has been a serious concern. Via various contraptions, NASA has been able to let astronauts work out, but the results haven’t been satisfactory when it comes to bone loss. Enter vibration therapy, and a way for astronauts to maintain bone strength while in space. I found some of these alleged machines for sale online. This is one item that needs a doctor’s advice, though, as a vibration level that’s too high can be very dangerous. Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com.
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Absurdity Day World Hello Day Go For A Ride Day Eat A Cranberry Day Thanksgiving Day Buy Nothing Day Black Friday Goldie Hawn........................11/21/45 Boris Becker.........................11/22/67 Miley Cyrus..........................11/23/92 Katherine Heigl...................11/24/78 Amy Grant...........................11/25/60 Natasha Bedingfield............11/26/81 Bill Nye, The Science Guy....11/27/55
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November 20–26, 2010
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by Freddy Groves
Keep the Home Fires Burning The holidays can be tough on the families of service members who are deployed. Here are some ways you can help make their holidays a little brighter: If you live near a military base, call its family support services. Tell them you’d like to help with toys, food boxes or anything else. You can help financially by donating a Walmart gift card so the at-home parent can buy what the family needs, paying a utility bill, donating a phone card and more. If you’re so inclined (and have the right equipment), volunteer to play Santa for a group of little kids. Volunteer at any location where they collect, pack and deliver toys for military kids. Most of these
programs also include a food box. If you’re in a veterans service organization, perhaps the best thing you can do for the parents left behind is to host a party for the kids and give the parent a few free hours. If you know a parent who is struggling with the absence of the family’s service member, make sure she (and it usually is a she) has access to information she needs. Ask family support services at the nearest base what help is available, and make sure she knows about it. Programs are called by various names depending on the military branch, but they all involve help with a wide variety of services, such as financial help for mortgage, car payment, phone bill, support groups and more. Prefer to have your efforts remain anonymous? Go to www.aafes.com, click Support Troops and click on Help Our Troops Call Home. Scroll down and look for various ways your purchase of a phone card can help. Also check out phone cards for Injured Soldiers and Their Families. * * * Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
Sunshine State Simmered Steaks
Here in Iowa, sunny days are becoming a scarce commodity. But, I promise, if you put this delicious main dish on the menu, it will make a gloomy day seem much brighter! You may doubt me when you start stirring orange by Healthy Exchanges marmalade into the sauce, but trust me, it all works out perfectly in the end. INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 4 (4-ounce) lean minute or cube steaks 1 cup unsweetened orange juice 1 cup (two 2.5-ounce jars) sliced mushrooms, drained 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium ketchup 2 tablespoons orange marmalade spreadable fruit 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes DIRECTIONS 1. Place flour in a shallow dish and coat steaks on both sides in flour. Reserve any leftover flour. Evenly arrange coated steaks in a large skillet sprayed with
butter-flavored cooking spray and brown for about 3 minutes on each side. 2. In a medium bowl, combine orange juice, mushrooms, ketchup, spreadable fruit, onion flakes, parsley flakes and any remaining flour. Spoon sauce mixture evenly over steaks. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until steaks are tender. When serving, evenly spoon sauce mixture over top of steaks. Serves 4. Freezes well. s Each serving: About 218 calories, 6g fat, 23g protein, 18g carb., 359mg sodium, 1g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 3 Meat, 1 Fruit, 1/2 Vegetable.
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1. What is the longest mountain range in the world? 2. What is the highest peak in the western hemisphere, and where is it? 3. Mt. Ararat, long thought to be the traditional resting place of Noah’s Ark, is located where? 4. In which country is Mt. Fuji located? 5. In which country is Mount Kilimanjaro located?
Holiday Weight Gain Isn’t Inevitable The holiday season is a time for festive gatherings with family and friends. It’s also the time of year when we see tempting treats everywhere we turn. “Weight gained during the holidays often comes from eating foods that are high in sugar and fat,” says Joan Daniels, R.D., a dietitian at the University of Michigan. “The good news is that you can still enjoy these special occasions as long as you use a bit of restraint and keep yourself from indulging too much.” Daniels and fellow Cancer Center dietitian Nancy Burke, R.D., offer the following tips to help you enjoy the holiday season without packing on the pounds. • Don’t go hungry to a holiday event. Eat a snack or light meal before you leave. Foods high in protein, like cottage cheese, nuts or chicken, help you eat less later. Fasting ahead of time, leaving room for a big meal or planning extra trips to the buffet table often leads to overeating. • Eat smaller portions of food. This is especially important at a buffet, where you may want to try everything. Instead, choose the items you want to try the most, and eat a small portion of each. • Pace, don’t race. Many times, people eat so fast that their stomachs don’t have enough time to register that they’re full. Eat slowly, savoring each bite and enjoying the taste of the food; chances are you will eat less and not overeat. • Limit fast food. Don’t let a hectic holiday schedule force you to rely on eating fast food often. Prepare and freeze quick, healthy meals ahead of time to stay out of the fast-food trap. • Offer to bring a low-calorie dish to holiday parties. Your host will appreciate it, and you’ll know that at least one healthy item will be on hand. • Be realistic. Don’t try to diet during the holidays. Set a goal to maintain your present weight. • Watch what you drink during the holidays. Regular eggnogs and other drinks made with syrups contain a high amount of calories. Try flavored, calorie-free waters, sparkling apple or grape juice, low-sodium vegetable juices or hot cider instead. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. • Get physical. Look for ways to incorporate some daily physical activity during the holidays. Enjoy a brisk walk, either outside or at an indoor mall. Exercise also can be a huge stress reliever. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
GOES GREEN! Let’s hear it for the mayor of a small French village on the slopes of Europe’s tallest mountain, who has called for a limit on the number of people climbing Mont Blanc in order to alleviate pressure on already crowded overnight refuges and solve the mountain’s litter problem.
Tidbits® of Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort
TOP MOUNTAINS (continued): South America. It is the longest exposed mountain range in the world and comprises two great ranges: Cordillera Oriental and Cordillera Occidental, which stand divided by a deep intermediate depression. s The Himalayas stretch across six countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, the People’s Republic of China, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Some of the world’s major rivers, the Indus, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Yangtze, rise in the Himalayas, and their combined drainage basin is home to some 1.3 billion people, including the people of Bangladesh. s The world’s highest peak on land is Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. It is 29,036 feet (8,848 meters) tall. When measured from sea-level, Mount Everest is without a doubt the biggest mountain peak on this planet. However, if one were to consider the height of a mountain from its base to its peak, there are few other mountains such as Mt. McKinley and Mauna Kea that are taller than Everest in totality. s Prior to being named Mount Everest, the mountain was commonly referred to as Peak XV. It was formally named Mount Everest after Col. George Everest who was the Surveyor General of India in the early 1860s. s Mount Everest also has some local names such as Sagarmatha (Nepali) and Chomolungma (Tibetan). s The first people to scale Mount Everest were Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. They did it on May 29, 1953. s Alaska has the 16 highest peaks in the United States. s The Malaspina Glacier, at the foot of Mt. Saint Elias, is larger than Rhode Island. s The beautiful Rocky Mountains extend some 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometers) from the Mexican frontier to the Arctic Ocean, through the western United States
Last-Minute Steps to Reduce Taxes There is still time to do the year-end math and see if you can reduce the amount of income taxes you’ll pay. Here are steps you can take: • Invest in computer tax software now, before the end of the year, and run your estimated numbers to see what they look like. • Add up your medical bills for the year. If you can deduct them on the Schedule A tax form, schedule last-minute dental and medical procedures before the end of the year. • Make a 13th payment on your mortgage to increase the Form 1098 interest amount the mortgage company will send you. Every little bit helps. • Make your donations to Goodwill and Salvation Army before the end of the year. Be sure to get a dated receipt with all of your items listed. Use “It’s Deductible” tax software to calculate the value of your donations. Beware noting all of your items as being in excellent condition. “Average” will still get you some amount of donation value without raising any red flags. • If you were out of work and looked for employment, add up your expenses for the job hunt. You can take mileage, clothing for the interview, costs of preparing and copying your resume if you were seeking employment in the same field. The catch is that you can’t wait a long time to see employment if you want to claim the benefits of the job-hunt deductions. See IRS publication 529 for more information. Remember that you’ll be required to pay taxes on any unemployment benefits you received on any amount more than $2,400. • If you are self-employed, use holiday sales to purchase bigticket items you’ll need next year, such as updated telephones, computer, printer, office furniture and supplies. • If you’ll need a new appliance soon, consider getting it before the end of the year to take advantage of the tax credit for buying energy-efficient models. See www.energystar.gov. The same applies to any fast remodeling projects such as energy efficient storm doors and windows that can be done before the end of the year. • Put as much money as you can, up to the limit, in an IRA. Get expert financial advice and consider making that a Roth IRA. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
and sections of Canada. s The highest peak in the U.S. Rockies is Mt. Elbert in Colorado, at 14,433 feet (4,399 meters); in the Canadian Rockies it is Mt. Robson in British Columbia, at 12,972 feet (3,954 meters). s The Continental Divide, located in the Rocky Mountains, separates waters flowing into the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico from those flowing into the Pacific Ocean. s The Rocky Mountains include at least 100 separate ranges, which are generally divided into four broad groupings: the Canadian Rockies and Northern Rockies of Montana and northeastern Idaho; the Middle Rockies of Wyoming, Utah and southeastern Idaho; the Southern Rockies, mainly in Colorado and New Mexico; and the Colorado Plateau in the four corners region.
November 20–26, 2010 s The Canadian Rockies are quite different in appearance and geology from the American Rockies to the south of them. The Canadian Rockies are composed of layered sedimentary rock such as limestone and shale. The American Rockies are made of metamorphic and igneous rock, such as granite. s Alberta, Canada, is named after Princess Louisa Caroline Alberta, the fourth child of Queen Victoria. The Princess was born in 1848, and married the Governor General of Canada. The princess is also the namesake of Lake Louise in the Rocky Mountains. s Five national parks are located within the Canadian Rockies, four of which interlock and make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage site These four parks are Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho. (continued on page 7)
November 20–26, 2010
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Canine Influenza vs. Kennel Cough By Sam Mazzotta
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: Can you give me any information on Canine Influenza Virus? — Jordan C., Kansas City, Mo. DEAR JORDAN: This relatively new virus was identified about six years ago following an outbreak of a mystery illness among dogs at a race track in Jacksonville, Fla. It was determined that a horse virus had been transmitted to the dogs. Since then, Canine Influenza Virus has joined a list of communicable diseases to which dogs, especially those in crowded living conditions like a kennel or shelter, are vulnerable. CIV is sometimes mistaken for kennel cough, as one of its symptoms is coughing that can worsen after activity. However, unlike kennel cough, CIV is often accompanied by a runny nose, sneezing and runny eyes. In more severe cases of CIV, a high fever is present, along with loss of appetite, lethargy or depression, and sometimes difficulty breathing. Any of these symptoms should prompt a visit to the veterinarian to confirm CIV and make sure pneumonia doesn’t set in.
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Because CIV is a virus, antibiotics aren’t an effective cure. Treatment includes making your dog more comfortable — including cough medicine or other medicines to reduce symptoms — and keeping its immune system strong through a good diet and vitamin supplements. Prevent your pet from exposing other dogs to the virus, and monitor its condition closely in case its health worsens. The illness usually runs its course in four weeks. Fortunately, a vaccine for the virus is available. Ask the vet about immunizing your pet, particularly if you plan to place it in a kennel or doggie daycare. More information and a clinic locator tool are available at www.doginfluenza.com. Send your pet questions and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Find more pet advice and resources at www.pawscorner.com. * * * © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
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4 cups pecans, halves or halves and pieces 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup bourbon 1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Place pecans on rimmed cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer toasted pecans to bowl; set aside. 2. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add toasted
pecans and stir to coat. Add brown sugar, cinnamon and salt; continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly about 8 to 10 minutes. 3. Add bourbon; stir to combine and cook 1 to 2 minutes, mixing well. Remove skillet from the heat and pour pecans onto rimmed cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread pecans into thin layer and let cool 20 minutes. Break mixture into bite-sized pieces and cool completely before packaging. 4. Store pecans in airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Makes 4 cups. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
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TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.
Delay in Treatment of TIA Is Dangerous DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I’ve just hung up the phone after talking to my doctor. He has me scared out of my wits. This morning while reading the newspaper, I couldn’t hold it up. My right arm became weak. In about five minutes, everything returned to normal. I thought I had better call the doctor to see if this was serious. The doctor thinks I had a ministroke and wants me to have someone take me to the hospital ASAP. I told him I was fine. He said that doesn’t matter. I thought I would drop you a line for your opinion. I trust your judgment. What should I do? — T.R. ANSWER: I hope you listened to your doctor. You should do exactly what he told you. You have an emergency on your hands. You most likely had a TIA — a transient ischemic attack — a ministroke. Investigation should be taking place as soon as possible — immediately. A part of your brain lost its blood supply for a short time. Even a brief occurrence like the one you describe can cause permanent brain damage. Worse, it is often the
foreboding of a complete stroke. You have to be checked for a blockage in one of your carotid arteries, the large neck arteries that deliver blood to the brain. You have to be examined for a clot in other body locations like the heart. Pieces of those clots can break loose and be carried to a brain artery, where they stop the flow of blood permanently. Atrial fibrillation, a common heartbeat disturbance, is often responsible for such clots. Numbness, weakness or both of a hand, arm, leg, side of the face or tongue can be a sign of a TIA. Trouble expressing oneself is another sign. So are disturbances of vision. None lasts long, but they are quite significant and serious warnings. I don’t have important background information on you. I am counting on your good sense to get you to the hospital quickly. The booklet on stroke, one of our most feared illnesses, covers the topic in detail. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue — No. 902W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. i i i Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.
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Indigo Pines is an independent retirement home snuggled into a landscape of moss-laden oaks and towering pines. A fountain gurgles in front of the building, and walking paths surround it. It is a retirement home with heart. Holiday Retirement is the parent company, and trains all its employees in what they call the “Holiday Touch.” The Holiday Touch is simply that all the residents are treated as family by a caring, respectful, and empathetic management team. It’s simple, really. There are two husband and wife management teams that live on site, and are on call 24 hours a day. They are truly dedicated to making the facility a home and making the residents as happy and secure as possible. Holiday Retirement fashioned its retirement complexes on the cruise ship model. Three meals a day, weekly housekeeping, linens and towels provided, transportation to shopping, and appointments: its carefree living. The residents and staff participate in many community events, as well as volunteer at hospice, thrift shops, and hospitals. These are active, involved adults. The Indigo Pines staff creates events and trips for the community at large. A trip to Parris Island was a highlight of October. The Hilton Head Vocal Jazz Project will be entertaining there in November, and a sock hop (wear your poodle skirt!) is also planned. Seminars are scheduled every month for continued learning: a Seminar on the Veteran Aid and Attendance benefits, a discussion about Medicare and Tricare, and an investment counselor to speak about investing and risk management are all planned for November. Indigo Pines is located at 110 Gardner Drive on Hilton Head. Please stop by and enjoy dinner with us! See Indigo Pines’ Ad on Page 2.
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November 20–26, 2010 TOP MOUNTAINS (continued): s The world’s highest mountain, from its base on the ocean floor, is Mauna Kea, on Hawaii. It is 33,474 feet (10,203 meters) high, but only 13,796 feet (4,205 meters) are above sea level. The summit of Mauna Kea has been a celestial observatory since ancient times and is considered to be one of the best astronomical sites in the world. The summit of Mauna Kea is above approximately 40 percent of Earth’s atmosphere, which not surprisingly, allows for exceptionally clear and amazing images of the night sky. Additionally, the peak is well above the inversion layer, which leads to approximately 300 clear nights per year. s Standing at 4,406 feet (1,343 meters), Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, and as such is the major challenge for any United Kingdom climber or walker. In Gaelic, the mountain’s name Beinn Nibheis has been linked with Irish and Gaelic words meaning poisonous or terrible. s As the most recognized mountain on the European continent, the roughly chiseled rock pyramid that is the Matterhorn is a defining geographical landmark. With a near perfect pyramid, its absolute symmetry distinguishes this mountain. It is considered the birthplace of climbing.
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Thought of the Week
By Samantha Weaver
“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.” — Oscar Wilde
z It was journalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Esther Dyson who made the following sage observation: “The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.” z In China, the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau, which issues license plates, has recently stopped allowing the number 4 to appear on the tags. Evidently the number sounds like the word for “death” and is therefore considered to be unlucky. z Here’s a startling statistic: If your family is average, you throw out about $600 in unspoiled food every year. z If you’re planning a vacation sometime in the near future, you might want to keep in mind Travel & Leisure magazine’s most recent city rankings. These rankings didn’t involve food or culture, though. For this particular list, readers voted on the cities with the most-
and least-attractive people. If you enjoy people-watching, head to Charleston, S.C., which reportedly boasts the most attractive populace, followed by San Diego and Savannah, Ga., in second and third places. The U.S. cities with the least attractive residents? According to the survey, they’re Memphis, Baltimore and Philadelphia. z Have you ever wondered what the largest irrigated crop in the United States is? It’s not soybeans, wheat or even corn; it’s grass, mostly in lawns, parks and golf courses. z In Turkey, a traditional Muslim wedding lasts anywhere from four to seven days. During that time the bride’s family and the groom’s family participate in separate celebrations, and the bride and groom are not allowed to see each other until the ceremony at the end.
ARIES (March 21 to April 19) This year, instead of jumping into the whole holiday prep scene, move in a little at a time. You’ll appreciate the sense of control you’re more likely to enjoy. TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) The separation between the Bovine’s head and heart is never as far apart as it seems. Both senses work best when they come out of logic and honesty. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) The best way to keep those pre-holiday pressures under control is to just say no to taking on new tasks while you’re still trying to work with a heap of others. CANCER (June 21 to July 22) News means a change might be on its way, but what does it hold? Don’t just ask questions; make sure you get answers you can trust. LEO (July 23 to August 22) Old friends and new have one thing in common: Both your longtime and newly minted pals have much wisdom to impart. VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) With time running out, this is a good time for you to show ‘em all what those Virgo super-organizational skills can do. LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Librans and
holidays are made for each other, especially if children and animals are going to be part of your joyous season. SCORPIO (October 23 to November 21) Time is getting too short to allow a spat to taint the holiday season. Restart your relationship and reschedule holiday fun times. SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) Seeking advice is laudable. You might learn far more than you thought you could. Stay with it. CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) Continuing to assess changes works toward your getting your new project up and ready. Trusted colleagues remain ready to help. AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) That new situation needs a lot of attention, but it’s worth it. This is a very good time for you to involve the arts in what you do. PISCES (February 19 to March 20) It might be a good idea to slow your hectic holiday pace so that you don’t rush past what — or who — you’re hoping to rush toward. BORN THIS WEEK: Others pick up on your confidence in yourself, which inspires others to believe in you and your special gifts.
© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
u With many airlines these days, you can print your boarding pass online. Security lines are long, and it pays to save every moment you can. u Make a spray of equal parts liquid fabric softener and water. Mist the air daily to relieve static buildup during the fall and winter, when the air is very dry. u Before cleaning, run hot water in the bath or shower. The steam from the hot water loosens the dirt, making it easier to clean. Or, bring your cleaning sponge and some baking soda in the shower with you. No chemicals, and you could even use the baking soda to soften the skin on your elbows and feet. u “Spray plastic wrap with non-flavored cooking spray before using it to cover cakes or cupcakes. The frosting won’t stick to the wrap.” — R.M. in Florida u To get streaks off of freshly cleaned windows, give them a final swipe with plain newspaper (not magazine inserts or glossy pages). u “Baking cookies to mail? Save potato-chip cans (the tall ones in which chips come stacked). They protect cookies from breaking.” — G.D. in Wisconsin Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at email@example.com. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
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I grew up a NASCAR fan. My family was DEAR NASCAR going to Dover and Richmond (old 1/2THIS WEEK: I mile track) when they only had grandstands liked your answer on the front stretch. Ten years ago I was to Kathy Rhudy sure NASCAR was going to go down the concerning Jimmie tubes. It is not a stick-and-ball sport. Don’t Johnson. I say if a person has talent they try (to) make it that. All your yuppie fans deserve the rewards. Jimmie Johnson is a good driver. I say hooray for him. Some Race attendance is declining. left after three years. — Harold Sultzbaugh, Attendance at the 2010 people don’t like Kyle Busch, but I say he Brickyard 500 was about half Hanover, Pa. is a good driver. Give him his due. — that of 2007. (Associated * * * Press photo) Norma Lee, Shoals, Ind. DEAR NASCAR THIS WEEK: Two reasons (for the sport’s slump) are that * * * DEAR NASCAR THIS WEEK: NASCAR is concerned NASCAR fans like me are tired of “NASCAR.” Two about the declining attendance, and declining sales. Could examples: mystery cautions or cautions for the slightest the possibility of a recession have anything to do with it? little thing, and only enforcing the rules it wants to enforce. (Kyle) Busch went below the line and improved his position — John J. Johnson Jr., Liberty Center, Ohio DEAR JOHN: Hardly anyone has discussed the decline (Talladega) and was not forced below the line. He did not without citing the recession. There are other factors, as well. win that truck race by the rules that NASCAR itself makes. Those are two quick reasons why NASCAR is less than it * * * DEAR NASCAR THIS WEEK: Here are some reasons was. I will add a third, but it is more of a personal one. Rick Hendricks is the worst thing that ever happened to NASCAR. why the NASCAR “bubble” has burst: He has my sympathy for his personal loss, and I wouldn’t 1. The Chase…silly and a waste of time. Why run 36 races wish that on anyone, but the fact is he’s a convicted felon and then have a 10-race champion crowned? Asinine. The — although he did buy a pardon — and should have been most consistent driver should win the championship. thrown out of NASCAR. When an organization allows 2. Thirty-six races are waaaaay too much. Run 25, crown a crooks to be team owners, it tells you a lot about the champ, and leave the people with real anticipation for the organization. The same thing for (Gene) Haas also. next year. Owners should be limited to two teams, and all affiliations 3. Eliminate the cookie-cutter tracks. Boring races. to other teams should be tightly scrutinized and very limited. 4. Go back to NASCAR’S roots. Run two races at Darlington. — Ron Bean, Pachuta, Miss. Revamp North Wilkesboro and run there again. Return to DEAR RON: Arbitrary rules enforcement was a part of the Rock — Rockingham. NASCAR long before the slump. 5. Qualify 40 cars per race at 1-mile-plus tracks. Thirty-six * * * cars at 3/4-mile-and-under tracks. No locked-in positions. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc. Qualify on speed or go home.
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Call Kathy 843-368-2997 A How many times has Torii Hunter hit .300 or better for a season during his 14-year major-league career? B Name the three catchers who have won the American League Most Valuable Player Award since 1976. C Name the last fullback to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. D Who was the last Butler player before Gordon Hayward to play in the NBA? E Two NHL goalies have recorded three consecutive 40-win seasons. Name them. F When was the last time before the 2010 men’s soccer World Cup that the two finalists from the previous World Cup were eliminated in the first round? G Name the person who holds the mark for most boxing world title fights refereed (172 in 34 years). © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
November 20–26, 2010
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The Main Spark Johnny Bench — one of the greatest catchers and baseball personalities ever to walk to Earth — put it as succinctly as he could that January day. “Sparky…was dissatisfied,” he said. He was, of course, referring to Sparky Anderson, architect of the vaunted “Big Red Machine” of the ‘70s who had just been fired by the team’s president in the 1978 offseason. In retrospect — heck, any respect — it was a pretty dumb move. In nine years, Anderson had led the Reds to five division titles, four pennants, two World Series wins and more wins than any other Reds manager had ever achieved at the time — a record that stands to this day. Cincinnati, however, needed to hear more. The city had just seen the most successful manager in the club’s exceptionally long history (go ahead…Google “Cincinnati Redlegs” to see what I mean) get unceremoniously booted a mere three seasons after the Machine had last rolled through the league; it came as a bit of a shock. How do you just dump a legend? The man considered “the main spark” for one of baseball’s greatest dynasties? Especially
at a franchise that possessed stars like Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Bench and George Foster but was more apt to put the owner’s dog on the front of the media guide instead. “Second place is good, but it’s not up to our standards,” said Dick Wagner, the Reds’ team president at the time. “It’s time to make a change…times and situations change.” The Reds, through inertia, made the playoffs in 1979. They would not reach the postseason again until 1990. Anderson, the baseball fan remembers, was hired by the Detroit Tigers, where he took the wheel of a perennial loser and steered it to a World Series championship within five years, winning the American League Manager of the Year honors in 1984 and 1987. When the dust finally settled, he had rung up 2,194 career wins — the sixth most for a manager in Major League history. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. In a way, it was fitting that George Lee “Sparky” Anderson passed away on Nov. 3, two days after the San Francisco Giants closed out the season with a World Series win. Anderson always hated missing the Fall Classic as a manager, why should it be any different in retirement? And in the end, he perhaps summed up his career and managerial philosophy better than any sports writer ever could. “I got good players, stayed out of the way, let ‘em win a lot, and then just hung around for 26 years,” Anderson said at his Hall of Fame induction. Maybe so, but it helped to have a spark. Thanks for playing ball, Mr. Anderson…you will be missed. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter and publisher of The Kansas City Luminary. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
z ANSWERS Answer
1. None, despite a .305 average in the postseason. 2. Thurman Munson (1976), Ivan Rodriguez (1999) and Joe Mauer (2009). 3. Larry Csonka, in 1987. 4. Ralph O’Brien, in 1953. 5. San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10) and New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur (2005-08). 6. It had never occurred before 2010. 7. Richard Steele.
THIS IS A HAMMER By Samantha Mazzotta Holiday Safety Thanksgiving is upon us again (unless you’re in Canada, in which case it’s safely past) and the holiday season is about to go full swing. Your family is probably similar to mine, with relatives traveling from all over to catch up on things, and most of all, eat. You might not have a nephew’s wedding to attend in the same time frame, but I just look at it as another opportunity to hang out with family and friends we might not otherwise get a chance to see. If your home is host to this year’s get-together, add a few of these items to your to-do list. They’ll help make everyone more comfortable and safe amid all the bustle of activity. • Plan to sequester your housepets during the height of holiday activity. Place them in a room with food, litter box, toys, and bed or blanket. Check on them frequently. • Put away ongoing household projects, like painting or repairs, or close off rooms that are undergoing repair or renovation. Put a “do not enter” sign on the door if necessary. • Remove chemicals, sharp tools, pesticides and other dangerous items from parts of the home that might be easily accessed by children. Don’t store them near laundry, food or drink. • Rearrange the garage a bit, even if you think no one will go into it. Place chemicals out of reach and store tools securely, in a closed toolbox or hanging high on your workshop pegboard. • Shut off the heat to rooms you don’t want guests to enter. You can do this by closing the registers. If they don’t see the “do not enter” signs, they’ll probably get the hint if it’s dark and cold. • When guests start arriving, make sure your car’s safety brake is set and lock the doors to reduce the chance of curious kids climbing into it. • Once the festivities are done, do a walkaround of the house and yard to make sure nothing dangerous is lying around — spilled liquids, lighted candles or unextinguished cigarettes, for example. HOME TIP: Brush up on fire safety around the kitchen and home for the holiday: The American Red Cross and other safety organizations have plenty of tips on their websites. Send your questions or home tips to ask@ thisisahammer.com, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Remember, when in doubt as to whether you can safely or effectively complete a project, consult a professional contractor. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS
MAGIC MAZE ANSWER
1) Neither; 2) Andrew; 3) 2; 4) King Solomon; 5) Secondary wife; 6) Shushan
HOCUS FOCUS DIFFERENCES 1. “Math” is missing from book. 2. Mom’s hair is dark. 3. Pajama print is different. 4. Picture is gone. 5. Mom is wearing a skirt. 6. Drapes are missing.
ONE & FOUR
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by cindy elavsky Q: I am glad to see Tim Meadows back on television in they were planning to? -- Clint K., via e-mail TBS’s “Glory Daze.” Now that Conan O’Brien, Tim’s A: Just in time for the holidays, “All in the Family” Season fellow “Saturday Night Live” alumnus, is also on TBS, 7, which originally aired from September 1976 to March is there any chance he will guest-star on the show? — 1977, is now on store shelves. This season of the Ralph T., via e-mail groundbreaking series — starring Carroll O’Connor, Jean A: Tim Meadows’ new one-hour TBS comedy will boast a Stapleton, Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers — deals with variety of comedic guest stars this season, but as of now, infidelity, surgery, unemployment, life-saving CPR, draftConan is not one of them. However, the show is only one dodgers and accidental arson. You won’t have nearly as degree of separation away from the late-night long a wait for Season 8, as it’s scheduled to king. be released Jan. 11, 2011. i i i Tim revealed: “We did have Andy Richter Q: What is the meaning of MTAC, the (guest star). He did an episode on the show upstairs room with the big screen and where he plays a priest, an adviser to one of worldwide communications on “NCIS”? the students. And it’s a really, really funny —Ron S., via e-mail scene. And we have a lot of other guest appearances by other comedic actors that I A: MTAC is short for the United States think people are going to be very happy Department of the Navy’s Multiple Threat about.” You can catch “Glory Daze” Tuesdays Alert Center. After the bombing of the USS on TBS. Cole in October 2000, as well as the terrorist i i i events of 9/11, the Navy Antiterrorist Alert Q: Now that “FlashForward” is over, where Center (ATAC) was transformed in 2002 into Tim Meadows else can I get my Joseph Fiennes fix? I miss the MTAC. According to the Navy’s official watching him on a weekly basis. — Jenny A. in Texas website, “The Department of the Navy’s Multiple Threat A: You and me both, Jenny. This spring, Joseph will star in Alert Center (MTAC) provides indications and warning the Starz original fantasy-drama “Camelot,” which tells for a wide range of threats to Navy and Marine Corps the story of a teenage King Arthur (played by “The Twilight personnel and assets around the world.” i i i Saga”’s Jamie Campbell Bower), with Joseph playing the part of Merlin. The 10-part period drama also co-stars Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Claire Forlani (“Meet Joe Black”) and Eva Green (“Casino Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; Royale”). If the series does well, it could run for multiple or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For seasons. more news and extended interviews, visit i i i www.celebrityextraonline.com and Q: I collect “All in the Family” DVDs, and they seem to twitter.com/Celebrity_Extra. have stopped at Season 6. It has been a long time since © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc. they’ve put a new one out, and I wondered if and when
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by Wilson Casey 1. Is the book of Deborah in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. Of these, who wasn’t on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus? Peter, James, John, Andrew 3. From Matthew 13, how many of Jesus’ “brothers” wrote books of the Bible? Zero, 1, 2, 3 4. Of these, who had 300 concubines? Pharaoh, King Solomon, Saul, Adam 5. What is the biblical interpretation of a concubine? Oven, Secondary wife, Chariot, Gold bracelet 6. In which city did King Ahasuerus mainly live? Corinth, Gath, Berea, Shushan Wilson Casey’s “Golf Trivia” 2011 Box Calendar is now available from Sellers Publishing. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
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How “The Nutcracker” Became a Christmas Tradition Each holiday season, many families attend the only ballet to popular fame. In 1954 he choreographed the ballet for a New they’ll see all year: “The Nutcracker.” But how did “The York company, and not a year has passed since when the ballet Nutcracker” become such a popular tradition? And where, hasn’t been performed in New York City. exactly, did it come from? Balanchine was the first to have the roll of Clara danced by a The story itself is quite old, and the one we see onstage isn’t child, necessitating a much simpler choreography. By the late even the original but a popular adaptation 1960s, other ballet companies across by the French author Alexandre Dumas, North America had jumped on the best known for writing “The Three bandwagon, enthusiastically performing Musketeers.” Once the story made the “The Nutcracker” to a receptive annual leap from page to stage, though, history audience. was in the making. Today, many cities have a production of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky composed “The “The Nutcracker.” It has even become a (Photo credit: Miami City Ballet) Nutcracker” as his final and least tradition on TV. Ovation, the art and satisfying ballet, taking on the project with a marked lack of contemporary culture channel, hosts an annual “Battle of the enthusiasm. So it is ironic that it would become one of the most Nutcrackers” every December. For a week, the network runs beloved Christmas traditions of the 20th century. various productions of the ballet — both traditional and modern The ballet premiered in Tchaikovsky’s native Russia in 1892, interpretations — and asks viewers to vote online for their but “The Nutcracker” didn’t exactly make an instantaneous favorite. The ballet with the most votes is revealed on Christmas mark in the annals of American Christmas tradition. In fact, it Eve and a marathon of all the ballets runs Christmas Day. wasn’t until 1944 that an American ballet company decided to Whether you go to the theater or enjoy the performance from perform the entire ballet. That year, the San Francisco Ballet the comfort of your own home, “The Nutcracker” is a Christmas took on the task, performing the ballet as an annual tradition. tradition the whole family can enjoy. It was George Balanchine who really sent “The Nutcracker” on © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
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