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Ron Howard during filming of Angels and Demons in Rome.
You’ll recognize most of these folks, but what do they all have in common? They were all born during the month of March!
F In his younger years, we knew him as Opie Taylor and Richie Cunningham, but today he’s a famous film director and producer, having brought us such memorable films as “Splash,” “Cocoon,” “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code.” Ron Howard appeared in his first movie at the age of 18 months, the 1956 film “Frontier Woman.” He portrayed Opie Taylor living in Mayberry from 1960 to 1968, and starred in “Happy Days” from 1974 to 1980. Howard was actually a sixth cousin to his “Andy Griffith” co-star Don “Barney Fife” Knotts. Howard has been married to his high school sweetheart since 1975. F March 2 seems to be a popular day for the birth of musicians. In 1950, mellow crooner and drummer Karen Carpenter of the popular 1970s duo The Carpenters was born in Connecticut. On the same day five years later, Jay Osmond of Osmond Brothers fame was born, and the next year, John Cowsill of the 1960s pop group The Cowsills made his appearance. Jon Bon Jovi and English musician Chris Martin of Coldplay share that March 2 birth date as well. F The 7-foot, 1-inch (2.16-m) tall, 325-pound (147-kg) basketball star Shaquille O’Neal turns 39 this month. O’Neal traverses the court wearing a size 23 shoe. He was drafted out of Louisiana State University as the first overall pick in NBA’s 1992 draft by the Orlando Magic. His 18-year career has moved him from the Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers, on to the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and in 2010, to the Boston Celtics. He’s racked up three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP’s, and was selected for the All-NBA team 14 times. During his hot 2000 season, he was the NBA MVP, All-Star Game (continued on page 4)
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Senior News Line
Changes to Reverse Mortgages
by Matilda Charles
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
A reverse mortgage gives you money out of the equity in your home. You can get it in monthly sums, as a line of credit or all at once. The money doesn’t have to be paid back until you die or sell the house. Sounds good, right? But reverse mortgages have always been a tricky and complicated business, and now laws have recently changed concerning reverse mortgages. • Appraisers are more protected now, and you have less recourse over a bad appraisal. • You’ll be required to complete counseling to learn about reverse mortgages. • The Federal Housing Administration has lowered upfront fees in its new Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Saver program as of October 2010. You’ll be charged 0.01 percent of the value of the home, instead of the mammoth thousands of dollars that often were charged with the Standard version before the change. The catch is that you can’t take out as much equity as before. Mortgage insurance is now 1.25 percent annually. The Saver program works best if you’re only going to
2/27 2/28 3/1 3/2 3/3 3/4 3/5
First Issue of People Magazine, 1974 National Tooth Fairy Day Hoover Dam Completed, 1936 Read Across America Day National Anthem Day, U.S. National Grammar Day St. Piran’s Day Chelsea Clinton..............2/27/80 Bernadette Peters..........2/28/48 Justin Bieber....................3/1/94 Eddie Money....................3/2/49 Jessica Biel........................3/3/82 Patricia Heaton................3/4/58 Eva Mendes......................3/5/74
TOP TEN DVD as of February 19, 2011 Top 10 DVD Sales
1. Red (PG-13) (Summit) 2. Secretariat (PG) (Disney) 3. Open Season 3 (PG-13) (Sony) 4. Saw: The Final Chapter (R) (Lionsgate) 5. Takers (PG-13) (Sony) 6. Despicable Me (PG) (Universal) 7. The Social Network (PG-13) (Sony) 8. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (PG-13) (Summit) 9. Glee: Season 2, Vol. 1 (NR) (Fox) 10. Toy Story 3 (G) (Disney) Source: Rentrak Corp. © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
stay in your home for a few years. However, the Standard reverse mortgages have some changes, too. You’ll still pay an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 2 percent of the value of the home. If paid monthly, that changes to a whopping 1.25 percent of the value of the home — it had been 0.5 percent. Bottom line: Standard now costs more. No matter which version you choose, all liens must be paid off. The amount you get is determined by the value of your home, your age (age 62 or above) and the going interest rates. For more information, call the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 800-569-4287. 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.
Keep It Local
Buying birdseed doesn’t have to be an adventure. Many local grocery and hardware stores keep plenty on hand. A basic seed mix works because it has a little bit of everything, and black oil sunflower seed is good too, because most birds love it. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org © 2011 King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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by Freddy Groves
Down on the Farm
The sun on the back of the neck, the feel of the earth in your hands, seeing the first green shoots growing out of the groundâ€Śall of this can be quite healing for a veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or a brain or physical injury. All across the country, large and small farms have opened their doors to veterans who want (or need) to get back to the land. Veterans who have gone into farming enjoy a sense of purpose in the physical work, while taking the time to heal. While thousands of veterans are signing up for education benefits or funds to start a new business, other veterans are digging in the soil. The opportunities are varied: weeks-long training classes, farms where veterans are working, transition camps for those who want to try it out. Some farms are wheelchair accessible, with elevated beds that are easy to reach.
Some are CSA farms, with crops grown for a specific market, with the customers paying in advance. If becoming a farmer sounds like something youâ€™d like to explore, here are some ideas: â€˘ The Farmer-Veteran Coalition [www.farmvetco. org] matches returning veterans with farmers and funding, and also hosts two-day farm retreats. â€˘ The Veterans Farm [www.veteransfarm.giving. officelive.com] is an accessible farm for disabled veterans. It hosts 14-week horticultural therapy programs to learn how to grow organic fruits and vegetables. â€˘ Vet Farms [315-863-5143] in upstate New York offers instruction in planting, tractor operation, marketing and more. â€˘ Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots at the University of Nebraskaâ€™s Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture [ncta.unl.edu], in coordination with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture, offers training and career placement for veterans wishing to become farmers or ranchers. The typical American farmer is nearly 60 years old. Where will the next generation of farmers come from? It could be you.
* * *
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.
ÂŠ 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
Almond Crunch Coffee Cake
by Healthy Exchanges
Knowing this special breakfast treat is waiting makes it worth crawling out of a warm bed on a cold winter morn. Prepare it the night before and warm it up in the microwave, and it will be ready before your eyes are wide open!
substitute. Add milk, sour cream, egg and almond extract. Mix gently just to combine. Spread batter in prepared cake pan. Evenly sprinkle almonds over top. Lightly spray top with butter-flavored cooking spray. 3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place cake pan on a wire rack and let set for at least 15 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. s Each serving equals: 124 calories, 4g fat, 4g DIRECTIONS protein, 18g carb., 285mg sodium, 1g fiber; 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9-inch round Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1/2 Fat. cake pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. ÂŠ 2011 King Features Synd., Inc. 2. In a large bowl, combine baking mix and sugar INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat baking mix Sugar substitute to equal 1/4 cup, suitable for baking 2/3 cup fat-free milk 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream 1 egg or equivalent in egg substitute 1 teaspoon almond extract 1/4 cup chopped almonds
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ARIES (March 21 to April 19) Whatever decisions youâ€™re faced with this week, rely on your strong Aries instincts, and base them on your honest feelings, not necessarily on what others might expect you to do. TAURUS (April 30 to May 20) Your sensitive Taurean spirit is pained by what you feel is an unwarranted attack by a miffed colleague. But your sensible self should see it as proof that you must be doing something right. GEMINI (May 21 to June 20) More fine-tuning might be in order before you can be absolutely certain that youâ€™re on the right track. Someone close to you might offer to help. The weekend favors family get-togethers. CANCER (June 21 to July 22) The week continues to be a balancing act â€˜twixt dreaming and doing. But by weekâ€™s end, you should have a much better idea of what you actually plan to do and how you plan to do it. LEO (July 23 to August 22) Changing your plans can be risky, but it can also be a necessary move. Recheck your facts before you act. Tense encounters should ease by midweek, and all should be well by the weekend. VIRGO (August 23 to September 22) You might still be trying to adjust to recent changes. But things should improve considerably as you get to see some positive results. An uneasy personal matter calls for more patience. LIBRA (September 23 to October 22) Congratulations. Your good intentions are finally recognized, and long-overdue appreciation should follow. Keep working toward improvements wherever you think theyâ€™re necessary. SCORPIO (October 23 to November 2) Try to look at your options without prejudging any of them. Learn the facts, and then make your assessments. Spend the weekend enjoying films, plays and musical events. SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to December 21) Someone might want to take advantage of the Sagittarianâ€™s sense of fair play. But before you ride off to right what youâ€™ve been told is a wrong, be sure of your facts. CAPRICORN (December 22 to January 19) You might be surprised to learn that not everyone agrees with your ideas. But this can prove to be a good thing. Go over them and see where improvements can be made. AQUARIUS (January 20 to February 18) After taking advice on a number of matters in recent months, expect to be called on to return the gesture. And, by the way, you might be surprised at who makes the request. PISCES (February 19 to March 20) Reassure everyone concerned that a change of mind isnâ€™t necessarily a change of heart. You might still want to pursue a specific goal, but feel a need to change the way youâ€™ll get there. YOU BORN THIS WEEK: You are able to make room in your heart for others, and that makes you a very special person in their lives. * * * ÂŠ 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
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1. What March baby was the runner-up in Season 5 of â€œAmerican Idolâ€? in 2006? 2. This February 1678 baby is famous as the composer of â€œThe Four Seasons.â€? Who is he? 3. Which CMA â€œEntertainer of the Yearâ€? graduated from East Tennessee State with a degree in advertising? 4. Weâ€™ve known him as Lieutenant Dan and Detective Mac Taylor. Who is he? 5. Whose hits included â€œTijuana Taxiâ€? and â€œSpanish Fleaâ€??
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MARCH BABIES (continued): MBP and Finals MVP, one of only three players to accomplish this feat in the same year. O’Neal is fifth in all-time points scored. Off the court, he has released four rap albums and starred in two of his own reality shows. F The first British royal baby to have a public christening was Princess Eugenie of York, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, former Duchess. Eugenie, born in March of 1990, is sixth in the line of succession to the throne. F The Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon has been hosted every year since 1966 by comedian Jerry Lewis. Born Jerome Levitch, Lewis got his start in 1946 when he paired up with Dean Martin, and the two began a series of comedy films. In the late 1960s, Lewis taught a film directing class at the University of Southern California, teaching students that included a young Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The first MD fundraiser brought in $1,002,114, while 2010’s reached $58,919,838. Since its inception, it has raised over $2.5 billion. F It was a wonderful day in the neighborhood from 1968 to 2001 when March baby Fred Rogers hosted the children’s program “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” A typical episode might include a field trip to a local business, a visit with the television audience, a live guest, and a time to feed his fish Fennel and Frieda. The gentle, soft-spoken Fred had a music composition degree, and in fact, composed most of the music used on the Emmy-winning program. Rogers was also an ordained Presbyterian minister. Many of his trademark cardigan sweaters were made by his mother. You can view a red cardigan worn by Rogers at the
Is the Economy Getting Better?
Is the economy recovering? Let’s see what the experts say: • We’ve seen a small increase in the number of hours worked per week. • Champagne sales are up. • Companies are spending a bit more on assets such as computers. • There are more job listings, and fewer people are taking a second job. • There’s more traffic on the road as more people are going to work and shopping. On a personal level, you can do your own test of the economy in your area in the grocery store by looking in the shopping carts of other people. Do you see only the basics, all store brands? Are there any snacks? Any beer or wine? Is there a good beef roast, steak or chicken parts instead of whole chickens? Check the heels of the shoes of those in front of you in lines. Are the heels run down? Are the shoes new? How many cars are in the parking lots of local restaurants on weekends? When the economy is better, people feel safer about spending a bit more. Not that this should change your own money-handling methods. While you might see more new cars on the road or your neighbors having their house painted or bottles of expensive wine in shopping carts, keep on track with your own spending plan. While we see signs of recovery, it’s uneven, and it’s not all across the board. It’s not completely over. We’re heading in the right direction, though, as seen with large and small indications, but we’re not there yet. For one more year: Keep saving, and keep your credit balances low or paid off. Keep shopping at thrift stores, especially for kids clothes and toys. Change your own oil, if you haven’t been. Stick to your budget and have pizza and movie night at home. Don’t open new lines of credit. Conserve on heating and cooling. Keep up with yard and house maintenance so repairs don’t cost you more later. Aim for having one year of expenses in the bank. Yes, that’s a lot, but many people have been out of work for longer than that. Given our recent experiences, perhaps you’ll even decide to stick long term with some of the lifestyle changes you’ve made. 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. © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
Smithsonian’s Museum of American History. Interestingly, Rogers never saw his sweater as red, since he was red-green color blind. F Born in March of 1956, Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark has won more races than any other skier in history. The gold medal winner in slalom and giant slalom at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics began skiing at age five, winning his first national competition at age eight. F The winner of “American Idol’s” fourth season, Carrie Underwood, is an “Okie from Muskogee.” Born there in March of 1983 to a sawmill worker and elementary school teacher, Underwood graduated as salutatorian of her high school class. She went on to graduate magna cum laude from Oklahoma’s Northeastern State University with a degree in mass
February 26–March 4, 2011 communications. Prior to her 2004 audition for “Idol,” Underwood had never been on an airplane. She has been on People magazine’s “100 Most Beautiful People” list four years in a row. F Two of the actors who have portrayed James Bond were March babies. Welsh actor Timothy Dalton was the secret agent in 1987’s “The Living Daylights” and 1989’s “License to Kill.” When Dalton was just 22 years old, he was approached by Albert Broccoli to replace Sean Connery for the role. Dalton turned him down, feeling he was too young to play Bond. He was actually considered four separate times before finally taking it at age 46. British actor and March baby Daniel Craig is the current Bond, the sixth actor to have the part. We’ve seen him in 2006’s (continued on page 7)
February 26–March 4, 2011
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Midnight Rambler By Sam Mazzotta
DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I have an 8-year-old Schnauzer, “Fixer,” who has recently started getting into things during the night, after I’m in bed. He has torn open bags, taken things from my purse and gotten into my grandkids’ arts and crafts box. Now I have to be careful not to leave anything around. We have not changed the way we are doing things. Could this be his age? — Phyllis H., Rochester, N.Y. DEAR PHYLLIS: I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend you take him to the veterinarian first thing, just to make sure there is no underlying health issue causing his sudden behavioral change. If everything checks out, tackle the problem from two angles. First, even though you haven’t changed his daily schedule, something subtle may have changed in the house or yard. Pay attention to nighttime happenings. Is there some new noise outside? Did something happen while you were asleep, perhaps, that may have caused Fixer to become anxious? Next, make some changes in his day and night routine Hours
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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. © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
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that will help him feel more secure when you’re asleep. Extend his evening walk a bit and add some basic obedience training and play time to the evening schedule. When it’s your bedtime, lead Fixer over to his bedding and have him lie down and stay. Check back in five minutes, then in 30; if he’s still in his bed, praise him and give him a little treat. If he’s not in his bed, lead him back and repeat. Place a favorite chew toy next to him. At first, Fixer will hop right back out once he thinks you’re asleep and proceed with his nightly rummaging. Be patient. It will take some time for him to associate this routine with the idea that you want him to stay there at night. Meantime, keep placing people things out of reach. Put doggie toys in their place.
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TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.
Are Getting Chilled, Catching Cold Linked? DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My friend and I have an ongoing discussion about how we catch colds. I believe the only way is by being exposed to a germ. My friend agrees, but also says you can become chilled, and that results in a cold. Please settle this once and for all. — L.G. ANSWER: The only way to catch a cold is to meet up with a cold virus. But let’s kick this around a little while it lies there quivering. Rhinoviruses are responsible for many colds. This virus is passed from one person to another most often via the hands and fingers. An infected person invariably will have virus on his or her hands and fingers. If that person touches another person’s hands or fingers, the virus is transferred. All the second person has to do is touch his or her nose or eyes and the virus has found a new home. (The drainage channel for tears siphons viruses into the nose.) It’s also possible to spread a cold through sneezing or coughing, but that’s a secondary route. Many colds are preceded by a body chill. That’s part of the infection symptoms, and that might be what your friend refers to. Once a virus lands in a person’s nose, the time till the development of cold symptoms is short — eight to 12 hours. Runny nose, nasal stuffiness, scratchy throat, cough and sneezing are typical symptoms. They peak in 48 hours and are gone in about one week. A person is
most contagious during the first three days of symptoms, when nasal discharge is at high volume and when it contains the most viruses. If by “chilling” your friend means being in a cold blast of air or getting your feet wet in frigid weather and shivering as a result, she has a slight point. That kind of chilling constricts the nose’s blood vessels and decreases mucus production. It might, therefore, permit cold viruses to mount a more effective attack and can contribute to the ease of catching a cold. All the same, without the virus there is no cold.
i i i
DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Can you give an explanation of and recommendation for cure of a health problem I have? Being over the age of 65 and in reasonably good health, I suffer every winter from painful cracks in my fingertips and the soles of my feet. — R.V. ANSWER: The cracking indicates that your skin is drying out. You can restore moisture to your fingertips with a light coat — just a dab will do you — of petroleum jelly (Vaseline or another moisturizer) before going to bed. Put Band-Aids over your fingertips, and leave them on all night. You can do the same during the day, but it’s a bit inconvenient. In about three days, the cracks should be filling in. Continue this treatment every third or fourth night. The same thing works for the feet. You don’t use BandAids, but you do cover your feet with socks before going to sleep. Don’t apply petroleum jelly during the daytime. It might make you somewhat unsteady. It takes longer for feet to heal.
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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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February 26–March 4, 2011 MARCH BABIES (continued): “Casino Royale” and 2008’s “Quantum of Solace.” F In the midst of the JFK assassination controversy was the figure Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald. As deputies prepared to transfer Oswald from police headquarters to the county jail, Ruby stepped from the crowd and shot the 24 year old in the abdomen during a live television broadcast. A Dallas nightclub owner, Ruby had connections with gangsters, leading to the theory that Ruby was part of a large-scale conspiracy. He denied it, stating that his only motive was to spare Jackie Kennedy the trauma of having to appear at Oswald’s trial. Less than four months after the murder, Ruby was convicted and received the death penalty. His lawyers appealed, arguing that he could not have received a fair trial in the city of Dallas. The appellate court agreed and granted a new trial in a different venue, overturning his conviction and sentence. Two months before the new trial was to begin, Ruby entered Dallas’ Parkland Hospital (the same hospital where both Kennedy and Oswald had been declared dead), suffering from pneumonia. One day later, he was diagnosed with liver, lung and brain cancer, and three weeks later, Ruby was dead. To the very end he maintained that he alone was responsible for Oswald’s death, saying, “There is nothing to hide. There was no one else.”
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March has been a busy month in the history books. Let’s take a look at some of the events that have occurred over the years. ♦ March 9, 1959, is considered the official birth date of of 4,700 pounds (2,132 kg) of explosives strategically the Barbie doll. That’s the day she made her debut at located to control its fall. King County residents were New York City’s American International Toy Fair. Her still responsible for $80 million in debt on the stadium at inventor, Ruth Handler, named the toy after her own the time of its destruction. The new Seattle Seahawks daughter Barbara and pitched the idea to the Mattel Toy stadium was constructed on the site. Company, which had been founded by her husband and ♦ The name of Frederick William Herschel may not be his business partner. Mattel estimates that more than a familiar, but his many accomplishments have certainly billion Barbie dolls have been sold around the world. set him apart. He is most noted for his discovery of the ♦ Somewhere between 11 and 32 million planet Uranus in March of 1781. He also U.S. gallons of crude oil were spilled into discovered that planet’s two moons as Prince William Sound off Alaska’s well as two moons of Saturn. During the coastline in March of 1989 when the 1770s, Herschel began building Exxon Valdez ran aground. The oil had telescopes, spending 16 hours a day been removed from the Prudhoe Bay oil grinding and polishing the mirrors. He field and was bound for Long Beach, saw the planet with a 6-inch (150 mm) California. The slick eventually covered diameter, 7-foot (2.1-meter) long 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of coastline, telescope from his garden in Bath, killing as many as 250,000 seabirds, England. Although Herschel dubbed it close to 3,000 sea otters and 22 orca “Georgian Star,” the name was eventually whales, among other creatures and changed to Uranus, which comes from millions of fish. It’s estimated that 22 the Greek god of the sky, Ouranos. Two years after the spill, more than 26,000 years after his discovery, he gifted his Wilt Chamberlain, U.S. gallons still remain along the American sister Caroline with a telescope, and she basketball player shoreline. wearing uniform of Harlem discovered eight comets and three nebulae. In addition to his astronomy Globetrotters. ♦ Time magazine’s very first issue hit the feats, he was also an accomplished stands the first week of March in 1923. Its first cover subject was Joseph Gurney Cannon, an musician who composed 24 symphonies. Illinois Congressman who had served as Speaker of the ♦ March 2 was a record-setting night back in 1962 when House and was the longest-serving Congressman to date NBA star Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single with 48 years of service. The day his picture appeared on game at Pennsylvania’s Hersheypark Arena. It was a the cover was his last day of office. regular season game between the Philadelphia Warriors ♦ Opening day at Seattle’s Kingdome was March 27, and the New York Knicks. Chamberlain’s Warriors won 1976. Almost exactly 24 years later, on March 26, 2000, the game 169 to 147. No NBA player has even gotten it was demolished by implosion at a cost of $9 million. close to this record; the closest was 81 points scored by The structure was drilled with 5,905 holes for placement Kobe Bryant in 2006.
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Freak hands produce freak results, as witness this deal from the World Pair Olympiad many years ago. All kinds of results occurred at the 30 tables where the hand was played, but we report here only those of two American pairs who sat East-West. At one table, with Robert Jordan and Arthur Robinson sitting East-West, the bidding went as shown. The artificial two-diamond bid by North showed gamegoing strength but not necessarily diamonds. Jordan then leaped to five diamonds, partly in the hope of making it and partly to jam the bidding. He later doubled six hearts but wound up taking second money when the Dutch declarer lost only a spade trick and scored 1,210 points. In fact, South would have made an overtrick if Robinson had led a diamond instead of a club. The other American pair, Marshall Miles and Phil Feldesman, had far better luck. The bidding at their table went: West North East South Pass 2 [D] 5 [D] Pass 7 [D] Dble Here West, after South had passed, added a second pre-emptive bid to his partner’s. Over seven diamonds, North, who had not yet shown either of his suits, found himself completely frustrated. He doubled, for want of anything better to do, and everyone passed. South had to make a blind opening lead and, after great travail, selected the jack of spades. This allowed declarer to score four spade tricks instead of three, and he eventually got rid of his club loser on dummy’s seven of spades to make the grand slam for a score of 1,630 points! This was 2,840 points better than their compatriots had done with exactly the same cards! © 2011 King Features Syndicate, Inc.
TidbitsÂŽ of Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort
February 26â€“March 4, 2011
Speedway Dance Lessons DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. â€” What as well be coasting to a stop on the Highway to Hell. is clearly understood at Daytona In the Shootout, the various and sundry duos dynamic, International Speedway is that no guided by the various and sundry captains courageous, one understands it clearly. The drafted at more than 206 mph. Alone in qualifying on Daytona 500 shapes up as an Sunday, the fastest car, driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr., was 20 indecipherable quandary wrapped up in a riddle. mph slower. Each time NASCAR changes rules, particularly at Daytona â€œItâ€™s all about getting locked on,â€? said the second fastest and Talladega, more changes than the rules. Some changes qualifier, Jeff Gordon. â€œWhen youâ€™re the lead car, you feel are completely unexpected. The latest as if youâ€™re constantly being pushed. changes, which also involve the You feel a little tap. If youâ€™re not installation of new pavement at the getting that tap, I mean, you drop 5 track, have NASCARâ€™s best drivers mph instantly. pondering just what they are going to â€œWe always thought, in drafting, four do and smartest mechanics feverishly cars were better than two cars, and analyzing what just happened. eight cars were better than four. Thatâ€™s Speed â€” in twos â€” is the new name After test sessions in December and over. Three cars would actually go of the game for the upcoming January, drivers spoke of the trackâ€™s faster than two if you could get them Daytona 500 at the newly repaved $20 million surface as if it were a together, but you canâ€™t do it because Daytona International Speedway. present under a tree on Christmas the second car becomes the middle of (John Clark/NASCAR This morning. A common claim was that a sandwich and it gets out of control.â€? Week photo) the Daytona 500 was going to be â€œjust Sort of like a heavy coat of like Talladega.â€? If thatâ€™s true, Talladega mayonnaiseâ€Śsquirting out. Superspeedway is really going to have to change. â€œTrust me,â€? said Gordon. â€œYouâ€™ve got to have a partner.â€? The racing in the Budweiser Shootout was, in fact, like absolutely nothing that preceded it. Talladega has been NASCAR officials seem to have been caught as unawares described as dangerous, thrilling, nuts, off the wall (literally) as anyone. Now it appears likely that rules are going to and even random in nature, but what transpired at Daytona change again â€” they already limited the carburetor restrictor on Friday night was weird. If the Budweiser Shootout had plates once â€” meaning that in the Gatorade Duel qualifying been featured on the menu at Waffle House, it would have races on Thursday, new mysteries will crop up. Some say â€œlet â€˜em race,â€? or, more likely, â€œhave at it.â€? been ordered scattered and smothered. The cars only seem to race in groups of twos. Not two-by- Unfortunately, everyone seems still to be learning how. two, down through the pack. Two here, two there, two * * * Monte Dutton covers motorsports for everywhere. If a drivers loses his partner, his car falls into The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at what might as well be an abyss. If he pulls in front of two email@example.com. cars, they run over him. If he tries to pull in behind, they ÂŠ 2011 King Features Synd., Inc. leave him. Until he finds a partner of his very own, he might
OVERCOMING THE ODDS: ALBERT EINSTEIN The name of Albert Einstein is synonymous with the word â€œgenius,â€? but it nearly didnâ€™t turn out that way. Follow along as Tidbits examines the life of this famous physicist, philosopher and author, born in March of 1879.
s Experiencing difficulties with language, Albert Einstein recognized by the academic world and by 1908, at age 29, was didnâ€™t begin to speak until he was nearly four years old. He considered a leading scientist. A teaching position was finally didnâ€™t read until age nine and was considered slow and even his at the University of Zurich. borderline mentally retarded by some of his teachers. The s By 1914, Einstein was once again a German citizen and headmaster of his school advised Einsteinâ€™s parents to send him director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics. In 1921, he to a trade school. There was nothing wrong with his intelligence was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. â€” the real problem was dyslexia, and when he transferred to a s In 1933, as the Nazis rose to power in Germany under Adolf school that stressed â€œcreative thinking and hands-on learning,â€? Hitler, Jews were barred from teaching at universities. The Einsteinâ€™s academic performance took a giant Nazis began book burnings, and Einsteinâ€™s leap forward. works were some of the first to go. His name s In 1896, at the age of 17, he renounced his was on a list of assassination targets. He citizenship in the German Kingdom of renounced his German citizenship, emigrated Wurttemberg to avoid conscription in the to the United States and became the Professor military. He enrolled in Switzerlandâ€™s Federal of Theoretical Physics at Princeton University. Institute of Technology, where he received his s In 1939, as World War II was brewing, diploma in 1901 and acquired Swiss citizenship Einstein wrote a letter to President Franklin the same year. When Einstein couldnâ€™t find a Roosevelt warning him of the possibility that the teaching position after months of searching, he Nazis might be working on an atomic bomb. It took a job as an examiner in the Swiss Patent was Einsteinâ€™s recommendation that the United Office evaluating patent applications for States should begin research into the use of electromagnetic devices, a position he held for uranium, and the top secret â€œManhattan Projectâ€? seven years. was put in place to develop the first nuclear Albert Einstein during a s During his employ at the Patent Office, lecture weapons. Although Einstein himself did not in Vienna in 1921. Einstein earned his doctorate from the work on the bomb project, he later expressed University of Zurich and began publishing sadness that the bomb was used against civilian populations, papers on the photoelectric effect, relativity, and matter saying, â€œI made one great mistake in my life â€” when I signed the and energy. His earlier papers attempted to prove that atoms letter to President Roosevelt, but there was some justification â€” exist and were written at a time when physicists did not accept the danger that the Germans would make them.â€? this view. s Einstein made one last citizenship change in his life in 1940, s The 20th centuryâ€™s best-known equation was Einsteinâ€™s becoming an American citizen. Four months after his death in E = mc 2, which suggests that small amounts of mass could be 1955, chemical element 99 was named Einsteinium. In 1999, converted into large amounts of energy. He was finally being he was named â€œPerson of the Centuryâ€? by Time magazine.
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A Who is the only player in major-league history to have at least 500 doubles, 100 triples, 600 home runs and 300 stolen bases? B How many consecutive seasons did Joe Torre manage a team to the major-league playoffs? C Which NFL team has appeared in the most conference championship games? D In 2010, Eric Bledsoe hit eight 3-pointers in an NCAA Tournament game to set a University of Kentucky record. Who had held the mark? E Jarome Iginla entered the 2010-11 NHL campaign with the longest current streak of at least 20 goals in consecutive seasons, with 11. Name three of the five players tied for second with 10 seasons? F In 2010, Sebastian Vettel became the youngest driver (23 years, 133 days) in Formula One history to win the season championship. Who had been the youngest? G Name the last left-handed menâ€™s tennis player before Rafael Nadal in 2010 to win the U.S. Open. ÂŠ 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
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February 26–March 4, 2011
Tinker and Evers Wouldn’t Stand a Chance Nick Wright, a Syracuse, N.Y.-born sports-radio host, calls it the “TMZ-ization of sports journalism.” For those that are into that sort of thing, TMZ.com is a website best known for sharing everything you didn’t want to know about Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan (and in some cases, things you probably didn’t want to see, at least at work). This year, however, the site has served up stories about golfer Tiger Woods, NFL quarterbacks Brett Favre, Ben Roethlisberger and Mark Sanchez, and even Jets coach Rex Ryan. Not for their onfield exploits, mind you, but for their off-field adventures. Wright asked his listeners if they were sick of this trend, these salacious stories that used to once be the domain of a newspaper’s gossip column. Surprisingly, most listeners said they didn’t mind it very much, and the ones that did clearly were informed enough to have read up on the scandals enough to form an educated opinion about them. They used to say the best writing in the newspaper was found
For Advertising Call: 843-368-2997 in the sports section. Guys like Grantland Rice who would coin magnificent phrases and wax poetic about the “four horsemen” of Notre Dame have long since vanished from the sports pages. What sells now, apparently, is the transcript of texts and twitter feeds featured on TMZ and sports-based websites like Deadspin.com. It’s important to note that in most all of these recent cases, the stories were not broken by sports writers. The Woods scandal, for instance, took the golf news corps by surprise. It was their “entertainment” colleagues who took the lead. Without denigrating an entire division of my media colleagues, let’s be honest with ourselves — the paparazzi tactics of freelance photographers and the willingness to “out” anyone remotely approaching celebrity status, as distasteful as they are to many, sell far better than the reserved reportage of, say, a Davis Cup match. And while the allure of celebrity gossip has always found a home in the sports page (the gin mill brawls of Billy Martin, the love match of Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert, the not-so-love matches of Mike Tyson) there were always limits. Sportswriters used to draw salaries from the teams they covered, and most often they were the guys on the barstool right next to the players who were their primary sources on game day, but off-limits after-hours. Today we’d know that the really tall tennis player from the 1920s was a closeted homosexual, that the hockey star from the ‘60s was a serial wife beater and the ‘90s-era reliever who suddenly couldn’t find the strike zone just lost his high-school sweetheart in a divorce. Nobody talks about the infield combo that turns a double play around the water cooler anymore. In the face of competition like Hilton, Lohan and Britney Spears, Tinker and Evers don’t even stand a chance. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter and publisher of The Kansas City Luminary. © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
THIS IS A HAMMER By Samantha Mazzotta
Broken Bulb Blues QUESTION: I was trying to unscrew a burnt-out light bulb yesterday, which unfortunately stuck and then broke as I tried to force it to turn. I wasn’t hurt, but now I have a jagged remnant stuck in the socket. I’m afraid to turn that light on, but it’s the ceiling light in my den, and I’d really like to be able to work there. Any suggestions? Also, what do you think of those new fluorescent light bulbs? — Derek N., Youngstown, Ohio ANSWER: First, turn off the circuit breaker to that room to make sure no electricity is getting to the socket. Second, put on a sturdy work glove and place a wastebasket nearby to discard the bulb. Third, take a raw potato or a piece of soap. Cut the potato in half and trim to slightly larger than the diameter of the socket. Press the trimmed part of the potato or soap against the jagged edges of the broken bulb. Then, slowly turn counterclockwise to unscrew. You may need to brace the socket with your free hand or with a pair of needlenose pliers if it tries to twist with the bulb. If this doesn’t work, contact an electrician to remove the bulb and inspect the socket for damage. As to your second question regarding CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs, well, they’re the wave of the future — like it or not. The last U.S.-manufactured incandescent light bulb rolled off the production lines last year. The ones on store shelves now are produced overseas. CFLs do produce the same amount of light while using significantly less power, so you may see a slight difference in your power bill if all your home’s bulbs are CFLs. The cost of a CFL is higher than that of an incandescent bulb, but that price is coming down. Additionally, CFLs last much longer than incandescents, so you won’t be purchasing them as often. By the way, if you break a glass-coil CFL bulb, the soap/potato trick isn’t effective. Wear sturdy work gloves and grip the socket and the small extension from which the CFL’s glass coil protruded and carefully unscrew it. HOME TIP: Light bulb flickering? Before changing it or calling an electrician, try removing the bulb and cleaning its base with a pencil eraser. A clean contact may solve the problem. Send your questions or home tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. When in doubt as to whether you can safely or effectively complete a project, consult a professional contractor.
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
z ANSWERS Answer
1. Willie Mays. 2. Fourteen seasons with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers (1996-2009). 3. Pittsburgh has appeared in 15, beginning in the 1972 season. 4. Tony Delk hit seven in the championship game in 1996. 5. Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Hejduk, Marian Hossa, Vincent Lecavalier and Joe Thornton. 6. Lewis Hamilton was 23 years, 301 days old when he won the world title in 2008. 7. John McEnroe, in 1984.
BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS
MAGIC MAZE ANSWER
1) New; 2) Cherubim with flaming swords; 3) Solomon; 4) Living; 5) Sheep; 6) Manna
CANDY HEART PHRASES
HOCUS FOCUS DIFFERENCES 1. “Complaints” sign is missing. 2. Woman has no hat. 3. Bell is on counter. 4. Box has no stripes. 5. One boxing glove is missing. 6. Shopper’s hat is black.
FOUR & FIVE
Tidbits® of Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort
February 26–March 4, 2011
by cindy elavsky Q: I just watched an excellent movie called “Shooter” this might bode well for “The Librarian” series, as Noah with Mark Wahlberg. There also is a Donnie Wahlberg, said in an interview last summer: “I miss (‘The Librarian’) I think, on “Blue Bloods.” Are they related? Also, was so much. In fact, one of the big reasons I wanted to do one of them in the Backstreet Boys? — Nancy G., Punta ‘Falling Skies’ for TNT is that Dean’s got his show (‘Leverage’), I’ve got my show, and we can apply Gorda, Fla. A: Mark and Donnie Wahlberg are brothers. The elder [pressure] to TNT to make some more ‘Librarian’ Wahlberg, Donnie (41), got his start in New Kids on the movies.” i i i Block back in 1984; however, the group didn’t really break out until 1988’s “Hangin’ Q: Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger is Tough,” NKOTB’s second album. The no longer the “Gubernator” of California, group broke up in 1995. Donnie then will he return to movies? — Alan H., embarked on an acting career, co-starring in Akron, Ohio “Ransom,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Band of A: Arnold took to his Twitter account Brothers” and “Boomtown.” While he recently to let the world know he’s ready to hasn’t given up his acting career, he and the act again: “Exciting news. My friends at rest of the New Kids have reunited, and this (agency) CAA have been asking me for summer they are touring with, ironically, seven years when they can take offers the Backstreet Boys. seriously. Gave them the green light In the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, brother Mark, today.” 39, had some success with Marky Mark and i i i the Funky Bunch, whose single “Good Q: Has “Chase” been taken off the air? Vibrations” became a No. 1 hit in 1991. We really enjoy the show and miss it! — Noah Wyle Mark segued into film after doing numerous Karin R., via e-mail ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, co-starring in “The Basketball Diaries,” “Boogie Nights,” “The A: As of this writing, “Chase” has not OFFICIALLY been Perfect Storm” and “The Departed” (for which he was canceled; however, it has been pulled off NBC’s schedule nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award), with no plans to air the remaining episodes. So, yes, the series is pretty much dead in the water. “Chase” was among many others. replaced by the game show “Minute to Win It,” which i i i scored 3.2 million more viewers than “Chase.” Q: Is TNT going to make another movie in “The i i i Librarian” series? — Bridget C., via e-mail Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. A: While “Librarian” star Noah Wyle has stated that there Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at are no immediate plans for another movie, he is definitely email@example.com. For more news and extended on board when they decide to make the next one. For now interviews, visit www.celebrityextraonline.com he is busy with his new TNT show (debuting June 10) and twitter.com/Celebrity_ Extra. “Falling Skies,” while “Librarian” executive producer, Dean Devlin, is busy with TNT’s “Leverage.” However, © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
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February 26–March 4, 2011
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Thought of the Week
by Wilson Casey
1. Is the Book of 1 Thessalonians in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. To keep Adam and Eve away after the Fall, what did God place around the Tree of Life? Smoking pits, Deep moat, Cherubim with flaming swords, Walking vipers 3. In 2 Samuel 12, what personality did God name Jedidiah? David, Amos, Solomon, Joab 4. What “type” water did Jesus offer the Samaritan woman at the well? Fresh, Cool, Living, Clean 5. From John 10, to what type animals are Christians compared? Camels, Sheep, Lions, Serpents 6. Which of these was a type of food? Yoke, Manna, Prodigal, Mina Wilson Casey’s new book, “Firsts: Origins of Everyday Things That Changed the World,” is available from Alpha/Penguin publishing. © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
“Animals have these advantages over man: They never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills.” — Voltaire
By Samantha Weaver
z It was English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley who made the following sage observation: “There is no greater mistake than the hasty conclusion that opinions are worthless because they are badly argued.” z In 1955, a woman in Italy gave birth to a baby who weighed 22 pounds, 8 ounces. z Two United State first ladies ran away to get married: Florence Harding, future wife of President Warren G. Harding, eloped with her first husband when she was 19, and Anna Harrison eloped with the future ninth U.S. President William Henry Harrison (also known as “Old Tippecanoe”) when she was 20 and he was 22. z The substance now known as cat litter was originally designed to be used as nesting material for chickens.
u To keep sugar from lumping, keep a few crackers in the sugar canister. They ward off moisture, and they don’t affect the taste of the sugar. u “Whenever my child has a scrape, cut or even a bruise, she likes to have an adhesive bandage put on it. But when it’s time for the bandage to come off, she’s shy about it. I use a cotton ball to apply baby oil to the bandage, and it slips right off. This works for the waterproof kind, too.” — L.K. in Missouri u “When polishing my wing-tips, I realized that I had run out of shoe polish. My wife
z Early in the history of the Christian church, tea was considered to be a dangerous intoxicant. z Louis Diat, chef at the New York City RitzCarlton in the early 20th century, is usually credited with first creating the soup known as vichyssoise. He based the recipe on one his mother and grandmother used to make, but he had to change the name to something a bit more fancy; it seems that “Mama’s Potato-Leek Puree” didn’t fit in with the other menu items. z The blood of the icefish has no color. z Have you ever noticed that there’s a pale crescent of flesh at the base of each of your fingernails? If you want to be technical, the word to describe it is “lunula.”
* * *
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
suggested furniture polish, and it worked very well. I just might use it from now on.” — T.Y. in Delaware u Got wrinkled ribbon? Use a curling iron to straighten it out. Slip it over the ribbon and pull through slowly. u “Old sheets can be recycled into pillowcases. I change my pillowcase more often than my sheets in order to keep my face clean, and I have a steady supply of cases because I made some when my last sheet set wore out.” — N.L. in California u Make your own furniture polish. This mix is ecological and thrifty, smells wonderful and is a cinch to mix. Add 1/3 cup lemon juice to 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake well and use in a spray bottle. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
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Tidbits® of Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort Recommended Reading © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
“Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox” By Greg Fitzsimmons (Simon & Schuster, $25) Reviewed by Rose M. Croke When comedian Greg Fitzsimmons found an incriminating box of letters in his aunt’s apartment, he soon discovered that he had hit the proverbial jackpot. He had, in his hands, what would turn out to be his memoir’s laugh-inducing framework. Constructed around the stacks of letters his mother had meticulously saved from his childhood, some still preserved in their original envelopes, “Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox” is a heartfelt yet highly amusing account of an angry young man’s Irish Catholic upbringing in the upper-middle-class suburbs of New York City. With letters dating back to the age of 5, when his preschool teacher wrote to berate his inability to “wiggle,” Fitzsimmons provides a documented tale, complete with hilariously captioned photos, detailing his rebellious childhood and defiantly dysfunctional family. From bad report cards and detention slips to numerous disciplinary notices and police blotter newspaper clippings, Fitzsimmons candidly recounts what it was like growing up in the shadow of an accomplished, alcoholic father who was a famous and revered New York radio personality, and the oppressive weight his father’s success and legacy had on his own personal development. Bred by his parents to blindly challenge anyone who tested him, Fitzsimmons has an innate comedic flair. His pitchperfect writing style has been fine-tuned in comedy clubs around the country. Fueled by his apparent disdain for authority, Fitzsimmons delivers a memoir that doesn’t pander or look for misplaced sympathy. Instead, he cheekily tells his story as it happened, and unapologetically backs it up with documented proof. Proving once again that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, “Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons” is a middle-aged man’s touching coming-of-age tale. A must-read for anyone of Irish-American extraction, and an enjoyable way to pass the time in the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.
Q: I have a large collection of Avon bottles. Even though I don’t have the Internet, I hope you can help me find out current values. — Pauline, Manchester, N.H. A: Since so many readers have written me recently about Avon collectibles, a brief history lesson might be in order. The California Perfume Company was founded in 1886. Even though the “Avon” line was introduced by the company during the 1920s, it was not marketed as such until 1939. Collecting, especially the earlier items, is still brisk, but prices appear to have softened in recent years. For example, a 1960s globe bank that contained bubblebath crystals was valued in a 1975 price guide for $35, and currently retails for about $15. There are several fairly good price guides available that you can find online at www.amazon.com.
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Q: I have an issue of Good Housekeeping, the Christmas edition, from December 1928. What is it worth? — Linda, Cuba City, Wisc. A: As with most collectibles, condition is paramount. Does
February 26–March 4, 2011 your magazine have its original cover. Has anything been clipped from it, and does it show signs of obvious wear. Who designed the cover, and is there anything exceptional about the magazine’s content? Good Housekeeping was first published in 1885 and was acquired by Hearst in 1911. It was without a doubt one of America’s most successful magazines. Highlights include covers and illustrations by such artists as Jessie Willcox Smith and Coles Phillips. Look, too, for stories by Kathleen Norris, Pearl S. Buck, Sinclair Lewis, Agatha Christie and Stephen Vincent Benet. The Rose O’Neill kewpies also are collectible. If your magazine is fairly standard, it is probably worth about $20. If it has an exceptional cover or features any of the above mentioned talents, it is worth more.
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Q: I have a mint copy of “The Fires Burn No More,” as recorded by Little Anthony and the Imperials on Apollo during the 1950s. What can I get for it? — Thom, Canton, Ohio A: Your record is worth in the $15 to $60 range, depending on condition.
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Write to Larry Cox in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail. © 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.
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