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Readers Weekly Nationwide!


The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read

March 21–27, 2010

Volume 2, Issue 10


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Lewis Grizzard, the famous Atlanta author once wrote, “Spring time is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.� That about sums it up for us. Springtime brings relief from winter. It’s all about renewal, warmth and new beginnings. So sit back and enjoy, as Tidbits welcomes in the new season this week. _ The start of spring is seen by the vernal equinox, which occurs on March 20 or 21 each year in the Northern Hemisphere. Oddly enough, this date is also the autumnal equinox — the first day of autumn — in the Southern Hemisphere. _ Turnabout is fair play: the autumnal equinox in the north (which occurs in late September), is also the first day of spring south of the equator. _ No kidding: Spring fever is not a figment of your imagination. It is a real physical condition that occurs when a sudden warm spell follows a long cold period. As the temperature rises, the body has to get rid of heat; there’s a dilation or expansion of the blood vessels so that blood can be carried to the body surface where heat can be lost quickly. Some people experience an energetic feeling. Hence, spring fever. _ Here comes the sun: Suppose you were standing on the equator during either the vernal or autumnal equinox. Now look up. You would see the sun pass directly overhead. There are only two times in the year when this happens. _ Full tilt: Why is there more daylight in spring and summer? Easy. In spring, the Earth’s axis is tilted toward the sun, increasing the number of daylight hours and bringing warmer weather that causes plants to bring forth new growth. (continued on page 4)

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Fight Depression With Exergames

by Matilda Charles

It can be a vicious cycle: Depression can cause a lack of interest in physical activity, yet physical activity can help alleviate depression. How do we motivate ourselves to be active when we just don’t want to? There might be a solution right in our nearest electronics store: The Nintendo Wii games. The Nintendo Wii Sports was designed to get young people up off the floor — where they sit with remote controls in their hands — and get them doing something physically active. However, a new study has shown that the very same games can help seniors become more active. The University of California San Diego School of Medicine used the Wii Sports games (golf, boxing, tennis, bowling and baseball) on test participants. One-third of them reported that their depression was at least 50 percent better by the end of the study. Nintendo also has a Wii Fit Plus package, and it’s much more comprehensive than the basic Sports. It lets you weigh in, take body fitness tests, record your results,

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tells you how many calories you’re burning and lets you customize your own workout, including exercise you’ve done away from the Wii. The game includes balance, strength, yoga, aerobics and training. Think of the positives: You get to do it indoors, so weather isn’t a factor. You play with others. It has a one-time cost. It’s fun. There is another potential benefit to the Wii games, specifically tennis and Cooking Mama: A very short study showed that those who’ve had a stroke were able to cut the amount of time it takes to do everyday activities after playing the Wii games. Ask your doctor if he or she thinks the exercise games in Wii would benefit you. And then, ask your local seniors center if they’ll purchase one for group use! 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

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“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” — Albert Einstein By Samantha Weaver

z It was British romance author Jilly Cooper who made the following observation: “The male is a domestic animal which, if treated with firmness, can be trained to do most things.” z What do Steve Martin, Donald Trump, Dan Aykroyd, Gene Simmons, Leslie Nielsen, Burt Reynolds, Jerry Seinfeld and Peter Sellers have in common? They’ve all been featured on the cover of Playboy magazine. z Those who study such things claim that the hair on top of your head grows more rapidly than the hair on the sides of your head. z If you’re up on your Biblical standards of measurement, you probably already know that a handbreadth equals 3 inches, a span is 9 inches and a cubit equals 18 inches. z Before horror author Stephen King became famous for novels such as “Carrie,”“The Stand” and “The Shining,” he wrote four novels and 60 short stories that failed to be accepted for publication.

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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z If you’re ever visiting Woodruff, Wisc., be sure to stop by and see its penny. The tourist attraction is 10 feet tall and weighs 17,452 pounds. z It’s not surprising that the word “fondue” comes from the French verb “fondre,” which means “to melt.” z With the health-care debate so much in the news these days, you’ve probably heard of the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb. Given its multi-billion-dollar revenues today, you may be surprised to learn that way back in the 19th century when William McLaren Bristol and John Ripley Myers were just getting started, they paid a mere $5,000 for their fledgling pharmaceutical company. z If you suffer from ophidiophobia — and many people do — you may find the following tidbit to be rather unsettling: There are more than 3,000 different species of snakes. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Anne Bradstreet

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Find the Tidbits Alligator hidden in this issue

Q. What season is it when you are on a trampoline? A. Spring-time!

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u If you’re patching an article of clothing that has a hole, put a small piece of aluminum foil underneath it as you iron on the patch. This way, you won’t accidentally adhere the patch to the ironing surface. Hey, it’s happened! u “Baby food jars make excellent reusable containers — especially now that many baby foods are sold in plastic containers with snap-on lids. I use these to make small portions of prepared gelatin and pudding, which I then freeze. I pop one in my children’s lunchbox, and by lunchtime they are defrosted and ready to eat. They serve the dual purpose of helping to keep other items cold.” — M.L. in Georgia u “I use baby powder to give my dog’s coat a freshening between baths. I take her outside, rub a nice portion in, then brush out. It removes dirt and grime, plus leaves her smelling sweet as a baby!” — O.S. in California u For quick and easy cleanup after outdoor gardening, stick a bar of soap in a net bag or piece of ladies’ stockings and hang it from the hose bib. You’ll always know where it is, and it’s always handy when you need to wash up before going inside. u “Use greased muffin tins to bake stuffed peppers.” — V.B. in Illinois u “The best way to pack clothes for camping is in complete outfits rolled up together. I use small wastebasket liners to hold my daily outfits together. The benefits are that it stays neatly rolled, new clothes don’t get wet from rain, and the bag can be used along the way to keep litter in its place.” — R.F. in Colorado 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 © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Neighbors Fear Miss Itzy By Sam Mazzotta DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My 4-year-old Dachshund, “Miss Itzy,” is very aggressive with all of my neighbors, friends and some of my family. However, she’s a sweetheart around my granddaughter and great-grandchildren. She has to wear a muzzle when she gets her nails trimmed or goes to the vet. I’m so afraid she will bite someone. I love her to death and don’t want to get rid of her. Can you help? — Maria, Marion, Ind. DEAR MARIA: You should find out what your granddaughter and great-grandchildren are doing that makes Miss Itzy so calm around them. (Do they have dogs of their own? How do they train their dogs?) There’s something about the way they interact with your dog that really calms her down. Miss Itzy is likely aggressive due to anxiety. The clues in your letter — aggression toward strangers, the groomer, the vet — show that she’s got a lot of worries about these strange people. The groomer and vet are easy to spot — most dogs do not like nail trimming or getting exams and shots.

Another question is, how do you act around neighbors, the vet or groomer? Do you get anxious (maybe because you’re worried that Miss Itzy will get anxious)? Dogs are really good at reading owners’ emotions, and Miss Itzy, devoted to you as she is, will get more anxious, and even take a protective posture, if she thinks you’re afraid or in danger. Talk to the veterinarian about prescribing antianxiety medication for Miss Itzy, and talk with a professional trainer, if possible, about ways to train your dog to settle down in unfamiliar situations. Also, observe your own behavior in different situations and try to keep a calm and level voice, even when your dog is barking her head off. Send your pet questions to Sam Mazzotta at, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. And find more pet resources at ©2010 King Features Synd., Inc.


TidbitsÂŽ of Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort

SPRING IS HERE (continued): _ Celtic tradition, which is based solely on daylight and the strength of the noon sun, says that spring begins in early February and continues until early May. _ Spring forward. In recent decades seasonal creep has been observed, which means that many signs of the season are happening earlier than expected in many regions. We’re talking a couple of days per decade. _ Akitu was a spring festival in ancient Mesopotamia. The name is from the Sumerian language for “barley,� originally marking two festivals celebrating the beginning of each of the two half-years of the Sumerian Calendar, marking the sowing of barley in autumn and the cutting of barley in spring. _ The Lunar New Year is sometimes called the Chinese Spring Festival. It is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, particularly by people on mainland China and Taiwan. The festival traditionally beings on the first day of the first month in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th. _ Hurricane season also begins in late spring, on May 15th in the northeastern Pacific and June 1st in the northern Atlantic. You don’t see hurricanes before these dates although they do sometimes occur. One of the earliest was Tropical Storm Ana in mid-April 2003. _ Severe weather generally occurs during the spring, when warmer air invades the lower latitudes just as cold air pushes out from the polar regions. Spring is also when flooding is also most common in and near mountainous areas during this time of year due to the melting of snow, aided by warm rains. _ In America, “Tornado Alley� is most active by far during the spring. The Rocky Mountains prevent the surging hot and cold air fronts from moving westward and instead force them directly at each other. _ Some of the worst blizzards have occurred in the spring. Does anyone remember the Great Blizzard of 1993, which brought hurricane conditions and then light snow to northern Florida on March 13th, and deposited up to five feet of snow in parts of the Appalachian Mountains. _ The festival of Basant, in Pakistan, is held in the ancient eastern city of Lahore. Basant is marked by

kite-flying, rooftop gatherings, garden parties and horse riding events. _ May Day is not an American holiday, but it’s celebrated all over the world. _ During ancient Roman times, spring was celebrated with the Feast of Floralia. This marked the flowering of the grains and the bounty of the animals as spring continued. The egg became an important symbol during this time period, thanks to the symbolism of eggs bringing forth life and nourishing people. _ As the Italian Feast of Floralia evolved, people began creating eggs out of many materials, including chocolate, as gifts for their loved ones. Young matrons carried these eggs with them in baskets throughout the spring, trying to determine the possible gender of a future child. _ In Germany, Walpurgisnacht, on April 30th and May 1st celebrates the release of winter’s hold on the land and the oncoming joy of summer. _ More spring legends: On May 1st, it is believed that the earth spirits like sprites and fairies, emerge to bring the land safely to summer. People celebrate with great feasts of food and drink as they look forward to the coming of summer. _ In Thailand, a three-day water festival on April

13–15 marks Songkran, the Buddhists’ celebration of the new year. Parades feature statues of Buddha that spray water on passersby. In small villages, young people throw water at each other for fun. People also release fish into rivers as an act of kindness. _ The Jewish holiday of Passover is held during spring. Passover begins with two nights of a special dinner called Seders. During these two dinners, families read from a book called the Haggadah about the ancient Israelites exodus from Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. As they honor their ancestors, Jews reaffirm the importance of freedom. _ On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. People attend church and also enjoy different Easter customs. In Germany, people make “egg trees� that are decorated like Christmas trees. In Hungary, boys sprinkle girls with perfumed water — and in return, girls prepare a holiday dinner for them. _ It’s commonly called “Spring Break,� that time of year when students have a week-long break from the tedium of school and travel south or to parts unknown to party; Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Cancun, Mexico are two favorite hot spots. Other countries celebrate it too, including China, Korea, Japan, Germany and Mexico.

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Page  A Who is the only major-league second baseman to win both a Rookie of the Year Award and a regular-season Most Valuable Player Award? B Of Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson, which major-league pitcher had more consecutive 20-win seasons? Who was the first University of Oregon quarterback C to pass for more than 2,000 yards in a season? D In 2008, New Orleans’ Chris Paul set a record for consecutive games (seven) to start a season with at least 20 points and 10 assists. Who had held the mark? E Who was the first American-born referee to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame? F Todd Lodwick (in the Nordic combined) in 2010 became the third American to compete in five Winter Olympics. Name either sport the other two came from. G How many times in his 13 years as a PGA pro has Tiger Woods been named the Golf Writers Association of America’s Player of the Year? © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

Kurt Busch in Command

At least for now, Kurt Busch has the upper hand in the family. Kurt and his younger brother, Kyle, are both legitimate stars in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Kurt won the 2004 Nextel (now Sprint) Cup championship, and his second consecutive victory in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Kobalt Tools 500 was the 21st of his career. Kyle, nearly seven years younger, has won 16 times in the sport’s premier level. There’s another notable connection. Kurt Busch’s crew chief, Steve Addington, was Kyle Busch’s crew chief until this season. After Kyle fell short of making the Chase in 2009, Dave Rogers replaced Addington…and Kurt hired him. Kurt Busch made the Chase last year, finishing fourth in the final point standings. Crew chief Pat Tryson moved to Team Red Bull and driver Martin Truex Jr. at season’s end. “I’ll tell one thing that changed, and it changed for the better,” said Kurt. “Steve Addington has taught me how to drive cars differently, how to look at them differently.…When you get ‘up on the wheel’ for somebody like Steve, good things happen.”

Kurt Busch won the spring Atlanta race for the second straight year, this time with Steve Addington, his brother’s former crew chief. (John Clark/NASCAR This Week photo)

“I’m still great friends with Kyle,” said Addington, “but it’s a good feeling. It’s a relief in a certain way.” Kurt Busch said his latest victory was particularly satisfying. “I feel like we won the race outright,” he said. “No doubt we did our job on pit road. No doubt we did our job on long runs, and I think we hit the right combination for restarts. That’s what I’m

proudest of.” Thanks to NASCAR’s new overtime policies and several late crashes, the race ran 16 extra laps. Addington said there was no strategy capable of preparing for such a scenario. “We tried to keep the balance on our car,” he said. “We were good on fuel for all three green-whitecheckered restarts, even if we went to (the limit of) three. “We just stuck with what we’d been doing all day.” But Kurt Busch said this was no time to relax. “We need to have some more consistency,” he said. “We’ve been competitive in three out of the four races so far, and the race we weren’t as competitive as the others was our best finish (before Atlanta). “That’s what a championship team does.” Monte Dutton has covered ­motorsports for The ­Gaston (N.C.) Gazette since 1993. He was named writer of the year by the National ­Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog ­ NASCAR This Week (http://nascar. features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. E-mail Monte at ­ © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Last-Minute Tax Savings If you’re still working on your taxes and looking for some last minute deductions to reduce your tax bill, here are a few to consider: State taxes: If you paid state taxes for the year 2008 when you filed last year, you can deduct that amount from your Federal return. Property tax: Until recently, only those taxpayers who itemize deductions (Schedule A) could deduct their property tax. Now, even if you take the standard deduction, you can deduct some or all of the property tax you paid in 2009. There’s a limit, however. You can deduct the amount that is lower: the taxes you paid, or up to $500 for single or $1,000 for filing jointly. Charitable deductions: If you tend to save all your receipts, it could be worth your while to look for those related to charity. You can deduct your expenses for quite a number of things: the cost of ingredients for the cakes and pies you baked, mileage at 14 cents per mile, postage for mailings, and more. Home improvements: If you made energy-saving improvements to your home, you can deduct part of the cost. Windows, water heaters, doors and more are included. (Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to everyday appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators.) Each item has a different limit on how much can be deducted. Go online to www. and scroll down to Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency. Read the particulars on your appliance or energy-saving product. You’ll need IRS Form 5695 as well as your receipts and the Manufacturer’s Certification Statement to send in with your Form 1040. Home purchase: If you bought your first home in 2009 before Nov. 7, you could be eligible for a credit of up to $8,000. If you are a repeat buyer who purchased a home after Nov. 7, 2009, and who will close on a house by July 1, you could be eligible for a credit up $6,500 if you’ve lived in your home for at least five years. This government program has changed since it was first started in 2008 with a $7,500 interest-free loan to first-time homebuyers. If you’ve bought a home during that time, check to see if you qualify. 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 © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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BIBLE TRIVIA by Wilson Casey

1. Is the book of Gethsemane in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. What’s the only book that mentions Christ’s tomb being sealed? Matthew, Mark, Luke, John 3. Where was Jesus crucified? Samaria, Colossae, Golgotha, Horeb 4. Which disciple doubted Jesus had risen? Peter, Andrew, Thomas, Thaddeus 5. Jesus ate fish and what else first after the resurrection? Bread, Wine, Honeycomb, Manna 6. What happened to Judas Iscariot in Mathew 27:5? Stoning death, Fled into night, Became mute, Hanged himself For more trivia, log on to © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.



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To place your classified ad call 843-368-2997! While Tidbits of Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort attempts to screen advertisers, we advise readers to use good judgement in responding to ad claims. Beware of “too good to be true” claims. Contact the appropriate consumer agency before sending payment. If a “company” offers you a loan for an advance fee, never, never send a payment, give credit card, bank account or personal information. For information on such loans, write FTS: Washington, DC 20580. Phone numbers beginning with the “900” prefix are toll calls and you will be charged for calling such numbers.

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Tidbits® of Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort

Laughs Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes. After lunch they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire. Much to their relief she smiled and said, “Well, you missed a test today so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper.” Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said: “First question: Which tire was flat?”

Local Happenings

3/21 6th Annual Hilton Head/Savannah Equestrian Expo Rose Hill Plantation Equestrian Center. Gates open at 11a.m.; Exhibitions at 12:30 p.m.; Polo Match at 2:30 p.m. (843) 815-5400.

3/23 Birding at Honey Horn (Coastal Discover Museum) 7:30-9:30 a.m. An veteran bird watcher leads participants around the 68acre property. Reservations required. (843) 689-6767 ext. 223. 3/25 Bluffton Farmer’s Market At Carson Cottages in Old Town Bluffton, 2-7 p.m. Fresh produce, prepared foods, live entertainment and more. (843) 415-2447. 3/26-27 2010 Quilt Festival (St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church) Hosted by the Palmetto Quilt Guild. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (843) 540-1952.

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TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

Spinal Stenosis a Major Cause of Back Pain DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Sixty-two must be the age when everything falls apart. I’m there. My latest body part to give way is my back. I have back pain a considerable amount of the time. It finally brought me to a doctor, who tells me I have spinal stenosis. I have been told to take Aleve for my pain, and I’m scheduled for physical therapy. I don’t have great hopes of a cure. What exactly is this? What else can be done for it? — T.R. ANSWER: Spinal stenosis accounts for about one-third of all cases of low-back pain. It’s an elusive concept that calls for an anatomy lesson. The backbones (vertebrae, spinal column) have a tunnel running through them — the spinal canal. In that canal or tunnel is the spinal cord and spinal nerves. Spinal stenosis signifies that the spinal canal has narrowed and is pressing on the spinal cord or spinal nerves. That, in turn, produces back pain that can spread to the buttocks, the back of the thighs or the lower leg. The pain worsens on standing or waking, and goes away when the person sits. Aging is the most important factor in developing spinal stenosis. Back ligaments, which hold the backbones in place, thicken and calcify. Arthritic changes in the backbones sprout bone spurs that impinge on the canal. Back discs — the spongy shock absorbers between adjacent backbones — degenerate and crumble, and that narrows the canal and exerts pressure on the spine and spinal nerves.

Nonsurgical treatment employs physical therapy to strengthen and stretch back muscles in an attempt to relieve pressure on the spine and its nerves. Anti-inflammatory medicines like your Aleve control pain. You might need stronger pain medicines. Epidural injections of cortisone ease inflammation and give the spinal canal and spinal nerves more room. “Epidural” means the injection is made into a space in the spinal canal above its covering membrane. Surgery is a solution when these measures fail. The pamphlet on back pain discusses the many conditions that lead to one of medicine’s biggest problems. It describes different conditions and their treatments. To obtain a copy, write to: Dr. Donohue — No. 303W, 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.

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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. © 2010 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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1. Boston’s Dustin Pedroia (2007 Rookie of the Year; 2008 American League MVP). 2. Mathewson had 12 consecutive years; Johnson had 10. 3. Dan Fouts passed for 2,390 yards in 1970. 4. Oscar Robertson had six to start the 1968-69 season. 5. Bill Chadwick. 6. Bobsled (Brian Shimer) and luge (Mark Grimmette). 7. Ten times.

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March 21 Issue  

March 21 Issue