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Seventy-five percent of Americans own pets, opening their homes to an estimated 77 million cats and 61 million dogs. Why do we love our pets so much? Maybe this is the reason. Nearly 94 percent of pet owners report that their animal pal makes them smile more than once a day. So with that in mind, here is Tidbitsâ€™ salute to pets. c The canine nose works one million times more efficiently than the human nose, according to scientists. c The eight heaviest breeds of dog are: St. Bernard, English Mastiff, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Tibetan Mastiff, Newfoundland, Neapolitan Mastiff and Anatolian Karabash. c A cat preening its back or the back of its ear is said to be a sign of rain. c Cats almost never â€œpurrâ€? at other cats. The sound is reserved for humans. c The oldest cat ever recorded was a tabby named â€œPussâ€? in Devon, England, who lived to be an amazing 36 years of age. c Quite a few pet birds can learn to talk and can say as many as 200 words and phrases. c Many scientists believe that birds are closely related to dinosaurs. c African Gray parrots are said to be so smart that they can make up their own sentences. For example, one Gray, named Baby, knew his ownerâ€™s name and heard people ask the owner if she was leaving for work. He also heard her tell the kids to go to school. He put it all together and said, â€œMom, go to work.â€? c Dalmatian puppies are born pure white, without their distinctive spots. Itâ€™s only when they start to grow that their black or brown spots begin to appear. (continued on page 4)
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Senior Keep Driving Longer News Line by Matilda Charles
ÂŠ 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, along with the American Medical Association, have created an updated version of â€œThe Physicianâ€™s Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers.â€? Thatâ€™s us. The purpose of the book is to help physicians evaluate our ability to continue driving. The goal, of course, is to prevent injury and death. According to studies, those of us in the 65 to 74 age group have the highest rate of deaths caused by motor vehicle injury. In the group thatâ€™s age 75 and above, drivingaccident deaths rank second, after falls. The reason is because weâ€™re more likely to have disease and medication issues than any other age group. Doctors, they say, can help keep us safe on the road by doing periodic evaluations. The Guide lists the steps doctors should follow, including evaluating medical conditions, drugs prescribed and the concern of the patient and family members. In fact, it might be those family members who first notice that weâ€™re not driving the way we used to. One of the steps doctors
can take is to refer us to a driver rehabilitation specialist. If you want to be sure that your driving skills stay up to par, here are some suggestions: â€˘ Check in with a driver rehabilitation specialist for a review of your skills. â€˘ Get your eyes checked twice a year. â€˘ Ask your doctor if any of your prescriptions could interfere with safe driving. â€˘ Take a safe-driving class for seniors. Check the AARP Web site (www.aarp.org) self-paced online Driver Safety program, or call 1-888-227-7669 to find refresher classes in your area. Both cost less than $20 and can be very worthwhile. â€˘ Stay physically fit. Look at SeniorDrivers.org for exercises that keep you flexible. â€˘ Keep driving. Your skills behind the wheel will stay sharp if you drive as long as you safely can. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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u We all know that tomato-based sauces can stain plastic storage containers, particularly when you use the container to reheat the sauce in the microwave. The next time you’re about to pour leftover spaghetti sauce into a container for leftovers, give it a quick shot of cooking spray first. u Here’s a great idea for an antibacterial and pleasantsmelling shoe spray: Mix 15-20 drops of your choice of essential oils (lavender and tea-tree oil are good ones) in a cup of water. Put the mix in a misting spray bottle and give smelly shoes a couple of sprays after wearing them. The oils have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and leave behind a nice, eco-friendly, fresh scent. Avoid overwetting, and don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. u “Good old olive oil (a teaspoon or two) can be added to your pet’s food to reduce shedding. This can be done for both cats and dogs, but it works best on dogs. The omega3s are just as good for animals as they are for humans, and my animals all lap it up with no complaints.” — M.F. in Kansas u Brush baking soda into a pet’s coat to lessen dander. The baking soda soaks up oils and dirt, and the brushing whisks them away. This keeps your pet’s coat cleaner. u To remove marker from a wall, use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. Don’t rub too hard, and it should come off. u “My family seems to think I have the secret to fluffy mashed potatoes, and I guess I do. But I am willing to share, so here it is: Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda over the warm, cooked potatoes before you whip them.” — I.E. in North Carolina 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. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
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Lost Pet Leaves Heartbreak Behind By Sam Mazzotta DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My dog Coco, a small miniature Schnauzer, has been lost for six months now. I have tried to contact many people, such as the police, animal control and my vet, and placed posters around the neighborhood; however, nothing. It’s very painful, the idea of not knowing how he is doing. I don’t know if he is alive, or if I’ll ever see him again. So what can I do about this situation? — Veronica, Hightstown, N.J. DEAR VERONICA: I’m sorry to hear that your dog is still lost, Veronica. It’s heartbreaking when a pet disappears. You’ve tried contacting all the local resources possible, which is the recommended first step. You might want to check back in to animal control, as well as call around to shelters in a wider area to see if they have taken in a dog fitting Coco’s description. If you have a picture, even better. Several lost pet Web sites can be found online, as well. Pets911.com has a section where lost pets can be reported and found, or stray pets can be listed. Petfinder.com, perhaps the best-known
service, also has a large lost-pets database. A totally free service is www.missingpet.net, homepage of the Missing Pet Network, which is maintained by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. When listing your pet, be sure to include his age, breed, coloring, size and weight, what type of collar and tag he’s wearing, where he was last seen and any personality traits. If he answers to a certain call or likes a particular treat, mention that. Do not mention a reward in the listing. Consider also getting an e-mail account from one of the free e-mail services online and using it as your main contact. Also, be on your guard against online theft. If contacted about Coco, don’t give out credit card or Social Security numbers, your home address or other secure information. Send your pet questions to Sam Mazzotta at email@example.com, 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 PawsCorner.com. ©2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
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Page PETS! (continued): c A dogâ€™s whiskers are touch-sensitive hairs called vibrissae. They are found on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws, and can actually sense tiny changes in airflow. c According to a recent survey, the most popular name for a dog is Max. Other popular names include Molly, Sam, Zach and Maggie. c An American Animal Hospital Association poll showed that 33 percent of dog owners admit that they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on an answering machine while away. c According to ancient Greek literature, when Odysseus arrived home after an absence of 20 years disguised as a beggar, the only one to recognize him was his aged dog Argos, who wagged his tail at his master and then died. c An estimated 1 million dogs in the United States have been named the primary beneficiary in their ownerâ€™s will. c At the end of the Beatlesâ€™ song â€œA Day in the Life,â€? an ultrasonic whistle, audible only to dogs, was recorded by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog. c Barbara Bushâ€™s book about her English springer spaniel, â€œMillieâ€™s Book,â€? was on the bestseller list for 29 weeks. Millie was the most popular â€œFirst Dogâ€? in history. c Before the enactment of the 1978 law that made it mandatory for dog owners in New York City to clean up after their pets, approximately 40 million pounds of dog excrement were deposited on the streets every year. c Whoâ€™s smarter, cats or dogs? Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dogâ€™s memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a catâ€™s can last as long as 16 hours, exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans. c Cats have more than 100 vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten. c Cats, not dogs, are the most common pets in
TidbitsÂŽ of Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort America. After cats and dogs are Parakeets, coming in a distant third at 14 million. c Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads of their feet. c Dachshunds are the smallest breed of dog used for hunting. They are low to the ground, which allows them to enter and maneuver through tunnels easily. c Developed in Egypt about 5,000 years ago, the greyhound breed was known before the ninth century in England, where it was bred by aristocrats to hunt such small game as hares. c Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible. c A catâ€™s brain is more similar to a humanâ€™s brain than that of a dog. c A catâ€™s arching back is part of a complex body language system, usually associated with feeling threatened. The arch is able to get so high because the catâ€™s spine contains nearly 60 vertebrae which fit loosely together. Humans have only 34 vertebrae. c A catâ€™s hearing rates as one of the top in the animal kingdom. Cats can hear sounds as highpitched as 65 kHz; a humanâ€™s hearing stops at
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just 20 kHz. c A catâ€™s heart beats at 110 to 140 beats per minute, twice as fast as a human heart. c A catâ€™s tail held high means happiness. A twitching tail is a warning sign, and a tail tucked in close to the body is a sure sign of insecurity. c A catâ€™s tail plays a vital part in the catâ€™s balance and in the â€œrighting reflexâ€? that allows it to land on its feet after falling from a height. c Seventy percent of people sign their petâ€™s name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets in family and holiday portraits, according to a survey done by the American Animal Hospital Association. c Small dogs are rapidly gaining popularity, according to American Kennel Club registration statistics. Three toy breeds are among the top 10 in popularity on the most recent list: the Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua and Shih Tzu rank 6th, 9th and 10th, respectively. A decade ago, no toy breeds were in the top 10. c Some 39 percent of pet owners say they have more photos of their pet than of their spouse or significant other. c â€œSeizure Alertâ€? dogs can alert their owners up to an hour before the onset of an epileptic seizure.
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Humans are not the only ones who benefit by going green. Our pets can benefit as well. Since they often live in the same environments we do, they are also affected by the decisions we make about cleaning products for the home and body and the quality of water and food we provide.
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Page A Name the three National League shortstops who have had at least 81 extra-base hits in a season. B Which school was the last No. 1 seed to win baseball’s College World Series before Texas in 2009? Who holds the Cincinnati Bengals’ record for most C receptions in a season? D When was the last time Penn State’s men’s basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament? E How many teams has Pat Quinn led in his 20-year NHL head-coaching career? F In what year was the last time Penn State’s women’s volleyball team lost a match? G Who was the last women’s golfer before Ai Miyazato to win the first two events of the LPGA season? © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
Fluke injury just a small obstacle in Hamlin’s plans MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Unfortunate circumstances have, at least for the time being, sidetracked Denny Hamlin in his bid for an elusive Sprint
Cup championship. They haven’t, however, slowed him down at Martinsville Speedway, where Hamlin won his second straight race. Until shortly before the start of the season, the most likely candidate to challenge Jimmie Johnson seemed to be Hamlin, the 29-year-old from Chesterfield, Va., who collected half his eight career wins last year and finished fifth in the point standings. “Every year you expect yourself to be better than you were the previous year,” said Hamlin. Unfortunately, a fluke injury muddied Hamlin’s championship hopes. Before the season even started, Hamlin suffered a knee injury while playing pickup basketball. The original plan was to put off surgery until after the season ended. Last week Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Hamlin would undergo surgery immediately. Scheduled for
Denny Hamlin has been the favorite to give the NASCAR Cup champ Jimmie Johnson a run for his money in the 2010 season. However, a fluke knee injury has given the Gibbs racing driver some trouble. Hamlin had surgery soon after winning the Martinsville race. (Photo: John Clark/ NASCAR This Week)
March 29, it had to wait until the following day when Martinsville’s Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 was rained out. “We were going to wait until the end of the season,” said Hamlin, “but just decided that it wasn’t a good idea. We were doing some further damage to the knee, and, to me, it’s not something that’s worth suffering forever or having a permanent limp or anything like that. It just didn’t make much sense.” Did the injury contribute to Hamlin’s slow start?
Undoubtedly. The rigors of short-track racing at Bristol caused additional soreness, and another week on a short track at Martinsville played a role in the decision to have surgery right away. The timing was also right because of the open date between races at Martinsville and Phoenix. In the short run, the injury threw a monkey wrench into what seemed likely to be the season Hamlin went from being a star to being a superstar. “I feel like, talent-wise, I’m as good as anyone on the race track,” he said. “Ultimately, it takes a lot of pieces of a puzzle to make a championship run. The driver’s skill levels are probably 15 to 20 percent of it. There’s only so much I can help but I think my team is better prepared this year.” Now, if a surgeon named Dr. Patrick Connor can only make Hamlin’s knee better prepared… 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.rbma.com) features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. E-mail Monte at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
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Growing Vegetables to Sell If you had a successful vegetable garden last year that produced more food than your family could eat, expanding your planting this spring and selling your excess produce can put money in your pocket. There are only a few differences between growing for yourself and growing to sell. Here are a few tips: • Sign up now if you need to arrange for space at a local farmers market. • Stagger the planting so that your vegetables are ready over time, not all at once. • Keep your selection simple because customers will go for the tried and true first. Grow a variety of sizes of common vegetables: tomatoes, carrots, onions, beans, peppers, cucumbers and eggplant. • Pick your vegetables the day before and wash them well. (Take a mister with you to keep the veggies freshlooking on sale day.) • Plan your table displays. If the market doesn’t provide a table, you’ll need to do that. If there’s room, use three tables in a U-shape to draw customers in. Look in thrift shops for big baskets or wooden boxes as well as for fabric to line them. Simple burlap over the tables will lend a “homegown” flavor. Use wedges or doorstops to tilt the displays so items can be easily seen. Make your pricing signs to put in each basket or box. • If there isn’t a farmer’s market near you, ask if you need a permit to set up a small stand at the end of your driveway or on a shopping center parking lot. Look for a shady spot. • If selling directly to the public sounds like too much work, there are other places where you can sell your vegetables: Local restaurants and small grocery stores have to get their produce from somewhere. You won’t make as much money, however, and might have to wait on your payment, as you’d be one of their vendors. If you have good luck with your vegetables, consider setting up a CSA next year. Community Supported Agriculture is a group of people who support a foodgrowing enterprise. You sell “shares” to a limited number of people who pay you in advance to grow their food. At designated times (generally weekly through the season) you harvest what’s ready to be picked and divide up the bounty. 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.
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Thought of the Week
by Wilson Casey
1. Is the book of Jonah in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. From Luke 3, whose voice was of one crying in the wilderness? Joseph, John the Baptist, Andrew, Paul 3. How many times did the Israelites march around the walls of Jericho? 1, 2, 7, 13 4. Whose eye was Moses referring to in the song “The apple of his eye”? Own, Lord, Idol, Storm 5. How many chariots did King Solomon possess? 130, 560, 1,180, 1,400 6. From I Kings 17, the ravens brought Elijah bread and…? Water, Oil, Flesh, Nuts Wilson Casey’s trivia book “Know It? ... or Not?” is available from BearManorMedia.com. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
“Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.” — Philip K. Dick By Samantha Weaver z It was American journalist, satirist, critic and editor H.L. Mencken who made the following observation: “For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-notworth-knowing.” z In a standard deck of playing cards, the only king without a mustache is the king of hearts. z If you ever make a trip to Alaska, you might want to keep in mind the fact that it is illegal there to wake a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking its picture. z Those who study such things claim that when a glass breaks, the cracks travel along the glass at a speed of more than 3,000 miles per hour. z You probably know that the Wright Brothers made the first powered airplane flight in Kitty Hawk, NC. It was Dec. 17, 1903, and Orville piloted the
aircraft a total of 120 feet. You might not be aware, however, that the length of that flight is shorter than the wingspan on one of today’s Boeing 747s. z An autumn visit to a corn maze in North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom last year turned disastrous for Anne Moon. When she reached her hand into a pen to pet a pig, the pig (named Ginger, incidentally) took Moon’s hand into its mouth. The pig released the hand unharmed but kept the diamond out of the woman’s engagement ring. The farmer who owned the attraction, Paul Caygill, then had to spend days searching for the gemstone in the pig’s refuse. z The next time you’re looking at a map and see a “you-are-here” arrow pointing to your current location, you’ll know that the arrow is technically known as an ideo locator. © 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.
quote “If you are a dog and your owner suggests you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail.” — author Fran Lebowitz
Answers on Page 8
Tidbits® of Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Beaufort
Laughs Recently, the Psychic Hotline and Psychic Friends Network have launched hot lines for frogs. Here is the story of one frog and his discussion with a psychic: A frog telephones the Psychic Hotline and is told, “You will meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you.” The frog says, “Great. Will I meet her at a party or what?” The psychic says, “No. Next semester in her biology class.”
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TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.
Overactive Bladder Ruins Life DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have to run to the bathroom all day long. If I don’t make it in time, I have an accident. This has made me so nervous that I have given up on all thoughts of a social life. It’s ruining my life. If we go to a restaurant, I must have a table near the restrooms, or I won’t sit down. What can be done? I’ll try anything. — P.G. ANSWER: Your condition is an overactive bladder. Sudden, inappropriate and forceful contractions of the bladder wall muscles make it imperative for you to rush to the bathroom or you lose control of urine. Such bladder muscle contractions shouldn’t occur until the bladder is full or nearly full. For some reason, your bladder reacts violently when it’s only partially full. Conditions like a bladder infection can be a cause. Often, however, muscle contractions take place without any cause ever being found. You have to see a doctor who can look for things that are easily treated, like an infection. If no cause is discovered, then you can reprogram your bladder to not react like this when it’s only partially filled. For two days, time the intervals between bathroom visits. Add 5 minutes to the shortest interval and hold off on urinating for that time interval for a week. On week two, increase the interval by 15 minutes. Keep this up for
a month, and then increase the interval by half an hour. Every two weeks, add another half hour to the interval between bathroom visits. When you reach three hours, you can stop. You also can ask your doctor for prescription medicines that quiet bladder muscles. Detrol, Sanctura, Vesicare and Enablex are names of some of these medicines. Another technique involves injecting the bladder muscles with Botox. Botox weakens the force of bladder muscle contractions and allows you to hold urine for more-normal intervals. In extreme circumstances, a gynecologic urologist can advise you if a battery-operated device attached to the bladder is something you could consider. It stops frequent, unwanted and unneeded bladder contractions. 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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