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Week of December 12, 2011

Vol. 1, Issue 43


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TIDBITS® EXPLORES SOME OF LIFE’S CROSSINGS by Patricia L. Cook Tidbits crosses many paths in researching information for your reading pleasure. This issue will look at some familiar crosses and crossings that we all encounter. • The first type of crossing that comes to mind for most is a railroad crossing. Many drivers encounter railroad crossings every time they drive. Rail lines are prevalent in North America, which highlights the fact that railroads play a huge part in transporting goods and people across this continent. • Where railroads exist, crossings also exist. Railroad crossings are intersections where a roadway crosses a railroad at-grade. In the United States, they are referred to as grade crossings. In Canada and many other places, they are called level crossings. • As of 2005, there were 147,681 public grade crossings and 94,583 private crossings in the United States. Public crossings are maintained by a public authority, but private crossings, not intended for public use, are not. They are for the use of the owners of the property and usually on farms or industrial complexes. • Grade crossings in all countries have always been accident-prone areas. When vehicles or pedestrians cross the paths of trains, trains win. The good news is that in recent years, accident rates have gone down. • The U.S. Department of Transportation has reported that crossing accidents between vehicles and trains decreased 84 percent between 1972 and 2009. In 2009, there were 1,900 collisions, compared to 12,000 in 1972. • Much of the improved safety at railroad crossings has been attributed to the Operation Lifesaver program that was started in Idaho in 1972. The Idaho governor’s office, Idaho Peace Officers and Union Pacific Railroad started the program with a sixweek public awareness campaign. Fatalities fell 43 percent in the inaugural year, and within a decade, the program spread all around the country. Canada added Operation Lifesaver in 1981. A national office was created in 1986 for the non-profit organiTurn The Page For More!

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Page 2 For Advertising Call 251-285-4116 THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL Jackie channeled Sally Spectra’s energy to inspire herself to create a new masterpiece. Pam lurked in the shadows while the Forresters tried to keep their latest design under lock and key. Katie feared that Bill and Steffy would find their way back to one another. Stephanie caught Beverly taking pictures of the designs with her camera phone. Owen overheard Jackie scheming with Pam. Bridget visited the Jackie M office to catch a glimpse of their latest creations. Wait to See: Ridge threatens Liam to make good on his vows to Steffy. DAYS OF OUR LIVES Abe officiated the tree lighting ceremony while Doug and Julie made a surprise visit to Salem. EJ tried to assuage his guilt by planning a romantic evening for Nicole. Abigail and Chad found themselves pining for other people. As the truth behind the mystery of the illegal gambling on the website was revealed, Chad and Melanie could be taking the fall for it. Meanwhile, Bo and Hope raced to find out who was really behind the gambling operation. Austin became an unlikely hero. Wait to See: Date night in Salem results in some unpredictable outcomes.

You can never get too much of a good thing. Take a taste of this luscious rum raisin rice pudding made with sour cream, and see if you don’t agree. 1 (4-serving) package sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder 1 1/2 cups water 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream 1 teaspoon rum extract 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 3/4 cup raisins 2 cups cold cooked rice 6 tablespoons reduced-calorie whipped topping 1. In large bowl, combine dry pudding mix, dry milk powder and water. Mix well using a wire whisk. Blend in sour cream, rum extract and nutmeg. Add raisins and rice. Mix well to combine. 2. Evenly spoon rice mixture into 6 dessert dishes. Top each with 1 tablespoon whipped topping. Lightly sprinkle additional nutmeg over the top of each, if desired. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings. ¥ Each serving equals: 168 calories, 0g fat, 5g protein, 37g carb., 282mg sodium, 1g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 1 Fruit.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE Aubrey revealed that Kim and Cutter were brother and sister. Calmar made a confession that Tomas was responsible for Victor’s murder. Viki misunderstood Clint’s kiss and decided to go to Paris, Texas, to visit Noelle. Kim told Rex the whole story about Stacy. Shane had Neela record her conversation with Jack, hoping he would confess to his part in Gigi’s death. After Tomas’ videotaped confession of Victor’s murder, Blair turned to Todd for comfort. Kim showed up on Clint’s doorstep. Wait to See: Roxy hopes David can save her favorite TV show. THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS Victor told Michael that Nikki killed Diane in a drunken rage, but that he was going to confess instead. Daniel was distracted by Lily’s presence during his date with Eden at the movies. Nick was furious as Adam announced to the press that he was now in charge of their father’s company. The judge refused to accept Victor’s guilty plea. Daniel and Eden shared a passionate kiss. Sharon ran away from Adam when he made a move on her at the stables. Deacon grinned like a Cheshire cat as Nikki begged him to tell her the truth about Diane. Wait to See: Neil has some doubts about marrying Sofia.

PHOTO: Alley Mills stars as “Pam” on “The Bold and The Beautiful”

1. Name the group that had hits with “Only Sixteen” and “A Little Bit More,” and give the year. 2. Which solo artist had No. 1 hits with “Longer,” “Make Love Stay” and “Believe in Me”? 3. Name the band that had Top 10 hits with “Listen People” and “Leaning on a Lamp Post.” 4. Which female artist released “I’m a Woman” in 1963? 5. “Operator” (1975) and “The Boy from New York City” (1981) were released by which group? 6. Who released “Devil with a Blue Dress On,” and when? Answers 1. Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, in 1976. That same year, “A Couple More Years” made it (just barely) to the U.S. country chart. 2. Dan Fogelberg, in 1980, 1983 and 1984, respectively. He died in 2007 at age 56. 3. Herman’s Hermits, in 1966. Their 1965 hit, “She’s a Must to Avoid,” was often misheard as “She’s a muscular boy.” 4. Peggy Lee. Many have covered the song, including Bette Midler, and Raquel Welch/Miss Piggy in a duet. 5. Four-part-harmony vocal quartet Manhattan Transfer. Thus far the group has netted 10 Grammys, and a 40th anniversary album of never-before-released material is rumored to be in the works. 6. Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels, in 1966. The song went to No. 4 on the charts.

Holiday Rice Pudding

GENERAL HOSPITAL Ethan found himself face-to-face with the mysterious Woman in White. Patrick misunderstood Robin and thought that she was confessing to Lisa’s murder. Dante accused Lulu of trying to change him. Lucky told Elizabeth that it was truly over between them. Sam and Jason were unsuccessful in their attempt to forget what Franco had done. Sonny confronted his childhood demons in Bensonhurst. Sparks flew between Carly and Shawn after he moved into her home. Delores stole Dante’s key to the evidence room. Wait to See: Michael and Sam head to Chicago together.

zation to support the efforts of the states. The United Kingdom, Estonia, Mexico and Argentina also have Operation Lifesaver programs. • The warning signs at railroad crossings are similar worldwide. The “crossbuck” or X sign usually contains the words “railroad crossing” in the United States and “railway crossing” in Canada. The “crossbuck” is also called a “saltire” or Saint Andrew’s cross. Saint Andrew was a disciple of Jesus Christ who was martyred on an X-shaped cross as opposed to a traditional cross. The saltire is used in many flags, including Scotland’s, where Saint Andrew is the patron Saint. Nova Scotia, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. states of Florida and Alabama are others with the saltire on their flags. • The Scottish flag, a white saltire on a blue background, is believed to be the oldest flag in Europe. The village of Athelstaneford, birthplace of the Scottish flag, has a Flag Heritage Centre and Saltire Memorial. • The idea for the Red Cross was born in 1859 when a young Swiss man, Henry Dunant, saw soldiers in Italy on a battlefield wounded and dying and not receiving assistance. He organized local people to come to their aid. • In 1863, five men from Geneva, Switzerland, including Dunant, set up the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded, which later became the International Committee of the Red Cross. This led to the creation of the Geneva Convention, in which 12 governments agreed to offer care for the wounded, and paved the way for medical services to be “neutral” on the battlefield. • The emblem for the Red Cross was set as a red cross on a white background, the inverse of the Swiss flag. While that emblem has changed a little through the years, the symbol of the Red Cross is recognizable worldwide. • Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was working in Washington, D.C., in 1861 when wounded Civil War soldiers needed help. She gathered supplies and distributed them for the soldiers. She also read to them, wrote letters for them and prayed with them. Barton was known as the “Angel of the Battlefield.” • Barton’s organizational efforts and commitment to helping soldiers along with observations of the International Red Cross at work in Europe led to the creation of the American Red Cross in 1881. Barton was 60 years old and led the new American organization for 23 years. • Today, the American Red Cross is a part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which was founded in 1919. These organizations bring aid to victims of disasters throughout the world. • The building housing the headquarters of the American Red Cross, located in Washington, D.C., was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965. The building has many historical artifacts, writings and more from the organization’s past. An original set of paneled, stained-glass Tiffany Windows, commissioned in 1917 and designed and constructed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, are on display in their original state. The beautiful windows illustrate the most significant values of the Red Cross: hope, faith, charity and love. • One of the most loved poets of Victorian-era Britain, Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote the poem “Crossing the Bar:” It reads: “For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place, The flood may bear me far, I hope to see my Pilot face to face, When I have crossed the bar.” • Being a Poet Laureate meant being appointed as a member of the royal household for life. Tennyson was expected to write wonderful poems celebrating national and royal events in Britain. • Written in 1889, three years before his death, “Crossing the Bar” was not his final work, but Tennyson requested that it appear as the final poem in all of his collections. The poem described his attitude about death, using a sand bar to describe the barrier between life and death. Another image that many thought he intended to convey with the poem was that of “crossing” oneself as Catholics do in a religious gesture of devotion.

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1. LITERATURE: Ollivanders is the name of a shop prominently featured in which series of novels? 2. PSYCHOLOGY: What unnatural fear is represented in disorder oneirophobia? 3. MOVIES: Which Alfred Hitchcock movie features a main character who is confined to a wheelchair? 4. MUSIC: Which rock-and-roll group had a hit with the song “Got to Get You into My Life”? 5. TELEVISION: What is the setting for the TV soap “Another World”? 6. ANCIENT WORLD: Who was one of the chief founders of the philosophy of Cynicism? 7. POETRY: Who wrote the words, “God’s in his heaven/ All’s right with the world”? 8. ART: For what type of work was the 16th-century artist Titian best known? 9. MYTHOLOGY: Who is the Greek goddess of love? 10. GEOGRAPHY: What is the deepest lake in the world? Answers 1. The “Harry Potter” books 2. Fear of dreams 3. “Rear Window” 4. The Beatles 5. Bay City 6. Diogenes 7. Robert Browning 8. Painting 9. Aphrodite 10. Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia

HOLLYWOOD -- Remember “The Addams Family,” the creepy, kooky sitcom that ran for 64 episodes in the mid-1960s, starring John Astin and Carolyn Jones as Gomez and Morticia Addams? It was revived for two films with Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston in the starring roles in ‘91 and ‘93. With Raul Julia’s death, a ‘98 film reboot starred Tim Curry as Gomez and Daryl Hannah as Morticia. That year, ABC Family revived the series, again with John Astin as Gomez, which ran 65 episodes. This summer I saw “The Addams Family” (the musical) on Broadway with Brooke Shields and Roger Rees (of “Cheers”) as Morticia and Gomez. Now Tim Burton plans to write, produce and possibly direct a stop-action animated film of “The Addams Family” along the lines of his “Nightmare Before Xmas” film. Another spooky sitcom, “The Munsters,” also debuted 1966 and ran for 70 episodes, with Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster and Yvonne De Carlo as his wife, Lily. In l981, NBC made “The Munster’s Revenge” with the same cast. In ‘88, “The Munsters Today” brought back the series for 72 shows. In ‘95 Edward Hermann and Veronica Hamel took over in “Here Come the Munsters.” The following year, Fox TV gave us “The Munster’s Scary Little Christmas.” Now that “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm” are grabbing viewer attention, NBC has given “Pushing Daisies” creator Bryan Fuller the green light to develop a one-hour drama series about the Munsters. So, if you’re too young to have seen “The Addams Family,” “The Munsters” or even “Mr. Ed” -- it looks like you’ll be seeing them again ... and again ... and again! *** While the three leads of “Twilight Saga” -- Robert Pattinson, Kristin Stewart and Taylor Lautner -- haven’t been able to equal their success in anything else, fellow castmember Jackson Rathbone seems to be forging ahead with several impressive projects. His band 100 Monkeys had three CDs in 2009, and a new CD, “Liquid 200,” came out in June. He’s got two films now shooting -- “Truckstop” and “Live at the Foxes Den” -- and two films in the can -- “Cowgirls ‘n’ Angels” and “Zombie Hamlet” with Shelley Long and John Amos. And, of course, “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2.” We’ll be seeing a lot of Rathbone in the coming year. *** David Yates, director of five Harry Potter films, including the final two, plans to direct a big-screen version of the BBC series “Dr. Who.” Yates says it will not be related to the current “Dr. Who” starring Matt Smith. He doesn’t have a story or script yet, but is definitely set to make it. Sounds kind of like the old Abbott and Costello routine: Dr. Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know Who’s on third!

Q: I love watching one of my favorite “classic” TV shows, “Designing Women,” in reruns whenever I get the chance. I’ve decided to ask Santa for the boxed sets on DVD, but can only find seasons one through four. Will season five be out before the holidays? -- Jeanne C., Conyers, Ga. A: You, and the rest of us “Designing Women” fans, are in luck -- season five was released on DVD Dec. 6, right in the nick of time for Jolly Ole St. Nick to place a copy in your stocking. Season five begins with Charlene enrolling in college, Suzanne accidentally bidding on a date with Anthony, Mary Jo deciding to want a baby, and Julia secretly moonlighting as a nightclub songstress. The four-disc set includes all 24 original episodes -- with all the hairspray and shoulder pads that that entails. This season is also the last to include original cast members Jean Smart and Delta

Burke, who left before season six to be replaced by Jan Hooks (who stayed for seasons six and seven) and Julia Duffy (who was in season six only). *** Q: It seems like I’ve been waiting forever for the rest of the second season of “Pretty Little Liars” to air. Please tell me it will be back soon! -- Erin H., via e-mail A: I love to be the bearer of good news. Your favorite bad girls, led by Aria Montgomery (played by Lucy Hale), will be back with new episodes on ABC Family on its new night starting Monday, Jan. 2. Watch as Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer take matters into their own hands to try to finally put a stop to their tormentor, the mysterious “A.” *** Q: Can you tell me if one of my favorite shows on TV will return? “The Killing” on AMC was riveting, and the twist at the very end of the last show blindsided me! -- Ann in Minnesota A: I was just thinking about that show the other day, so thank you for reminding me. I too love “The Killing” and was glued to my seat for the entire 13-episode first season. The show will be back for a second season --

thank goodness! -- most likely in late spring, although an official date has not been set. If you’re not already following me on Twitter (, you should, because I always post up-to-the-minute news on casting and returning series. *** Q: “Downton Abbey” on PBS was one of my favorite shows of 2011. I remember reading in your column that it would be back for a second season. If so, when? -Donna B., Tulsa, Okla. A: “Downton Abbey” season two returns to PBS’s Masterpiece Classic on Sunday nights beginning Jan. 9 and running through Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Dan Stevens headline the remarkable cast as World War I shakes Downton Abbey to its very PHOTO: Lucy Hale foundations.


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Pet Of The Week

My name is Maggie and I was transferred from the city shelter as part of the Maddie's Pet Rescue Project. I was adopted as a puppy a year ago and my owner had to return me because she has cancer. I love to play catch and chase balls. I can sit and give you kisses. I am very happy and bubbly. I am a lap dog that loves all the attention. I am gentle with kids and all other animals. To adopt me, contact the Mobile SPCA at 633-3531. All Mobile SPCA pets are fixed, up to date on shots, microchipped, vet checked and come with training information and a bag food!

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Outing a Sore Spot for Nosey Dog DEAR PAW’S CORNER: This weekend I took my dog “Marty,” a dachshund-beagle mix, out to some property, where she sniffed and sniffed and dug and sniffed and sniffed. I think she had her nose buried in the rocky soil for so long that she gave herself a rather large (maybe the size of a nickel) blister on her upper lip. It’s not puffy -- just a raw patch under her nose, and she licks at it. I saw something saying that canola oil or olive oil might help chapped lips, but this seems like a larger area. Any tips? -- Matt P., via email DEAR MATT: First, I have to caution that it’s always wise to consult your dog’s vet. With that out of the way, I’d say the best thing to do would be to treat the raw patch like you would a blister or a raw patch on your own nose. Keep the area clean, rub a bit of Neosporin over it two or three times daily and watch it closely. Marty probably will lick off the antibiotic ointment within a minute or two of application, but in such small quantities it isn’t a problem to ingest. A Band-Aid probably will cause more discomfort and trouble than it prevents. You also can ask your vet for topical medicine to reduce any discomfort and thereby reduce her licking of the area so it can heal faster. If it is indeed just a raw patch caused by friction, the area should heal up within a few days. But do keep a close eye on it: If the patch looks like its getting infected or otherwise changes for the worse, take Marty to the vet right away.

Magic Christmas in Lights

Truck Champ Dillon Going Nationwide Another generation found its wings and took flight. Or, at least, hoisted a trophy in celebration. Austin Dillon is the 21-year-old grandson of team owner and former driver Richard Childress. Childress won six (now) Sprint Cup championships with the great Dale Earnhardt. Dillon drove a Chevy Silverado with No. 3 on its sides to the championship of the Camping World Truck Series. Three, of course, is the number indelibly associated with Earnhardt, and Dillon will carry it with him when he competes next year in the Nationwide Series. “Our whole family is involved, and I remember the very first championship with Dale Earnhardt,” Childress reminisced. “I had the same feeling tonight watching Austin, my grandson. It’s just so special to have the family and know how hard all of them worked.” Dillon called it “the best feeling I’ve ever had in my entire life.” He said one key to the advancement of his career was “watching these guys in the (Sprint) Cup Series talk to each other.”

“I listen to Tony Stewart, and I listen to Carl Edwards and the different approaches they take to it,” Dillon said. “Offense is your best defense most of the time in racing ...” “Darrell Waltrip told me the best feeling in the world is going home stinking and having a trophy in your lap, and we were able to do that.” Younger brother Ty will compete next year in the ride being vacated by Austin. Of Austin, Childress said, “He handles pressure better than a lot of people his age, and his brother Ty does, too. “They must get it from their mom, because me and their dad (Mike Dillon) get a little wound up sometimes.”

November 25 thru December 31 Bellingrath Gardens and Home 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd, Theodore More Info: 251-973-2217 or 251-973-2365

Mobile’s Christmas And Holiday Parade 1:30pm, Downtown Mobile

Christmas Kid’s Day In Bienville 12:30 - 3:30 pm Bienville Square

Holiday Market on the Square

10:00 am - 3:00 pm Cathedral Square All three events take place on December 17, 2011 More Infor:


PHOTO CUTLINE: Using the No. 3 that his grandfather and owner Richard Childress had for Dale Earnhardt Jr. to use in Cup racing, Austin Dillon came away with the Camping World Truck Series championship. (John Clark/NASCAR This Week photo)

Through December 17th An exhibition of contemporary paper-cutting by artist from around the world. Space 301 30 Conti St. More Info: 251-208-5671 To have your local event featured here, email your information to All submissions may not be run due to time and space limitations.

Page 6 For Advertising Call 251-285-4116 Home-Cleaning Tips for the Holidays

¥ On Dec. 23, 1888, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, suffering from severe depression, cuts off the lower part of his left ear with a razor while staying in Arles, France. He later documented the event in a painting titled “Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear.” During his lifetime, van Gogh sold only one painting. ¥ On Dec. 22, 1900, the first car to be produced under the “Mercedes” name is delivered to its buyer, Emil Jellinek, an Austrian car racer and auto dealer to the rich and famous. In exchange for buying 36 of the cars, the auto company agreed to name its new machine after Jellinek’s 11-year-old daughter, Mercedes. ¥ On Dec. 24, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge touches a button and lights the first national Christmas tree to grace the White House grounds. The tree was the first to be decorated with electric lights -- a strand of 2,500 red, white and green bulbs. ¥ On Dec. 20, 1957, rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley receives his draft notice for the United States Army. He served in Company D, 32nd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armor Corps in Friedberg, Germany, where he attained the rank of sergeant. ¥ On Dec. 25, 1962, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a film based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee, opens in theaters. The Great Depression-era story of racial injustice and the loss of childhood innocence is told from the perspective of a young Alabama girl named Scout Finch. ¥ On Dec. 21, 1975, in Vienna, Austria, Carlos the Jackal leads a raid on a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), killing three people and taking 63 hostage. Carlos managed to evade international authorities until 1994, when French agents captured him hiding in the Sudan. ¥ On Dec. 19, 1986, Michael Sergio, who parachuted into Game Six of the 1986 World Series at New YorkÕs Shea Stadium, is fined $500 and sentenced to 100 hours of community service. Sergio had landed on the infield with a “Let’s Go Mets” banner in the first inning of the sixth game between the Mets and the Boston Red Sox.

“It’s dirty work, but someone has to do it!” That has been my catchy refrain the past few months while partnering with Scrubbing Bubbles to reveal its fascinating Dirty Work Index data on women’s attitudes and feelings on cleaning their homes. Did you know that 51 percent of women actually avoid going into someone else’s bathroom? I also was surprised to learn that three out of four women say that the cleanliness of their homes speaks volumes about them personally, and 83 percent are prompted to clean if they’re hosting a party or guests in their home. That can put a lot of pressure on one person, especially this time of year! Now that we’re in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, with guests coming and going in our homes, here are some practical and easy cleaning strategies for busy families: 1. Start with the front door. To keep dirt and grime out of the house before it gets tracked in, remind kids to leave their boots, shoes, and wet and muddy winter gear at the entryway. When guests pop by, I like to add a bit of humor and suggest that they do the “Cha, Cha, Cha” on the entry mat when they arrive. After a few steps, wiggles and laughs, their shoes are clean before they step inside. 2. Think of cleaning as exercise. It can be hard to get everything you want done during these busy days, so make cleaning do double duty when you can’t squeeze in time at the gym. An active 30 minutes of cleaning can get the blood pumping and heart racing. Add music to the mix, and it will be done before you know it. 3. Get kids to help. You don’t have to do all the tasks alone, especially kid-friendly jobs like shaking rugs, taking out the trash and cleaning the bathroom mirrors. 4. Clear the clutter. Just before guests arrive at a dinner party, wash and put away mixing bowls and utensils, and be sure the counters are sparkling clean. A clutter-free kitchen makes you feel organized and relaxed. 5. Save the night with candlelight. Perfection isn’t everything. If you throw a last-minute get-together, don’t worry about dusting every corner. Simply dim lamps and light candles. There is something about candlelight that makes everything glow. 6. Holiday helpers ring in the new year. When packing holiday decorations in boxes until next year, make it a family affair. Laugh together, tell stories and share cups of cocoa while you get another cleanup job done!

For Advertising Call 251-680-7052 Gout vs. Pseudogout: What’s the Difference?

I’LL TAKE A DOZEN There are some units of measurment that are just odd. For instance, the words knot, carat, cubit, ream, bale and dozen. Let’s spend about 40 dozen words looking at the ins and outs of dozen. • A dozen equals 12 things. Eggs, doughnuts, flowers and more are often measured in dozens. • The word dozen is a contraction of the Latin word duodecim, which means two plus 10. The root “duo” also appears in duodenum, the first part of the intestines, which happens to be about 12 inches (30.48 cm) long. Some language and math historians believe that a dozen is one of the earliest groupings, hence there are a dozen cycles of the moon in a cycle of the sun. There are a dozen months in the year, and watches and clocks are based on 12 hours of A.M. and 12 hours of P.M. • In the Bible, there are 12 tribes of Israel in the Old Testament, and Jesus chose 12 men to be his disciples in the New Testament. But these groups were never referred to as a dozen! • Do you know the significance of giving a dozen roses? Even though many don’t think of this, it is said to convey that the gift giver is thinking of the recipient all 12 months of the year. True love! • The original movie “Cheaper By the Dozen” was based on the 1948 autobiographical book written by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, two of the children of efficiency experts Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. and Lillian Moller Gilbreth. The couple had a dozen children, and the book is based on a comment that the father was often heard saying when people asked him why he had so many children. He’d say, “Well, they come cheaper by the dozen, you know.” • Two more “Cheaper By the Dozen” movies were made in 2003 and 2005, but they were not based on the real family or book. The only similarities were that the family had a dozen children and a lot of chaos! Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt starred in those movies. • A baker’s dozen is a collection of 13 items, instead of a normal dozen of 12. The tradition, usually just used in the baking industry, started in the 13th century, and continues today at many bake shops around the world. • Also called a long dozen, devil’s dozen, rough rider’s dozen or long measure, giving a baker’s dozen most likely started because of severe punishments that existed in England when bakers shorted their customers. Bakers feared not giving their customers the proper weight of goods, so instead of not giving enough, they would give extra, just to be sure! An extra roll, pastry or loaf of bread would surely satisfy their customers and fulfill the law as well. • Bake shops were regulated by the Worshipful Company of Bakers, a trade guild to which most bakers belonged in medieval England. The guild regulated bread prices, what types were available for sale and where new shops could be established. The motto for the company was and still is, “Praise God for All.” • The next time you visit a doughnut shop or bakery, ask what their policy is concerning a baker’s dozen. Chances are, they’ll throw in an extra for you!

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have faux gout. At least that’s what I’ve been told I have. It’s in my left foot. I understand it’s not caused by uric acid but by calcium. Can you tell me more about it and what can be done for it? -- C.B. ANSWER: Faux (French for “false”) gout -- or pseudogout, as it is more commonly called -- is like gout in many respects, but the differences between the two are significant. In gout, uric acid crystals infiltrate joints and inflame them. In pseudogout, the crystals making their way into and around joints are calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate, CPPD. Just as uric acid crystals do, CPPD crystals inflame the joint and cause great pain. That’s not true of everyone who has these crystals. Some never experience a minute of pain. The joints most affected in pseudogout are the knees and the wrists. Shoulders, ankles, elbows and hands also might be targets. Who told you that you have this condition? A doctor requires X-ray examination of the affected joint before declaring that a person has pseudogout. Stronger evidence of the diagnosis is obtained by drawing fluid from the joint and examining it microscopically. The distinctive crystals of CPPD can be seen -- proof positive. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs -- Aleve, Motrin, Advil and many others -- usually can control this illness and the pain it causes. If they don’t, an injection of cortisone into the joint will. For recurrent attacks, colchicine -- the same drug used for gout -- works for pseudogout, too.

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The pamphlet on gout and pseudogout explains both illnesses and their treatments. To obtain a copy, write: Dr. Donohue -- No. 302W, 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. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My wife of 41 years has tremors. She is 62. The tremors started in her mid-50s. Her mother is 85 and shakes so bad she can’t write or hardly help herself. They told her it is hereditary. Is there any medication or treatment available? My wife is getting very frustrated. She’s not able to carry out simple tasks. -- P.E. ANSWER: Your wife and mother-in-law most likely have familial tremor, also called essential tremor. It does run in families. There is treatment. Propranolol (Inderal) and primidone (Mysoline) work very well for most. Both your wife and her mother should be getting treatment. A neurologist is the doctor who specializes in tremors and their treatment. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My husband and I wish to leave our bodies to science but do not know whom to contact. How do we go about this? -- E. and C.D. ANSWER: You and your husband deserve a round of applause. Most medical schools have a body-donation program. Contact the medical school nearest you and ask for the anatomical donation committee or the anatomy department. If you can’t make contact with a medical school, three organizations can assist you in donating your bodies: MedCure (866-560-2525), BioGift (866-670-1799) and Science Care (800-417-3747).

You’ve Earned Your Senior Discount The holiday season can be quiet for some of us. While it’s a great time to sit back and enjoy the books we received and some of the holiday shows on television, we also need to get out! It only takes a little planning to join up with friends to enjoy some meals out. The bonus is that many restaurants give a senior discount. Here’s a list of a few places you’ll find discounts, broken down by age. Most give a 10 percent discount or offer a free drink. For those age 55 and above: Chick-Fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Jack in the Box (20 percent off), Arby’s, Dairy Queen, Popeye’s, Fuddruckers, Country Kitchen, Wendy’s, Denny’s (usually 10 percent off, but certain days and times it’s 20 percent), IHOP, Chili’s. For those age 60 and above: Sizzler, Bob’s Big Boy, Golden Corral, Applebees (15 percent discount), Roy Rogers, Burger King, Sonic, Friendly’s, Ben and Jerrys. Be sure to call in advance to make sure there aren’t any restrictions, such as days of the week or times of the day. Not all locations offer a discount. For those in the 55-plus category, call to be sure they haven’t increased the age to 60. Don’t forget AARP if you’re looking for a discount. The website ( has a list that changes. Click Member Benefits, then Discounts. Many of us don’t want to ask for a discount in restaurants or anywhere else -- but we should! We’ve earned it! Here’s a challenge for you for 2012: Ask for your senior discount everywhere you go, and keep track of how much you save through the year. You might be pleasantly surprised. Carry your AARP card at all times!

Page 8 For Advertising Call 251-285-4116

ÂĽ It was megalomaniacal French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte who made the following sage observation: “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.â€? ÂĽ Orchids are lovely flowers, and many people dedicate years to growing them and finding rare specimens. If you’re like most people, though, you probably don’t realize that the word orchid comes from the Greek word “orchis,â€? which means “testicle.â€? ÂĽ Records show that the town of Helena, Montana, had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the world -- way back in 1888. ÂĽ In the early 1970s, a British plumber named John Hancock replaced an antique toilet in the home of John Lennon, then kept the old toilet for the rest of his life. In 2010, after Hancock’s death, his heirs put it up for auction. Even the auction house was surprised when the former Beatle’s throne fetched a whopping $14,740. ÂĽ When you’re in an unpopulated area and gaze up at the night sky, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the profusion of stars. But what’s truly overwhelming is this: All the stars that are visible from Earth represent only 0.000000000000001 percent of all the stars in the known universe.

New Year’s Eve fabulous festivities. It’s all downtown and you’re invited. .BSEJ(SBT1BSBEF 1. p0GGJDJBM.PPO1JF,JDLPGGXJUINVTJDCZ-BLFTJEF q1.





ÂĽ You may not be aware of this, but there is a new fad that is catching on among some groups across the country: tall biking. Hobbyists construct bicycles with normalsized front and rear wheels, but with frames and seats that extend anywhere from 6 to 10 feet off the ground. Some riders actually use these bikes to joust, using lances made out of PVC pipe and foam rubber. It’s unclear, however, exactly how the riders mount their steeds. *** Thought for the Day: “If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues.â€? -- Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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