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as Day is ary 29th





The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read

February 29, 2012 Published Weekly

For Ad Rates call: (785) 404-1000 TIDBITS® SAYS: GENTLEMEN … START YOUR ENGINES! by Kathy Wolfe How much do you know about the manufacturers of our favorite automobiles? Tidbits enlightens with some facts about the history of famous cars and their makers. • Ransom E. Olds started manufacturing vehicles

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in 1897 in Lansing, Michigan. The Oldsmobile


1901. The assembly line quintupled his output

soon became one of the country’s top-selling automobiles. Although Henry Ford is often credited with creating the first auto assembly line, it was actually Olds who was responsible. (Ford’s innovation was the first moving assembly line.) Olds used the concept to mass-produce

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the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, beginning in from 425 cars in 1901 to more than 2,500 the following year. Differences of opinion with his business partner led to Ransom Olds’ exit, and General Motors purchased Oldsmobile in 1908. Ransom’s new company, the REO Motor Car Company, produced the REO Speedwagon, the

Recycling materials like paper, glass, metal, aluminum and cardboard requires less energy than making new production! Give these materials a new life and help preserve our environment and resources. When you recycle, you save in more ways than one!

Issue 28

predecessor of the pickup truck.

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• During its 107 years of operation, Oldsmobile produced over 35 million cars. It was discontinued in 2004, at which time it was the oldest American automobile brand. The R.E. Olds Museum in Lansing is home to the last Oldsmobile (an Alero) to roll off the assembly (turn the page for more!)


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Tidbits® of Salina START YOUR ENGINES! (continued): • Louis Chevrolet was a Swiss auto racer who went into partnership with William Durant to

Red Wine Steaks with Green Beans Low in carbs and accompanied by healthful veggies, this low added-fat steak dinner is sauced with a rich red wine reduction. 1 1/2 pounds beef strip steaks (each 1 inch thick) Salt Pepper 1 tablespoon margarine or butter 1 bag (12-ounce) microwave-in-the-bag green beans 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar 2 shallots, finely chopped 1 cup dry red wine 1/4 cup packed fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped 1. Sprinkle steaks on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. In 12-inch skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon margarine on medium-high. Add steaks and cook 7 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness, turning steaks over once. 2. Meanwhile, cook green beans in microwave as label directs. Transfer beans to large bowl and toss with vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon shallots. 3. Transfer steaks to plate. Reduce heat to mediumlow and add remaining shallots to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. 4. Add wine, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up browned bits from pan. Remove from heat and stir in tarragon, accumulated steak juices and remaining margarine until margarine melts. 5. To serve, slice steak across grain. Divide steak and green beans among serving plates. Spoon sauce over steak. Serves 4. Each serving: About 455 calories, 29g total fat (11g saturated), 97mg cholesterol, 340mg sodium, 9g total carbs, 2g dietary fiber, 37g protein.

produce automobiles. Chevrolet had already been in the news as a frequent race winner, driving his Buick up to 72 miles per hour. He wanted to build a luxury car, while Durant’s idea was to produce inexpensive cars to compete with the Ford Model T. Chevrolet won the debate and lent his name to the Classic Six. However, a few years later, while Louis was on a European vacation, Durant introduced a smaller, cheaper car. Upon Chevrolet’s return to Michigan, the two men’s dispute grew, and Chevrolet sold out his shares and left the company. Durant went on to control General Motors, acting as president until 1920. •

The names of Edward Murphy and Alanson

Brush are probably not familiar ones, but you’ve certainly heard of their business venture, the Pontiac Buggy Company. First manufacturing horse-drawn carriages in Pontiac, Michigan, the business evolved into producing two-cylinder engines. When Murphy died unexpectedly at age 45, General Motors bought the company. Production of Pontiacs in America continued until 2009, when a G6 model became the final car produced. • Ford is not America’s oldest automobile company, as many believe. That distinction belongs to Buick, ahead of Ford by one month. Founded by Scotsman David Dunbar Buick, it was incorporated in 1903. Mr. Buick had previously been in the plumbing business, successfully inventing a process for creating white porcelain bathtubs and inventing an innovative lawn sprinkler. He invested his earnings in a new business venture, producing two-cylinder engine automobiles. Almost from the start, the company had financial problems, and David Buick signed his company over to William Durant in 1904. Soon afterward, Buick became part of General Motors.

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• Before there was the Ford Motor Company, there was the Detroit Auto Company, Henry Ford’s first endeavor in 1899. The venture failed completely, leaving him in financial ruin. After acquiring new investors (including the Dodge brothers), he


Q: Like most of the world, I was shocked and devastated to hear of Whitney Houston’s death. I really thought she was on the right path, and about to make a music and movie comeback. Did drugs play a part in her death? -- Deena R., via e-mail A: While there has been no official word as of this writing, TMZ is reporting that according to family sources, Whitney, 48, was killed by a combination of Xanax and other prescription drugs mixed with alcohol. Although she did die in the bathtub, the family was told by the coroner’s office that there didn’t appear to be enough water in her lungs for drowning to have been the cause of death. The L.A. Police Department has determined that there were no signs of foul play. Whitney will star posthumously in the feature film “Sparkle,” which is slated for an Aug. 12 release. She also recorded two songs for the movie, which will, of course, be on the soundtrack. *** Q: I really love watching “Chelsea Lately” and “After Lately” on E! The shows’ casts really seem to have fun and get along. Please tell me this is the case! --George T., Altoona, Pa. A: That certainly is the case. I spoke with series star Heather McDonald recently, and she told me: “We really do laugh all the time, and we really do like

1. MEASUREMENTS: How often would a tricennial celebration occur? 2. MOVIES: What movie is considered to be the first feature-length talking picture ever made? 3. HISTORY: In 1973, who became the second special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal? 4. MYTHOLOGY: What area of influence is the Norse god Bragi associated with? 5. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What country once had emperors called “kaisers”? 6. MUSIC: In musical terms, what is an opus? 7. THEATER: Who wrote the play “The Odd Couple”? 8. GEOGRAPHY: What river runs through Baghdad? 9. GAMES: How often is soccer’s World Cup held? 10. POETRY: What poet wrote the lines, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ... /I took the one less traveled by”?

each other so much. So many times we’ll be laughing about something and I’ll just go, ‘Oh, don’t we have fun?’ I think it all stems from the example that Chelsea (Handler) has set, and I think that’s important. We’re like a little family where she’s the Mom, and she doesn’t allow jealousy, and she doesn’t allow any real kind of unhealthy competition in any way. We truly believe that each of our success only helps the other.” And following Chelsea’s example of getting into the publishing industry, Heather has written her own NYT best-selling humorous memoir called “You’ll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again,” and I have to say, the book is deliciously funny. *** Q: Is it true that two of my favorite comedians, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, are making a movie together? -- Samuel D., via e-mail A: It is indeed true, and I couldn’t be happier to see these two onscreen together. Will and Zach star in “Dogfight,” a comedy about two battling politicians from South Carolina who each have presidential aspirations. The movie is set to premiere Aug. 10, and also co-stars Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow. *** Q: “Harry’s Law” seems to have vanished. What’s up? -- Echo H., via e-mail A: There has been a little shuffling over at NBC. At the end of January, “Harry’s Law” took about six weeks off. But don’t worry, Kathy Bates and company will return with new episodes March 11 on its new night and timeslot, Sundays at 8 p.m. ET. Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Hurricane Lamp Q: I have a hurricane lamp that is inscribed on the underside “L&LWMC 1973.” Can you please identify it and give me the name of a dealer who buys such lamps. -- Lloyd, Surprise, Ariz. A: Your lamp was manufactured by Loevsky and Loevsky White Metal Castings, a company based in New Jersey that specialized in reproduction lamps and fixtures. It closed in about 1978. Your lamp was made in 1973, and is, indeed, a reproduction and not rare. I have seen similar lamps at antique malls and in thrift shops priced for less than $50. *** Q: I have a book in the “Tell a Tale” series entitled “Little Black Sambo.” I also have the Viewmaster reel that goes with it. Can you help me determine the value? -Florence in Dubuque, Iowa A: Before I answer your question, let’s review a little literary history. The character of Little Black Sambo was introduced in 1898 by Helen Bannerman, the daughter of a Scottish minister and the wife of a surgeon in the British Army in India. The story she wrote was set in India and vividly describes a young boy’s encounters with four tigers. The book was so popular, she followed it with three sequels: “Little Black Quibba,” “Little Black Quasha” and “Little Black Mingo.” It wasn’t until the 1930s and ‘40s that “Little Black Sambo” began to take on negative racial connotations. The book has gone through dozens of editions, but I believe your “Tell a Tale” version is probably from the 1950s. If so, it is worth about $25. The reel you have might be valued at about $10. One of my favorite references in this field of collecting is “The Art and History of Black Memorabilia” by Larry Vincent Buster (Potter, $34.95). *** Q: I would like to find the value of an Alice Caviness necklace that was given to me in 1957. -- Charlotte, Okeechobee, Fla. A: Janet Gaynor is the owner of AZillion Sparklz and has bought, sold and appraised vintage costume and fine estate jewelry for more than two decades. She might be able to help you determine the retail value of your necklace. Her contact information is P.O. Box 35038, Tucson, AZ 85740, and Write to Larry Cox in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to 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. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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For Advertising Call (785) 404-1000 START YOUR ENGINES! (continued) began a second company, another one he left behind. (This business later became the Cadillac Company.) Finally, in 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company, and by 1906, it was the No. 1 car manufacturer in America. He introduced the Model T in 1908, which was a less expensive auto designed for the common man. Famous Ford names include the Thunderbird, introduced in 1954, the Edsel, a failure that debuted in 1957, and the Mustang, launched in 1964. • Henry Leland was assigned to liquidate the assets from Henry Ford’s second company and ended up taking it over. Leland named the company after the founder of Detroit, a French explorer named Cadillac, who reportedly was one of Leland’s distant ancestors. He operated the company until 1909, when it was purchased by General Motors. Cadillac is noted for producing the first vehicle

TOP TEN MOVIES 1. The Vow (PG-13) Channing Tatum, Rachel McAdams 2. Safe House (R) Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds 3. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island 3D (PG) Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine 4.WANT Star Wars: 1 -- The OWN Phantom Menace (PG) TOEpisode RUN YOUR BUSI NESS? Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor Publish a Paper in Your Area 5. Chronicle (PG-13) B. Jordan If You Can Provide: Dane Sales Dehaan, ExperienceMichael · A Computer · Publishing · A Reasonable Invest ment 6.Desktop The Woman in Software Black (PG-13) DanielFinancial Radcliffe, Ciaran We provide the opportunity for success! Hinds 7. The Grey (R) Liam Neeson, Dallas Roberts 8. Big Miracle (PG) Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski 9. The Descendants (R) George Clooney, Shailene Woodley 10. Underworld Awakening (R) Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea

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with an electric starter in 1912, followed by the first mass-produced car with an eight-cylinder engine. In 1924, the company was also the first to use lacquer paint, giving customers the choice of several different colors, rather than what other competitors were offering — black! • Gothenburg, Sweden, is the birthplace of the Volvo, with the first one rolling out of the factory in 1947. The name came from Latin, meaning “I roll.” Eight years later, the company had produced 15 million vehicles. Today, Volvo has more than 90,000

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employees. • When you hear the name of John DeLorean, his sleek stainless steel two-seater with the unusual full-wing doors might come to mind. However, DeLorean achieved fame first for his contributions

By Samantha Mazzotta

at General Motors, most notably the Pontiac GTO and Firebird. At age 27, with a Masters degree in automotive engineering, he joined the Chrysler organization. Less than a year later, he was working for the Packard Motor Company. Two years later, DeLorean made the move to GM, where he eventually became a vice-president. He is considered by many to be the creator of the “muscle car.” At age 48, he abruptly resigned from GM to start the DeLorean Motor Company. He chose Belfast, Ireland, for his manufacturing plant, and “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green (Dutton Juvenile, $17.99) Reviewed by Ealish Waddell Hazel and Augustus are teens struggling, as all teens do, with the meaning of life and love. But unlike most teens, they are “cancer kids,” already intimately familiar with suffering and highly attuned to the arbitrariness and unfairness of the universe. When they meet at a support-group meeting, it’s fascination at first sight, and over discussions of everything from anime to the afterlife, those feelings deepen. But Hazel’s illness is terminal, and she knows she doesn’t have much time left. She’s resolved not to let Gus get too close, hoping to spare him from the inevitable grief ahead. Gus, however, is determined to seize the moment. In a grand romantic gesture, he arranges for Hazel to travel with him to Amsterdam to meet her favorite author, an eccentric recluse whose sole book, about a cancerstricken girl much like herself, Hazel looks to as a bible. It’s a trip that will have unexpected repercussions for them both, revealing bittersweet truths about the world and each other. Filled with raw honesty and wry humor, this is a book hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, often philosophical but never maudlin or facile. Hazel’s edginess is leavened by empathy and compassion; she’s fatalistic but not bitter, sarcastic but not sullen. She’s as interested in the joys of the world as she is in its absurdities. Gus too is a believable teen-boy mix of poetry-quoting idealist and videogame-loving couch warrior. These feel like real people, which makes their fates ache all the more. Thoughout the book, Hazel and Gus use “okay” as a shorthand for the complicated feelings they can’t always express in words. It’s an apt metaphor for the way they approach their difficult lives: It’s okay to be brave and hopeful, and it’s also okay to be angry and scared. It isn’t easy and it isn’t fair, but it’s okay. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Gas Furnace Needs Annual Maintenance Q: I have a gas heater in my home that works very well, but my friend told me I need to maintain it and get it serviced every year. One reason I chose a gas heater was that it didn’t need as much maintenance as the oil-fueled heater in my old home. Do I really need to spend the money to bring in a heater repairman every year? -- Gladys J., Grand Junction, Colo. A: Ideally, you should have a professional check your heating system once a year to make sure everything is working properly. The reason is that, like any machinery, gas furnaces have moving parts, inlet valves and other things that can and will break down eventually. Dirt can build up in the furnace system, and moisture from various sources also can cause problems. A heating professional will be able to check systems like the blower motor and exhaust stack, electrical connections and other areas that are not safe or practical for many homeowners to

HOLLYWOOD -- Get ready for British actor Tom Hardy. He’s currently in “This Means War” with “Star Trek’s” new Capt. Kirk, Chris Pine, and Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon. Hardy’s been carving out quite a career since “Inception” in 2010, followed by “Warrior” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” last year. Up next are “The Wettest County” with “Tinker” co-star and Oscar nominee Gary Oldman, Shia LaBeouf and Guy Pearce, as well as “The Batman Returns” sequel, “The Dark Knight Rises.” Hardy is definitely one to watch! *** Prince Frederic Von Anhalt had a party to celebrate wife Zsa Zsa Gabor’s 95th birthday at their Bel Air mansion. Zsa Zsa, bed-ridden, received guests such as Larry King, Connie Stevens, “La Bamba’s” Lou Diamond Phillips and Lainie Kazan in her bedroom. A video of guests singing “Happy Birthday” was shown to her later that night. Guests feasted on Hungarian goulash, Bavarian pretzels and Black Forest cake and were entertained by 13-year-old singing sensation Caleb, whose song “Turn on the Lights” is currently climbing the charts.

tackle themselves. There are some maintenance tasks you can do yourself that will help keep the professional’s visit costeffective. The single most important thing you can do is change the filter every month that the furnace is in operation. This minimizes the amount of dust that enters the furnace itself and keeps it from gunking up the works and reducing heating efficiency (or shutting it down entirely). Keeping the room that the furnace is in free of clutter and dust is another way to maintain the unit. You also can inspect parts of the heating system yourself. Check to make sure the pilot light is burning properly and at the right height. (Your manufacturer’s manual should specify this, but if it doesn’t, most pilot lights burn at about an inch in height, with a brightblue hue at the top of the flame.) You also might be able to inspect the burners, which when operating also should have clear flames with a bright blue hue. When they are off, visually check the burners for any buildup of soot or grease. Inspect the furnace and all visible ductwork for signs of damage or corrosion twice a year. If you see any issues with the furnace, the burners or the pilot light, or if other problems occur, such as the furnace tripping the circuit breaker, contact a heating professional right away to fix the issue. As a final note, remember to get a written estimate from the heating professional before allowing any maintenance or repair work to take place. Send your questions or tips to, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

Equally impressive was 12-year-old actress/ model Lena Wild, who hails from Anchorage, Alaska. Six years ago she noticed one of her classmates at school never ate lunch because she couldn’t afford it, so Lena shared her lunch with her. She started bringing two lunches every day until she realized there were at least 24 more kids in her school, and 10 in a neighboring school, who had the same problem. Lena and her mother, Bettsie, went to businesses and neighbors for donations. Out of that came Dare to Care, now in Oregon, Utah, Washington, Alaska and California. The group’s first gala, hosted by former “C.H.I.P.S” star Erik Estrada, will kick off fundraising to help provide lunches, which cost about $600 a year per child. If you’d like to help, go to www. Also toasting Zsa Zsa was “Land of the Lost” and “Pufnstuf” producer Sid Krofft, who confided he gets mistaken for singer Tony Bennett wherever he goes. My advice to him came from the legendary Mae West, who said, “It’s better to be looked over than overlooked”! Send letters to Tony Rizzo’s Hollywood, 8306 Wilshire Blvd., No. 362, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

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Tidbits® of Salina

Blood Pressure: Both Numbers Are Important DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I’ve always heard that at older ages, it doesn’t matter how high the first number of a blood pressure reading is; it’s bound to rise with age. My blood pressure is 185/70, and my doctor wants me to go on blood pressure medicine. My second number is fine. Why is he making a fuss? I am 67. I don’t like taking drugs. -- W.S. ANSWER: You have heard wrong. Both numbers of a blood pressure reading are significant. If either is higher than normal, it indicates high blood pressure. It is true that systolic pressure, the first number, rises with age. And it is true that the second number, diastolic pressure, tends to plateau after age 50. However, a higher-than-normal systolic or diastolic pressure constitutes hypertension, high blood pressure. The first number is the pressure imparted to blood when the heart pumps it into the aorta. It takes a great deal of pressure to circulate blood through all the body arteries. The second number is the pressure in the heart as it

fills with blood. Normal pressure is less than 120/80. High blood pressure is 140/90 and above. Numbers between those two pressures are called prehypertension, a short stop lower than actual high blood pressure. You have high blood pressure, hypertension. You doctor made a fuss because uncontrolled high blood pressure causes artery hardening, leads to strokes and heart attacks, puts the kidneys out of action, contributes to congestive heart failure and promotes dementia. Still think your pressure is OK? If you are overweight, weight loss brings pressure down. So does shunning salt. It’s not the saltshaker on the table that pushes people over the recommended daily limits (1,500 mg of sodium), but it is commercial foods. Become a reader of the sodium content of the foods you buy. Potassium lowers blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods are baked potatoes, bananas, orange juice, peas, beans, milk, spinach, squash, watermelon, figs and cantaloupe. Be as physically active as your doctor allows. If your pressure doesn’t fall, then you have to resort to medicines. Eight large drug families, yielding more than 57 different medicines, give you a wide choice to bring your pressure down without side effects. The booklet on high blood pressure will convince you of the importance of blood pressure control. To order a copy, write: Dr. Donohue -- No. 104W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Allow four weeks for delivery.


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.


Celebrations Bring Families Together

(Continued): the factory began production in 1981, anticipating

I was busy checking off my to-do list for an upcoming trip

sales of 30,000 cars per year. By early 1982, the

to Vietnam when Vietnamese-American friends invited

company had collapsed and was in receivership and

me to their home on Jan. 23 to celebrate the Vietnamese

closed in November, having produced only 9,000

New Year, known as Tet. I accepted without hesitation,

cars in a 21-month period.

knowing full well that nothing stirs up pre-trip excitement more than learning as much as possible about a culture and its people before you go. Celebrating with the Vu family did that and more, providing a taste of what I’ll soon experience on the other side of the world. Make that a

• Although we frequently associate Lee Iacocca with the Chrysler Corporation, he initially worked for Ford Motor Company from 1946 to 1978. He was the head designer of the Ford Mustang in 1964 and

spicy taste!

became president of the company in 1970. Because

Gathering around long tables with the extended fam-

of ongoing conflict with Henry Ford II, Iacocca was

ily, we feasted on a variety of homemade dishes served

fired in 1978. He joined Chrysler, which was losing

up with an array of fresh herbs and tangy sauces. From

millions of dollars and on the verge of closure. He

spring rolls and large bowls of tasty pho soup to chilled

went to work rebuilding the company, turning it

melon slices for dessert, I enjoyed every minute of the

around completely.

cultural feast.

And thanks to their satellite dish, we were later trans-

Fabbrica Italiana Automobli Torino (translation:

ported to Vietnam as we watched Tet holiday music and

Italian Automobile Factory of Turin) was founded.

dance performances on a Vietnamese channel. It IS a small world after all. Though different from one household to the next, holidays, birthdays and events are highlights on every family calendar. When you turn the page to March, broaden your

Fiats have been around since 1899 when the

The company built its first factory in the United States in 1908. TIDBITS FAMOUS LANDMARKS:

horizons and think of all the celebrations both big and


small that can brighten your days.

Spanning the East River between Manhattan and

Here are ideas to add to your March mix:

Brooklyn is the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge, one of

--Celebrate the beauty of the outdoors and look for

the oldest suspension bridges in the United States.

“Spring Firsts” wherever you go.

Tidbits brings you a collection of unusual facts

Mark your discoveries on your calendar and count them

about this remarkable engineering achievement.

up at the end of the month.

• A rapidly expanding population in New York during

--Celebrate brighter evenings when you spring forward with Daylight Savings Time on March 11. --Celebrate Irish-American culture on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. For fun, tint a dollop of shaving cream with green food coloring and finger-paint a shamrock on the bathroom mirror on Saturday morning. Attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, and make mulligan stew for dinner. --Celebrate March winds and fly a kite or and hang a wind chime outside. --Celebrate the joy of creativity and laughter. Plan an April Fools Day caper to surprise a friend on April 1.

For Advertising Call (785) 404-1000

Page 5

THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE (continued): the mid-1800s created a desperate need for a connection between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and expert bridge engineer John Roebling was appointed to design a suspension bridge. Roebling had achieved fame as the inventor of the twisted wire rope cable in 1841 and had already designed several renowned bridges, many still in use today. Roebling’s design called for steel cable for the first time, replacing the iron wire previously used. His truss system was six times stronger than it needed to be, able to withstand 18,700 tons. • Just weeks before construction began in 1869, Roebling was doing some final site surveys when a ferryboat crushed his foot while pulling into a pier. Three weeks later, he was dead from tetanus. The project was handed over to his son, Washington Roebling, who had assisted his father in the designs. • Excavation was accomplished through the use of 3,000-ton, airtight cylinders called caissons. Workers rode down to the caissons in small iron containers, which filled with compressed air. They used shovels and dynamite to clear away silt and boulders from the river bottom, working their way to the bedrock. The trip to and from the bottom proved deadly for some. Many laborers suffered from decompression sickness, commonly known as “the bends,” when dangerous amounts of nitrogen gas entered their bloodstreams. • Washington Roebling himself became paralyzed and was forced to monitor the bridge’s progress from his bed, using a telescope. He trained his wife Emily in mathematics and engineering and dictated instructions to her, and she made daily trips to the bridge to oversee the project under her husband’s direction. •

Fourteen years after construction began, the

bridge was officially dedicated in May of 1883. Emily Roebling was given the first ride over the bridge, followed by 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people. Vehicles paid five cents to cross and pedestrians, one cent. • The total construction cost was $15.1 million, including $3.8 million for the land for the approaches. Twenty-seven workers died in the process from fires, explosions, falls or the bends. At its completion, it became the world’s longest suspension bridge at 3,460 feet (1054.6 m), a record it held until 1903. The granite Gothic towers rise 276 feet (84 m) in the air.

breeding their dogs or cats for any reason. There are, indeed, professional By Sam Mazzotta breeders who do not spay or DEAR PAW'S CORNER: In a list of neuter their dogs or cats, but "responsible" things one should responsible breeders don't just do to their pets, you wrote that breed pets because they have owners should spay or neuter certification papers. They have them. Well, I own a purebred to select carefully so that German shepherd, and I think harmful traits (like hip dysplasia, your advice is just wrong for a rampant problem with owners of purebred pets. German shepherds) do not Maybe mongrels from the carry through to new generashelter need to be spayed and tions. Some professionals only neutered but doing that to my breed working dogs, for police "shep" will alter his behavior. and military, for example, and Plus I plan to breed him. You do not deal with the public. should rethink your advice. -Others are extremely selective Tom C., Roswell, Ga. about whom their dogs go to. Many will recommend that dogs DEAR TOM: Nah, I don't need to not suited to be bred be rethink my advice. The vast neutered or spayed. majority of pet owners in this Neutering your German country do not need to be shepherd may indeed cause

Why Purebreds Should be Spayed, Neutered

behavioral changes; in many dogs the procedure reduces aggression. But you also eliminate the risk of your dog getting out and fathering a bunch of unwanted puppies with, say, the owner of different breed of dog who thought her precious also was too special to be spayed. But you don't have to believe me. Talk to your dog's vet, or to a professional AKCregistered breeder of German shepherds (learn more at, and get the facts. Send your questions or tips to, or write to Paw's Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit

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Tidbits® of Salina BROOKLYN BRIDGE (continued): • Just one week after opening, a woman tripped on the steps, and her companion screamed, sparking a panic that the bridge was about to collapse. A stampede followed, and 12 people were killed in the crush. A year later, P.T. Barnum touted the stability of the bridge by leading his famous circus attraction Jumbo and 21 other elephants across the bridge. • These days, about 145,000 vehicles and 4,000 pedestrians cross the bridge on a daily basis, making it the second busiest bridge in New York City. There are six lanes of automobile traffic, two of which carried elevated trains until 1944. Today, commercial vehicles and buses are not allowed to use the bridge due to the road’s height and weight restrictions. Although nearly 130 years old, it still ranks as the 44th longest suspension bridge in the world. PURE POISON Pretty on the outside, toxic on the inside! Take a look at these plants that can be hazardous to your health. • The hardy perennial shrub known as belladonna, or deadly nightshade, is one of the most toxic plants in the Western Hemisphere. Unfortunately, this plant has bright appealing berries with a sweet taste that pose a temptation to young children. Ingestion of just a few berries can be deadly. The roots are just as toxic. Its poisonous alkaloids disrupt





system and cause blurred vision, increased heart rate and loss of balance. Confusion, delirium and hallucinations are not uncommon. •

Daffodils, narcissus and hyacinth may look

lovely in your garden, but ingesting the bulbs leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions and even death. Likewise, all parts of rhododendrons and azaleas are poisonous, producing vomiting, difficult breathing, coma and occasionally death. And the beautiful ground cover Lily of the Valley is extremely poisonous. Eating any part of the plant can bring death.

Start a Community Vegetable Garden Communities across the country are setting up spaces for gardens to be used by residents. If your town doesn’t have a community vegetable garden yet, approach local leaders about setting one up on public property. If you can identify in advance locations that would make good sites, you’ll have taken care of one possible objection. Look for vacant areas without trees that would block the sun (you need six hours per day, minimum), and stay clear of industrial sites because of the possibility of chemicals in the soil. Look for a flat location with access to water and parking. If you provide town officials with a petition with signatures of people who would make use of the garden, so much the better. Enlist the input of your county extension office and any Master Gardeners you can find. Once you have a suitable location, either community or private property (private schools, hospitals and churches are a good bet), decide on the size of each plot. You’ll need them to be uniform (provide two sizes) with paths between the plots. Plot sizes of 10 by 16 feet and 8 by 10 feet should be

large enough to provide families with quantities of fresh vegetables. Decide on a fee to charge for rental of the plots, with a portion of it to be given back at the end of the growing season if the plot is cleared of trash, and weeds have not been allowed to grow. Fees of $20 to 30 are reasonable. Decide whether you want to provide tools or leave it to individuals to bring their own. Query local hardware stores about the possibility of donations. Insist that the whole garden be organic, with no insecticides or weed killers allowed. (Pollutants can drift from one plot to the next.) An area with a fence to keep out wildlife is ideal. Set aside a large separate area and require all those who have a plot to spend a certain number of hours working the community section with the vegetables going to food pantries and shelters. For more specifics on how to begin, go online and search for “start a community garden” and add your state. Hunt, too, for towns near you who’ve already created a garden. They could provide wealth of information. Setting up a community garden can be as easy -- or as complicated -- as you make it. 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 email to (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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TOP TEN VIDEO, DVD as of Feb. 20, 2012 Top 10 Video Rentals 1. In Time (PG-13) Amanda Seyfried 2. Drive (R) Ryan Gosling 3. Real Steel (PG-13) Hugh Jackman 4. The Thing (R) Mary Elizabeth Winstead 5. Moneyball (PG-13) Brad Pitt 6. Abduction (PG-13) Taylor Lautner 7. Dream House (PG-13) Daniel Craig 8. 50/50 (R) Joseph Gordon-Levitt 9. The Ides of March (R) Ryan Gosling 10. Contagion (PG-13) Matt Damon Top 10 DVD Sales 1. Treasure Buddies (G) (Buena Vista) 2. Real Steel (PG-13) (Buena Vista) 3. Drive (R) (Sony) 4. In Time (PG-13) (Fox) 5. The Thing (R) (Universal) 6. Courageous (PG-13) (Sony) 7. Moneyball (PG-13) (Sony) 8. Dream House (PG-13) (Universal) 9. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG-13) (Paramount) 10. Harry Potter: Complete 8-Film Collection (PG-13) (Warner) Source: Rentrak Corp. 1. Name the last rookie manager before Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011 to beat the defending World Series champions on Opening Day. 2. Only two major-league teams since 1900 started a season 0-6 and made the playoffs. Name either one. 3. Name the last 11-win team to not make the NFL playoffs. 4. In 2011, Doc (1980) and Austin Rivers became the second father-son basketball duo to be named McDonald’s All-Americans. Who was the first? 5. When was the last time an NHL team won back-toback Northeast Division titles? 6. Name the first Major League Soccer team to win consecutive U.S. Open Cups? 7. In 2011, Joseph O’Brien became the youngest jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race. How old was he?

On March 6, 1899, the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin registers Aspirin, the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid, on behalf of the German pharmaceutical company Friedrich Bayer & Co. In its primitive form, the active ingredient, salicin, was used for centuries in folk medicine. On March 10, 1902, in the case of Edison v. American Mutoscope Company, the U.S. Court of Appeals rules that despite his claims, Thomas Edison did not invent the movie camera. The court did, however, admit that Edison invented the sprocket system that moved perforated film through the movie camera. On March 9, 1913, English author Virginia Woolf delivers the manuscript of her first novel, “The Voyage Out,” to her publisher. In 1941, fearful for her own mental state and afraid of the coming world war, she filled her pockets with rocks and drowned herself.

It was English philosopher Francis Bacon who made the following sage observation: "The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses." I'm sure you've seen photos of those picturesque covered bridges. It seems that they would have provided a welcome haven for people driving buggies caught out in the rain. You may be surprised to learn, though, that the bridges weren't designed with a roof for the comfort of travelers. Being made of wood in an era before protective sealants, the bridges themselves needed to be protected from the elements. Most frogs lay their eggs in the water; that way, when the tadpoles hatch they are already in their element. The red-eyed tree frog, however, protects its eggs from aquatic predators by attaching its eggs to the underside of leaves that hang out

ver a body of water. Once the eggs hatch, the tadpoles fall into the water. The next time you travel to the United Kingdom, if you visit the university towns of Cambridge or Oxford, you should keep off the grass. Professors are the only ones allowed to walk on most of the green swards in those towns. In ancient Rome, it was widely believed that holding in gas could cause a person to catch a disease or become poisoned. This was such a concern to public health that Emperor Claudius went so far as to pass a law making it legal to fart at banquets. Have you ever known someone who keeps making the same error over and over again despite being corrected? The next time you run into this person, you'll know what to call him or her: a mumpsimus. *** Thought for Today: "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -- Albert Einstein

On March 7, 1923, the New Republic publishes Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” The poem begins with the famous line “Whose woods these are, I think I know.” Although Frost never graduated from a university, he had collected 44 honorary degrees before he died in 1963. On March 5, 1963, the Hula-Hoop, a hipswiveling toy that became a huge fad across America when it was first marketed by WhamO in 1958, is patented by the company’s cofounder, Arthur “Spud” Melin. An estimated 25 million Hula-Hoops were sold in its first four months of production alone. On March 11, 1970, author Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason, dies. The crimesolving attorney Perry Mason appeared in numerous novels and became the star of a top-rated TV show starting in 1957. The show starred Raymond Burr as the titular hero and ran for nine years. On March 8, 1986, “Mask,” starring Eric Stoltz and Cher, opens in theaters. Cher, who had launched a serious acting career with her appearance in Robert Altman’s film “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean” in 1982, received the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in “Mask.” (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of Salina

Dennis Quaid carries the dramatic weight as the town's preacher man and anti-fun crusader haunted by the death of his offspring. While this new iteration is no barnburner, those itching for a fix of bouncy music and youthful boogey will find some fun. EDITOR'S NOTE: DVDs reviewed in this column will be available in stores the week of March 5, 2012. PICKS OF THE WEEK "Footloose" (PG-13) -- This remake of Kevin Bacon's 1984 breakout film aims to update the story for a new generation of youngsters who just wanna dance. Newcomer Kenny Wormald takes the role of Ren, a Boston teen transplanted to rural Georgia. Upon his arrival, the scene in the small town is decidedly uncool -the tragic deaths of a few partying teens has been parlayed into an across-the-board ban on rock and/or roll, and all the wholesome, expressive dancing that comes with it.

"Immortals" (R) -- Vibrant in visuals and sagging in story, this myth-laced epic has all the narrative weight of a fireworks show. A menacing Mickey Rourke plays Hyperion, a brutal warlord out to get some godly bow that functions as a Homeric weapon of mass destruction. The gods of Olympus pick a mortal champion, Theseus (Henry Cavill), to stop the plot and keep the bloodthirsty Titans of old locked up. It's even more convoluted onscreen. The real might of the film is in

the over-the-top visuals, as gold-skinned gods clash in an electric-blue sky to decide the fate of the earth below. While the mix of sets and CG may cause eyes to pop, it all seems a lot of sound and fury signifying a second-rate epic.

characters and awe-inspiring settings. The premiere of season 2 can't come fast enough, so jump into this series at your nearest opportunity.

"Game of Thrones" Season 1 (NR) -- HBO took a calculated risk and landed an unmitigated success with this crossover series about swords, sires, kings and treachery. Adapted from the fantasy series by George R.R. Martin, the show sweeps audiences into a new world that manages to marry "Lord of the Rings" with "The Sopranos." It's daring, it's engaging, it's fresh ... and it was very expensive to make. Sean Bean stars as Ned Stark, an honor-bound patriarch who is pulled into a twisted vortex of feudal political intrigue, orbited by a constellation of full-fledged

Answers 1. The New York Yankees’ Lou Piniella, in 1986. 2. The 1974 Pittsburgh Pirates and the 1995 Cincinnati Reds. 3. The New England Patriots, in 2008. 4. Milt (1981) and Dajuan (2001) Wagner. 5. Never since the division was formed before the 1993-94 season. 6. Seattle Sounders FC won three consecutive Cups (200911). 7. Eighteen.

DOG OF THE WEEK "Jack and Jill" (PG) -- Adam Sandler goes full-on "Meet the Klumps" in this unpalatable heap of blue humor. Besides a traumatizing, unfunny memory, this comedy canker leaves behind so many questions. What in the name of Billy Madison was Sandler thinking? How did Al Pacino get roped into this train wreck? What did we ever do to Hollywood to deserve this? TV RELEASES "Adventure Time: It Came From the Nightosphere" "Transformers Prime: Complete First Season" "Judge John Deed: Season Five" "Hawthorne: The Complete Third Season" "Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales: Complete Collection" (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Trivia Quiz

Answers 1. Every 30 years 2. “The Jazz Singer” 3. Leon Jaworski 4. God of poetry 5. Germany 6. A composition 7. Neil Simon 8. The Tigris 9. Every four years 10. Robert Frost


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