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as Day is ary 29th


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September 26, 2012

Issue 58

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TIDBITS® REMEMBERS OLD-TIME CANDY by Kathy Wolfe What was your favorite candy when you were growing up? Take a nostalgic look back at the history behind some of the early varieties you may have enjoyed, many of them long gone but not forgotten. •

The first candy to combine milk chocolate,

marshmallow, peanuts and caramel was the Goo Goo Cluster, introduced in 1913 and sold unwrapped from large glass candy jars in the drug store. When a regular customer mentioned that the candy was “So good, people will ask for it from birth,” the creator named his confection after the first sounds made by his newborn son, “Goo Goo!”


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over 50 years before they were given their name, an acronym for the New England Confectionery Company that produced them. The same company them “motto hearts” and printing such messages as “Be Good,” “Be True” and “Kiss Me.” The phrases have been updated in recent years, adding “Call Me,” “Fax Me” and “Email Me.” In 2011, NECCO added “Tweet Me” to the list of mottos. turn the page for more!

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Tidbits® of Salina OLD-TIME CANDY (continued): • It’s likely that nearly every child in America has at some time received a ball-shaped lollipop from the bank teller. These little pops, known as Dum Dums, have been around since 1924 when they were introduced by the Akron Candy Company. Sales manager I.C. Bahr named the pop, figuring Dum Dum was a word any child could say. Seven original flavors were introduced, with many added and deleted over the years, including the famous Mystery Flavor. The Mystery Flavor changes regularly since it is a blend of the tail end of one batch and the beginning of the next, whatever they may be. • Remember Chuckles? These sugar-coated jelly candies have been around since 1921, when a Chicago marshmallow manufacturer introduced

1. LITERATURE: Who was England’s first, unofficial poet laureate? 2. MUSIC: Which musical group had a hit with “Penny Lane”? 3. MEASUREMENTS: How many meters are in an “are,” a unit of land measurement? 4. INVENTIONS: Who invented frozen food in 1923? 5. GEOGRAPHY: Which countries share the region of Patagonia? 6. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is the traditional birthstone associated with July? 7. ASTRONOMY: The moon called Titan orbits which planet in our solar system? 8. HISTORY: In what year did Ohio’s National Guard kill four war protesters at Kent State University? 9. MOVIES: Which Disney movie featured a character named Dory? 10. RELIGION: Who is the patron saint of carpenters?

them. The five-flavored strip of candies was widely advertised with the slogan “5 flavors – 5 cents.” • Chick-O-Sticks and Chicken Bones were pretty much the same thing. Introduced in 1938 as Chicken Bones, this was a honeycombed candy filled with peanut butter and rolled in toasted coconut. In 1955, it was discovered that another company already owned the name, and the change was made to Chick-O-Sticks. • There’s nothing like pouring straight sugar down your throat, which is what we did with Pixy Stix, a powdered sugar packaged in a drinking straw. It started out as a drink mix in the late 1940s called Frutol, but since kids seemed to prefer the straight powder, Pixy Stix made their debut in 1952. •

The chocolate-covered, crunchy peanut

butter bar 5th Avenue was the 1938 brainstorm of William Luden, who is more famous as the creator of Luden’s cough drops. • Back in the 1950s when James Dean and Marlon Brando looked cool with their cigarettes rolled up in their T-shirt sleeves, candy cigarettes were all the rage with kids. It seems that candy makers actually worked with the tobacco companies to help attract young smokers! Although the original candy cigs with their “lit” red tip are long gone, they are now reproduced but, we hope, with a different goal. Some folks who have quit smoking pass out packs

PHOTO: Shooter Jennings Q: I saw a video on CMT by Shooter Jennings, and he sounds and looks so familiar. Is he related to the late Waylon Jennings? -- Travis R., via e-mail A: Shooter is the country-music star’s son with wife (and fellow country singer) Jessi Colter. Shooter grew up surrounded by legends: Waylon, Johnny

Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. You can catch Shooter beginning Sunday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. EDT on Ovation, where he participates in the six-part documentary series, “Johnny Cash: Song by Song,” sharing his recollections of the Man in Black. Shooter shared some memories of Cash with me when we spoke recently: “One of the first things I think that has not been documented very well about Johnny Cash is how funny and goofy and charming he was. He wasn’t a brooding, dark, stoic character. He’d play jokes on people and do things to make little kids laugh. He was like a big kid. My dad was like that too. That’s the way they were together too.” If you want to read more about Shooter, Waylon and Cash, as well as how Shooter has carved his own niche in the country-music world, check out our interview at *** Q: What can I see Jennifer Garner in next? -- Vivianne A., via e-mail A: Jennifer stars in a new movie called “Butter,” which hits theaters Oct. 7. I’m not only eager to see Jen, but check out this cast: Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry, Ty Burrell and Hugh Jackman. I can’t begin to explain the movie (which is about a butter-sculpting competition) -- you’ll just have to see it for yourself. *** Q: I watched the “Price Is Right” 40th birthday show, and was dismayed to see that Bob Barker wasn’t there to celebrate. Was he not invited, or was he unable to attend? I can tell you his presence was definitely missed! -- Ada E. in Arkansas A: Bob Barker, the original emcee for the long-running game show, was not invited to the birthday bash, which came as a shock to many longtime viewers, and to the man himself. Bob told “TV Guide Magazine”: “I don’t know why I wasn’t asked to take part in some way. But I do know I am ashamed of the show and surprised at their complete disregard for the welfare of animals. (When I was there,) we never did anything that condoned animal cruelty. Apparently, things have changed.” *** Q: What does Patrick Wilson have planned since CBS’s “A Gifted Man” was canceled? -- Nicki C., via e-mail A: Patrick’s next role is opposite Alec Baldwin in the big-screen thriller “Caught Stealing.” Alec plays a sadistic cop to Patrick’s down-on-his-luck former hot shot who gets caught up in a web of very bad things. The movie is based on a book of the same name by Charlie Huston, which is the first installment of the “Hank Thompson Trilogy.” Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at

Family Lasagna Recipe This lasagna is meat-free and loaded with veggies. It tastes great leftover, so make it ahead of time and serve later in the week. 2 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, thinly sliced 2 teaspoons olive oil Salt 1 bunch Swiss chard, tough stems discarded, thinly sliced 1 small (4- to 6-ounce) onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed with press 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped 1 pound plum tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced 4 no-boil lasagna noodles, rinsed with cold water 2 carrots, shredded 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 2 ounce provolone cheese, finely shredded 1. Arrange 1 oven rack 4 inches from broiler heat source and second rack in center. Preheat broiler. 2. In large bowl, toss zucchini with 1 teaspoon oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Arrange on 18- by 12-inch jelly-roll pan in single layer. Broil 6 minutes or until golden brown, turning over once. Set aside. Reset oven control to 425 F. 3. Rinse Swiss chard in cold water; drain, leaving some water clinging to leaves. 4. In 12-in. skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil on medium. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Add chard, garlic, thyme and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 6 to 7 minutes or until chard is very soft, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside 5. In 8- by 8-inch baking dish, layer half of tomatoes, lasagna noodles, Swiss chard, shredded carrots, zucchini slices and ricotta, in that order. Repeat layering once. Top with shredded provolone. Cover with foil. (Lasagna can be prepared to this point and refrigerated up to overnight.) Bake 30 minutes, covered. (If refrigerated, bake, 10 minutes longer.) Uncover and bake 20 minutes longer or until golden brown and bubbling. Serves 4. Each serving: About 310 calories, 13g total fat (6g saturated), 29mg cholesterol, 520mg sodium, 33g total carbs, 6g dietary fiber, 17g protein. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our website at (c) 2012 Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

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For Advertising Call (785) 404-1000 OLD-TIME CANDY (continued): to friends on the anniversary of their last cigarette. • Those little hollow tubes of black licorice coated with pastel-colored candy were known as Snaps. They appeared at candy counters for the first time

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around 1930 and can still be found at specialty

candy shops. You’ll have a little more trouble finding wax lips, introduced in the early 1900s, which could be chewed into a waxy, cherry-flavored gum. If you didn’t like the lips, vampire fangs and moustaches were also available. •

The Pittsburgh-based D.L. Clark Company had

a hit in 1917 with a chocolate-covered honeycomb of ground, roasted peanuts, simply called Clark Bar. This confection became so popular with U.S. troops stationed overseas in World War I, it became a giant sensation back at home as well. The same company produced the Zagnut candy bar beginning in 1930, a crunchy peanut butter bar covered in toasted coconut. The word “zigzag”

1. The Possession (PG-13) Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick 2. Lawless (R) Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy 3. The Expendables 2 (R) Sylvester Stallone, Arnold WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Schwarzenegger 4. The Words Cooper, Dennis Quaid Publish a (PG-13) Bradley Paper in Your Area 5.Provide: ParaNorman (PG) animated If You Can Sales Experience · A Computer · Desktop Software(PG-13) · A Reasonable Financial Invest ment 6. The Publishing Bourne Legacy Jeremy Renner, Rachel We provide the opportunity for success! Weisz 7. The Odd Life of Timothy Green (PG) Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton 8. The Campaign (R) Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis 9. 2016 Obama’s America (PG) Documentary 10. The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13) Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway

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became popular in the 1930s, and it’s believed that’s where the name originated. •

Many children spent their allowance on the

caramel Slo Poke suckers, because according to the familiar jingle, “Get yourself a Slo Poke, it lasts all day!” If you were a chocolate fan, you could purchase the similar Black Cow. •

How about our preferred chewing gums?

Three of our old favorites, Black Jack, Beemans and Clove were discontinued years ago, but the Cadbury Adams Company, which owns the formulas, cooks up a batch of each every couple

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of years. The licorice-flavored Black Jack gum was the first flavored gum in America. Back in the late 1800s, an Ohio physician Dr. Edward E. Beeman marketed a gum of pepsin powder and

By Samantha Mazzotta

chicle, designed to aid digestion. Legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager made Beemans gum famous by chewing a stick before every flight for good luck. In fact, the antacid qualities of pepsin made the gum popular with pilots for reducing stomach agitation in flight. Clove gum was first manufactured in 1914 by Thomas Adams. Legend has it that Clove grew in popularity during Prohibition because its strong smell masked the odor of illegal alcohol on the breath. The Beech Nut Company launched Fruit Stripe gum in the 1960s with a zebra as its “spokesman,” packaging it in zebra-striped wrappers. It was the only gum with stripes, which were added on after the gum was made. The down side of Fruit Stripe was that it lost its flavor very quickly, and now that it has been re-introduced, the

“Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings” by Craig Brown (Simon & Schuster, $26.95) Reviewed by Larry Cox Craig Brown has written one of the most entertaining and intriguing books to pop up in recent months. The witty British writer and a frequent contributor to such publications as the Daily Telegraph, Vanity Fair and The Times, has documented 101 meetings in exactly 1,001 words each. One meeting seamlessly blends into the next. For example, Marilyn Monroe meets with Frank Lloyd Wright at the Plaza Hotel during the autumn of 1957 hoping he will design her dream house. That encounter is followed two years later when the screen star dazzles Nikita Khrushchev in her tightest, sexiest dress at the Cafe de Paris in Hollywood. Khrushchev lambasts George Brown in London in 1956. You get the idea. These strange-but-true meetings involve many heavy hitters of the past century from almost every aspect of modern culture. The book begins with Adolf Hitler. During the summer of 1931, Hitler is struck by an automobile driven by John Scott-Ellis in Munich. The book comes full circle 329 pages later when the Duchess of Windsor sips tea with Hitler in 1937 at Berchtesgaden. In between are some astonishing moments of celebrity frisson. Consider what Peggy Lee did to President Richard Nixon in the East Room of the White House, the reaction of George Bernard Shaw seeing Harpo Marx in the nude, President Theodore Roosevelt trying to get a word in edgeways with H.G. Wells, and try -- if you will -- to imagine HRH Princess Margaret watching a porn film with Kenneth Tynan. Brown’s book was published to rave reviews in the United Kingdom last year. Sebastian Shakespeare observed in Literary Review that reading it was much like attending a vast, glorious cocktail party and added “If history is gossip well told, then this book is a triumph of the genre.” I couldn’t agree more. My copy is still on my bedside table. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Overseed Lawn Now for Spring Growth Q: I have some brown and bare patches in my yard. My neighbor recommended that I thatch my entire yard, or at least the brown patches, then put some fertilizer and “overseed” the damaged areas. What kind of fertilizer is he talking about? And why seed the lawn now, when winter is coming? -- Fred D., Madison, Wis. A: Overseeding lawns can be helpful in filling in scrawny or thin areas. The idea is to overseed shortly before the first hard frost. The seeds will germinate and establish roots, which will both help the lawn come in more lush and green in the spring, as well as reduce competition from invasive weeds. However, it’s important to know what kind of grass makes up your lawn, in order to pick the

PHOTO: James Howson HOLLYWOOD -- In 1939, undoubtedly the greatest year for films in movie history, MGM released “Wuthering Heights” starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon and David Niven. In 1970, it was remade with a former James Bond, Timothy Dalton, and Anna Calder Marshall. In 1992, it was remade yet again with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche. Then, in 2009, it became a two-part mini-series (90 minutes each) with Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley. In 2008, Natalie Portman was cast to play Cathy in another remake, but other commitments forced her out of the project. She was out, and Michael Fassbender was in as Heathcliff, with Abbie Cornish playing Kathy. By 2009, the director left, as did Fassbender and Cornish. When Peter Webber took on directing, he cast “Gossip Girl’s” Ed Westwick and Gemma Atherton as the leads. More delays and more cast changes. In 2010, director Andrea Arnold cast Kaya Scondelario from TV’s “Skins” series and the “Clash of the Titans: 3D.”

right kind of seed for the job, as well as the correct type and amount of fertilizer. I’d recommend cutting a small patch of grass (including roots) and taking it to your local nursery or the lawn and garden center of your home-improvement store. While you’re getting your grass identified, ask about possible causes of the brown and bare areas. There may be a problem with air, water or light reaching those areas. Improper or excessive fertilization could be occurring. Or maybe there’s too much water in those areas due to a drainage problem. Identifying the actual cause of the brown and bare spots, and then eliminating that cause, will prevent it from coming back once you’ve repaired those areas. Once the bare and brown spots are addressed, overseeding (and reseeding bare areas) can take place. For small lawns, a handheld spreader is inexpensive and spreads seeds evenly. For larger lawns, a rotary spreader works best. HOME TIP: Prior to overseeding, mow your lawn to less than 2 inches in height if possible and collect the grass clippings so seeds can reach the soil. Send your questions or comments to ask@, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc. In Emily Bronte’s original novel, Heathcliff was a gypsy. Director Arnold found James Howson through open auditions, and despite his lack of experience -just miniscule roles in “Trainspotting” and “Slum Dog Millionaire” -- he became the first man of color to be cast as Heathcliff. The film cost $5 million and finished shooting in November 2010. It made the rounds of film festivals in Venice, Toronto, Zurich, Leeds, London and Sundance and was well-received. You can judge for yourself when it opens nationwide on Friday, Oct. 12. *** Also on Oct. 12, get ready for what could be one of the zaniest screwball comedies in years. Colin Farrell plays a writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, “Seven Psychopaths,” while surrounded by his best friend (Sam Rockwell), a dog thief; his partner (Christopher Walken), a religious man with a violent past; and a gangster (Woody Harrelson), whose dog has been stolen. Harrelson replaced Mickey Rourke, who dropped out of “The Expendables 2” for this role in “Seven Psychopaths,” then left after creative differences with the director. You might say he was “Expendable 2” times! *** Another film, shot in 2009, is the $75 million remake of “Red Dawn,” being released Nov. 2. The bad news is that MGM was financially strapped and couldn’t afford to reshoot the outdated ending to make North Korea the villains instead of China (as in the original film). The good news is that in the three years waiting to be released, two of the leading men have become bigger stars. Chris Hensworth of “Thor” and Josh Hutcherson of “The Hunger Games” were unknowns when cast in “Red Dawn,” but now have huge followings and could mean a big box-office take for the film. After all, it’s always darkest before the (Red) Dawn! Send letters to Tony Rizzo’s Hollywood, 8306 Wilshire Blvd., No. 362, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Tidbits® of Salina

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Restless Legs Ruin Sleep DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have suffered with restless leg syndrome for 25 years. What causes it? Is there a cure? I do take Requip. Some say that having the veins in your legs stripped helps. Does it? -- C.K. ANSWER: Stabbing pain, a burning feeling and a creepy-crawly sensation in the legs are some of the ways people describe restless leg syndrome. The sensation mostly comes on in the evening when sitting in a chair or, more often upon going to bed. The night is punctuated with interruptions of sleep, as the sensations wake a person. They drive the person to get up and walk about until these annoying feelings go way. Walking does get rid of them, but the respite is only temporary. The attacks reach peaks at midnight and again around 4 a.m. For most, a cause cannot be found. Sometimes it’s a family affair, passed by the parent to the children. In a few instances, iron deficiency anemia, renal failure and Parkinson’s disease are associated with it. The anemia connection is worth checking out, since it has a definite cure -- iron tablets. The medicine you mention, Requip (ropinirole) is one often prescribed for this problem. If you’ve been taking it for some time without relief, you ought to try some of the other medicines used for it. Mirapex (pramipexole) and Neurontin (gabapentin) are two others. A new variety of gabapentin called Horizant comes as an extended-release tablet, so medication is delivered to the body throughout the night.

A warm bath before going to bed, coupled with a leg massage afterward, often can cut down on the number of attacks and their intensity. Restricting alcohol and caffeine works for some people. Removing leg veins will not help. The booklet on restless leg syndrome and nighttime leg cramps goes into greater detail on both these subjects. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 306W, 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 mother has lived in an assisted-living facility for two years. She’s mentally clear, but physically unable to take care of herself. The last time I visited her, a nurse was taking her blood pressure. She told me that my mother’s pressure in her right arm was normal, but the pressure in her left arm was 165 over 95. Which is her true blood pressure? -- E.L. ANSWER: A 10-point discrepancy in blood pressure between the two arms is considered acceptable. With a larger difference, the actual blood pressure is the higher one. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: How does pancreatitis relate to cancer of the pancreas? Is it an early stage of that cancer? -- D.B. ANSWER: Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas brought on by many different conditions, including viral infections. Pancreatitis is not an early stage of cancer. Chronic pancreatitis, a long duration of pancreas inflammation, is a slight risk for eventual development of pancreatic cancer, but even it is not a common prelude to cancer. Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

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Mustache Cup

to do little odd jobs, “Oh, Henry, could you do this?”

Brass Bed

Q: I have a mustache cup that I purchased at a flea

market. it could bemore worth much Q: I have Iapaid brass$10 bedand that think I've been told is than a more. --old. Susan, Metarie, La. century Any information you can provide me would be A: Maybe and maybeDanville, not. It depends on who made appreciated. -- Susan, Va. A: picture youand sent,itsand your brass bed theI examined mustachethecup, when, design. Victorian-era appears to be fromare thealways Victorian It was probably mustache cups inera. higher demand than manufactured betweenthe 1890 and about 1915. Most beds of those made during 1970s and ‘80s. this type generally sell in the $350 to $650 range, depending In recent years, mustache cups and shaving mugs on condition and demand. have become more collectible, and good ones more *** difficult Look Model for cups and withused elaborate Q: I havetoa find. Springfield 1863 riflemugs that was by a Victorian designs orthe occupational mugs. A shaving family member during Civil War. Can you tell me moremug with athis fireman and hose cart recentlyAriz. sold at auction about firearm? -- Steve, Cottonwood, A: was a In percussion rifle musket by the National forIt$450. special demand aremade mustache cups with Armory in Springfield, Ill. By 1863, Springfield was mugs. the only matching saucers and left-handed cups and government arsenal under Union control, since Harper's *** Ferry had been destroyed by a Confederate raid in 1861. Q: I have several paperback novels from the late 1940s According to Warman's Civil War Weapons by Graham and early ‘50s that might be worth a both little money. Smith, the Model 1861I think was such a success that They belonged to ancontractors uncle whorushed took meticulous care Springfield and private to produce as of hisrifles property. How canSince I findtheout current values? -many as they could. Union couldn't interrupt production to introduce Steve, Ramona, Calif.a new design, they slightly modified it, sold as a Springfield 1863. This isTrader a A:and Oneit was of the better referencesModel is “The Antique highly desirable Civil War Price weapon. To determine value, Collectible Paperback Guide” by GaryitsLovisi you should consult a competent arms dealer. (Krause, $19.99). This book proves that you can, in*** deed, sometimes judge a book by its cover. The colorQ: I have an umbrella stand that was made by the Roseville ful, edgy illustrations on1915. the cover many paperbacks Pottery Company in about It is inofthe Mostique pattern. from period -Ron,this Alton, Ill. often can translate into real money. For example, the lurid novels about and juvenile A: The Mostique pattern is one of thesex, mostdrugs common Roseville patterns Pine Cone. Accordingtop to Warman's delinquency are after currently commanding prices. Roseville Pottery by Mark most pieces had Mint copies of “Born to F. BeMoran, Bad” by Sheldon Lord, “Man textured of gray or tan,“Incest and many are not Hungry”glazes by Alan Marshall, Street” bymarked. CarltonI could not find an umbrella stand in this guide, but typical Miller, and “Thrill Kids,” a Gold Medal book with a prices for this pattern are $350 to $450 for a wall pocket; a James Meese cover, are worth as much as $100 each. jardiniere, $110 to $140; and a matched pair of vases, $325 As$350. with most collectibles, rarity and condition are to extremely important. *** Q: ***My late sister bought some rose-colored dishes. I would like know how muchanthey are worth. -- Bobby, Q: Itorecently found “Uncle Wiggily WaterRussellville, Color Box,” Ala. with 16 little vats of colors and a brush, all contained in A: Your question impossible to answer since not Do a metal box. Onisthe lid is Uncle Wiggily in you full did color. provide me with the name of the pattern and other pertinent you have any idea of its value. I don’t think the set was information. ever used. -- Mark, Rio Rancho, N.M. A: In to mint condition, $50oftoKing $100, according “A CenWrite Larry Cox in care Features WeeklytoService, tury Box of Crayola A Price Guide” by Bonnie P.O. 536475,Collectibles: Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to Due the large volume of mail B. Rushlow and published bytoHobby House Press. he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do in notcare sendofany materials requiring return Write to Larry Cox King Features Weekly mail.

Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or

send e-mail Due to the (c) 2012 King to Features Synd., Inc.

large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.

and “Oh, Henry, will you bring me that?” Soon after, their newest confection was named the Oh Henry bar. Bring Home Country Living Raise chickens in your back yard in the city? “Why not?” said 36-year-old Alison Holmlund of Santa Cruz, Calif., when the opportunity came her way this past summer. The busy Silicon Valley software executive and mom of three kids under 5 might appear to have enough going on in her life without adding “chicken farmer” to her resume. “I simply couldn’t refuse when two adorable chicks became available for adoption after being lovingly cared for by children at a farmyard summer camp. I thought adding Ruby and Penny to our family would be a great way to help my city-raised kids better understand where their food comes from,” she told me on a recent visit. Just then, 3-year-old Jude announced that he found a “Penny egg” in the “Holmlund Hen House,” a sturdy structure built with recycled paneling from a 1970s bedroom remodel, a repurposed refrigerator shelf for a screen, and simple knobs from a dilapidated cabinet. “It’s so much fun for the boys to check for eggs during the day -- sometimes we get up to four. Penny lays light-green-colored eggs, and Ruby’s are brown,” says Alison. Raising chickens is a real-life application of recycling and learning about the food cycle. “We give them food scraps from our kitchen, and they fertilize the garden and eat pests,” she adds. Raising chickens might not be on your to-do list this fall, but there are other activities to bring home a bit of country life. HARVEST FALL FINDS While farmers bring in their crops, your pre-schoolers also can “harvest” natural items on walks. Look down and not just up as you hunt for acorns, branches with berries, pinecones and fallen bark. As leaves turn brilliant colors, press them in a book between waxed paper when you get home. On a rainy day, make collages, necklaces, place cards and centerpieces for your kitchen table. MAKE IT A COUNTRY WEEKEND Spend a Saturday in the country and enjoy a prearranged farm tour for an up-close look at farm life. Hang out with chickens, goats, cows and sheep. Climb in a hayloft. Or go to a pick-your-own farm to experience how fruit and vegetables are grown. GARDEN IN YOUR BACKYARD For nonstop learning, clean and dry remaining herbs growing in your garden. Pick the last sunflower, press and frame it. Till the soil and plant some bulbs for colorful blooms next spring. *** Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

FAMOUS LANDMARKS OF THE WORLD: CHRISTO REDENTOR Watching over the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with outstretched arms, stands the Christo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer statue. This week, Tidbits imparts some little-known facts about this wonder of the modern world. • Although it may appear that this immense statue stands in the middle of the wilderness, it is actually located in the heart of the city in the urban forest of Tijuca National Park. Christ the Redeemer stands atop the 2,300-foot (701-m) peak of Corcovado Mountain. The statue is visible from 20 miles (32.2 km) away. •

A Catholic priest named Pedro Maria Boss

first proposed the idea for a religious monument overlooking Rio de Janeiro; however, his idea never reached fruition. It wasn’t until 1921 that it was put forward again, this time by the Catholic Circle of Rio. They launched a fund drive, soliciting donations

Continued on pg. 9

Page 5

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West Nile Virus We’re experiencing a seasonal epidemic for West Nile virus, brought on by infected mosquitoes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. West Nile virus can cause serious illness for some people, even leading to death in a small percentage, especially those who have other medical conditions and those who above the age of 50. In 2011, the total number of cases of West Nile virus for the whole year was 712. So far in 2012 the CDC has logged 1,590 cases and 65 deaths. In other words, it’s getting worse, and we need to know how to protect ourselves. A fact sheet from the CDC gives some good advice. Outside your house: Empty any containers that can hold standing water. This can include saucers under flower containers and any pots or buckets. Empty water in birdbaths weekly. It recommends emptying a pet’s outdoor water bowl weekly as well, but I would suggest doing it daily. You don’t want your pet to drink water that might have mosquito larva in it. Inside your house: Make sure all your screens are tight to the window and do not have holes. When you go out: Taking care that you don’t get bit by mosquitoes is probably the most crucial of all the preventions. Wear long sleeves and pants if you’re out when the mosquitoes are most active, which is dawn and dusk. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent. If your community decides to spray for mosquitoes as a way of controlling West Nile virus, take care not to be outdoors when they spray. Keep windows closed. For more information, especially the symptoms, go to the CDC site ( and search for West Nile virus, or call it at 1-800232-4636. 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 columnreply@

1. Who released “Let Me Take You Dancing,” and when? 2. What stage name did Susan Janet Ballion take? 3. Name the group behind “A Little Bit More” and “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman.” 4. Which group sounded like the Beatles in their song “Lies”? 5. “Life on Mars?” appeared on what album? 6. Which female singer released “Wonderful Summer,” and when?

[D] 92 [C] 96 SOUTH [S] AK854 [H] 93 [D] Q864 [C] KJ The bidding: South West North East 1 [S] Pass 2 [S] All Pass Opening lead -- king of diamonds.

CONTRACT BRIDGE By Steve Becker BIG SWING ON A SMALL DEAL South dealer. Both sides vulnerable. NORTH [S] 10 9 7 3 [H] K6 [D] 10 5 3 [C] AQ43 WEST [S] J 6 [H] J 10 [D] A K J 7 [C] 10 8 7 5 2 EAST [S] Q2 [H] AQ87542

Consider this deal from a team-of-four match. Only a partscore was involved, but even so, the hand is highly instructive. At the first table, West led the diamond king, East signaling with the nine to indicate a doubleton. West continued with the ace and another diamond, which East ruffed. East could now have saved a trick by cashing the ace of hearts, but instead he returned a trump. Declarer then collected the rest of the tricks. He cashed the A-K of trumps and K-J of clubs, then crossed to dummy with a trump and discarded both his hearts on the A-Q of clubs to finish with 10 tricks and a score of 170 points. At the second table, the defense functioned far more efficiently. Here East played the deuce of diamonds on the king to discourage West from continuing the suit, so West shifted to the jack of hearts at trick two. East cashed the A-Q of hearts and reverted to diamonds by returning the nine. West won with the jack, cashed the ace and continued with the seven. When dummy ruffed with the nine, East overruffed with the queen. Then -- as if declarer had not already suffered enough -- East heartlessly returned a heart, promoting West’s jack of spades into another trump trick. So the declarer at this table went down two -- 200 points -- which was four tricks and 370 points worse than his counterpart had done at the first table. It was not that South had done anything wrong -- he didn’t. It was simply that his opponents did everything right. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Tidbits® of Salina

Page 6

Minneapolis High School Steve Sprinkle, Agent Office: 785-827-0447 645 E. CRAWFORD, STE E3 Fax: 785-827-2841 SALINA, KS 67401 E-Mail: 1-800-MYAMFAM (800-692-6326) Website:

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40 Is the New 20 No less than five games out of the 17 played during the opening week of the NFL season were won by teams that plundered their foes for 40 points or more. According to the good folks at the Elias Sports Bureau, you have to go all the way back to the 1950s -- 1954 to be exact -- to find a like performance during the first week of the season. For

a little context, that was the year that Bill Haley and His Comets topped the newly formed “Rock ‘n’ Roll” charts with “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock,” and Cousin Brucie was manning the wheels of steel. According to various sources, the average career of an NFL player is anywhere between 3.5 to 6 years. Using that as a sample we unearth the following numbers for teams scoring 40 or more points during the past few seasons: 2011-2; 2010-0; 2009-1; 2008-1; 2007-2. Clearly -- as if you needed to be told this -- the NFL is a passing league and you can expect to see scores like these become more and more commonplace. The pass-happy, always-go-for-it-on-fourthdown, “John Madden Football” gamers and the fantasy football players whose very lives seem to be pinned on their quarterback and wide receiver play helped shape this culture. As a topic, the passing game dominates the sportsradio call-in shows. But there’s another reason for this phenomenon: player injuries. Time was a team would run a back 40 to 50 plays per game. But that style of play wreaked havoc on not only the running back, but the people tackling him, too. The cry from the stands is always for “DE-

FENSE! DE-FENSE!” I can’t ever recall a time I’ve heard the fans chant “OFFENSE! OFFENSE!” But the writing was on the wall when the NFL instituted the “in the grasp” rule for quarterbacks in 1991. The rash of concussions, particularly among high-profile quarterbacks like Steve Young and Troy Aikman, made it a ... well, no brainer. And as players became bigger and stronger each year, injuries and concussions grew in lock step. This has led to great concern among players and parents, who are increasingly keeping their kids off the Pop Warner fields. The game has progressed since the early 1900s, when people used to actually die due to trampling during a “flying wedge” play (since outlawed). Talk about points? The Chicago Bears crushed the Washington Redskins in the 1940 championship, 73-0. The Bears rushed for 382 yards and their starting quarterback only attempted 4 passes the entire game. Well that day is done. Forty is the new 20 folks, and if you ask me, we’re all the richer for it. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter who lives in Kansas City. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Page 7

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Page 8 TOP OF THE CHARTS as of Sept. 17, 2012

PHOTO: tobyMac Top 10 Pop Singles This Week Last Week 1. Flo Rida No. 2 “Whistle” 2. Taylor Swift No. 1 “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” 3. Maroon 5 No. 4 “One More Night” 4. Ellie Goulding No. 3 “Lights” 5. fun. No. 5 “Some Nights” 6. Neon Trees No. 11 “Everybody Talks” 7. Katy Perry No. 7 “Wide Awake” 8. Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen No. 9 “Good Time” 9. Justin Bieber feat. Big Sean No. 10 “As Long As You Love Me” 10. Carly Rae Jepsen No. 6 “Call Me Maybe” Top 10 Albums 1. tobyMac new entry “Eye On It” 2. Slaughterhouse new entry “Welcome To: Our House” 3. Trey Songz No. 1 “Chapter V” 4. Various Artists No. 3 “NOW 43” 5. Alanis Morissette new entry “Havoc and Bright Lights” 6. Maroon 5 No. 6 “Overexposed” 7. Chainz No. 2 “Based on a T.R.U. Story” 8. Carrie Underwood No. 21 “Blown Away” 9. fun. No. 11 “Some Nights” 10. Adele No. 12 “21” Top 10 Hot Country Singles 1. Little Big Town No. 2 “Pontoon” 2. Josh Turner No. 3 “Time Is Love” 3. Hunter Hayes No. 4 “Wanted” 4. Blake Shelton No. 1 “Over” 5. Jana Kramer No. 37 “Why Ya Wanna” 6. Keith Urban No. 7 “For You” 7. Jason Aldean No. 8 “Take a Little Ride” 8. Dustin Lynch No. 10 “Cowboys and Angels” 9. Easton Corbin No. 14 “Lovin’ You Is Fun” 10. Carrie Underwood No. 12 “Blown Away”

done for all eternity. Depp makes it out of the coffin to find that the year is 1972, a dysfunctional family has taken over his manor, and the witch who cursed him is still out and about. Depp and Burton need to stop working together. Depp’s dramatic chops and comedic talent are nowhere to be seen. It’s another episode of the Burton Show: where Depp is a pasty weirdo prancing around in a typical much-like-”Beetlejuice” affair. The few chuckles aren’t worth the groans. EDITOR’S NOTE: DVDs reviewed in this column will be available in stores the week of Oct. 1, 2012.

PHOTO: Jane Fonda in “Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding” “Dark Shadows” (PG-13) -- This comedy from Tim Burton is a loving take on an old TV series. A wealthy womanizer (Johnny Depp) breaks the heart of a spiteful witch. She takes out her frustration by turning him into a vampire, sealing him in a coffin and leaving him to think about what he’s

“People Like Us” (PG-13) -- Sam (Chris Pines) is a slick salesman type who, despite his acumen, sure could use a few more dollars. When his record-producing father passes away, Sam’s only inheritance is a bundle of cash and instructions to deliver it to a sister he never knew he had (Elizabeth Banks). Sis is a single mom recovering from addiction and the knowledge that her father died without reconciling. Mom (Michelle Pfeiffer) is having a hard time as well. Everybody just needs a big group hug. It’s hokey and melodramatic and plenty predictable (of course Chris Pines won’t take the selfish route.) However, the actors commit and deliver some cathartic scenes despite the drippy, made-for-TV look of the whole thing. “Iron Sky” (R) -- Nazis from the moon are invading with their flying saucers, and the president of the United States is Sarah

Palin. How can mankind survive? “Iron Sky” is a lesson in let-downs. The trailer for the movie bounced around the Internet seeking fan-funding. Unfortunately, the promise of a ridiculous, irreverent actioncomedy about Moon Nazis can’t hold the line. Pop culture references are delivered in a sort of pretentious manner (a Dr. Strangelove reference does not automatically establish intelligent comedy). The strongest aspect of the film is the surprising quality of the special effects. “Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding” (R) -A mother takes her teen son and 20-something daughter with her on a trip to visit Grandma in upstate New York. The twist: the mother is getting divorced, the kids are somewhat apathetic and Grandma is Jane Fonda deep in the throes of babyboomer self-parody. Everybody is kinda sad and resentful, but it’s all sorted out when they learn to, you know, loosen up, man. TV RELEASES “How I Met Your Mother: The Complete Seventh Season” “Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set -- Original UK Version” “New Girl: Season One” “90210: The Fourth Season” “Bonanza: The Official Complete Fourth Season” “Magic City: The Complete First Season” (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Page 9

For Advertising Call (785) 404-1000 CHRISTO REDENTOR (continued from pg. 4): from the public, and construction began in 1922. •

A local engineer created the design, but French

sculptor Paul Landowski was commissioned to do the sculpting. The statue was made from reinforced concrete with outer layers of soapstone. Stone was brought to the mountain from Sweden and construction continued for the next nine years. The statue was officially unveiled in 1932. • From its foundation base to the top, Christ the Redeemer stands 130 feet (40.4 m) tall, and has a span of 92 feet (28 m) from fingertip to fingertip, the tallest religious statue in the world. A 360-passenger train departs the nearby railway station every hour for the 20-minute trip to the site. •

Until 2002, visitors had to climb 220 steps to

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Because of the strong winds and rain to which

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the original. This restoration also corrected the shocking vandalism that occurred when individuals spray-painted the statue, an act the mayor of Rio called a “crime against the nation.” •

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During the 2010 renovation, a dynamic lighting

system was installed at the base of the monument to produce special effects. At the unveiling, green and yellow lights illumined the statue to cheer on

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The apocalyptic movie “2012” featured the

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Redeemer in a scene of destruction, with the statue collapsing at the arms and knees, crumbling into ruin. A billboard image of the statue’s fall posted in Los Angeles so offended that city’s Brazilian community that a campaign was launched to have the ads removed. The Brazilian Catholic church even filed a lawsuit against Columbia Pictures for the use of what they claimed were “unauthorized images.” TOOTHY TRIVIA Smile! An Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey reveals that 92 percent of people believe a nice smile is an important social asset. So maybe you need to know more about what makes up this important

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Page 10

Tidbits® of Salina TOOTHY TRIVIA (continued): feature. •

Teeth start forming well before a baby is born,

although they don’t make their first appearance until the age of six months. We often call our first set of teeth “baby teeth,” but the official term is “milk teeth.” By age two, a child will have about 20 teeth, and won’t lose the first one until about age seven. •

The part of the tooth visible above the gum is

known as the crown, covered in hard shiny enamel. This protective enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. Directly under it is the dentine, which makes up the majority of a tooth. The next layer is the pulp, where the blood supply and nerve endings are located. This goes all the way into the root of the tooth under the gum. •

The average adult has 32 teeth. The four front

teeth on both top and bottom are incisors. On each side of the incisors are the four sharp and pointed canine teeth. Premolars, sometimes called bicuspids, are next in line, eight in all, four up and four down. The eight molars include the wisdom teeth, which typically grow in between the ages of 17 and 21. •

Cavities are caused by the acid produced

by bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria thrive on carbohydrates, so any time you eat carbs, the bacteria become active and produce the acid. It’s not just sugar that kicks the bacteria into gear — rice, potatoes, bread, fruits and vegetables can also trigger this. It’s not how many carbs you eat, but rather how long your teeth are exposed to them. Eating a lot of carbs at one meal will not do as much damage as ingesting sugary sodas all afternoon. About 78 percent of Americans will have at least one cavity by the time they reach 17. •

You’ll spend about 39 days brushing your

teeth over the course of your lifetime. Americans use about 14 million gallons of


every year. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends a brushing time of two to three minutes; however, statistics show that the average person brushes just 45 to 70 seconds a day. •

A New Orleans dentist, Levi Parmly, was

the first to recommend the process of flossing and in 1815, invented the first form of a silk dental floss. But it wasn’t until 1882 that floss was made

New Agency Rides Herd Over Credit Bureaus If you’ve ever had a dispute with one of the big three credit-reporting agencies, you know how frustrating it can be to get the simplest correction made, especially if an error is holding up a loan or forcing you into a higher rate of interest on a mortgage. You’ll appreciate a new federal government agency now in place: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is now gearing up to oversee those creditreporting agencies, and not just the big three. They’ll be supervising 30 companies of the 400 reporting agencies that are in business. Those agencies issue 3 billion credit reports per year and make 36 billion updates to files. Counted among the 400 agencies are the resellers of information. The CFPB will supervise those that gather information on consumers of residential mortgages, payday loans, private college loans and more. It will make on-site examinations, review compliance systems and issue reports. Where necessary, it will write additional laws. The CFPB does more than oversee the actions of the credit bureaus. Later this year, it will issue a report on its findings about debt collection and will no doubt issue new rules and regulations. The bureau recently proposed

new rules about mortgage servicing that will include billing statements that are easy to read and understand, more notice before interest rates rise on adjustable mortgages, faster error resolution and more. The CFPB also examined mortgage origination procedures to ensure they complied with laws. Those who originate mortgages -- lenders, brokers, servicers and others -- will now be under federal supervision. Among a lengthy list of findings, a proposal has been made to clarify loan points and fees to make it easier to compare loans between lenders. If you need to dispute an error on your credit report, understand foreclosure, make a complaint about a debt collector’s tactics, or any number of other financial concerns, the bureau’s website is likely to have the answer. To explore everything it offers, go online to Click on Get Assistance and scroll to Ask CFPB to get answers to financial questions. Remember that you’re allowed to get one free credit report per year to check for errors. Call 1-877-322-8228 or go online to to get your free report every year. 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.

available to the general public. The first patent wasn’t issued until 1898, awarded to the Johnson & Johnson Corporation.

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Page 11

TOP TEN VIDEO, DVD as of Sept. 17, 2012 Top 10 Video Rentals 1. The Hunger Games (PG-13) Jennifer Lawrence 2. Battleship (PG-13) Taylor Kitsch 3. The Dictator (R) Sacha Baron Cohen 4. The Lucky One (PG-13) Zac Efron 5. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG) (animated) 6. Think Like a Man (PG-13) Michael Ealy 7. Pirates! The Band of Misfits (PG) animated 8. Bernie (PG-13) Jack Black 9. Sons of Anarchy: Season 4 (TV-MA) Charlie Hunnam 10. The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season (TV-MA) Andrew Lincoln Top 10 DVD Sales 1. Battleship (PG-13) (Universal) 2. The Hunger Games (PG-13) (Lionsgate) 3. The Lucky One (PG-13) (Warner Bros.) 4. The Walking Dead: Season Two (TV-MA) (Anchor Bay) 5. Think Like a Man (PG-13) (Sony) 6. Sons of Anarchy: Season Four (TV-MA) (Fox) 7. The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG) (Sony) 8. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (PG) (Universal) 9. Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season (PG) (Disney) 10. Boardwalk Empire: Season Two (TV-MA) (Warner Bros.)

1. When Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel set a rookie record in 2011 for saves in a season (46), whose mark did he break? 2. Name the last major-league team to have an ERA below 3.00 for a season. 3. Carolina’s Cam Newton had 14 rushing TDs in the 2011 season to set an NFL record. Who was the former record holder? 4. Who recorded the highest points per game average as a freshman for Duke men’s basketball team? 5. In 2011-12, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos set the record for most overtime goals in a season (five). How many other players had been tied with Stamkos? 6. What school has won the past two championships in NCAA women’s bowling? 7. In how many weight classes did boxer “Sugar” Shane Mosley win world titles?

On Oct. 6, 1847, “Jane Eyre,” a book about the struggles of an orphan girl who grows up to become a governess, is published. Charlotte Bronte, the book’s author, wrote of her experiences at being sent to a boarding school at the age of 5. On Oct. 1, 1920, Scientific American magazine reports that the rapidly developing medium of radio soon would be used to broadcast music: “Experimental concerts are at present being conducted every Friday evening from 8:30 to 11:00 by the Radio Laboratory of the Bureau of Standards.” On Oct. 5, 1930, a British dirigible crashes in Beauvais, France, killing all 56 people aboard. The R-101, Great Britain’s biggest blimp, was flying only 250 feet above the ground, unbeknownst to the pilots because of the dark night. The blimp skimmed treetops before hitting a ridge, igniting the hydrogen supply.

It was American actress, screenwriter and notorious sex symbol Mae West who made the following sage observation: “You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.” At the 2012 USA Memory Championship, Nelson Dellis set a new record for the memorization of random digits. At the annual event in New York City, Dellis accurately recalled a whopping 303 numbers in sequence. The Rose Parade, popularly known as America’s New Year Celebration, was originally started in 1890. These days, hundreds of thousands of people crowd the parade route each year, and millions more view the television broadcast worldwide. The amount of work that goes into the display is astonishing: Each float has anywhere from 30,000 to 150,000 flowers on it, which are applied during the 700 to 900 hours spent on preparing each float. Beloved film icon James Dean was missing his front teeth; he had to wear a bridge to fill the gap in his smile.

If you’re like the average American, at least one-tenth of the garbage you produce is made of plastic. The first sound recording ever made was created in 1877 by Thomas Edison. It was a musical selection: “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Those who study such things say that American English has roughly 20 swear words (depending, of course, on how one defines swearing). In contrast, residents of ancient Rome had a lexicon of about 800 “dirty” words to draw upon. If you’re planning a trip by air anytime soon, you might want to keep in mind that the busiest day in airports is Thursday. *** Thought for the Day: “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” -- Terry Pratchett (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

On Oct. 4, 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower distributes to his combat units a report by the U.S. Surgeon General that reveals the hazards of prolonged exposure to combat. Based on this evaluation, American commanders judged that the average soldier could last about 200 days in combat before suffering serious psychiatric damage. On Oct. 2, 1968, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson strikes out 17 Detroit Tigers in the first game of the World Series, breaking Sandy Koufax’s record for the most strikeouts in a Series game. On Oct. 7, 1975, a New York State Supreme Court judge reverses a deportation order for John Lennon, allowing him to remain legally in the U.S. The judge wrote that “The courts will not condone selective deportation based upon secret political grounds.” An FBI investigation of Lennon had turned up no evidence of involvement in illegal activities. On Oct. 3, 1995, Heisman Trophy winner O.J. Simpson is acquitted of the double murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, despite a DNA match, a wound on Simpson’s hand, the recent purchase of a “Stiletto” knife and matching shoeprints at the scene.

Page 12

Tidbits® of Salina

Handicapping the Chase

PHOTO CUTLINE: Jeff Gordon, right, joined Kasey Kahne in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with a strong finish at Richmond. With 12 drivers ready to take on 10 races, it’s still safe to say Jimmie Johnson has the best odds to win it all again. (John Clark/NASCAR This Week photo)

Attempting to pick the winner of the Chase for the Sprint Cup is a hazardous proposition. The format is designed more to create an exciting process than to produce a just winner. No one would suggest that Tony Stewart’s spectacular 2011 championship -- not to mention the breathtaking competition with Carl Edwards -- was undeserved, but Stewart somehow managed to step up his game in a way that few, including him, could have anticipated. After going winless in the season’s first 26 races, Stewart won five of the final 10. Edwards lost by a tie-breaker after compiling the best average finish (4.9) in the history of the Chase. Edwards finished second in each of the final three races. Stewart won three of the final four and was third in the other. “I couldn’t predict it last year,” Stewart said. “I wasn’t good enough to predict it then. I’m not sure I’m going to be any better at predicting it now. “All 12 guys have a shot, and a good shot, I think.” Here’s one modest attempt to set the odds. Each driver has a one-in-12 shot. Just kidding. --Jimmie Johnson 4-1. Given his history, it’s impossible to pick anyone else. --Denny Hamlin 8-1. He’s tried and failed before, and he now has Stewart’s 2011 crew chief, Darian Grubb, in his corner.

Flash Back Answers 1. Bryan Adams, 1979. To turn it into a disco song, producers speeded up the tempo, which also changed the pitch of Adams’ voice. 2. Siouxsie Sioux. She was lead singer for the rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. Their single “Hong Kong Garden” climbed into the Top 10 in 1978. 3. Dr. Hook, in 1976 and 1979 respectively. Until 1975 they were called Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. 4. The Knickerbockers, in 1965. They released “One Track Mind” the following year. 5. David Bowie’s “Hunky Dory” album in 1971. Three years later, Barbra Streisand released it on her ButterFly album along with other contemporary songs. 6. “Robin” Ward, in 1963. Her real name was Jackie, and while “Robin” was thought to be a one-hit wonder, Jackie was busily carving out a successful career singing for television shows and theme songs, films and commercials.

1. Neftali Feliz had 40

saves for Texas in 2010. 2. The Los Angeles Dodgers had a team ERA of 2.95 in 1989. 3. Steve Grogan had 12 rushing TDs for New England in 1976. 4. Johnny Dawkins averaged 18.1 points per game in the 1982-83 season. 5. Nine others. 6. Maryland Eastern Shore. 7. Three -- lightweight, welterweight and light middleweight.

--Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10-1. He needs to win a few more races. If he can maintain his consistency, though, he’s still got a decent shot. --Brad Keselowski 10-1. He’s poised to give Dodge its last hurrah. --Tony Stewart 10-1. He pulled out of his slump at Richmond with a fourth-place finish. --Greg Biffle 12-1. He doesn’t lead the points now because he has only two victories, but winning the regular season counts ... a little. --Jeff Gordon 12-1. He made it, and now he’s going to have to be reckoned with. His average finish in the past three races is 2.33. --Clint Bowyer 15-1. The most recent winner must avoid the occasional disaster. He finished outside the top 25 four times during the first 26 races. --Matt Kenseth 20-1. In spite of claims to the contrary, he’s slipped since he announced he was leaving Roush Fenway at season’s end. --Kasey Kahne 20-1. Oh, he could win the championship, but it’s hard to see him as better than the fourth seed at Hendrick Motorsports. --Martin Truex Jr. 30-1. Maybe it won’t require a victory, but his most recent one was in 2007. --Kevin Harvick 35-1. In the last 13 races, he has two finishes better than 10th. That won’t cut it. *** Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at

Trivia Quiz

Answers 1. Ben Jonson 2. The Beatles 3. 100 square meters 4. Clarence Birdseye 5. Argentina and Chile 6. Ruby 7. Saturn 8. 1970 9. “Finding Nemo” 10. St. Joseph