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A Minnesota Minnesota Minute Minute

Lest Les Le esstst We Forg est Frge For Forget rggeget getet OK, so maybe they have been getting clobbered out east this year with harsh winter weather but letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s save face, we always get our fair share of the white stuff. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s do a little reviewing of winter weather events that have occurred in our watery state. Some that we can only hope are not coming up again in the climate loop. A Quick Bit: On Nov 8, 1870, the first winter storm warning was issued by the U.S. Army Signal Corps but the term blizzard (from boxing, meaning volley of punches) was not used by the Signal Corps Weather Service until 1876. October 16, 1880 Earliest occurring blizzard recorded in Minnesota, struck the SW and WC counties. Huge drifts exceeding 20 ft formed in the Canby area and lasted until the next spring. Nov 9-11, 1913 One of the worst November storms ever happened on the Great Lake creating a Blizzard in northern MN, 62 mph winds smacked Duluth and three ships were lost on Lake Superior. Oct 19-20, 1916 One of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s earliest occuring blizzards, left a modest 15 inches of snow in western counties, but delivered a 50 degree F temperature drop in 1 day. Nov 11, 1940 (Armistice Day) was mild to start with and hunting season was in full swing. Then a slow moving system which intensified left 17 inches of snow in MSP and 27 inches at Collegeville. Unprepared duck hunters were exposed on Mississppi River islands resulting in 49 deaths. 59 sailors lost their lives on the Great Lakes. (the terrible blizzards of 40, 41 prompted the Weather Service to refine regional forecast responsibilities: Minnesota formerly under the jurisdiction of Chicago acquired its own forcasting responsibilities) Oct 31-Nov 3, 1991 Over 30?, then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll remember this: Halloween Blizzard. Over 28 inches were dumped in MSP, and nearly 37 inches buried Duluth. Nasty windchill conditions, deep snow drifts were harsh on wildlife, and many roads were closed for days. It was perhaps one of the largest and longest lasting blizzards in state history. Feb 13-15, 1866 Arguably one of the worst blizzards in Minnesota history it lasted 3 days leaving drifts up to 20 ft that buried barns in the western counties. It struck at night so deaths were reduced. Feb 28-Mar 2, 2007 This blizzard brought over 20 inches of snow and winds exceeding 50 mph to the Duluth area. It came on the heels of another major winter storm that plodded through the Upper Midwest from February 23 through February 26 leaving over two feet of snow in southeastern Minnesota. Mar 1-4, 1966 Smaller scale blizzard (duh?) with 37 inches of snow near International Falls. Nobody recorded how cold it got. Mar 8-9, 1892 One of Duluthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worst blizzards. 70 mph winds, blinding snow piled drifts over 20 ft high that blocked second story windows in some buildings. Mar 14-15, 1941 Terrible blizzard in western counties, 85 mph winds at Grand Forks, 75 mph winds at Duluth, 32 deaths. Mar 23-24, and Mar 26-29, 1975 Blizzards in northern MN. 100 mph winds, 20 ft waves on Lake Superior damaged shoreline properties, zero visibility near Duluth, which received 1 ft of snow from each storm. Nov 10-11, 1975 A severe winter storm with 71 mph winds created 12 to 15 ft waves on Lake Superior, sank the Edmund Fitzgerald. (Remember the song). This storm intensified even more as it moved over the land areas. Apr 5-6, 1997 Adding to a total seasonal snowfall at FargoMoorhead of 117 inches a blizzard in the Minnesota western counties occurred during flood fighting efforts and helped to set up the worst flooding ever. Jan 12-13, 1888 It started as a mild day, children in school, people working outside. Then an abrupt cold wave struck with blinding snow, and the temperature fell to -37 degrees F. Children were sent home early from school, and many died on the way. Deaths totaled 200 in perhaps Minnesotaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worst and most certainly itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most tragic blizzard. Ironically, it also preceded one of the east coastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worst blizzards which struck two months later in March.

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Falcon Prince Inc . â&#x2014;? 1633 County Hwy. 10 â&#x2014;? Spring Lake Park, MN 55432 â&#x2014;? Phone: 763-792-1125 Fax: 763-792-4795 â&#x2014;? Email: dean@realbits.com â&#x2014;? www.TidbitsTwinCities.com â&#x2014;? Published under licensing agreement with Tidbits Media, Inc., Montgomery, AL www.tidbitsmedia.com

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JANUARY BABIES (Continued) • Nearly everyone has, at one time or another, watched Bob Eubanks host a game show. He’s the only person to have hosted the same game show, “The Newlywed Game” in six different decades, from the 1960s to the 2010s. Eubanks was only 28 years old when the popular program premiered in July of 1966. He had begun his career as a disk jockey and concert promoter in the Los Angeles area. In fact, he produced the Beatles’ live performances, including their Hollywood Bowl concerts for three years, as well as the Rolling Stones, Barry Manilow, Elton John, The Supremes and Merle Haggard. These days, Bob travels the country as a motivational speaker. • Although author Jack London penned 22 novels and scores of short stories, he is best known for “Call of the Wild,” “White Fang” and “Sea Wolf.” He was basically self-educated with the help of a librarian at the Oakland Public Library whom he met at age 11. Prior to his literary success, he worked 18hour days at a cannery at age 13, then signed on to a seal-hunting schooner to Japan when he was 17. At 21, he headed for the Klondike where the Gold Rush was in full force in 1897. Years later, he used the Yukon as the setting for “Call of the Wild.” At 24, he began writing in earnest, and earned the equivalent of $65,000 in today’s money in the first year. It’s long been debated whether London committed suicide at age 40, or whether he perished from the long-term effects of the scurvy he developed while in the Klondike. • You may not recognize the name of A. A. Milne, born in January of 1882, but you most certainly have read his work. In 1920, his son Christopher Robin Milne was born, and Alan Milne spun a series of stories around the boy and his stuffed bear, Winnie the Pooh. The name of Winnie came from an American black bear at the London Zoo that Christopher especially enjoyed. “Winnie the Pooh” can be found in 34 different languages, including Chinese, Afrikaans, Norwegian, Hebrew, Macedonian and Latin. Christopher Milne was actually called Billy Moon by his family and friends and spent much of his life resenting his father and the books that immortalized his name. • There are few people who haven’t heard the satirical, humorous and often controversial essays delivered by Andy Rooney on the CBS New

Program “60 Minutes,” a regular feature since 1978. Each week, this 92-year-old sits behind a walnut table, which he built himself, and entertains viewers with his thoughts on such commonplace topics as car gadgets, recycling, grammatical errors and “things I love to hate.” “I don’t pick subjects as much as they pick me,” says this CBS employee of 61 years and author of 15 books. Rooney was married for 62 years, losing his wife in 2004. • How many people can name one thing that happened during the administration of 13th U.S. President Millard Fillmore? Fillmore assumed the office following the sudden death of Zachary Taylor from acute gastroenteritis and was never actually elected president. During his tenure, California became a state, and the Compromise of 1850 was signed, limiting the spread of slavery. An avid reader, Fillmore started the White House library and was one of the founders of the University of Buffalo, New York. • Born in January of 1961, Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky learned to skate at the Wally Coliseum. That’s the nickname Gretzky’s father Walter gave to the rink he made in the family back yard. Walter regularly told his sons, “Skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.” That must have been good advice, since Gretzky is considered the greatest hockey player in the history of the NHL. He is the holder of 61 various records, including the only player to score over 200 points in one season, something he did four times. Over the course of his career, from 1979 to 1999, Gretzky played for four NHL teams — the Edmonton Oilers, L.A. Kings, St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers. His No. 99 jersey has been retired league-wide and is only the second number in all sports to earn that privilege. Following his retirement, Gretzky coached and co-owned NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes for four years, ending in 2009, and he currently owns “Wayne Gretzky’s,” a Toronto restaurant. • The first sports hero to have his uniform number retired across all league teams was Major League Baseball’s No. 42, Jackie Robinson, born in January of 1919. When Robinson started with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he became the first black major league player of the modern era. His career included the Rookie of the Year Award, National League MVP, six World Series and six All-Star games. He went on to be baseball’s first black television commentator.

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Out of 306 Interviewed readers here’s some of what we found. Taken from the 2009 Circulation Verification Council Audit report for Tidbits of the North Metro

For a complete copy of this report and its full reader study request via e-mail: sales@realbits.com or call the Tidbits office 763-792-1125

An Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema) Research Study for Children

- Volunteers, ages 3 months to 17 years of age, are needed for a research study of an investigational topical medication being conducted at the Minnesota Clinical Study Center located in Fridley, MN. - If your child is 3 months to 17 years of age and has been diagnosed with Atopic Dermatitis (eczema) we have a 4-week, 4 or 5 visit study. Qualified participant will be seen by a board certifiedDermatologist. No cost study related evaluations.

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ALCATRAZ Although most famous for the 29 years it was a maximum security penitentiary for some of America’s most hardened criminals, Alcatraz was first a military fortress. Tidbits explores this San Franciso landmark, which receives over a million visitors each year. • Alcatraz Island was named by Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775, when he was on a landmarkmapping mission. He called the rocky mass “Isla de los Alcatraces,” which translates “Island of the Pelicans,” because they were its only inhabitants and in great number. • U.S. military troops began using the island in 1850, a fort was built, and by 1859, there were permanent troops stationed there to defend the San Francisco Bay area. In 1854, the island’s lighthouse went into service as the first on the Pacific coast. • In 1861, Alcatraz became the official military prison for the Department of the Pacific and confined military deserters, thieves and drunkards. Civilians accused of treason were imprisoned there during the Civil War, as well as a crew of Confederate privateers whose ship had been seized in the Bay. In 1915, The Rock was designated the “United States Disciplinary Barracks” and remained a military prison until 1934. • In 1934, Alcatraz became part of the Federal Bureau of Prisons and until 1963, housed the nation’s worst offenders. One of its most famous inmates was racketeer Al Capone, who earned an estimated $100,000 weekly from smuggling, bootlegging and gambling establishments. Although Capone was believed to have orchestrated the gangland St. Valentine’s Day massacre in 1929, when seven were killed on Chicago’s north side, he was

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763-502-2941 never brought to trial for the killings. It was 1931 before Capone was finally indicted for income tax evasion and violating the Prohibition laws. In 1929, his estimated worth was $62 million. • The 1962 movie “Birdman of Alcatraz” starred Burt Lancaster in his Oscar-winning role as Robert F. Stroud. It was a fictionalized account of a convicted murderer who took an interest in canaries during his imprisonment. Although he was referred to as the Birdman of Alcatraz, his ornithological activities actually took place at Leavenworth, where he was incarcerated for 30 years. An injured bird in the prison yard was the source of his interest, and caring for birds became his passion. He raised nearly 30 birds, which he sold to support his mother during the Great Depression. After studying their anatomy, habits and illnesses, he authored two books on canaries and gained the respect of bird-lovers worldwide. However, former inmates claimed he was not the gentle person that Lancaster depicted, but a “vicious killer,” one who had killed a Leavenworth guard after his imprisonment. Stroud was transferred to Alcatraz in 1942, where his birdkeeping privileges were removed, and he spent the next 17 years without them. He also was not permitted to view the movie. When he died at age 73, he had spent 54 of those years behind bars. • During The Rock’s history, 36 men attempted to escape, including two who tried it twice. Only two actually made it off the island, but they were caught soon afterward and later executed for their part in the death of a guard. Seven were shot and killed in their attempts, two drowned, and an unaccounted-for five were listed as “missing and presumed drowned.” The others were caught in their escape.

Page 3


HELPFUL HOME

TIP BITS By Samantha Mazzotta Q: Lately Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been having trouble locking the bolt on my back door. I have to lift the handle up slightly for the bolt to go all the way. How can I fix this? -- Leonard in Trenton, N.J. A: Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely a misalignment occurring. Either the door is slightly off kilter, or part of the lock assembly, the strike plate (the metal part on the door frame into which the bolt slides), needs adjustment. First though, check to make sure the lock itself works correctly. Open the door and turn the lock handle to extend the bolt all the way, then turn it all the way back. Insert the key in the outside part of the lock and repeat this action, making sure the bolt slides easily all the way out and all the way back in. If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s any difficulty doing this, clean and lubricate the lockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s moving parts. Next, jiggle the strike plate. Is it tightly secured to the door frame,

or is it loose? Strike plate screws can work loose or rip out of the frame wood, particularly if the plate was tampered with. Tighten the screws if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re loose. If they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tighten, remove the plate and reset the screw holes by tapping a thin wooden dowel (or, ideally, a wooden golf tee) coated with wood glue into the holes. Trim away the dowel so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flush with the door frame, then drill a new screw hole in the dowel and screw the strike plate into place. Shimming the strike plate also is possible. Placing a very thin slice of wood behind the strike plate will pull it forward. Chiseling out the wood behind the strike plate will set it back. You also can raise or lower the plate a few millimeters and drill new screw holes (youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll probably have to place dowels in the old holes as listed above to keep the wood frame from splitting). Adjusting the strike plate is easier, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll still want to check the alignment of the door. If you have to shim out the strike plate so far that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at an angle, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s definitely an issue. Get a helper or two and lift the door from its hinges. Position the door so that the bolt hits the strike plate smoothly and note the change of angle. Shim the appropriate door hinge (either the higher or the lower one) on the frame side to lift or lower the door to that angle. HOME TIP: For a door that swings open too freely, remove the top hinge pin,

wrap a single layer of tape around it, and reinsert. The extra thickness should slow the swing. Send your questions or comments to ask@thisisahammer.com, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. When in doubt as to whether you can safely or effectively complete a project, consult a professional contractor.

By JoAnn Derson â&#x2013;˛ To prevent hangnails, give yourself a hand massage and use a little olive oil while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at it. Rub a few drops of the oil into your nail beds for healthier cuticles. â&#x2013;˛ â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you have leftover paint in your can, get a balloon and blow it up to fit in the empty space of the can. Press it into the paint can and close the lid. It keeps a scummy glob from forming on the paintâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surface.â&#x20AC;? -- A.C. in Washington â&#x2013;˛ Want a great, fluffy omelet? Use room-temperature eggs and add water instead of milk. â&#x2013;˛ Remove mineral deposits from shower fixtures by removing them and boiling them in straight white vinegar

for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool and then scrub with a brush. Rinse and reattach. â&#x2013;˛ Make a paste of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide to remove rust stains from sinks or bathtubs. â&#x2013;˛ â&#x20AC;&#x153;To keep my preschooler organized when it comes time to get dressed, I fold outfits together and store them that way in his dresser. I use stickers on the drawers to show what kind of outfits it contains. For instance, long sleeves and pants are in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;snowflakeâ&#x20AC;? drawer, and regular jeans and T-shirts are in another drawer. Pajamas are in a drawer with big Zâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and a moon.â&#x20AC;? -- P.C. in Oregon â&#x2013;˛ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Spritz the heels and toes of your pantyhose with hairspray to help them last longer and have less runs. This has worked for me for 30 years.â&#x20AC;? -- L.B. in Georgia â&#x2013;˛ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rid carpets of static cling by mixing eight ounces of water and three tablespoons of liquid fabric softener in a spray bottle. Spray as needed.â&#x20AC;? -- E.M. in Pennsylvania Send your tips to Now Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at heresatip@yahoo. com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Oprah Winfrey celebrates her 57th birthday this month. How did she go from poverty to becoming one of the most influential women in the world? Take a look at the life of this broadcaster, author, publisher, actress, producer and philanthropist. â&#x20AC;˘ When Winfrey was born to unmarried teenage parents in rural Mississippi, she was quickly handed off to her grandmother, where she lived her first six years. Although they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have much money (Winfrey wore dresses fashioned from potato sacks), Hattie Mae Lee made sure her granddaughterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life was enriched in other areas. Hattie taught Winfrey to read before she was three, brought her to church regularly and taught her Bible verses. â&#x20AC;˘ Winfreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life took a bad turn after those first six years when her young mother moved her to inner-city Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Winfrey endured sexual abuse by family members beginning at age nine. She ran away at 13, became pregnant at 14, and suffered through the death of her son shortly after his birth. Her next stop in life was with her father, a Nashville barber, who continually spurred her on to educational excellence. Her life turned around as she became an honors student and earned second place in a national high school speech meet. She won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant at age 17, which was followed by a job with a radio station. By age 19, she was coanchoring the local evening news. â&#x20AC;˘ At 22, Winfrey moved to Baltimore to co-anchor WJZ-TVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s six oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;clock news and began hosting a local talk show two years later. It was on to Chicago in 1983 when she was 29 to

Page 4

take over a morning talk show that was last place in the ratings. The program quickly rose in popularity to beat Phil Donahueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ratings. â&#x20AC;˘ When Winfreyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chicago talk show went national in 1986, she became a millionaire at 32. By age 41, she was worth $340 million. Five years later that figure was $800 million. By September, 2010, her net worth was in excess of $2.7 billion. â&#x20AC;˘ Winfrey began her acting career in 1985 when she co-starred in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Color Purple,â&#x20AC;? a performance that earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She went on to produce and star in the movie â&#x20AC;&#x153;Beloved.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;˘ The most-watched interview in television history was hosted by Winfrey in 1993. More than 36 million people watched her interview Michael Jackson. â&#x20AC;˘ A new feature was added to â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Oprah Winfrey Showâ&#x20AC;? in 1996, Oprahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Book Club. Viewers are asked to read a variety of new books as well as the classics for discussion on her program. Her interest in many unheardof books has caused a skyrocket in their sales, making them bestsellers in most cases. She has also initiated â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oprahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Child Predator Watch Listâ&#x20AC;? to hunt accused child molesters. â&#x20AC;˘ In 2007, Winfrey invested $40 million to establish the private Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg, South Africa, a 28-building campus that stresses academic achievement and service leadership. Winfrey personally handselected the first 152 students out of more than 3,000 applications. â&#x20AC;˘ More than seven million people watch â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oprahâ&#x20AC;? every day, but she says the time has come. She plans to retire from the program this year on September 9 after 25 seasons.

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■ On Jan. 26, 1788, the first Australian penal colony is established, and 736 convicts banished from England land in Botany Bay. During the next 60 years, approximately 50,000 criminals were transported from Great Britain. ■ On Jan. 25, 1905, at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat diamond is discovered. Weighing 1.33 pounds, and christened the “Cullinan,” it is the largest diamond ever found. The Cullinan was later cut into nine large stones and about 100 smaller ones. ■ On Jan. 24, 1935, the first canned beer goes on sale. In partnership with the American Can Company, the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company delivered 2,000 cans of Krueger’s Finest Beer and Krueger’s Cream Ale to Richmond, Va. It had taken two years of research to develop a can that was pressurized and had a special coating to prevent the fizzy beer from chemically reacting with the tin. ■ On Jan. 27, 1965, the Shelby GT 350, a version of a Ford Mustang sports car developed by American auto racer and car designer Carroll Shelby, is launched. The Shelby GT 350 featured a 306 horsepower V-8 engine

and remained in production through the end of the about dwarfs. In June 2008, the American Film Institute 1960s. chose it as the No. 1 animated film of all time. ■ On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger explodes just after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla., killing the seven astronauts aboard. The O-ring seal on the Challenger’s solid rocket booster, which had become brittle in cold temperatures, failed. Flames then broke out of the booster and damaged the external fuel tank. Within 73 seconds, the shuttle began breaking apart, then plunged into the Atlantic Ocean.

■ On Feb. 3, 1959, rising American rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson are killed when their small plane crashes in an Iowa cornfield. Singer Don McLean memorialized the musicians in the 1972 hit “American Pie,” which refers to “the day the music died.”

■ On Feb. 1, 1974, Ted Bundy kills his second victim, marking Bundy as a serial killer. That summer Bundy ■ On Feb. 6, 1820, the first organized immigration of attacked at least seven young women in Washington. He freed slaves from the United States departs New York was caught in 1977 in Florida and eventually confessed harbor on a journey to West Africa. The immigration to 36 murders. He was executed in 1989. was largely the work of the American Colonization Society. However, the expedition also was partially ■ On Feb. 2, 1980, details of ABSCAM, an FBI funded by the U.S. Congress, which appropriated operation to uncover political corruption in the $100,000 to be used in returning displaced Africans. government, are released to the public. Thirty-one public officials were targeted for investigation. In the ■ On Feb. 5, 1878, Andre Citroen, later referred to as operation, FBI agents posed as representatives of Abdul the Henry Ford of France for developing his country’s Enterprises, Ltd., a fictional business owned by an Arab first mass-produced automobiles, is born in Paris. sheik. Citroen allowed potential customers to take his vehicles for a test drive -- then a new concept -- and also let ■ On Jan. 31, 1990, the Soviet Union’s first McDonald’s people buy on credit. fast-food restaurant opens in Moscow. Throngs of people line up to pay the equivalent of several days’ ■ On Feb. 4, 1938, Walt Disney releases “Snow White wages for Big Macs, shakes and french fries. and the Seven Dwarfs,” his first full-length animated color feature. Naysayers warned Disney that audiences (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc. wouldn’t sit through a feature-length cartoon fantasy

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LANDMARKS by Kathy Wolfe

Across the continent, travelers can visit varied sights, from the beautiful to the unusual to the downright strange. This week, Tidbits focuses on a few of each. â&#x20AC;˘ Towering 605 feet (185 m) above Seattle is the Space Needle, built for the 1962 Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fair. With a foundation 30 feet (9.1 m) deep and 120 feet (36.5 m) across, 467 cement trucks worked an entire day to fill the hole. The paint colors were named to relate to the Fairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theme of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Century 21â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The legs of the Needle were Astronaut White, the core painted Orbital Olive, Re-entry Red for the halo and Galaxy Gold for the sunburst and pagoda roof. At the time of its construction, the Space Needle was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. It cost $4.5 million to build, but underwent a $20 million renovation in 2000. â&#x20AC;˘ Bemidji, Minnesota, is home to the 18-foot-tall (5.5 m), 2.5-ton Paul Bunyan and his companion Babe the Blue Ox, built in 1937. The pair greets visitors near the Chamber of Commerce building on the shore of Lake Bemidji, which is said to be Paul Bunyanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s birthplace. The building also features the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fireplace of Statesâ&#x20AC;? built during the Great Depression, which includes stones from every American state and every Canadian province. turn the page for more! â&#x20AC;˘ Back in 1859, an Arkansas farmer found a 1,000-pound (453 kg) rock in the Black River and quickly spread the word that he had found a

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meteorite. It was moved to the county courthouse in nearby Pocahontas, where it can still be seen today. Years later, geologists from the University of Arkansas gave the community the bad news that the rock is not a meteorite, but it remains quite the tourist attraction just the same. â&#x20AC;˘ And speaking of Pocahontas, when driving through Pocahontas, Iowa, you can stop at the east end of town and see a 25-foot- (7.6-m) tall concrete statue of the famous Indian princess for whom the town is named. â&#x20AC;˘ Perched atop the Continental Divide and overlooking the city of Butte, Montana, is Our Lady of the Rockies, the largest Virgin Mary statue in North America. This 90-foot (27.4-m), 16-gauge steel statue weighs 80 tons and sits atop a 425-ton base. It took six years to complete and was installed in 1985. The original plan was for the Lady to be 120 feet (36.6 m) tall, but those plans were scrapped when the FAA told the city that if the Lady were any taller than 90 feet, it would necessitate a blinking light on the head. â&#x20AC;˘ In 1846, a party of 87 emigrants set out along the Oregon Trail too close to winter and were trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains by heavy snowfall. Their food supplies dwindled, and some of the party turned to cannibalism for survival, eating those who had passed away. It took four months until the first rescue party arrived. Forty-eight members of the party survived. Since 1918, bronze figures of a pioneer family have stood atop a 22-foot (6.7 m) pedestal at Donner State Park near Truckee, California. Because the snow had been 22 feet deep near their camp, the pedestal was made the same height to show visitors its depth.

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Meditation is a way of calming the body and the mind. It is a way of relaxing completely. It can, however, be difficult to know if you are actually meditating as there is no one right way to do it. A Psychic will frequently suggest that people meditate and with that suggestion comes the question, â&#x20AC;&#x153;How?â&#x20AC;? Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit with your feet on the floor. Make sure that your feet touch the floor comfortably. Lightly cover yourself with a blanket or shawl so that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get chilled, as you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be moving around. Once you are comfortable you can begin the process of dropping into meditation. Close your eyes and take a few deep, measured breaths. Try counting to five as you inhale through your nose, then count to 10 as you slowly exhale through your mouth. Relax your shoulders; relax your hands; relax your face. Think about your individual body parts as you relax them. You might be surprised by how tense your muscles are. Once you are comfortable and relaxed try calming your mind. This can be quite tricky. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be surprised if it seems that your thoughts speed up. The minute you tell yourself not to think about things, it is natural to begin thinking about them. Try not to get frustrated with yourself. It can take 15 or more minutes for your mind to slow down. Sometimes people fall asleep when they are this comfortable and relaxed. That is perfectly fine. Your body needs the rest. And sleep is a wonderful level of meditation. Soon you will be able

to stay awake and quiet your mind. The ultimate goal of meditation is to be calm and let the dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worries and stress fall away from you. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. You will find what works best for you with practice. Once your ability to meditate grows you will be surprised at how clear you are able to think and how daily stress does not affect you like it once did. When you reach a point that you feel you are actually meditating, pose a question in your mind that you need clarification on. Your mind will be quiet enough that you should be able to â&#x20AC;&#x153;hearâ&#x20AC;? the answer you need by the time you come out of meditation. By hearing, I mean that you will know the answer. Coming out of meditation is as easy as settling into it. When your mind starts to notice things going on around you, take a few deep breaths, open your eyes, put a smile on your face and go about your life. Thank you for your interest and attention. Till next time, stay in touch with yourself, with your life, and with those loved ones who have moved on.

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If you need medical equipment, changes have been made there, too. Medicare now puts all contracts for medical equipment out for bid. If you have the original Medicare, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll likely have to get your medical equipment and supplies, such as oxygen, from an approved supplier. If your current supplier is not in the program, the only way your equipment will be paid for is if that supplier signs up. Beware while traveling: If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use an approved supplier, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll pay full price. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the Medicare handbook that was sent to you last October, look online at www.medicare.gov for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Medicare & You 2011 Handbook.â&#x20AC;? Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find it right on the front screen to read or download. Look for the blue apple symbols in the handbook to see preventive-care items. The site also has ZIP code directory for equipment suppliers. Or call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 for more information. 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@gmail.com. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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(Continued From Pg. 9) • Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota is a partially completed sculpture carved into Thunderhead Mountain. It is the likeness of Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse astride his horse, a project that has no scheduled completion date. The carving was begun in June 1948 by Polish-American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski as a way of honoring the heritage of North American Indians. Ziolkowski had worked on Mt. Rushmore, 17 miles away, under Gutzon Borglum 24 years earlier. When complete, the monument will be 641 feet (195 m) wide and 563 feet (172 m) high. The head was completed in 1998 and is 87.5 feet (26.7 m) high. Compare this to the

Page 10

Presidents’ heads at nearby Rushmore at 60 feet (18 m) high. The horse’s head is the current focus of the work, and will be the equivalent of a 22-story building when complete. Ziolkowski passed away in 1982 and is buried in a tomb at the base of the mountain. But his family continues the work in honor of his last words, “You must work on the mountain — but go slowly so you do it right.” • Duncan, British Columbia, is home to the world’s largest hockey stick and puck. Created for Expo ’86 in Vancouver, these items have made their way to the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan. The community is also known as the “City of Totems” as it has 80 totem poles within its borders. It claims to have the world’s largest totem pole, and indeed, it has the thickest pole, over 6 feet (1.8 m) in diameter. The world’s tallest stands in Alert Bay, British Columbia, reaching 173 feet (53 m) into the sky. Close behind is the 160-fott (48.8-m)

totem in McKinleyville, California, just behind the local Safeway store. While Alert Bay’s pole is constructed of two trees, McKinleyville’s came from a single tree. • Spanning the entrance from the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay is the Golden Gate Bridge, the 4,200foot (1,280-m) suspension bridge that opened in 1937. Completed at a cost of $37 million (plus another $39 million in interest), it was the longest span in the world and remained so until 1964 when New York City’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened, a full 60 feet (18.3 m) longer. [The world’s longest suspension bridge is now Japan’s Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, at a length of 6,532 feet (1,991 m)]. Eleven workers were killed during the four-year construction period of the Golden Gate. Its distinctive orange vermilion color is officially known as “International Orange,” and it has always been the same color.

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• An interesting rock obelisk, 21 feet (6.4 m) tall, stands in a gas station parking lot in Rugby, North Dakota. It marks the geographical center of North America, as determined by a U.S. Geological Survey conducted in 1931. The monument was completed the following year. • As you pass through Chico, California, you may want to stop and view the world’s largest yo-yo. The wooden toy weighs 256 pounds (116 kg) and can be seen at the National Yo-Yo Museum, which houses 80 years of yoyo artifacts. • Pink elephants must be a popular item since there seem to be so many scattered across the United States. You can see these giant pachyderms in Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, New York and Missouri. Some wear glasses, while others have a martini glass wrapped in their trunk.




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All kinds of famous folks were born during the month of January. This week, Tidbits brings you a few more details about these well-known people who have a January birthday. â&#x20AC;˘ Showman P.T. Barnum was responsible for discovering four-year-old Charles Sherwood Stratton in 1842 and promoting him as General Tom Thumb, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best-known â&#x20AC;&#x153;midget.â&#x20AC;? Barnum was reportedly a distant relative (â&#x20AC;&#x153;half fifth cousin, twice removedâ&#x20AC;?) of the tiny boy, and taught him to sing, dance, mime and do impersonations. Tom was born to normal-size parents, with a birth weight of 9 pounds, 8 ounces (4.3 kg) and grew normally for his first six months. At age 4, he had not grown at all in over three years, although he was otherwise normal and healthy, with a voracious appetite. Jennifer Petersen At age 9, he began to grow once again, and    Independent Beauty Consultant          at 13, he stood 2 feet, 5 inches (74 cm) tall marykay.com/jennifergailpetersen !

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â&#x2014;? In Alabama, lawmakers once thought it necessary to pass a law forbidding the operation of a vehicle while wearing a blindfold.

â&#x2014;? You probably wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be surprised to learn that Alaska is the most northern and western state in the Union, but would you believe that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also the easternmost state? Yep. Because the state crosses over into the Eastern Hemisphere, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technically farther east than Maine.

â&#x2014;? If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re like the average American woman, you will eat 4 to 6 pounds of lipstick during your lifetime.

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