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May 8, 2009 Family Press, LLC

For Advertising Call: 417-230-7055



Vol. 3, Issue 53

URBAN LEGENDS by Sarah Bates

Obstertrics - Gynecology - Infertility

Unique Impressions Rubber Stamps, Brass Stencils, Scrapbook Superstore and So Much More!

We Have Moved

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Did your mother ever tell you “No swimming for at least an hour!” after you ate lunch? Did you hear the one about the kid who ate Pop Rocks after he drank a soda? Thought they were fishy sounding? Check out what we learned: • #1: Chewing gum takes seven years to digest. FALSE. Chewing gum moves along at the same rate as everything else. There have been some strange digestive cases, but only in children under the age of four who swallowed numerous pieces of gum a day over a period of years. • #2: Hair grows back darker and thicker after you shave it. FALSE. If this were true, balding and graying men could just shave their heads and solve the problem! • #3: Don’t swim for at least an hour after eating or you will get cramps and drown! FALSE. Cramps while swimming can happen regardless of whether or not you’ve just eaten – and they usually happen in your arms and legs, not your stomach. If you do get a cramp, stay calm and float until help arrives or the cramp subsides. • #4: Change your shampoo regularly or your hair will build up a resistance to it. FALSE. Your hair doesn’t build up a resistance to shampoo. If you are noticing a difference, test your water. It could be too hard or soft. turn the page for more!

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Tidbits® of Branson Area

1. Is the book of Bethel in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. Moses and Aaron were instructed to sacrifice what color of heifer without blemish? Red, White, Gold, Green 3. Which book (KJV) begins, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God”? Mark, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians 4. Which Old Testament woman was buried in a cave in the field of Machpelah? Eve, Ruth, Sarah, Esther 5. How many righteous people did Sodom need to keep God from destroying the city? 1, 2, 10, 20 6. From 2 Kings 17, who was the god of the men of Cuth? Succothbenoth, Nergal, Hamath, Ashima

• •

ANSWERS: 1) Neither; 2) Red; 3) Ephesians; 4) Sarah; 5) 10; 6) Nergal For more trivia, log on to (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

of Branson Area

URBAN LEGENDS (continued): #5: Brushing your hair 100 strokes before bedtime will make it shinier and healthier. FALSE. Brushing too much, too hard or with the wrong brush can cause damage to your hair or your scalp. #6: Wearing a hat too much will make you go bald. FALSE. Hair loss is caused by genetics, stress and poor health, not your hat. #7: Here are some useful tips to remove a tick: Touch it with a lit match, rub it with a cotton swab covered in liquid soap, twist it off, etc. FALSE. The best way to remove a tick is to grab it by the head with a pair tweezers and pull it straight out. Don’t forget to clean with soap and water and treat with an antibiotic ointment. #8: Coca-Cola products originally contained cocaine. TRUE. Coca-Cola did once contain trace amounts of cocaine, but Coca-Cola products with cocaine were no longer produced after the 1930s. #9: A tooth or nail left in Coca-Cola will disintegrate over night. FALSE. While not true, anything containing too many sugars, like sodas, can weaken the enamel of your teeth over time. Remember to limit your sugary food and beverage intake and brush your teeth daily. #10: If you eat Pop Rocks and drink a soda, your stomach will swell and possibly explode. FALSE. Pop Rocks generate less gas than half of one can of soda. In the absolute worst-case scenario, you will end up with a nice, healthy burp. #11: Dropped food is okay to eat if you pick it up within five seconds. FALSE. Once it’s been dropped, it’s been dropped. Anything that is dropped on the floor will pick up just as many germs in that first tenth of a second as it does after five.

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URBAN LEGENDS (continued): #12: The playground ball pits at fast food restaurants are home to venomous snakes and drug paraphernalia. FALSE. There has never been any report of injury or death in a playground ball pit due to snakes, drug needles, etc. If either story were true, they would have garnered intense media coverage. #13: Rice is bad for birds. You shouldn’t throw it at a wedding. FALSE. A bird could just as soon eat rice in a field as it could on a sidewalk after a wedding. Their little bird tummies will not swell or explode. #14: Please forward this email to all your friends and family! It is being tracked. For every forward, a well known corporation will donate five cents towards cancer research. FALSE. It’s virtually impossible to track an email from forwarding alone. This goes the same for most email chain letters. If you are ever unsure about an email, visit, a website dedicated to researching hoaxes and urban legends. #15: If everyone boycotted gas stations on the same day, it would drive the price of gas down. FALSE. To make a substantial dent in the price of gas, large numbers of people would have to not buy gas for an extended period of time. #16: JELL-O is made from cow hooves. TRUE & FALSE. JELL-O isn’t made from cow hooves, but it is made from gelatin, a product made from the collagen of cows and pigs. Collagen is collected from bones and skins by an extensive process that releases the collagen from the bones, which is then used to make gelatin.

• #17: Eating carrots can improve your vision. FALSE. While carrots do contain Vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy eyesight, eating a lot of carrots will not improve your vision. continued on page 8!

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The Best Way to Treat Sunburn TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH By Paul G. Donohue, M.D. DEAR DR. DONOHUE: What’s the best way to treat sunburn? I get one every year. I know it will happen this year too, and I want to be prepared. -- D.J. ANSWER: The best way to treat sunburn is not to get one. What makes you think you’ll get one this year? You’re doing something wrong. I have to repeat things that should be common knowledge, so bear with me. Don’t go out into the sun during the hours of its greatest intensity -- 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. I have a feeling this is a rule observed more in its breach. Always wear sunscreen with an SPF -- sun protection factor -- of 15. If you are very sensitive to sunlight, use one with an SPF of 30. Apply it 15 to 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply it at least every two hours. Each application requires about 1 ounce. If you go into the water or are sweating heavily, apply the sunscreen more frequently. With a sunburn, in about three hours after exposure, the skin reddens and becomes painful and hot. Taking aspirin relieves pain and can lessen the damage done to the skin.


“Our passion has always been changing skin and changing lives; not just for some, but for everyone. With the Rodan + Fields Business System, our passion is now a reality.” As the creators of ProActiv® Solution, we’ve seen the difference that intelligent skincare and great skin can make in people’s lives. Now what the Doctors did for acne, Rodan + Fields® Dermatologists is doing for sun damage, and we invite YOU to be part of the success as an Independent Consultant. Our ground-floor business opportunity has products, programs and support that can change your life and the lives of those around you. Write your Prescription for Change™ today.

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Don’t give aspirin to young children -- they can take Tylenol. Cool baths or cool compresses make a person more comfortable. Apply a skin moisturizer, but don’t use butter or petrolatum. If blisters form, don’t break them. If they’re extensive, see a doctor. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: For the past six months, I have had no energy. I teach third grade. My doctor checked my thyroid gland, and it turns out it’s not working well. I am now taking replacement thyroid hormone. How long does it take for me to recover my former energy? Also, my cholesterol was high. Is that part of this deal? -- M.O. ANSWER: It can take three to six months for your hormone level to reach a normal plateau. That’s when you’ll feel like your old self again. A person with low thyroid hormone often has a rise in blood cholesterol. The level will fall as soon as the replacement hormone is working. The booklet on thyroid problems discusses both underand overactive thyroid glands. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 401W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am 83, and following hip surgery I developed a dropped foot. All I hear is that it is something I have to live with. Is there another answer? -- D.K. ANSWER: It takes a long time for an injured nerve to heal. Sometimes it never does. However, that doesn’t mean something can’t be done for a dropped foot. Any number of braces can make walking much easier for a person with a dropped foot. I’d see about that now and bide my time, hoping the nerve will regenerate.

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.

(c) 2009 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Tidbits® of Branson Area Claim Quotas If you’re filing a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs, maybe you should hope that it isn’t the one a claims rater grabs off the stack at the end of the day. Instead of getting a fair shake, you might just get a flat-out denial so the rater can meet his or her quota for the day. A claims rater at the Houston VA Regional Office was demoted in 2007 for working too slowly. She was required to finish processing 4.0 weighted cases per day, the “weighted” meaning that there were multiple issues in a given case. The first time she was warned about being slow, she’d been completing 3.78 cases each day. After the rater was demoted she took the matter to court and lost. She appealed and recently lost that case, too. The appeal-denial document is full of who did what when (such as the rater’s claim that the standards were lowered after she was demoted, which they were), but it doesn’t give a full picture from the veteran’s point of view. What’s missing from the equation is accuracy. Going strictly by the numbers (how many she completed), they’re missing the point, which is: How many did she do RIGHT? What I’d want to know before deciding the case is how many came back? How many were appealed and overturned based on something she did wrong or overlooked in her rush? So, keep this in mind: When you’re filing a claim, yours could be at the end of the day when the adjuster has to rush, has to complete just one more to meet the productivity quota -- and denies the claim. Makes you wonder how often that happens. Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 328536475, or send e-mail to (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

For Advertising Call 1.417.230.7055 TIDBITS ALL OVER THE WORLD


This week Tidbits heads back over to Europe and further north as we visit this constitutional monarchy on the Western Scandinavian Peninsula. Let’s learn more about the Kingdom of Norway! • The capital of Norway is Oslo. • Norway is bordered by Sweden, Finland and Russia, the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. • The currency of Norway is the krone. • 1 US dollar = 5.41 krones. • The Kingdom of Norway is Koneriket Norge in Norwegian. • A fjord is a narrow but long and deep inlet of water created by glacial activity. Norways coastline is peppered with fjords. • The Sognefjord is the largest fjord in Norway and the second longest in the world. It is 127 miles (205 km) long and, at its deepest, is 4,291 ft (1,308 m) below sea level. • King Harald V, the reigning monarch of Norway, is a second cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. • As a great, great grandson to King Edward VII of England, King Harald is 62nd in the line of succession to the British throne. • King Harald represented Norway in yachting in the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1968. • Norway has a population of 4.6 million. • Norway is six hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone. • Norway declared its independence from Sweden on June 7, 1905. • Norway is the world’s third largest exporter of oil. The country exported over 2.714 million barrels of oil per day as of 2005. • One must be at least sixteen years of age to serve in the Norwegian military during wartime. Otherwise you must be at least seventeen if male and eighteen if female.

• It was award-winning author Robert A. Heinlein, widely known as one of the Grand Masters of science fiction, who made the following sage observation: “Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” • Have you ever heard of a claque? Probably not, since their effectiveness depends largely upon others not knowing they exist. A claque is a group of people who have been hired to make a show seem more successful by applauding the performers. • In ancient China it was believed that poison would cause anything made of silver to turn black -- which explains why Chinese emperors used chopsticks made of the valuable metal. • Widely reported in the media this year have been the 200th anniversary of the births of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, but there’s another birthday that’s gotten

Norway maintains a territorial claim to a portion of Antartica, called Queen Maud Land, and its continental shelf. • The northern third of Norway is located within the arctic circle. • Galdhøpiggen is Norway’s highest mountain. It is 1.5 miles (2,469 m) tall. • Archaeological findings show that Norway has been inhabited since the 6th millennium B.C. • Norwegian artist Edvard Munch is an Expressionist painter best known for his composition The Scream, which is often cited with Whistler’s Mother, American Gothic and the Mona Lisa as the best known paintings of all time. • Lærdal Tunnel in western Norway is the longest road tunnel in the world at 15.2 miles (24.5 km) long. It was started in 1995 and completed in 2000. • Grammy nominees a-ha, best known for their song “Take On Me,” are Norwegian. • Oslo has sent a Christmas tree to the United Kingdom every year since 1947. • Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl led the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947. Heyerdahl hypothesized that ancient South Americans could have migrated to Polynesia by sea. Aboard the Kon-Tiki raft, based on ancient Incan rafts, he and a team set sail from Peru and into the Pacific Ocean to prove this point • It was a 101 day, 4,300 mile (8,000 km) trip which ended when they hit a coral reef off the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia on August 7, 1947, proving that migration via raft was possible.

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somewhat less press: This year Guinness turns 250. In was in 1759 that Arthur Guinness started brewing his celebrated beer -- and got a remarkably good real-estate deal, too. He signed a 9,000-year lease on the now-famous St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin, paying 45 British pounds per year for the privilege. • As summer -- and bathing-suit season - approaches, you might be interested to know that the most popular type of cosmetic surgery in the United States is liposuction. • Most lizards are harmless reptiles, but there are some that are known to be venomous. Rather than avoiding these rare creatures, however, there are some who seek them out for the very venom that makes them dangerous. It seems that there’s a component to the venom that causes blood pressure to drop in humans, which could save thousands of lives. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

Teach a Child to Read

Remember how many times you enjoyed a good book as a child -- or maybe hundreds of books? Think about how much they enriched your life, and the characters (like Huck Finn) and stories (“The Boxcar Children,” perhaps) that you remember with a smile. What if there were no favorite characters or tales you recall because you never learned to love reading? Across the country there are too many children who haven’t formed a relationship with the printed page. But there’s a solution, and you can help. Consider becoming a reading tutor for a young child. Experience Corps [www.experiencecorps .org] has had some wonderful results with its award-winning program. With groups in 23 cities, it matched senior volunteer tutors with young children last year and had significant results: The students paired with a senior tutor made 60 percent more progress than other students in two important areas, comprehension and sounding out words. The students benefited from the one-on-one attention with higher test scores and increased selfconfidence. The seniors also benefited, which is no surprise. According to the study, seniors who tutored showed an increase in cognitive ability and physical activity. If there’s no Experience Corps near you, you can still help. If teaching children to love to read and increasing their skills appeals to you, check with the principal of a school near you for a possible training seminar that could give you the necessary skills. You might have to get a background check before you start. Ask about any local classes given over the summer so you can be all set to go with school starts in the fall. If you want to get a head start and see what it’s all about, take a look at the information at Literacy Connections [www.literacy].

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 (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

Tidbits® of Branson Area


Hwy 65 Bus

Hollister 6th Ave

Hwy 65


Harrison, AR

Hollister 6th Ave


Hwy 76

Hwy 76 E

Amazing deals on all items!

College Ave

Write to Larry Cox in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.



Branson Landing

Hwy 76

Q: Several years ago I inherited four cast-iron mechanical banks from a distant relative. During a recent edition of the Antiques Roadshow on PBS, a collector had a small collection that included at least two banks that were similar to ones I have. I almost fell out of my chair when I heard what the appraiser said they were worth. Is there a guide so I can get a better idea of how much my banks are worth? -- Will, St. Johnsbury, Vt. A: The market for cast-iron mechanical banks has shown solid, sustained growth due to the interest of serious collectors who cherish these amazing artifacts of popular culture. Although banks that display some form of action while accepting a coin date back to ancient Greece and Rome, most collectors are interested in those manufactured between 1867 and 1928 in Germany, England and the United States. There were at least 2,000 types crafted during this period, and at least 80 percent of all cast-iron banks produced in America were made by a single company, the J.E. Stephens Company, based in Cromwell, Conn. Dan Morphy, an international expert, has compiled one of the better guides for collectors. The Official Price Guide to Mechanical Banks features more than 900 banks with up-to-date values for mechanical banks, trade cards and related items.This helpful guide is illustrated and user-friendly.The book is $24.95 and may be ordered from the publisher, House of Collectibles, Random House Information Group, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019, or One of the better organizations is the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America, P.O. Box 13323, Pittsburgh, PA 15242; Check out the group’s impressive Web site at *** Q: I have a cane that was sold during the Chicago Century of Progress Fair in 1933. Whom can I contact about it? -- Cletus, Palm Bay, Fla. A: Bindy Bitterman is the owner of Eureka! Antiques, Nostalgia and Collectibles shop in Evanston, Ill., and she specializes in Chicago World’s Fair items and other Windy City memorabilia. Contact her at 705 West Washington, Evanston, IL 60202;

Hwy 65 Bus College Ave

Non-Profit Thrift Stores MAP

by Larry Cox

Hwy 76 E

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Harrison, AR

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Re-Tail Shop (Humane Society) Salvation Army By the Way (Branson Christian Church)

Boys and Girls Club Pink Door (Skaggs Hospital) Taneyhills Library Church Army United Methodist Church Hiding Place


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Re-Tail Shop (Humane Society) Salvation Army By the Way (Branson Christian Church)

Boys and Girls Club Pink Door (Skaggs Hospital) Taneyhills Library Church Army United Methodist Church Hiding Place

306 N. Bus 65 203 W. Atlantic 209 S. Commercial E. Hwy 76 Turkey Creek Center 4th and College 614 W. College 1208 W. Hwy 76 1205 W. Hwy 76

298-4724 337-8269 336-6797 334-3770 335-6990 335-2223 339-3997 334-2459 337-9898

306 N. Bus 65 203 W. Atlantic 209 S. Commercial E. Hwy 76 Turkey Creek Center 4th and College 614 W. College 1208 W. Hwy 76 1205 W. Hwy 76

298-4724 337-8269 336-6797 334-3770 335-6990 335-2223 339-3997 334-2459 337-9898

program is part of the Taney County which is a cooperative effort of and

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Is your logo getting lost? It’s time to put your logo to work! Call Andre or come by and see what we have to offer in all your advertising apparel needs! Mention you saw this ad in Tidbits and receive 10% off

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Tidbits® of Branson Area 1. Name three of the four Florida Marlins pitchers who have tossed a no-hitter. 2. Lou Brock stole at least 30 bases a year for how many consecutive seasons? 3. How many seasons did it take football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant to win a national championship at Alabama? 4. Only two players have back-to-back NBA Slam Dunk Contest crowns. Name them. 5. When was the last time the Original Six NHL teams all made the playoffs in the same season? 6. How many World Cup men’s soccer finals have ended in shootouts? 7. Between 1947 and 1953, how many times did Jersey Joe Walcott fight for the world heavyweight championship?

• #18: Eating turkey will make you fall asleep. TRUE & FALSE. Turkey does contain the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body produce a chemical that plays a key role in sleep. However, it is produced in such small amounts that eating turkey isn’t going to make you feel sleepy. When you do get tired after the Thanksgiving meal, that sleepy feeling is more likely caused by the combined efforts of a heavy meal full of carbohydrates and your digestive system working in high gear. • #19: Ice cubes made with hot water will freeze faster than ice cubes made with cold water. FALSE. A tray of hot water and a tray of cold water will freeze into ice cubes in the same amount of time. • #20: Cooking metal objects in the microwave will cause your microwave to explode. FALSE. While it won’t explode, you will severely shorten the lifespan of your microwave and probably null the warranty, so don’t try this at home. • #21: Kentucky Fried Chicken was forced to change their name to KFC because they use genetically modified “chickens” that aren’t considered to be real chickens by the FDA. FALSE. KFC changed its name for multiple reasons and mostly because of this: they had started serving more than just fried chicken and didn’t want to be labeled as only serving such. They do not have an army of genetically modified chickens. • #22: Domesticated turkeys are so stupid that they will look up at the rain and drown. FALSE. A turkey’s basic instinct is to huddle to its mother for shelter in the rain. A domesticated turkey, often without a mother, still has this instinct and will not know to get out of the rain, which can lead to death from exposure to the elements.

1. Al Leiter (1996), Kevin Brown (1997), A.J. Burnett (2001) and Anibal Sanchez (2006). 2. Fourteen seasons (1964-77). 3. It came in his fourth season (1961). 4. Michael Jordan (1987-88) and Jason Richardson (2002-03). 5. It was in 1996. 6. Two -- 1994 (Brazil over Italy) and 2006 (Italy over France). 7. Eight times -- twice against Joe Louis (two losses), four times against Ezzard Charles (2-2) and twice versus Rocky Marciano (0-2).

URBAN LEGENDS (continued):

(c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

• Use a window squeegee to remove hair from compacted carpets or upholstery. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

• “Nail-polish remover can remove burnedon plastic from the top of a toaster oven. If you’ve ever forgotten to remove the bread bag, you can appreciate this tip.” -- B.P., via e-mail

Sweet Potato Side

It’s grilling season, and if you’re looking for a new side dish to go with pork or ham, look no further. 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, packed in fruit juice, undrained 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise 1/4 cup no-fat sour cream 3 cups diced cooked sweet potatoes 1 cup chopped celery 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 1/2 cup seedless raisins In a large bowl, combine undrained pineapple, mayonnaise and sour cream. Add sweet potatoes, celery, walnuts and raisins. Mix gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Gently stir again just before serving. Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings. HINT: To plump up raisins without “cooking,” place in a glass measuring cup and microwave on HIGH for 20 seconds. • Each serving equals: 142 calories, 3g fat, 3g protein, 28g carbs, 182mg sodium, 40mg calcium, 2g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Starch/Carb, 1 Fruit, 1/2 Fat; Carb Choices: 2. Visit Healthy Exchanges at, or call toll-free at 1-800-766-8961 to sign-up for our FREE monthly newsletter. All you pay is the shipping and handling. This is the only national food newsletter for diabetics, heart/ cholesterol concerns and healthy weight loss. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

from our garage to the house, my husband used both magnetic paint and chalkboard paint. It’s the door we use most to come in, and we write notes to one another there.” -- K.S. in Wisconsin • Children’s art can be used in many ways: laminated as a place mat, temporary bookmark, stationery for family members or decoration for gifts (when cut and pasted onto plain-color wrapping paper).

• “We’re a busy family, so each week the • Go Green Tip: When cooking, use the size pot that fits the burner, or the burner dinner menu is posted on the fridge in that is the best size for the pot. A 6-inch a plastic paper-holding sleeve. Behind pot on an 8-inch burner wastes more it are the recipes or instructions for that than 40 percent of the burner’s heat, week’s meals. Whoever gets home first according to the U.S. Environmental gets things started. That person also pulls Protection Agency. anything that needs to be defrosted for the next meal. It has worked to help Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, everyone do their share.” -- P.L. in Ohio • Another busy family tip: “On the door

Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

For Advertising Call 1.417.230.7055

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Performing Arts Academy

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Tidbits® of Branson Area ��

Adopting a Cat

By Samantha Mazzotta

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The Tidbits® Paper is a Division of Tidbits Media, Inc. • Montgomery, AL 36106 (800) 523-3096 • E-mail: • All Rights Reserved ©2008

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I am planning to adopt a cat, and I have decided that the local shelter is the best place to do so -- not classified ads or a cat breeder. Do you have any advice on things to look for? -- Sally in Branson, Mo. DEAR SALLY: First, congratulations on your decision. I agree that the local shelter is often the best place to look for a new cat. Shelters always have many pets looking for a home, but besides that, many of them offer pet ownership classes and discounts or rebates for medical procedures such as spaying/neutering. You likely will be asked a few questions by the shelter personnel before you can even go and look at a pet. They need to make sure you are able to care for a cat throughout its life. Shelters do not allow college students or vacationers to adopt. They also will explain any fees or additional requirements for adoption. When it’s time to find your new cat, look over each prospect closely and ask plenty of questions. How old is the cat? Is it already sterilized? What is its general temperament (sometimes hard to tell in a stressed environment)? Does it have any known health issues? Shelter personnel will give you as much information as they can about each cat. Give prospects a visual once-over from nose to tail. Healthy cats have a clean nose with no wheezing, white teeth and pink gums, clear and lively eyes, and clean ears. Lift the tail and check for signs of diarrhea or distress such as swelling. The fur should be fluffy and clean with no bare patches, and not ratty- or spiky-looking. Watch how it moves, runs and plays. Once you’ve adopted a new companion, schedule a veterinary appointment as soon as possible for a physical checkup to make sure your cat is as healthy as possible. Send your tips, questions and comments to Paws Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or e-mail them to (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Page 11 American/Okinawan Kempo Karate

Thrift Store Finds Aren’t All Bargains While everyone is trying hard to save a dollar these days, there are some things you should not to buy at yard sales, church sales or thrift shops. Here are some examples: • Stained clothing, unless you can tell at a glance that it will be easy to get out. • Clothing without a laundry-care tag. • Bed linens and mattresses. Bedbugs are becoming an epidemic in some parts of the country, and it’s not worth taking a chance for a low-cost set of sheets. Watch the sales in discount stores and buy when the price is even lower. • Puzzles and toys with the parts tossed in a box. Unless you want to put it all together right there, you could get home and find that you don’t have all of it. • Shoes for children. Rule of thumb for kids is: Dress them in rags but put good shoes on their feet. The younger the child, the more important this is. By putting someone else’s shoes on a foot that’s still developing, you can set the child up for potential foot problems down the road. • New shoes for adults: If someone has donated a new pair of shoes, chances are they weren’t comfortable. If you really want them, walk around the store in them to make sure they’ll feel OK over time. • Dishware with scratches. There could be bacteria embedded in the scratches that you’ll never get out. Skip metalware too, such as baking pans, especially if they have rust. • Any electronics you can’t try out completely in the store. A “works fine” note on the item doesn’t mean it actually works, or it could mean that only some of the components work. In some areas it costs money to take unwanted electronics to the dump, and some charity shops won’t take them if they don’t work. Test before you buy. More hints: • Look for name brands. The item will likely be of a better quality. It’s a bonus if you find new tags still on it, but even so, check carefully for tears or seam problems in clothing. • If you want to hunt for bargains, go to thrift stores or church sales in higher-end neighborhoods or towns. The merchandise that’s donated will be of a better quality. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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We all know what a phobia is, but if you have an unhealthy fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth, what do you call it? Tidbits has the answer to that and more in our list of our favorite phobias! • ablutophobia: fear of washing or bathing • agateophobia: fear of insanity • alektorophobia: fear of chickens • alliumphobia: fear of garlic • ambulophobia: fear of walking • apeirophobia: fear of infinity • arachibutyrophpbia: fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth • aulophobia: fear of flutes • aurophobia: fear of gold • automatonophobia: fear of ventriloquist dummies, animatronic creatues, wax statues,etc. • barophobia: fear of gravity • batrachophobia: fear of amphibians • bibliophobia: fear of books • blennophobia: fear of slime • bogyphobia: fear of bogies or the bogeyman • caligynephobia: fear of beautiful women • cathisophobia: fear of sitting • chaetophobia: fear of hair • chrometophobia: fear of money • consecotaleophobia: fear of chopsticks • coulrophobia: fear of clowns • dendrophobia: fear of trees • dromophobia: fear of crossing streets • electrophobia: fear of electricity • epistemophobia: fear of knowledge • euphobia: fear of hearing good news • geliophobia: fear of laughter • geniophobia: fear of chins • geumaphobia: fear of taste • heliophpbia: fear of the sun • helminthophobia: fear of being infested by worms • hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: fear of long words • hobophobia: fear of bums/hobos • homichlophobia: fear of fog • ichthyophobia: fear of fish • linonophobia: fear of string • logophobia: fear of words • metrophobia: fear of poetry • mnemophobia: fear of memories • nephophobia: fear of clouds • nomatophobia: fear of names • numerophobia: fear of numbers • olfactophobia: fear of smells • oneirophobia: fear of dreams or falling asleep • optophobia: fear of opening one’s eyes • panophobia: fear of everything • paraskavedekatriaphobia: fear of Friday 13th • papaphobia: fear of the Pope • pediophobia: fear of dolls • phagophobia: fear of swallowing • phobophobia: fear of developing a phobia • phronemophobia: fear of thinking • pogonophobia: fear of beards • vestiphobia: fear of clothing • zoophobia: fear of animals

Ice Breaker

Two women sat across the room from us at a restaurant having lunch. I think it was some type of reunion ... maybe college roommates who hadn’t seen each other in decades, or perhaps they were long-lost cousins. Shortly after they sat down to eat their salads, I heard one woman ask the other, “Are you happy with how your life turned out?” Talk about an icebreaker. Forget warming up in the shallow end and then diving into the deep waters, forget asking, “How’s the weather in your part of the country?” or “How’s your diverticulitis?” The question the woman asked requires attention of both the asker and the hearer. It quickly dug deep past the light and polite conversations so many of us are used to -- the safe talk that keeps us on the surface with so many people in our lives. The woman’s question said to me that she wanted to know her friend. In journalism school I was taught to not ask a close-ended question, one to which a person could answer “yes” or “no.” But this question defies that rule, I think, because the question makes a person reflect and want to share her story. And I believe

that when we get to a certain age, with a little wisdom behind us and a whole lot of gray in our hair, if there is hair left, we begin to want to share our stories in an effort to look at our life and answer the other big questions: Did I do all that I wanted to do, and have I made a difference? The woman’s answer, what I could hear of it, was an interesting story about career, family and peace marches in the 1960s. Sorry. It was the kind of conversation you couldn’t help but hear. I thought of so many people in my life I want to ask this question of, people who are at the place in their lives where they can stand back and survey the layers of their years: careers, family, relationships, hobbies, causes, loves, loves lost, pain, death, happiness, accomplishment, failure, faith. All the stuff that life is made of. I wish I had asked my grandparents this question. But I’ve vowed to honor other aging family members with it. “Are you happy with how your life turned out?” Go ask someone today, and be ready to listen. Write to Taprina Milburn in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

Profile for Gordon Bingham

Tidbits of Branson #53  

May 8, 2009

Tidbits of Branson #53  

May 8, 2009


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