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D © 2008E



August 8, 2008

Vol. 2, Issue 33

Family Press, LLC

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THOSE SUMMER GAMES by Bonnie St. Clair

The Games of the XXIX Olympiad are offcially underway in Beijing, China. Join Tidbits as we dig “higher, faster, longer” for Summer Olympics facts of the past and present. • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) votes on a host city about seven years prior to the actual event. (So that means, for example, that Beijing was chosen as the host city for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games way back in 2001.) Due to this early deadline, cities that hope to be considered as a host begin work at least 10 years in advance. • What are the benefts for a city that hosts the Olympic Games? Plenty of international recognition, advertising dollars from sponsorship deals, and lots of increased tourism. The IOC rates each prospective city on 11 criteria, including infrastructure, security, accommodations, and transportation. • For winning cities, the citizens are often the hardest hit. Increased taxes are almost guaranteed, since new facilities often have to be built or rebuilt to accommodate various events. The winning city has to deal with lots of construction before the Games, and a food of foreign tourists during them, and the long and dreary cleanup afterward. turn the page for more!

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Tidbits® of Branson Area THOSE SUMMER GAMES (continued):

• No women allowed? Yes, the ancient Olympics in Greece were for men only. In fact, women were not even allowed inside the stadium as spectators, since men competed in the nude. There were no team events back then, either; only individual contests. And no medals were awarded; winners were crowned atop the head with a laurel wreath. • The modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896; and then in Paris in 1900. Four years later, they came to St. Louis, Missouri. These were the frst Games to be held outside of Europe, so competitors from far-fung locations such as Asia and Australia had to travel thousands of miles by ship to reach U. S. shores, and then head deep in to the interior of the country to reach St. Louis. Many countries simply couldn’t afford the journey. Predictably, the 1904 Games were dominated by American competitors. • Despite being dogged by controversy, the 1904 Games had its share of standout athletes. These include gymnast George Eyser of the USA, who took the gold on the parallel bars and vault, won the silver on the pommel horse, and nabbed a bronze on the horizontal bar. Such victories would be impressive on their own, but consider one important fact: Eyser wore a prosthetic leg, since he’d lost his in a train accident when he was younger.

Happy Birthday ABS and Bosch It’s not often we give kudos to companies for inventing things, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. Bosch is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the antilock braking system (ABS), a milestone contribution to driving safety. Developed by Bosch and frst introduced in 1978, ABS has been a major step forward for motorists and the automotive industry, and paved the way for electronic stability-control systems. Bosch was founded in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as a “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” In 1936, Bosch was granted a patent for a “mechanism to prevent locking of the wheels of a motor vehicle.” In 1978, the frst electronically controlled antilock braking system, ABS 2, was installed in cars made by MercedesBenz and, shortly after, by BMW. “ABS utilizes sensors at each wheel tied to a central computer to prevent the wheels from locking when braking hard, allowing drivers to brake safely in emergency situations,” said Rob Backode, group product manager for Bosch Braking Systems. Motorists have come to expect ABS as a standard part of any modern-day car. And for those who have ever been in an emergency situation and leaned on the brakes really hard, ABS is indeed a lifesaver. I know, I’ve been there. Years ago, cars without ABS would lock up all four tires, and any type of steering during braking was impossible. Not so with ABS, as drivers nowadays can drive around a problem while still hard on the brake pedal. Additionally, Bosch systems like Electronic Stability Program and Traction Control Systems both are based on ABS. Well done, Bosch. Today’s roadways are safer than ever. Write to Greg Zyla in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

For Advertising Call 1.417.230.7055 THOSE SUMMER GAMES (continued): • The f rst Olympic superstar was undoubtedly Jim Thorpe. The Native American had already lettered in 11 different sports at college by the time he arrived in Stockholm for the 1912 Games. He took one gold in the pentathlon, and then another in the two-day decathlon. Sweden’s King Gustav V personally presented Thorpe with a silver chalice in the shape of a Viking ship and said, “Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world.” Jim casually replied, “Thanks, King.” • Mark Spitz competed in seven swimming events at the 1972 Olympics. He won seven gold medals, and set seven world records. He arrived barefoot and carrying his sneakers during one medal presentation. As the crowd cheered him, he waved with the hand that was holding his shoes. Soviet off cials wasted no time in accusing Spitz of commercialism, and demanded that his medals be revoked. (The sneakers were old, Spitz wasn’t being paid, and the medals stayed.)

1. Is the book of Ruth in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. “Praise ye the Lord” begins and ends which fve consecutive Psalms? 1-5, 63-67, 75-79, 146-150 3. Which of these plants is not mentioned in the Bible (KJV)? Bulrush, Rose, Daisy, Lily 4. How many days did the children of Israel weep for Moses’ death? 2, 30, 50, 100 5. From 2 Kings 8, where did Elisha visit a sick king? Damascus, Nazareth, Salamis, Neapolis 6.In Acts 4:36, who was the “son of consolation”? Immanuel, Peter, Paul, Barnabas

• For eight months leading up to the 1992 Games, Reebok ran a series of “Dan and Dave” commercials, featuring Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson. The two American decathletes were considered evenly matched. Which one would bring home the gold from Barcelona? As it turned out, Dave had trouble with the pole vault at the Trials and failed to qualify for the Olympics. Dan f nished third at the Games, and Reebok quietly folded its $30 million ad campaign.

“I believe I found the missing link between animal and civilized man. It is us.” -- Konrad Lorenz If you’re one of those folks who loves to strum an imaginary guitar along with the music, here’s an invention you need to know about: Scientists in Australia have created a T-shirt just for air guitarists. The shirt has motion sensors that relay the wearer’s movements to a computer, allowing these wanna-be musicians to play real music. It is not known today which politician in 1974 made the following observation: “Solar energy is not something that is going to come in overnight.” It also is not know if the play on words was intentional. In the 1860s, there was actually legal currency printed in the United States with an image of Santa Claus on it. It was issued by Saint Nicholas National bank of New York City. It’s been projected that within the next 12 years, only 15 percent of the world’s Englishspeaking population will be native speakers of the language.

Forbes magazine has ranked the most expensive sports to participate in. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that yacht racing, vintage auto racing and polo top the list. It was about a year ago when people on a f ight from Peru to New York got a bit of a surprise when they noticed that one of their fellow passengers had a small monkey peeking out from under his hat. Evidently, the man was trying to smuggle the primate into the United States. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer John Steinbeck was a creature of habit. Every morning he sharpened exactly 24 pencils, and he wrote with each one until it was blunted. When he was out of sharp pencils, he was through writing for the day.

(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of Branson Area

I suppose this is a topic that lends itself very well to analogy. She was the best ... er ... cook you ever dated. I mean, you really, really loved her cooking. You couldn’t wait for her to bring over a crockpot of stew, a tray of lasagna, a six-pack of really good beer. But then, in a tearful mess, she broke up with you. You were stunned. You had been together so long ... but you had to accept it. She had been hinting about it for some time. But then she called late one night and said she wanted you back! You ran through the woods, you ran through her yard, you ran up the back porch, you ran until you thought your chest would explode -- but she wasn’t there. She’d changed her mind. So you started dating someone else. Again she came back. And even though your new girlfriend doesn’t cook as good as she did, you don’t care anymore. It’s time to move on. And such is the story of Brett Favre. Whatever you want to say about the future Hall of Fame quarterback, as soon as he started crying at press conferences and acting like a desperate housewife, it was over for him as far as I’m concerned. Some people need to move on. As predicted in this space, Jason Taylor did just that. When Washington came calling for the 33year-old sack leader, Miami was more than happy to oblige. It’s not that Taylor was a bad guy to have around the Dolphins clubhouse. He was the 2006 player of the year, he’s started 130 consecutive games, but he got sideways with Bill Parcells in the midst of a rebuild, and the draft picks were more than enough compensation to send the reality star off dancing to the suburbs of Maryland. Miami moved on. In New York, Eli Manning got rid of his last annoyance in tight end Jeremy Shockey. The year before, he shed running back Tiki Barber. What did both have in common? Neither of them played on a championship Giant team, and both showed a lack of respect for their coach and feld general. Shockey was an easy target both on the feld and off. He had heart, he was physical, and he could move the ball up feld. Now he’s off to the Big Easy, where the Super Bowl Giants surely wish him well. And it’s nice to see that the world has apparently decided to get over the 9/16ths of a second’s glimpse of breast that Janet Jackson bared to the world four years ago. Last month, a federal appeals court threw out a $550,000 indecency fne against CBS for airing the “wardrobe malfunction.” The verdict: move on. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter and publisher of The Parkville (Mo.) Luminary. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Better Health Care for Women Veterans Back in 2005, the Journal of General Internal Medicine published a study that concluded that ambulatory health care for both male and female veterans at VA medical centers was equal in quality. The study looked at things like eye exams and fu and pneumonia shots. The Department of Veterans Affairs, of course, patted itself on the back, ignoring the not-so-small fact that all of those things are gender-neutral. Everybody gets a fu shot. Everybody gets an eye exam. Overall, however, the VA’s reputation for women veterans health care hasn’t been good. In April 2008, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, fled Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act. The legislation asked for studies on barriers to health care, the health consequences of serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effects on the mental, physical and reproductive health

of female veterans, as well as developing a program to treat female veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Just recently, Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake said at the VA National Summit on Women Veterans’ Issues that, “We are reinventing ourselves by expanding our womencentric focus to initiate new programs that meet the needs of women veterans.” What he didn’t say was that just weeks earlier, a healthcare quality review surfaced that plainly said that women veterans aren’t getting care up to the same standards as men. On June 26, the Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act legislation fnally came out of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee after being blended into an overall omnibus bill that includes other veterans issues. It has a lot of supporters. Peake also didn’t say that the summit on women veterans is only held every four years. That alone speaks volumes. Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to

(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

For Advertising Call 1.417.230.7055

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Calling All Octogenarians If you are age 79 or older and have a sibling at least that age, the National Institute on Aging is looking for you. The Long Life Family Study is about to begin, and it’s looking for as many families as possible to try to learn why certain people live so long. If you become part of the study, you’ll have a two-hour interview either at your home or at a clinic, and a blood sample will be taken. You’ll be given a physical assessment (nothing too hard), and you’ll be paid $25 for participating. Afterward, you’ll get the results of your blood sample. The institute will even send the results to your doctor, if you wish. All of the information will be kept conf dential. It seems they’ve thought of everything to make us comfortable about participating. While researchers hope to f nd volunteers within a three-hour drive of Pittsburgh, Boston or New York, many people have relatives scattered all over, so they’re set up to interview other siblings across the country, either in person or by phone or mail. Your children and grandchildren (or even a friend) are welcome to be present at the interview too, in case they can f ll in additional information. The results of the study will help researchers for years to come, so if you qualify (or know someone who does) it’s important to participate. Even if we’re not yet 79, we know people who are, and some of them also have siblings that age. We need to pass this information along to them. If you would like to take part in the study or have questions, you can call one of the three tollfree numbers: 800-304-4317, 888-333-6327 or 800-872-3653. 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) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

• 1992 was the f rst year that “professional” athletes were allowed to compete in the Olympics. That was also the year that the Dream Team played for the U.S. in men’s basketball. Led by NBA legends Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan, the team easily won the gold, defeating competing teams by an average of 44 points.

• Atlanta hosted the 1996 Games. There, one complaint that was heard from several coaches (but none of the athletes) was that the food in the Olympic Village was simply too good – athletes were eating too much and gaining weight! Olympians had a choice of over 150 different items at each meal, including 22 types of bread and 15 kinds of cheese. McDonald’s also had f ve kiosks in the Village, marking the f rst time a branded restaurant catered the Olympic Games. • Much was made of Adolf Hitler refusing to shake American gold medalist Jesse Owens’ hand at the 1936 Olympics. But, as Owens later observed, President Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t shake his hand, either. Nor did FDR even send a congratulatory note or telegram. In Germany, Owens could ride the same trains and stay in the same hotels as white athletes. But when he returned to the U. S., Owens had to use the freight elevator in order to attend a reception in his honor at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel. • Badminton made its debut as an Olympic sport at the 1992 Games. The projectile employed in the sport is commonly called a “birdie” but is more properly termed a “shuttlecock.” Professional-grade shuttlecocks are made with 16 goose feathers attached to a cork base. The recent bird f u epidemic in China has led to, of all things, a feather shortage. Naturally, this has driven the price of shuttlecocks up by almost 50 percent. • It is a tradition that, in the Parade of Nations during the Opening Ceremonies, the team from Greece always marches f rst. The rest of the countries follow in alphabetical order, except for the host nation, which always brings up the rear. Beginning in 1998, the U.S. team now parades in specially made uniforms by major sportswear designers, rather than the traditional suit and tie. • Nine new events will be introduced at the Beijing Olympics. They include two BMX cycling contests, a women’s steeplechase, and even marathon swimming disciplines. Changes to the format of the table tennis and fencing contests are also expected.

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Tidbits® of Branson Area

Hovering Parents

An orchestra is an instrumental ensemble, usually fairly large with string, brass, woodwind sections, and possibly a percussion section as well. The term orchestra derives from the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus. The orchestra grew by accretion throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but changed very little in composition during the course of the twentieth century. In the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy the households of nobles had musicians to provide music for dancing and the court. With the emergence of the theatre, particularly opera, in the early 17th century, music was increasingly written for groups of players in combination, which is the origin of orchestral playing. In the 17th century and early 18th century, instrumental groups were taken from all of the available talent. The typical symphony orchestra consists of four proportionate groups of similar musical instruments, generally appearing in the musical score in the following order: Woodwinds: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon (double bassoon) Brass: 2 to 8 horns, 2 to 5 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 bass trombone and 0 to 2 tubas Percussion: timpani, snare drum, tenor drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, wood block, tambourine, marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel, gong (tam-tam), tubular bells, etc. Strings: harp(s), 16 to 30 violins, 8 to 12 violas, 8 to 12 violoncellos (cellos), and 5 to 8 double basses. The Greek word for orchestra literally means “a dancing place”. In some theaters, the orchestra is the area of seats directly in front of the stage (called primafila or platea); the term more properly applies to the place in a theatre, or concert hall reserved for the musicians. In modern times, the musicians are usually directed by a conductor, although early orchestras did not have one, using instead the concertmaster or the harpsichordist playing the continuo for this role. Some modern orchestras also do without conductors, particularly smaller orches-tras and those specializing in historically accurate performances of baroque music and earlier. The most frequently performed repertoire for a symphony orchestra is Western classical music or opera. However, orchestras are sometimes used in popular music, and are used extensively in film music. About the author: David Lomascola is an adjunct professor of piano at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He performs his show, The David Lomascola Show featuring his million dollar piano at the Branson Star Theatre. You can learn more about Lomascola on li ne at

The article was about me. I read it and saw my future: “More Parents Hover, Study Shows.” The lead paragraph pinned me down even more: “College administrators grumble about the rise of helicopter parents -- moms and dads who keep hovering over the lives of their children even after they leave for college. But helicopter parents aren’t just hovering. They’re swooping down in attack mode.” I’ve known this about myself since the day I brought my oldest child home from the hospital. I hovered over her cradle to watch her breathe. I hovered over her high chair. I micro-managed her play dates, her naptimes, her sleep time, her free time way past the time I should have. I tend to make decisions and take responsibility for things that my children -who long ago crawled out of the cradle -- should now make for themselves. But aren’t we supposed to do a lot of that as parents? Yes. We should guide them, train them, correct them, love them, but not to the point where they can’t breathe (because we are breathing for them) and want to run away from us. As a mom who was home for many years with my kids, I often had a hard time keeping this in balance. I recently went back to work and asked my oldest what it is she likes best about Mom working. “I’m able to spread my wings a little,” she said. Shocked, because I didn’t think she’d noticed I was a hovering parent, I asked her what it was like before I went to work. She mimicked a person being suffocated. My youngest had a very similar response. I got it. The hard part about being a working parent, I’m fnding, is letting go of my hovering tendencies. Thank goodness for cell phones, which give me the illusion that I’m still in control. Which leads me to another paragraph in the article I mentioned earlier. It explained that 40 years ago, going away to college was a “breaking away experience.” But cell phones have made this almost impossible for kids to make that necessary separation, the article said. So what if we have a generation of kids whose parents hover and don’t deal with their separation anxiety? Well, let me paint you a picture: Elderly parents will schedule doctor’s appointments for their graying, pot-bellied adult children; they will ask them about their regularity at the breakfast table, because it’s quite possible that the adult child will still be in the home at 50 years old. And when their adult child’s boss reprimands them or gives a negative evaluation on their performance at work, you can bet Mom or Dad will call and smooth things over. I’ve seen my future, and it’s not pretty. It’s time for less hovering and more guiding. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

For Advertising Call 1.417.230.7055 ALL THE PRESIDENTS’ TIDBITS

RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES A single electoral vote would have meant that this edition of All the Presidents’ Tidbits would review the life of Samuel J. Tilden instead of Rutherford B. Hayes. But every vote counts, and they were counted in favor of Hayes after the 1876 presidential election. Here’s the story. • Rutherford Birchard Hayes was born on October 4, 1822, in the town of Delaware, Ohio. His father died shortly after his birth, but an uncle helped fll the void in the youngster’s upbringing. “Rud,” as he was known, graduated from Harvard Law School and married Lucy Webb, a strong-willed young woman who shared his political views. Hayes set up practice in Cincinnati, and joined the then-new Republican Party. • When 1860 arrived, Hayes hoped (as nearly everyone did) that civil war in the United States could be avoided. When confict became inevitable, however, he joined the Union Army and was named a major. Although inexperienced, Hayes learned quickly, and became a fearless leader. In fact, he was wounded fve times during his service. He even rejected a seat in the House of Representatives to stay on the battlefeld. (He took the job after the war ended in 1865.) • With the popular combination of law-school smarts, leadership ability, and sheer bravery, Republicans worked quickly to get Hayes ready for the White House. He won Ohio’s gubernatorial election in 1868, and was able to keep the state on the straight-and-narrow while Andrew Johnson and Ulysses Grant struggled. Hayes earned the Republican nomination for president in 1876, and the ensuing election changed American politics forever.

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Tidbits® of Branson Area

Ty Cobb was the frst player to hit a home run in the majors both as a teen and in his 40s. Who was the second to do it? In 2007, Clay Buchholz tossed a no-hitter in his second majorleague start. Who was the last pitcher to do it in his second start? The SEC has won three of the past fve BCS football championships. Which conferences have captured the other two? Who was the last winner of the NBA’s Sixth Man Award to lead his team in points per game that season before Manu Ginobili did it for San Antonio in 2007-08? How many consecutive Olympic U.S. men’s hockey teams have been captained by Chris Chelios? Which school has won more NCAA men’s lacrosse titles -- Johns Hopkins or Syracuse? True or false: All three heavyweight title fghts between boxers Floyd Patterson and Ingemar Johansson ended in either a KO or TKO. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

Greek Tomato Salad

RUTHERFORD B. HAYES (continued): •

Are you picking tomatoes and cucumbers by the bucket? Do you love the taste of feta cheese? Then you have the makings for this great quick and easy salad. 1/2 cup Kraft fat-free mayonnaise 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium ketchup 3/4 cup fnely chopped cucumber 1/4 cup fnely chopped red onion 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives 1 teaspoon dried basil 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes

• In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and ketchup. Stir in cucumber, onion, feta cheese, olives and basil. Add tomatoes. Mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 4 (1 cup) servings. • Each serving equals: 91 calories, 3gm fat, 3gm protein, 13gm carbs, 389mg sodium, 68mg calcium, 3gm fber; Diabetic Exchanges: 2 Vegetables, 1/2 Carb; Carb Choices: 1. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

Tilden won the popular vote by more than 250,000 ballots, but a complex situation developed in the Electoral College. Tilden needed only a single vote to win the election, while Hayes needed 22. But those 22 votes were in dispute; Republicans accused Democrats of racial intimidation in four states, and refused to budge. Uncertain how to settle things, Congress put together an Electoral Commission to determine the outcome. In a compromise between the parties, all the remaining votes were awarded to Hayes, and he became the 19th president. This compromise meant concessions to help the South, and Hayes became the frst post-Civil War president to make major strides toward restoring the Union. Just a month after he took offce in 1877, Hayes began to order the removal of federal troops from the South. This action, in effect, gave the Democratic Party a foothold in the southern states that it didn’t relinquish for decades. Most importantly, Rutherford Hayes managed to clean up a corrupt federal government that had run rampant. He made it clear that civil service jobs would be awarded on merit instead of as political favors. This famously disrupted the machine run by Roscoe Conkling in New York, causing a rift in the Republican Party. To help smooth things over, James Abram Garfeld took the party’s nomination (and the election) in 1880. The infuence of political parties on the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes makes us eager to share a profound line from his inaugural address on March 5, 1877. “He serves his party best,” Hayes said, “who serves his country best.”

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ARE YOU ONE OF THE FEW? by Kelly Cadieux

There are some things that look pretty easy, yet only a select few of us are able to do them. How many of these “tricks” can you manage? • Raise one eyebrow. It’s the universal facial expression of skepticism, but not many people can do it without a fair amount of practice. If you’re interested in training yourself to cock an eyebrow, start by looking in a mirror, raising both your eyebrows, and then lowering just one of them with your hand. Now let go and lower the other brow. Do this a few times to learn the correct muscle movement necessary for eyebrow control. • Lick your elbow. It is possible, believe it or not, though it helps to be unusually fexible. In fact, there are enough people on the planet that can lick their own elbows that the folks at the Guinness Book of World Records get several calls and emails per day regarding this feat. If you can’t do it, great, but we don’t suggest forcing your joints to bend in ways they don’t want to. (Why dislocate your shoulder if you don’t have to?)

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Tidbits® of Branson Area

ONE OF THE FEW? (continued): • Touch your nose with your tongue. This trick depends entirely on genetics – some of us can do it, and some of us can’t, no matter how hard we try. To see if you’ve got what it takes, stick your tongue out straight, making a point with the tip. Now stretch your upper lip down so that it covers your upper front teeth. Push your tongue upwards with your lower lip while curling the tip of it toward your nose. Diffcult, isn’t it? (Thankfully so!) • Sneeze with your eyes open. This isn’t exactly a “trick,” but a refex that is controlled by the brain. Most people close their eyes when they sneeze. Those that don’t are simply lacking the necessary refex. We have no conscious control over the situation. • Rolling your tongue. The ability to roll or fold one’s tongue is another trait that is determined by a particular dominant gene. So it’s a trick you might be able to “do, ” but that you cannot “learn.” Researchers have studied this phenomenon in detail, revealing that 64 percent of males and 67 percent of females have what it takes to roll their tongues.

Did Guinea Pig Suffer Heart Attack or Stroke? By Samantha Mazzotta DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I had a 3-year-old A guinea pig that has suffered a stroke will guinea pig named “Rocky,” and a few months ago he usually be paralyzed down one side of its body, with died. The way it happened was, frst he was staring its head tilted at an acute angle to its body, and its at our fsh tank. Then all of a sudden he fipped over eyes may have rapid jerky movements. onto his back and started to shake. After he stopped The reason an owner should differentiate shaking, he was breathing but he couldn’t get up. between the two is that, particularly in the case Unfortunately at that time, we couldn’t do much of a heart attack, the sooner the guinea pig gets because it was a school day. When my father came emergency treatment the better chance it has of surviving. home to check on him, he had died. What do you think happened to him? -- Abigail O. It sounds like you were observant of your pet’s behavior prior to his becoming ill. Guinea pigs can DEAR ABIGAIL: I’m sorry to hear about your show few overt signs of deteriorating health. Owners pet. While I can’t be sure what went wrong with must watch for symptoms like a loss of appetite (one Rocky, I suspect that he either had a heart attack or of the biggest signs), weight loss of just a couple ounces, subtle changes in behavior or changes in the a stroke. Guinea pig expert Peter Gurney, author of animal’s coat and eyes. Any of these should warrant numerous books, including “Piggy Potions” a call to the vet and a visit within 24 hours. Acute (Kingdom Books), and a Web site, “The A to Z of symptoms like Rocky’s are emergencies, and the Guinea Pigs” [ guinea pig should be taken in immediately. atozmainpage.htm] describes heart attack symptoms Send your tips, questions and comments to Paws as the guinea pig being too weak to stand, often lying Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. fat on its side, giving “great heaving breaths” and Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or e-mail having a weak and slow heartbeat. them to (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. Rusty Staub in 1963 and 1984. 2. Wilson Alvarez, for the Chicago White Sox in 1991 against Baltimore. 3. Pac-10 (Southern Cal in the 2004 season) and Big 12 (Texas in the 2005 season). 4. Ricky Pierce averaged 23 points per game for Milwaukee in 1989-90. 5. Three (1998, 2002, 2006). 6. Syracuse has won 10 titles (although one was later vacated by the NCAA) and Johns Hopkins has won nine. 7. True. Patterson won two of the three bouts.

For Advertising Call 1.417.230.7055 ONE OF THE FEW? (continued):

Is Strength Training Really Necessary? By Andrea Renee Wyatt, M.S.S., C.S.C.S.

Q: My workout routine consists of walking and occasionally riding my bicycle on a trail near my home. I work out three to four days a week, and I feel great. Over the years I have tried to do strength training as well, but I am not as excited about lifting weights as I am about the cardio exercises. Is it really necessary to do strength-training exercises, or can I stick with my favorites? A: Each type of workout has specifc objectives, and all work together to keep the body in the best shape possible. Leaving one area, such as strength training, out of the plan can keep you from truly reaching your body’s maximum potential. You are not alone, as many people choose to complete only one type of exercise because they enjoy it much more than another. Cardiovascular exercise suits some people, while strength and fexibility training is the favorites of others. Finding a balance that you can live with is the key. You might not enjoy strength training, but making it a part of your workout routine could allow you to see things differently. The benefts of strength training are extensive. Reasons to add a strength-training routine to your weekly workouts include reducing the signs of medical conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, arthritis and depression, strengthening your muscles and bones, maintaining proper weight and body-fat percentages, maintaining your body’s ability to balance, and even sleeping better. Adding strength training to your workout does not mean you have to change what you are already doing. Start by adding a few exercises intermittently while you walk. You might walk a mile, then stop to do lunges or squats for a few minutes before proceeding with your workout. If there are stairs nearby, completing a few sets of steps to help strengthen your legs would be a great way to incorporate the two. Exercises that don’t require equipment can be a great way to start. Lunges, squats, push-ups and stepups, to name just a few, are exercises you can complete before, during or even after your cardiovascular workout. Start by adding just a few exercises and then progress. The use of exercise tubes also can be a great way to complete many different strength-training exercises without the need for a large space. Exercise bands can be used under your feet while holding the handles to work the shoulder and arm muscles, and when attached to a solid, secure structure can allow you to work the muscles of your chest and back. Each band is compact and easy to store or carry, making it a great way to bring together your cardiovascular and strength exercises. Again, begin small and progress slowly, and you may fnd a new favorite. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

• Wiggle your ears. We all have the muscles that are necessary to wiggle our ears. What the majority of us don’t have, however, is a small “control center” for those muscles in our brain stems. This particular nerve center is more developed in a few humans than in most others. You might be able to teach yourself some ear control by watching in a mirror as you raise your eyebrows, open your mouth and make other faces. This helps develop the ability to isolate the muscles above and behind the ears that cause movement. • Paralyzed fnger. Place your hand on a fat surface with only the fngertips touching (as if you were going to simulate a spider). Now bend just the middle fnger toward your palm so that the knuckle of that fnger is resting on the table. Once you’re in that position, try to lift each of your four unfolded fngers off the table one at a time. The vast majority of us are not able to move the ring fnger, because the tendons used to move it are connected to the middle fnger. • Hand-foot coordination. While seated, lift your right foot off the foor and make clockwise circles with it. Now, while still circling with your foot, draw the number 6 in the air with your right hand. Without thinking, your foot will very likely change direction. It is possible to overcome this phenomenon, but it can’t be done overnight. It takes lots of concentration and practice!

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Because of the rising cost of fuel, many people are considering trading in their SUVs and other vehicles that get poor gas mileage. Before you do, here are some things to consider: • If your vehicle is already paid for, does it make sense to add a monthly payment to your budget? You’ll still have to buy gas for the new vehicle. • If you still owe on your vehicle, will the monthly payment on another vehicle be more or less than you currently pay? Will the savings in fuel costs make it worthwhile? • Call your insurance agent about other vehicles you’re considering. Does your insurance cost go up or down? • If you buy another vehicle, what kind of interest will you get on the loan? • What will the car’s value be in f ve years if you want to trade it in? • What’s the maintenance schedule like on the newer vehicle, and what are the costs? To determine the mileage your vehicle is actually getting, f ll up the tank and note your mileage. After you’ve driven for more than a quarter tank, f ll it again and note the mileage. The mileage divided by the number of gallons used is your miles per gallon rate. Based on your annual driving, do the math on another vehicle and compare it with yours for cost of fuel, insurance, maintenance, license tag and other fees, and cost of a loan. If you decide to keep your vehicle and ride out the high costs of gas, keep it in top condition. Don’t skimp on oil changes and tune-ups. If it’s still under warranty, keep up with all the recommended maintenance, such as f lter changes. Drive the speed limit and turn off the engine when you’re going to be sitting for more than one minute. For a list of the operating costs of 300 vehicles, see the April 2008 issue of Consumer Reports. Good Value: If you subscribe to Consumer Reports magazine, you can access its complete Web site after paying an additional $19 subscription fee. Some subscribers are getting offers in the mail for a special $12 fee. You’ll get access to all the behind-the-scenes information in a searchable database, as well as access to the Experts Forums. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

At the 1912 Games, a semi-final round in the Greco-Roman wrestling competition lasted for an incredible 11 hours. The winner was too exhausted to compete in the final round.

Recipe substitutions: If you need 1 teaspoon of baking powder, use 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. What’s on Sale in August: Back-to-school supplies, furniture (particularly small, modular furniture appropriate for dorm rooms) and clothing. Look for deals on electronic equipment such as computers and small appliances. Getting ready to go back to school? Remember: Kids’ backpacks should weigh no more than 20 percent of the child’s body weight, and the child should use BOTH shoulder straps for the best f t and least stress on the back. •Trying to eat more vegetables? Here’s a great tip from the United States Department of Agriculture: When planning meals for the week, try planning around a vegetable main dish (stir-fry, casserole, etc.) and designing the rest of the plate after. Too often, we plan meals according to protein, then starch and vegetable last.

Here’s a request. W.T. writes via e-mail: “I am an elderly, divorced man, and I frequently f nd a use for small jars (e.g. salsa jars). I wonder if any of your respondents have ever sent in a tip regarding what to use to remove the smell from the jar lids.” Any suggestions, please write in. Don’t worry, Mr. T. Our readers are on the case. “Here’s a tip for hamster owners out there. If your dwarf hamster makes much noise when running its wheel, just lube the wheel a bit with olive oil. Just a drop or two will make the wheel turn smoothly and silently, and won’t pose any harm to the little ones in case they lick it!” -- C.H in Utah Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at

(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

Tidbits Branson  

Aug 8 2008

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