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TIDBITS® VISITS AMUSEMENT PARKS by Kathy Wolfe Beginning with gardens, booths, arcades and fireworks, and progressing to multibillion dollar theme parks, amusement parks have long been a source of enjoyment and relaxation. This week, Tidbits looks at just a few that have made history over the years.

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® ®ofof Tidbits Hernando County Tidbits Hernando County The Company with a Heart that Cares

To Your Good Health

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By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

Heartburn Relief Without Medicine DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have had acid reflux for quite some time, and doctors have prescribed different medicines, the last being omeprazole. Medicines were not relieving the burning pain. The best advice came from an online message board that said to “sleep on your left side.” Figuring it wouldn’t hurt to try this method, I began sleeping on my left side. Once my body learned to stay in that position, the pain does not bother me now at all at night. Why don’t doctors share such simple methods for relief rather than prescribing medications? Please pass this information on to others. -- N.S.

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Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, and saliva is a natural antacid. Don’t wear tight garments or tight belts, both of which promote acid reflux. I managed to get through this answer without mentioning a single medicine, not even Tums. The booklet on GERD -- heartburn -- provides an insight into this common malady and its treatment. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 501W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four ANSWER: When it works, a change in sleeping position is weeks for delivery. a simple way to deal with a big problem. It doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, it works for only a few, but it’s still DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have an adult son who has had valuable advice and is something that should be suggested a sore on the side of his nose for many months. I have more often. A change in sleeping position also can work pestered him to see a doctor, but he won’t. He says it stays for snoring. Sleeping on the side, right or left, can open up there because he picks at it. Is that a suitable explanation? the throat and stop snoring. Redundant throat tissue, like -- W.M. a reed in a wind instrument, lies behind snoring. Sewing ANSWER: Any sore that doesn’t heal deserves a doctor’s a pocket in the back of the pajamas and putting either a examination. A nonhealing sore is a sign of skin cancer. tennis ball or a marble in it keeps snorers off their backs. I’ve told the story of my grandfather many times. He had a Other self-help tips for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux sore on the side of his nose, and he neglected to take care of disease, heartburn or acid indigestion -- all are the same it. He put a salve on it that he got from a traveling salesman. condition) include staying away from foods that cause The sore was a cancer, and he lost that side of his nose. it. Onions, garlic, coffee, carbonated beverages, alcohol, My other advice to your son is to stop picking the sore. chocolate, fried and fatty foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomato sauces, peppermint, spearmint and spicy foods are Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual notorious troublemakers. letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever Sleeping with the head of the bed elevated is another way to possible. Readers may write him or request an order form keep stomach acid in the stomach. Prop 6- or 8-inch blocks of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, under the posts at the head of the bed. In this position, FL 32853-6475. gravity keeps stomach acid in the stomach. (c) 2010 North America Synd., Inc.

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AMUSEMENT PARKS (continued): • The stage at Lake Compounce has hosted such names as Houdini, Frank Sinatra and Count Basie. Admission to a 1941 show featuring a young Sinatra performing with the Tommy Dorsey Band could be had for $1.10. Although visitors can now ride a state-of-the- art roller coaster and white water raft trip, the park maintains its charm with a 1927 coaster, a carousel from 1911 and an antique trolley. • The famous Coney Island started out as a beach resort consisting of three amusement parks, racetracks and luxury hotels, and was home to what is considered the first roller coaster in America. The Switchback Gravity Pleasure Railway opened in 1884 at a cost of $1,600. At ten cents per ride, the park took in $600 to $700 per day! Coney Island’s most famous coaster, the 85-foot-high (26 meters) Cyclone, opened in 1927 and was a twisting figure-8 coaster that cost $175,000 to build. The Cyclone was such a thrilling ride that one young man mute since birth regained his voice while riding it. “I feel sick!” were the first words of West Virginia coal miner Emilio Franco back in 1948. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you can still take a ride on the Cyclone, a one-minute, 50-second thrill. • As Pittsburgh bridge builder George Ferris sat at an engineer’s banquet where the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was being planned, he made a sketch of a large wheel on a napkin. That sketch was the beginning of a 264foot- (80.4-meter) high wheel on a 45-foot (13.7-meter) axle that was the centerpiece of the Columbian Exposition. Each of its 36 cars contained revolving chairs holding 60 people, giving up to 2,160 people a ride each time. It took 20 minutes to load as it stopped for passengers to enter, then offered a nineminute non-stop ride for the sum of 50 cents. During the time of the Exposition, the ride grossed $726,805.

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For Advertising Call Call (727) 455-7737 For 352-593-7758 AMUSEMENT PARKS (continued): The Ferris wheel operated there until April of 1894, when it was dismantled and relocated to a park on Chicago’s North Side. After eight years there, it was once again taken apart and the four-million-pound (1,814,369 kg) structure was taken by train to St. Louis for the 1904 World’s Fair. Sad to say, in 1906, the wheel was dynamited and sold as scrap iron. Even more unfortunate is the fact that George Ferris died in debt at age 37 of typhoid fever. • The only 19th century Ferris wheel remaining in the world, the Reisenrad, is located in Vienna, Austria’s Wurstelprater. That wheel was constructed in 1897. • If you love roller coasters, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, is the place for you. Located at the edge of Lake Erie, it is the second oldest amusement park in America and boasts 17 coasters (the most in the world), from old-style wooden coasters to hydraulic launch rocket coasters. The Top Thrill Dragster, the second-fastest in the world, climbs to a height of 420 feet (128 meters) and reaches speeds of 120 mph (193 km/hr). If this is too much excitement for you, opt for the tamer Giga-Coaster, only 310 ft. (94 meters) tall and traveling a mild 93 mph (105 km/hr). • Cedar Point started out with a beer garden, bathhouse and dance floor in 1870. Its first roller coaster, the Switchback Railway, opened in 1892, and thrilled riders with its 10 mph (16 km/hr) speeds and 25-foot (7.6-meter) height. There was no chain lift, and cars had to be hauled to the top manually at the end of the ride. The park also featured a water swing and trapeze that soared out and threw riders into Lake Erie. By 1905, an elegant 600-room hotel graced the shoreline. Famed Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne was a young lifeguard on the lake’s beach in 1913.

Better-Than-Candy Pie The name for this outrageous dessert came right from the men who tried it. Each one took a big bite, then smiled and said, “This is better than candy.”

1 cup diced banana 1 (6-ounce) purchased chocolate-flavored pie crust 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts 1 (4-serving) package sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder 1 1/4 cups water 2 tablespoons reduced-fat peanut butter 3/4 cup reduced-calorie whipped topping 2 (2 1/2-inch) chocolate graham crackers, made into fine crumbs

1. Layer bananas in pie crust. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons peanuts evenly over bananas. In a large bowl, combine dry pudding mix, dry milk powder and water. Mix well using a wire whisk. Blend in peanut butter until mixture is smooth. Spread pudding mixture evenly into pie crust. Refrigerate 5 minutes. 2. Spread whipped topping evenly over set filling. In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons peanuts and cracker crumbs. Evenly sprinkle crumb mixture over top of pie. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into 8 pieces. ¥ Each serving equals: 217 calories, 9g fat, 5g protein, 29g carb., 324mg sodium, 1g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 1 Fat, 1/2 Meat. (c) 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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1. TELEVISION: Who was the star of the cable series “The Sopranos”? 2. MOVIES: What kind of fish is Dory in “Finding Nemo”? 3. ANATOMY: What organ in the human body produces bile? 4. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Who was the first U.S. president to lose a re-election bid? 5. FAMOUS QUOTES: Who once said, “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” 6. MATH: What is the perimeter of an equilateral triangle that measures 16 cm on one side? 7. HISTORY: What is the earliest written system of laws known to us? 8. ANIMAL KINGDOM: What are the wild dogs of Australia called? 9. AD SLOGANS: What product was claimed in advertisements to be “good to the last drop”?

One of the most highly praised actresses of our time, Meryl Streep, holds the record for Academy Award nominations; she’s been awarded the Oscar twice, but has been nominated an impressive 16 times. It was multi-talented Sir Francis Bacon -- he was a statesman, lawyer, scientist, philosopher and author -- who made the following sage observation: “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”

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The highest known life insurance payout occurred in 1970, when the widow of a cattle rancher was awarded $18 million in benefits. Those who study such things say that Italians drink, on average, 26 gallons of wine every year.

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It’s just common sense that people tend to behave better when they’re being watched, but it may come as a surprise that it doesn’t seem to matter whether or not the watcher is real. Researchers made this discovery in an experiment conducted at the University of Newcastle in Australia. In a coffee lounge where paying for the beverage was optional, a picture of a pair of eyes was placed next to the price list at some times, and at other times a picture of flowers accompanied the list. On days when the eyes were posted, more than three times as much money was donated than on days when the flowers were in the same spot.


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® ® ofHernando Tidbits of Tidbits HernandoCounty County

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Hot Cars Are Death Trap for Pets By Samantha Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I was walking through the parking lot toward the supermarket today when I noticed a little dog barking inside a car that had all its windows shut. Even though the breeze was cool, the sun was still hot and I knew that dog had to be suffering. I ran inside the store and asked the customer service person to announce across the store asking the dog’s owner to please go back to their car. I saw that the owner did run right out and take care of her dog. Can you please remind people that with summer almost here, not to leave their pets inside a hot car, even for a few minutes? -- Sherry in Cleveland DEAR SHERRY: Thanks for reminding my readers, and for doing a great job being proactive about that dog. If the owner hadn’t responded, the next step would have been to contact emergency services -fire or police -- to come and rescue the dog, before temperatures inside the car became too much for the pet to handle. In fact, a closed car, even on a mild day, can become life-threateningly hot, especially for dogs. United Animal Nations, an animal protection organization (www.uan.org), cited a San Francisco State University study that showed on an 80-degree F day, the temperature inside a closed car rose to 99 degrees in just 10 minutes. A dog can suffer a heat injury in an

x

air temperature of 90 degrees. The organization also noted that just cracking the windows doesn’t help. So don’t leave your pet unattended in the car, not even for a few minutes. You can learn even more at www.mydogiscool.com. Send your pet questions and tips to ask@pawscorner. com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 328536475. Find more pet advice and resources at www. pawscorner.com.

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AMUSEMENT PARKS (continued): • Six Flags opened its first park in Texas in 1961, and now has 20 parks across North America. It takes its name from the six flags that have flown over Texas through its history–those of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America. The first park featured an Indian village, railroad, stagecoach ride, gondola, Wild West shows and the pirate-themed attraction, Skull Island. • The Kingda Ka roller coaster at Six Flags in Jackson, New Jersey, is the world’s fastest and tallest coaster, racing to 128 mph (206 km/hr) from a height of 456 feet (139 meters). But that record is about to be broken. Ferrari World is due to open in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in October 2010, and will feature a coaster that will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/hr) in just two seconds. The best part? The train’s cars will look just like sporty, red Formula One Ferraris. • The first Legoland theme park opened in Billund, Denmark, in 1968. More than 33 million Lego blocks can be seen there in the replicas of Copenhagen Harbor (complete with operating boats), the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore. There are now four parks worldwide, in Denmark, Germany, California and the United Kingdom.


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$399 Moves You In

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Town Home If you are sending your child to summer camp for the first time, you may be experiencing the conflicting emotions reminiscent of that day years ago when the same child boarded the yellow school bus for kindergarten. It’s another one of those “letting go” milestones that catches parents off guard. While checking off your lists and helping your child pack his duffel bag with the standard camp fare of T-shirts, underwear, swimsuit, pj’s, jeans, sneakers, bug spray, a camera, flashlight and extra socks, you may find yourself jolted. “Wait a minute! Is this child really ready for a seven-day, six-night camp experience in the wild?” Or, perhaps more accurately, are you ready? That’s the moment you’ll want to tuck in some addressed envelopes or postcards, stamps and a pen in a little bag hoping he will send back his version of time away. Even more, it’s the campers who love to receive mail and thoughts from home. Here are some tips for keeping in touch: --Write and send a note or two to your child’s camp two days before he leaves home. Your child will be ecstatic when he hears his name at mail call the first day of camp. --If you child is a baseball fan, remember to send clippings of box scores of games they are missing. --Maybe your child is celebrating a birthday while away. Surprise her with extra fun mini gifts packaged in a plastic bottle! Fill a large, wide-mouthed water bottle with a screw on cap with clever items your child will enjoy: balloons, stickers, mini flashlight, beads, string, rubber balls, lip gloss, rubber spiders and critters to tuck under unsuspecting friends’ and counselors’ pillows! For a personal touch, find a photo from a previous birthday and cut it into puzzle shapes for your child to put together. Tape the lid with packing tape after you have screwed it on tightly to ensure that it stays closed. Label it clearly, have it weighed by your postal clerk for correct postage and send it off. Extra “greetings in a bottle” ideas: --Celebrate the birth of a new baby by sending a sturdy plastic baby bottle filled with a card and small items such as a small fork and spoon, bib and pacifier. --Throwing a backyard party or planning a family

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A. Thanks, Sara. That’s a pretty brilliant way to reuse old CDs! Keeping birds away from seeds -whether garden vegetables or grass -- is an annual challenge, one that novice gardeners and experienced landscapers alike must often face. Here’s a few other ways to discourage birds from nibbling away at freshly sown or planted seeds:

Old CDs Find New Life in Garden By Samantha Mazzotta

Q: A friend passed on this tip to me, and I want to pass it along to your readers. I like to start my backyard garden from seeds rather than planting seedlings, but birds are a problem as they fly in and eat the seeds before they sprout. To combat this, my friend told me to put my old, unused CDs to work. Place stakes all around the garden perimeter -- and up the middle if need be -- and string sturdy twine along the stakes, wrapping once around each stake to keep it level. Then, run a short piece of string through the center of each CD and tie them to the perimeter string so that they dangle between the string and the ground. The reflecting, shimmering light and spinning CDs frighten off birds. I’ve had a lot more success this year getting plants to sprout and get established! -Sara F., Glens Falls, N.Y.

•For small garden plots or spots on the lawn being patched, place stakes in a square around the perimeter and tie string along the perimeter and crisscrossing over the area. Tie strips of old cloth every 9 inches or so. •Large areas where seeds have been sown -- such as several feet of bare lawn -- can be covered with a layer of dry straw, which lets water in but discourages birds and other creatures from getting at the seeds. Hang wind chimes at the edge of garden plots. The sound sometimes alarms birds and pests and keeps them away. •Finally -- and this might not be practical in your neighborhood -- but my mother placed her clothesline right next to the garden. She hung out washing several days a week, and rarely had trouble with birds coming around. Send your home repair and maintenance questions to homeguru2000@hotmail.com


Page 6

® Tidbits of® of Hernando Tidbits HernandoCounty County

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by Patricia L. Cook Imagine the astonishment when early travelers heading West happened upon one of the largest canyons in the world. Whoa! Put on the brakes as we explore the Grand Canyon, one of the most popular tourist sites on earth. • Grand Canyon National Park is 277 miles (446 km) long, 5,000 feet (1524 m) deep and about 18 miles (29 km) wide. Encompassing 1,218,375 acres (493059 ha) of northern Arizona, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and hosts around 5 million guests each year, more than any other U.S. National Park. • According to archaeologists, the Desert Archaic, Anasazi and Pueblo Indians were the earliest people to live in the Grand Canyon region. Others explored the region in the 1500-1800s, with probably the most significant being Major John Wesley Powell, a one-armed Civil War veteran. (He lost his arm in the battle of Shiloh.) He and his group of ten men explored the area in several expeditions from 1869-1872. • The area was established as a Forest Preserve in 1893, Grand Canyon Game Preserve in 1906, a National Monument in 1908 and Grand Canyon National Park in 1919, three years after the National Park Service was created. turn to page 8 for more! Award Winning Rates Starting At

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“Here’s a great idea for sewers out there. Sew several towels together in a giant square for a family beach blanket. This works great, since it’s absorbent, and the large size gives you room for what our family calls a ‘sand border.’ That’s the area of the towel that get sandy from your feet.” -- A.C. in California It’s officially grill season just about everywhere. To get yours ready time after time, follow these simple steps: After you use your grill, scrape excess gunk from grill and rub down grates with olive oil. Then spray with water. Let dry for the next time.

Here’s another great grill tip from M.E. in South Carolina: “Instead of buying an expensive grill cover, cover your grill with a colorful plastic tablecloth. Use tablecloth clips to secure it around the grill. Get a matching one for your picnic or outdoor table.” “I recently cleaned out my gutters. I needed something to use as a scoop, and I looked down and saw my son playing in his sandbox. He handed me a sand scoop, and it was just the ticket. It’s not a shovel, just a scoop. The end was rounded, so I could get all the dregs in the gutters. I have installed screens now, so I hope I won’t need to borrow tools from my kids again.” -- B.L. in Texas Frozen grapes make terrific ice cubes for older children and adults. Try it for your next backyard barbecue or block party.


Page 7

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“It is phenomenal how many calls we get from our Tidbits ad. The ‘quality’ of the calls and the steady res ponse is just excellent. We’ve ser ved the Pensacola market for NOW! RESERVE over 20 years and I can still honestly say I’m mo Sendre $24.95 (plus $5.00 S&H) pleased with the return on our Tidbits ads thanby Check or Money Order to: any other print advertising we’ve done”. Tidbits Media, Inc. � Advertiser - Don Crawfo 1430 I-85 Parkway, Suite 301 rd, Business Limited Edition Montgomery, AL 36106 ServicBook Set es Group, Inc., Pensacol (800) 523-3096 a, FL Reprints of Books I, II, & III. (Alabama residents add appropriate sales tax.) “Ninety percent of my com Paperrcia l busofine The Tidbits me is a Division Tidbits ssMedia, comInc. es• Montgomery, AL 36106 directly from Tidbits(800) E-mail: tidbits@tidbitsmedia.com • All Rights Reserved ©2008 ! Ca523-3096 ll me• and I’ll tell you personally!” Advertiser - Byron Schw arz, Sun-Free Window Tinting, Denve r, CO 303-662-8800 “We get more business from our ad in Tidbits tha n we do from our expensive mo nthly ad in the Yellow Pa ges. Next year our Yellow Pages ad will be reduced so we can run a larger ad in Tidbits”. Advertiser - David M., Spokane, WA

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SYMBOLISM

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Musicians call it a sharp, the telephone company says it’s a pound sign. In England they call it a crosshatch or hash, except for British Telecom operators who refer to it as the “square key.” And some of us remember when it was just a plain ol’ number sign or a tic-tac y toe grid. However, this being the 21st centur ly and all, the symbol requires an appropriate high-tech name, which is why people “in the know” call the # symbol an octothorpe.

£

a Speaking of pound signs, the British have their on that seems It us. with pick to bone American-made computer keyboards, the octothorpe is in a place where the pound-sterling sign used to be on British typewriters. , How did £ get to be the symbol for pound h anyway? Before the gold standard, Englis money was based on a pound weight of silver (which is why they still refer to it as “sterso ling”). The Latin word for weight is “libra,” the Brits took a stylized letter L as their monetary symbol. By the way, libra is also why t we use “lb.” as an abbreviation for the weigh unit “pound”.

%

to The percent sign is something we learned dread in math class, but loved to see at department store sales. The symbol was used to beginning no later than the 15th century The st. intere and taxes loss, profit, indicate on idea of charging a portion per one hundred goods dates back to the Middle Ages, when a even the Roman emperor Augustus levied tax on slaves sold. At one time, the taxed ” amount was written out as “XX per cento, As which was later abbreviated as “P cento.” time went on, different symbols were scrawled using a combination of the P and C characters to indicate “per cento.” An Italian manuscript dated 1425 shows an entry marked “per 0/00,” showing an early incarnation of the modern percen t symbol. The “per” was

soon dropped, as was the extra zero in the denominator, leaving % to stand on its own.

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How did the dollar sign come to represent U.S. currency? Until 1794, the Spanish dollar ca. was the main coin in circulation in Ameri Properly known as the peso de 8 reales, it was “p” commonly abbreviated as a lower case and “s”, with the “s” written to the right and d above the “p.” Often the two letters crosse one another, and eventually, they melded into one symbol. It is a small bone of contention among international computer geeks that the standard key boards feature the dollar sign cy. and not the symbol of their native curren of They feel that it’s just another example American domination on popular culture.

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¢

The cent sign evolved after the dollar sign, and was simply designed as the letter “c” (for cent) with a vertical line through it to match the dollar sign. Today’s computer users may notice the lack of a cent sign on their keyold boards. (Some of us will remember our nuthe above ¢ the ed featur that riters typew t meral six on the keyboard.) With the adven of computers, programmers needed certain to symbols that were regularly used in coding no of was sign cent The ble. be readily availa on use to them, and was therefore replaced modern keyboards with the circumflex (^).

@

The “at” sign was so under used when it was an added to the keyboard that it was stuck in giveven t wasn’ and “2”) the odd spot (over in en a name. The @ symbol was only used et English-speaking countries until the Intern came along. Suddenly, the little symbol that resembled a snail was used worldwide by anyh one who wanted to send email. Even thoug the @ is one of the most-used character keys ofon the keyboard, it still doesn’t have an ficial name. (Suggestions are welcome, send them to us c/o Tidbits@ameritech.net.)

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By Cindy Elavsky Q: I know Alec Baldwin is very politically vocal, but is it true he is Q: I was channel-surfing the other day and going to run for office? came across and old episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” I was sure one of the actress- -- Paul T., Altoona, Pa. A: According to Alec’s es on the show that episode was Ashley Judd. Was it her? If so, what year was that? -- J.W., via spokesman, Matthew Hiltzick, this rumor is e-mail A: That was indeed the “Someone Like You” star, false. He told the New York Daily news that Alec has no current plans to run for office, but “who who guest-starred on two episodes of “The knows what may happen in the future?” Next Generation” back in 1991. That was Ashley’s first role in Hollywood, where she came after college and studied with renowned acting Q: My mother and I are having a disagreement. We both can remember this series of Polaroid teacher Robert Carnegie at Playhouse West. commercials from the early 1980s that featured Mariette Hartley and another actor, and they Q: I was happy to read in your column about played a cute, bickering husband-and-wife team. David James Elliott’s new Hallmark Channel movie “Dad’s Home.” It got me to thinking that My mother insists the actor was Rock Hudson, but I say no. However, I can’t remember who it was. I’d love to see him in another series so I can Can you help? -- Genie W., via e-mail watch him on a regular basis. Does he have A: I can, Genie, I can. But I also see this as a perfect any plans to come back to television in a new opportunity to have another contest. Readers, series? -- Kim T., St. Louis here’s your chance to win an autographed copy of A: You’re in luck. David co-stars in the summer Mariette Hartley’s autobiography, “Breaking the Siseries “Scoundrels,” which airs Sunday nights lence.” Can you tell Genie who that actor was who on ABC. He plays Wolf West, the incarcerated patriarch of a family of small-time criminals. His co-starred with Mariette in those cute ‘80s Polaroid commercials? wife (Virginia Madsen) must try to make ends meet as the family tries to go straight. Send your answer (with your name and address) to: Cindy David is thrilled to try on this new role, telling Elavsky, Celebrity Extra, King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box me: “This guy, he has a lot of me in him, and 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Or go to www.celebrityextrahe’s got a lot of people that I know in him. It’s online.com to enter. Entries must be received (or postmarked) just a great opportunity that came along, and I’m just happy to be a part of it. He’s completely by July 31. Five winners will be chosen and announced in a future column. different from Harmon Rabb (his character on “JAG”), and that’s dynamite.”

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GRAND CANYON (continued): • With the Grand Canyon’s large expanse of land there is great environmental variety. The elevation ranges from 1,200 feet (366 m) near Lake Mead to 9,165 feet (2793 m) above sea level at the north rim. Scientists have identified five life zones in the park: Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian and Hudsonian. The best way to think of this is that if you traveled from Mexico to Canada, you would see lots of variations in the ecosystem, but you can see the same variations within Grand Canyon National Park! So from desert plants to mountain trees – they’re all there! From the north rim to the canyon floor, the temperature can vary up to 35° F. (19.4°C) • Bears, mountain lions, weasels, bald eagles and many other animal species are found in the park. Keep in mind that Grand Canyon National Park is home to six species of rattlesnakes, including the most common Grand Canyon pink rattlesnake that blends in with the canyon terrain. If you go hiking on the many miles of trails, watch your step and listen carefully! • Baby rattlers are born fully equipped with poisonous venom and teeth. They are born with a “prebutton” for the rattler that is shed with its skin making way for “buttons” that develop. Rattling occurs when they grow more buttons and shake them together – at the speed of about 60 or more times per second! • Approximately 47 reptile species are found in the park. Ten are common along the Colorado River in the bottom of the canyon. Have you heard of gila monsters and chuckwallas? They are the two largest lizards in the area.

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Tidbits of Hernando County Volume 1, Issue 3