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J.R.R. TOLKIEN WEEK
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It’s Tolkien Week, and what better time to focus on the author J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. considered by many to be the “father of modern fantasy literature.” • John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s father was an English banker promoted to a branch in South Africa, where Tolkien was born in 1892. At age three, the boy sailed to England with his mother and brother for an extended family visit. His father was to join them later, but died from rheumatic fever before he could make the journey. With no means of income, his mother took her children to live with her parents in Birmingham, England. • Educated by his mother, Ronald, as he was called, was reading at age four. Studying Latin as a young child, his lifelong passion for languages began. In addition, his mother taught him French and German, and after her death, he learned Old English, Finnish, Gothic, Greek, Italian, Old Norse, Spanish, Welsh, Danish, Russian, and Swedish. • When Tolkien was 12, his mother was diagnosed with diabetes, which, in pre-insulin days, was usually fatal. She was gone in less than a year, leaving her boys in the care of a Catholic priest, Father Francis Xavier Morgan. WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? Publish a
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6. Who is the leader of the Istari wizards in Lord of the Rings? Lord of the Rings/Tolkien Trivia: 7. Name Tolkien’s best friend and fellow famous writer. 1. What name does Gollum give to 8. What is the average gestational the ring? period for a rabbit? 2. From whom did Frodo inherit 9. Which U.S. president had a pet the One Ring? badger? 3. Name the wizard depicted in 10. What is the highest elevation Tolkien’s novels. capital city in the United States? 4. What name did Tolkien give to 11. Who wrote the song Turn the Page? his invented world? 5. The character of Gollum was TRIVIA originally known as _______? SPONSORED BY:
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TOLKIEN WEEK (continued): • As a 16-year-old living in a boarding house, Ronald met 19-year-old Edith Bratt, and a deep friendship blossomed. When it began to turn serious, Father Francis, who saw Edith as a distraction to Ronald’s studies, banned Tolkien from seeing her or even writing to her for three years, until he turned 21. By that time, Edith was engaged to another, but she broke it off to marry Tolkien in 1916.
• World War I broke out in 1914, but Tolkien was able to delay military enlistment until he completed his Oxford degree. After being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, he was sent to the Western Front in France in 1916 to participate in one of the bloodiest battles in history, the Battle of the Somme. More than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed in the battle, which lasted from July to November of that year. Tolkien spent four months on the Somme front, in and out of trenches, where he contracted “trench fever,” an infection similar to typhus. He spent a month in the hospital, and over the next two years, he suffered several relapses. During his recoveries, he wrote poetry and short stories. He was eventually released from duty due to poor health. • Following his release, Tolkien was hired as an “assistant lexicographer” by the Oxford English Dictionary, commissioned to work on history and etymology of Germanic words that began with the letter “W”. Within less than two years, he became a professor of English at the University of Leeds, the youngest professor there. By 1925, he was a professor at Oxford, not only teaching, but writing academic works for scholars, including A Middle English Vocabulary. ...continued
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www.newvisiontruckaccessories.com TOLKIEN WEEK (continued): • In the early 1930s, while teaching at Oxford, Tolkien had had several poems published in magazines, but it was the story of dwarves, trolls, goblins, dragons, and wizards written for his children that was to cement his success. The Hobbit was the story of Bilbo Baggins who sets out to win a treasure guarded by Smaug the dragon. Many of Tolkien’s characters originated from his love of Norse mythology, and their names, such as Oin, Borun, Dwalin, and Gandalf, were taken from the Old Norse language. He personally created more than 100 drawings for the manuscript. His brilliant capacity for languages inspired him to write his own languages, including Qenya, Eldarin, and Gnomish, which he incorporated into his writings. • The Hobbit was shown to the chairman of a publishing firm, who tried it out on his own 10-year-old son. The book was published in 1937 and was an immediate success. It has never been out of print, has remained on children’s recommended reading lists since its publication, and has been translated into more than 40 languages. • As the popularity of The Hobbit began to grow, the publishers approached Tolkien about producing a
sequel. He spent more than 10 years working on and off on the sequel, and when complete, a dispute with the publishers led to a further delay. The book was divided into three volumes – The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, with the first installment released in 1954, and the second and third over the next several months. Tolkien himself described Lord of the Rings as a “fundamentally religious and Catholic work,” embracing many theological themes. ...continued
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TOLKIEN WEEK (continued):
• Tolkien considered himself more of a philologist than a writer, that is, one who specializes in the relationship of languages to each other and studies ancient texts. The British census registry listed him as a “professor of English Language and Literature.” He lived a modest lifestyle and was not wealthy from his writings until late in his life. When The Hobbit was published, he was 45 years old and 62 when Lord of the Rings was published. • A 1999 Amazon poll ranked Lord of the Rings as the “favorite book of the millennium.” • Movie director Peter Jackson undertook a monumental project in 1999, the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. All three movies, filmed entirely in Jackson’s native New Zealand, were shot simultaneously over 438 days beginning in October of 1999 and continuing through December, 2000. The more than 150 different locations included conservation areas and national parks, with seven units shooting concurrently. Each film underwent a full year in post-production before its release. The overall budget was approximately $300 million. The film series grossed close to $3 billion. Each third of the trilogy was released the week before Christmas, with The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, The Two Towers in 2002, and The Return of the King in 2003. • Jackson has also directed three additional films based on The Hobbit – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 2012, The Desolation of Smaug in 2013, and The Battle of Five Armies in 2014. As with the Lord of the Rings films, all were released shortly before Christmas. This trio was made with a $745 million budget, and grossed $2.9 billion at the box office.
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• It was Che Guevara -- physician, author, revolutionary, guerrilla leader and diplomat -- who made the following sage observation: "Silence is argument carried out by other means." • If you've ever awakened from a dream feeling especially calm and content, you've experienced euneirophrenia. • Sometime in July of 1518, a strange malady swept the town of Strasbourg, France, when hundreds of people were overcome with an irresistible compulsion to dance. Some believed that the only cure was to dance day and night until the compulsion ended, so city leaders hired musicians and set aside guild halls for dancing. According to eyewitness documents, people so enthralled expressed their misery but were unable to stop dancing. Those with weak hearts actually died while under the compulsion. As inexplicably as the malady struck, it ended in early September, after affecting about 400 residents.
• Those who study such things say that, on a per-capita basis, residents of Louisiana consume twice as much electricity as residents of Maine. • Of all the works of art stolen in Europe, 60 percent of it ends up in London. • The name Samantha is thought by some to be a combination of the biblical name Samuel and anthos, the Greek word for flower. During Puritanical times the name became associated with witchcraft, causing a steep decline in its usage. When the TV series "Bewitched" premiered in 1964 -- featuring a witch named Samantha -- the name began steadily gaining in popularity. By 2009, it was the ninth most popular name for girls born in the U.S. • If you're in the state of Washington and decide to paint polka dots on an American flag, you should be aware that you're breaking the law. *** Thought for the Day: "Well done is better than well said." -- Benjamin Franklin
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The name of Westinghouse is more than a brand of appliance. George Westinghouse was an engineer who created far more innovations than you may be aware of. Let’s look at just a few.
• With the invention of the automobile, Westinghouse went to work on a compressed air shock absorber for better suspension. In addition, he developed steam turbines to provide power for large maritime vessels. The first illuminated tennis court was designed by George Westinghouse, lit by 1,500 bulbs. He was also responsible for several inventions for the distribution of natural gas. • When Westinghouse died in 1914, he had more than 360 patents to his credit. Because he was a Civil War veteran, he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
• When Thomas Edison began receiving notoriety for his light bulb and electrical distribution system, Westinghouse began his own experiments with electricity.
• In 1896, Westinghouse won the contract to install the first hydroelectric power system, harnessing the energy of Niagara Falls. Power was effectively transmitted to Buffalo, New York, more than 20 miles away. Westinghouse’s companies were now worth about $120 million, employing about 50,000 workers.
• His next contribution to the railroad industry was improvements to railway signals, which had previously used oil lamps. He founded the Union Switch and Signal Company to produce his signal and switching inventions.
• When the World’s Columbian Exposition opened in Chicago in 1893, it was lit by 25,000 Westinghouse electric lights. The company had beat out the bid of its rival, Edison’s General Electric, by a million dollars. An entire building at this World’s Fair was dedicated to educating the public through electrical exhibits.
• After witnessing a wreck between two trains whose engineers were unable to stop, at age 22, Westinghouse devised a railroad air brake. Previously, brakemen had to run from car to car, applying brakes manually on each one. The new design enabled engineers to apply brakes simultaneously on all cars, an invention that was eventually made mandatory on all American trains. The following year, Westinghouse had founded the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, the first of 60 companies he would found throughout his life.
• Edison’s first system provided direct current electricity to 59 homes in Manhattan in 1882. Westinghouse recognized that the weakness of a DC network was its short transmission range, with customers having to live within a mile of the plant. He began work on an alternating current power system with a transformer that enabled AC to travel long distances. He established Westinghouse Electric in 1886 and that year, his first commercial AC power generating station provided electricity to Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
• Even as a child, this son of a machine shop owner showed an aptitude for machinery. However, as a teen, he put his passion aside to enlist in the New York Cavalry to serve in the Civil War. The year after his release, Westinghouse, age 19, received his first patent for the rotary steam engine. At 21, he had invented a device that guided derailed railroad cars back onto the tracks and a railroad switch that steered trains onto one of two tracks.
cated on publicatio the racks nea n r th Exit doors e !
• On Oct. 1, 1890, an act of Congress creates Yosemite National Park in California, home of Half Dome and giant sequoia trees. The act paved the way for generations of hikers, campers and nature lovers, along with countless "Don't Feed the Bears" signs. • On Oct. 2, 1948, the first American road race since World War II takes place in Watkins Glen, New York. The New York Central railroad agreed to suspend train service for the afternoon so that the drivers could cross the tracks safely. • On Sept. 30, 1955, actor James Dean is killed in California when his Porsche hits a sedan. Rumor has it that Dean's car was cursed. After the accident, the car rolled off the back of a truck and crushed the legs of a mechanic. When the parts were sold, the engine, transmission and tires were all transplanted into cars that were subsequently involved in deadly crashes. • On Sept. 28, 1960, at Boston's Fenway Park, Red Sox star Ted Williams homers in the final at-bat of his 21-year career. After being booed by Red Sox fans early in his career, Williams swore never to tip his cap to the Boston fans. He never did. • On Oct. 4, 1970, singer Janis Joplin dies of an accidental heroin overdose at age 27. Joplin, who had a No. 1 hit with "Piece of My Heart," was discovered in her Los Angeles hotel room after failing to show for a recording session. • On Sept. 29, 1982, cyanide-laced Tylenol kills six people in Chicago, leading to a nationwide recall. The culprit was never caught, but the mass murder led to new tamper-proof medicine containers. • On Oct. 3, 1990, less than one year after the destruction of the Berlin Wall, East and West Germany come together on what is known as "Unity Day." Germany had been divided since 1945. © 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
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• “To remove spots from suede, try using an art gum eraser.” — J.C. in Florida • Wet weather can affect your outdoor appliances, making rust a problem. It can even happen to the metal end of a lightbulb in an outdoor fixture. Coat threads of the light bulb with petroleum jelly to keep it from rusting and becoming hard to unscrew. • To remove scuffs from linoleum floors, simply cut a small “X” into a tennis ball and push the tip of your broom handle into it. When you come across a sticky spot while sweeping, flip the broom and rub the spot with the tennis ball. • Boots will be coming out of storage soon, while pool and beach supplies will be packed away for the winter. Save your pool noodles to keep boots sitting upright. Simply cut a pool noodle to the height of the boot top, and insert. Lo and behold, the boots won’t flop over. This will extend the life of your boots. • “As you pack away your pool supplies, you might want to save the water wings for this cruise/duty-free alcohol hack: Use blow-up arm floaties to protect your liquor bottles while being transported in luggage. Use one or a set depending on the size of the bottle.” — T.T. in Georgia • Got dogs? Here’s a great recipe to get the smell of skunk out: Mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide (3 percent), 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon liquid soap. Mix well and bathe pet in this solution, rubbing it into coat and keeping it away from your dog’s eyes. It can’t be made ahead, so keep the ingredients on hand if you have curious pups and skunks in the area. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803. © 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
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FOLKS WHO DIDN'T EXIST
they used the image of a Caribbean-born model named Renee L’Esperance who was discovered There are several familiar people you might think were while working at a department store. Today the historical figures. Not so! Follow along and see! company uses digitally-produced images. • For generations, young girls have been reading Nancy Drew mysteries, a series that originated in 1930. Their • According to folklore, Paul Bunyan formed the Great Lakes out of a need for a large enough waauthor, Carolyn Keene, was the invention of publisher tering hole for Babe the Blue Ox to drink from. He Edward Stratemeyer, who hired several ghostwriters supposedly cleared North Dakota of its forests and over the years to write the books. He paid the writers Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes were reportedly formed $125 per book, and made them sign over all rights to the by his and Babe’s footprints as they stumbled manuscripts. They were also required to sign a secrecy through a huge blizzard. This lumberjack of legend contract that forbade them from claiming any credit for may have been a participant in Canada’s 1837 Papthe books. ineau Rebellion when French Canadians rebelled • Maybe you learned to type from the “Mavis Beacon against their new ruler, the Queen of England. A Teaches Typing” program, software introduced in 1987 tall bearded bellowing man was among the logto teach touch-typing. It’s logical to assume that the gers and became famous for his part in the battle, lovely face featured on the box is that of Mavis Beacon, Legends of his heroics were told around loggers’ except for the fact that there is no such person. When campfires for years to come, each one being embelThe Software Toolworks designed the packaging, ...continued lished a bit more.
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Sports Answers 4. 2004 Stanley 1. Josh Beckett, Cup Final in 2003 for the 5. Eleven, Marlins. including 2. 1937 winning 3. Magic Johnson in 1980 (age 20) twice (1984, 1995). and 1982 (22).
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THEY DIDN'T EXIST (continued): • The historical existence of King Arthur has long been debated with no conclusive results. The legendary 6th-century king is said to have Answer: Dell. led British troops against Saxon invaders. In A VERY LARGE NUMBER the Middle Ages, Geoffrey of Monmouth • penned Edward The Kasner was a mathematician. In 1938 History of the Kings of Britain, he was asked to come up with a name for a depicting Arthur and his Knights of the Round very large number: the numeral one, followed Table as great warriors, but his account is conby a hundred zeros. He asked his two young sidered a work of myth without much history. nephews what name they would suggest. • • It’s possible thatMilton a character similar to Nine-year-old suggested a Robin name Hood may have actually lived, but no positive out of the funnies. A cartoon strip character real-life personwas has very beenpopular. verified.Milton The famous named Barney chose outlaw who from rich and gave to Barney’s lastrobbed name for thethe number. poorannounced had his origins in 14th-century • the Kasner the new name for thefolkbig lore, with some versions claiming he was acnumber in his next book, altering the spelling. nobility who turned Historical • tually Sixty years later, Larry Pageoutlaw. and Sergey Brin evidence exists for a criminal named developed a new internet search engine.RabunOther hod, butengines there is searched no proof each that he was theand research webpage ranked them according to how many times a nowned bandit. specific term appeared on them, but Page and • Betty Crocker was invented in 1921 by the Brin designed their search engine to search for Washburn General the specificCrosby term andCompany then find (later out how many Mills) as a customer representative for links there were thatservice led back to that page, answering questions about baking. Her name which resulted in a better search engine. was as a tribute to the recently-retired • Theychosen decided they needed a name that director of the company, William Crocker. By reflected how many websites the search 1924, had her own radio program, the engine“Betty” was searching. They took the name airwaves’ cooking show. the 1940s, of Edwardfirst Kasner’s very largeBy number, only they misspelled slightly, so ittoended up of being Betty Crocker it was known 9 out 10 spelled exactly the same the Fortune cartoon American homemakers, andway a 1945 character Barney hisher lastas name. magazine survey spelled revealed the What’s second it called? (Answer at bottom of page) best-known woman in America, with only FACTSahead of her. First Lady COMPUTER Eleanor Roosevelt • The In 1981 said,cookbook, “640 kb ofpublished memory first Bill BettyGates Crocker ought to be enough for anybody.” in 1950, was an instant best-seller, and is still publication today.that computer performance • in Moore’s Law states doubles every 18 to 24 months, and ever since 1971, this has been true. • HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple were all started in garages. Answer: Google, from googol.
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