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October 8, 2015
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October 5 is World Teachers Day, and Tidbits is taking the opportunity to investigate wellknown folks who were teachers before they became famous. Take a look – you might be surprised at who were former educators.
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• Prior to his role as the fictional Sheriff Andy Taylor in Mayberry, Andy Griffith taught English at the high school in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He was also responsible for creating the school’s award-winning marching band during his tenure from 1949 to 1953.
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5. Before singing “Killing Me Softly,” she taught English and Music in North Carolina. Who is she? 6. What was the name of the 1989 movie that Robin Williams portrays a teacher at a 1950s prep school? What was his character’s name? 7. What rock band recorded the song “Teacher, Teacher”?
1. Name the 4-time Pulitzer Prizewinning poet who was also a Vermont educator? 2. Name the former teacher whose movie role was James Lang? 3. Best known as “Hoss,” which actor taught high school English and drama in Texas? 4. Name the former Missouri teacher who sang “All I Wanna Do.”
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FALL REMOTE START
FORMER TEACHERS (continued):
• Before he was Mr. T, He was Mr. Tureaud, working as a physical education teacher in the Chicago public schools system. Lawrence Tureaud had his break-out movie role in 1982’s Rocky III after being discovered by Sylvester Stallone, and went on to his role as Sgt. Baracus in the NBC series “The A-Team.” Speaking of Stallone, he also worked as a gym teacher while attending the American College in Switzerland during the 1960s. • Stephen King hasn’t always been a successful author. After his graduation from the University of Maine, he went to work in an industrial laundry while he job-searched. He secured a position teaching English at the high school in Hampden, Maine, and worked on a novel during his off-hours. After two years, Carrie was accepted for publication and in 1973, King quit teaching to write full-time. • Author Dan Brown originally wanted a career as a singer-songwriter. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue his calling and landed a position teaching Spanish at Beverly Hills Prep School in 1991. Brown returned to his home town of Exeter, New Hampshire, the following year, where he taught English and Spanish at Phillips Exeter Academy until 1996 when he resigned to devote his full attention to authoring his best sellers The da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, among others. • History has always been an important part of Bill O’Reilly’s life. The FOX News political program host is the author of several historical best sellers including Killing Lincoln, Killing Patton, Killing Kennedy, and Hitler’s Last Days. Prior to his broadcasting career, O’Reilly was an English and History teacher at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Opalocka, Florida from 1970 to 1972. ...continued
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3. Marshall’s Rakeem Cato, in 2014, set a Division I record for most consecu1. Name the last National tive games with at least League pitcher before the one TD pass (46). Who Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw had held the mark? in 2014 to win the regular4. Name the coach who led season MVP Award. Canada in 2002 to its 2. When was the last time first gold medal in men’s before 2014 that the BosOlympic hockey followton Celtics, Los Angeles ing a 50-year drought. Lakers and New York 5. How many managers did Knicks all failed to make the Chicago White Sox the NBA playoffs in the have during the decade same season? of the 1980s?
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FORMER TEACHERS (continued): • Thirty-sixth President Lyndon B. Johnson was a school principal and teacher of 5th, 6th, and 7thgraders at the Mexican-American Welhausen School in Cotulla, Texas, in 1927 when he was just 19 years old. He went on to teach public speaking at high schools in Pearsall and Houston, Texas, before entering politics in 1937. As a Congressman in 1941, he was the first member of Congress to volunteer for active duty after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He reported to the U.S. Navy on December 9, just two days after the bombing. Johnson was sworn in as U.S. President approximately 90 minutes after President John F. Kennedy was declared dead in a Dallas hospital. He took the oath of office in the conference room aboard Air Force One, as the plane sat at Dallas’ Love Field, the first and only time a President has been sworn in on an airplane. • The second U.S. President, John Adams, also did a stint as a schoolmaster in Worcester, Massachusetts. He found the profession boring and stated that his students were a “large number of little runtlings, just capable of lisping A, B, C, and troubling the master.” Yet he kept the job in order to pay the bills while attending law school.
• From 1974 to 1976, Gordon Sumner used his degree from Northern Counties Teachers Training College in Newcastle, England, to teach at a convent school in nearby Cramington for two years, the only male on the faculty. On his free evenings, he played in a group called the Phoenix Jazzmen, and frequently wore his favorite black-and-yellowstriped sweater while performing. The bandleader thought Gordon looked like a bee and gave him the nickname “Sting.” In 1977, Sumner moved to London and teamed up with two others to form the band The Police. Today, Sting’s net worth is estimated in the $300 million range. ...continued
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FORMER TEACHERS (continued): • We know him best as the bass player of the band KISS, with his face painted white with black flames. But prior to his musical fame, Gene Simmons was a teacher of sixth-graders in a Harlem, New York, grade school. Simmons was born Chaim Witz in Israel to a mother who had survived the Holocaust. The two of them emigrated to New York City when Simmons was eight years old, without knowing a word of English. (This musician now speaks English, Hungarian, Hebrew, and German.) KISS, formed in 1973 in New York, has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, and has 45 gold albums to date. Despite his somewhat “demonic” look, Gene Simmons says he has never drunk alcohol, taken drugs, or even smoked a cigarette. • Singer Kris Kristofferson might not have been the successful singer he is today had he not turned down the opportunity to teach Literature at West Point Academy. Kristofferson was a Rhodes Scholar, earning a Master’s degree in English Literature at Oxford, graduating summa cum laude, and even appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd”
for his accomplishments in collegiate rugby, football, and track and field. After graduation, he joined the Army and rose to the rank of Captain, completing Ranger training, and becoming a helicopter pilot. At the end of his tour in 1965, Kristofferson was offered a professorship at West Point. At the last minute, he turned down the offer, resigned his commission, and pursued a music career. His family, including his U.S. Air Force Major General father, disowned him and never reconciled with him.
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NUGGET OF KNOWLEDGE Billionaire author J.K. Rowling has penned the seven enormously successful “Harry Potter” novels. But did you know she is also the author of a series of detective novels called “The Cormoran Strike” series, which features the private investigator Mr. Strike? You may have missed it at your local book store unless you were looking for books by Robert Galbraith, Ms. Rowling’s pseudonym. Rowling reportedly sent the manuscript to publishers anonymously, and at least one publishing house rejected it.
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GOES LONG After starring in “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?”, hosting his own talk show, and a stint on Broadway, in 2009, actor Tony Danza entered the classroom at Philadelphia’s Northeast High School to teach 10thgrade English. He wrote of his experiences in his new book entitled I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had.
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• It was 19th-century French poet and philosopher Henri-Frederic Amiel who made the following sage observation: "Truth is violated by falsehood, but it is outraged by silence." • You might be surprised to learn that the game of Chinese checkers isn't actually Chinese in origin; it was invented in Germany. • If you consider all the militaries throughout the world during World War II, 7 out of every 8 deaths were German or Russian combatants. • In most countries of Western Europe during medieval times, 90 percent of the population shared about a dozen first names. • During the final 6 miles of a pilgrimage to Lhasa, Tibet, a devout Buddhist will kiss the ground approximately 30,000 times.
• A 19th-century Columbus, Ohio, man named Jonathan Jackson was exceedingly fond of cats. He was such a feline devotee, in fact, that upon his death in 1880, his will dictated that his estate was to be used to construct a home for cats, complete with dormitories, an infirmary, a rectory, rat holes, roofs for climbing and areas for "conversation." There was even an auditorium where the residents would listen to accordion music every day. • Those who study such things say that a properly prepared mummy will be wrapped in about 490 feet of linen. • You may know that Philo Farnsworth invented the television, but you may not realize that his success didn't bring him much happiness. Later in life he suffered from depression, developed a drinking problem (and accompanying ulcers) and had a nervous breakdown. *** Thought for the Day: "I'm not an old, experienced hand at politics. But I am now seasoned enough to have learned that the hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning." -- Adlai Stevenson
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For literally hundreds of years, people of all ages have enjoyed putting jigsaw puzzles together. Here’s the history of this favorite pastime.
• Today, people enjoy jigsaw puzzles more than any other table game. • The record for the most pieces assembled together in a single jigsaw is 209,250, an event that took place at Taiwan’s Grand Formosa Regent Hotel.
• In the late 1800s, cardboard puzzles made their debut, mostly for children’s puzzles. For many years, they were not the top seller, as retailers continued to stock mostly wooden puzzles, believing that customers liked them better than “cheap” cardboard varieties.
• During the 1930s, puzzles were a method of advertising, with stores offering free puzzles with the purchase of a toothbrush or other sundry item. The illustration featured an image of the product, a clever way for manufacturers to keep a vision of their item in the consumers’ minds. Puzzles were especially popular during the Great Depression as an inexpensive form of entertainment. Sales of adult puzzles were an astounding 10 million per week. Puzzles were also something that could be made by hand at home by those who could not afford the store-bought kinds.
• For the next 50 years, the puzzles were primarily an educational activity. They gradually transitioned into a leisure pastime, with illustrations mounted on plywood. They were still known as “dissections,” but when the treadle saw was introduced around 1880, they began to be called “jigsaw puzzles.” Penciled tracings of where to cut the pieces were made on the back of the wood.
• Early puzzles were quite expensive, as much as $5 for a 500-piece puzzle in 1908, because each piece was cut individually. Cardboard puzzle quality improved and prices dropped with the invention of a device that would die cut them in a press. Strips of metal with sharp edges were fastened to a plate, much like a cookie cutter, enabling the mass production of puzzles.
• In 1766, when he was 26, Spilsbury devised the idea of mounting maps on a sheet of hardwood. Using a fine-bladed marquetry saw, he cut around the borders of the countries, with the goal of teaching Geography to British students. He called his invention “Dissected Maps,” and became the first commercial manufacturer of jigsaws. Over the next two years, he marketed several different styles, including the world, Africa, America, Asia, Europe, England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. Unfortunately, Spilsbury did not live to see the great success of his invention, passing away at age 30.
• The puzzles of the early 20th century did not interlock, and many an hour’s work was negated by a bump to the table. Adult puzzles of this era did not have the picture on the box and the subject matter was a mystery until all the pieces were in place.
• Born in England in 1739, at age 14, John Spilsbury became an apprentice to Thomas Jeffreys, an engraver, map seller, and the Royal Geographer to the King. At 21, Spilsbury branched out on his own as an engraver, mapmaker, and printer of children’s educational books, maps, charts, and stationery.
cated on publicatio the racks nea n r th Exit doors e !
• On Oct. 16, 1793, nine months after the execution of her husband, King Louis XVI of France, Marie-Antoinette follows him to the guillotine. At a time of economic turmoil in France, she lived extravagantly and allegedly responded to news that the French peasantry had no bread to eat by callously replying, "Let them eat cake." • On Oct. 18, 1867, the U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after buying the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than 2 cents an acre. The American public ridiculed the purchase, believing the land to be barren and worthless. • On Oct. 17, 1931, gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison, signaling the downfall of one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920s and '30s. FBI agent Eliot Ness and his men routinely broke up Capone's bootlegging businesses, but it was tax-evasion charges that finally stuck. • On Oct. 12, 1940, cowboy-movie star Tom Mix is killed when he loses control of his speeding Cord Phaeton convertible and rolls into a dry wash in Arizona. Mix was hit in the back of the head by a heavy aluminum suitcase, killing him almost instantly. • On Oct. 13, 1957, American movie audiences are treated to the science-fiction thriller "The Amazing Colossal Man." Other films of the Cold War nuclear-weapon culture included "Them!" (1954) and "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" (1953). • On Oct. 14, 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis begins, bringing the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear conflict. High-altitude photographs offered evidence of Sovietmade medium-range missiles in Cuba, just 90 miles from the U.S. • On Oct. 15, 1989, Canadian ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky breaks Gordie Howe's National Hockey League career scoring record of 1,850 points. Gretzky dominated professional hockey during the 1980s, setting numerous records. © 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
Teacher: "Class, we will have only half a day of school this morning. Class: "Hooray!" Teacher: "We will have the other half this afternoon!
Fall Leaf Disposal LEAF PICK-UP TENTATIVELY BEGINS Options: OCTOBER 12th! Disposal
For immediate disposal haul your leaves to your nearest compost site through November 15th or Rake them loosely to your berm -NO BAGS. We will attempt to make 2 complete passes through town, weather permitting. DO NOT mix grass clippings, branches, brush & garden waste. Keep piles away from parked cars, fences & trees, & out of gutters.
Help Keep Grand Forks Beautiful!
The Sanitation Department thanks you for your cooperation.
Questions? Call 738-8740 or go to: www.grandforksgov.com
(Answers located 2 pages after this one)
• Here’s a tip for you waist-watchers out there: Wait until Halloween Day to buy the candy. That way the in-house sweets won’t be haunting you throughout October. — JoAnn • Update window treatments to compensate for dropping temperatures. Trade your sheers for sturdy, draft-blocking panels. • Now’s the time to install weather-stripping or caulk for fall and winter. To find drafts, try this trick: Light a taper candle and run it very slowly along the cracks of your windows. When you see the flame flicker, that’s where you have a draft leak. • Want to save money and be a good environmental servant? Get with the times — the old times, that is. Buy second-hand items and have household items repaired instead of throwing them out. Good-quality clothes can be sold or donated to charity shops; furniture and household items also can be sold or donated, or repurposed into new rooms. • To keep sauces from splattering and dirtying the inside of your microwave, cover the food with a damp paper towel or a coffee filter. — E.C. in Utah • Now you can have your tea and clean something too. Teabags can be used to clean woodwork. Rub the wood softly with a damp bag. Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803. © 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.
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• The life of Joanne Kathleen Rowling has been a true “rags-to-riches” story. Born in 1965 to a RollsRoyce aircraft engineer father and science technician mother, Rowling went from receiving welfare benefits as a single mother to being a multi-millionaire in just five years. • Shortly after the death of her mother from multiple sclerosis in 1990 when Joanne was 25, she answered a newspaper ad for an English teacher in Portugal. It was while working at a language institute in that country that she began penning the stories that would become the series about a young wizard. She claims she was on a four-hour-delayed train trip when the idea “came fully formed” into her mind. • Her teaching duties were in the evenings, freeing up her day to write, which she did while listening to the music of Tchaikovsky. She married and had a child in Portugal, but after three years, she was back in England as “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.”
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Tidbits continues celebrating World Teachers Day by focusing on author J.K. Rowling, who has been wildly successful with her Harry Potter series of books.
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• Two years later, Rowling finished typing the manuscript on her old manual typewriter and went looking for a publisher. Twelve publishing houses rejected the story of Harry Potter. Finally, in 1997, a London publisher, whose chairman’s 8-yearold daughter had read and loved the first chapter, agreed to a run of 1,000 copies under the title Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Rowling’s editor advised her to get a day job, because he couldn’t see her as a children’s book author. As her book began winning award after award, it was plain to see Rowling had a bright future. ...continued
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DIFFERENCES: 1. Container is missing. 2. Hair is shorter. 3. Belt is missing. 4. Suspenders are missing. 5. Sign is missing. 6. Cash register is smaller. © 2015 King Features Synd., All rights reserved.
J.K. ROWLING (continued):
• The second and third books in the series followed in 1998 and 1999. When the fourth book, Goblet Answer: Dell. of Fire was released in 2000, its first-day sales were nearly as much as the A VERY LARGE NUMBER first year’s sales of the second book, Prison• er Edward KasnerDuring was a mathematician. In 1938 of Azkaban. its first 48 hours in the he was asked to come up with a name for a U.S., three million copies of Goblet were sold, very large number: the numeral one, followed breaking all records. by a hundred zeros. He asked his two young nephews they wouldThe suggest. • The sixthwhat bookname in the series, Half-Blood Prince, went on sale in 2005, with sales • Nine-year-old Milton suggested U.S. a name outnine of million the funnies. A in cartoon character of copies the firststrip 24 hours. The named Barney wasbook, very popular. Milton chose seventh and final The Deathly Hallows, Barney’s last in name forbreaking the number. was released 2007, all previous re• cords Kasnerwith announced thebooks new name for day. the big 11 million the first The numberhave in hisnow nextbeen book,translated altering the spelling. books into 65 languages. • Sixty years later, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new internet search engine. Other • Rowling sold the film rights to Warner Brothers search engines searched each webpage and and the first of eight films premiered in 2001. It ranked them according to how many times a took 10 years to complete filming of theand sespecific term appeared on the them, but Page ries. first movie was toengine be directed by SteBrinThe designed their search to search for ven Spielberg, but he declined the offer. It was the specific term and then find out how many his thought series shouldtobethat animated links there that werethe that led back page, whichwith resulted in a better films, American actorsearch Haleyengine. Joel Osment Harry Potter. specifically • voicing They decided they Rowling needed had a name that demanded that the principal cast bethe British. reflected how many websites search engine was searching. They took the name • The eight-film series garnered 12 total Oscar of Edward Kasner’s very large number, only nominations, but strangely enough, won no they misspelled it slightly, so it ended up being awards. series over the $7.7cartoon billion spelled The exactly the grossed same way worldwide, more than the first 22 James Bond character Barney spelled his last name. What’s films combined, and six Star Wars movies. it called? (Answer at the bottom of page) COMPUTER • J.K. Rowling is ranked FACTS as the 12th richest theGates United Kingdom, an esti• woman In 1981inBill said, “640 kb with of memory mated worth of approximately $1 billion. ought to be enough for anybody.” • Moore’s Law states that computer performance Thanks doubles every for 18 toReading 24 months, Tidbits! and ever since 1971, this has been true. • HP, Google, Microsoft, and Apple were all started in garages. .COM Answer: Google, Of Gfrom rand Fgoogol. orks • East Grand Forks
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