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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Being important, statistically speaking



You’ve noticed, of course, that marketers are looking for that sweet demographic in everything.

And that demographic starts at the age of the grandkids and ends about 15 years shy of where you are.

Older people don’t spend much money.

Except, as it turns out, in restaurants.

Market research company, the NPD Group, found that during the last five years, restaurant visits by Baby Boomers and older Americans have grown 6 percent, while those by millennials (people under 30) have declined by that much.

See, millennials are supposed to be the ones spending all their money, but it turns out Boomers have more money, they spend it less often, but they like to eat out.

This has caused the restaurant industry to take note.

Some proposed changes may be music to your ears. First, no banging music in your ears. Good first step. Readable menus. Commendable. Comfortable furniture. Obvious.

And professional service, not electronic notepads. Thank you.

Now, where should we eat tonight?

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Jewelry that won’t irritate your skin



If you’re allergic to your jewelry, nickel’s probably to blame. This inexpensive metal is often mixed with other, finer metals to change their color or make them stronger.

If you have sensitive skin, here are some metals that won’t irritate your skin:

• Stainless steel. A very strong and solid metal that usually doesn’t irritate skin, despite the presence of nickel

• Sterling or 925 silver. High-end silver is mixed with seven-and-a-half percent copper, not nickel

• Copper. While your skin may temporarily turn green, copper won’t cause an allergic reaction unless it’s mixed with nickel

• Platinum. Thirty times more rare than gold, this metal is strong enough that it doesn’t need to be alloyed with other materials to strengthen it.

• Titanium. As strong as steel but less dense, this metal is often used in medical devices because in most cases the human body doesn’t reject it.

• Zamak. This alloy made of silver, zinc, aluminum, magnesium and copper never contains nickel.

If you’ve had an allergic reaction to jewelry in the past, talk to a jeweler. He or she will be able to suggest a metal that won’t bother your sensitive skin.

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Winter driving tips: Did you know?



Regular oil tends to thicken in cold weather, which can cause your engine to run less efficiently and even prevent your vehicle from starting. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, retains its properties in cold temperatures, making it the better choice for your vehicle during winter.

It’s important to clear away the snow and ice in your vehicle’s wheel wells. A build up of ice that rubs against your tires can damage or even puncture them.

You can get rid of ice inside your door’s keyhole by heating your key with a lighter before inserting it in the lock.

GPS technology isn’t foolproof. It’s even been known to, on rare occasions, direct drivers towards frozen—in winter—lakes. If you find yourself in this unlikely circumstance, know that it can take up to three minutes for a vehicle to sink. Passengers who remain calm generally have enough time to escape the vehicle by climbing out a window.

A single gallon of used motor oil can contaminate hundreds of thousands of gallons of drinkable water. Ask your local municipality where you can dispose of your used oil. Many regions have household hazardous waste depots. Otherwise, your local garage will often take it.

During long trips, dimming the lights on your dashboard can help you stay alert by decreasing visual fatigue. Note also that fast driving can heighten fatigue, as drivers have to process a greater amount of information.

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Remember. Honor. Teach. Group remembers war dead with wreaths



Like most good ideas, this one began with a problem.

In 1992, the owner of a wreath company in Maine found himself with a surplus near the end of the Christmas season.

What to do?

Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company, decided he would use the wreaths to decorate the most inspirational place he saw as a boy: Arlington National Cemetery.

With the help of a senator, he made arrangements to decorate an older section of the cemetery, one with fewer visitors every year. A local trucking company heard about the effort and donated transportation for the wreaths. American Legion and VFW posts volunteered to make red bows. And the Maine State Society helped to lay the wreaths.

It became a mission for veteran and military groups and the idea spread.

By 2007, a non-profit corporation– Wreaths Across America — was formed with the motto: Remember. Honor. Teach.

In 2014 the group placed more than 700,000 wreaths in 1,000 locations from Pearl Harbor to Valley Forge.

If you would like to participate, go to

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

How we came to know the drummer boy



One of the most beloved Christmas carols is a sentimental ballad, not grounded in Biblical verse, but well rooted in hearts at Christmas.

Pa rum pa pum pum. The little drummer boy played for the baby Jesus. We don’t worry the drumming woke The Babe because, after all, Mary nodded. And, the little drummer boy, who was a poor boy, too, played his best as a gift for the newborn king. And He smiled.

What more can you ask of a carol than a tear for innocence and a musical ox and lamb that can keep time?

Well, perhaps one thing you could ask, if you were the author, as was Katherine Davis, a Wellesley music teacher, was for a little credit.

Seems in 1941, Davis gave an interview in which she spoke about a tune running through her head for a little Christmas carol that she said practically wrote itself.

About 20 years later, a friend called to say her carol was on the radio.

“What carol?” asked Davis.

“The Little Drummer Boy. It’s everywhere.”

And it certainly was. Davis managed to claim credit (and royalties) for the song, which is now part of the beloved library of uniquely American Christmas carols.

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Shades of gold: a spectrum of colors



Pure gold is too soft to make jewelry with, so other metals have to be mixed in to make it strong enough to wear on a regular basis. Interestingly, combining other metals with gold can alter its color. You may already be familiar with white and rose, but did you know that gold in fact comes in a full spectrum of colors?

Here is a comprehensive guide to the various shades of gold available. Keep in mind that all of the below mixtures assume 75 percent pure gold, thereby making them 18-karat. Lower karat grades will have different ratios.

• Yellow: 12.5 percent silver and 12.5 percent copper make the closest approximation to the color of 24-karat gold.

• White: gold is mixed with metals such as palladium, copper, zinc and silver, and then plated in rhodium. This metal will have to be re-plated periodically to conserve its color.

• Rose: gold is mixed with 20 percent copper and five percent silver.

• Red: similar to rose gold, but only copper is used to make the alloy.

• Black: the same mixture as white gold but plated with black rhodium.

• Green: also known as electrum, to get this color, gold is mixed with silver.

• Blue: known as an intermetallic alloy, in this case gold is mixed with iron or cobalt.

• Purple: also an intermetallic alloy, in this variation, gold is mixed with aluminum.

While all shades of gold can be beautiful in their own right, some types are more suitable for jewelry than others. It’s therefore best to speak to an experienced jeweler before making a purchase.

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

December 2018 calendar: Looking for something to do or visit?



1-31, National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

1, World AIDS Day.

1, Chester Greenwood Day Parade. Farmington, ME. Earmuff-themed parade commemorating inventor of the earmuff. Web:

1 and 8, Christmas Candlelightings. Roscoe Village, Coshocton, OH. Web:

1-31, Christmas New Orleans Style. New Orleans, LA. Concerts, caroling Web:

1-2, Christmas On The Prairie. Saunders County Museum, Wahoo, NE. Web:

1-2, England: Rochester Dickensian Christmas Festival. Rochester, Kent. Web: or

1, Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Natchitoches, LA. 92nd annual. Web:

2, Advent, First Sunday. Advent includes the four Sundays before Christmas, Dec 2, Dec 9, Dec 16 and Dec 23 in 2018.

2, Hanukkah Begins At Sundown.

2, Christmas To Remember. Laurel, MT. 33rd annual.

2-Jan 6, 2019, Netherlands: Midwinter Horn Blowing. Midwinter horn blowing, announcing the birth of Christ, begins with Advent and continues until Epiphany, Jan 6.

2-10, Hanukkah, Festival of Lights.

5, Austria: Krampuslauf. Salzburg region. On the eve of St. Nicholas Day, Austrians celebrate the Krampuslauf (Krampus Run). Children are invited to throw snowballs at the devilish Krampus who punishes bad children.

6-8, Clute’s Christmas In The Park. Clute Municipal Park, Clute, TX.

6, National Miners Day.

6, Saint Nicholas Day. One of the most venerated saints of both Eastern and Western Christian churches, of whose life little is known, except that he was Bishop of Myra (in what is today Turkey) in the 4th century. He has been especially noted for his charity.

7-8, Christmas Walk And House Tour Geneva, IL. Web:

10, Nobel Prize Awards Ceremonies. Oslo, Norway, and Stockholm, Sweden.

14-Jan 5, 2019, Christmas Bird Count. Web:

15-16, AKC National Championship. Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. Web:

16-24, MEXICO: Posadas. A nine-day annual celebration. Processions of pilgrims knock at doors asking for shelter.

23, Community Carol Sing. Mystic, CT. Web:

24, Christmas Eve.

24, ENGLAND: Festival Of Nine Lessons And Carols: 100th Anniversary. King’s College Chapel, Cambridge University, Cambridge. Since 1918, a Christmas Eve service of carols and readings from the Bible performed by the Choir of King’s College. Web:

25, Christmas.

26, Boxing Day. Dec 26. A day when Christmas gift boxes have been expected by a postman, the lamplighter, the dustman and generally by all those functionaries who render services to the public at large, without receiving payment therefore from any individual.

28, Holy Innocents Day (Childermas). Commemoration of the massacre of children at Bethlehem, ordered by King Herod, who wanted to destroy, among them, the infant Savior. Early and medieval accounts claimed as many as 144,000 victims, but more recent writers, noting that Bethlehem was a very small town, have revised the estimates of the number of children killed to between 6 and 20.

31, First Night. Family-oriented, nonalcoholic community celebrations of the New Year-first observed in Boston, MA, in 1975.

31, Leap Second Adjustment Time. One of the times that have been favored for the addition or subtraction of a second to or from clock time (to coordinate atomic and astronomical time).

31, New Year’s Eve.

31, SCOTLAND: Hogmanay. Traditions include fireworks and torch-lit processions.

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all-day The Nutcracker in Front Royal @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker in Front Royal @ Skyline High School
Dec 15 all-day
The Nutcracker in Front Royal @ Skyline High School
Don’t miss The Nutcracker! This professional production of the seasonal classic ballet will be presented at Skyline High School, Front Royal, VA on December 15th and 16th, Saturday 2:30 & 7:00 pm and Sunday 2:30[...]
all-day The Nutcracker in Front Royal @ Skyline High School
The Nutcracker in Front Royal @ Skyline High School
Dec 16 all-day
The Nutcracker in Front Royal @ Skyline High School
Don’t miss The Nutcracker! This professional production of the seasonal classic ballet will be presented at Skyline High School, Front Royal, VA on December 15th and 16th, Saturday 2:30 & 7:00 pm and Sunday 2:30[...]
4:00 pm R-MA offers Free Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus
R-MA offers Free Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus
Dec 16 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
R-MA offers Free Christmas Concert @ Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus
The public is cordially invited to attend the Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) Christmas Band Concert on Sunday, December 16th at 4:00 pm. This free concert will take place in Boggs Chapel on the R-MA campus. The[...]
10:00 am Paper Sculpture Party: Koi Fish @ Art in the Valley
Paper Sculpture Party: Koi Fish @ Art in the Valley
Dec 17 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Paper Sculpture Party: Koi Fish @ Art in the Valley
Create your own 5″ x 7″ koi fish paper sculpture with your friends! Schedule your own party for up to 8 people (3-person minimum). No drawing skills are necessary. Artist Tiffany Budzisz will walk you[...]
6:00 pm Volunteer Info Session – Child A... @ Middle of Main
Volunteer Info Session – Child A... @ Middle of Main
Dec 17 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Volunteer Info Session - Child Advocate @ Middle of Main
Learn how you can help ensure abused and neglected children find safe, loving, and permanent homes.  The first step to becoming a CASA volunteer is to attend an Information Session. There, you will have the[...]