Montana Best Times November 2014

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One lunch at a time
Women embrace farm life solo style
Volunteer supports Israeli Defense Forces
A reading foundation
A Monthly Publication for Folks 50 and Better
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November 2014
November 2014 — 2
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Savvy Senior ............................................Page 3
Bookshelf .................................................Page 5
Opinion ....................................................Page 4
Big Sky Birding .......................................Page 10
Volunteering .............................................Page 19
On the Menu ............................................Page 20
Calendar ...................................................Page 21
Strange But True ......................................Page 22
INSIDE
News Lite
Boy, girl? Family with 12 sons awaits baby 13
ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan couple with
12 sons is expecting baby No. 13, and even though they’re stick-
ing to their tradition of not finding out in advance whether they’re
having a boy or girl, they said they’d be shocked if their streak is
broken.
Jay and Kateri Schwandt’s baby is due May 9, The Grand
Rapids Press reported. Even though they expect it will be anoth-
er boy, the couple said they would welcome either into the fami-
ly.
“If we were to have a girl, I think we would go into shock,”
Kateri Schwandt said. “It would probably be disbelief.”
If he had a choice, Jay Schwandt said he would love to have a
girl, but they’re just “hoping for a healthy baby.” Still, he would
like to see the effect of adding a girl to the mix in a household
with 12 boys.
“I’ve experienced all the boy stuff,” he said. “As long as we are
having all these children, it would be really neat to experience the
other side.”
The couple welcomed their twelfth son, Tucker, to the world on
Aug. 4, 2013. Their oldest son is now 22 years old.
“The stuff that goes on in this house is all-boy — roughhousing
and wrestling,” Jay Schwandt said. “If there was a little girl in
there, I assume it would be different.”
Kateri Schwandt, after being the sole female in the family for more
than two decades, said she would lean toward having one more boy.
“A little girl would be neat to have in the house, but a little boy
kind of takes the pressure off,” she said. “We know what we are
doing. Why change things up?”
The Schwandts, who live in Rockford, which is north of Grand
Rapids, consider themselves devout Roman Catholics and don’t
believe in using birth control. Kateri Schwandt comes from a
family of 14 kids. She said she is feeling well.
“I love being pregnant,” she said. “I’ve spent half of my life
being pregnant. It’s very neat and very special.”
Dear Savvy Senior,
I had dental insurance through my work for many years but lost
it when I retired. Where can retirees find affordable dental care?
— Need a Dentist
Dear Need,
Finding affordable dental care can be challenging for seniors
living on a tight budget. Most retirees lose their dental insurance
after leaving the workplace, and original Medicare does not cover
cleaning, fillings or dentures. While there’s no one solution to
affordable dental care there are a number of options that can help
cut your costs. Here’s where to look.
»Medicare Advantage
While original Medicare (Part A and B) and Medicare supple-
mental policies do not cover routine dental care, there are some
Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans that do. Many of these plans,
which are sold through private insurance companies, cover dental
care along with eye care, hearing and prescription drugs, in addi-
tion to all of your hospital and medical insurance. If you’re eligi-
ble for Medicare, see medicare.gov/find-a-plan to look for
Advantage plans in your area that covers dental care.
»Dental discounts
Another way you can reduce your dental care expenses is to
join a dental discount network. How this works is you pay an
annual membership fee — around $80 to $200 a year —
in exchange for 10 to 60 percent discounts on service and treat-
ments from participating dentists. To find a network, go to Den-
talPlans.com (or 888-632-5353) where you can search for plans
and participating dentists by zip code, as well as get a breakdown
of the discounts offered.
Another option that’s currently available only in the southern
California area is Brighter.com. They provide users free access to
a network of dentists offering up to 50 percent discounts on all
services.
»Dental schools
Dental school clinics offer savings opportunities too. All 65
accredited dental schools in the U.S. offer affordable care provid-
ed by dental students who are overseen by their professors. You
can expect to pay about half of what a traditional dentist would
charge and still receive excellent, well-supervised care.
Another option is to check with local colleges that offer dental
hygiene programs. For training purposes, many programs provide
teeth cleanings by their students for a fraction of what you’d pay
at a dentist’s office.
To search for nearby dental schools or dental hygiene programs
visit ada.org/dentalschools.
»Veterans benefits
If you’re a veteran enrolled in the VA health care program, or
are a beneficiary of the Civilian Health and Medical Program
(CHAMPVA), the VA is now offering a dental insurance program
that gives you the option to buy dental insurance through Delta
Dental and MetLife at a reduced cost.
The VA also provides free dental care to vets who have dental
problems resulting from service. To learn more about these
options, visit va.gov/dental or call (877) 222-8387.
»Low-income options
If you’re low income, there are various programs and clinics
that provide dental care at a reduced rate or for free. To look for
options in your area contact your state dental director (see astdd.
org), or your state or local dental society (ebusiness.ada.org/mys-
tate.aspx).
You may also be able to get discounted or free dental care at
one of the federally funded HRSA health centers (findahealthcen-
ter.hrsa.gov, (877) 464-4772), or at a privately funded free clinic
(nafcclinics.org).
Also check with the Dental Lifeline Network (dentallifeline.
org, (888) 471-6334) which provides free dental care for low-
income elderly and disabled; Remote Area Medical (ramusa.org)
which offers free health, eye and dental care to people in select
locations; and Indian Health Service (ihs.gov), which provides
free dental care to American Indians and Alaska Natives who are
members of a federally recognized Indian tribe.
Also see toothwisdom.org, a website created by Oral Health
America that will help you locate low-cost dental care.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443,
Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
Jim Miller, creator of the syndicated “Savvy
Senior” information column, is a longtime
advocate of senior issues. He has been featured in
Time magazine; is author of “The Savvy Senior:
The Ultimate Guide to Health, Family and
Finances for Senior Citizens”; and is a regular
contributor to the NBC “Today” show.
November 2014 — 3
A Guide to Finding
Affordable Dental Care
If you live in a mountainous region of Montana, you have
already seen snow on the high peaks. If you’re on the plains,
there’s a chill in the air when the wind blows these days.
And like our meadowlarks, blue birds, goldfinches, western
tanagers and a host of other birds, many of Montana human resi-
dents’ thoughts turn south about now. We all have friends who
have already flown the coop, and now we are left behind, facing
the prospect of a long, cold lonely winter. As I write this, a cold
fall wind is worrying the eaves of our house, whispering portents
of blizzards in the not-too-distant future.
If you can afford it and you are retired, or if you’re still
working and your job allows you to work away from the office,
the lure is pretty strong to follow those meadowlarks south-
ward.
But most of us are stuck here. And that’s OK.
Because we’re stuck with skiing the cold smoke at Montana’s
world-class downhill ski areas. We’re stuck with ice fishing on
Montana terrific reservoirs. We’re stuck with snowmobiling in
some of the best snowmobiling terrain on the planet. We’re stuck
with cross-country skiing across rolling fields of brilliant, white
snow. We’re stuck with walking down the streets of our home
towns on calm, moonlight nights, with the snow crunching under
our boots. We’re stuck with snowshoeing in the hills and moun-
tains. We’re stuck with sipping hot cider with family and friends
around a warm, crackling fire.
Yeah, we’re stuck, alright. And it’s just fine.
So, go ahead, snowbirds. Golf and hang out and watch plays in
community theaters and get bored down there. We’ll all be roast-
ing chestnuts over an open fire.
And loving it.
— Dwight Harriman,
Montana Best Times Editor
November 2014 — 4
Opinion
Go ahead and fly south; we’ll be just fine here
A Monthly Publication for Folks 50 and Better
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Dwight Harriman, Editor • Tom Parisella, Designer
P.O. Box 2000, 401 S. Main St., Livingston MT 59047
Tel. (406) 222-2000 or toll-free (800) 345-8412 • Fax: (406) 222-8580
E-mail: montanabesttimes@livent.net • Subscription rate: $25/yr.
Published monthly by Yellowstone Newspapers, Livingston, Montana
By Montana Best Times Staff
The Hebgen Lake earthquake of 1959 is the most
stark reminder in modern times that devastating earth-
quakes can and do happen in Montana.
The quake hit unsuspecting campers and tourists in the
Hebgen Lake area in southwestern Montana on Aug. 17,
1959, at 11:37 p.m. It killed 28 people, and a massive
slide it caused on the Madison River created Earthquake
Lake, or Quake Lake.
There are a lot of news accounts about what happened
that night, but one sees few in-depth survivor stories.
The just published “Shaken in the Night: A Survivor’s Story
from the Yellowstone Earthquake of 1959,” by Anita Painter
Thon, is a gripping example of one of those.
Thon was 12 at the time of the event. She had gone with her
family on a vacation to Yellowstone National Park when it hap-
pened. The book is not just an account of survival, but also of
great personal sorrow — her mother did not survive the quake,
and her father was seriously injured, and was affected emotional-
ly by the quake the rest of his life.
Thon describes in terrifying detail the moment the earthquake
hit as the family slept in their trailer.
“The roaring sound was getting unbelievably louder and closer,
like it was headed straight for our trailer …,” she writes. “I
remember that my heart was pounding so hard, like it was com-
ing out of my chest …
“Suddenly, we were hit really hard by something. It was like
we had been in the worst automobile accident you could ever
experience. The trailer exploded apart, rolling several times … I
was praying for it to stop and that we wouldn’t be killed. The
trailer rocked and rolled, eventually cracking open like an egg,
letting in the moonlight … Anne (her sister) and I pulled the
quilts over our heads and screamed and cried for our parents’
help.”
The jacket of “Shaken in the Night” sums the book up well:
“Author Anita Painter Thon survived that night, but many oth-
ers were less fortunate. Her firsthand account of this frightening
tragedy is a poignant example of how one routine decision can
alter a life forever, and her story is also a stirring display of how
strangers can unite their hearts and minds, putting others’ lives
before their own, in times of great need.”
This is a slim volume — only 47 pages — so it won’t take
long to get through it. But it is a riveting and poignant personal
account of one of the worst disasters to ever hit Montana.
If you want to know what it was like to experience that event,
pick up a copy of “Shaken in the Night.”
Bookshelf
November 2014 — 5
“Shaken in the Night: A Survivor’s
Story from the Yellowstone
Earthquake of 1959”
• Softcover • 47 pages • 6” x 9”
• ISBN 978-1-4996-0767-3
A poignant
firsthand account
of one the most
devastating events
to ever hit Montana
By M.P. Regan
Montana Best Times
DILLON — A professional librarian for
over 30 years and Dillon Public Library
Director for the past decade, Marie Habener
spends an hour each week in her facility’s
basement leading singalongs and hand
movements for tunes like “The Itsy, Bitsy
Spider” and “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and
Toes.”
And reciting nursery rhymes. And play-
ing with toys and dolls and games with the
preschool children, and parents and grand-
parents who enthusiastically gather each
week to spend that hour with her.
“It’s my favorite part of my job,” said
Habener of the playful exercises and out-
right play that make up Books & Babies,
the early literacy program she conducts for
children from age three down to newborn.
“Every Thursday, I find my mood elevated
because I’ve been singing with children.
Little ones are so joyous, just so open to the
world.”
But there is also something quite serious
going on amidst all the fun and games. That
singing and playing also elevates those
children’s capacity to take up and eventual-
ly master reading, an essential element for
every aspect of education.
“That’s how children learn, that’s how
language development occurs —reading,
talking, singing, playing,” said Cindy
Christin, the supervisor of children’s servic-
es at the Bozeman Public Library, where
she’s been crooning tunes and reciting
rhymes and reading stories to kids since
1988.
“Here’s why you are doing these things
— singing and reading are essential pre-
reading skills that help a child learn. There
is brain research now that actually demon-
strates how vital these early skills are,”
added Christin, who before coming to Boz-
eman lived in Helena, where she worked
for Falcon Publishing and the Lewis &
Clark Library.
“If you give these kids that foundation of
reading skills, then they are able to go on to
succeed at school and do great things for
their families and their communities,” con-
tinued Christin.
Building the foundation
for the foundation
Christin played an essential role in estab-
lishing the foundation for early reading
education programs in public libraries
November 2014 — 6
Librarians and volunteers help set up babies and toddlers for life
On the cover: Library Director Marie Habener holds a children’s book as she sits on the front steps of the Dillon Public Library.
Above: Habener engages youthful participants in the library’s Books & Babies program each week, with songs, nursery
rhymes and all sorts of educational fun. MT Best Times photos by M.P. Regan
A reading foundation
across Montana through her work with the
Montana State Library, where she has
served as a consultant for the past decade
and helped found the Ready to Read Pro-
gram, along with the State Library’s Mar-
keting and Communications Coordinator
Sara Groves.
“We realized that as a state we were not
doing anything to encourage libraries to
reach families with young children. We did
a survey and found that a lot of the public
libraries in the state were doing preschool
story times, but only five out of 85 were
offering anything for infants and toddlers,”
recalled Christin, who said the effort to get
more libraries to start serving the early
childhood population began as a marketing
campaign, but soon expanded to providing
materials and training for librarians and
volunteers to establish early literacy skill
building programs.
“We got grant funding for a Ready to
Read Rendezvous, a whole weekend of
training for librarians. Many of them did
not have much experience working with
children that young,” said Christin, who
also served for several years as a preschool
teacher in Helena and Washington, D.C.
“It can take you a little out of your com-
fort zone to sit down with 2-year-olds and
recite nursery rhymes if you’re not used to
doing it,” laughed Christin.
Social studies
Early literacy programs at libraries can
also help parents and grandparents gain a
greater sense of comfort in serving as early
childhood caregivers, while also enriching
their lives in other ways.
“Moms, dads and grandmas come in for
the program with the kids and have as
much fun as the children do,” said Christina
Koch, who holds a Story & Craft Time for
young children as part of her work as youth
services librarian for Virginia City’s
Thompson-Hickman County Library,
where she started as a volunteer.
“The program helps bring people togeth-
er who have something in common but
might not have otherwise met — we have
teenaged parents, older grandparents, mid-
dle-aged dads and moms who are all bring-
ing up young children in the same commu-
nity,” said Christin.
“We help them get information for rais-
ing young children and to get to know each
other at a time that is particularly lonely for
a lot of caregivers who have been going to
work for years and suddenly they are at
home alone all the time with an infant,”
added Christin, who earned an English
degree from Allegheny College and a mas-
ter’s in education from Colorado College.
“A public library is both welcoming and
free. For many people, there’s no other pub-
lic place to go with an infant that is free and
open and supportive. This program gives
them a space to get together in, to share
information, to help their children and to
socialize.”
The program also provides a classroom
for young children to develop their social
skills.
“It was my kids’ first group experience,”
said April Huss, of taking her year-and-a-
half-old son and 6-month-old daughter to
Books & Babies with Habener at the Dillon
Public Library.
“My son was shy and daughter just kind
of watched at first. She went to Marie quite
often, if there was a song with adult interac-
tion. Those two really connected with her,”
continued Huss, of Habener, who gets hugs
from children before, after, and sometimes
even during, Books & Babies sessions.
“It was really a great experience because
we were new to town and got to meet other
people. We made some really good friends
there that we still stay in contact with,” said
Huss, who helped found an early childhood
literacy program at the Whitehall Commu-
nity Library after moving from Dillon.
“My children definitely developed a lot
of language skills through the songs and
different motor skills from performing the
various movements that go with some of
the songs,” said Huss, of her son and
daughter, now both school-aged, who also
maintain friendships they made at the
Books & Babies program. “They still sing
and talk about the songs they learned back
in Dillon at Books & Babies.”
Summer and
the reading is easy
Habener extends her efforts to increase
early childhood literacy through other pro-
grams and events at the Dillon Public
Library, including Classic Story Time,
which presents oft-told tales like Cinderel-
la, Little Bo Peep, Little Red Riding Hood
and The Three Little Pigs — tales that con-
nect generations but that perhaps may not
be getting told enough anymore.
“These stories are all considered cultural
knowledge that will be referenced the rest
of their lives,” said Habener, who helps
bring classic kids stories to life with a set of
two-sided dolls depicting characters in the
stories.
“Kids are expected to know these stories,
but a lot of kids these days don’t know
them,” added Habener, who gets Classic
Story Time attendees to create craft projects
November 2014 — 7
Marie Habener is pictured with children in her Books & Babies program, and their
parents, in Dillon recently.
See Reading foundation, Page 16
By Kathleen Gilluly
Montana Best Times
LAUREL — Although the couple’s
goals in ministering to the Laurel commu-
nity weren’t the same, the outcome of
establishing a summer food program for
children fulfilled both their dreams.
Edie and James Armstrong are devout
Christians and very active in their church,
the Family Christian Center, located at
1002 Third Ave. in Laurel. Both had long
wanted to do more hands-on work in the
community. Edie was more focused on
outreach and ministry, while James’ goal
was to get local churches to work together.
But their goals began merging after Edie
had a vision.
“It just came to me as a fully formed
idea. I saw a trailer with a window for
serving food,” she said. “I drew a picture
of it and took it to church with me.”
Answering the call
When Edie told the congregation of her
certainty that God’s will was for them to
feed people in need, the idea quickly took
root. Edna Stepper, of nearby Park City,
was at the service and saw Edie’s drawing.
She knew immediately how she could
help. She was so overcome by the oppor-
tunity presented, she had to compose her-
self before telling Edie the news, Stepper
said.
For years, Stepper and her husband,
Leo, who had recently died, operated a
mobile lunch truck in conjunction with
their Park City business. The truck and
trailer had been idle for too long. Stepper
said she knew she had been at that specific
church service for a reason.
The end result was that Edie and James
in June launched a summer food program
called Strangers, Orphans and Widows
(SOW), and Stepper donated the vehicles
so that SOW could use them as a food
trailer.
Volunteers spent months before the
launch preparing the trailer to serve hearty,
healthy meals. And, as more people heard
November 2014 — 8
Above: James and Edie Armstrong, of Laurel, are pictured inside the Strangers,
Orphans and Widows (SOW) food truck recently. MT Best Times photo by Kathleen Gilluly
Below: Caleb Armstrong, 8, left, and Nathaniel Rieke, 9, are shown with school
supplies that SOW provided to school children. Photo courtesy of SOW
One lunch at a time
A vision to feed the needy draws together volunteers, churches
November 2014 — 9
about the effort, more and more volunteers stepped forward.
This past summer the food truck ran five days per week feed-
ing people — mostly children — at three locations in Laurel.
Seven local churches committed to providing food and cooking
meals and several others have inquired about helping next sum-
mer.
A vision fulfilled
“My wife started the ministry,” James said, “but it’s exciting
for me to see so many people getting out of church and working
with each other. That’s my passion — to be around so many peo-
ple who want to make changes and be doers.”
While the program is faith based, it is not exclusive. James not-
ed that not all volunteers are church-goers and few of the children
participating are interested in religion. Most volunteers are older
or semi-retired.
Edie said their the program’s first priority is addressing hunger.
“No one wants to be preached to, and that’s not our purpose,”
she said. “We just want to get to know our neighbors. If anyone
asks why we do this, I do tell them it’s because God loves us and
I love them.”
She added that after seeing the same faces all summer, many
neighbors throughout town aren’t strangers anymore.
“We don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable,” Edie said.
“We don’t have an agenda except to fill a need.”
And in doing so, the Armstrongs and their supporters are lead-
ing by doing.
“That’s what’s been the biggest testimony in my eyes,” James
said. “So many people have gotten out and worked together to do
something good. This is the way to build community.”
Familiar faces
In addition to feeding the kids homemade meals with food they
like — one favorite is the walking taco — volunteers made sure
to offer fresh vegetables, fruit, milk and water. Children could get
a to-go bag on Friday with snacks to share through the weekend.
On the last Friday before school started, children were given
school supplies, too. A team of volunteers helps at the hand
washing station, serving food or playing hopscotch.
“We tried to have activities every day and we’ll do that again
next summer,” Edie said. “One church supplied coloring books
and crayons. Other days we did face painting or something else
fun.”
After serving 2,597 meals between June 2 and Aug. 22, the
ministry hopes to streamline their process a little so they have
more time to visit with the diners next summer.
Kathleen Gilluly may be reached at schools@laureloutlook.
com or (406) 628-4412.
Left: Edie and James Armstrong stand by the SOW food truck.
The truck served 2,597 hearty meals this past summer.
MT Best Times photo by Kathleen Gilluly
• SOW served an average of 50 meals per
day. Between June 2 and Aug. 22, volunteers
served 2,597 meals to Laurel children.
• Anyone is welcome to volunteer.
• Most of the food is cooked in the churches’
commercial kitchens.
• Seven local churches are committed to pro-
viding food and cooking meals and more
have asked to help in 2015.
Strangers, Orphans and
Widows (SOW) overview
Rent Based on Income, HUD 202 PRAC
Live On-Site Community Administrator
Free Laundry • On-Site Parking
Mailboxes on Premises
Electric, Gas, Water, Sewer, & Trash
Included in Rent
Community Room Available for Social
Gatherings & Meetings
Accepting Applications for Independent Seniors
Great News for Seniors 62 yrs of Age & Older!
COMFORTABLE & AFFORDABLE APARTMENTS
Call (406) 248-9117 • 1439 Main Street • Billings, MT
‘Hello Kitty’ arrested on DUI charge
GORHAM, Maine (AP) — Police say a Maine woman who
was pulled over while wearing a Hello Kitty costume was arrest-
ed on a drunken driving charge.
Gorham police say officers stopped 37-year-old Carrie Gip-
son, of Westbrook, at about 2 a.m. Sunday because she was driv-
ing in the wrong lane. They say she refused to take a breath test
and was arrested for operating under the influence. She was tak-
en to the Cumberland County jail.
Her police mugshot shows her wearing a red and white Hello
Kitty costume, minus the doll’s mammoth head.
News Lite
EDITOR’S NOTE:
Montana Best Times
has been featuring
some of the fascinat-
ing adventures Terry
McEneaney had
when he was Yellow-
stone National Park’s
ornithologist. Fol-
lowing is another
excerpt from a new book he is writing,
“Lucky Feathers: Adventures and Experi-
ences of a Yellowstone Ornithologist.”
A solitaire is a name given to a group of
small slim myadestine or “fly catching”
thrushes belonging to the family Turdidae.
There currently happens to be 12 species
of solitaires in the world. Four species
occur in Hawaii and have unique Hawai-
ian common names such as the Kamoa
(Myadestes myadestinus), Omaho (M.
obscurus), Olomao (M. lanaiensis), and
Puaiohi (M. palmeri). The Kamao and
Omaho are ecologically extinct as of this
writing, but the Olomao and Puaiohi are
hanging on ecologically for dear life.
Of the eight remaining solitaire species,
all are doing fine. Three species are found
in Central America, with one species
found respectively in northern South
America, Dominican Republic, Cuba,
Mexico, and lastly the Townsend’s Soli-
taire (M. townsendi) found throughout
western North America (spreading from
Mexico through the western United States
into Canada). The first solitaire ever to be
described came from a type specimen col-
lected by John Townsend in 1838 along
the Willamette River near current day
Astoria, Oregon, hence the name John J.
Audubon gave the bird — Townsend’s
Solitaire.
All soltaires, regardless of where they
are found, have commonalities. The
myadestine solitaires are slim-looking
upright thrushes measuring 6-10 inches in
length and weighing 24-72 grams. They
possess short tarsi, or legs, short broad
bill, and long wings and tail. They feed
mainly by flycatching, such as sallying for
insects in mid-air, and landing/hovering
for insects and/or hanging on fruit such as
berries.
The Townsend’s Solitaire of North
America is best described as 8 inches long
and all gray in color, with slightly darker
charcoal wings, tail, and dark eyes. One of
its key identification features are its obvi-
ous white eye ring, bold buffy (pale yel-
low-brown) wing bars, and a white trailing
edge to the sides of the tail. They have a
unique characteristic flight behavior
involving flicking of the tail at the same
time exposing the white tail edges. They
can also flail the wings and tail when land-
ing, exposing the white edges to the tail,
as well and exposing its oftentimes hidden
buffy wing-stripes/wing bars seen from
both above and below.
The odd common name “solitaire” gets
its origin because it resembles a single
gem set alone, such as the beauty of a dia-
mond gem. Thus a solitaire is normally
found perched or singing alone, i.e., all by
itself/solitary, but the name is also due to
its solitary diamond gem-like vocal purity
and loudness, which occurs whether
perched or while in flight. But occasional-
ly a solitaire can be accompanied by
another individual somewhere nearby, the
individual nearby usually being its mate.
All solitaire species possess body plum-
age that is either brown or gray or a com-
bination of countershading colors. All
November 2014 — 10
Terry McEneaney is ornithologist emeritus for Yellowstone National Park, and is the author of three books: “Birding Montana,” “Birds of
Yellowstone,” and “The Uncommon Loon.” He has been watching birds for 50 years and is one of Montana’s most experienced birders.
Rare wing-stalling flight display
of the Townsend’s Solitaire
Birding
B
i
g
S
k
y
Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
A Townsend’s Solitaire perches on the tip of a branch.
have dark eyes and possess white partial
or full eye rings or none at all. Some can
have buff wing bar patches or none at all,
with white markings on throat, tail, or
undertail coverts are present in some spe-
cies. All species of solitaires are noted for
their incredibly loud songs, with some
species bordering on being deafening to
the human ear. The Brown-backed Soli-
taire (M. occidentalis) comes to mind. But
only the Townsend’s Solitaire possesses
the rare combination of colorful buffy
wingbars/wing-stripes, a treetop level
breeding display, and a song.
The bold buffy wingbars or wing-
stripes get the attention of other
Townsend’s Solitaires and oftentimes they
will stay away. During the winter, foods
such as juniper berries are of a premium.
Defending these valued food sites can be
accomplished in the winter by exposing
the solitaire’s buffy wing-stripes and
white tail edges when defending a shrub
containing large numbers of juniper ber-
ries. They will make a snapping noise
with their bill and flail the wings while
defending a winter territory from other
competing solitaires and Bohemian Wax-
wings (Bombycilla garrulus).
Two wonderful
characteristics
But the Townsend’s Solitaire is noted
for two wonderful characteristics — its
remarkable song and its characteristic
flight. They are unusual in the thrush fam-
ily in that they sing throughout the year,
with two periods for this song — one dur-
ing the nesting season and summer (April
to August) defending a breeding/summer
territory, while the other occurs in winter
(September to March) defending food
resources on winter territories.
During the breeding season, they can
sing from a perch or while flying and per-
forming a breeding display just over tree-
tops. They are also unique in that the male
and the female can sing particularly dur-
ing the winter defending valuable winter
territories. The Townsend’s Solitaire’s
song is best described as a loud, long
musical continuum of warbling “tew”
notes that varies in loudness and intensity.
The call on the other hand, is a single soft
“wheeh” whistle note.
Normally when they do conduct a
breeding flight display while singing, this
sensational song is performed not far
above the treetops (i.e., within 100 feet).
During this flight, they show off their
buffy wingbars while at the same time
continue to sing while performing what
resembles a near hover. But the scientific
literature does not mention Townsend’s
Solitaires performing high-flying, station-
ary aerial breeding displays described
herein. High-flying for the purposes of
this article is meant to be 500 to 1,500
feet above the ground.
Rare display
On about a dozen different field days
while climbing mountain peaks, I can
recall witnessing Townsend’s Solitaires
performing this same unusual high-flying,
musical breeding display not described in
the scientific literature. Areas that come to
mind from notes for this high-flying
breeding display include Rattlesnake
Butte, Electric Peak, Mt. Sheridan, Bar-
ronette Peak, Bunsen Peak, Chicken
Ridge, Grizzly Peak, Mt. Washburn (Yel-
lowstone National Park/Montana and
Wyoming), Sheep Mountain and Emigrant
Peak (Absaroka Mountains), Taylor
Mountain (Centennial Mountains), Mount
Sentinel (Sapphire Mountains), and Hoo-
doo Pass (Bitterrroot Mountains), all
located in Montana.
The most notable day for observing this
remarkable territorial flight display in
detail was Aug. 28, 2004, while I was
resting on the summit of Electric Peak
(10,992’) in Yellowstone National Park
(Montana). I could hear the loud song of
the Townsend’s Solitaire above me, but
had a hard time figuring out where the
song was coming from. Heard were doz-
ens of songs each lasting 7-20 seconds at
a time. There was a slight 5 mph breeze
on the summit from the southwest — it
should be noted this was a key point
regarding this very unusual observation.
Then I looked up and saw with binocu-
lars a mere speck of a bird and identified
it by its song and “wing-stalling” tech-
nique exposing its buffy wing-stripes in
stationary flapping flight that bordered on
hovering. I estimated the bird to be 1,000-
1,200 feet above the 10,992-foot summit,
thus performing this behavior somewhere
between the 11,990 to 12,100 feet in ele-
vation. It was sort of singing as it was
“wing-stalling.” It was a beautiful sight to
behold. This unusual “wing-stalling”
behavior resembled the magnificent sky-
larking breeding behavior of the Eurasian
Skylark (Alauda arvensis) that I have
observed in Ireland on many occasions.
So next time you are in the Greater Yel-
lowstone or throughout the mountains of
Montana and you happen to climb a
mountain summit on a nice summer day,
you might want to keep an ear and an eye
out for the high-flying, stationary rare
wing-stalling flight display of the
Townsend’s Solitaire.
November 2014 — 11
More short stories from “Lucky Feathers: Adventures and Experiences of a Yellowstone Ornithologist,” will be featured in forthcoming issues
of Montana Best Times. In the meantime, enjoy Montana birds! And the Best of Big Sky Birding to you!
Bird watching questions may be sent to Terry McEneaney by writing to 1215 Lolo St., Missoula, MT 59802; emailing terry@ravenidiot.com; or visiting
www.yellowstonewildlifeguides.com or www.ravenidiot.com. If questions are mailed, include a phone number at which you can be reached.
Above: A sketch Terry McEneaney
made of the Townsend’s Solitaire
he witnessed displaying high in the
air above Electric Peak in Yellow-
stone Park. Image courtesy of Terry
McEneaney
Below: The spot over Electric Peak
— the mountain in the foreground
— at which the Townsend’s Soli-
taire displayed is superimposed on
this Google Earth image.
November 2014 — 12 November 2014 — 13
By Deb Hill
Montana Best Times
LEWISTOWN — Asenior woman on
her own — likely when you hear that
phrase, you expect the lady to live in a
townhome, condo or perhaps a retirement
community. But some lucky few live
where you’d least expect it: down on the
farm.
What’s more, many of those have no
intention of leaving the country life any-
time soon, despite the extra effort required
to handle rural living. Why do they do it?
Mostly, it seems, because they can’t imag-
ine living anywhere else.
Beulah Biegalke
Acase in point is 88-year-old Beulah
Biegalke, of Stanford, in central Montana,
who still lives on the farm she and her
husband purchased in 1957. Barns and
outbuildings, along with fields of grazing
cattle, surround the tidy gray farmhouse
sitting in the middle of 1,280 acres.
Biegalke has lived by herself since los-
ing her husband, Francis, in 1998. The
farm is leased to neighbors, but Biegalke
still has five cows of her own in the herd
loitering along the fence line nearby. Her
three children, two daughters and a son,
live far away: Washington, Ohio and Flor-
ida. The neighbors help sometimes, but
Beulah is mostly on her own.
Why not move to town where life might
be a little easier?
“Because this is my home,” Biegalke
said. “As long as I’m able to function, why
not live here? I think we make a big mis-
take by putting old people in rest homes.
When you are ready to die, you are ready
to die, whether you are in assisted living
or not. I’ve lived here almost all my adult
life. It feels like where I need to be.”
As a young woman raised in Ohio, Bie-
galke followed the job market to Montana
with her newly minted teaching certificate.
“I have a B.S. in secondary education,
and I taught home economics and sci-
ence,” Biegalke said. “After I graduated, I
had several job offers in Ohio but I took a
position in Chester, Montana, which paid
$200 more a year. In those days, that was a
lot of money. I was fiddle-footed and fan-
cy free, and I could go where I wanted. So
I ended up in Chester.”
There, at a country dance, Biegalke met
her husband-to-be.
“I’m the world’s worst dancer, but he
still asked me out for a date the next week-
end,” she recalled.
After a few more dances, they mar-
ried, then moved around some before
finding the Stanford farm for sale.
“We paid $100 an acre to buy it,” she
said. “We didn’t have much money and I
don’t know how I did everything I did
— made the kids’ clothes, took them
down the road to catch the school bus,
kept the house and made the meals,
helped with the farm. I just did what
needed to be done, I guess.”
But now others run the farm, the kids
are grown and moved away, and for
some, the little house might seem too
quiet. But not for Beulah.
“It hasn’t occurred to me to move to
town,” she said. “There’s always some-
thing to do out here. I grow a little gar-
den — this year, potatoes, tomatoes and
corn mostly — and I knit, tat and weave.
I don’t watch TV much — I don’t like it
and we only get three channels out here.
I love to read, and I help with the read-
ing program at the Judith Basin County
Free Library.
“I’d like to have more cows, but the
people who run them want to sell the
ones that don’t calve every year. If it
were me, I’d give the cows another
chance. Afew years ago I had 20 head,
but now I’m down to five.”
Visitors are uncommon, although Bie-
galke said her children touch base with
her frequently.
“Alot of people my age are not here
any more, but if I want company, I’ll
call someone and ask them to come out
with me. We might go to town, or down
to Great Falls for a play or something.
“But I don’t mind the quiet,” Biegalke
added, glancing out the window at the
acres of grassland blowing in the wind.
“This is what I’m used to and I like it.”
Judy Hoge
That sentiment is echoed by Judy
Hoge, 73, who lives about 12 miles out-
side of Lewistown. Hoge’s hilltop home,
with views across much of central Mon-
tana, was a retirement spot chosen by
her husband, Mel, to which the couple
moved in 1997. Mel died three years
ago, but Judy hasn’t left.
“I just don’t know what I’d do with
myself if I moved to town,” Hoge said.
“I grew up in Havre, and I was a city
slicker until I met my husband, Mel, when
I was 14,” she explained. “We got married
when I was 18 and we farmed at Big San-
dy. Living in the country was the love of
my life. At first, we lived in a two-room
house on 300 acres with no running water,
and I was raising three kids. Some might
have hated it. I loved it.”
Hoge said Mel’s aunts taught her how
to can produce and butcher meat.
“I learned all that stuff that I needed
to know,” she recalled. “I would get up
at 1 a.m. to check the cows that might
calve so Mel could sleep. I worked the
garden. I just felt like it was my life and
I needed to make the best of it. I had
wonderful neighbors. Everyone helped
each other.”
The hard work made for a happy life,
Judy said.
“You learned to appreciate what you
had, what you got and the other people
around you,” she added.
Eventually the Hoges owned a large
farm in Big Sandy, which, after many
years, they sold to purchase land in For-
est Grove and where her home now sits.
“We were briefly millionaires,” she
said, laughing. “At least we were from
when we got the check for the sale of
the Big Sandy farm until we paid for the
land we bought here.”
The couple shared a good life, until
Mel’s heart attack changed things.
“People tell me, ‘Judy, you ought to
move to town,” Hoge said. “But all my
memories are here. If I lived in town, I’d
be looking out my window at someone
else’s house. Here I have this amazing
view. I’d be listening to loud cars, kids,
other people’s music. Here it’s the wind
and the birds. I love it out here.
“I sometimes get a little lonely, but I
See On their own, Page 17
On their own
Three women embrace life on the farm, solo-style
Above: Stanford’s Beulah Biegalke, 88,
stands near the pasture where she still runs
five head of cattle. Biegalke lives on the
1,280-acre farm she purchased with her
husband in 1957.
Left: Judy Hoge, 73, enjoys the peace
and quiet, to say nothing of the
stunning view, of her country
property outside Lewistown.
MT Best Times photos by Deb Hill
Mary Messina chats with her horses on
a fall day outside Lewistown. Messina
moved to Montana from the Midwest in
1996, drawn by a love of the state and
its people.
By Chaun Scott
Montana Best Times
FORSYTH — Taking a trip to the Holy Land these days, given
the current tensions in the area, might give some pause. But for
someone who loves Israel like Billings resident Sybil Lumpkin,
there is no place she would rather be.
Sybil, 74, said that at her age, she isn’t worried about her life.
“Putting my life on the line for Israel? At my age, every day
my life is on the line,” Sybil said in jest to a group of her friends
before she left last month on her fourth trip to Israel.
When asked why she was going, she simply said, “It is where
my heart belongs.”
Origin of the trips
Although Sybil is not Jewish, she has been studying about the
ancient beginnings of the Israelites that Moses wrote about in
Torah — the first five books of the Bible — and celebrating its
feast days for nearly 20 years.
In 2003, Sybil wanted to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in
the land of Israel and started looking for a way to get there — an
expensive task for someone living on a pension.
“I didn’t know how I was going to get there, but I knew it was
something I had to do,” commented Sybil.
Then one day, while attending a Messianic church — a church
that believes Jesus is the Messiah but which includes Jewish ele-
ments in its services — in California, Sybil heard of a volunteer
program called Sar-El. Sar-El is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organi-
zation in which unarmed volunteers — both Jewish and non-Jew-
ish — assist the Israeli Defense Forces with support tasks.
When she heard about the organization, she knew right then
she was volunteering for the IDF, Sybil said.
Volunteering with a mission
Being a volunteer is nothing new to Sybil. She has been travel-
ing around the world volunteering since the early 1970s. In fact,
she loves helping people so much that when she was 50, she
returned to school to become a registered nurse working in the
private sector. Her patients included people like the First Lady
Betty Ford for three years and the mother of former Beach Boy
Carl Wilson.
Becoming a registered nurse put her in a position to meet
famous people and volunteer around the world.
“I went back to school because I wanted to volunteer for Medi-
cal Missions,” Sybil said. “I waited until my kids were gone
before I went back to school. It allowed me the opportunity to
volunteer in places like Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.”
Recalling her time in the Philippines, Sybil said the conditions
there were very difficult.
“One out of every 10 children in the Philippines has tuberculo-
sis,” she said. “The children there where I served were living on a
garbage dump. It smelled so bad.”
But for someone like Sybil, it was a place where she could
make a difference, and she found it difficult to leave the children
behind.
“I didn’t want to come home, but I had to,” she said.
Back to Israel
As Sybil sets out on another volunteering mission — this time
on her fourth trip to support the Israeli Defense Force — she
knows from experience the next three months will be hard.
But she also knows her time there will be worth it.
“The showers are cold, the clothes are too big and my boots
November 2014 — 14
Sybil Lumpkin is pictured with an Israeli soldier on her first
trip to support the Israeli Defense Forces, in this worn 2003
snapshot.
Photo courtesy of Sybil Lumpkin
74-year-old volunteers to
support Israeli Defense Forces
November 2014 —15
won’t fit,” said Sybil. “But it is all worth it. The soldiers are 18
and 19 years old ... they are just kids ... they cling to you. They
love that you are there.”
She added, “With Sar-El, I will stay with the IDF in the bar-
racks for nine weeks total. After that, I hope to find places to
volunteer so I can stay longer. I want to stay for an entire year.”
Sybil believes this trip is special because at her age, being
accepted to take part in the program is only by divine appoint-
ment.
“They have never allowed someone at my age to go — it has
to be a miracle of God,” she said.
Sybil left for Israel on Oct. 13, spent a few nights exploring
the country and connecting with old friends, and then reported
for duty — where she continues at the time of this writing.
Chaun Scott may be reached at ip-news@rangeweb.net or
(406) 346-2149.
MT Best Times photo by Chaun Scott
Sybil Lumpkin is pictured at her home in Billings in October.
By Wina Sturgeon
Adventure Sports Weekly/MCT
One of the hardest times of life after you hit 50 years old is
downsizing. The kids are gone, it’s just you and your spouse,
or maybe you’re living alone. That home with the bedrooms
and bathrooms and basement is just too big. The yard work is
too exhausting, or too expensive to pay someone else to do.
There comes a time when moving into a smaller space seems
like a good idea. But once that decision is made, another reality
hits home. What are you going to do with all your stuff?
The problem with ‘stuff’ is that it seems to breed. You’re
probably not a hoarder, but where did all this ‘stuff’ come
from? No one wants to even TRY to pack all their stuff into a
smaller space. But deciding what to do with it all is a serious
issue.
Here’s one solution that works well: use one room, or part of
one room, as your giveaway site. For example, my friend Mar-
gie was moving from her big thing-cluttered house into a two
bedroom condo. Always logical, the first thing she did was to
sell all the furniture in the guest room, leaving it totally empty.
Next, she began filling it up.
The lovely crocheted bedspread she never actually liked well
enough to use went into what became her giveaway room. So
did the delicate china figurines her daughter had collected as a
child, but no longer wanted. The set of dishes Margie no longer
used, the second computer that was only four years old but
hadn’t really been used much, the plethora of plants that were a
pain to care for — all that and more went into that no longer
empty room.
Then she began giving it away. Yes, she could have sold
things. Some, like the sterling silver serving pieces, were actu-
ally worth quite a bit of money. But Margie said that giving
these things away filled her with joy. It was as if she would go
on, while those items were being used and treasured by new
owners.
She knows I have a big garden and several fruit trees, so she
gave me her unused dehydrator. What a pleasure! I’d been
meaning to purchase a new dehydrator for a long time, and
now I had one. The bulky salon hair dryer that rested in her
master bath for so many years went to a woman who was open-
ing a casual salon to cut and style neighbor’s hair in her base-
ment.
“I give something away every day, every single day,” Margie
told me. Some things went to people who were nearly strang-
ers. A familiar clerk at a local market had lost about 70 pounds
on a diet. She asked if she could give him some gently used
clothing, because he was now the same size as her deceased
husband. The clerk, who didn’t earn a lot of money, could nev-
er have afforded the quality of the wool suits left behind by her
husband. Though it was a wrench to give those clothes away,
the man’s delight touched her heart.
It was such a captivating idea that I decided to try it, even
though I’m not downsizing. But I sure would like to get rid of
some of the no-longer-used stuff taking up my space. After all,
why does anyone need over a dozen bedspreads, even if they’re
all beautiful and were very expensive? I have neighbors with
six children; two of the bedspreads went to them. The decora-
tive lamp and the small table it sat on went to a family that
works in a nearby convenience store.
Clinging to those things brought me no joy; I didn’t even
really see them anymore. But each thing I gave away brought
joy to others, and I loved seeing their delight at a mostly unex-
pected gift.
It’s actually changed my life for the better. I find myself
thinking about things I have, but don’t really need, that can add
sunshine to the lives of others. I often wake up in the morning
and take a moment of pleasure to think, ‘What can I give away
today?’
At the same time, I’ve got so much more room that it’s like
having a new house. The people I’ve given things to don’t even
realize that they in fact have given space back to me.
Wina Sturgeon is an active boomer based in Salt Lake City
who offers news on the science of anti-aging and staying
youthful at adventuresportsweekly.com.
What are you giving away today?
portraying classic story characters like The Big Bad Wolf and story
props like magic wands they can take home and continue to refer-
ence.
Habener picks up the pace of her efforts in the summer, reaching
out to kids of all ages, most of whom do not attend classes in the
warm-weather months and might get out of the vital habit of read-
ing.
To keep local children connected to books and all the benefits
they provide, Habener each year hosts an ambitious Summer Read-
ing Program that draws kids to books through other fields they
might be interested in.
Over the past two summers, Dillon children engaged in the Sum-
mer Reading Program have, among many other things, collected
rocks, participated in building miniature geysers and volcanoes,
gotten visits from scientists and local firefighters on a fire engine,
and attended a science magic show and a science-themed puppet
show that visited other libraries in the state holding summer read-
ing programs.
“There have been recent stories in the national news about how
low U.S. students test scores are getting in science, so we wanted
to design a program to get children involved with fun science
activities and to do more science-related reading over the summer,”
said Habener, who credited materials from the Montana State
Library and the Museum of the Rockies with helping make the pro-
gram such a success.
“Children who keep reading over the summer pretty much start
back up at school in the fall where they left off in the spring, but
children who haven’t been reading over the summer take some-
thing like three weeks to catch back up to where they were when
school let out,” said Habener, of a phenomenon known as the Sum-
mer Slide.
The Summer Slide in reading and learning skills can steepen
over the years in kids who don’t keep up with reading during the
summer, according to Montana’s State Superintendent of Public
Instruction Denise Juneau.
But research shows the Summer Slide can also be stemmed by
inspiring a child to read just a half-dozen books during his or her
summer vacation.
To that end, Habener showcases books in her library related to
the special events in its Summer Reading Program and stages a big
program finale that includes a parade through downtown Dillon
and carnival, where children can spend the play money they have
earned for each hour of reading they’ve done that summer.
“The point is to get kids to the library, where they can have a
good time with some hands-on activities and get their hands on
some books. And parents can use the fact that kids are at the library
as an opportunity to check out more books,” said Habener, who
grew up in Billings and still keeps a photo of the teacher, Mrs. Ref-
fner, who taught her to read with help from the local public library
and book mobile.
“I still remember the first word I read — ‘mile’ — and how I
sounded it out,” recalled Habener.
“That’s all it took, and I was off and running,” said Habener,
who went on to work over two decades at the University of Mon-
tana’s Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library in Missoula before
coming to Dillon.
“We’re very happy to have people like Marie helping set up the
next generation of readers and students for successful lives,” said
Christin, mother to three adult daughters. “She does such a great
job with it because she is so authentically interested in children and
families and her community.”
M.P. Regan may be reached at mregan@dillontribune.com or
(406) 683-2331.
November 2014 — 16
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Reading foundation, from Page 7
Large flightless bird closes Indiana highway
PERU, Ind. (AP) — A large flightless bird forced the closing of
a northern Indiana highway while police officers and motorists
tried to chase it down.
The 5-foot-tall bird called a rhea escaped from a farm Oct. 27
and ran onto U.S. 24 near Peru, about 80 miles north of Indianap-
olis. Rheas are native to South America and similar to ostriches
and emus.
Corralling the bird was no easy task as it ran around a ramp
between U.S. 24 and U.S. 31, state police 1st Sgt. Bob Burgess
told the Kokomo Tribune.
“This thing would just all of a sudden take off like a jet,” he
said. “Everybody was a little bit skeptical about grabbing ahold
of it because it could kick you and it had some pretty vicious tal-
ons.”
An animal control officer arrived and shot the rhea with a tran-
quilizer dart. Burgess said the tranquilizer didn’t take effect
immediately, causing officers to block the highway for around 10
minutes as they attempted to capture it.
Meanwhile, officers contacted the bird’s previous owner, who
arrived on the scene and was able to tackle it.
Burgess said the previous owner loaded the bird into a pickup
truck and returned it to its new owner.
News Lite
November 2014 — 17
can’t imagine what I’d do or where in the
world I would live if I moved,” she added.
“Here, it’s just peaceful.”
Mary Messina
Love of place seems to be one common
thread that ties these women to the land.
For some it’s land their families owned
and farmed for generations. For Mary
Messina, 70, the tie is more recent.
Messina, who lives on some 300 acres
southeast of Lewistown, said Montana
was a dream of hers for years before she
finally moved here from Illinois in 1996.
“It was always in the back of my mind to
do this,” Messina said. “The idea was so
strong that I moved out here without a job,
without anywhere to live. I just wanted
enough space to have some horses and big
dogs. I never dreamed I’d have a place like
this. I am the luckiest woman around.”
Messina said living alone with two hors-
es and dogs to care for felt more like a
dream come true than a challenge.
“People here have been very helpful,
and helped me learn how to do things I
need to do,” she said. “But also, since I’ve
been divorced and on my own for so long,
I’ve learned to do things myself. I have
two mantras. One is that I am a college
graduate, so I should be able to figure out
how to do something. The other is, if I
wait for a man to come do things for me,
I’ll never get anything done.”
Caring for horses, training her two Ger-
man shepherd dogs, gardening — Messina
said she feels strong enough to tackle
whatever the rural life throws at her,
although she is careful.
“Most years I make sure I have every-
thing ready for winter by the time the
snow falls,” she explained. “I’m strong
now, but I am aware that I’m out here by
myself. That’s why I stopped riding a few
years ago. I try to be realistic and evaluate
what I can and can’t do, but I plan to stick
it out as long as I can.”
Messina, like the other women in this
story, said she has plenty to do, so feeling
lonely is not an issue.
“Plenty of people come visit or invite
me to go places,” she said. “I quilt during
the winter and garden during the summer.
I also volunteer my time in town, for recy-
cling and other projects. I have to be care-
ful because I have tendency to get working
at 5 or 6 a.m. and not stop until 6 p.m. I
have a lot of things to do — I’m busier
now that I’m retired than I was when I was
working.”
Messina said that while she doesn’t
dwell on it, she has given thought to the
future.
“I am far from my family. I don’t want
to be a burden on anyone. My sons live
across the country and I have a brother in
the Midwest. He wants me to move back
there, but I told him, ‘It took me forever to
get out here — why would I want to move
back?’”
And, as with the others, she wonders
about how to make a life in town live up
to the life she has now.
“I have the freedom to do what I want
here, and that’s nice,” Messina said. “If I
moved to town, what would I do with the
dogs and horses? I’d have neighbors to
contend with. Out here, it’s a good life.
“I think it’s something about Montana,”
she added. “I never had such a strong feel-
ing about a place. I love it and I love the
people. It makes me happy.”
Deb Hill may be reached at editor@
lewistownnews.com or (406) 535-3401.
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On their own, from Page 13
By Joan Cary
Chicago Tribune/MCT
University of Illinois adjunct professor Fred Kummerow con-
tinues to wage war on trans fats — personally from his kitchen
table and professionally through a proliferation of research papers
he is still writing and getting published.
Kummerow, who was born Oct. 4, 1914, in Berlin, prefers to
talk less about celebrating a birthday with cake and candles and
more about his paper on lipids that was published earlier this
year, or about another paper awaiting review, or about his goal to
establish a lipid research center.
He has spent his career as a biochemist pioneering research
into the causes of heart disease and trying to convince the world
— and especially the Food and Drug Administration for more
than five decades — that trans fats are responsible for heart fail-
ure. Not eggs. Not cholesterol in the plasma.
Kummerow, who was profiled in the Chicago Tribune when he
was 98, drinks three glasses of whole milk every day and begins
every morning with an egg cooked in butter (never margarine),
whole grains, fruit and almonds or walnuts.
It’s that diet, and up to an hour of exercise every day, that has
taken him this far, he says.
“And,” he adds, “the fact that I want to keep solving a prob-
lem.”
For the good of mankind, the problem he wants to solve is
heart disease. For him right now, another problem is funding to
keep the small lab that he dedicated in 1963, the Burnsides
Research Laboratory on campus in Urbana, up and running.
And then there is the pressing need for money for a lipid
research center at U. of I. that would ensure his work will carry
on long after him.
“If somebody in Chicago would be willing to provide the mon-
ey for that center, well, I would just jump up and down,” said
Kummerow, who moves about in a wheelchair except when he is
exercising.
“For the FDA to finally ban trans fats? That is not my wish.
They are just dragging their feet. Banning trans fats is going to
happen. It’s just a matter of time,” he said.
Kummerow officially “retired” from the university in 1978 but
has said he has no intention of quitting work until he’s “done.”
He said he has had more than 460 articles published in peer-
reviewed journals. His book “Cholesterol is Not the Culprit: A
Guide to Preventing Heart Disease,” a second edition of a prior
book, was released in February and was written with the help of
his daughter Jean Kummerow, of Minnesota.
“Fred Kummerow has made significant contributions to our
understanding of the relationship between nutrition and heart
health and continues his groundbreaking work as he enters the
11th decade of his life,” said University of Illinois President Rob-
ert Easter.
Kummerow also said he is awaiting word from the Carle Clinic
in Urbana about a study he has proposed on Alzheimer’s and Par-
kinson’s diseases. His wife, Amy, died of Parkinson’s in July
2012.
When asked if there have been regrets in his career, Kum-
merow said: “Of course. You don’t always know what you should
be doing at the proper times that would be best for you. But you
generally come to discover it later.”
November 2014 — 18
100-year-old professor wages war on trans fats
University of Illinois adjunct
professor Fred Kummerow,
from right, his assistant
Mohamedain Mahfouz and
Christopher Masterjohn look
through research files as
Kummerow visits the Burnsides
Research Laboratory at the
University of Illinois on Aug. 7,
2013. Kummerow retired as a
full professor at age 78, but
continues to do research into the
causes of heart disease and is
working on a new edition of his
book, “Cholesterol Won’t Kill
You But Trans Fats Could.”
Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak/
Chicago Tribune/MCT
Health
November 2014 — 19
Gallatin County
- American Cancer Society-Road to
Recovery: Drivers needed for patients
receiving treatments from their home to the
hospital.
- American Red Cross Blood Drive: Two
volunteer opportunities available: an
ambassador needed to welcome, greet,
thank and provide overview for blood
donors; and phone team volunteers needed
to remind, recruit or thank blood donors.
Excellent customer service skills needed,
training will be provided, flexible schedule.
- Befrienders: Befriend a senior; visit on a
regular weekly basis.
- Belgrade Senior Center: Meals on
Wheels needs regular and substitute driv-
ers, before noon, Monday–Friday, to deliv-
er meals to seniors.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters: Be a positive
role model for only a few hours each week.
- Bozeman and Belgrade Sacks Thrift
Stores: Need volunteers 2-3 hour shifts on
any day, Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-6
p.m.
- Bozeman Deaconess Hospital: Volun-
teers needed for the information desks in
the Atrium and the Perk, 8 a.m.-noon,
noon-4 p.m.
- Bozeman Senior Center Foot Clinic:
Retired or nearly retired nurses are urgently
needed, 2 days a month, either 4- or 8-hour
shifts.
- Community Café: Volunteer needed, 2-3
hours at the beginning and end of the
month, to enter computer data into Excel
spreadsheets.
- Galavan: Volunteer drivers needed Mon-
day-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. CDL required
and Galavan will assist you in obtaining
one.
- Gallatin Rest Home: Volunteers wanted
for visiting the residents, sharing your
knowledge of a craft, playing cards or read-
ing to a resident.
- Gallatin Valley Food Bank: Volunteers
needed to deliver commodities to seniors in
their homes once a month. Deliveries in
Belgrade are especially needed.
- Gallatin Valley Food Bank Huffing For
Stuffing: Volunteers needed for race regis-
tration and water tables.
- Habitat for Humanity Restore: Belgrade
store needs volunteers for general help,
sorting donations and assisting customers.
- Heart of The Valley: Compassionate vol-
unteers especially needed to love, play with
and cuddle cats.
- Help Center: Computer literate volunteer
interested in entering data into a social ser-
vices database. Also volunteers needed to
make phone calls to different agencies/pro-
grams to make sure database is up to date
and make safety calls to home bound
seniors.
- Jessie Wilber Gallery at The Emerson:
Volunteers needed on Wednesdays, Thurs-
days, and Fridays to greet people at the
main desk, answer questions and keep track
the number of visitors.
- Museum of the Rockies: Variety of
opportunities available such as helping in
the gift shop and more.
- RSVP Handcrafters: Volunteers to quilt,
knit, crochet and embroider hats for chemo
patients, baby blankets and other handmade
goods once a week (can work from home).
- Three Forks Food Bank: Volunteer need-
ed on Mondays and/or Thursday’s to help
with administrative duties, including
answer phones and questions, some paper
and computer work. They will train.
- WWAMI Interview Participation: Letting
a medical student interview you to practice
good communication skills and learn how
to gather information about a “patient.”
- Your unique skills and interests are need-
ed, without making a long-term commit-
ment, in a variety of ongoing, special, one-
time events.
Contact: Debi Casagranda, RSVP Pro-
gram Coordinator, 807 N. Tracy, Bozeman,
MT 59715; phone (406) 587-5444; fax
(406) 582-8499; email: dcasagranda@
thehrdc.org.
Park County
- Big Brothers Big Sisters: Mentor and
positive role model to a boy or girl, one
hour a week.
- The Danforth Gallery: Volunteer help
needed with greeting people.
- Fix-It-Brigade: Needs volunteers of all
skill levels for 2-hour tasks to help seniors
or veterans with small home repairs, such
as mending a fence, cleaning up a yard, and
weatherization.
- Links for Learning: Help needed with
1st-5th graders, one hour a week on Tues-
day or Wednesday, after school, with read-
ing, homework, or playing games.
- Loaves and Fishes and/or Food Pantry:
Many volunteer opportunities available.
- RSVP Handcrafters: Volunteers to knit
and crochet caps and scarves for each child
at Head Start, also as gifts for children of
prenatal classes.
- Shane Center: Flexible schedules for
friendly volunteers to greet and show peo-
ple around the center.
- Stafford Animal Shelter: Volunteers
needed to play with the cats and walk the
dogs.
- Yellowstone Gateway Museum: Volun-
teers needed for a variety of exciting proj-
ects this fall.
- Various other agencies are in need of
your unique skills and help in a variety of
ongoing and one-time special events,
including help with mailings needed.
Contact: Deb Downs, Program Coordina-
tor, 206 So. Main St., Livingston, MT
59047; phone (406) 222-8181; email: deb-
downs@rsvpmt.org
Fergus & Judith Basin counties
- Boys and Girls Club and Local School:
Need volunteers to serve as tutors.
- Community Cupboard (Food Bank): vol-
unteers are needed to help any week morn-
ings as well as with deliveries.
- Council on Aging: volunteers needed to
assist at the Senior Center (Grub Steaks)
and with home delivered meals and senior
transportation.
- Library and Art Center: Volunteer help
always appreciated.
- ROWL (Recycle Our Waste Lewistown):
Recruiting volunteers for the third Saturday
of the month to help sorting, baling and
loading recyclables
- Treasure Depot: thrift store needs volun-
teers to sort, hang clothes and put other
items on display for sale.
- Always have various needs for your
skills and volunteer services in our commu-
nity.
Contact: RSVP Volunteer Coordinator,
404 W. Broadway, Wells Fargo Bank build-
ing, (upstairs), Lewistown, MT 59457;
phone (406) 535-0077; email: rsvplew@
midrivers.com.
Musselshell, Golden Valley &
Petroleum counties
- America Reads: Tutor students in the
important skill of reading. Other tutoring is
intertwined with this program.
- Food Bank: Distribute food commodi-
ties to seniors and others in the community;
help unload the truck as needed.
- Meals on Wheels Program: Deliver
meals to the housebound in the community,
just one day a week, an hour and a half,
meal provided.
- Nursing Home: Piano players and sing-
ers needed on Fridays to entertain residents,
also assistant needed in activities for resi-
dents to enrich supported lifestyle.
- School Lunch Program: Help serve and
supervise children in the lunch room, meal
provided.
- Senior Bus: Volunteers to pickup folks
whom are unable to drive themselves.
- Senior Center: Volunteers are needed to
See RSVP, Page 21
Below is a list of volunteer openings available through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) in
communities across southern Montana. To learn more about RSVP, call (800) 424-8867 or TTY (800) 833-3722;
or log on to www. seniorcorps.org.
RSVP
Serve pumpkin pie for dessert after the Thanksgiving
repast and you’ll receive polite compliments.
But if you want to be nominated by your dinner guests
for Time magazine’s person of the year, serve them
pumpkin-pecan cheesecake.
Pumpkin dishes should be a part of the traditional
American holiday. An early form of the fruit first grew in
the Americas, after all. It was crook-necked and it didn’t
have the shape that allows its modern counterpart to be
placed on a flat surface and stand upright, which is neces-
sary for making attractive Jack-O-Lanterns. But it stored
well. It was an important food source since electric refrig-
eration and canning hadn’t been invented yet.
Incidentally, the earliest pumpkin growers would plant
corn, beans and pumpkins together. This was a very ben-
eficial method of gardening because the beans would fix
nitrogen in the soil for the corn. The corn would provide
supports for the bean plants. The pumpkin leaves would
discourage weeds from growing, and they would help hold
moisture in the soil.
One wonders if the earliest Americans’ taste buds
would get excited by a bite of pumpkin-pecan cheesecake.
One thing’s for sure — a 21st Century palate will be de-
lighted by the dessert.
This recipe is guaranteed not to produce a cheesecake that
has cracks on the top because it is a no-bake cheesecake. The
only part that requires heating in the oven is the crust.
If you want to impress your
dinner guests even more, process
the pumpkin yourself. A “pie” or
“sugar” pumpkin is sweeter than the
average pumpkin and a bit tastier,
so it should be used for this purpose.
The small pumpkins were available
at both of Livingston’s supermarkets
in October as this column was being
written.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut the
pumpkins in two. Discard the seeds
and the membrane. Cut the halves
into palm-size chunks. Bake the
chunks for about an hour on greased
cookie sheets. Scrape off the pumpkin meat and place
it in a food processor. Process until the pumpkin is very
smooth. Put the pumpkin skins in the compost pail.
November weather demands drinks that warm the
body. The two cocktail recipes below are super simple but
they’re very warming and satisfying. The Squirrel Chaser
is a tongue-in-cheek name for a drink a fellow employee
and her gal pal conjured up. The second is one of my
favorites, partly because I make my own coffee liqueur.
It will take the chill off if it’s served at room temperature,
but it’s tasty on the rocks if you’re sitting by the wood
stove and you’re toasty warm.
On The Menu
With Jim Durfey
November 2014 — 20
Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake
CRUST:
3/4 c. toasted pecans, finely chopped
3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
CHEESECAKE MIXTURE:
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/3 c. water
2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
2 1/2 c. pumpkin, canned or cooked
2 c. whipping cream, whipped
Additional whipped cream for garnish
Cinnamon for garnish
For crust, combine pecans, graham cracker crumbs, sugar
and melted butter. Press into bottom of 9-inch springform
pan. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Let cool. For pumpkin
mixture, soften gelatin in water. Stir over low heat until
dissolved. Combine cream cheese and sugar. Mix at
medium speed until well blended. Add spices and pumpkin.
Mix at medium speed until blended. Gradually add gelatin
to pumpkin mixture and stir until blended. Chill cream
cheese mixture until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.
Fold in whipped cream. Pour over crust. Chill until firm.
Serve each piece with whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with
a touch of cinnamon.
Squirrel Chaser Cocktail
8 oz. hot chocolate, piping hot
1 1/2 oz. cinnamon whisky
Whipped cream for garnish
Shaved chocolate for garnish
Pour hot chocolate and whisky in mug. Stir. Top with
whipped cream and shavings.
Hot Shot
1 1/2 oz. coffee liqueur
1 1/2 oz. cinnamon whisky
Combine liqueur and whisky in glass. Stir. Enjoy at room
temperature or add to cocktail glass with ice cubes.
Break out of the mold this Thanksgiving
— Thursday, November 6
• Billings Symphony: Top Brass, 7:30 p.m.-
9 p.m., First Congregational Church, Billings

— Saturday, November 8
• Big Timber Christmas Bazaar and Craft
Show, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Civic Center, Big
Timber

— Sunday, November 9
• “Shall We Dance” Al Bedoo Shrine Dance
Band, 4-7 p.m., Shrine Auditorium
Ballroom, 1125 Broadwater Ave., Billings

— Friday, November 14
• JailHouse Gallery’s Christmas Bazaar,
through Nov. 15, Hardin High School
commons area, 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 14, 9 a.m.-
3 p.m. on Nov. 15
— Friday, November 21
• Festival of Trees, through Nov. 22, Elks
Lodge, Dillon

— Tuesday, November 25
• Yellowstone Ski Festival, through
November 29, Rendezvous Trail System, West
Yellowstone

— Thursday, November 27
• Huffing for Stuffing Thanksgiving Day
Run, MSU Brick Breeden Fieldhouse
parking lot, Bozeman

— Friday, November 28
• Christmas Walk and Parade of Lights, 7-9
p.m., Main Street, Forsyth

— Saturday, November 29
• Billings Symphony: Tchaikovsky’s
Nutcracker, through Nov. 30, 7 p.m.,
Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Alberta Bair
Theater, Billings
• North Pole Adventure Charlie Russell
Chew-Choo, through Dec. 20, 5 and 7:30
p.m., Lewistown

— Monday, December 1
• Christmas for the Critters, through Dec.
31, The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center,
West Yellowstone

— Friday, December 5
• Christmas Stroll, 5:30-8 p.m., downtown,
Dillon
• Christmas Stroll, 5-8 p.m., Main Street,
Miles City
• Christmas Stroll, through Dec. 6, 6-9 p.m.,
downtown, Red Lodge
November 2014 — 21
November 2014 Calendar
RSVP, from Page 19
provide meals, clean up in the dining room and/or keep records;
meal provided.
- RSVP offers maximum flexibility and choice to its volunteers as
it matches the personal interests and skills of older Americans with
opportunities to serve their communities. You choose how and
where to serve. Volunteering is an opportunity to learn new skills,
make friends and connect with your community.
Contact: Amanda Turley, South Central MT RSVP, 315 1/2 Main
St., Ste. #1, Roundup, MT 59072; phone (406) 323-1403; fax (406)
323-4403; email: rdprsvp2@midrivers.com ; Facebook: South
Central MT RSVP.
Custer & Rosebud counties
- Clinic Ambassador: Need volunteer to greet patients and visi-
tors, providing directions and more.
- City of Miles City and Montana Dept. of Military Affairs: Cleri-
cal assistance needed.
- Custer County Food Bank: Volunteers needed for food distribu-
tion Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Custer County Network Against Domestic Violence: Crisis line
volunteer needed.
- Historic Miles City Academy: Volunteers needed to assist in
thrift store and maintenance.
- Holy Rosary Health Care: Volunteer receptionists needed at the
front desk.
- Kircher School: Volunteer to deliver lunches from Miles City to
school, 2-3 times per week, lunch provided and mileage paid.
- St. Vincent DePaul: Volunteers to assist in several different
capacities.
- WaterWorks Art Museum: Volunteer receptionists needed, 2
hour shifts Tuesdays-Sundays.
If you are interested in these or other volunteer opportunities
please contact: Betty Vail, RSVP Director; 210 Winchester Ave.
#225, MT 59301; phone (406) 234-0505; email: rsvp05@midriv-
ers.com.
Dawson County
- Local Farm to Table Store: Seeking volunteers to help clean and
sort beans, can be done at home and beans will be delivered to you
there. Also someone to help in and during store hours, 11 a.m.-6
p.m.
- RSVP Program: Looking to establish “Telephone Reassurance”
program entailing volunteers (needed) calling shut-ins on a regular
basis to check on their welfare.
- If you have a need for or a special interest or desire to volunteer
somewhere in the community, please contact: Patty Atwell, RSVP
Director, 604 Grant, Glendive, MT 59330; phone (406) 377-4716;
email: rsvp@midrivers.com.
TSA finds cannon barrel in luggage
HONOLULU (AP) — An airline passenger flying out of Maui
checked in with a weapon not often seen in baggage — the barrel
of a cannon. Transportation Security Administration officials con-
firm they spotted the cannon barrel recently in the checked lug-
gage of a passenger at Kahului Airport.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the cannon barrel was found
Oct. 20 in the checked bag of a United Airlines passenger traveling
to San Francisco on a late evening flight. The cannon wasn’t loaded.
The TSA says the passenger was cleared to fly but the airline made
separate arrangements for transporting the cannon barrel.
News Lite
Q. How is it that a bird can rest safely
on a 500,000 volt power line?
A. The usual answer is that the bird’s
body does not “complete” an electrical
circuit between two different voltages (two
different power lines, or a power line and
the ground), so no current flows through it.
But after taking a nuanced look at the
electrocution-avoidance exploits of birds,
physicist Jose Redinz, writing in the
“American Journal of Physics,” concluded
that they actually do experience electrical
current flows.
First, there is the repeated charging and
discharging of the bird’s body due to the
power line’s regular voltage swings (50 or
60 cycles per second), which happens even
if the bird grips the wire with only one foot.
But if the bird has both feet on the wire,
then some of the current that would
otherwise flow along the wire will instead
flow up one foot, through the body, and out
the other foot. For the highest-voltage lines
operating around 500,000 volts, Redinz
estimates the total critter-current to be about
one milliamp — comparable to the level
just perceptible by a human. The lower-
voltage lines found in cities that operate
around 10,000 volts generate proportionally
smaller currents. Apparently, these currents
are not noticed by birds — or maybe they
just like getting a little “buzz” on.
Q. Don’t hold your breath, but some of
us will still be around to witness
“1234567890 Day.” Can you explain this
once-in-a-lifetime event, for those with
properly timed lifespans?
A. You already missed the date in 1990,
but this curious mathematical date, based on
the American system, is set to reappear
toward the end of this century: The time and
date 12:34:56 7/8/90 will occur at 34
minutes and 56 seconds past noon (or
midnight) on July 8th in 2090. Hopefully
you can live to tell about your “1234567890
Day.” (From Ian Stewart’s “Professor
Stewart’s Casebook of Mathematical
Mysteries”)
Q. Under the category of
“understanding the people of the world,
without percentages,” picture 100 people
representing the world’s population. Out
of that number, how many people have
cell phones? How many can access the
Internet? How many speak English?
How many are age 14 or younger, or 65
years or older? How many identify
themselves with one of the leading
religions, or no religion at all? How many
can read and write? How many have
college degrees? How many live in
poverty?
A. According to “The Best American
Infographics, 2014,” edited by Gareth Cook,
75 out of every 100 people of the world
have cell phones and 30 can access the
Internet. Only 5 speak English, with another
5 speaking Spanish; the largest number —
12 — speak Chinese. A little over a quarter,
26, are 14 years of age or younger, 8 are 65
or older. Only 12 identify with no religion,
and of those remaining, 33 are Christian, 22
Muslim. 83 out of every 100 can read and
write, and a lucky 7 have college degrees.
Sadly, almost one half — 48 — live on less
than 2 US dollars per day.
Q. Who dreamed up the word
“twitter”?
A. This was many dreams ago, back 600
years to the time when Geoffrey Chaucer
was the “father of English poetry.” He’s the
one who introduced the verb, which means
to “chirp continuously,” according to the
“Oxford English Dictionary.” And that
wasn’t all. “Along with ‘twitter,’ Chaucer
coined (or first recorded) 2,000 other words,
such as ‘Martian,’ ‘scissors,’ ‘delicacy’ and
every toddler’s go-to: ‘poop,’” says Lucas
Reilly in “Mental Floss” magazine,
Q. What moves more than just a mite
bit faster than just about anything else in
the running?
A. The California sesame-seed-sized
mite “Paratarsotomus macropalpis” set the
record as the speediest terrestrial animal,
says “Scientific American” magazine.
Instead of miles per hour (mph) or
kilometers per hour, speed here is expressed
in terms of body lengths per second: Fleet-
footed human Usain Bolt can run 6 body
lengths per second (23 mph), a cheetah can
do 16 (60 mph), and the previous record-
holder, the Australian tiger beetle, tops out
at 171. P. macropalpis takes the gold at 322
body lengths per second.
“Body lengths per second” is a measure
of speed that reflects how quickly an animal
moves relative to its body size, reports
“sciencedaily.com.” Extrapolating to human
dimensions, the mite’s speed is equivalent to
a person running 1,300 mph!
“It’s so cool to discover something that’s
faster than anything else, and just to imagine
as a human going that fast compared to your
body length is really amazing,” said Pitzer
College physics major Samuel Rubin, who
led much of the fieldwork to document the
mite’s movements. “And beyond that,
looking deeper into the physics of how they
accomplish these speeds could help inspire
revolutionary new designs for things like
robots or biomimetic devices.”
Q. What’s the point of crouching on the
balls of your feet like a baseball catcher if
there’s no ballgame in sight?
A. It’ll get your body as low as possible
while keeping most of it off the ground,
says Lucas Reilly in “Mental Floss”
magazine. The point here may just be your
survival, if you’re caught in a storm and are
about to be hit by lightning. Now the
ambient electrical charge may make your
skin tingle and your hair stand on end — a
dead giveaway! Dead wrong is the old
notion — oft repeated — that “the best
thing you can do is lie down flat.” Experts
recommend the crouch position with heels
together, creating “a circuit for the charge to
travel, allowing the bolt to ride up one foot,
down the other and back into the ground —
rather than coursing through the rest of your
body.”
Q. According to the National Cancer
Institute, the highest rates of brain cancer
in 2010 were found in Alaska, Wyoming,
New Hampshire and Maine. For the
same year, the lowest rates were in
Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada and North
Dakota. What might account for these
varying rates?
A. Do you see a pattern here? All the
eight states have relatively small
November 2014 — 22
By Bill Sones and Rich Sones, Ph.D.
Send STRANGE questions to brothers Bill and Rich at strangetrue@cs.com
Why don’t birds get fried on powerlines?
populations; indeed Nevada, the most popu-
lous of the group, ranks 35th out of the 50
states, says Jordan Ellenberg in “How Not to
Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical
Thinking.” And herein lies the key: When you
are measuring rates, small samples exhibit
more statistical variability than large samples.
For example, if you toss 10 coins all at the
same time and tally up the number of heads,
the probability of getting an unusual out-
come — say 8 or more heads — is about 1
in 20. But if you toss 100 coins instead, the
probability of getting an unusual outcome of
80 or more heads is vanishingly small.
So you can think of it this way: Brain can-
cer is a rare disease, and in a low-population
state, there are not many cases per year.
Thus, suggests Ellenberg, due to random
fluctuations, it is likely that small states will
occupy both the top and bottom of a list of
incidence rates.
Q. Just like people, a living language
adapts over time, with some words chang-
ing more than others. For example,
“broadcast” used to mean “to sow seeds
by scattering,” and a “diaper” was a kind
of fabric, writes Anu Garg in his “A.
Word.A.Day” website. Also in the catego-
ry of “words that ain’t what they used to
be,” whatever happened to “harbinger,”
“restive” and “obsequious”?
A. Originally, a “harbinger” was “a per-
son who provided lodging,” changing then
to “a person sent to find lodging for an
army,” and now meaning “one that foreshad-
ows the approach of something.” As for
“restive,” its meaning eventually shifted to
its opposite, from “refusing to go forward”
— as in “a restive horse” — to “unable to
remain still,” or “restless,” “uneasy.”
Finally, consider “obsequious,” which ear-
lier meant “obedient” or “dutiful,” without
its current connotation of “fawning,” or
“behaving in a servile manner.” As Henry
David Thoreau wrote: “I sat at a table where
were rich food and wine in abundance, and
obsequious attendance, but sincerity and
truth were not, and I went away hungry from
the inhospitable board.”
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Across
1 Maker of Select writing
products
4 Bullsʼ arena?
15 “Microsoft sound”
composer
16 Fighter with a record
131 career knockouts
17 Georgia, once: Abbr.
18 Deli order
19 Player
21 Experts
22 Washes
23 Word heard before and
after old
25 Elected
26 Onetime Klein assis-
tant
31 Maestroʼs wear
32 Academic __
33 Occurred
35 “The Clapping Song”
singer, 1983
37 Santa Ana Volcano
locale
40 “La __ Breve”: de Fal-
la opera
44 Rustic setting
45 Tanglewood Music
Festival town
46 Made aware, with “in”
47 Family nickname
49 Target of some reality
show hunts
50 Experts
53 Natural moisturizer
55 Cause a dramatic
reversal
57 Buck: Abbr.
58 Reef dwellers
59 Deadlock
60 Wheel of Fortune
highlight
61 They may resolve
59-Acrosses, briefly
Down
1 Film crew assistant
2 Fit
3 First name in civil
rights
4 Exhausted
5 Nice crowd?
6 Prefix with -gon
7 “Keeper of the Keys”
detective
8 Handy set
9 Shelter cry
10 Recess retort
11 Colorful mounts
12 Capital of the state of
West Bengal
13 Dutch humanist
14 Rock star Nugent
20 Nepali language
24 George Straitʼs “All
My __ Live in Texas”
26 “On the Waterfront”
director
27 “Gabriela, Clove and
Cinnamon” author
28 Chemical reaction
portmanteau
29 Decor attachment
30 Logical connector
33 Yield
34 Pioneer in condition-
ing research
36 Peaked
37 American __, North
Dakota state tree
38 Big or Little follower
39 Kabuto-wearing war-
rior
41 “That was normal for
me once”
42 Ford Field city
43 Magazine department
46 Swiss, e.g.
48 Lucie of “The Jazz
Singer” (1980)
49 Logician known for
“incompleteness theo-
rems”
51 __ Reader: eclectic
magazine
52 Apt collie name
53 Comprehensive
54 City on the Danube
55 Sugar meas.
56 Shield supporter on
Australiaʼs coat of arms
Crossword
November 2014 — 23

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