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Page12 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 18, 2011 Ray Barron's 11 O'CLOCK NEW5 More than half of American pet owners sleep with their furry companions, and that can be a big mistake. A new University of California study warns that such close con- tact can transmit serious illnesses from pet to caretaker, including meningitis, worms, and (through fleas) even bubonic plague. Experts suspect up to several million cases of zootomic diseases -- those passed from animals to humans -- may occur every year, ranging from skin conditions like ring- worm to life-threatening ailments such as staph infections. While pets provide a lot of comfort and can reduce stress, research- ers say, they are animals and carry poten- tially dangerous bacteria, parasites and bugs. Researcher Bruno Chomel tells HealthDay.com that it's not wise to let pets lick you on the mouth, and recommends hand-washing whenever you've been han- dling them. "Having a pet in the bed is not a good idea," he said. Remember, a man likes to have a dog to worship him, a woman likes to have a dog to worship. Wow[ In pursuit of a more civil society, the nation of Malawi may soon outlaw breaking wind in public places. The country's parlia- ment is poised to vote on the proposal, which would also outlaw insulting the modesty of a woman and trespassing on graves. Malawians are dubious that the ban on breaking wind can be enforced. "What hap- pens in a public place where a group is gath- ering?" one citizen asked. "Do they lock up half a minibus?" For the second year in a row, in 2010 the U.S. military lost more troops to suicide than in combat operations in Iraq and Afghani- stan. At least 468 soldiers killed themselves in 2010. Be aware, Egypt gets more U.S. foreign aid than any Other country except Israel. The U.S. has been sending an average of $2 bil- lion in cash and military arms to Egypt every year since 1979, when it agreed to a peace deal with Israel. Huh? A Harris Poll revealed 49% of Ameri- cans say speakers with Southern accents sound like they're "nice," 40% say the same about speakers with Midwestern accents, and 18% say New Englanders sound nice. Only 7% say speakers with New York City accents sound nice, while 51% say New Yorkers sound rude. For know-it-alls! Who invented cham- pagne? An 18 th century monk named Dom Perignon. When he replaced his wine bottles' leather and wooden stoppers with cork ones, the good Dom discovered the secret of sealing bubbles inside. Hence, the birth of champagne. His first sip of bubbly inspired the immortal line, "I am drinking the stars." Who invented the brown paper bag? Marjorie "Mattie" Knight patented her machine for making paper bags in 1870. And who believed diamonds were made from the fires of love? The Italians! That's why dia- monds were used in medieval times for en- gagement rings. Made from the hardest of elements, the Italians believed diamonds were destined to last forever --just like true love. California's other big threat! Californians are accustomed to earthquakes, and are resigned to the possibility of another Big One in coming decades. But scientists now say the state also faces the very possibility of a catastrophic rainstorm so massive that it could do more damage than any earthquake, submerging one in four California homes under floodwaters and causing 8300 billion in damage. Some oenophiles might tell you that in wine, as in fashion, the rule is "No white wine after Labor Day," said Jason Wilson in The Washington Post. But "I really hate rules." Italy, for instance, produces wines that make great "winter whites." When it's soup and stew season, white wines should be low in acidity and full-bodied. And make sure to serve them at cellar, not refrigerator, temperatures. Great! For the first time in General Motors' 102-year history, the carmaker last year sold more cars in China than it did in the U.S. GM sold 2.35 million vehicles in China, com- pared to 2.21 million in I 0 0 0 the U.S. Honk your horn for GM! Honesty pays offl Yekaterina Shneyderova, a 22-yearzold student at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, was examining a cash box for sale at a local thrift store when she found something unexpected inside -- $2,000. "I saw the money and the envelope with an address and I thought it might be someone's life savings," she said. "I couldn't keep it." She gave the money to the store manager, Lance Letson, who returned it to the rightful owners, Ronald and Imogene Crowder. The Crowders gave Shneyderova a $200 reward -- and the cash box. The astute and charming Lisa Cappuccio of East Boston, says, "A lot of people are as honest as the day is long, but when it gets dark -- lookI" Urning! John Barrett of Bath, England, inherited a 19-inch marble urn when his father died in 1975. It being the '70s, he drilled holes in the urn, ran wire through them, and topped his creation with a lightbulb and a red lamp shade. After BaiTett died last year, auctioneers from Christie's evaluated the lamp; they determined that the repurposed urn dated from the first century AD. "It was a bit of a monstrosity," said Georgiana Aitkin, head of antiquities at Christie's. The urn sold last week to a European dealer for more than $700,000. The lamp shade was included. New hope for the bald. A new study raises hope that baldness may be reversible. Hair growth starts with follicle stem cells in the scalp, which then 'mature into progenitor cells that subsequently sprout hair. It has long been thought that men develop male-pattern baldness -- which often starts with a receding hairline or thinning on top -- when the stem cells disappear. But researchers have now found that men have the same prevalence of stem cells on the bald spots as they do on parts of their scalps that still have hair. If the stem cells could somehow be reawakened, new hair might be a real possibility for millions of balding men. That the stem cells "are there at all is pretty exciting and lowers the bar for treatment," study author George Cotsarelis, a dermatologist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, tells New Scientist. "We have some leads, but this is a very early step in development of a treatment." Time to do some show business reminisc- ing with the noted musicologist Albert Natale. Louis Prima, a trumpeter, composer and bandleader, successfully crossed the line between jazz to swing, then to R&B, and finally to rock n' roll. Some of his famous compositions are "Brooklyn Boogie" and "Oh Babe." His greatest achievement was his 1936 composition "Sing, Sing, Sing" which was later recorded by Benny Goodman and stands as the most powerful big band/jazz hit of all time. Desi Arnaz's grandfather was one of the founders of Bacardi Rum, but the family lost everything in the Cuban Revo- lution of 1933. Fred Astaire may have been known for his dancing, but it was Irving Berlin who once said he would rather hear Fred sing his songs than anyone. Blue Barron's real name was Harry Friedland. He went from a trombone-playing bandleader to a booking agent. His biggest hit came in 1949 when his version of "Cruising Down The River" went all the way to the top of the charts. Composer Hoagy Carmichael was so much in awe of concert legend Bix Beiderbecke, that after Bix died, Hoagy carried his trumpet mouthpiece in his pocket the rest of his life. One more time! The piano was created by an Italian, Bartolomeo Cristofori. The piano was origi- nally called piano e forte. Recipes from the Homeland by Vita Orlando Sinopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ROAST TURKEY THIGHS Italian Style 4 turkey thighs 4 medium potatoes 2 medium onions 2 fresh tomatoes 2 cloves garlic 1 chicken bouillon cube 2 tablespoons olive oil cup water 2 tablespoons lemon juice Salt Peel potatoes, garlic and onions. Cut each into quarters and set aside. Wash tomatoes and cut into quarters. Place washed and dried turkey thighs in a roasting pan (skin up). Distribute potato, garlic, and onion portions around the turkey thighs. Place cut-up tomatoes over the thighs, potato and onion portions. Add the bouillon cube, lemon juice and water to the roasting pan. Spread the olive oil over the vegetables and turkey. Cover with aluminum foil and place in preheated 350F oven. Check after forty-five minutes. Baste contents with liquid in.the roasting pan. Salt to taste. Return to oven and bake an additional twenty minutes. A portion of water may be added ff needed. Baste contents and return to oven uncovered. Allow cooking until fork tender and browned to your liking (approx. ten to twenty additional minutes). OPTIONAL: Add sliced green peppers or mushrooms to the recipe. NOTE: For years, turkeys were available only during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Today the large bird is made available to consumers in cut-up portions. As an alternate for cut-up chicken, my husband and I enjoy turkey thighs. Turkey legs andor wings can be added to the thighs in the above recipe. News Bdefs (Continued from Page 11 Beacon Hill got more press- ing things to do up on Beacon Hill than naming the state's official cowboy s , frogs or donuts? Nothing against Rex, but do we really need an official state cowboy? Next they'll be naming his sidekick Pablo, the state's official Mexican or Goldrush, the state's official horse. The Future of Egypt and U.S. Ties Except for Iraq, there are no democracies in the Arab world. The two just don't fit well together. I wonder about the cur- rent administration at the White House and its liberal Democrat allies up on Capitol Hill. Do they really think the status quo in Egypt will be replaced with a democracy? Many in the West seem to envision a transition period of months that will produce democratic AMERICA I$ A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME 00YBakery Pcrch bliss. The reality is there is a bigger chance that radical Islamists will lead: Egypt further into an anti-Ameri: can Islamic state. The ugly dilemma for us is a demo- cratic Egypt opposed to Israel is not in our best long term interests and neither is radical Islam. The status quo always made more sense to us since it best serves our national inter- ests. However, the status quo is falling apart and will Soon disappear. In my whole life Egypt has had only four rulers, Hosni Murbarak succeeded Anwar Sadat who had suc- ceeded Gamal Abdel Nasser who overthrew King Farouk in 1952. None of them could ever be called democrats by any stretch of the imagination. In this case the story of the Middle East is the same. They act. We react. 1st Generation Italian-American Vita Orlando Sinopoli Shares with us a delightful recollection of her memories as a child growing up in Boston's "L#tle Italy" and a collection of Italian family recipes from the homeland. Great as Gifts FROM MY BAKERY PERCH available on AMAZON.COM and in local bookstores -- ask Jbr Hard cover #1-4010-9805-3 ISBN Soft Cover #1-4010-9804-5 ISBN