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Page 12 POST-GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 23, 2012 Ray 15arron's O'CLOCK NEW,00 One more time! The danger of annual checkups! Visiting your doctor for an annual physical examination might actually have a negative impact on your health. WebMD.com reports that Danish researchers analyzed studies involving 183,000 patients and found that those who received regular checkups were no less likely to die of cancer or heart disease than those who only saw the doctor when they had symptoms. People who skipped their annual checkup were also no more likely than those who didn't to end up in the hospital, become disabled or miss work. Patients who saw doctors regularly were more likely to be diagnosed with diseases and to take prescribed medications, but those added attentions didn't seem to actually improve their health. There is evidence that annual health checkups actually increase the 'risk of over-diagnosis', which can lead to inva- sive and unnecessary biopsies, surgeries and other treatments, according to study author Lasse T. Krogsboll. Routine visits to the doc- tor can also cause undue stress and some- times even physical damage. "We are cer- tainly not seeing the entire picture of the harms," Krogsboll says. Boys growing up too fast! Boys in the U.S. now start puberty as much as two years ear- lier than they did several decades ago and scientists are puzzling over the reasons and consequences. Doctors tracking the devel- opment of some 4,000 young males found that Mrican American boys tend to begin puberty at age 9 while white and Hispanic boys be- ing at age 10. Previously, male puberty was thought to begin between the ages of eleven and twelve. The fmdings mirror research that shows girls are developing breasts earlier Frank Sin- atra, Jr., has never found it easy being O O O his father's , son, said Nick Duerden in The Guardian (U.K.). As a child, he barely saw the legendary singer who was always busy touring or filming. "He was a good father as much as it was in his power," he says. And as an adolescent, Frank Jr. kept a low profile, finding the Sinatra name a heavy burden. That didn't stop kidnappers from snatching him when he was nineteen and holding him for ransom for four days. It was a frightening and frustrating ordeal. Frank Jr. had just launched his own musi- cal career and the kidnappers claimed he staged the kidnapping as a stunt to promote his career. It wasn't and they went to jail, but the rumor persisted. 'Tnat was the stigma put on me," he says. Even so, he carried on performing, released the occasional album and toured the world. Presumably, his long career has been a fulfilling one. "Yes, but does it constitute actual success?" he muses. "Over all these years, I have never had a hit movie, never had a hit television program and never had a hit record. To my way of thinking, that means success has not been achieved. I have made no mark of my own creation." That, he concludes calmly, "is something to be considered." For the record, Frank Sinatra passed away in 1998. His buddy Dean Martin passed away in 1995 and pal Sammy Davis, Jr., passed away in 1990. We are still trying to locate where Frank Sinatra is resting his chops. This we do know, Dean Martin is at Westwood Recipes from the Homeland by Vita Orlando Sinopoli COPYRIGHT, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED CANNOLI Six to ten wooden or stainless steel Cannoli rollers will be needed. CANNOLI SHELLS: 3 tablespoons shortening 3 tablespoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 cups flour 2 teaspoons wine 2 tablespoons water 1 beaten egg Canola oil for frying FILLING: 1 2-pound container ricotta 1 cup sugar cheese A pinch of cinnamon SHELLS: Combine first four ingredients thoroughly. Add water, wine, and beaten egg. Knead dough into ball. Sepa- rate dough into small pieces (meatball size). Place in a bowl and cover. Roll each piece into a paper-thin round. Take one wooden or metal roller and-rgently wrap-loos|y.around thin roller. To seal, dampen one edge of dough with a little water. It is best to prepare three or four cannoli before start- ing to fry. FRYING: Heat oil in deep fryer or saucepan. Carefully slip the cannoli shell with roller into the deep fryer (or sauce- pan). With spatula or slotted spoon, turn item in oil to brown on all sides. Use caution while removing hot cannoli from pan and from hot roller. It is best to fry one at the time as they brown quickly. Cool thoroughly before storing in a cov- ered container in.a cool place. They remain fresh for two weeks. FILLING SHELLS: Drain ricotta cheese in a colander. Then place in a bowl. Add sugar and a pinch of cinnamon before mixing thoroughly by hand. Do not whip. With tea- spoon, fill shells with ricotta cheese mixture. Sprinkle con- fectionery sugar over the cannoli shell before serving. NOTE: It is best to fill the cannoli shells just before serving. Leftover-filled shells should be refrigerated. Filled shells will soften somewhat in the refrigerator than in previous generations, a trend possi- bly caused by obesity and exposure to estro- gen-mimicking chemicals. Obesity is less likely to be a factor for earlier male puberty, but changes in diet, exercise and chemical exposure could play a role. The long-term, medical effects of earlier maturity, which might include a heightened risk of testicu- lar cancer, may not be as significant as behavioral ones. "There is always a tremen- dous gap between sexual maturity and when the brain matures and it's probably getting even greater," study author Marcia Herman Giddens, of the University of North Carolina, tells 7he Wall Street Journal That could make younger boys more prone to take the kinds of risks that older teenagers often do. The "nones". After a Pew survey found that one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion, "nones" are growing faster than any religious group in America. Carlo Scostumato says, "Some people think religion, like aspirin, should be taken only to relieve pain." Bello Culo of Chestnut Hill claims one rea- son why some people don't talk about their religion is that they don't have much to talk about. The happiest place on earth! Thousands of people from many countries were asked how happy they were based on their job, health, income and life expectancy. Here is a list of the eleven happiest nations: 1. Denmark, 2. Finland, 3. Norway, 4. Neth- erlands, 5. Canada, 6. Switzerland, 7. Swe- den, 8. New Zealand, 9. Australia, i0. Ire- land, 11. United States. The annual salary of $100,000 and over was earned by the hap- piest Americans. $75,000-$99,900 annually was earned by the unhappiest Americans. Fishy news! A South Carolina man has ful- filled his long-held ambition of catching a fish while sitting on his couch. Jason Schall, 38, ran a fishing line from his living room to the lake outside while watching a college foot- ball game. Fishing buddy Jason Bennett said Schall "wasn't on the couch three minutes" before the line went taut. Schall then reeled in a large redfish. "My life's work is done," said Schall. Giuseppina, cosce storte says, "Fishing is just a jerk at one end of the line waiting for a jerk at the other end." The great Tom Analetto of Medford says, "Fishing is like romance; the next best thing to experiencing it is talking about it." Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles and Sammy Davis, Jr. is at Forest Lawn Memo- rial Park in Glendale, California. For you -" Bing Crosby fans, he's at Holy Cross Cem, etery in Culver City, California. The true name of Dean Martin is Dino Paul Crocetti and his buddy Jerry Lewis was born Joseph Levitch. A jeweler in Iowa started offering free guns to customers who buy an engagement ring. "Diamonds are a girl's best friend," said store owner Harold van Beck. "So say, 'I'm hunt- ing deer and here is a diamond ring, dear." Some useless information: In 1946, the first TV toy commercial aired. It was for Mr. Potato Head. People in China sometimes use firecrackers around their homes as fire alarms. Celebrating Christmas was once illegal in England. It is against the law to stare at the Mayor of Paris, France. In an- cient Japan, public contests were held to see who in a town could break wind the loudest and longest. Winners were awarded many prizes and received great acclaim. Ancient Romans believed that birds mated on Febru- ary 14 . More than 150 people were tried as witches and wizards in Salem, Massachu- setts in the late 1600s. John Hancock was the only one of the fifty signatories of the Declaration of Independence who actually signed it in July. And in 1778, fashionable women of Paris never went out in blustery weather without a lightning rod attached to their hats. One more time! Olive oil was used for washing the body in the ancient Mediter- ranean world. A wee bit of show business reminiscing with the stately musicologist Albert Natale. Robert Blake was originally considered for the part of producer/lyricist Billy Rose in the 1975 movie Funny Lady but James Caan got the job. The 1934 recording of I Surrender Dear, featuring an all-star group led by Red Norvo, also highlighted a vocal by Charlie Barnet. Members of that group included clari- netist Artie Shaw, pianist Teddy Wilson and trombonist Jack Jenny. Singer Ed Ames played "Mingo" in the TV series Daniel Boone (1964). Remember, Rudy Vall6e was the first of the romantic crooners and, as a national heartthrob, paved the way for Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Composers Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn wrote Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! on the hottest day of the year. And one of actor Spencer Tracy's Oscars was mistakenly engraved "Dick Tracy". AMERICA IS A BEAUTIFUL ITALIAN NAME ( m ( m [ Fom M'003akerr Ych ITA 0tlLANDO INOPt)LI 1st Generation Italian-American Vita Orlando Sinopoli Shares with us a delightful recollection of her memories as a child growing up in Boston's "Little Baly" 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 for Hard cover #1-4010-9805-3 ISBN Soft Cover #1-4010-9804-5 ISBN