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Test your Super Bowl knowledge

SB50_LogoAfter 5 months of action, we’ve finally reached Super Bowl week. While the Broncos and Panthers go through final preparations, let’s take a short quiz to test your knowledge of the big game.

Questions (answers below)

  1. Which city is hosting this year’s Super Bowl?
  2. Who won the first two Super Bowls?
  3. Player on the winning teams of the first 11 Super Bowls earned $15,000. What did the Patriots players earn after winning Super Bowl 49 last year?     a) $97,000  b) $150,000   c) $237,000
  4. This brash, young quarterback promised a Super Bowl III victory, and then delivered the upset.
  5. Name one of the three teams that have appeared in the most Super Bowls (8).
  6. Phil Simms was the first Super Bowl MVP to tell the world, “I’m going to ____.”
  7. This former contestant on Dancing with the Stars holds the record for most Super Bowl touchdowns. Name him. Hint: all touchdowns came on pass receptions.
  8. Pittsburgh holds the record for most Super Bowl victories. How many times have the Steelers won the big game?
  9. Of 49 games, how many Super Bowls have been decided by 3 points or less?
  10. Which of this year’s two teams, Carolina and Denver, has a better record in the Super Bowl?

Bonus question – 3 points
Walter Iooss will be at his 50th Super Bowl this year. Who is he?
Hint: he does what I would want to be doing.




  1. This year’s Super Bowl is in Santa Clara , California. Give yourself a point if you responded San Francisco or the Bay Area.
  2. The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II.
  3. The Patriots players earned $97,000 for winning the Super Bowl 49.
  4. Joe Namath promised and delivered a victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl II.
  5. The Patriots, Steelers, and Cowboys have appeared in eight Super Bowls.
  6. Phil Simms was the first MVP to say “I’m going to Disney World.”
  7. Jerry Rice scored 8 Super Bowl touchdowns.
  8. The Steelers have won the Super Bowl six times, followed by San Francisco and Dallas with five victories
  9. Eight Super Bowls have been decided by 3 points or less.
  10. Denver. The Broncos have won twice in seven games, Carolina is winless in one game.

Bonus answer:
Walter Iooss is a Sports Illustrated photographer.

1-4       You watch for the commercials
5-7       All Pro
8 – 10   MVP


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35 ways to make 2016 a terrific year

  1. Hang out with people who make you laugh.
  2. Try to do something active every day.
  3. Experience other cultures through travel, books/magazines, events, etc.
  4. Spend less than you earn.
  5. Go to bed earlier.
  6. Get outdoors more.
  7. Volunteer.
  8. Talk with a senior citizen.
  9. Eat a cleaner diet.
  10. Find stress management activities.
  11. Say hello to strangers.
  12. Unplug frequently.
  13. Spend more time with family and friends
  14. Do something outside your comfort zone.
  15. Leave the car and walk or bike to the store.
  16. Listen to music from your youth.
  17. Let people off the hook when they make a mistake.
  18. Take photos of things in nature.
  19. Stretch.
  20. Say “yes” more than “no.”
  21. But learn how to say “no” when you feel overwhelmed.
  22. Clean out the clutter.
  23. Make new friends.
  24. Connect with old friends.
  25. Watch an old movie.
  26. Honor your commitments.
  27. Do your taxes earlier.
  28. Ramp up your retirement savings.
  29. Take all of the vacation time you’ve earned.
  30. Pat yourself on the back once in a while.
  31. Replace television time with a hobby.
  32. Take a class.
  33. Tackle that home project that’s been hanging over your head.
  34. Live knowing that every day could be your last.
  35. Tell your loved ones how you feel.

Your turn. What ideas do you have to make 2016 a great year?


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Are you prepared for an emergency?

Could you manage without electricity for a couple of days? What if a major storm left you stranded at home? Or worse, if a hurricane drove you from your home?

While Emergency management experts stress the importance of personal readiness, Americans are, in general, woefully unprepared for the next disaster that might lurk around the corner.

I recently appeared on Maine Watch, a news program on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network with Joshua Frances, MPH, an emergency management expert, to discuss personal preparedness, and what Americans can — and should — do to be ready when an emergency arises.

“Preparing for an emergency helps you better manage it,” says Josh, who shares the belief that personal preparedness is a civic responsibility we all share. “By preparing for a disaster, you also reduce the odds that emergency responders will be called to assist you,” he says. “This frees them up to aid those who may unable to fend for themselves and really need help — such as the elderly or those with health issues.”

So, what should you do to prepare?

Consider the possibilities
First, identify what emergencies you’re most likely to encounter in your area. For example, New Englanders should look at the possibility of an ice storm knocking power, while those in the Midwest might want to think about preparing for a tornado.

From there, consider what the impact would be, and how you could prepare for the worst. Some things to consider:

  • Have a family disaster plan and have practice it. Include all family members in planning and practice.
  • Have at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR/AED.

A “Shelter in Place Kit” helps you ride out an event, such as a blizzard, if you decide to hunker down at home. Items to include:

  • First Aid kit
  • Blankets
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Radio
  • Water – plan for one gallon per person per day
  • Non-perishable food

Be Ready to ‘Go’
Some circumstances might drive you from your home. To prepare for these, such as home fires, make a “Go Bag,” with essential items:

  • List of medications and health care providers
  • Emergency contact information
  • Emergency clothing
  • Cash
  • Games for the kids
  • Identification
  • Pet food, toys, extra leash

Note: Keep your important papers protected from the elements in a plastic bag

Pack the car
It’s also wise to keep some basic emergency supplies in your car, should you be stranded:

  • Warm clothing – hats, wool socks, gloves
  • Flashlight
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sand (for traction if you’re stuck)
  • Reflectors
  • Snacks

Final thoughts
Home fires are the most common , and deadliest type of disaster, so make sure your house has working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside sleeping areas, and on every level. While you’re at it, add a carbon monoxide detector on each level, too.

And, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare. You’ll find long lines and short supplies at the store.

Learn more about preparedness at

Related Post:
Sandy’s devastation reminds us to be prepared


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Let’s talk turkey with a Thanksgiving quiz

Pilgrim_7908Thanksgiving traditionally marks the start of the holiday shopping season. To begin the celebration, let’s see how well you know the holiday with a short quiz (answers below):

  1. While Christmas is always December 25, where can Thanksgiving be found on the calendar?
  2. True or false. The origins of Thanksgiving can be traced back to the 1600s?
  3. Who sings the Thanksgiving Song?
  4. Which President declared Thanksgiving a national holiday?
  5. The National Foot League features three games on Thanksgiving day. The Detroit Lions are one of two teams on the schedule each year. Name the other team.
  6. How much turkey do Americans eat on Thanksgiving?
    A) 50 million pounds
    B) 250 million pounds
    C) More than 750 million pounds
  7. What is the name of the parade that takes place that day? Bonus points if you know its original name.
  8. Each year, the President of the United States pardons a turkey. Who started that tradition?
  9. When the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line opened in 1981, six people responded to 11,000 calls. How many will the call center answer this year?
  10. Which state produces the most cranberries? Hint: it also leads the nation in production of cheese.



  1. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November.
  2. True. The Pilgrims celebrated their first harvest in 1621. According to sources, it included 50 people who traveled on the Mayflower and 90 Native Americans.
  3. Adam Sandler sings the Thanksgiving Song.
  4. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving in 1863.
  5. The Dallas Cowboys join the Detroit Lions as NFL regulars on Thanksgiving Day.
  6. According to the National Turkey Federation, approximately 736 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the United States during Thanksgiving in 2012.
  7. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was originally the Macy’s Christmas Parade.
  8. The origins of the Presidential Turkey Pardon are somewhat fuzzy, but Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy are both believed to have spared a turkey. The first official “pardon” was issued by President George H.W. Bush in 1989. Give yourself a point if you named any of these leaders.
  9. More than 50 experts on the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line will respond to 100,000 calls this year.
  10. Wisconsin holds the title of largest producer of cranberries, followed by Massachusetts.

1- 4   You’re at the kids table
5 – 8   You’ve earned an extra serving
9 – 10   The drumstick is yours!

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Summer reading? Here are 9 great book choices

Flowers are blooming, kids are anxious for school vacation, and it’s time to be thinking about summer. If your idea of a day well spent is bringing a book to the beach, here are a few that you’ll enjoy:

11/22/63, Stephen King
While the book focuses on man who travels back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination, his life prior to the fateful day are what makes this book so enjoyable.

Summer of ‘49, David Halberstam
Halberstam follows the 1949 pennant race between the Red Sox and Yankees, weaving in stories about Ted Williams, the DiMaggio brothers, and the other players that suited up for this magical season.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand
The inspiring story of Louis Zamperini, the Olympian runner who was stranded at sea for more than 40 days, and became a POW during World War II.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowlings
The first book in the Harry Potter series introduces us to the young wizard and the brilliant imagination of J.K. Rowling’s.

Small Vices, Robert Parker
One of the best of Parker’s Spencer series, the Boston private eye almost meets his match.

The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Girl with bow competes in government-sanctioned, televised fight-to-the-death.

The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown
Murder, religious cover-up, and symbolism combine to make this a first-class whodunit.

Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
Albom’s affectionate story about a former college professor who is in the final stages of ALS, and the lessons he still teaches.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Classic stories of the great detective.

Your turn. What are your favorite summer reads?

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Test your knowledge of movie quotes

Everyone loves a good movie. Let’s see how well you remember some notable quotes from a few flicks from years past. Answers at the bottom.


  1. “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”
  2. “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.”
  3. “I’ll be back.”
  4. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
  5. “You had me at ‘Hello.'”
  6. “A Cinderella story … former greens keeper, now about to become the Master’s champion.”
  7. “May the odds be ever in your favor.”
  8. “Snakes. Why does it have to be snakes?”
  9. “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”
  10. “Hey Stella!”
  11. “Why so serious?”
  12. “To infinity and beyond.”
  13. “Say hello to my little friend.”
  14. I think I’ll miss you most of all.”
  15. “It was beauty killed the beast.”
  16. “Rosebud.”
  17. “So, come up to the lab, and see what’s on the slab.”
  18. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”
  19. “I wish the ring had never come to me.”
  20. “You’ve got to ask yourself one question, ‘Do I feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?'”


  1. Jaws
  2. Gone with the Wind
  3. The Terminator (and a couple of other Schwarzenegger movies)
  4. Princess Bride
  5. Jerry McGuire
  6. Caddyshack
  7. The Hunger Games
  8. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  9. Animal House
  10. Streetcar Named Desire
  11. The Dark Knight
  12. Toy Story
  13. Scarface
  14. The Wizard of Oz
  15. King Kong
  16. Citizen Kane
  17. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  19. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  20. Dirty Harry

1-5         Left on the cutting room floor
6 – 10     Co-star
11 – 15   Oscar nominee
16 – 20   A-list celebrity

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15 things to like about March

March is an underappreciated month. Its placement between the cold of February and the bloom of April leaves it almost without an identity. But before we sign a petition to delete March from the calendar, let’s look at some of the good things that happen in our third month:

1. Longer days
2. For my Irish friends, St. Patrick’s Day
3. Temperatures become bearable
4. Baseball returns
5. Shrinking snow banks
6. Birthdays of relatives and good friends
7. Pi Day
8. College basketball’s March Madness
9. It’s time to make summer plans
10. First day of Spring
11. March was once the first month of the year. Despite its demotion to the third slot, March hung around.
12. For school kids, March is easier to spell than, say, February.
13. Chuck Norris was born in March (according to the legend, at a hospital he built).
14. Reopening of the local Dairy Queen
15. The late-month storms that reminds us that winter still isn’t over (okay, maybe not so much on this one)

Your turn. What do you like about March?

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