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Petunia13

"Tell me something I don't know" Trivia & Fact thread

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13 minutes ago, Petunia13 said:

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A fire breathing T-Rex is what I'd imagined for my avatar (signifying weak ineffectual arms and a ferocious demeanor), but a kindly fellow poster helped me with this avatar, so I kinda look like Barney.    :-D

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Military trivia:

  • Contrary to almost every depiction you've ever encountered, vikings did not go into battle wearing helmets with horns or wings on them.
  • When Phillip II besieged Chateau Gaillard to take it away from the English, the central bailey of the castle fell when some of the French soldiers crawled up the garderobe (toilet) chute and opened the gate.
  • The B-52 bomber was last produced in 1962, and there are still (as of 2013) 78 of them still in service. The Air Force plans to keep them flying until 2045.
  • When US and Canadian soldiers invaded the Pacific island of Kiska during WW II, there were 313 casualties despite the fact that the Japanese had abandoned the island two weeks beforehand.
  • It's widely believed that during the English Civil War, Royalist commander Sir Arthur Aston was beaten to death with his own wooden leg.
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The average man/woman can go without food for 20 days, but can survive only 2 days without drinking.

More like 2 hours if you have my job. But that's another thread...

Edited by Qoass
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@Qoass ?

In the EU and U.K. its illegal to perform surgical procedures on an octopus ? without anesthesia for their pain because of their intelligence and cognitive ability. 

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Octopuses are my favorite cephalopod.  They can open jars and solve puzzles and (maybe) recognize themselves in a mirror.  They can also camouflage themselves amazingly well, changing not only their color but their texture as well.  This ability is due to something called chromatophores, which are specialized, pigment-containing skin cells.  They can also detach an arm and throw it at a would-be predator, and then grow it back.   They have 3 hearts, and blue blood, and the majority of their nervous system is actually in their arms. 

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OK, it's well-known that Joan of Arc   achieved amazing military feats before her horrible murder at roughly the age of 19 in 1431 . However; what's less known is that the only surviving known written tribute to her while she was living (Ditíe de Jehanne de Arc)was written by none other than Christine de Pizan . She was an Italian-born French noblewoman who, after her husband's sudden death when she herself was 25, became a writer to earn a living for herself and her family at a time when even literate women were not encouraged to do so.  Mme. de Pizan wrote about the struggles and triumphs of historic women and was an advocate for women's rights when that concept was virtually unheard of. Anyway, after her children were grown and settled and her own mother's death, she opted to become a nun but she was so inspire by Joan's achievements that she took up the quill one last time to honor this young girl. 

Edited by Blergh
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"Outer Space" isn't actually all that far away from us;  it starts a mere 62 miles (100km) above sea level.

But wrap up well because space is extremely cold, with an average temperature of -270°C (-450°F).

And if you needed help in space (assuming you  weren't wearing a space suit and were holding your breath), don't bother shouting, screaming or firing a gun, or anything else that may generate noise (satellites, rockets, space shuttles etc), because no one would hear as space is almost a perfect vacuum. 

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Morley is the most popular fictional brand of cigarettes in TV, movies, video games, and other media. It's been appearing at least since 1960, when it was shown at the end of Psycho.

Similarly, characters often fly on Oceanic Airlines, and Finder-Spyder dominates web searching.

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Sandman,

Since "Psycho" was created by Sir Alfred Hitchcock could the name 'Morley' been inspired by his fellow  rotund, gourmand, countryman and colleague Sir Robert Morley (who shined in his starring role in an "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" episode  'Specialty of the House')? Too bad Sir Robert has been somewhat forgotten since his death  in 1992 but anyone watching "The Great Muppet Caper" will know exactly who I am talking about  since he played the eponymous Englishman on the park bench warmly  welcoming said Muppets to England after nonchalantly witnessing them crashing down! Regardless, it would be nice to think that Sir Robert  has been immortalized via that brand!

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3 hours ago, Petunia13 said:

Only 3,890 tigers are left in the wild. 

What's even sadder is that there may be at least twice that number living in the US alone in 'private collections'  including many backyards with fences and even basements!  The linked article not only is sad re the tigers' fates but also a bit alarming re what this could mean to the 'private collections' neighbors.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-many-tigers-live-in-the-united-states-2016-6

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Sean Connery and the late Harpo Marx have something in common: they are the only adult stars  so far to insist on having being shoeless when having their footprints immortalized in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

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Temperatures in the Earth's thermosphere can reach 4,530 °F, but it's so close to being a vacuum that it wouldn't even feel warm if you managed to stick your hand into it.

 

The word "hysteria" comes from the Greek word for "uterus." At one time the ancient Greeks believed that the uterus would move around and press against other internal organs, which would then cause emotional symptoms.

 

The novel Gadsby by Ernest Vincent Wright is roughly 50,000 words long, and was written without using the letter "e".  The author immobilized the "e" on his typewriter so he would be forced to figure out how to tell the story using only e-less words. Note that only the story itself is e-less; the introduction, author's name, and so on were written normally. Some later printings of the book accidentally inserted some "e"s.

 

Contrary to popular belief, mules can reproduce on rare occasions. There are at least 60 documented cases of female mules giving birth.

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Cab Calloway and Ethel Merman had something in common: they both had their earliest known filmed appearances doing live action performances  then singing within Betty Boop cartoons when they were each 24!

 

  Mr. Calloway was first shown conducting his swing orchestra and doing a proto  moon walk in the live action opening  cartoon in which he then sang and 'voiced' several scary characters  taunting Betty and her companion Bimbo while singing his trademark song in the Betty Boop cartoon of the same name "Minnie the Moocher"!

 

 Miss Merman was seen  uncharacteristically sedately singing in someone's window box the song "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" three times while encouraging the movie audiences to do the same- then lastly voicing a rather aggressive black cat singing the song while chasing newly hatched baby chicks! The main cartoon itself of Betty Boop within that framework had nothing to do with the song. One odd note is that in the credits the year was stated as '1930' but it wasn't actually produced until 1932 .

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Adult giraffes almost never sleep for longer than five minutes at a stretch in the wild, often modifying the position so that they remain standing with their head and neck curved around to rest on their hindquarters. All in all, adult giraffes get by on just 30 minutes of sleep a night (on average). It’s the shortest sleep requirement in the entire animal kingdom.

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All in all, adult giraffes get by on just 30 minutes of sleep a night (on average)

Welcome to my life. 

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5 hours ago, Quof said:

Welcome to my life. 

On a positive note, you can more easily reach the tasty leaves that are higher up in the trees.

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Fairly good article re Dansk Cookie boxes, Giselle (though I'd have preferred reading a small summary here rather than just click to the link but that's just MO).

 

Anyway, that's gotten me to think about the fact that for over a half century, my mother's kept my sibs' and my own baby teeth in her jewelry box. I wonder how many other folks' mothers have done the same- and has anyone actually gone to the trouble of doing a survey to find out if what percentage of women have kept their descendants' and/or other relatives' baby teeth in jewelry boxes.

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2 minutes ago, Blergh said:

Fairly good article re Dansk Cookie boxes, Giselle (though I'd have preferred reading a small summary here rather than just click to the link but that's just MO).

 

Anyway, that's gotten me to think about the fact that for over a half century, my mother's kept my sibs' and my own baby teeth in her jewelry box. I wonder how many other folks' mothers have done the same- and has anyone actually gone to the trouble of doing a survey to find out if what percentage of women have kept their descendants' and/or other relatives' baby teeth in jewelry boxes.

I remember I had a baby teeth pillow. Whenever I lost a tooth there was a little compartment to put the tooth in and then my Mom would write on the pillow over the compartment where the tooth was the date I lost the tooth. I wonder where that little pillow is now. It must be in a box somewhere.

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1 hour ago, forumfish said:

I bet I'm the only person whose dad glued his kids' baby teeth to a tie tack. And wore it.

Cute, yet morbid. I like it!

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23 hours ago, forumfish said:

I bet I'm the only person whose dad glued his kids' baby teeth to a tie tack. And wore it.

How did he manage to get those past your mom?  Just curious.

 

 OK, in honor of tomorrow's Uno Wutt, it should be noted that the Ancient Chinese were about the first to be able to predict solar eclipses . However; even though they knew WHEN these were supposed to happen, they believed that  this meant that a Celestial Dragon would be trying to EAT the sun . Hence;   it was imperative that they'd knew in advance so everyone would be at the ready with drums and gongs to beat to distract said dragon from swallowing the big yellow ball. It seems in 2134 BC, two astronomers failed to do this and all  the Chinese up to the Emperor were furious at how close they'd dodged the bullet with the dragon so when they found the astronomers had been drunk, the emperor had them beheaded for their negligence nearly causing the world to end.

Edited by Blergh · Reason: grammar
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Here's my surprise fact for today, discovered on a food and cooking discussion site.  A (Chinese-American) poster shared her mother's recipe for lion's head meatballs that started with "1/2 catty minced pork" - of course most every reader including me assumed this was some kind of typo - "what's a catty?"  "well it must be less than a doggy, more than a mousey", etc.  haw haw.  

Believe it or not, NO.

https://sizes.com/units/catty.htm

It is a real unit of measure used in Southeast Asia (originally in Malyasia) and in China and seems to derive from the tea trade originally.  A catty is 1.333 pounds.  Now if I could only figure out a way to casually work this into my everyday conversation.

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On 8/19/2017 at 2:19 PM, Cherry Bomb said:

I remember I had a baby teeth pillow. Whenever I lost a tooth there was a little compartment to put the tooth in and then my Mom would write on the pillow over the compartment where the tooth was the date I lost the tooth. I wonder where that little pillow is now. It must be in a box somewhere.

I cleaned my closet a few weeks ago and found mine!  No dates or anything on it, but I remember my great aunt made it, so I kept it.  

On 8/9/2017 at 3:50 PM, ennui said:

Adult giraffes almost never sleep for longer than five minutes at a stretch in the wild, often modifying the position so that they remain standing with their head and neck curved around to rest on their hindquarters. All in all, adult giraffes get by on just 30 minutes of sleep a night (on average). It’s the shortest sleep requirement in the entire animal kingdom.

They also have seven cervical vertebrae in their neck, the same as every other vertebrate.  They're just really big.  And the longest recurrent laryngeal nerve at something like 5 meters long, because evolution is crazy.  It's not survival of the fittest, it's survival of the good enough.  

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  It's not survival of the fittest, it's survival of the good enough.  

This explains so much about my resume!

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OK, here's one about the Cheddar Man and his possible hundreds-times great-grandson. It seems around 1900, some folks in Cheddar, England (yes, the home of that variety of cheese), discovered the skeleton of this prehistoric inhabitant in a cave. Anyway in 1997, for laughs and giggles, they tested about 20 folks living in the area and discovered that a 40 something male history teacher had the same mitochondrial DNA as the Cheddar Man's tooth and the history teacher lived just about a mile and a half from the cave! Yep, not only would that mean that the teacher's family somehow was able to stick around despite invasions/ occupations by Celts, Romans, Saxons, Vikings, etc., but that likely there were several hundred generations of women who said the same thing to their mates/husbands :' You never take me ANYwhere!'.

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The mask used by Michael Myers in the original "Halloween" was a Captain Kirk mask painted white. 

A tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, will instantly make it go mad and sting itself to death. 

The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law that stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb. 

The glue on an Israeli postage stamp is certified kosher. 

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OK, here's one for the Royals: during World War II the future Queen Elizabeth II learned to take apart and fully put together again a truck engine and, whenever possible on her estates, would drive herself in her own car past her 90th Birthday!

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The reason that animal characters in Hanna-Barbera cartoons tended to wear shirts, jackets and collars is that it allowed the animators to fully animate the heads (while talking, for example) without having to move the bodies or necks in any way. This could reduce the amount of drawing that needed to be done by as much as 85%.

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During WWII, Germany developed and produced about 200 fully submersible Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks (Tauchpanzer) for the planned invasion of England. They idea was that these tanks would be brought in close to shore, then lowered into the relatively shallow water so they could drive up the beach. The tanks could operate in water up to 45 feet deep, and got air through a flexible snorkel tube with a float to keep the far end above water. They were later outfitted with much shorter rigid snorkel tubes for making river crossings. Testing revealed that these tanks needed to keep moving while underwater because they tended to sink into the sand or mud when stopped.

They also outfitted a number of Panzer II tanks (Schwimmpanzer) with detachable floats and propellers to make them amphibious.

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Great pair of posts, Sandman! Loved the one about the Hanna -Barbera clothed animals (though how that would have helped Yogi Bear who just wore a hat with a collar and tie around his neck is a mystery though  not as much as how a fabric collar would stay attached to a live bear's skin).

 

 Oh, and as long as we're talking tanks, they got their name in WWI when the British First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill helped promote these motorized vehicles that were supposed to roll through trenches but wanted to keep the true nature of these vehicles secret as long as possible so he termed them tanks so the factory workers would think these were meant for mobile WATER tank containers !

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Which would be exactly the same reason that the Germans referred to their tanks as "tractors" between the world wars. They were prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles from working on tanks, so they pretended that they were agricultural vehicles.

14 hours ago, Blergh said:

(though how that would have helped Yogi Bear who just wore a hat with a collar and tie around his neck is a mystery...

The collar was tall enough to hide Yogi's neck.

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Raven-related trivia:

A flock of ravens has been maintained at the Tower of London since at least the reign of King Charles II. There is a legend that the kingdom will fall when there are no more ravens there. Ravens in the Tower are enlisted as "soldiers of the Kingdom", and several have been dismissed over the years for misconduct. The ravens currently on duty are Hardey, Thor, Odin, Gwyllum, Cedric, Hugine and Munin.

Ravens are social animals, and will comfort other ravens if they are frightened or hurt.

Adult ravens sometimes like to have fun. They have been observed playing games such as aerial catch and repeatedly sliding down snow covered slopes.

If you don't feel like calling them a flock, a group of ravens can be referred to as an unkindness.

Gene Wolf's Long Sun books have a raven character named Oreb, which is Hebrew for "raven."

In the Song of Ice and Fire books, Bran Stark frequently dreams of a three eyed crow (crows are closely related to ravens). Appropriately, the word bran means "raven" in Gaelic.

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36 minutes ago, Sandman87 said:

A flock of ravens has been maintained at the Tower of London since at least the reign of King Charles II. There is a legend that the kingdom will fall when there are no more ravens there.

Yeah, which is why they're held captive there, their wings clipped to varying degrees (so some can't fly, some can fly short distances that won't get them outside the grounds, and at least one can leave and return), and subjected to a breeding program, ensuring the Tower won't be without ravens.

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@stewedsquash you may also be interested in the book Mind of the Raven by biologist Benrd Heinrich. It's about his observations of the behavior and psychology of tame (raised by him and others), semi-tame, and wild ravens. I bought a copy some years ago because a large percentage of my neighbors are ravens.

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Nature on PBS had an excellent show called "A Murder of Crows". 

I had the good fortune to rescue and partially rehab a baby crow, while waiting for the real rehab lady to return.  That sweet little creature nestled up into my bosum, and looked up at me adoringly with his beautiful blue eyes, and I fell in love once again.

Speaking of bird names (who's calling me a bird brain?!) ...

Birds in general - A flock of birds, a dissimulation of birds, a volery of birds

Bitterns -A siege of bitterns, a sedge of bitterns

Chickens - A peep of chickens

Choughs - A chattering of choughs

Coots - A cover of coots, a raft of coots

Cormorants - A flight of cormorants

Cranes - A sedge of cranes

Crows - A congress of crows, a murder of crows

Curlews - A herd of curlews

Doves - A dule of doves, a flight of doves, a dole of doves, a cote of coves, a piteousness of doves

Ducks - A paddling of ducks, a raft of ducks, a team of ducks, a dopping of ducks

Dunlin - A fling of dunlin

Eagles - A convocation of eagles

Eggs - A clutch of eggs

Falcons - A cast of falcons

Finches - A charm of finches, a trembling of finches

Flamingos - A flamboyance of flamingos

Geese - A gaggle of geese, a skein of geese

Goldfinches - A charm of goldfinches

Goshawks - A flight of goshawks

Grouse - A brace of grouse, a covey of grouse

Guillemots - A bazaar of guillemots

Gulls - A colony of gulls

Hawks - A cast of hawks, a kettle of hawks, a cast of hawks

Hens (chickens) - A brood of hens

Herons - A siege of herons

Hummingbirds - A charm of hummingbirds, a troubling of hummingbirds, a hover of hummingbirds

Jays - A band of jays, party of jays

Kingfishers - A concentration of kingfishers

Lapwings - A deceit of lapwings

Larks - An exaltation of larks

Loons - A raft of loons

Magpies - A tiding of magpies

Mallards - A sord of mallards, a flush of mallards, a puddling of mallards

Nightingales - A watch of nightingales

Owls - A parliament of owls, a wisdom of owls

Parrots - A company of parrots

Partridges - A covey of partridges

Peacocks - An ostentation of peacocks, a muster of peacocks

Penguins - A colony of penguins, huddles of penguins, a pride of penguins

Pheasants - A bouquet of pheasants, a covey of pheasants, a nye of pheasants, a nide of pheasants, a nest of pheasants

Quail - A bevy of quail, a covey of quail

Pelicans - A squadron of pelicans

Plovers - A congregation of plovers, a wing of plovers, a leash of plovers

Ravens - A conspiracy of ravens, an unkindness of ravens, a constable of ravens

Rooks - A building of rooks, a parliament of rooks

Snipe - A walk of snipe, a wisp of snipe

Sparrows - A host of sparrows, a quarrel of sparrows

Starlings - A murmuration of starlings

Storks - A mustering of storks

Swallows - A flight of swallows

Swans - A ballet of swans, a bevy of swans, a herd of swans, a whiteness of swans

Teal - A spring of teal

Turtledoves - A pitying of turtledoves

Turkeys - A  rafter of turkeys, a muster of turkeys

Waterfowl - A plump of waterfowl

Woodcock - A fall of Woodcock

Woodpeckers -A descent of woodpecker

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3 hours ago, walnutqueen said:

Jays - A band of jays, party of jays

It ought to be an annoyance of jays. Damn noisy tick-ridden twits.

Edited by Sandman87
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47 minutes ago, stewedsquash said:

@walnutqueen That list reads like fanciful poetry. Or a witch casting a spell.

Both.  :-)

 

2 minutes ago, Sandman87 said:

It ought to be an annoyance of jays. Damn noisy lice-ridden twits.

Lovely, clever, friendly birds who scream for their peanuts and talk to you constantly.  Not a louse on them, unless they are very sick or dead.   :-(

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If only starlings had STAYED a murmuration in North America! They're not native to here but what happened was that around 1890, some big wig got the idea to make New York's Central Park more cultural by having EVERY single bird mentioned in Shakespeare's plays and sonnets   brought to the park. Most of the birds died after the first harsh winter but those dozen pairs of starlings had no problems with winter nor were there any North American predators interested in them so it wasn't too long before they and their descendants  took over Central Park and then overran the NYC boroughs before spreading to the rest of the the US and the rest is history.

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On 9/15/2017 at 9:56 PM, walnutqueen said:
On 9/15/2017 at 9:48 PM, Sandman87 said:

It ought to be an annoyance of jays. Damn noisy lice-ridden twits.

Lovely, clever, friendly birds who scream for their peanuts and talk to you constantly.  Not a louse on them, unless they are very sick or dead.   :-(

And like ravens they are corvids.  I've always liked them myself - they're like blue mockingbirds who can't sing.  

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Just now, ratgirlagogo said:

And like ravens they are corvids.  I've always liked them myself - they're like blue mockingbirds who can't sing.  

I have a special fondness for corvids, and anyone using that word.  I'll also admit to rehabbing starlings, a much maligned avian in the songbird crowd.  ALL hungry baby birds are irresistible, to me.

And, on topic, most baby birds will scoot their butts over the edge of their makeshift nests to poop.  Just like in nature.

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The Canadian north has a lot of ravens. I knew an RCMP officer who had been posted in Whitehorse, Yukon. He told me about one frigid night in the middle of the winter, he happened to notice several ravens perched on the street light. The end one would stand on the light for a few minutes to warm up, then flitter back to the end of the line and the rest all shuffled up one.

If you ever travel to Yellowknife, it's very common to have a raven with a 3-foot wingspan sitting on a parking meter squawking at you as you walk past.

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1 hour ago, SirOsisOfLiver said:

The Canadian north has a lot of ravens. I knew an RCMP officer who had been posted in Whitehorse, Yukon. He told me about one frigid night in the middle of the winter, he happened to notice several ravens perched on the street light. The end one would stand on the light for a few minutes to warm up, then flitter back to the end of the line and the rest all shuffled up one.

If you ever travel to Yellowknife, it's very common to have a raven with a 3-foot wingspan sitting on a parking meter squawking at you as you walk past.

Great White North, eh!?!  As an ex Vancouverite, you couldn't pay me to go to Whitehorse or Yellowknife.  I did drive to Smithers, once, and took a ferry to Prince Rupert & back.   I also knew an RCMP officer, or two.  Allegedly.  

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