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312043.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:30 pm Reply with quote

The Tower was (amazingly) Raven light during the Blitz, when some were killed in the bombing. However it was restocked for the re-opening to the public on Jan 1 1946! The earliest real reference found by Dr. Parnell is in a piece in the RSPCA journal of 1895, where Edith Hawthorn was upset that the Towers cat was being worried by the Ravens. There was a craze for Pet ravens in the 1850s after Poes famous poem was published. There is a tantalising letter to Country Life in 1955 from the manager of a pet supplier in Leadenhall Market, claiming to have the order for the first Tower Ravens framed on his wall. The firm has since closed & this document has disappeared.

312050.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:39 pm Reply with quote

Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders made the most amazing ceremonial garments out of feathers. The Aha ula (a feathered cape) the malo (a loincloth) and the mahiole (a helmet) were just some. The great chief Kamehameha had a yellow cloak made from (reportedly) 80,000 feathers (Hawaiian chiefs tended to be big men!). Given his stature, they were probably from the most prized bird the Oo or possibly the Mamo (bother Hawaiian Honeyeaters). The Oo and the Mamo are now extinct, but this is probably due to habitat loss not costume making. In fact the islanders would collect live birds in moult, harvest the feathers and then release them to grow more (unless they wanted to eat the birds in which case it was a bonk on the head & straight in the pot). Feathers were very highly prized. A visitor in 1877 wrote that Mamo feathers cost $1 each and a necklace would set you back $500 very big sums at the time

312208.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:12 pm Reply with quote

All great, but I particularly love the ravens being used to discover Iceland - a great idea.

312223.  Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:44 pm Reply with quote

Iceland is mostly green in the summer, unlike Greenland, which is mostly ice.

312373.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:38 am Reply with quote

Lots of Tower ravens from post 61220 onwards.

312456.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 6:48 am Reply with quote

Icelanders have the world's longest life expectancy, according to. Err. Statistics Iceland.

368778.  Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:14 am Reply with quote

One of the original lyrics to "Yankee Doodle" was:

Dolly Bushel let a fart,
Jenny Jones, she found it,
Ambrose carried it to the mill,
Where Doctor Warren ground it.

s: WCC

Actually, that brought me to this site which gives a great history of all the various lyrics sung.

The word Yankee was a term of offence originally saved for Scotsmen. Doodle was slang for a penis, or a dullard.


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