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What have you Learned Today?

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1389849.  Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:33 pm Reply with quote

Here's a picture. Apparently you can walk along the footpath perfectly legally, but if you stray off to either side there are security cameras watching your every move!

1389861.  Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:24 pm Reply with quote

Reminds me of a public path through a private school in my childhood suburb, between two ovals. There's a sign at each end stating it is a public footway and on school days, pedestrians are advised to walk through as quickly as possible.

I've done it during lunchtime, footballs (Aussie style) flying around etc and the boys are generally aware as this is adjacent to the senior campus.
Same if you walk through during a PE lesson.

(Cramer Walk, Brighton, Victoria, Australia, in the grounds of Brighton Grammar school for anyone interested)

1390150.  Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:56 am Reply with quote

And now I discover that it's not just any old public footpath, but part of the Ridgeway National Trail, which dates back to Neolithic times and is sometimes known as "England's oldest road". No wonder the Prime Minister daren't close it off!

The Walking Britain site gives the following description of the route:

Turn left here on a broad track which descends to a lane. Go straight across the lane to a bridle gate beside a five bar gate. Smile nicely for now you may be on camera as you enter the Chequers estate. The path goes parallel to a single strand wire fence on the right. Not much of a defence - none at all really - but you are warned that it is an offence to cross it. So keep to the left of it but there are good views of the house across the parkland to the right. At the end of this stretch you are on camera again as you cross one of the main drives to a bridle gate leading into an arable field. A clear path leads diagonally right uphill to a wood; again there is a single strand wire fence not to be crossed on the right. After entering the wood immediately turn right along the edge. A little further on there are again views of Chequers over to the right sitting in its parkland. Exit the woods via a bridle gate and the path continues straight on over an open grassy area. As you rise up the hill a set of multiple gates come into view where Ridgeway signs confirm you are on the right track.

1390425.  Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:59 am Reply with quote

More confirmed than learned really - login to this site from the device I'm currently using is definitely possible but 'typing' is slow and fun-free.

1390601.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:21 am Reply with quote

TIL that the state bird of Oklahoma (and yes, why US states have such things is another debate for another day), the scissor-tailed flycatcher, suborder Tyranni (suboscines) in German comes under scissor-tailed king tyrant, suborder screaming birds. Somehow the name doesn't quite fit this exceedingly dainty species:



1390611.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:17 am Reply with quote

Ye never know, could be a nippy sweetie.

1390618.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:11 am Reply with quote

It's because it looks a bit like a shrike (but isn't one).

Other species with names including the word shrike, due to perceived similarities in morphology, are in the families:
Tyrannidae tyrant flycatchers, including Agriornis shrike-tyrants

1390625.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:44 am Reply with quote

Shrike was one of the contenders as a service name for the Supermarine type 300, alongside Shrew, Scarab, Serpent and Shark. The lead contender was actually "Shrew", but Robert McLean (the chairman of Vickers Aviation) didn't like any of the names because they were too bland. His older daughter (Annie) was a bit of a handful in her adolescent years - a highly intelligent bundle of energy with a caustic turn of phrase who didn't suffer fools gladly. One of her junior school reports described her as "spitting fire and venom indiscriminately", which led to her getting a family nick name of "the spit-fire girl".

So Robert proposed "Spitfire" as the name of the new (as yet unflown) fighter and the rest is history. It's impossible to know whether the name "Shrew" or "Shrike" would have found quite the same home in British culture, but I suspect it wouldn't.



1390657.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:50 am Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
TIL that the state bird of Oklahoma (and yes, why US states have such things is another debate for another day)

All bar two of the states also have a state insect. No fewer than nineteen states have chosen the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) - that well known American indigene - to be their state insect, while most of the others have gone for butterflies of various kinds. Rather scarily, the state insect of South Carolina is a species of praying mantis.

At least two states also have a state microbe, while the state toy of Kansis is quite officially the Etch-a-Sketch.

That the official provincial bird of Ontario is the common loon (Gavia immer) is not at all amusing to other Canadians.

1390661.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:38 pm Reply with quote

The official County Bird of Essex is Katie Price.


1390662.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:48 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
The official County Bird of Essex is Katie Price.



1390666.  Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:10 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Rather scarily, the state insect of South Carolina is a species of praying mantis.

Perhaps now is the time for the women of Texas to campaign for their state to adopt it, too?

1390968.  Sun Sep 26, 2021 7:30 am Reply with quote

Today I learned, indirectly from these forums, that Status Quo were originally called The Scorpions.

Does Rudolf Schenker know this?

1391066.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 9:28 am Reply with quote

It's funny how the Scorpions are best known for a song about change, while Status Quo are famous for maintaining the status quo (at least after their first hit).

1391235.  Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:08 pm Reply with quote

TIL that the incredible Sir David Attenborough holds a very special record of being the only person ever to win BAFTAs for programmes made in black and white, in colour, in HD, in 3D, and in 4K!

I doubt anyone will ever equal that record.


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