El Alto International, serving La Paz, Bolivia, is the world’s highest international airport, at 4,061m / 13,325 ft. Appropriately, its Spanish name means “The High One”. Its services include oxygen tanks in the international arrivals area, and the airport staff are on the alert for altitude sickness incidents and are ready to administer aid, with oxygen tanks and wheelchairs.
The city of Palo Alto, California is named after “El Palo Alto” (“the tall stick”), a tall coastal redwood tree which was named by the Portola Expedition when they explored the region in 1769.
The tree still stands today, though it is not as tall as it was previously – it is currently 110 feet tall, down from 162 feet in 1814 (the tree’s top died due to lowering of the water table). Its core was measured in 1955, and its age, at that time, was placed at 1,015 years old.
Palo is an African diasporic religion that developed in Cuba. It arose through a process of syncretism between the traditional Kongo religion of Central Africa, the Roman Catholic form of Christianity, and Spiritism. Palo teaches the existence of a creator deity, Nsambi or Sambia, who is uninvolved in human affairs. Central to Palo is the nganga or prenda , an iron cauldron into which human bones, sticks, and other items are placed. This is believed to be inhabited by the spirit of a dead individual, who becomes the slave of the practitioner, who commands the nganga to do their bidding, typically to heal but also to cause harm.
The cauldron was an important element in Celtic mythology and tale-telling. With the advent of Christianity in Britain, the cauldron in the tales gradually evolved into the Grail, the cup from the Last Supper.
When the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2020 NBA title, they won their 17th league championship. They are now tied with the Boston Celtics for most titles by one team. Between them, the two franchises have won almost 46% of of the 74 championships in NBA history.
The book with the most alternate titles in Johnny Hart’s BC collection, Live is a Seventy-Five Cent Paperback from 1975. The book had to be retitled each time the price went up: from 75¢, to 95¢, $1.25, $1.75, and $1.95. The UK version did the same thing, using their current price in pence.
“My Funny Valentine” is one of the best-known songs by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart. The lyrics “your looks are laughable, unphotographable” can be read as reflecting Hart’s insecurities. According to NY Times music critic Steven Holden, many of his songs are “confessional outpourings of a hopeless romantic who loathed his own body. By all accounts, Hart, who stood just under five feet tall . . . saw himself as an undesirable freak.”
Konrad Zacharias Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch. He is often regarded as one of the founders of modern ethology, the study of animal behavior. Lorenz studied instinctive behavior in animals, especially in greylag geese and jackdaws. Working with geese, he investigated the principle of imprinting, the process by which some nidifugous birds (i.e. birds that leave their nest early) bond instinctively with the first moving object that they see within the first hours of hatching. Although Lorenz did not discover the topic, he became widely known for his descriptions of imprinting as an instinctive bond.
“Duck Duck Goose” is a traditional children’s playground game in the United States. There are several variants of the game – one noteworthy variant is played in Minnesota, in which the game is played exactly the same way, except that “gray duck” is used instead of “goose.”
One of the state slogans of Minnesota is the “land of 10,000 lakes.” According to the official state count, there are 11,842 lakes within the state’s borders. For the purposes of this count, any body of water in an unincorporated area with a size of over 10 acres was considered a lake, while a body of water within a city with a size of at least 2.5 acres was considered a lake.
Land of Lakes? Hmmph!
Counting named lakes of at least 10 acres, Wisconsin has 11,981 lakes, 139 more than Minnesota, according to data provided by the Wisconsin DNR.
(we’ve also got an NFL team that has gone to four Super Bowls and WON three of them, as opposed to a team that is oh-for-four in their appearances)
The state of Wisconsin’s nickname, “The Badger State,” stems from its time as a territory in the early 19th century. Lead deposits in what is now southwestern Wisconsin drew many miners (including many immigrants from Europe), some of whom lived in the mining holes that they had dug. This led to those miners being nicknamed “badgers.”
Out of play:
In Beverly Cleary’s classic Ramona the Pest, the children play Duck Duck Gray Duck, so that variant must be known in Oregon as well.
playing of Kenobi_65…
Aside from their physical similarities to the common skunk, the Honey Badger also boasts a dangerous gland at the base of its tail containing a stinky liquid. Generally, it’s just used to mark territory, but should the animal find itself in distress, its biological knee-jerk is to release a stink bomb—different, but just as rotten as its scent-leaver cousin.
The Honey Badger, also called the ratel, is a far-distant cousin of the ‘true’ badger. Badgers are more closely related to to ferrets, minks, otters, weasels and wolverines. It is generally agreed that there are three species of badger: the Eurasian badger, the Asian hog badger, and the North American badger.
The late Prince Phillip was a distant cousin of his wife, Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Victoria was great-great grandmother of both Phillip and Elizabeth, making them third cousins in the British royal line.
They were also related through the Danish royal line. Christian IX was Philip’s great-grandfather, and Elizabeth’s great-great-grandfather, making them second cousins once removed in the Danish royal family.
If it wasn’t for a labor strike, we might never have had danish pastry.
The origin of the Danish pastry is often ascribed to a strike amongst bakery workers in Denmark in 1850. The strike caused bakery owners to hire workers from abroad, among them several Austrian bakers, who brought along new baking traditions and pastry recipes. The Austrian pastry of Plundergebäck soon became popular in Denmark and after the labour disputes ended, Danish bakers adopted the Austrian recipes, adjusting them to their own liking and traditions by increasing the amount of egg and fat for example. This development resulted in what is now known as the Danish pastry.
The Clayton–Bulwer Treaty was a treaty signed in 1850 between the United States and the United Kingdom. The treaty was negotiated by John M. Clayton and Sir Henry Bulwer, amidst growing tensions between the two nations over Central America, a region where the British had traditionally held strong influence but had also seen increasing American expansion into the area. There were three main provisions in the treaty: neither nation would build such a canal without the consent and cooperation of the other; neither would fortify nor found new colonies in the region; and when a canal was built in Nicaragua (which was under consideration), both powers would guarantee that it would be available on a neutral basis for all shipping.
In the Patrick O’Brian novel The Nutmeg of Consolation, Capt. Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy, commanding the frigate of the book’s title, briefly believes he may have stumbled across a United States Navy squadron of four ships. Then he realizes that they are also British warships, but sailing under false colors - a legitimate ruse de guerre at the time, so long as one did not begin firing while still displaying the flag of a country other than your own.
La Guerre, Yes Sir! is an anti-war novel by the québécois author Roch Carrier, which explores the tensions between anglos and francos in Quebec during the second world war.
One of Carrier’s more light-hearted books is The Hockey Sweater (Le chandail de hockey), a children’s book set in the 1950s, where the protagonist, a devoted Habs fan, is shamed when his mother accidentally orders him a new hockey jersey for the hated Toronto Maple Leafs. It ends with the boy in church, supposedly doing penance for losing his temper at a match, but really praying that the Leafs would lose their next game.