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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jul 12, 2019 8:15 am 
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The Animal With Bloody Eyes

The creature that squirts blood from its eyes is the horned toad, a reptile that isn’t a toad at all, but rather a type of lizard that lives in the deserts of the western United States and Mexico.

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Horned Toad (Lizard?)

Most horned toads are from three to six inches long, with sharp hornlike spikes on their head. When one of these creatures is frightened or angry, its eyes puff up until they bulge out of the lizard’s head. Then a fine jet of blood squirts from blood vessels in the corners of the lizard’s eyes. The squirt may travel up to five feet! No other creature can squirt blood out of its eyes.

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It’s known that the horned toad squirts blood only when it is frightened or angry, but no one knows what purpose the blood-squirting serves.

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Perhaps the horned toad squirts blood to scare away its enemies, or maybe the strange discharge is meant to lower its blood pressure.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jul 12, 2019 9:20 am 
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The horned toad extends to East Texas and Western Oklahoma. It's range is decreasing, primarily due to the eradication of harvester ants by humans and fire ants.

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Post Posted: Jul 13, 2019 8:18 am 
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The Umbrella

If you live in the UK, Ireland or Canada, even maybe California or New Orleans, you’d be very soggy a lot of the time without this simple but clever invention – and perhaps one of the best in the last 500 years.

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Collapsible parasols, or sun shades, had been around even longer than the umbrella: the earliest evidence of a parasol are from surviving engravings from around 2400 BC.

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The Chinese seem to have been the first to have the bright idea of making them waterproof, using wax or lacquer.

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During the Wei Dynasty, the emperor’s umbrella was red and yellow while everyone else had to have a blue one.

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The Emperor’s colors

The Chinese invention spread to Japan, Korea, Persia and Western Europe. The first European umbrellas had ribs made from wood or whalebone and were covered with oiled canvas.

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In 1852 Samuel Fox, a manufacturer of women’s corsets, had lots of steel corset ribs left over and came up with the idea of using them for umbrellas. It was another hundred years before the giant leap forward in umbrella design of compact collapsible umbrellas. But the basic umbrella design has stayed the same for thousands of years.

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Fox umbrella

The very latest umbrellas use nanotechnology to make them bone dry after a good shake. The special umbrella fabric doesn’t absorb water.

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The first shop to sell nothing but umbrellas was James Smith and Sons, which opened in 1830 in Foubert Street in London. It moved to New Oxford Street in 1857 and it’s still there and still in business.

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Post Posted: Jul 14, 2019 8:15 am 
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Let Your Fingers Do The Walking

At one time, the only way a blind person could read was to run his/her fingers over wooden blocks on which raised letters and numbers had been carved, and try to “read” the letters with his/her fingers.

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Then, in 1829, a Frenchman named Louis Braille invented a better system, one which permitted blind people to write as well as read. This system was named after the inventor.

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Louis Braille

Braille, who was blind himself, invented an alphabet consisting of various arrangements of raised dots.

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Each arrangement of from one to six dots stands for a different letter.

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A blind person can run his fingers over these dots and know what letter they stand for. And by using a pointed object to press dots in paper or by using a typewriter-like braille writer, a blind person can “write” in braille too!

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Reading

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Writing

Louis Braille was only 15 years old when he developed his raised-dot reading system!

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Post Posted: Jul 15, 2019 8:11 am 
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How And What Did The Inuit Hunt?

Commonly referred to as Eskimos, the Inuit were mainly hunters, and relied heavily on the animals of the Arctic as their main source of food. Since very little vegetation could survive in the Arctic climate, the Inuit could not depend solely on plants for food. Thus, each animal required a different hunting technique.

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Inuit hunters

To hunt caribou, for instance, hunters set up two rows of scarecrow-like figures (aka Inukshuk) made of snow or stone. Making as much noise as they could, women and children chased a herd into the area between the scarecrows, which led to a corral or a lake, where hunters waited to spear the frightened animals.

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Inukshuks

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When hunting seals, Inuit hunters looked for clusters of small holes in the ice. These were breathing holes made by seals, who lived below the ice throughout the winter. A seal hunter hunkered by these holes, sometimes for hours, waiting for a seal to approach. When an animal appeared, the hunter stabbed it to death with a harpoon.

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Whaling usually involved a team of hunters. Led by an expert whale hunter called a umialik, about ten men would paddle a boat into the ocean. When they saw a whale, they paddled toward it and shot at it with their harpoons. Pulling on the harpoons, they then dragged the huge animal closer and finished the kill with smaller lances.

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They also fish, hunt polar bears, muskox and walrus.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Jul 16, 2019 7:41 am 
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Where Do Pigeons Live?

Pigeons, or rock doves, are actually fairly common in agricultural areas.

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Rock Dove

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There they find niches in barns and lofts that resemble the rocky ledges that are their natural nesting sites, as well as plentiful supplies of their favorite food, small grains.

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However, pigeons do seem to prefer cities to small towns and wilderness.

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There are probably two reasons. The first is food. City pigeons feed on anything, from bread to popcorn, and they find more food strewn on big city streets than on small-town lanes.

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The other reason is nesting sites. Rock doves live only in open areas, not densely wooded places, and only near a suitable roosting or nesting site.

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This usually means a man-made structure. Cities offer a multitude of suitable sites, on the ledges of tall buildings, under bridges, etc.

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Rock doves, the same species used as homing pigeons, are not native to North America. They were carried around the world from Europe, perhaps as food, and the date of their arrival here is not certain.

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They are believed to have been around since the late 1600s, almost since the Mayflower arrived in America.

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In Depth

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