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Should you wear long johns? There's a map for that
Mapping your daily long john needs since 2011 (Canada only)
Long johns are popular in Canada, as in other cold countries. If you have to brave deep-freeze temperatures, you'll be glad you're wearing them. But when exactly do the benefits of long johns outweigh the trouble and discomfort of getting them on? Only Canada has a daily forecast on whether and where they should be worn.
Every weekday since 2011, an index rating and weather map has been produced by the 'Long John Index Service of Canada' – despite the official-sounding name, not an official government agency.
Nor is the Long John Index itself at all scientific. “It is used for entertainment and gambling purposes, and should not be confused with your preferred weather service”, the LJI website disclaims.
Yet there is method to the index, which runs on a scale from 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest point (at the freezing point of 0°C/32°F). Basically, for every 10°C the temperature drops, the index goes up by one point. And the time spent outside without long johns decreases.
So what does the Long John Index for Canada look like? Each day, two LJIs are forecast for 38 Canadian cities, one for the morning, the other for the afternoon. On 31 January – no need get your long johns out in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Penticton or St. John's. Perfect zero scores in all five cities.
On the other end of the scale: Yellowknife, Inuvik and Alert. All three places score 5/4. No need to take them off. Fort St. John, Whitehorse, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Portage La Prairie and Iqaluit are barely doing better (4/4). Compared to that, things sound pretty balmy in Kamloops, Toronto (both 1/0), Thunder Bay and Halifax (both 1/1).
The map helpfully adds that “everything above this line is frozen”, referring to the border that separates the Yukon and Northwest Territories from points south. Just to the east, Nunavut is “shut”. In the northernmost bit of Canada, it's currently so cold that “I think my breath just froze”. By comparison, temperatures are verging on the pleasant in British Columbia (“snow schmow”) and Newfoundland (“noop!”).
The prairie provinces are coping: Alberta is having a “winter dance party”, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba are finding it “cold, but less cold than cold”. If you're in Ontario, “you should probably wear a hat”, while your dogn in Québec “should wear those weird boot things”. What, don't dogs get to wear long johns?
Strange Maps #884
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"You dream about these kinds of moments when you're a kid," said lead paleontologist David Schmidt.
- The triceratops skull was first discovered in 2019, but was excavated over the summer of 2020.
- It was discovered in the South Dakota Badlands, an area where the Triceratops roamed some 66 million years ago.
- Studying dinosaurs helps scientists better understand the evolution of all life on Earth.
Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"We had to be really careful," Schmidt told St. Louis Public Radio. "We couldn't disturb anything at all, because at that point, it was under law enforcement investigation. They were telling us, 'Don't even make footprints,' and I was thinking, 'How are we supposed to do that?'"</p><p>Another difficulty was the mammoth size of the skull: about 7 feet long and more than 3,000 pounds. (For context, the largest triceratops skull ever unearthed was about <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02724634.2010.483632" target="_blank">8.2 feet long</a>.) The skull of Schmidt's dinosaur was likely a <em>Triceratops prorsus, </em>one of two species of triceratops that roamed what's now North America about 66 million years ago.</p>
Credit: David Schmidt / Westminster College<p>The triceratops was an herbivore, but it was also a favorite meal of the T<em>yrannosaurus rex</em>. That probably explains why the Dakotas contain many scattered triceratops bone fragments, and, less commonly, complete bones and skulls. In summer 2019, for example, a separate team on a dig in North Dakota made <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/science/triceratops-skull-65-million-years-old.html" target="_blank">headlines</a> after unearthing a complete triceratops skull that measured five feet in length.</p><p>Michael Kjelland, a biology professor who participated in that excavation, said digging up the dinosaur was like completing a "multi-piece, 3-D jigsaw puzzle" that required "engineering that rivaled SpaceX," he jokingly told the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/26/science/triceratops-skull-65-million-years-old.html" target="_blank">New York Times</a>.</p>
Morrison Formation in Colorado
James St. John via Flickr
|Credit: Nobu Tamura/Wikimedia Commons|
The world's 10 most affected countries are spending up to 59% of their GDP on the effects of violence.
- Conflict and violence cost the world more than $14 trillion a year.
- That's the equivalent of $5 a day for every person on the planet.
- Research shows that peace brings prosperity, lower inflation and more jobs.
- Just a 2% reduction in conflict would free up as much money as the global aid budget.
- Report urges governments to improve peacefulness, especially amid COVID-19.
The lush biodiversity of South America's rainforests is rooted in one of the most cataclysmic events that ever struck Earth.
- One especially mysterious thing about the asteroid impact, which killed the dinosaurs, is how it transformed Earth's tropical rainforests.
- A recent study analyzed ancient fossils collected in modern-day Colombia to determine how tropical rainforests changed after the bolide impact.
- The results highlight how nature is able to recover from cataclysmic events, though it may take millions of years.