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Adore the humble pigeon (or pig-ee-on as we call them in our house, I have no idea why!)

Also I just posted a Note on my choice of planner this year, having not used one since pre-world-meltdown of 2020. Off to read Jillian's wisdom now!

xo

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Well for a start, if I was going to use a compass, I'd have to burn my bra!

And what about metal tooth-fillings from the old days or a false limb? How did Captain Hook do it?

Goodness - maybe it's better to just move in highly familiar areas so that one fits the brief for 'all those who wander are not lost.' Or words from Tolkein to that effect...

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Jan 6Liked by Rebecca Holden

I remember when they first realised that birds were following man-made roads to get from point A to B. Smart little creatures. And much more effective than a compass, particularly if you have iron reserves in your beak!! (Or bra!) Another educational and enjoyable read. Thanks so much dear Rebecca. 🤗🤗😘

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Jan 6Liked by Rebecca Holden

I have no innate sense of direction, but the ridiculous belief that I do. I get lost a lot. I am a woman who needs straight lines, and yet my natural inclination is to color outside of them. Loved the info. on bees and pigeons, two creatures who have always amazed me with their innate sense of finding their way home.

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Once I went for a walk in Kathmandu and was so exhilarated by the people and the neighborhoods and the sheer exoticity (is that even a word? It should be!) of it all that my own brain lumps became hopelessly confused. Then I remembered the iPhone in my pocket, pulled it out for a look at my maps app, and found a moving blue dot that located me in the urban tangle. It guided me through the city streets and alleys toward “home.” But what a thrilling moment of realizing that I’d run off leash and found a whole new landscape to explore. Time to stop and savor the momos.

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I did not know the RAF sent pigeons in every plane. This info on animals is fascinating.

A couple years ago I heard an excellent podcast about whales. Sadly, I cannot reference it as I regretfully didn’t keep it. The type of whales (maybe all?) they were discussing have the same electromagnetic ability to return home to have their calves. The science was quite robust and amazing.

I think there is so much we don’t know about electromagnetics, but I do know that I don’t seem to have that system built in as I’m like you with directions!

Great essay Rebecca!

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Jan 6Liked by Rebecca Holden

"I’d make a rubbish spy" is my favorite quote so far in 2024. I think a movie about your spy-ness would be endearing and a huge box office hit! I loved reading about Bletchley Park, as Jim and I have enjoyed multiple movies about it. This was such an interesting post and I learned so much, especially about "lumps of magnetic material" in our brains and Winkie's story.

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Jan 6Liked by Rebecca Holden

My brother got this neat exploration kit when we were kids: it had a flashlight, binoculars, and a compass. I’m not sure how well it worked, because I never figured out how to use it. You’re far ahead of me!

I was wandering about my new/old city (I’ve lived here before, but I lived somewhere different and so my memories of Where Things Are are slightly off) and fumbled the paths. Halifax is a very old city, for Canada, and the streets are laid out accordingly...

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Well I’m mindblown... how have we developed to struggle so much with navigation I wonder?! I wouldn’t mind a pet pigeon. My last row with my husband was when I said you seem to be heading south and he said no thinking he was in a village called Longframlingron where as actually he was in Longhorseley. The resolve - always put my google maps on even if he says he’s fine because I don’t trust myself enough and there’s also a Longhaughton near us. Seriously how’s anyone supposed to navigate anywhere when the signs are nearly the same?! 😂✨ 🗺️

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Jan 6Liked by Rebecca Holden

Wow! I learned so much here, Rebecca. Great research on your part, both heuristic and textual. So interesting. Regarding your statement about "... a difficult series of paragraphs detailing the difficult stages involved in the difficult learning process of how to use such a difficult piece of equipment..." I have to say I am always suspicious of a book or teacher saying "It's easy!" It leads learners to think, "If it is so damned easy, then what's wrong with me? Why can't I get it? I must be stupid." This is not the way to motivate learners -- a point I made sure to emphasize in my work as a trainer of new teachers. It is always better to say, "This is difficult, and with a little practice, I know you can do it."

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Jan 6Liked by Rebecca Holden

This is settled; the next time I'm disoriented, I'm consulting a bee or pigeon! Super interesting post, Rebecca!

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Jan 6Liked by Rebecca Holden

I do okay in real life, but my sister and I like to play video games together. We become incredibly lost in the dungeons and our path exactly resembles your urban panic snaggle! You have my deepest sympathy.

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Fascinating post, Rebecca, love learning more about animals' powers and ingenuity.

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Jan 7·edited Jan 7Liked by Rebecca Holden

I'm very impressed with the mount of research you put into this. I've saved this for future reference. I've always found it humorous how birds in England (and presumably elsewhere) will follow roads like the M1 and come off at roundabouts or slip roads to get to their destination :-) (as I've just discovered you related in your article!).

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Really interesting! I love heroic animal stories, and it warms my heart to see pigeons getting some love after the insults they usually receive (rats with wings, etc.) They're kind of amazing creatures when you think about it. As for the "lumps of magnetic material" I think mine, if I have them, must have their polarities reversed or something. You know how you can turn magnets around and make them repel one another? That's me and my destination...

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Jan 7Liked by Rebecca Holden

Lovely read Rebecca, I was particularly fascinated to learn about the skills of pigeons 🥰🥰

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