1 ) Turkeys are more than just big chickens–more than 45 million years of evolution separates the two species.
2 ) The wild turkey was hunted nearly to extinction by the early 1900s, when the population reached a low of around 30,000 birds. But restoration programs across North America have brought the numbers up to seven million today.
3 ) There are six subspecies of wild turkey, all native to North America. The pilgrims hunted and ate the eastern wild turkey, M. gallopavo silvestris, which today has a range that covers the eastern half of the United States and extends into Canada. These birds, sometimes called the forest turkey, are the most numerous of all the turkey subspecies, numbering more than five million.
4 ) The Aztecs domesticated another subspecies, M. gallapavo gallopavo, the south Mexican wild turkey, and the Spanish brought those turkeys to Europe. The pilgrims then brought several of these domestic turkeys back to North America.
5 ) Male turkeys are called “gobblers,” after the “gobble” call they make to announce themselves to females (which are called “hens”) and compete with other males. Other turkey sounds include “purrs,” “yelps” and “kee-kees.
6 ) A turkey’s gender can be determined from its droppings–males produce spiral-shaped poop and females’ poop is shaped like the letter J.
7 ) Turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour and fly as fast as 55 miles per hour.
8 ) A group of related male turkeys will band together to court females, though only one member of the group gets to mate.
9 ) When a hen is ready to make little turkeys, she’ll lay about 10 to 12 eggs, one egg per day, over a period of about two weeks. The eggs will incubate for about 28 days before hatching.
10) Baby turkeys, called poults, eat berries, seeds and insects, while adults have a more varied diet that can include acorns and even small reptiles.A
Mind Your Language was a super hit British tv series that premiered in 1977. It had a worldly appeal due to the simple yet hilarious situations and jokes that almost seem innocent by today’s standards. There were several attempts to recreate the dynamics and base a new show around the same concept. India did it twice and several other countries had a show or two copying the Mind Your Language formula. However the only one that I had watched and liked was an American show called What A Country!
Now while MYL was about an adult education college in London and focuses on the class in English as a Foreign Language taught by Mr Jeremy Brown, who teaches a group of enrolled foreigners, there as a change in the scenario for What a Country! in that being an American sitcom, starring Garrett M. Brown and Yakov Smirnoff that aired in first-run syndication from September 27, 1986, to May 23, 1987, it focuses on a class of recent immigrants to the United States who are trying to pass the citizenship test. The series was intended as a showcase for Ukrainian-American comedian Yakov Smirnoff, whose catchphrase provided the show’s title.
Their teacher, Taylor Brown (played by Garrett M. Brown), is a part-time substitute teacher looking for a high school soccer coaching job but is convinced by principal Joan Courtney (Gail Strickland) but mostly Russian immigrant Nikolai Rostopovich, to become the permanent teacher. Rounding out the cast were George Murdock as Laszlo Gabo from Hungary, Vijay Amritraj as Pakistani immigrrant Ali Nadim, Harry Waters, Jr. as a former African prince in exile Robert Muboto, Ada Maris as Maria Conchita Lopez, Julian Reyes as Victor Ortega & Leila Hee Olsen as Yung Hi from China. Strickland would be replace by Don Knotts as Principal F.J. “Bud” McPherson.
It didn’t reach the highs of MYL, and the show was cancelled after the first season of 26 episodes. But it does have some memorable laughs. I watched it when I was 12 or 13 and it was a lot of fun. Even though some of the dialogues in the first episodes are taken straight from MYL.