[Daily article] February 21: North Ronaldsay sheep

The North Ronaldsay is a breed of domestic sheep from the northernmost
island of Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland. It belongs to the
Northern European short-tailed sheep group of breeds, and has evolved
without much cross-breeding with modern breeds. It is a smaller sheep
than most, with the rams (males) horned and ewes (females) mostly
hornless. It was formerly kept primarily for wool, but now the two
largest flocks are feral, one on North Ronaldsay and another on the
Orkney island of Linga Holm. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust lists the
breed as “vulnerable”, with fewer than 600 registered breeding females
in the United Kingdom. The sheep on North Ronaldsay are confined to the
shoreline by a 1.8 m tall (6 ft) dry-stone wall, which completely
encircles the island. The wall was built originally to protect the
shoreline and keep the sheep inside it, but when seaweed farming on the
shore became uneconomical, the sheep were banished outside the wall to
protect the fields and crofts inside. Because of their restricted
environment, the sheep evolved to subsist almost entirely on seaweed.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Led by the Ethiopian Emperor Galawdewos, the combined army of
Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeated a Muslim army led by Imam Ahmad
ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi.


American Civil War: The Confederate Army began an attempt to
gain control of the Southwest with a major victory in the Battle of


Bavarian socialist Kurt Eisner, who had organized the German
Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy and established
Bavaria as a republic, was assassinated.


British artist Gerald Holtom unveiled a logo for the Campaign
for Nuclear Disarmament that became internationally recognised as the
peace sign.


Black nationalist Malcolm X was assassinated while giving a
speech in New York City’s Audubon Ballroom.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

(sociolinguistics, geography) A line on a map indicating the
geographical boundaries of a linguistic feature.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  I belong to no nation, no civilization, no society, no race, but
to the Divine. I obey no master, no rules, no law, no social convention,
but the Divine. To Him I have surrendered all, will, life and self; for
Him I am ready to give all my blood, drop by drop, if such is His will,
with complete joy, and nothing in his service can be sacrifice, for all
is perfect delight.  
–Mirra Alfassa

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