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Long John Index Summary, Weather Map, and Requests! Jan 15, 2016

Canada Weather Map, Canada Wide Forecast, Canadian Weather NerdsColin MacIntyreComment

Good Morning Bonjour Canada! If it wasn’t for Victoria and Toronto, EVERYONE would have a minimum Long John Index of 1! DON’T WORRY THOUGH as the temperatures everywhere else will more than make up for it: Lots of 3s and 4s from the Rockies to the Atlantic Ocean!



Ratings observed at 6:45am MT/ 8:45 am ET

BC: Victoria, Vancouver - Nope! Kamloops, Pentiction - 1. Fort St John - 3

Alberta:  Jasper, Lethbridge - 2, Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, Red Deer, Grande Prairie - 3. Fort McMurray - 4

Saskatchewan: Regina - 3, Saskatoon - 4

Manitoba: Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage La Prairie - 4

Ontario: Toronto - Nope.  Kingston, Kitchener - 1. Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Ottawa - 3. Timmins - 4

Quebec: Montreal, Quebec City - 3

Maritimes: St John’s, Halifax - 2. Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton - 3

The North: Whitehorse - 1. Inuvik, Iqaluit - 3. Yellowknife - 4.  Alert Top of Canada - 3



Billings Montana - 1

Georgetown Ontario - Nope!

Oshawa Ontario - 1

Biggar Saskatchewan - 4!

Kek! An Interview with Edmonton's #YegMagpie

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Winters are difficult for Canadians ( except for those crazy Winter Cyclists), but what of Canada's hard working industrious creatures? We checked in with Edmonton's Favorite ( and unsuccessful mayoral Candidate) Mr. Magpie ( aka @yegmagpie on the Twitter).

Long John Index: So most of the other birds flew south for the winter months ago, yet the Magpies are still here. What gives?

Magpie: A kekcellent question! We magpies evolved up here, so we stay year round! There's less competition from those stupid chirpy songbirds (I'M SHAKING MY FIST AT YOU, YELLOW RUMPED WARBLERS) and there's still plenty of food around. For instance, just this morning I found half a Boston Cream donut outside my local Timmy's!

LGI: Do magpies grow extra feathers to cope with the cold, like Dogs grow extra fur?

Magpe: No, that's a commonly held myth, but we do sometimes buy a slightly heavier tuxedo in the fall. I myself purchased a nice lightweight merino tux in October from my favorite magpie menswear shop, and it's been holding up reasonably well even in very cold temperatures provided I use The Power of the Floof.

Some of us, you may have noticed, also re-purpose winter clothing to cope with killing cold temperatures. I have a Cool Ranch Doritos bag I use as a thermal blanket on coldish days, and if it gets really bad, I have a couple of mittens I use as ponchos. They are stylish, warm, and sometimes cause humans to walk into walls while they stare at me.

LGI: How do the cold temperatures, and reduced sunlight effect day to day Magpie activies and or duties?

Magpie: Kek! Pretty much the same as humans! We feel lethargic and sleepy, if there's a apatch of sun we bask to heat up our extremely handsome black feathers, we complain constantly about the lack of Vitamin D, nobody wants to go out (even for dumpster raids!), and we spend a lot of time floofed up to the eyeballs watching Netflix and muttering "When is spring coming?"

For those of us with jobs (about 5% of the magpie population) it's also very common to find us huddled up next to the office Tassimo. I myself often have to be forcibly removed by our office admin lady (we have a special oven mitt that she uses for the task).

LGI: It’s fairly common to see a Magpie take a bath in a puddle during the summer months, but since there are no puddles in winter, does this mean you guys don’t shower for 7 months?

Magpie: Far from it! We are fastidious creatures, like all animals that look vaguely like James Bond, and we often take 'dust baths' in granular snow. You gotta keep your feathers clean and in good condition, otherwise floofing is of little help and we freeze tragically to death, causing little kids to come across our corpses and say "Mommy, is that a dead penguin?" which causes lifelong trauma and years of therapy. Incidentally, is that an oatmeal cookie? Are you going to eat that whole thing?

LGI: What are two things Humans can do to help Magpies over the winter?

Magpie: Good gosh, I'm glad you asked! Kek!

So like, 1: All birds need tons of protein and fat over the winter, or else we have to burn what little reserves we managed to keep over the summer and fall! If you can, put nuts, peanut butter, bacon drippings, or beef fat on your bird feeders and tables! If you do not have a method to feed birds over the winter, I am judging you PRETTY HARD RIGHT NOW cos we need more help the colder it gets! We magpies also enjoy a variety of junk food and you might be surprised at how many you can attract if you put potato chips out. Yeah, we all have high cholesterol, and don't ask us about our blood pressure, but we were born that way! (tailflip)

2. Leave out yarn or string or hairbrush pickings or dryer lint so we can line our nests! Some birds, they don't add to their nests after they finish them in the spring, but we corvids often grab stuff like dried leaves (which are CRAP and often full of FEATHER LICE) to insulate our houses! See, the problem is, we can't buy stuff with a good R-rating cos we often get kicked out of home improvement stores; I know I've been forcibly booted from all the major chains in the city for NO REASON (not for trying to steal screws and washers, AS THEY HAVE UNFAIRLY SUGGESTED).

Get to Know a Canadian Weather Nerd: Gina Ressler!

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One of the things we wanted to start doing this season was connect with some of our favorite Weather Nerds, and get to know them a bit better!  Every month, We'll post an interview with one of these cool people, and we wanted to start with Gina Ressler from the Weather Network! Gina has been one of the biggest boosters of the Long John Index on Twitter, has received multiple 'Mitten High Fives' and is generally awesome! We wanted to find out what makes her tick, whats it like to be a meteorologist, and how many pairs of Long Johns she owns! 


Long John Index: We gather that you work at the ol Weather Network, What do you do there?

Gina Ressler: A little bit of everything!  I mainly work with our TV and web team (briefing the on-camera presenters, creating graphics, and following active weather) but I also do some forecasting.   Occasionally, you can catch me on TV doing special interviews. 

LGI: How was it that you got to work at the ol Weather Network?

GR: I’m originally from Alberta, but I made the move out east to attend grad school in Montreal.  An internship at the CBC brought me to Toronto, and from there I landed a job at The Weather Network.  I've been here for almost three years and it's been a blast. 

LGI: Do they give you standard issue things, like toques, sunglasses, mittens and....oh....let say, Long Johns?

GR: We do have quite the collection of weather-related accessories here at The Weather Network, since we often send our reporters out into the field.  But I must admit, we are severely lacking in Long Johns!  Do you know anyone who could hook us up?  (hint hint)

LGI: Whats it like to work in a building FILLED with Weather Nerds?

GR: It’s amazing!  We have a wonderful and diverse team of meteorologists and weather nerds here.  You end up learning something new every day when you work with such a talented group. 

LGI: Why be A meteorologist? Why not, say, an Engineer? or Trumpet player?

GR: I didn't decide to become a meteorologist right away.  In fact, I got my degree in Math and Physics first, thinking I might go into teaching.   But during my undergrad, I decided to take an introductory Earth Sciences course to fulfill part of my core requirements.  I found it absolutely fascinating, and I realized that I could apply my background in Math and Physics to the study of the atmosphere.  So I decided to go to grad school and study Meteorology, and haven't looked back since.  (Plus, I have no natural ability on the trumpet, so that one's out.)

LGI: Is your weather nerdery limited to only work, or do you have your own weather station/army of weather balloons at home?

GR: I usually keep my weather nerdery limited to work, otherwise my friends and family's eyes start to glaze over.  But if I could launch my own weather balloons, I would!  

LGI: What advice would you give aspiring Meteorologists?

GR: Don’t neglect your math classes.  And be prepared to work weird hours.  And remember that working as a meteorologist can be challenging, but it's also incredibly rewarding.  

LGI: BONUS QUESTION: How many pairs of Long Johns do you own?

GR: Only one!  But luckily I don't need them too often in southern Ontario.


You can follow Gina on Twitter here