Wednesday, July 26, 2017

I Make Fun of State Quarters: Idaho

Is it potatoes? I'll bet it's going to be potatoes.

No potatoes!? What gives?

Here's the thing about Idaho. It's a rugged state in the American West with some beautiful mountains, waterfalls, and other areas of wilderness. It has a fairly rich history. Some of the oldest Native American artifacts on the continent were found in Idaho, the area was part of the Pacific Northwest region disputed by the United States and Great Britain, the Oregon Trail passed through it, and the Mormons established a fair number of communities there.

There have been a bunch of survivalists and right-wing wackos who have been attracted to Idaho, and the infamous Ruby Ridge standoff took place in the state in 1992. But the state, like many in the West, embraced the early Progressive movement and was one of the first to grant women the right to vote. Labor unions were active in the mining camps, with a number of violent confrontations between miners and management over work hours and wages. Idaho is known as the Gem State due in part to its abundant natural resources, and a good part of its economy is today supported by the manufacture of semiconductors.

But what do we know Idaho for? Potatoes.

And for being one of the easiest Halloween costumes ever (Source)

So it's no surprise that the state quarter shies away from this aspect of the state. Everyone already knows Idaho for its leading agricultural product (it provides about 30 percent of the nation's russet potato crop), so why not try to inform people about other aspects of the state?

Does the state quarter design accomplish this? It just shows the state under attack by a giant bird.

Seen here without its customary "Jericho trumpets" (Source)

You know, this quarter gets creepier every time I look at it. This is a peregrine falcon, the state raptor of Idaho (not the state bird, which is the diminutive mountain bluebird). It's either casting its gaze down on the unwary inhabitants of Idaho or looking aside to us. It's hard to tell with those cold, dead eyes.

What's more, it looms over the whole state. Idaho measures 305 miles across at its widest point, but this bird is easily the larger of the two. It can't even fit on the quarter, for God's sake; it's probably 1,000 miles long, making it a threat to the entire damn nation.

What's more, the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on the planet, reaching speeds of more than 200 miles per hour during a dive. They can be found in virtually any climate. And the bird is also a carnivore, eating small mammals.

Idaho, you fools! Do you realize what a 1,000-foot peregrine falcon considers to be "small mammals?" We're all doomed to be devoured by a gargantuan bird of prey!

And don't think Mountain Home Air Force Base will protect you. The state slogan is apparently declaring this giant bird of death to be perpetual.

Footage of the oft-forgotten attack on Boise by the state raptor

How does it compare to the alternate designs? Well, I can't say I'm a fan of Idaho controlling an abomination of nature with the ability to wipe out mankind. But I guess it's better than the state quarter awkwardly introducing Idaho like a mediocre prize in The Price Is Right.

 "And you can enjoy all the wonderful potatoes Idaho has to offer on your NEW DINETTE SET!" (Source)

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