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The most unusual stories to come out of the House gun control sit-in

Democrats launched a sit-in Wednesday on the House floor, pushing for a vote on gun control measures after a tragic shooting in Orlando that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured dozens more.

Lawmakers have called the protest -- dubbed #NoBillNoBreak on Twitter and other social media platforms -- "unprecedented" in Congressional history, both for its party-wide support and legislators' physical challenge to Republicans.

But the protest also spawned a few other notable stories Wednesday, including the tale of how one Democratic congressman's mother ordered him to join in. From the light-hearted to the alarming, here are some of the most unusual happenings from the House floor sit-in:

1. Mom's orders

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, was instructed to join his colleagues for the House floor protest by his mother, according to one eye-witness report.

Ellison's mother reportedly called his office and an aide took down the message. The note passed to Ellison, the House's first Muslim representative, read: "Your mom called and wants you on the floor!"


The Minnesota Democrat joined post-haste, tweeting out that he was protesting "against Gun violence & Majority's unwillingness to protect Americans from slaughter."

2. Senators send sustenance: Sweets, soda, and Pop-Tarts

Preparing for a long night on the House floor, representatives won't go hungry -- thanks to some considerate Senate colleagues who have joined them in protest.

Here's a breakdown of some of the food reinforcements senators are passing on. The essentials include a long list of sweets, soda and -- from Washington Sen. Patty Murray -- Pop-Tarts.

3. A real use for Periscope

Cameras usually trained on the House floor went dark Wednesday when Republicans called a recess for the lower chamber.

That's due to an obscure rule governing the live camera feeds, which are manned by the House Recording Studio. Rules say those cameras can only be on when the House is in session, and coverage is dictated at the discretion of the House Speaker.

A senior House GOP leadership aide told CBS News that "this rule of the House is being enforced, as it has been since TV cameras were first installed in the House."

The rule has forced Democrats to get creative.

Several lawmakers took to Periscope -- a livestreaming phone app that's found little use in the legislative body thus far -- to broadcast the House floor proceedings. Check out this social media-savvy Periscope stream:

Even C-SPAN took to broadcasting the Periscope feed in lieu of actual cameras: