When a value is popped, if the action is on the right-hand side of an equals sign, you can assign the element that was removed to a value on the left-hand side, or just use that value in cases where it would be appropriate. If you don't assign the popped value or otherwise use it, it will be discarded from the list.
You can also avoid the use of an intermediate name, by just using pop to populate, say, a string format, because pop will return the specified element in the list, which can be used just as though you'd specified a number or a name that referenced a number:
>>> print "Afternoon temperature was %.02f" % todays_temperatures.pop(0) Afternoon temperature was 31.00 >>> todays_temperatures 
If you don't tell pop to use a specific element (0 in the examples) from the list it's invoked from, it will remove the last element of the list, not the first as shown here.
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