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Infrequently Given Answers - vol 7.


From: Andy Mabbett 
Subject: Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 

Here's a fascinating site, or anyone with an interest in the humorous
side of taxonomy (and yes, it does have one!):

http://home.earthlink.net/~misaak/taxonomy.html


From: Phil Wilson
Subject: Re: Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 

> Here's a fascinating site, or anyone with an interest in the humorous
> side of taxonomy (and yes, it does have one!):

It only has one at the moment, but by July it will have two, although
not everyone will agree that both sides are really funny. In two years
some will claim it will have at least seventeen closely related
humorous sides, although again some will say that some of these are
not really sides but merely "aspects", kind of sub-sides if you will.
They will then propose that the number of sides be reduced to a more
manageable six, and arguments will break out about whether aspect four
is more closely related to aspect eleven or aspect sixteen, or
possibly about whether it could in fact be promoted to full sidehood,
at which point professional humorists will complain that there are
too many sides being proposed (on rather slender evidence) which
aren't recognisably hilarious - after all just because something looks
funny doesn't mean it is funny - and that some sides are just
downright tragicomic, and that the whole area of humour is just too
complicated to understand, but we'll get there if we all co-operate
and aren't too, um, gullible.
And I suppose they do know best. Which is not to say that some
amateur humorists aren't very good at recognising humour when
they see it, of course....

From: Martin Rand 
Subject: Re: Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 

You forgot to mention the dispute between those who would like
instances of humour to be classified according to their outward
similarities, and those who would like a radical reorganization based
on how they are believed to have evolved from each other, using
properties that are entirely non-humorous....

From: Phil Wilson 
Subject: The Gruadnia Strikes Again
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2004 

In a front page article in today's Guardian the following scientific
names were spotted:

Dunnock - 'Pronely modularise' (my new anonymous posting pesudonym)

and

Spanish Imperial Eagle - Alleyway adalberti!

From: bigbadal 
Subject: Re: Haven't got 3 legs to stand on
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 

  Thanks to all who replied.  I have come to the conclusion that all tripods
are :-
  a) too heavy
  b) too wobbly
  c) too wide
  d) too short
  e) too long
  f) too easy to trip over
  g) too expensive
  h) too awkward to carry
  and i) too sharp.

  So I've decided to use a skyhook instead.  This simple device hangs in the
air at exactly the right place, is rock steady, automatically points the
scope at the correct bird and detaches half a second after you decide it
should.  They are also free of charge, and one is always available as
required.

  The only down side is that they are theoretical, so until someone perfects
them I bought a Velbon D600 from my local Dixons for 45 as a temporary
measure.  I am sure that after a year of lugging this around I will
appreciate the skyhook all the more.

From: reg 
Subject: Re: OT Re: The things people do.
Date: 14 Jan 2004 

On 2004-01-13, Christina Websell wrote:

>> Also: with a 'Baby on Board' sticker, 

Why on earth do all these people put babies on a board anyway ?

Everytime my wife spots a Baby on Board sticker she wonders if there may
be some cruelty involved...... what's wrong with proper baby seats or
carry cot restraints ?  Do they glue, nail, tape or tie them onto the
boards ? Do they use a seat belt to restrain the board or do they just
put it in the boot ?

From: Christina Websell 
Subject: Re: OT Re: The things people do.
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2004 

<VBG>
I have new neighbours who have a baby.  They are very nice people, and don't
object at all to my 16 cockerels crowing. I have to try and remember that
when I hear it screaming through the walls and I can't get to sleep until 4
a.m just recently.
Although, secretly, I'd like to put it in the boot from say 11 pm until 7
;-)

From: Jack Harrison 
Subject: Re: Inland Gulls
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2004 

"Phil Wilson" wrote
> Gulls have a rather low reputation in the town, (Aberdeen) for 
> understandable reasons, but most people lump them all together, 
> when the Herring Gull is the main culprit.

But I have seen them performing an admirable public service in Union Street
first thing on a Sunday morning as they clean up the results of over
indulgence of alcohol the evening before.

From: Phil Wilson 
Subject: Re: Inland Gulls
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2004 

Aye. I'll need a minute to clear that image from my immediate
consciousness.
People here don't mind their hoovering behaviour as much as the racket
and mess they make during the breeding season, as well as their habit
of swooping on vicars, carrying off babies from prams and eating cats.
That's if you believe the newspaper reports anyway. (Some parts of
this post may be exaggerated.)

From: Peter James 
Subject: Re: Inland Gulls
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 

I wish they would come and eat a few cats here.  As for the vicars, I
feel they are old enough to fend for themselves.  I have no opinion
with regard to the babies.  LOL

From: Phil Wilson 
Subject: Re: Inland Gulls
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 

Peter James wrote:
> As for the vicars, I feel they are old enough to fend for themselves.

You might think so, but here's an extract from the local paper 'The
Daily Trawler' (slogan 'Fighting depravity since 1872'):

---- 'LUCKY ESCAPE FOR MINISTER'

The Rev. Angus Askew, in charge of the Chaplaincy at the Girdleness
Institute, was taking a party of severely disturbed twitchers for a
nature ramble on Sunday when he was attacked by a huge Herring Gull,
which snatched his copy of 'Manicheanism: a popular guide' from his
hands, and flew off. These birds (Laura archimedes), members of the
hummingbird family with a wingspan of twelve feet have increased
greatly in the region. 'It was a lucky escape.', said the minister.

Local ornithologists say that the diet of these birds is almost
exclusively Red Grouse, and are baffled as to why the bird should have
attacked the reverend gentleman in this way. Since the incident local
housewives have doubled the restraints normally used on their
children. 'We used to let them out of the cellar for at least an hour
a day', said one 'but we've changed our minds because of these
terrible attacks. Only last year a Magpie ate our chickens.'

No member of the council department responsible could get away from
their Lodge meeting to make a statement. 
------

A sad state of affairs indeed.

Cheers,

Phil

From: Malky 
Subject: Re: Inland Gulls
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 

Snipped
> The Rev. Angus Askew, in charge of the Chaplaincy at the Girdleness
> Institute, was taking a party of severely disturbed twitchers for a
> nature ramble on Sunday when he was attacked by a huge Herring Gull,
> which snatched his copy of 'Manicheanism: a popular guide' from his
> hands, and flew off.

Phil, what it did not mention, was the fact that his fish supper from the
Torry chipper was wrapped in it.

Malky, who has had many a fish supper frae the Torry chipper, but niver been
attacked by the gulls.

From: Anne Burgess 
Subject: Re: Inland Gulls
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 

> People here don't mind their hoovering behaviour as much as the racket
> and mess they make during the breeding season, as well as their habit
> of swooping on vicars ....

One is tempted to wonder why they confine themselves to vicars, given that
the supply of vicars is a bit limited in Scotland. If they targeted
ministers as well, think how much more fun they could have!
:-)

Anne

From: Bill Alexander 
Subject: Re: PING Karl Johnson
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 

"Karl Johnson" wrote 
> I went down Brockholes Quarry this morning hoping for an Osprey but drew a
> blank. One was seen the previous morning. I did see 3 Little-ringed Plovers
> and a Sandwich Tern plus a distant Buzzard. The reserve is certainly coming
> on.
>
> Good luck with your Osprey hunt in the Lakes.

Hi Karl,
           Swop you an Osprey or two for a couple of R-n
Plovers..miss the little bleeders.
I have only ever seen 3 in Scotland.
Loads breeding near us in Sweden, very confiding there, seemed to
be in EVERY sand quarry and gravel pit.
Luv 'em to bits.

From: Karl Johnson 
Subject: Re: PING Karl Johnson
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 

R-n Plovers Bill? Are they only on the SBC 400 list?  ;-)

From: Andy Mabbett 
Subject: Re: PING Karl Johnson
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 

I think he meant to type "ringed neck pullovers"; it must be cold up 
there...

From: Richard Corbett 
Subject: Re: where can i see puffins in the UK ?
Date: Fri, 28 May 2004 

"Bill Hewitt" wrote ...
> You don't need to book by 10am to go to the farne Islands, unless you want to
> go to Staple Island, or do the all day trip. There are trips landing on Inner
> Farne in the afternoons. Plenty of Puffin, Arctic and Sandwich terns on Inner
> Farne. Fewer Guillemots, kittiwakes and shags.

I thought you might all like an amusing true story............

Last May, my wife, myself and my 12 year-old son, went to Northumbria for
the 1st time, ended up in Seahouses and discovered the Farne Islands. I knew
of it and the stories of Grace Darling, but my family didn't. Anyway, we
took a trip to the Farne islands, landed on the Longstone Light and stood
in Grace's bedroom, looking through the same window as she would have done
when she set eyes on the wreck of the Forfarshire all those years ago.

It was emotive and enjoyable, that trip. During the journey back and
listening to the boatman's tales of all the different birds, interspersed
with many mentions of Grace and her Pa, I noticed my lad looking a bit
thoughtful. "You all right, John?" I said. "Yes Dad" said he "Except that
I've seen all the Shags, Cormorants, Puffins and Guillemots - but I haven't
seen any of the Grey Starlings"

One of those family moments that will pass down through the generations, I
suspect!

From: Malcolm 
Subject: Re: Is there a bird called a Lamagire?
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 

Kevin Clark writes

>I'm trying to find out if there is a bird called a Lamagire (or 
>something that sounds similar). A friend mentioned it as something he 
>remembered from many years ago. Possibly a condor of sorts (I know 
>that's not exactly uk.birdwatching but I dunno where else to ask :-) ).

Unfortunately, although the *sound* of the word "lamagire" is correct, 
the real spelling is completely different!

Try looking up Lammergeier.

From: Stephen Poley 
Subject: Re: Is there a bird called a Lamagire?
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 

The Lamagire is of course the Himalayan subspecies, which feeds on the
bones of monks. (And Yetis).

And if you can't follow this final thread, then you haven't been reading uk.rec.birdwatching long enough. Or maybe you're an SBC member ...
From: Alf King
Subject: Swarovski Birdes Community
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 

I picked up a leaflet for this at the Bird Fair and noticed that it
goes under the acronym SBC. I'm sure that I've come across this
acronym before but can't remember where.

Any clues?

Alf King

From: Christina Websell
Subject: Re: Swarovski Birdes Community

Seems to ring a bell, but I can't quite remember.  Ask Bill.

Tina

From: Terry Harper 
Subject: Re: Swarovski Birdes Community

Who's Bill?

Rrom: Tony Court 
Subject: Re: Swarovski Birdes Community

Nobody can remember....... Not even Bill! :-)

From: Christina Websell 
Subject: Re: Swarovski Birdes Community

Of course you know Bill, he's that Welsh chap.

Tiina

From: Terry Harper 
Subject: Re: Swarovski Birdes Community

Yes, but he's called Gareth, lives near Monmouth :-)

From: Tony Court 
Subject: Re: Swarovski Birdes Community

> "Alf King" wrote ...
> >
> > I picked up a leaflet for this at the Bird Fair and noticed that it
> > goes under the acronym SBC. I'm sure that I've come across this
> > acronym before but can't remember where.
 
I'm sure this organization has been around for a very long time and 
stands for the Senegal Badgers Club...... or something like that. ;-)

Tony
Harararararar

From: Christina Websell 
Subject: Re: Swarovski Birdes Community

Hmmm.  Seemed to remember something like the Senile Badgers Club.  Could be
wrong. Ought to know as I think I am the acting secretary.  Am I, Bill?
Where are you, Bill?  That Bill that rings the birds abroad. Surname
Alexander, that's it.
Which, as a matter of fact is the first name of my new nephew, born 1755
25/8.  7lb 9oz, pronounced by the doctor examining him today as "the epitome
of perfection.."
<boast>

Tina

From: Michael J Davis 
Subject: Re: Swarovski Birdes Community
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 

Christina Websell observed
>
>Which, as a matter of fact is the first name of my new nephew, born 1755 25/8.

Born 1755?!! Wow, how new can you get?

Oh, I see. Congratulations to all concerned!

It's not Bill, it's 'bill'.  It's the scientific name.... or something.

Several of us were awarded certificates of membership of the SBC some 
years ago. For, er, I forget exactly...  I have a picture of me 
receiving mine at Leighton Moss.

Thank you Christina for acting secretary. ;-)

An appropriate story:-

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple's house, and after 
eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two 
elderly gentlemen were talking, and one said, "Last night we went out to 
a new restaurant, and it was really great. I would recommend it very 
highly."

The other man said, "What's the name of the restaurant?"

The first man knitted his brow in obvious concentration, and finally 
said to his companion, "Aahh, what's the name of that red flower you 
give to someone you love?

His friend replied, "A Carnation?"

"No. No. The other one" the man said.

His friend offered another suggestion, "The Poppy?"
"Nahhhh, growled the man. You know .... the one that is red and has 
thorns."

His friend said, "Do you mean a rose?"

"Yes, Yes that's it. Thank you!" the first man said.

He then turned toward the kitchen and yelled, "Rose, what's the name of 
that restaurant we went to last night?"

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