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Crossword Clue

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Era motif? (4, 3, 1, 6)

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Einstein's Letter

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 23 Jun 2017, 23:42

Christie's are selling a collection of letters written by Albert Einstein to his lifelong friend Michele Besso. The last letter of the series, written to Besso's family after his death, contains a famous quotation.

Now he has again preceded me a little in parting from this strange world. This has no importance. For people like us who believe in physics, the separation between past, present and future has only the importance of an admittedly tenacious illusion.

You can see the letter here.

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Unhand Me Sir!

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 23 Jun 2017, 01:21

"γ little closer m'dear", he suggested, twirling his moustaches.

She ν what he was after,

So she δ swift blow to his lascivious hopes.

"φ upon you Sir!", she cried

And β hasty retreat.

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Limerick

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 22 Jun 2017, 22:42

I don't know where I read this

There was an old curate of Kew
Who kept a tom cat in his pew.
He taught it to speak
Alphabetical Greek
But it never got further than μ.

Here is my modest effort in the same waggish spirit.

There was an old man of Clontarf
Who kept a small dog in his bath.
He saw some attractions
In teaching it fractions,
But it never got further than ½.

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Mondegreen

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Voice and curls amount to play.

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Game

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Walkie round the garden

Like a teddy bear.

One step wrong

You'll both be out of here.

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The Many Voices of Swifty, T.

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 22 Jun 2017, 01:58

"We always dress for dinner", said Tom in a tired voice.

"I'm not afraid of Chinese porcelain", said Tom in a booming voice.

"It regulates the water level", said Tom in a weary voice.

"I lost a packet at the races today" said Tom in a hoarse voice.

"It's not as simple as that", said Tom with a catch in his voice.


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Today

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On xii kalendas Iulius byð sunstede, þæt ys on Lyden solstitium and on Englisc midsumor

This was written by Byrhtferth, ca.1000 AD, who lived at Ramsey Abbey in Cambridgeshire, not far from here, and was an Anglo-Saxon scientist. It's not too hard to get his gist. There's more fascinating lore about the Old English view of the year and the seasons here.

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Phew

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Just tried some Absinthe. No wonder Lautrec was Toulouse.

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One Liner

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Grandad always loved the theatre but he reckoned modern productions were rubbish. Now he's dead and I hope he's gone to better plays.

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The Shepherd's Lament

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I've been Satyr for hours,

With not the slightest glimpse

Of Nymphs.


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Yet Turning Stay

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When you turned yet stayed, on the steps of the bus,

Although we knew it was the end for us.

We meant it when we said, "Goodnight, goodnight".

"We'll keep in touch. I'll write."

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Socrates Makes Himself Unpopular

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In the Apologia Socrates is made to say

"I went to one who had the reputation of wisdom, and observed him—his name I need not mention; he was a politician whom I selected for examination—and the result was as follows: When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many, and still wiser by himself; and thereupon I tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and heard me. So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is,—for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows; I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him."

I love this passage. The bit where Socrates says "I tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise" suggests the philosopher was somewhat short on tact and diplomacy.

After this he went off and offended other groups, such as poets and artisans. He sums it up "This inquisition has led to my having many enemies".

Quotes from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1656/1656-h/1656-h.htm


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Puzzle

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This is a classic from Lewis Carroll. Suppose we are given that

  • Babies are illogical;
  • Nobody is despised who can manage a crocodile;
  • Illogical persons are despised.
What conclusion can we draw that uses all three of these premises?
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One Liner

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Masochists. Do they get a kick out of it?

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Clerihew

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When Belshazzar was having his nosh

Everything seemed very posh.

But it cast a bit of a pall

When he saw the writing on the wall.

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Web site

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www.apologies.co.uk

It's a sorry site.

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The Adventure of the Ruritanian Kettle

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 18 Jun 2017, 00:13

Holmes and Watson once took a short summer holiday in Ruritania. They were in self-catering and most surprised to find on the first night that there was no kettle, so they were denied a hot bedtime beverage.

Upon enquiring of the villagers the next morning they discovered that in Ruritania kettles can only be used by licensed persons, because of the dangers associated with boiling water. To obtain a licence one must visit one of the special offices the Ruritanian government have set up for the purpose.

Holmes was a bit reluctant at first, but Watson persuaded him they needed to visit the nearest of these offices. It turned out to be an exquisite little building in traditional Ruritanian style, with red roses and fragrant honeysuckle twining round the porch.

As they climbed the steps, the great detective exclaimed, "This is a pretty kettle office you've got us into, Watson."


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The Doctor Said

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 18 Jun 2017, 01:02

when the doctor said its never easy thats not a promising sign but to be fair we were both sitting down at the

time

and at least i took it well


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Beware of Satyrs

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These bee orchids flower each June on a road verge just a couple of hundred yards from my house.


I always understood bee orchids were pollinated by bees who were tricked into trying to mate with the flowers. Possibly that is how the mimicry evolved, but according to Wikipedia in northern Europe the plant is self-pollinating, although in Mediterranean regions there is a solitary bee that acts as a pollinator.

In Gerard's Herball Or Generall Historie of Plantes, 1597, it seems to be called the Humble Bee Satirion, and the flowers are said to resemble in shape "the great Bee called in English an Hornet or drone Bee". I didn't know before, but orchids were once called satyrions and thought to be consumed by satyrs, who were apparently inflamed by this diet.

Sadly in many parts of the world orchid roots are ground up to make a drink, salep, consumed by people rather than satyrs, and the demand for this beverage places some orchid species under threat.





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