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Cracker Joke

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Q. What kind of loaf is a distant rodent?

A. The Far Mouse!

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And when we've been, and gone, we still won’t know

What does it mean to be, or what it means to go.

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Two Philosphers Contrasted

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Picture credits

1. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nietzsche187a.jpg

2. Self-portrait but with more hair.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Richard Walker, Friday, 22 Feb 2019, 01:56)
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On seeing a woodland levelled

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They felled the forest sirs, but if you please,

They thought much more of profits than of trees.

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A Metal That Melts In Your Hand

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 20 Feb 2019, 01:00
Gallium is a metal with a very low melting point and will liquefy in the palm of your hand. It took this little ingot, about the size of an aspirin tablet, about 10 minutes to melt for me.

Artificial alloys of gallium have even lower melting points and are used in applications such as thermometers, as a non-toxic liquid metal substitute for mercury.

Gallium was predicted before it was discovered. Mendeleev, who first formulated the periodic table more or less as we know it, identified a gap that would be filled by “eka-aluminium” and deduced some of its properties. In less than five years Lecoqde Boisbaudran had proved it by spectroscopy, from two characteristic violet bands in the spectrum, and shortly afterwards isolated the metal itself; a scientific triumph.

Although gallium is not toxic to humans, it's highly corrosive to aluminium. So I was careful to keep it away from my iPhone and took the photograph above with the other hand, a bit tricky.


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Clerihew

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Karl Marx

Was terrified of sharks.

For a bit of fun,

He published Das Kapital (Volume One).

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Nominative determinism

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Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by David Tracey, Monday, 18 Feb 2019, 01:31)
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Alla Barnen

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All the kids listened carefully to the talk. Except Janet.

She was on a different planet.

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Tom Swifty and the Sinister Toy

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“Must... make... that... soft toy... look the... other... way”, murmured Tom, distractedly.

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Humans

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I’ll tell you what I think. We're just a bunch of accidental chemicals. But when you listen to Chopin's music, well he's a pretty awesome chemical.

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Keep up, will yah?

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Some one said,

"If you snooze, you lose"

Here are some similar wake-up calls.

"If you kip, you slip."

"If you snail you fail."

"If you delay, no way."

"If you nap, take a slap."

"If you wait, it's too late."

"If you snuggle, you juggle."

"If you ain't fast, you won't last."

"If you aint't quick, you ain't slick."

"If you're a slug then you're a mug."

and

"Don't be dozey. Mosey!"






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Ready Teddy

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The soft toy race was close, but it was won by a short Ted.

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I lost but...

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I went in for a flatfish race. I didn't win, but at least I was placed.

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I lost, but...

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I went in for a Pancake Race. Sadly I didn't win. But I did get off to a frying start.

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Riddle

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What's the diffence between an Oxford Eight and the River Thames?

One is a Rowing Team and the other is a Flowing Stream!

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Sirius B

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Sirius is in fact two stars, but the secondary one is much smaller. This image from Hubble shows the small companion.

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sirius_A_and_B_Hubble_photo.jpg#mw-jump-to-license

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The Twinkling Dog Star

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I often read Paul Simon's Weather Eye column in the Times, anf generally learn something I had no idea of before. Yesterday's piece was about Sirius, the brightest star in the sky after the Sun.

We see stars twinkling, caused by atmospheric disturbances, but when they are low down near the horizon they twinkle in rainbow colours. We probably miss this with most stars (I've certainly never noticed it) because they are less bright and so harder to see whan they are low down in the sky. But Sirius is very conspicuous and its many-coloured twinkling is well-known and has often been photographed. A good example is here

https://earthsky.org/todays-image/photo-sirius-in-many-colors

I looked Sirius up in the Oxford English Dictionary and was suprised to find this quote from Tess of the D'Ubervilles, seeming to suggest that Thomas Hardy might have been aware of the Sirius' multicoloured twinkling.

"Each gem turned into an Aldebaran or a Sirius—a constellation of white, red, and green flashes, that interchanged their hues with her every pulsation."

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Tom Swifty

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Stepping in at the last moment, Tom did "The hills are alive" surprisingly well.
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At Dawn

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In the morning

At the dawning

I want only one thing

To hear a robin sing

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Pulso Pulso

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Knock-knock

   Who’s there?

Juno.

    No. That’s what I’m asking.

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Harald Sohlberg

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There is a Harald Sohlberb exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. I don't think I will get there for physical reasons, but looking online at Sohlbrg's work I wish I could.

Roughly the same era as Munch, but less well known, Solhberg seems to be described as "Neo-Romatntic" or "Symbolist". I'm not sure these labels fit, I can't understand why Symbolist. Neo-Romantic is there perhaps in this archytypal vision of a lonely homestead seen at dusk.


But this example seems more Expressionist.


Other paintings by Sohlberg defy simple categorisation and show how individual a painter he was. See here for some examples.


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Skíðblaðnir

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For many years I fantasized about a folding car. The idea, you see, was that if you came to a traffic jam, or couldn't find a parking space, you would simply fold the car up and walk off with it under your arm.

Now I find the same idea was thought of at least a thousand years ago. In Norse mythology the ship Skíðblaðnir, the "best of all ships", crafted by dwarves and the property of the god Freyr, was "made with so much cunning" that it could be folded up like a cloth and stowed away in your pocket.

In the picture Skíðblaðnir can be seen at bottom right.


The folding car doesn't exist, and Freyr has already bagged the only folding ship. But I do have a folding mobility scooter. Like Skíðblaðnir it is a marvel of intricacy and craftsmanship. It will not quite go in my pocket, but it does collapse to the size of a small wheeling suitcase, and fits easily in a car boot.

Picture credit: Wikimedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_third_gift_%E2%80%94_an_enormous_hammer_by_Elmer_Boyd_Smith.jpg


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Outvoted

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 9 Feb 2019, 21:24

One of my favourite quotes is from Nataniel Lee, an 18c playwright. Confined for some time in the Bedlam asylum, he said, according to Coleridge in "Biographia Literaria"

"I asserted that the world is mad, and the world said, that I was mad, and confound them, they outvoted me."


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Life on the ridge

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Today I saw this finial of boxing hares. I've passed the house many times but never looked up before.


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Cracker Joke

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 8 Feb 2019, 23:09

Ist Elf: Why is bricklaying difficult?

2nd Elf: I dunno. Why?

1st Elf: Cos there's mortar it than you think!



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