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Homage To Ogden Nash

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There's many swear 'sloth' rhymes with 'oath'
And others vote for 'moth'
But for myself I'd go for both,
Or do I mean 'for both'?

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Grow Your Own

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The allotment went well at first. But then I lost the plot.



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Sky Haiku

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It's only me worries

Why the sky is so blue.

The lark doesn’t care.

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Gran's Wisdom One Liner

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 21 Jun 2018, 20:43

Today I snapped my tape measure.

I was quite annoyed, but then I remembered Gran saying: "Rules are just made to be broken."

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Proverb

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 21 Jun 2018, 01:50

Last weekend next door had a big do; marquee, live band and so on. As midnight approached the music was still very loud, so I went round and asked the band if they could turn it down a bit.

They immediately agreed, and when I got home it was noticeably quieter, although not as peaceful as I might have wished. But I left things at that, remembering Gran's wise saying: “Never fight the band that heeds you.”

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Cats and Dogs

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Q. What's the difference between a spoilsport and a cat who has lost eight lives?

A. One is a dog in manger, the other is a mog in danger.

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Wrong As Usual

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018, 01:27
I’m in this seminar right, and the tutor picks on me and asks “What do you know about medians?” I’m thinking “What am I supposed to know about Medians? I'm taking Statistics, not History.”

Anyway I gave it a shot.

“Were they the ones that hung out with the Persians?”, I said.

Apparently this wasn’t the right answer.


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Neandertal Island

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Looking for backers for an exciting new reality project.

'Neandertal Island' will creatively blend the science and primeval fear of the film Jurassic Park with the romance and love interest of current reality TV.

The island theme is strong, and cloning Neandertals who can mingle with modern human players should be much easier than recreating dinosaurs.

When players are thrown together expect fireworks! Everyone has a little Neandertal in their DNA, and anything could happen.


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Epitaph For The Unsuccessful Farmer

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Sow.

What?


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Epitaph

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 18 Jun 2018, 23:13

My Inner Sinner

Got Thinner

And Then Inside

I Died

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Doubt

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Notice me, oh! notice me, they screamed.

And yet, I felt, ... not all was as it seemed.


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Small Circus Haiku

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 18 Jun 2018, 22:42

Roll up! And you'll see

Highly trained ants, who know

Where the sugar is.


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One Liner

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I started a company selling origami. It's making a profit on paper.

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There Were Two Ravens

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Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 17 Jun 2018, 11:20

Picture credit: my brother Simon Walker


Odin, in Old Norse, Woden in Old English, traditionally had a pair of ravens, one perched on each shoulder. According to the Poetic Edda they were named Higgunn and Minun; 'Thought' and 'Memory'. Other traditions say he taught his birds to talk.

Each day they went out gathering intelligence for Odin's ears, but he was anxious. In the Poetic Edda we read

Huginn ok Munin 
fljúga hverjan dag 
Jörmungrund yfir; 
óumc ek of Hugin 
at hann aftr né comiþ, 
þó siámc meir um Munin.

Even though a thousand years has passed since this was written down, and in Old Norse, modern English speakers can get the gist. The verse has been translated many times by modern scholars and poets, but here is my attempt. I have tried to show how we can recognise the words of long ago still in our modern speech, and identify with the thoughts and emotion of the original.

Huginn and Munin 
Fly every day
The great world over
I fear for Hugin
That after he won't come
Though I fret more on Munin.

Huginn and Munin would have been common ravens, a large crow found all over the Northern Hemisphere. Recent genetic research has suggested this bird has two species that may have started diverging before a million years ago. But even more recent research indicates these lineages are coming together again!



We mostly think of evolution as divergence, as in the left-hand sketch above. But it's perfectly possible for species to reunite, as in the right-hand sketch. And common ravens are apparently interbreeding, and doing just this. [1]

It looks like we (humans) also did this, with Neandertals and Denisovans. In their DNA is enough evidence to classify them as separate species from us; but in our DNA enough traces to show there was interbreeding. And so, like the ravens, we show that species can merge, as well as diverge.

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Any Triple Spooners Out There?

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A Spoonerism, named for the Rev. Spooner of New College Oxford, who is supposed to have often made this kind of speech error (or maybe he was just making jokes), is when the first letters of two word phrases get swapped, with amusing resuts.

For example Spooner allegedly said to a wayward student: "You have hissed all my mystery lectures. You have tasted a whole worm. Please leave Oxford on the next town drain."

I've long wondered if there are any triple spooners. These would be three words for which shifting the first letters of each word in a cycle gives a different set of three words.

These seem quite hard to think of, so today I concocted a computer program to generate them. It generates plenty, but so far none have been all that memorable or funny, and many include very unusual words, so they don't really work.

The best I have so far is this. It's not too bad, although there are probably better ones out there.

A regular newspaper columnist referred to plans to grow watercress in allotments.

Another paper commented on the article under the headline

PRESS SLOT CITES CRESS PLOT SITES



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One Liner

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I quite liked Gran's avocado bathroom. Apart from the prawns, that is.

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Lastlight 2

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The Last of the Light

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Cats vs Dogs

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I realise many people think Cats are better than Dogs but to them please let me say,

This verse is proof they are wrong, because it’s doggerel, OK?

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Uncle Ebenezer One Liner

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In retirement Uncle Ebenezer worked all day, every day, to design a Mausoleum for himself. He was literally buried in his work.

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Beautiful but deadly

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Wildflowers are one of my passions. Yesterday I spotted this beauty in a hedge near where I live.


This lovely climbing, or at least scrambling, plant is Solanum dulcamara. Dulcamara = Sweet-bitter (think 'La Dolce Vita', and 'Amaretto'). A common English name for it is Bittersweet. 

Solanum seems to come originally from Pliny but I think he confused it with a different plant1. Both come from the family that includes potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines, and if you have ever observed the flowers of those plants you will see the family resemblance. Similarities in flower structure are what allows botanists to classify plants, rather than size, leaf and stem structure, habitat and so on.

My mother use to call this (or a very similar plant) deadly nightshade, but although the fruits of bittersweet are toxic, deadly nightshade is Atropa belladonna. Deadly nightshade has a rich folklore and history 2, including being used for poisoned arrows, so it was literally toxic, because toxic comes from the idea of poisoned tips, via ancient Greek τοξον toxon = bow.

1 "The solanum, according to Cornelius Celsus, is called "strychnon" by the Greeks; it is possessed of repercussive and refrigerative properties."

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0137%3Abook%3D27%3Achapter%3D108

2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atropa_belladonna


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One Liner

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I drove into this garage. Well. It ruined the front of the car.

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One Liner

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I hate air travel. I tried to sleep on the aeroplane, but I just fell off.

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Ennui

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Only

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Only a rose

But what an only!

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