Poison cornflakes. Now there’s a cereal killer.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the advice about hand sanitisers based on ethyl alcohol was an alcohol content as high as 85%. But now we have settled down and 70% or even 60% are considered enough. This suggests that lacking hand sanitiser you could in an emergency use Woods Old Navy Rum, 57% ABV.
So the legend that, after the battle of Trafalgar Nelson’s body was brought home preserved in rum, or possibly brandy, is more believable than I always imagined. But according to Wikipedia the Admiralty records refer just, somewhat coyly, to “Refined Spirits”. So we cannot ever know exactly what was used.
A. Have you heard of Samson?
B. What, the mobile phone company?
They’ve cut my hair off!” Samson sounded distressed.
If you cross your fingers and touch a small object (such as the tip of your nose), there will seem to be two of whatever it is. Not being able to see the object strengthens the illusion, and because you can’t see the end of your nose very well it is a suitable tactile target. Besides, using your nose is amusing.
This illusion has been known for at least two thousand years. Aristotle wrote (Metaphysics Book 4):
“… touch says there are two objects when we cross our fingers, while sight says there is one”
It’s an example of a tactile illusion.
Lots of optical (alias visual) illusions are known. They startle and intrigue: some seem almost incredible. Some have been discovered or invented in the last decade, others go back centuries. They all cast light on visual perception, and are all, even the most well known, still the subject of research and often controversy as well.
Tactile illusions are less well known and most people are only aware of the crossed fingers one. But many have been discovered and written about, and new ones emerge quite regularly. There is an excellent survey here.
One I particularly like is the ‘salad bowl after effect’. Take a smoothly concave bowl (like a salad bowl) and press three fingers – there is no need for it to be hard – against the inside curve of the bowl for a few seconds – perhaps 10 – and then touch them on a flat surface. If you are like me it will feel convex, as though a bump has risen up! This strange (and to my mind eerie) feeling only last a short time but for me at least its is quite strong. I’ve even found I can make it work with the inside of my glasses case.(Written some years ago for the Partialinsight blog.)
I really enjoyed this gem from today’s puzzle!
No privacy here for swimmers? (8, 4)
Why did the chicken cross the ice rink? To get to the other glide! ⛸️
Who tried to teach mice how to talk.
But after a week
They could only say “Squeak”,
So he gave up and went went down the pub.
We had chicken breasts wrapped in prosciutto, drenched in marinara sauce, garnished with fresh basil, with grilled vegetable sides: green capsicum, fine beans, sweet potato, mushrooms.
Marinara sauce: cook finely chopped onions in olive oil until translucent, then finely chopped garlic until smell wafts off.
Add tinned plum tomatoes, then dried oregano and chopped fresh basil. And a chilli. The latter is hard to gauge, my sauce needed to be hotter, but I feared overshooting. Best idea (from my co-cook) is use a whole chilli with a slash in it, taste the sauce at half time, then fish the chilli out and either a. bung it or b. chop it up and put it back.
Verdict: Super but some way to go. 4 stars.
Joke: How would you rate the Solar System? Only one star.
[Not my joke, I don’t know its origins.]
Our small cruise ship company is literally a joke. It’s a one liner.
The warmth of the sun in winter.Here’s an amusing skit on such rare words, from Mirriam-Webster
“These humicubations, the nocturnal irrorations, and the dankishness of the atmosphere, generated by a want of apricity, were extremely febrifacient.” Lorenzo Altisonant (aka Samuel Klinefelter Hoshour), Letters to Squire Pedant, 1856
I’m addicted to suitcases. But I’m determined to pack them up.
No clues and pleeeeze don’t just Google. Think about it and put a guesstimate in the comments.
By average is meant the median; half the people below, half above.
Seen in the Scilly Islands.
I used to hear owls a lot round here but in the last few years less. So I was pleased in this last few days to hear several tawny owls on the way back from the pub (me not them).
Here’s a good write-up with a sound recording
On a radio program in 1948 the philospher Bertrand Russell gave several humerous examples of "emotive conjugation", such as
I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool.
I have reconsidered the matter, you have changed your mind, he has gone back on his word.
You get the idea: it's like comjugating a verb but the speaker casts themself in a favourable light, you in a slightly less favourable one, and the others in an unfavourable light.
I offer you one for the current "situation" (as the PM describes ).
I am filling up earlier than usual, you have changed your pattern of demand, they are panic buying.
They said I knew diddly squat. I was like “No, never met the bloke”.
I can probably reprise this, after half a decade.
Barcarolle Gamble on winning streak
Minuet Last night's romantic dinner
Romance Insect scouts
Nocturne Criticise stage act
Overture Your turn now
Rondo Relative of John Doe, Jane Doe, etc.
Andante Another relative
Unison The one at uni
Suite Grain identification
Operetta Grain dryer tragedy
Symphony Appear odd
According to Simon Cardy we’ve had less wind this summer than any year since 1962, seehttps://mobile.twitter.com/weather_king/status/1434812313614397441
This has had a big impact on energy supply, but I didn’t realise quite how much wind power mattered. It’s been windy this week and as a result between Tuesday and Wednesday morning wind provided about a third of our national power requirements (see Paul Simons Weather Eye, Times 30/09/2021).
At the same time the wind caused some devastation near here. Two light aeroplanes and a helicopter were upended and written off overnight. At first sight it might appear that such heavy machines would be safe from wind, but I think the fact that they are designed to fly makes them more vulnerable.
A. How do lumberjacks get online?
A. With their logging credentials!
I love archeology, I really dig it.
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