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Richard Walker

Dialogue

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“Can I use the dial please?”

“No! It’s mine all mine, bwahaha!”

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Richard Walker

Groaner

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 14 Nov 2020, 22:25

Q. What goes "99, 100, Phew!"

A. A centipede counting its legs.

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Richard Walker

Round Table Puzzle

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 14 Nov 2020, 22:21



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Richard Walker

Pademelon

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 13 Nov 2020, 23:30

This intersting little animal is a pademelon, a kind of marsupial, related to kanaroos and wallabies.


I had never heard of pademelons, but the name came up in a quiz tonight. There are seven species but the Wikpepdia article is a bit sparse on detail.

Here's a video from of young pademelons playing.

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Richard Walker

Cats on Cushions Puzzle

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 13 Nov 2020, 02:15

This is a sawn-down version of a puzzle "Arranging cats and dogs" that Matt Parker recently posted on YouTube.

In our version we have a pair of cats, and eight cushions. We want to seat each cat on its own cushion, with the restriction that they cannot occupy adjacent cushions, in case they start a cat fight. Here is one possible arrangement.


You see the cats are not next to one another, so the rule is satisfied.

The question is: how many possible arrangements are there? What if there were 9 cushions? Or 10? Can you give a general formula?

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Richard Walker

Procrastination

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I’ve been asked to write a short piece on procrastination. But I can do it later.

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Richard Walker

Ant Joke

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Q. How does an ant who’s not driving a taxi any longer feel?

A. Exuberant. 

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Richard Walker

Tom Swifty

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“That ditch is swarming with some kind of insect”, said Tom trenchantly.

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Richard Walker

A Ballad of Proverbs, after Villon

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020, 03:52

A cat can look at a queen.

Cats have nine lives.

How many shopping days till Christmas?

Let sleeping dogs lie.

Every dog has his day.

How many shopping days till Christmas?

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Many hands make light work.

How many shopping days till Christmas?

A bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush.

Birds of a feather flock together.

How many shopping days till Christmas?

It’s always darkest just before the dawn.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

How many shopping days till Christmas?

Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

How many shopping days till Christmas?

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Faint heart never won fair lady.

How many shopping days till Christmas?

Cut your coat according to your cloth.

A stitch in time saves nine.

How many shopping days till Christmas.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

How many shopping days till Christmas?
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Richard Walker

Milongueo del Ayer, by Abel Fleury

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 12 Nov 2020, 11:59

This features my friend Mike Lloyd playing a duet, remotely of course, with Sebastian Pompilio, a professional guitarist and guitar teacher based in Argentina.

Mike says they did the duet with a lot of help from audio/video editing software, recording parts separately and then stitching them together.

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Richard Walker

Supper 09/11/2030

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 10 Nov 2020, 00:52


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Richard Walker

A Bottle Hits The Dust

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 10 Nov 2020, 00:53

An old shelf collapsed today, sadly; a bottle of Port fell and broke. No use crying, but why is Port called Port?

It's named for Oporto which means 'The port' in Portugese. I knew that but wanted to dig deeper.

Portugal itself seems to have been named in Latin, Portus Cale, the first element meaning port or gate or mountain pass etc. in Latin, the second a Celtic name, of a deity, or a people, or lots of other possibilites, see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Portugal#Etymology

But what about Latin portus? What are its origins? I was surprised. It is conjecturered to stem from a word pertus = crossing in the long-ago origin of most (but not all!) European languages.

So, even more surprisingly perhaps, the English word ford has the same origin. Grimm's laws documented that words that began with 'p' or 'q' in Greek or Latim have mutated to start with 'f' in Germanic languages, so e.g.

pater (Latin) -> father

pisce (Latin) -> fish

pyre (Greek) -> fire

pente (Greek) -> five

quercus (Latin) -> fir (not the same tree, but the same word root)

pothi (Greek) -> foot

If you want to feed in anything more, you have an opportunity to do so in the Comments.


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Richard Walker

Hope

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Tonight Winter knocked at my door

But Spring was peeping over her shoulder.

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Richard Walker

One Liner

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Death. Is it just around the coroner?

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Richard Walker

Cheese comparison

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Is Ricotta hotter.

Or is Feta better?

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Richard Walker

Astronomical Mondegreen

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Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 6 Nov 2020, 23:03

I heard this scientist going on about "Black coals in space", I thought hey look in my cellar.

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Richard Walker

What I’m Reading

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How to Make the World Add Up: Ten Rules for Thinking Differently, by Tim Harford. 


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Richard Walker

De-existance

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Suppose I were to de-exist.

Would I be missed?

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Richard Walker

What J. Caesar might have said, but didn’t

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 I came, I saw, I concurred.

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Richard Walker

Playground Joke

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Q. What did the mummy firefly say to the baby firefly?

A. Glow baby, glow!

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Richard Walker

Double-Barrelled

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I was charmed to read a couple from Bridport with surnames White and Christmas have married to become the White-Christmasses.

Going further afield, there is Romanian surname Biban and a French one Thierry. I’ll leave you to work that one out.

Amazingly there is a French/German surname Dubel, and a surname Burled. So there could be a double-barrelled surname Dubel-Burled.


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Richard Walker

The Five Friends - A Poem

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 4 Nov 2020, 02:54

There were five friends once

That met in a certain place

But a cruel wind came up one day

That sent them their separate ways.

And now they hope to meet again

But know not how nor when.

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Richard Walker

At the restaurant

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A, B, C, D and E went out for a meal. The restaurant was very crowded, but managed to vitamin.

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Richard Walker

Knock-knock!

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Knock-knock!

    Wanda

Wanda who?

    Wanda who's kissing her now.

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Richard Walker

Is Smoking Good for You?

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The modern consensus is no, but early in the pandemic there appeared to be evidence that smoking protected against Covid-19. This seemed surprising, but when dealing with an unknown quantity conventional wisdom might be overturned. Perhaps the smoke kills virus particles, it’s plausible.

Here’s a study that compared test-confirmed Covid rates among hospital patients who smoked and those who did not.

https://www.qeios.com/read/WPP19W.3

The article abstract concluded

“Conclusions and relevance: Our cross sectional study in both COVID-19 out- and inpatients strongly suggests that daily smokers have a very much lower probability of developing symptomatic or severe SARS-CoV-2 infection as compared to the general population.”

Should I resume smoking after all these years?

No. As discussed here

https://rss.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1740-9713.01413

the correlation is likely to be an example of Berkson’s paradox, not a real effect.

Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to need hospital treatment for reasons that are unconnected to Covid. So if you test everyone on a respiratory ward, a smaller proportion of the smokers will have Covid relative to the non-smokers.

But the idea that smoking could protect against infectious disease, and confer other other health benefits is old.

“During the London plague of 1665 children were instructed to smoke in their schoolrooms; and in 1882, in a Bolton outbreak of smallpox, tobacco was actually issued to all the residents of a workhouse.”

See 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1079499/


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