lethargic_man: (Default)
(Edited, and email addresses munged to avoid spam-harvesting)
From: Sion Arrowsmith ([livejournal.com profile] sion_a)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.composition
Subject: Re: Stupid Author Trick?
Date: 26 May 2000 11:50:41 +0100 (BST)

Paul Andinach wrote:
I remember seeing a nature documentary once with a lyrebird in it, demonstrating the range of calls it had acquired; these included numerous bird calls, a collection of timber-industry related sounds (including an impression chainsaw impersonation),
If that was the one that was part of the David Attenborough Life of Birds series ... I carefully kept my recording of that section, because it was so wonderful.
and several different variations on "photograph being taken".
"Now, a camera with motor wind." *ca-chunk* *WHIRRRRR*
--
\S -- siona@chiark.greenend.***.uk -- http://www.chaos.org.uk/~sion/
  ___  |  "Frankly I have no feelings towards penguins one way or the other"
  \X/  |    -- Arthur C. Clarke
   her nu becomeþ se bera eadward ofdun hlæddre heafdes bæce bump bump bump

From: -dsr-

Paul Andinach writes:
On Fri, 26 May 2000, Lucy Kemnitzer ([livejournal.com profile] ritaxis) wrote:
On Thu, 25 May 2000 22:07:21 -0400, PaulMmn wrote:
I've always wondered if the variety of songs a mockingbird sings is pre-programmed or learned.
How could it be anything other than learned, when it's mimicry?
I think the question was: Are mockingbirds true mimics, or are their calls predetermined?

I suspect that they're true mimics. It makes more sense.
Learned. My family calls in the cats at night with a particular whistle; the mockingbird who picked it up is, surprisingly, still alive.

-dsr-

(Talk about evolution in action...)
From: White Crow
I think the question was: Are mockingbirds true mimics, or are their calls predetermined?
I don't know much about mockingbirds themselves, but I read that African Grey parrots are hard to study in the wild b/c their calls seem to be made up entirely of other birds' calls—no one knows what the "native" tongue for the Grey is, and thus can't quite track them.

Mine has picked up an astonishing amount of sounds, without any attempt on my part to teach him (I've had him about 4 years). His favorite trick for a long time was making a sound like the door being knocked on and yelling (in my voice or my husband's) "Seth, get the door!" which would send my son galloping down the stairs to open the front door.

He also does the phone well enough that I have to stop every time I hear the ring to see if it rings again at the right interval.
From: Zeborah ([livejournal.com profile] zeborahnz)

Lucy Kemnitzer ([livejournal.com profile] ritaxis) wrote:
That nice fellow I married heard one do a lawn mower once.
We had a budgie that would do the microwave. This annoyed my mother, who'd think, "Oh, my coffee must be done," came downstairs, checked the microwave and discovered no coffee in it at all. (It went plumb crazy when the vacuum cleaner was turned on...)
lethargic_man: (reflect)
It's struck me that when I link to earlier material of mine, it's almost always on LJ. Interesting what this says about the likelihood of my posting archivable material on LJ versus pre-Web 2.0 places (which is to say, mostly Usenet). Though the fact Google's Usenet archive search varies between completely broken and mostly broken nowadays, and my poorer memory of material I posted a very long time ago are factors too.

Pre LJ, I was mostly posting on alt.fan.pratchett (and spin-off groups) and rec.arts.sf.composition; and this post illustrates how posts certainly to the former aren't really worth referring back to. The linked post is a follow-up to a follow-up to my post, which, in common with my other early posts, seems not to have made it to Google's archive itself. It dates from August 1994, and (unless the complete archive of afp L-Space maintained a dozen years ago still exists) is probably the oldest material of mine accessible on the Net today.

Anyhow, Shabbos having now got long enough that by seven o'clock I'd finished my book, read the sedra sheet, learned my day's leyning and was ready to start throwing my toys out of the pram, I dug out my printed afp quotefile, covering the period from 1995 until I started maintaining it in soft copy in 2000, and started reading it for light entertainment.

As the material in it is amusing, which is of course why I kept it, I thought I might repost some of it here, to entertain you as well, starting with the soft version, which at least I can cut and paste from when Google search won't show me the original article:
From: "Eimear Ni Mhealoid" <eimearnim@eircom.net>
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.composition
Subject: Re: Abysmal Descriptions
Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 19:55:12 +0100

That sounds suspiciously like Sir Boyle Roche, eighteenth century Irish parliamentarian and utterer of such gems as "All along the untrodden paths of the future, I see the footprints of an unseen hand" and "Sir, how could he be in two places at once unless he were a bird?"

I remember those from The Book of Irish Bull, compiled by Des McHale. Amazon apparently have it for $10, which seems steep—as I recall it was a very slim paperback. McHale does a number of collections of this sort of thing (Kerryman jokes, and so on) which are widely sold here in tourist shops, hotel shops and so on.

Here are a few more lines attributed to Boyle Roche by quotation collections:

"I smell a rat; I see him forming in the air & darkening the sky; but I'll nip him in the bud."

"Half the lies our opponents tell about us are untrue."

"I told you to make one longer than another, and instead you have made one shorter than the other—the opposite."

"Why should we put ourselves out of our way to serve posterity? For what has posterity ever done for us? "

"While I write this letter, I have a pistol in one hand and a sword in the other. "

"I concluded from the beginning that this would be the end; and I am right, for it is not half over yet. "

"The only thing to prevent what's past is to put a stop to it before it happens."

--
Eimear Ni Mhealoid

P.S. If you do not receive this, of course it must have been miscarried; therefore I beg you to write and let me know.
—Sir Boyle Roche
From: pnh@panix.com (P Nielsen Hayden)

Walt Willis, in THE IMPROBABLE IRISH (published under the pen name "Walter Bryan"), quotes at least one more immortal Boyle Rochism:
"The cup of Ireland's misfortunes has been overflowing for centuries, and it is not full yet."
I shall tag my quotefile posts, so you can see them all together here. Let me know if no one else finds these funny, and I'll stop making the effort.

(no subject)

Thursday, July 6th, 2006 02:51 pm
lethargic_man: (beardy)
In an ongoing email thread here about the level of air-conditioning:
Francis: So, the sunny side is too hot, and the "dark-side" is cold... Either that or convection works sideways in this place.
Lasse: How can I get over to the dark side? Does it involve a helmet?

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