Archive for the ‘Language and animals’ Category

Ostentatiously playful allusions

May 18, 2019

(OPAs, for short.) The contrast is to inconspicuously playful allusions, what I’ve called Easter egg quotations on this blog. With three OPAs from the 4/20/19 Economist, illustrating three levels of closeness between the content of the OPA and the topic of the article: no substantive relationship between the two (the Nock, Nock case), tangential relationship (the Sunset brouhaha case), and tight relationship (the defecate in the woods case).

The three cases also illustrate three degrees of paronomasia: the Nock, Nock case involves a (phonologically) perfect pun; the Sunset brouhaha case an imperfect pun; and the defecate in the woods case no pun at all, but whole-word substitutions.

I’ll start in the middle, with Sunset brouhaha. But first, some background. Which will incorporate flaming saganaki; be prepared.

(more…)

The larval menace in their tents

May 15, 2019

Yesterday on the My Home is California group on Facebook, Jen Ede posted this scene of creatures afflicting greenery at Subway Cave, Old Station (in Lassen National Forest):

(#1)

That’s an amateur shot; here’s a more dramatic photo, with much better lighting:

(more…)

News for penguins: the misread petrel

May 15, 2019

Passed along on Facebook recently, a BBC One clip from 12/13/18, with this header:

(#1)

I read the header before I looked down at the scene. And what I read was:

Emperor penguin chicks take on a giant pretzel

I found this mightily puzzling. The Giant Pretzels of the Antarctic? Then I saw the petrel.

(more…)

Annals of inadvertently cute creatures

May 9, 2019

During the frustrating days of searching for a source of the Japanese-Spanish “Ariperro” cartoon (5/5 report on this blog here), I wrote on Facebook:

Stacy [Holloway] says there’s no clear answer. I say I’m sad about the unclear answer.

And Stacy offered to allay my sadness with something happy, specifically, from the My Modern Met site, “Adorable “Leaf Sheep” Sea Slugs Look like Cartoon Lambs” by Jenny Zhang on 8/22/15:


(#1) A leaf sheep sea slug, Costasiella kuroshimae

(more…)

Le Pingouin aux Parapluies Roses

April 18, 2019

Umbro, the ceramic horticultural penguin, gay lover of wild strawberries, who lives in the shade of a pink cocktail umbrella:


(#1) Umbro, shaded by his pink cocktail umbrella and luxuriating under the spreading spathyphyllum tree and the watchful eye of the llama Glama Grrl

Cross the novel La Dame aux Camélias with the movie Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, cast a cocktail-loving penguin as the protagonist, and you get Le Pingouin aux Parapluies Roses, one of the famously bibulous singing penguins of Cherbourg (seen here visiting in Palo Alto).

(more…)

Meaty mammoths, cat vs. dog

April 13, 2019

Themes in the cartoons of Mike Twohy: woolly mammoths as gigantic sources of meat, the edgy relationships between dog and cat. Starting with a cartoon in the latest (4/15/19) New Yorker:


(#1) “You tend to overuse the exclamation point.”

The editor strikes. Eager-to-please, enthusiastic dog faces aloof cat.

(more…)

Monsters and their Peeps

April 11, 2019

Yesterday in the posting “Crunching the festive rabbits” on this blog, Godzilla consumed Peeps. Just as I posted that, the Mental Floss site came through with more thrilling Peepsiana: “Artist Turns 5000 Marshmallow Peeps Into a Game of Thrones Dragon” by Michele Debczak, with a dragon composed of Peeps:


(#1) A Peeps dragon; so far as I can tell, there are no dragon Peeps (that is, Peeps in the shape of dragons, though there also are no Peeps composed of dragons, no Peeps manufactured by dragons, etc.)

(more…)

News for carnivorous penises

March 30, 2019

(No actual penises, but some decidedly peniform plants and lots of intimate anatomical references, sometimes in street language; urethras abound. So clearly not to everyone’s taste.)

It began with a Facebook posting by Jens Fiederer, with a photo of the Botanical Penis of Doom, from the Thailand-Secrets site:


(#1) Cheng Kam Wor: “This is a pitcher plant of the genus Nepenthes sp. The glans-like top is actually a lid for the bottom pitcher structure. A carnivorous plant like the Venus flytrap!”

(more…)

They might be herons

March 26, 2019

(More news for glass penises, but now a matter of interpretation rather than representation.)

Following up on the posting “Through a Glass Penis, Darkly”, which ended with a glass penis-simulacrum by Dale Chihuly. Segue to Chihuly’s “Black and Green Striped Herons with Icicle Clusters” at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in the 2016 installation “Chihuly in the Garden”:


(#1) Glass sculptures among the plants: plants behind, plants in front, plants overhead

(more…)

Caribou with a pair

March 14, 2019

From Chris Waigl on the 10th, this bulletin from Alaska, the 2/24 Nuggets cartoon by Jamie Smith (inksnow.blogspot.com) in her local paper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

(#1)

[Chris:] [Since the cartoon is set in Alaska]  the animals depicted presumably are caribou (NOT reindeer). Note that in caribou, females have antlers, often quite elaborate ones.

Also [since it’s illegal to kill caribou cows, but legal to hunt bulls,] the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has a remarkable multi-page illustrated leaflet about sexing caribou in the wild [here]

Ok: the idiom grow a pair; antlers on female caribou/reindeer; the distinction between caribou and reindeer; and as a bonus, an Ink & Snow blog posting “Bear Den” from 3/10 on the use of trademarked characters in cartoons.

(more…)