Taps and Baptists

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Taps and Baptists

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10:14 am

There is apparently a tradition among people writing a PhD to include a sentence along the lines "If any of you idiots reads this sentence you can claim the bottle of whisky I'm going to bring into the viva." It's customary to put this in the middle of a densely written but not particularly interesting passage, such as routine calculations. It also seems to be customary for viva examiners to ignore it; or maybe they genuinely overlook it?

Did The Megalithic Empire originate as PhD thesis? Probably not, but it shares this habit! Two of the most blatant examples are both in Chapter 6, Festivals and Folk Beliefs. (Page numbers are the 2012 British hardback edition; I don't know if there's been another edition, but just in case!)
The building blocks of classical Megalithia are standing stones, whose folk name is grey wethers, wether meaning sheep which stones in a field are said to resemble. But the actual ink is that a wether specifically refers to a castrated ram and a further etymological link is that withy means a tough, fibrous plant, the chief method of binding testicles. Turning a screw or tap in a counter-clockwise direction, or widdershins, has a tightening effect.

p111

The water from wells, under the tutelage of Megalithic paragons of chastity such as Ann, Margaret or Winifred (respectively the Baptist's mother, the Pearl of Scotland and Gwenivere), was considered to have healing properties and to be particularly efficacious for treating eye complaints.

p131

I'm not a whisky drinker, unfortunately!
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby Mick Harper » 11:16 am

I do not understand your reference to 'vivas'. Neither of the American universities from whom I purchased doctorates mentioned them. I cannot speak for the authors but the passages you quote seem to me to be of more than ordinary perspicacity so perhaps you could spell out with greater clarity the source of your unease.
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby TisILeclerc » 11:34 am

Image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauxhall_Viva

A megalithic form of transport. Recently re vived to vie with the glorious Skoda.

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/vauxhall/viva

It has shrunk over the intervening years.

In the academic sense I believe viva is the process whereby Oxford Dons and related species are brought out of hibernation to test if they are still alive. They are revived for the ordeal with bottles of Port. Or so I've been told.
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby Boreades » 11:41 am

I'm feeling distressed. I've read the whole of TME and found no whisky.

It's especially distressing that it reminds me of the last time I had the same feeling. It was when visiting a certain part of Scotland on a Sunday, and the only place I could get lunch was a Temperance Hotel.
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby TisILeclerc » 11:54 am

As a bonny fido traveller you could have got into any hotel on a Sunday. There may not have been any food but you should have got a drink.

In the good old days when hotels were the only thing alive on a Sunday the bus companies did a roaring trade.

Tourists from Dundee would set off for the fair city of Perth and half way there would pass buses coming the other way full of Perth travellers anxious to have a look at Bonnie Dundee and her wonderful hotels.

All bonny fido travellers you see. Laws have corners for the determined to get around.
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby TisILeclerc » 12:11 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-37443204

And just in time for the ignobel prizes for academic achievement.

Image

And here's the picture of one of the lucky winners with friend. Not sure which is which.

I kid you not he is acting the goat.
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby Boreades » 2:09 pm

As the Ig Nobel prizes are generally extracting the micturition, this winner wins on two counts:

A study showing that nearly all mammals take the same amount of time to urinate has been awarded one of the 2015 Ig Nobel prizes at Harvard University.


Nearly all mammals take the same amount of time to urinate?

I'm assuming the researchers didn't visit any of my local pubs at closing time. After ten pints of heavy, it takes about 10 minutes.
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby TisILeclerc » 2:31 pm

And when you get to a certain age it can take half an hour or more. Several times a night.
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby Bmblbzzz » 3:09 pm

Well that's cleared that up then. ::-) Clearly the most important reference in that chapter was Castor and Pollux (no, I can't give a page reference for that, because the book's gone back to the library now).
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Re: Taps and Baptists

Postby Mick Harper » 3:37 pm

Ignore those two, they are the bane of the site. You must have some point in mind. This is our book you're talking about. It's important to us.
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