Friday, June 19, 2009


If you've been listening to the wireless then you will have noticed that on Wednesday the BBC reported a proper news story and not something featuring Robert Peston (due to my not owning a television receiver, I have so far been fortunate enough not to witness this gentleman putting the shits up the working public. I'm staying at the country seat for a few days and despite there being several televisions here, the folks prefer ITN. I still haven't seen him). My immediate thought about sticklebacks being declared piscene geniuses was that a revered (and oft quoted as a piece of quite useless information) part of my Nuffield biology was now in question. Anyone of a similar vintage to myself may well remember the story about the sticklebacks in a research lab tank that appeared to get particularly excited at precisely the same time, each and every day. Except Sundays. I think I've remembered this correctly: the male fish display a red flash when on the pull. This would provoke aggression and excitement in surrounding fish depending, of course, on their gender. A sharp-eyed technician noted that the unexplained agitation coincided with the delivery of the post and of course, the Royal Mail then used, as it still does, red vans. The measure of fishy intelligence in the 1960s presumably didn't included the ability to decide whether a threat or potential suitor was of an aqueous or terrestrial nature.

However, it is a shame that some sections of our society still appear to display even less intelligence than a two inch long animal commonly found swimming in ditches. By the way, these morons call themselves British nationalists. I do hope you didn't cast a protest vote.

9 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Dave said...

I have no idea who Robert Peston is. Did he win Britain's Got talent?

5:58 am  
Blogger Vicus Scurra said...

Trying to keep up here, are you suggesting that my tropical fish are in danger of being molested by staff of hm post office?
And Dave. Very droll.

6:19 am  
Blogger Rog said...

He never looked that bright in a Kilt in Marillion.

7:04 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Dave, I believe so. Ro Pe.

Vicus, Yes, it was very late when I wrote that and this laptop of my mother's isn't the most efficient piece of kit and as I was more than 5 feet from the router I was begining to lose patience. What I omitted to say was the fish could see through the window, the postman didn't physicaly excite them. Your guppies are safe.

Rog. Did he work for Macfisheries?

12:07 pm  
Blogger krusty the baker said...

Yes, I too worried about the possibility of fish lusting after postmen. They could do better.

I didn't cast a protest vote - since relocating to Hampshire, my MP is Mark Oaten - and it doesn't get any shitter than that.

10:30 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Krusty! You're alive!

11:10 pm  
Blogger tom909 said...

That'a an intersting observation about those fish. I used to catch them in wine bottles traps when I was a kid, and never had any trouble with them myself.
As for the BNP, don't they fall in to the 'there will always be a few tossers' category.

9:25 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Tom,probably not anymore. Best be on the safe side and shoot on sight.

5:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eyyyyy! I also have no television, well done to you too :-)

I think it's interesting that as scientists look more, we discover further elements of other animals' intelligence, culture, use of tools, etc

My fear is that where systems/mechanisms are different to those of humans, we tend to discount them. I am a fish ecologist myself, so have some insight into what I'm criticising.

And LOL to s/backs being more intelligent than some humans, I agree, but will mention no names

11:15 am  

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