Anna Tambour presents 

The virtuous medlar circle
thoroughly bletted

the cellar

More Irresistibles
a selection of links you might find of interest
Note: This is the lower level of the cellar, storing the oldest vintages
The upper cellar is here
"I hate
 quotations. "
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Daily Cheese, Bread
& Medlars


My response to Humpty Dumpty as a child was, did he fall, or was he pushed.
- P.D. James
But as the scientists inform us, toads do not always sound like birds. The Mexican burrowing toad emits a loud gutteral moan... and "a chorus of them sounds like a shipload of seasick landlubbers"...Other species emit nasal quonks, deep moans, faint buzzes, shrill liquid trills, whistled wheets, warbling chirps, raspy snores, metallic vibratos, weak low-pitched toots, short squeaks, doglike barks, deep low-volume honks, or explosive grunts.
   And this is only the beginning of the devastation wrought upon the scientists by the poetic muse.
- Robert M. DeGraaff,
The Book of the Toad
(see this month's top "Irresistible")
We like to think of [dinosaurs] as creation lizards, or missionary lizards.
- Frank Sherwin, researcher and author at the Institute for Creation Research museum
A surprisingly frequently asked question is can you fly on an airplane with a rabbit.
- Beth Woolbright, To Fly or Not to Fly
This began as a site where I could share some books and writers I've loved over the years, especially the more obscure ones that people might not have read in college. But since I put together the etymology dictionary, it's becoming a site for people who are curious about what sort of no-life obsessive-compulsive would do something like that.
- Douglas Harper, Brambles
It's the true mark of making it in Australia when you've got this many Port-A-Loos at your show.
-  Missy Higgins
What I would like are more mixed and negative reviews of books. If you look at the reviews right now, you see a vast sea of saccharine. I refuse to believe that this is such a golden age that 90 percent of the books being published are great.
-  Jeff VanderMeer
Australian (cricket) fielding has been sloppier than packet custard
 - Richard Hinds, Sydney Morning Herald
This text (The Twelve Chairs) was the most popular comic novel in Soviet Russia and so amused Stalin that Ilf and Petrov both died normally.
- Seth Wolitz

There is a startling difference between the prices that university libraries must pay for academic journals owned by commercial publishers and the prices for journals owned by professional societies and university presses.
- Carl T. Bergstrom and Theodore C. Bergstrom , The Economics of Scholarly Journal Publishing
You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.
- Bobby Henderson, Open letter to  Kansas School Board
The salsify, or "vegetable oyster," is a typical example of a most
unaccountably slighted vegetable with us, and yet it is highly appreciated on the continent and in the United States.
- Philip E. Muskett, "The Art of Living in Australia" (1909?)

Like the peanut, it forms pods and seeds on or just below the ground. To achieve this, the flavor stalk elongates and penetrates the soil. The bulbous tip creates a tunnel through which the fertilized flower, attached just behind the tip, is drawn into the soil.
- James M. Stephens, describing the Bambara Groundnut

all the news that interests me -
banner, Magic City Morning Star

The Times of India had ruled the roost in Mumbai for so long that no one even bothered to ask, "What came first, the news or the paper?"
- Bachi Karkaria, The Times of India 
"Hilarious and irritating, this man and his adventures will make you laugh and think about your dreams and how good it is you never tried to make them come true."
- Guillermo Maynez, reviewing one of my favourite books, Tartarin de Tarascon by Alphonse Daudet
Can the outcomes of military conflicts be predicted, just like the weather? - The Economist,
And now, the war forecast
Soon every band in the world will have a dedicated keytar player. - Gizmodo
Must epidemics always catch humanity by surprise? They kill far more people than war does, while billions of dollars are spent watching the political shifts that presage war.
- The next generation of diseases are in hiding, somewhere, Donald G McNeil Jr  NYTimes Dec 28 2003
"David Alexander, Confronting Catastrophe: New Perspectives on Natural Disasters. Oxford University Press (Dec 2000), Remaindered, 2003"
but now due Oct 22 2005
super eggplant: Another blog about knitting, sewing, baking, and other stuff - title
Pacific Catch opened Monday, putting the word "fish" in official. - Marin Independent Journal
When people blame words they are actually blaming the society that uses them.- John Simpson, chief editor, Oxford English Dictionary, quoted by  the BBC, Farmers stew over 'couch potato'
It's just as well government doesn't have control of the dictionary. - Anonymous
You have to respect a student who can stay well-accessorized in the rain. - Molly Fergus, student correspondent, CNN
The serious part of learning something is done outside the classroom and by the individual. - Ben Peek
Under America's system of religious freedom, church and state are separate. Still, we have learned that faith is not solely a private matter....These are the good works of good people relying on the wisdom of the Good Book, a book that tells us how God rescued life from the flood waters. And like Noah and his family, we have faith that as the waters recede, we will see life begin again.
- President George W Bush, speech
Using a church key style can opener, make a few more holes in the top of the can. - Beer Can Chicken with Cola Barbeque Sauce ,
Food Network
"Please don't talk about dinosaurs" - what I was told a few years ago by US elementary school officials after I gave an invited talk about Australia. I'd showed the children pictures of  fossils that I said "dated from the age of dinosaurs."
"Sure, part of me recognises the contradiction in buying someone a book for no good reason in the week where people say you should buy a book for no good reason, but so what? I have friends. Some of them can even read. Pornography, mostly, but it's still reading. And because I'm going to do it, I think you all should do it, too. So: spread it round. Buy someone a book. Preferably one they'll like."
- Ben Peek, spruiking (for no good reason) Buy a Friend a Book
Belch thou near no manis face with a corrupt fumosity.
- Boke of Nature, or Schoole of Good Maners
As anyone who's gained or lost weight well knows, getting fat really ruins your life, and getting thin doesn't fix it.
- Jean Gonick
Scientific theories have to prove their worth by surviving the scrutiny of professional scientists. It is only then that they can be taught as science. Intelligent design doesn't deserve special treatment.
- Joe Kaplinsky, Creationism, pluralism, and the teaching of science
The injection of live animal cells into human brains is likely to raise ethical concerns and fears of pig viruses being transmitted to humans. But researchers say the benefits of a cure outweigh such concerns.
- Gaia Vince, Pig cell implants in Huntington's trial 
New Scientist, 11 Aug 2005
"What we found was completely unexpected. We found that the human and pig cells had totally fused in the animals' bodies," said Jeffrey Platt, director of the Mayo Clinic Transplantation Biology Program. ...Importantly, the team also found that porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV), which is present in almost all pigs, was also present in the hybrid cells. Previous laboratory work has shown that while PERVs in pig cells cannot infect human cells, those in hybrid cells can. The discovery therefore suggests a serious potential problem for xenotransplantation.
- Gaia Vince, Pig-human chimeras contain cell surprise
New Scientist, 13 January 2004
Christians enter here
All others enter here
- Repent America
"cotton wool, sticking plasters and restorative stiff drinks" Whew, I only recognized one of these without having to think about it. Talk about two peoples divided by a common language!
- Larry Brennan, comment on Making Light: Memo to British Fandom
Pyongyang, July 29 (KCNA) -- Leader Kim Jong Il was presented with a floral basket by the first Japanese delegation for the study of the Juche idea on a visit to the DPRK. It was handed to an official concerned by Yoshio Suzuki, president of the Hokkaido Society for the Study of Kim Jong Il Works, who is leading the delegation.
- top story, Korean Central News Agency
If you find the tap off please could you turn it on and leave it running. Thanks.
- gallery notice beside running tap 'art project' protesting water waste, The House Gallery, London
For the building of a new Japan
Let's put mind and strength together,
Doing our best to promote production,
Sending our goods to the peoples of the world,
Endlessly and continuously,
Like water gushing from a fountain.
Grow industry. Grow grow grow!
Harmony and sincerity. Matsushita Electrical.
- Company hymn
Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.
- The Corpus Callosum
The maggots are not harmed by this paint, and they are released as adults after they have completed their development.
- Maggot Art
Here's Halgerda tessellata, displaying the cosmopolitan insouciance that has made it the envy of boulevardiers from Manitoba to Kwajalein.
- Bouphonia
The most famous book of domestic reference in the English language.
- Cover blurb for Enquire Within upon Everything, 113th edition
Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And then there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Daddy fell into the pond!
- Alfred Noyes
Happy are wee
who from virtue are free.
-  Anon. English Poetry manuscript; with a group of recipes, some magical. 1702.
...she was a little solitary wasp - handicapped, dependent, timid - but she accepted the ministrations of a man and became a friend
- George D. Shafer, The Ways of a Mud Dauber
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
- Poul Anderson
'Life is very strange' said Jeremy.
'Compared with what?' replied the spider.
- Anon. (in N. Moss Men Who Play God, 1970)
" So big and bright are these black fishes' bellies that one time I thought a bedsheet had blown into the lagoon, but no. It was only two mantas
twirling in circles."
- Susan Scott
" Wind is caused by
the trees
waving their branches."
- Ogden Nash
Who needs an afterlife when you have got sweets?
- Tim Richardson
Here's Halgerda tessellata, displaying the cosmopolitan insouciance that has made it the envy of boulevardiers from Manitoba to Kwajalein.
- Bouphonia
One creative mind in a thousand is perfectly sufficient. Any more and the country would collapse in chaos.
- Yasunori Nishijima
Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And then there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Daddy fell into the pond!
- Alfred Noyes
I should not think of devoting less than twenty years to an epic poem.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A classic is something everybody wants to have read and no one wants to read.               
- Mark Twain
Ruthie was at that tender age when monsters first start to show up. Not that they ever stop, of course, but no one tells you that when you're 4.
- Jean Gonick
Man: Hello, my boy. And  what is your dog's name?
Boy: I don't know. We  call him Rover.
- Stafford Beer


21 January 2005
The mysterious Bunyip
The Magic Pudding
Oobleck and glurch
Freud on Seuss
The over-exciting life of a male  antechinus
Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
Afghan camelmen in Australia
Frontier settlement on the Moon
He burns the coarse wool coat
The Turkish way to say he really loves her
The fantastical joys of Melencolia
Skin conditions in the movies
A Science-Fiction & Fantasy "Preferred Editions" list:
"if the word 'Disney' appears anywhere on or in the book, run away screaming"
Mythic Delirium
Fine Cell Work

Whatever happened to . . .?

UK ID card marches forward
The Great Scottish Haggis Hunt
"One of Edward's mistresses was Jane Shore, who has had a play written about her, but it is a tragedy, and therefore not worth reading."
The Politics of Nutella
What the United States stands for
An army's morale on the downswing
"Freedom" cake plate
"Fish have a memory span of at least three months"
"Best Time War Recipes"
by the  Royal Baking Powder Co.
Dull Men's Club
The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown

3 January 2005
Calendars through the ages
Gods give and the gods take away
Elephant burial grounds in the USA
The Tamil poetry of the inner world
100 most deadly disasters of the 20th century
Tens of millions could die from flu
A few bellybuttons to help you
on your way to Nirvana
Mistresses of the sea: Female pirates
Museum of questionable medical devices
A Visit to the Optometrist
 Eyes under the microscope
Acid test
The exploding cream cracker, "barking dog",
and other Delights of Chemistry
Islamic medical manuscripts
The Tell-Tale Heart
Another tell-tale heart
The beet-ing heart of a burger
Chocolate beetroot cake
What ho! My hero, PG Wodehouse
Wodehouse and the real Empress of Blandings
National Hollerin' Contest
The Tristram Shandy Web

17 December 2004

Breadfruit & Frangipani
Scattered, Covered, Smothered
Archive of alphabetical possibilities
Larks' Tongues in Aspic
The voice that touched India's soul
Songbird in springtime
Keepers of the Peace
Future Force Warrior
The Toys of Peace
"No good American will be left behind"
The history of rations
General Amherst's spruce beer
Debatable brewers' recipe:
Lemon-ginger beer
Floral radiographs: The secret garden
How M'Dougal Topped the Score
A connoiseur of desolation
Peace doesn't have to be elusive in the Holy Land
Interplanetary Chess Congress

3 December 2004
Unexpected delights:
The Book of Prefaces
Three-headed frog?
The Other Sleeping Beauties
Black Brillion
The Quintessential Quince
Dihydrogen Monoxide Conspiracy
Toxic Custard Guide to Australia
A taste of English "Plain and Simple"
Christian dinosaur hunters
Islamic Creationism
Crank o' the Day
A pie, a pint, a puff - welcome to the nanny state
The Life of Pies
The Genizah at the House of Shepher
Israel shocked by image of soldiers forcing violinist to play at roadblock
The Word in Times of Crisis
Dancing Arabs
The music of Mikołaj Zieleński,
"The most perfect Venetian in Poland"
Love among the Chickens

15 November 2004
Tasmanian Tiger
"what you are about to see will never make you trust another pair of shoes, or feet again"
"I am greatly deceiv'd"
A great flame-warrior of the 1700s
An elegant injunction against "phrases offensive or injurious publicity"
"Mules don't muse on life's unfairness"
100 most frequently challenged books of 1990 - 2000
"Collecting dedications is a harmless pursuit for the alert reader. I commend it for anyone with nothing better to do."
Chinese glass beads: New evidence
Russian men, American men
Animal-to-human transplants and public health: Who pays, and with what?
The Tang Dynasty Underwater Pyramid
Rai music
"Ouelli el Darek"
The poetry of Yitzak Laor and the Courage to Refuse
Stranded on the Island of Dangerous Toys
Three Fat Men:
A revolutionary fairy tale

30 October 2004
The bottom of the Calf to the Castle-Trawl-Net
and for dessert, my favourite:
The Lemon Tart
Lost Pages' Halloween Special
The Mystery of the Min Min Lights
The Round Earth & Christopher Columbus
Illusion Art Museum
Illusions in Publishing
On sincerity in literature
The Magic and Oddities Trail
Serpent Player's Amazing Cheesecake Recipe
Serpent Quotes and Anecdotes
"The great thing about being ignored is that you can speak the truth with impunity"
Australian Political Cartooning
Third letter to Uncle Sam
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Will Rogers plays Ichabod Crane

17 October 2004

The Unwanted Amphibian

Cane Toad Leather gifts
"for birthdays & Christmases weddings and anniversaries."

Random thoughts about peppersoup

Pepper Soup

"Speak roughly to your little boy"

"The Duchess" and her model

Gallery of non-human beauties

Wooden Horse

Hinglish, the language of the future

How Rupert Murdoch's
Times of London reported the same lecture

Is Rabri Devi the last behenji standing?

From linguistic to moral degeneracy

A gain for chips in people

Dragon anatomy, physiology, phylogeny, and more

MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies

Fools Errant

A beautiful woman's lips

Love's Body, Dancing in Time

Does the Dragon get the Lady?

Sir Agravaine: A tale of King Arthur's Round Table

Balzac's lunch

Insects' Eyes
Q. What happened then?
A. He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can
identify me."
Q. Did he kill you?

10 October 2004
Waratahs are blooming now!
Trilobite Cookies
Jack's House
Dinosaur buoyancy
The most magical Dragon of all
Snake and Serpent Husbands in Folktales
Musical Leather Gallery
How to write and say "My hovercraft is full of eels" in Sabethir, and other language aids for travel in invented worlds
Dead City Library
The Great Bell
The Yes (Prime) Minister Files
To Live and Work
The Lion
"What puts the 'ape' in ape-ricot?"
Tartarin of Tarascon
First verse of the Internationale sung in Russian, followed by
the US anthem; by Metropolitan Opera Chorus & National Broadcasting Company Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arturo Toscanini (New York, 1941)
MP3 (2.3MB, 2:27, 128Kbps)

Free Speech in Wartime

Robots in the Victorian Era

3 October 2004

Petticoat Punishment in Ulysses

Everything you wanted to know about Nudibranchs but were too timid to ask

Nudibranch Gallery

A9: Amazon's Trojan Horse

and other delights

The Dyspraxia Myth

Dance at the Edge

Victorian "waifs"

Kin recognition in rattlesnakes

Apostrophe Protection Society and other IgNobel achievers

The Abacus vs. the Electric Calculator

Is Science Fiction about to go Blind?


Balinese Gamelan Music

The Bat Bomb project

After Setting Rabbit Traps

Challenging 'Pre-emption'

The Enchanted Typewriter

24 September 2004

English as she is spoke

"Sing a song of 5,000 crores, a pocket full of wry . . ."

What compels a musician to busk?

Verglas - an extract

Never get between chocolate and a wombat

Romance in the information age

Comic sage of the ages

Orpheus Among the Cabbages

Theagenes Remembers

A Lifetime's Stories

The critic as artist


A passion for pencils

"A map . . . is a lie by omission."

Copepods rule the earth

Muscadines & Scuppernongs

Food's Fond Memories?

"If every individual with an agenda had his/her way, the shelves in the school library would be close to empty."
The Box of Robbers 
Should the US Prez elections go global?

The virtuous medlar circle

is part of
Anna Tambour and Others


begun 22 September 2004
2004 - 2009 by Anna Tambour