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293530.  Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:39 pm Reply with quote

I knew that'd get him going.

293545.  Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:12 pm Reply with quote

And didn't it turn out that the filth shot one of them on suspicion of being brown, and then when he complained they pretended to find kiddie porn in his flat? Or was that someone else?

293590.  Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:25 pm Reply with quote

See, this is going to be a whole week's work down the drain now.

293736.  Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:22 am Reply with quote

And didn't the experts at the time say that ricin was about as much use to terrorists as a blancmange, because it was almost impossible to weaponize?

And didn't the whole thing, by an uncanny coincidence, coincide with a Commons vote on some new anti-liberty laws?

293748.  Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:31 am Reply with quote

Quick, somebody, bring tranquillisers! Lots of tranquillisers!

Mmmm ... that's better.

296044.  Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:04 am Reply with quote

The artic willow is a tree that can live for hundreds of years - but will only ever be a few inches tall.

S: miniurl

296067.  Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:44 am Reply with quote

Q. What do you do if you get lost in a forest in Iceland
A. Stand up

Old Icelandic joke

296072.  Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:47 am Reply with quote


296165.  Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:41 pm Reply with quote

Has potential if we can flesh it out, I would think. Picture researchers, see if you can find a picture of a tiny Icelandic forest. The ideal thing would be a shot taken at ground level to make the trees look tall, but that's probably too much to hope for.

296337.  Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:01 am Reply with quote

This is a joke the Icelanders tell against themselves. They're very 'green' people and are probably embarrassed by the fact that their ancestors completely deforested the island nearly a thousand years ago & it has never recovered. They are trying to redress this and trees are being planted quite rapidly (sponsored by Alcoa, the one major non-green thing in Iceland!). Less than 0.5% of Iceland is forest - none of it primary. Birch is the only native tree.

I was taken to an area called Thorsmork (Thor's wood). There was nothing that you would really call a tree - more scrubland bushes - but they were a little above head height. For the sake of humour though, I'm sure you could mock something up.[/img]

296348.  Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:21 am Reply with quote

Have there been previous attempts to reintroduce trees? Or is it just something that hasn't bothered them before? It seems somehow ... unnatural for humans to live entirely without trees.

296372.  Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:34 am Reply with quote

Don't be blown off course by this interruption, but I'd like to note that Mat's thing about the non-existence of margarine fits into the topic of "Flora".

296492.  Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:03 pm Reply with quote

This UN site says that 1.4 percent of iceland is considered forest.

More Icelandic forest facts for the notes:

A few decades ago, the only trees in Reykjavik grew in graveyards.

It is thought that the country was about 30% forest when the vikings first settled in the country.

About 5 million woodland plants are currently being planted each year.

296539.  Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:23 pm Reply with quote

This site gives figures for 2005

where it says 'total forest cover' 0.46% and 'other wooded area' 1%.

I think it probably proves the point that forest is hard to define in Iceland!

297259.  Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:12 am Reply with quote

“The first truly public park was Regent’s Park in London, opened to subscribers in 1820 and to the general public in in 1835.” This was followed by Battersea and Victoria Park, Hackney “which, it was argued, would diminish the annual deaths in east London ‘by several thousand’.”

The first local authority park to grant free entry, in 1843, was Birkenhead Park, Merseyside. It had sports grounds and boating lakes; alcohol, gambling and swearing were banned.

S: “A little history of British gardening” by Jenny Uglow (Chatto, 2004).

Links: Firsts, Fun


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