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52711.  Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:23 am Reply with quote

“Wild duck lay their eggs in their own ordure (to protect them from attack) and therefore these must be well boiled, as the shells are porous.”

Source: ‘The Compendium of nosh’ by Jack McLean (John Murray, 2006).

Mmm, yum! Got any more recipes?

55162.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:27 am Reply with quote

Q: How many words does the European Union directive on exporting duck eggs contain?

F: 28,911

A: [I don’t know ... does anyone? That’s one problem with this question; the other is that this myth is better known in US than here. However, for what it’s worth, here’s the Mythcon I did on it:]


THE MYTH: The Lord's Prayer is 66 words long. Archimedes' Principle is 67 words; the 10 Commandments, 179 words; the Gettysburg Address, 286 words; the American Declaration of Independence, 1,300 words - and US Government regulations on the sale of cabbages total 26,911 words.

THE "TRUTH": Sometimes it’s “a recent” US regulation on cabbages, and sometimes it’s regulations concerning EU cabbages, caramel imports or duck eggs, British hen eggs, and US fresh fruit. The list of great works, and their word counts, also vary. Folklorists have traced the story back to at least 1951. It was popularised in 1977 by a Mobil Oil “Pipeline Pete” advertisement. Current citations, especially on the internet, usually quote David McIntosh, who in 1994 was an adviser to US Vice President Dan Quayle. Although repeatedly and widely debunked, from the 1970s to the present day, it’s still enormously popular with anti-federalists (in the USA and the EU) and opponents of “big government” and excessive bureaucracy generally.

SOURCES: _Daily Telegraph_ 11 June 2002, letters to the editor;

And here’s a follow-up from a few issues later:

One of the most endearing traits of _The Daily Telegraph_ is that it believes everything it’s told. Even so, it’s a bit surprising to find the paper’s most famous journalist, WF Deedes, reporting as a fact that “The Lord’s Prayer contains 69 words [...] but the European Union directive on exporting duck eggs runs to 28,911 words.” In FT174:30 we established that this myth, which originated in the US, has been circulating since at least 1951, and has been comprehensively debunked. Did Lord Deedes somehow miss that issue?

55169.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:36 am Reply with quote

I like the fact that surprisingly the Eider Duck is the fastest flying bird (if you discount a gravity-aided swooping falcon, or a swift which uses wind currents to reach its top speed).

Here is what I found a while ago.

post 32FOUR-0-FOUR - D'oh

Last edited by eggshaped on Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:07 am; edited 1 time in total

55174.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:42 am Reply with quote

Mat, I guess you're familiar with the site maintained by the EC's London rep office, which refutes Euromyths generally: It doesn't seem to list this one (so it must be true).

No, but seriously ...

55175.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:45 am Reply with quote

Egg, I think you've posted the wrong link there. 32040 is a regrettable calumny against myself by Fred's self.

55176.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:47 am Reply with quote

I don't consider it a legitimate source, though - lying is not against the EU's principles!

Molly Cule
58280.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:29 am Reply with quote

Why shouldn't you feed white bread to ducks?

White bread is the worst of all breads since it is has very little in the way of protein, roughage or Vitamin E (which ducks apparently need).. but no bread does any duck much good. Ducks see bread as easy calories and chomp it down, the younger birds put on weight very easily. Their bones are not able to keep up and the soft tissue pulls their wing bones out of line. Severe distortion can occur, this is called Angel Wing. And sounds quite tragic to me. : (

58284.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:40 am Reply with quote

Oh yes, feeding bread to ducks is heartless, evil and malicious.

Further to your Angel Wing fact:

Feeding causes the ducks and birds to stray from their regular migration patterns and this could be dangerous for them...bread is very unhealthy for birds and can cause death

more here

Molly Cule
58290.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:54 am Reply with quote

On the matter of bread in ponds and ducks.. the bread thrown to the ducks that isnt eaten sinks to the bottom and rots, blue green algae grows and messes with the lives of many varieties of pond dwellers.

But, feeding bread to ducks is FUN.

Feeding seeds to ducks is apparently a better idea all round.

58294.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:06 am Reply with quote

You should never give hedgehogs milk or bread either - dog food is the preferred snack.

Molly Cule
58296.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:08 am Reply with quote

Angel wing is also known as slipped wing, crooked wing or drooped wing.

Geese get it too. The last joint of the wing is twisted and the wing feathers point out, and do not lay smooth against the body.

Quite strangely it is very rare in the right wing, most commonly Angel wing affects the left wing or both wings.

Males are more susceptible than girl ducks.

Thanks for the info eggshaped. Crumbs! indeed. To think how many ducks I have fed over the years...

58298.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:12 am Reply with quote

Q: Name something that you shouldn't do to a duck.

58312.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:26 am Reply with quote

Lord! Love it?

Molly Cule
58316.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:38 am Reply with quote

Naughty Flashy.

Molly Cule
58320.  Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:47 am Reply with quote

I didn't know this, and neither did anyone else in this room. I think its interesting. Its shamelessly pinched from wikipedia -

The word duck meaning the bird, came from the verb "to duck" meaning to bend down as if to get under something, because of the way many species in the dabbling duck group feed by upending (compare the Dutch word duiken = "to dive").

This happened because the older Old English word for "duck" came to be pronounced the same as the word for "end": other Germanic languages still have similar words for "duck" and "end": for example, Dutch eend = "duck", eind = "end"; compare Latin anas (stem anat-) = "duck", Sanskrit anta (masc.) = "end", Lithuanian antis = "duck".


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