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55222.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:19 am Reply with quote

So is it used to describe anything other than cats? EG, might you describe a human as being in this position?

55224.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:23 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
Wasn't Teflon discovered by accident?

Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene) was, apparently, a serendipitous discovery, but not as a by-product of the space programme - that bit (not that you mentioned it) is a miff. It was patented in 1941 and on the market in 1946.

55227.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:26 am Reply with quote

I think humans that can lick their own genitals are rare


55236.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:42 am Reply with quote

As far as I know, it's specifically cats.

Possibly for the reason that Samivel mentioned :-D

55241.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:51 am Reply with quote

Thanks for that observation Samivel.....I shudder to think how many may try...!




55271.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:30 pm Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
I think humans that can lick their own genitals are rare


Well I don't like to brag......

....but I can lick my own elbow.

55275.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:35 pm Reply with quote

you know that we will need to see pictorial evidence of this amazing talent now...

55289.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:20 pm Reply with quote

The discovery of saccharin was serendipitous.

It's often attributed to an American chemist named Ira Remsen, but should properly be attributed to Constantine Fahlberg, who came to John Hopkins University in 1879 at Remsen's invitation. Remsen was famous and Fahlberg was not, so people assumed that the discovery was Remsen's, as Fahlberg had been working in Remsen's lab under his supervision and carried out the experiment resulting in the production of orthobenzoyl sulfimide at Remsen's suggestion.

Laboratory procedures and precautions were not nearly as strict then as they are now. One account says that Fahlberg failed to wash his hands after working in the laboratory, and later noticed an unusually sweet taste to his food. However, another account points out that normal laboratory practice for German chemists in those days involved tasting compounds.

Fahlberg realised that the unusually sweet compound had commercial potential, and patented a process for its manufacture in 1885. He named it saccharin, after the Latin for sugar, saccharum.

Remsen did not feel it was appropriate to benefit commercially from such a scientific discovery, but later in 1907 when the health effects of saccharin were being investigated and Remsen was head of the investigating body, he was scientifically honourable enough to act impartially.

55292.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:28 pm Reply with quote

I once heard that the word girlfriend is impossible to translate properly into Arabic in anything less than a page of description. Doubtless this was true at one time, but can it still be? There are Arabic-speaking places that are fairly westernized - Lebanon springs to mind - where you would think they would need such a word.

55297.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:47 pm Reply with quote

I think that's more because the conventions of traditional Muslim society demanded a more detailed explanation than just "girlfriend". People would need to know whether or not she was a distant relative, if so on which side, receive confirmation that she was a virgin, and all sorts of other things which would have to be explained at outset.

"Habibti" is the colloquial Arabic word for "girlfriend". It's also the name of an Algerian pop group consisting of three great looking women.

Specifically in Lebanon, the Christian middle classes have a tendency to switch to French when discussing things for which Arabic isn't best suited. Accordingly, "amie" or "copine" would likely be used.

PS. How did we get from saccharin to Arabic girlfriends? I dare say that the music of Habibti is saccharine indeed, but I'm sure it wasn't that ...

gerontius grumpus
55357.  Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:26 pm Reply with quote

Feroluce wrote:

In Iceland the phrase 'setja upp gestaspjot' desribes the position that a cat gets into when it's licking the insides of it's back legs (or its genitals), where it's curled up in an almost circle with one of its legs up in the air.

If you've got cats, I'm sure you know what I mean but imagine trying to translate it.

We used to call it 'playing its cello'.

Another thing about cats, when they run in a playful way, the tail curves into a question mark shape and for the dot.... Well, let's just say the tail looks like a question mark.

55789.  Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:34 pm Reply with quote

Obviously this is far too highbrow a forum to mention what the Roger Mellie's Profanisaurus description is of "Celloing".............

55796.  Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:56 pm Reply with quote

I also think that I may have an accidental invention.

I think that Cellophane was invented by a man trying to make a spill proof tablecloth...............does that count?

Here's wiki's take on it
You mess with my cheese and I'll switch just like schwarzenegger

55979.  Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:09 am Reply with quote

How strange - we also call it "playing the 'cello". Must be something that musical families identify with.

55996.  Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:54 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
LOL....I know what Fero is talking about, and I don't know how it would be described, aside from "You know when a cat is cleaning its tummy, and it has one leg in the air....."



We refer to it as violin or cello practice, depending on whether a leg is stuck up in the air, or the cat is sitting upright with both back legs stuck out in that very inelegant pose cats sometimes take


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