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Ears and Eating

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163054.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:23 pm Reply with quote

Although I'm loathe to hand it over from DVD land, this is such a great bit of research from Jenny that it deserves 3 million viewers rather than 6 dirty students.

I've changed the wording, so please excuse me J.

Q: How do you date a cod?

F: At their plaice/ with a codpiece/ by bearing your sole/playing their scales

A: By looking at their ears


You can tell the age of a cod by counting the annual growth rings in its otoliths - the bones in its ear. Sadly, to do this you have to kill the cod first, and bake the otoliths. However, as you can then eat the cod, there are compensations, though not for the cod.

P.S. Accidentally place in Gen Ig so moved...

163059.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:37 pm Reply with quote

more here

Plus the conversation, "do fish have ears?"

163064.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:55 pm Reply with quote

Arse and buggery. My search for "ears and " returned zippedy-do-da and I'm not up to speed with all the excellent stuff that's been posted recently. Bah, that Molly Cule is always one step ahead!

Anyway - the fact you could age a fish by its "ears" had me hopping around with excitement for some reason. And I think the question above clears the decks for a fantastic routine from the comedians.

By the way James - I do hope you've noted the Great Exhibition/Mad Hatter thing in the Victorian thread!


163066.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:57 pm Reply with quote

Very good, though I think we'd be lucky to get any of the forfeits.

If the question was

Why would you date a cod?

we wouldn't get

F: Just for the halibut

either, regrettably.

But the question will definitely fly. Picture researchers, we'll need photoshop of a fish dressed for a date - lipstick, tiara, whatever. Go for it.

163089.  Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:38 pm Reply with quote

Just a thought.

What about this as a one off?

We prime Alan with one question (and only one)in the whole series. We don't tell Stephen.

Alan is convincing in his answer. Earnest. A slightly more focussed character than normal. He reels out some fantastic facts that amaze Stephen and the panel.

So this is what happens.

Stephen asks "How do you date a cod"

Alan waits for someone to have a go.

He then comes in with the right answer and a couple of factoids.

A few things could now happen.

Either Stephen says: "That's amazing...well done...
Or he says: "How did you know that?" or "Have you been cheating"...or "was there a plant?" or someone else could say it.

Whatever he says, Alan explains (very straight) that he's known about cod for years and continues to reel out facts.

Meanwhile, in the background, there is a very quick photographic slide show of Alan illicitly inspecting cod's ears and making notes as if it were minutes before the recording.

The cod is easy to picture on a still as it's a close up shot.

It could be funny if the pictures are brill and Alan is convincing but it could also be complete shizer.

Molly Cule
163163.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:44 am Reply with quote

Huh HUM...... How come when I found the fact last series having been asked to look into dendochronology and I phrased the question in the last series as

How could Alan date a fish?

(Not that dissimilar to the question just posted from Jenny) all of you lot looked at me like, 'that is a crrrrap question' and we all knew about ololiths anyway. So I posted it with a different question as I thought the pun on date had gone down so badly. You Bunter were in the room too. Thanks James for remembering!

163164.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:50 am Reply with quote

We're only humouring Bunter. It's a hopeless question. Yours, on the other hand, was great - and its time has come.

Molly Cule
163167.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:03 am Reply with quote

except now that i think about it, I think I put it in a warm up round; can you remember James?

163172.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:11 am Reply with quote

I'm not sure. Now you mention it, it does ring a bell.

Don't suppose it really matters really, as long as it didn't make it to broadcast.

163229.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:20 am Reply with quote

This is rapidly becoming farcical.

163309.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:03 am Reply with quote

Well it must be good research or two of us wouldn't have come up with it!

163445.  Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:33 pm Reply with quote

[Young Mr Grace]You've all done very well.[/Young Mr Grace]

164513.  Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:38 am Reply with quote

Practical example of dating a fish by using its ears in the news:

The age of the fish was determined by removing an ear bone, known as the otolith, which contains growth rings similar to those in tree trunks.

The estimated age was between 90 and 115 years old

170152.  Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:20 am Reply with quote

This isn't to do with ears or eating, but somehow it seemed to go with Bunter's question about how do you date a cod. There is an E for etoile connection, and possibly an E for experiments or even engineering.

How do you date a star?

Astronomers have searched for ways to find out accurately how old a star is. A new technique called gyrochronology, which works this out based on the starís rate of rotation, has just been announced and will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Knowing the age of the host star of a planetary system helps astronomers understand how planetary systems change over time.

The research shows that the rotation period of a star changes steadily and predictably in line with its age and colour. Thus, by measuring two of these attributes you can determine the third. The starís colour is a visible sign of its mass or surface temperature. The age of the Sun is known (4.6 billion years) and can be used to calibrate gyrochronology of most other stars.

There are other methods of working out a starís age, but they have much larger uncertainties than gyrochronology. Unlike some other methods, gyrochronology also works well for stars not found in star clusters (Ďfieldí stars). It is used to calculate the age of stars that burn their hydrogen fuel at a predictable and steady rate; it does not work so well for younger stars, although the researchers hope to do future work to extend the method to these.

The forthcoming NASA Kepler Mission will yield more information about the rotation period of other stars, as this is information gleaned while searching for the transit of new planets orbiting across their disks. Once researchers have more precise ages for stars, other problems of chronometry can be solved and a better study made of the way astronomical phenomena change through time, using the stars themselves as clocks.


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