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Frogs

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Flash
269879.  Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:29 pm Reply with quote

The embroidered motifs on military parade uniforms are called "frogging". Don't know why, but it might give a link to this gen ig question:

Q: What hat is this chap wearing?



F: a Busby
A: a Bearskin

A Busby looks like this:

or like this:


Curiously enough, the 1911 Britannica says that the term 'busby' was applied to bearskins at that time.

Several possible objections to this question:

1) Everybody knows that already
2) Nobody gives a tinker's cuss what a busby is
3) This is widely misunderstood and also very interesting but not at all funny
4) This is widely misunderstood, very interesting and extremely amusing but nothing to do with frogs.

I don't know, you tell me.

 
eggshaped
269890.  Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:50 pm Reply with quote

I think I may have been more likely to say "bearskin" which I think I have heard of, than "busby", that I definitely haven't.

 
Flash
269898.  Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:18 pm Reply with quote

 
eggshaped
269905.  Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:37 pm Reply with quote

Not sure about that Flash; I think perhaps it just shows my ignorance.

 
Flash
269907.  Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:44 pm Reply with quote

No, I think you're probably right; I was brought up in a military family, and niceties of uniform are native knowledge to me. I always forget how far below normal people's radar all this stuff is.

 
suze
269943.  Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:01 pm Reply with quote

I dunno though, I just asked husband what the hat was called and like a shot he said "a busby". So far as he knows, no member of his family has ever been in the Army.

 
Flash
269953.  Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:43 pm Reply with quote

That's heartening. The fox hasn't been shot yet - maybe just shot at.

 
dr.bob
270441.  Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:17 am Reply with quote

I remember being told it was a busby when I was a nipper, but I haven't actually heard that word used for many years now.

Perhaps I just don't talk to enough royalists these days :)

 
Jenny
270685.  Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:12 am Reply with quote

I would have called it a busby, but then I thought a bearskin and a busby were the same thing.

 
MatC
270699.  Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:32 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
I would have called it a busby, but then I thought a bearskin and a busby were the same thing.


Yes, same here. Definitely genig that it's a busby, at least amongst us civvy types.

 
Jenny
270701.  Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:37 am Reply with quote

Some interesting stuff about frogs and frogs legs here.
Quote:

the French first started to saute the critters in the 11th century.


Quote:

The EU annually imports more than 6,000 tonnes of frog legs. France consumes 42 percent of the production, while the kitchens of Belgium and Luxembourg cook a further 44 percent of the total. French frogs can be hunted only for personal consumption, and the laws against poaching are strictly enforced -- so the government says.

According to government figures, the French now eat a mere 70 tonnes of domestic frog legs. Herpetologist Andrew Blaustein, the frog man at Oregon State University, greets that appetizing statistic with suspicion. A leading expert on global amphibian populations, Blaustein says it's impossible to gather reliable figures on the sale and consumption of frogs.

"People in the frog trade don't want to talk," he explains. "Our most up-to-date research shows that Asia exported more than 200 million metric tonnes in 1995."

Pouchucq sniffs at the numbers. "If we could eat only French frogs," she argues, "we would not be buying foreign frogs."

Depending on their size, it takes between 10.8kg and 18kg of frogs to turn out 450g of stripped frog legs. A plate of 20 or so foreign frog legs costs around nine euros (US$8) at your average amphibian bistro.


Quote:

Vincent Bentata, a frog investigator at the Ministry of Environment, says the Thigh Tasters are "dreaming" to think France will legalize commercial frogging. "The government is dedicated to protecting frogs," Bentata says. "You get caught, you get fined 10,000 euros, and we confiscate your vehicle."


Quote:
Frogs are a bleak business. Unlike, say, "a bouquet of pheasants," frogs are collectively referred to as "armies." Old Testament scribes tell of God raining a pestilence of frogs upon Egypt; the Book of Revelations warns the world will end with the appearance of "spirits like frogs."


Quote:
Food historian John Mariani says French peasants ate frogs as a means of jumping through a loophole in Catholic Church law: "Meat was forbidden during Lent and the church didn't view frogs as meat," Mariani says.


Quote:
The 1977 crackdown on commercial harvesting forced French buyers to travel behind the Iron Curtain, where a motivated huntsman twitching for hard currency could bag 800 Communist frogs a day. One by one, the frog-producing countries began imposing export quotas, finally leaving unregulated slicing and dicing in the hands of Vietnam, China, Taiwan and Indonesia.

 
Jenny
270704.  Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:41 am Reply with quote

Quote:
The 1977 crackdown on commercial harvesting forced French buyers to travel behind the Iron Curtain, where a motivated huntsman twitching for hard currency could bag 800 Communist frogs a day. One by one, the frog-producing countries began imposing export quotas, finally leaving unregulated slicing and dicing in the hands of Vietnam, China, Taiwan and Indonesia.


The Brotherhood of Frog Thigh Tasters sponsor the annual Frog-Eating Festival at Vittel. The official dress of the brotherhood is green robes with a yellow sash - there is a fetching photo of them on the Taipei Times article linked to above.

 
MatC
270879.  Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:42 pm Reply with quote

2008 is International Year of the Frog

(but you all knew that, yeah?)

http://www.amphibianark.org/yearofthefrog.htm

 
dr.bob
271117.  Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:16 am Reply with quote

A friend of mine did his PhD at King's College, London, investigating the structure of muscle fibres. He used frogs' legs to extract the muscles from since the muscle fibres were unusually large and easy to study (he was still using X-ray diffraction, so they obviously weren't that easy to study).

I know he did some work at a synchrotron in Grenoble. I'll have to ask him if there were any French teams working in the same field. If so, given that Jenny has told us that edible frogs are a protected species over there, there might be a GenIg question there:

Q: What do the French farm frogs for?
K: Eating
A: Experimenting

My friend used to keep his frogs in a fridge to keep them nice and torpid before they were required.

 
Jenny
271308.  Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:31 am Reply with quote

The above just reminded me of galvanism, qv:

Quote:
Galvanism

(g hard). So called from Louis Galvani, of Bologna. Signora Galvani in 1790 had frog-soup prescribed for her diet, and one day some skinned frogs which happened to be placed near an electric machine in motion exhibited signs of vitality. This strange phenomenon excited the curiosity of the experimenter, who subsequently noticed that similar convulsive effects were produced when the copper hooks on which the frogs were strung were suspended on the iron hook of the larder. Experiments being carefully conducted, soon led to the discovery of this important science.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

 

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