Tuesday 2 June 2009

What Emperor Guano Tells Us

Typical! The day's best good news story gets yoked to the global warming scare. Never mind that the all-knowing experts have discovered, thanks to satellite images of (hehe) guano, ten new colonies of Emperor Penguins that are a total surprise to them - and it's hardly the most inconspicuous of species, you'd have thought. Oh no, the real story - despite the evident thriving of these birds of the extreme cold - is, as ever, 'global warming'.
This is not the first time the Emperor Penguin has bamboozled the all-knowing scientists. One of the main purposes of the Scott Antarctic expedition was to confirm that the Emperor Penguin embryo offered uniquely vital evidence of the evolutionary link between birds and reptiles. Bill Wilson, Birdie Bowers and Apsley Cherry-Garrard duly undertook a horrendous journey through the perpetual night and 40-below-zero temperatures of the Antarctic winter to the Emperor Penguin rookery at Cape Crozier to obtain eggs. It was this - not the main expedition (a comparative cakewalk) - that Cherry-Garrard justifiably called, in the title of his remarkable memoir, The Worst Journey In The World. And, after all that, after a journey that left all three men barely alive, those hard-won eggs proved only that the scientists were wrong.


  1. Why do modern parents insist on calling their children such boring, uncharacterful names when they could be calling them wonderful names like Birdie Bowers and Apsley Cherry-Gerrard?

    I think I was born in the wrong era

  2. ..good name for a band, that.

    Hereafter to be shortened to GNFAB, T).

  3. Heard the glowing guano news on Radio 4 this morning and it made me smile. Have picked up on your earlier comments re: the cravat revival and Nicholas Parsons in my latest blog.