Pun [Noun.]

As deliberately confusing wordplay; a witticism involving the playful use of a word in different senses or of words (often homophones) which differ in meaning but sound alike.

For example:
“An elephant’s opinion carries a lot of weight.”

“Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.”

“The best way to communicate with a fish is to drop them a line.”

“A good pun is its own reword.”

27/ii mmxiii

Immediately after George W Bush’s election victory in November 2004, Canadian immigration authorities experienced a six-fold increase in inquiries from US citizens – from 20,000 to 115,000 a day.

English: George Orwell in Hampstead On the cor...

George Orwell in Hampstead.

Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), better known as George Orwell, was born in Bengal, where his father was a government opium agent. He ran the village shop in Wallington, Hertfordshire. On top of that, 23 publishers, including T.S. Eliot, chief editor of Faber and Faber, rejected Orwell’s manuscript for the novel Animal Farm before it was finally published.

In ancient Greek, paignia dorkalidon meaning literally ‘antelope playthings’ are dice made from the vertebrae of a gazelle.

Kenneth Grahame, author of Wind in the Willows, and George Eastman, founder of Kodak, were originally bank clerks. They both died in 1932.

A survey in 1976 found that a third of British students had never heard of DNA, and that two-thirds had no idea it was a double helix. By 1988, 80% of the interviewees were able to answer quite sophisticated questions about genetics, but two thirds of them thought that radioactive milk can be made safe by boiling.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Arousal Parasomnia

Sleep sex, or sexsomnia, is a form of non-rapid eye movement parasomnia that causes people to engage in various sexual acts while they are asleep. This condition falls within the broad classes of sleep disorders known as parasomnia.


Sleeping Woman

Sexsomnia can include fondling, heterosexual and homosexual intercourse, masturbation, and oral sex. In extreme cases sexsomnia may allegedly even include sexual assault and rape.

The proposed medical diagnosis is NREM Arousal Parasomnia – Sexual Behaviour in Sleep. Sexsomnia is considered a type of non-rapid eye movement sleep parasomnia. Sexsomniacs tend not to remember the acts they perform while they’re asleep.

Sexsomnia could also co-occur alongside other sleep disorders such as sleepwalking, sleep apnea, night terrors and can be triggered by stress, previous sleep deprivation and excessive consumption of alcohol or drugs.

Sleep related epilepsy may be associated with sexual arousal, pelvic thrusting and orgasms, though in these sorts of cases the acts are often remembered. Sexsomnia episodes could also be triggered by physical contact with a bed partner.

Damiano Trap

The chess opening Damiano Defence is characterized by the opening moves:

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 f6?

The ECO code for the Damiano Defence is C40 (King’s Knight Opening). Ironically, the opening is named after the Portuguese master Pedro Damiano (1480–1544), who condemned it as weak.

[Moves 3. and 4.] In the Damiano Defence lurks a trap; there is a great opportunity for White to win a Rook for a knight or even to force a checkmate. First off is the forceful move 3. Nxe5? which allows Black to capture the White knight with 3. … f4xe5. When a player opposite you sacrifices a piece like this your alarm-bell should go off. Black should start to wonder why White places his knight in great danger. White’s next move starts to explain his intention; 4. Qh5+ forks the Black king and hangs the pawn on e5.

[Hypothetical moves 4. to 8.] Black’s immediate reaction could be to play the pawn move 4. … g6?, the only way to block the check instead of running away with the king. However, this would be a mistake since it allows the White queen to take on e5 with the move 5. Qxe5+! forking the Black king and the rook on h8. Black can then block the check again with 5. … Qe7, Be7, or Ne7, and White wins a Rook.

Note that there is no way for White to lose the Queen except in the rather forced exchange variation 5. … Qe7 6. Qxh8 Qg7, 7. Qxg7 Bxg7. White’s attack may be over, but White is up material, the Black king is in the middle, Black has no development and his pawn structure looks awful.

Note also that after 5. Qxe5+! Black cannot try to dodge the check with 5. … Kf7 since 6. Bc4+ loses the Queen; 6. … d5 (only move) 7. Bxd5+ Qxd5 (forced), 8. Qxd5+. White wins the Queen and three pawns for a Bishop and a Knight and has a completely winning position.

[Moves 4. … to 9.] If Black does not give up material at move 4., the only other option is to move the king out of check 4. … e7. However, this allows White to continue and spring the Damiano Trap and try to force mate with 5. Qxe5+ Kf7 (only move), 6. Bc4+ Kg6 (only move), 7. Qf5+ Kh6 (only move) 8. e4+  which opens up a discovered check with the Bishop on c1, 8. … g5 (only move) blocking the Bishop on c1. Now White should play a subtle move 9. h4 attacking the defender on on g5.

Here, Black can lose the game with one more step out of line. Black has the option to play either: 9. … Kg7, moving the king out the pin, 9. … Be7, adding a defender to the g5 pawn, 9. … d5 blocking and forking White’s Bishop on c4 and attacking the White Queen, or preventing the White Queen shooting down to f7 with moves like 9. … Qf6 or 9. … Nf6.

9. … Kg7, moving the king out the pin,

  • 9. … Kg7 leads to
  • 10. Bxg5 where Black can only defend with
  • 10. … Nf6 to prevent the White Queen from delivering mate on f7.

9. … Be7, adding a defender to the g5 pawn,

  • 9. … Be7 loses to
  • 10. h4xg5++ double check because of the discovery of the Rook on h1
  • 10. … Kg7 (only move)
  • 11. Qf7#.

9. … d5 blocking the Bishop on c4 and attacking the White Queen,

  • 9. … d5 blocks the forks bishop on c4 with the pawn on e4 and opens up  a discovered attack on White’s Queen. After this move there is no immediate way for White to parry and mate. Though, many opportunities to force Black to give up his Queen arise from this move.

9. … Qf6 preventing the White Queen shooting down to f7

  • 9. … Qf6 loses to
  • 10. h4xg5++ double check because of the discovery of the Rook on h1
  • 10. … Kg7 (only move)
  • 11. g5xQf6#

9. … Nf6 preventing the White Queen shooting down to f7

  • 9. … Nf6 quickly loses to
  • 10. Qxg5#

See other: Chess Traps

The Love-Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

(Lines 75 to 86)

‘And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet–and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.’

T.S. Eliot