Zoo Cliques

Image: Wikimedia Commons

More nouns of assemblage:

  • a business of ferrets
  • a cartload of chimpanzees
  • a coalition of cheetahs
  • a congress of baboons
  • a gang of elk
  • a huddle of penguins
  • a kaleidoscope of butterflies
  • a labour of moles
  • a prickle of porcupines
  • a quarrel of sparrows
  • a romp of otters
  • a tiding of magpies
  • a tower of giraffes
  • a ubiquity of sparrows
  • a whiteness of swans
  • a zeal of zebras

My sources insist that a group of gnus is called an implausibility. Should I believe them?

Flat Lands

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Countries with the lowest high points:

  1. Maldives: 2 meters
  2. Tuvalu: 5 meters
  3. Tokelau: 5 meters
  4. Cocos (Keeling) Islands: 5 meters
  5. Marshall Islands: 10 meters
  6. Cayman Islands: 43 meters
  7. Turks and Caicos Islands: 49 meters
  8. The Gambia: 53 meters
  9. The Bahamas: 63 meters
  10. Anguilla: 65 meters

The Maldives may eventually disappear altogether — sea levels have risen about 20 centimeters in the last century.

Small World

“Formosa” is both a province in Argentina and the former name of Taiwan.

Curiously, those locations are on precisely opposite sides of the earth. Noon at one is midnight at the other, and midwinter at one is midsummer at the other.

A Confederacy of Squares

When asked his age, mathematician Augustus De Morgan used to offer a clue: “I was x years of age in the year x2.” (He was 43 in 1849.)

That quirk puts De Morgan in a pretty exclusive club. Other members include Charles Atlas (who was 44 in 1936) and Jake Gyllenhaal (who will be 45 in 2025). Next up: Babies born in 2070 will be 46 in 2116.

See Other Canvas

Picasso’s full name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso.