photo by Victorgrigas
male ribbon seal. Photo by Michael Cameron NOAA/NMFS/AKFSC/NMML
This is Kutkhiny Baty, a pumice rock formation on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Photo by Игорь Шпиленок, Igor Shpilenok.
...but the wonders of the title of this post are more of the Alice variety - or, actually, more of the Humpty Dumpty variety. As Humpty Dumpty famously says to Alice: 'When I use a word...it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less'.*
A Russian news team from REN Russian TV has recently visited the hospital in Salisbury where the ex-Russian spy Andrei Skripal is being treated. The visit took place in the middle of the night, which must be outside normal visiting hours, but the team found their way easily enough to the Microbiology Department.
This is where it all gets a bit strange.
The presenter, Mr Khanin, tells the camera the sign on the Microbiology Door says 'Don't enter: stay back' and then goes on to express wonder at this being the sum total of the security protecting the people from the Novichok nerve agent. He finishes by suggesting that the lack of security is proof that the whole Novichok attack was dreamt up by the hospital authorities.
Of course no one without first-hand knowledge can be completely sure what happened to the Skripals in Salisbury, but I do know what it says on the door of the Microbiology Department.
The words are:
DANGER, SLIPPERY FLOOR
Word To Use Today: slippery. This word seems to have been made up by William Coverdale to translate the lovely German word schlipfferig in Psalm 35 of Martin Luther's Bible. The Old English form of the word was slipor.
Pleasingly, it means cunning and untrustworthy as well as tending to make things slip.
*Yes, yes, all right, that quote is actually from Through The Looking Glass, but that would mess up my title and introduction. Just smirk condescendingly and give yourself a pat on the back for being such a know-all, okay?