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22 August 2008 @ 01:01 pm
Their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze  
I win at obfuscation! If not even steuard could figure out the joke until he was told that he ought to be getting the joke then clearly no one else was going to get it :)

The "expected" answers to the poll (ie expected from one or two people at best =) were:

Fifteen birds:
Where are they?
In five fir trees
What is unusual about these birds?
What funny little birds, they have no wings
What shall you do with the funny little things?
Roast 'em alive or stew 'em in a pot
(I would also have accepted "Fry them, boil them, eat them hot" or "Bake and toast them, fry and roast 'em" :)
What is the most likely reason that they will remain uncaught?
Giant eagles

(As steuard pointed out once he was clued in, that last is kind of a bonus question since it's not actually part of the song.)

Clearly if that's always the first thing the phrase "fifteen birds" makes me think of, i spent way too much time watching that movie as a kid :) And probably too much time watching/listening to it on YouTube :)

The answers that everyone did come up with though were very interesting. I was wondering if anyone who didn't get the joke would suggest eating the birds, and indeed three people did come up with that idea. It's probably not an idea that i would have come up with myself in other contexts, but i wasn't at all surprised that catbird was the first one to suggest it :) (You know, she would probably do really well in an S. M. Stirling series, especially if it was the Emberverse =) kirinn and oonh definitely came up with the most unusual ideas though :)

Edit: Grrr!! Getting stuff to indent properly in LJ is a pain!!! Anyone know how to do it properly? The "blockquote" tag i used above adds extra line breaks, and the "pre" tag that i tried before that screws up the formating =P
Current Mood: sillysilly
Steven DeFordwillworker on August 22nd, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
  & nbsp;?

DonAithnendonaithnen on August 22nd, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
Nope, does nothing =/
Steven DeFordwillworker on August 22nd, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)
Works for me (a small amount of forced whitespace). Is sort of defined in the HTML standards...

Catbirdcatbird on August 22nd, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
I haven't read SM Stirling but from the wikipedia entry I think I will have to pick up some of his books.
DonAithnendonaithnen on August 22nd, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Or you could borrow them from me :)
Squidceph on August 22nd, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC)
I spent way too much time listening to that movie as a kid, too! (Although I can't recall now if it was because I was watching it or because my sister was.) I encountered this post before I saw the quiz, so I don't know if I'd have cracked the obfuscation--I never was very fond of that song, though. Bit too gruesome for my youthful sensibilities.
cwendy41cwendy41 on August 22nd, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
This is line 1.
This is line 2.

[dl][dt]Blah.[dd]Blah.[/dd][/dt][/dl] Sub [ with < and ] with >.
DonAithnendonaithnen on August 22nd, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
Darn it! It worked correctly in the preview, but when i actually saved it LJ added the extra lines back in =/

Thanks for the good idea, too bad LJ screwed it up =P
cwendy41cwendy41 on August 22nd, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
Don't use autoformating. Or if you enable it, don't put in the extra carriage returns yourself. So like just one line of text instead of one line, carriage return, next line.
DonAithnendonaithnen on August 22nd, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
You're right, that works! Thank you!

It's too bad that makes it gods-awful ugly when you edit it, and it's hella complicated to write. Why can't they just make a tab tag? =P
Steuardsteuard on August 23rd, 2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
Hmm. You can only get one level of indentation in a [dl], though, right? Or are they allowed to nest? I never remember if [dt] and [dd] elements are block-level or inline... ah, interesting. the [dt] element can only contain inline stuff (text, basically), but the [dd] is allowed to contain other blocks (like another [dl]). Incidentally, you've put your [/dt] in the wrong place: it should close before you start the [dd].

In any case, I usually use [blockquote] for indentation here, but it's a pain to get a decent looking result: LJ ends up adding oodles of vertical space before and after each [blockquote] element unless you omit all carriage returns before the start tag and after the end tag (you may be okay with a single CR after the end tag, actually...). As donaithnen points out, that formatting makes the "source code" when you're editing look amazingly ugly, but it's the best I've come up with. (Sounds like the [dl] method has similar difficulties.)