Laurie Taylor – 2 August 2018

The official weekly newsletter of the University of Poppleton. Finem respice!

August 9, 2018
A vulture on a man’s body

Nature notes

“This is without doubt another example of the radical reshuffling of Britain’s bird species precipitated by climate change. It is a matter of record that our warmer climate has already produced a significant increase in the number of resident quails and little egrets.”

That was how Dr Jean Poole, our Acting Head of Biology, sought to explain the sighting of a flock of unknown birds hovering over the Administration Building last Tuesday afternoon.

However, one of the witnesses of the phenomenon, Mr Ted Odgers of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies, while admitting to having little ornithological expertise, chose to cast doubt on Dr Poole’s interpretation. “Although I’ve no personal experience of little egrets and have only sampled quails straight from the barbecue, neither species would appear to resemble the grey-hooded, large wing-spanned heavy birds that circled and recircled the Administration Building on Tuesday.”

Do you have an alternative explanation? We’d like to hear from you. Mark your 
responses “Nemesis”.

Sounding symbols?

Any academics or administrators who happened to be on the Poppleton campus last Friday night were treated to a quite exceptional view of the total lunar eclipse.

Our head of astronomy, Dr G. Petulengro, told The Poppletonian that the eclipse was fully visible for nearly an hour even though clouds apparently obscured the sight for all those not in the immediate vicinity.

When questioned by our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), about this apparently strange optical circumstance, Dr Petulengro insisted that there was no doubt a satisfactory meteorological explanation. “I’m very much afraid that there will always be those who choose to find additional meanings in such unusual but perfectly predictable astronomical happenings. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that such a prolonged appearance of the so-called blood moon is indicative of a forthcoming apocalypse. I’m very much afraid that this is precisely the sort of irrationalism that was evident last Wednesday when our campus was unfortunate enough to be subject to a plague of frogs.”

Too big to fail?

Anxieties about the future of our university have hardly been stilled by the latest news from one of our major overseas outposts.

According to usually reliable sources, Poppleton’s significant investment in the University College of Brobdingnag has suffered a major setback after the discovery that the elevation of the principal building was insufficient to accommodate the anticipated student intake. A prospective student at the college described the discovery as “nothing more nor less than a giant error”.


As we go to press, we learn that a specially constituted committee is currently considering the financial state of our university. Although the committee is still in its early stages, fears about the outcome of its deliberations have been aroused by the news from an inside source that one item on the agenda refers to “The Poundworld Solution”. Watch this space.

Got an inside story? Let Laurie know:

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