NaBloPoWriMo Crow-vember: Friday the 13th/200th
This is my 200th post! I’m so excited. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. It’s my bicentennial!
200 is a big number, although according to a website I found with facts about different numbers, “The number 200, according to Bullinger’s study of biblical literature, signifies ‘insufficiency’.” Ouch. I also learned that it takes 200 liters of water to produce 1 glass of milk.
Other fun 200 facts:
- 200 is a common ISO-standard film speed for photographic films.
- 200 is an HTTP status code indicating a successful connection.
- The sum of 200 dollars (or pounds) is given in the classical Monopoly game to a player passing Go.
- A cholesterol level of 200 and below is considered “Desirable level corresponding to lower risk for heart disease.
And, 200 is the smallest base 10 unprimeable number – it can not be turned into a prime number by changing just one of its digits to any other digit. Math!
It’s also Friday the 13th, and we’re almost halfway through Crow-vember. It’s been quite a ride so far. The other day, after reading about the Birds in Art and taking Ducky around town, we were talking about birds and different names for the groupings of birds: a gaggle of geese, a flock of birds, etc. I found this list online at http://baltimorebirdclub.org/gnlist.html and I just loved it:
A bevy of quail
A bouquet of pheasants [when flushed]
A brood of hens
A building of rooks
A cast of hawks [or falcons]
A charm of finches
A colony of penguins
A company of parrots
A congregation of plovers
A cover of coots
A covey of partridges [or grouse or ptarmigans]
A deceit of lapwings
A descent of woodpeckers
A dissimulation of birds
A dole of doves
An exaltation of larks
A fall of woodcocks
A flight of swallows [or doves, goshawks, or cormorants]
A gaggle of geese [wild or domesticated]
A host of sparrows
A kettle of hawks [riding a thermal]
A murmuration of starlings
A murder of crows
A muster of storks
A nye of pheasants [on the ground]
An ostentation of peacocks
A paddling of ducks [on the water]
A parliament of owls
A party of jays
A peep of chickens
A pitying of turtledoves
A raft of ducks
A rafter of turkeys
A siege of herons
A skein of geese [in flight]
A sord of mallards
A spring of teal
A tidings of magpies
A trip of dotterel
An unkindness of ravens
A watch of nightingales
A wedge of swans [or geese, flying in a “V”]
A wisp of snipe
When I got to a murder of crows, Crow looked stricken. Tom Servo got a glint in his eye, however, and later I found this.
And also this:
I tried to explain that it is an expression and it doesn’t actually mean murder, but Tom pointed out that “an ostentation of peacocks” and a “peep of chickens” are pretty true. I didn’t have an answer for him, except that we don’t murder people (or robots, or birds) in my apartment, nor do I condone murder in general.
It did get me thinking though, and I was trying to come up with a term for other groups of people and things: a prime of mathematicians? a shelving of writers? a computation of robots? yes, and a herald* of improvisers? Send me your suggestions!
*It’s a play on the Harold, which is an improv form, and the fact that a herald is “A person who carries or proclaims important news; a messenger.” Which is kind of like improvisers, right?