Because I was looking for something else, I was reminded of something very silly that I did in the MRC-LMB in Cambridge. Something that was a hit at the time (and we’re talking the year 2000) but has since disappeared into obscurity (and possibly the Wayback Machine).

A dusty trawl through the darker recesses of my hard drive revealed an archive I thought was lost forever. And why not?—I’m going to share them with you.

The story goes that there was a company that gave out squishy penguins (hello Eva?). The things marketing execs get up to. This was too good an opportunity for me to pass up. Here, then, is the first in a series of penguins in rather strange situations:

In Defence of the Realm

In Defence of the Realm

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
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13 Responses to Songbird

  1. cromercrox says:

    Penguins are just so cute … or are they? The day after watching Wallace and Gromit in ‘The Wrong Trousers’, I asked a colleague, Dr. C. S. of Cambridge – more rehetorically than anything else – ‘how do they make a penguin look sinister?’ to which Dr C. S.’s reply was ‘how do they make a plasticene penguin look sinister?

    A penguin-related post will be flippering its way to a site not entirely unadjacent to this one. Shortly.

    Morphic resonance, that’s what I call it.

  2. rpg says:

    Never mind that, how do penguins fire an L1A1 with flippers?

  3. cromercrox says:

    Easy. They just Think Evil Thoughts at it through a custom brain-trigger interface.

  4. Eva says:

    Have to show this to Squishy Cow when I get home. (Yes, I sometimes travel cow-less.)
    My cat has a squishy penguin, by the way. It came for free with a bottle of Little Penguin wine. It looks different from these penguins

  5. Nico says:

    wheee, penguins! And I see that in true British Army style they have outdated body armour helmets!

    Henry: it’s the eyes

    Eva: photo please! I don’t have any penguin imagery to share unfortunately 🙁

  6. James Thomas says:

    Very cool *ahem* although I think the penguin on the right must be on secondment from the Chilean army as he’s using an M16.

  7. rpg says:

    Yes Nico, we got the helmets off some guy in a lorry down the Old Kent Road.
    James, I reckon that must be one of Alejandro‘s friends, then.

  8. ricardipus says:

    Could be worse, if they were Canadian penguins, they’d (a) be wearing jungle green camo in the desert, and (b) be using Stens.*

    *Some aspects exaggerated. No disrespect to the fine men, women and penguins of our Armed Forces is meant. We have beavers too, they’ll chop your bridges down while the geese and caribou distract you.

  9. Jenny says:

    I can’t believe they assigned only *two* penguins to guard that many tips.

    They’re sitting ducks.

  10. rpg says:


    It’s all right. They have air cover.

  11. ricardipus says:

    Also, I am reasonably* certain that penguin’s ain’t songbirds. Passerine, not so much. Aquatic, you bet. Armed to the beak – well, the evidence is compelling.

    *100%, actually, for once.

  12. ricardipus says:

    Bloody extra apostrophe. That’s what writing a 355-page grant will do to you.

  13. Pd says:

    On first sight, I hoped they were Jackass Penguins, based on their distinctive white eye-to-eye band. Unfortunately further investigation revealed that they aren’t based on any extant species but instead appear to be an amalgamation of emperor chick, magellanic and possibly gentoo penguin characteristics. Shame.
    But never mind that – I love the idea of a machine called the Vortex Genie! I want one!

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