Limerick/Haiku Contest

No, not mine.

The Smithsonian Human Origins Program (that link is to their facebook page; here is their web page) is sponsoring a limerick/haiku contest (topic–human evolution)! And there is a prize! A signed copy of “What does it mean to be human?” by Potts and Sloan.

The bad news is, you have less than 24 hours, as of this posting. So get busy!

My entries (so far):

A young Mitochondrial Eve
Was the mother to all, we believe;
Her mtDNA
Is still with us today
A remarkable feat to achieve!

He’s muscular, thick-browed, and hairy
His demeanor is savage and scary
A Neanderthal, or
Is it just Jersey Shore?
Sure, we’re different, but really, not very.

As we look at our similar shape
A conclusion that few can escape
(Save a few who still try
To believe in a lie):
It is clear, now, that man is an ape


  1. says

    The Neandertal’s cranial ridgeWas a Cainial sign of origInal sin, and the ArkKept him off for this mark.(If you think that, I’ll sell you a bridge.)

  2. says

    Ugh. Haiku contest.Pseudo-clever, middlebrowPap for the masses."See me count! One, two –"I know what syllables are!"Insufficient snark.And for Eddie, a limerick/haiku:The cherries in bloom down near EdoWhile a dragonfly eats a mosquitoA frog jumps in the waterJust like he oughterAnd Basho declares that it's "Neato."

  3. says

    Haiku-limericks are fun!A gentleman fromSome improbable localeSaid something naughtyComely young maidenA rude misunderstandingYou blush coquettishlyOh, look at that man!I think he is from ScotlandThe jokes write themselves

  4. says

    I remember that now! One of your best efforts; it left me speechless.Now that I'm home, I'm desperate to fix my scansion, if that's okay.The cherries in bloom down near EdoA dragonfly eats a mosquitoFrogs splash in the waterJust like they oughterAnd Basho declares that it's "neato."Young, comely maiden– A rude misunderstanding — Blushed coquettishlyThere. I feel better now.

  5. says

    Heh… I hate it when that happens (and it has happened to me *so* *often*!).Johhny V., have you been as irritated as I have been by the media's pronunciation of Japanese towns (e.g. Fukushima)? I've heard Japanese interviewees change their pronunciation ("correct" themselves after pronouncing it properly) of Hiroshima to fit American news media. Given that, I'd give Howard the benefit of Japanese politeness to mispronounce.But that's just me. YMMV.

  6. says

    Well the NPR people I've heard haven't been mangling it too badly, and other than that all my news comes from print. So I've been spared the irritation.But yeah, you would think that someone paid to report on Japanese stories would take the 12 seconds to learn how to pronounce the vowels, and maybe practice a couple times saying them without stress accents. So if I did listen to any news reports, I'd be as irritated as you.My irritation is mainly with the lack of detail in the reports. I've been reading the Wikipedia timeline to find out anything useful (although the Beeb has gotten a lot better than it was a week ago).

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