Sunday, February 14, 2010

Notional Creature: The Stone Louse

John updates the notional people entry with a notional creature:
The German-language medical encyclopedia Pschyrembel Klinisches W├Ârterbuch
features an entry on the Steinlaus (Stone Louse, Petrophaga lorioti), a
rock-eating animal.[6] The scientific name implies the origin: a creation of
the German humorist Loriot. The Pschyrembel entry was removed in 1996 but,
after reader protests, was entered again the next year, with an extended
section on the stone louse's involvement in the fall of the Berlin Wall.
... and also provides an update/expansion on Lillian Mountweazel.

1 comment:

New York Crank said...

And then there was a notional critter called the type louse, said to be a near-microscopic inhabitant of printer's chases that fed off some combination of linotype lead and printer's ink.

The hapless printer's apprentice was urged to look closely at the locked up, inked up p[age chase and see if he could spot one. Journeymen printers would them smoosh his face onto the type, leaving the poor apprentice with the day's biggest headline on his forehead and the weather report on his cheeks.

Alas, the type louse is now extinct, but let this be a lesson in favor of ecological soundness. The type louse was not killed with pesticides, insecticides, sterilizing hormones or any other chemical.The type louse was totally exterminated by the computer — as, indeed, civilization may one day be as well.

Yours Crankily,
The New York Crank