Definitely Limericks: Gi-Gk

When young Jack cross-examined my client,
The big oaf came across as defiant:
He said, “Fee, fi, fo, fum,”
And made threats. Pretty dumb—
I should know not to act for a giant.

I’m a humble hermaphrodite, ma’am:
An increasingly rare giant clam.
For a bivalve, I’m big,
But I’m harmless, you dig?
I won’t clamp you. That ain’t what I am.

The killer clam of legend appears to be a myth: giant clams close their shells too slowly and incompletely to pose a real threat to divers, and there are no confirmed cases of death by giant clam. We’re a threat to them, though: overfishing of giant clams, for food and for their supposed aphrodisiac properties, has pushed them to extinction in some parts of the world.

Pronouncing the image-type GIF
Has sparked many a web-user tiff.
Is it “jif”, like giraffe?
Or like giggle? Don’t laugh,
’Cos it’s “jif”, its inventor says. Stiff.

As if.

Mr Hooper’s retirement gift
Was a timepiece too heavy to lift.
“What’s this clock made of, lead?”
He exclaimed—then dropped dead.
“Hooper’s present no longer,” we sniffed.

This net used by fisheries kills
By entangling fish by their gills.
It hangs like a wall,
Trapping porpoises, small
Or large turtles, and others it stills.

Gill nets are ancient in origin, and so effective that their use is now closely monitored. After the introduction of cheap synthetic fibres in the 1960s commercial fishing fleets increasingly engaged in gillnetting, most notably to target tuna. The nets’ netting can be adjusted to allow undersized fish to pass through, but larger animals can still get trapped, and many turtles, dolphins, whales, seals, manatees and dugongs die in them.

From the tip of his sword to the hilt,
Every surface was covered in gilt.
I inquired, feeling bold,
“Is that glister all gold,
Or from traces of blood thou hast spilt?”

Said Polly to Percy, “I balk
At your cunning endeavours to talk.
Such obsequious mimicry
Is obvious gimmickry.
An honest pet parrot would squawk.”

In our story, the gingerbread man,
A person-shaped biscuit, began
As a substitute child
Who broke free and ran wild.
(Just suspend disbelief, if you can.)

With the boast, “Run as fast as you can—
You can’t catch the gingerbread man!”
He’d evade all who did,
Every farmer, cow, kid,
Till he met a sly fox with a plan.

“Ride my tail as we swim,” said the fox,
And he did. “Ride my back to those rocks,”
And he did. “Ride my head,”
And he did... Snap! He’s dead.
(Many fairy tales feature such shocks.)

The moral is, be more discreet
In your dealings with strangers you meet.
Never boast you’ll elude ’em
Or gloat that you’ve screwed ’em,
When, man, you’re enticing to eat.

Jeremiah, the jolly giraffe,
Enjoyed nothing as much as a laugh,
Till his laughter cut short
When his antlers got caught
In a tree, and his neck bent in half.

Strictly speaking, a giraffe’s antlers aren’t antlers (or horns), they’re ossicones.

We learn, from the time when we’re small,
That giraffes are incredibly tall.
They have knobs on their head,
And aren’t stripy—instead,
They have spots. And long tongues. And that’s all.

Let’s rejoice, Aussies all, ’cos we’re girt
(That’s encircled) by sea. Rip the shirt
Off your back, and lie down
On the beach ’til you’re brown
(Though some 50+ sunscreen won’t hurt).

1 GJ is one billion joules,
Or a gigajoule. Fossil-based fuels
Provide GJs aplenty:
Three barrels, ’round 20.
Don’t waste all that energy, fools.

A barrel of oil provides approximately 6 gigajoules of energy. 1 gigajoule is equivalent to 278 kilowatt-hours, so a typical UK household consumes about 16.5 GJ of energy per year (4,600 kWh, 2010 figures), equivalent to a little under three barrels of oil. The average US household uses 2½ times as much, around seven barrels.

1 gigajoule also translates to 239,000 kilocalories or food calories, around 100 times the adult recommended daily intake of 2500 kcal for men and 2000 for women. So, if we could eat oil, a barrel of it would feed an adult for almost two years. If we could plug ourselves into our (UK) household electricity supply, our power bills would go up by about 20%. And if we could run our household power supply on Big Macs (508 kcal each in the UK), we would need to feed it a little over 21 a day. (An American household would need 50, even with the slightly higher calorie count of US Big Macs.)

The language the Greek people speak
Is called Greek, or in shortened form, Gk.
Yes, the language’s name
Is exactly the same
As the people’s. That’s hardly unique.

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