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Sunday, 14 October 2007
Conkering Kings Their Titles Take

Great news from my natal county: The World Conker Championship is to go ahead in Ashton, Northamptonshire (hang a left at Stoke Bruerne). There had been fears that the kid-safety fascists might shut the championship down, or force competitors to wear full body armor.

After years of zealously clamping down on anything more bracing than a game of ludo, the ... Institution of Occupational Safety and Health has decided to sponsor the annual world conker championships ... "When it comes to conkers, let's have an outbreak of common sense," one of the men from the institute has said.

If the welfare state busybodies could take away an Englishman's conkers, what would be left of England? I used to steep mine in rubbing alcohol—much more efficacious than the traditional vinegar.

Posted on 10/14/2007 1:06 PM by John Derbyshire
16 Mar 2013
Send an emailMarlem
I wish Dalrymple hadn't taken the right-wing-populist position of tkiang an anthropology degree to be a piece of academic drek that makes you unable to see facts. Especially when he uses an anthropological concept marking out one's tribal area to explain what Mieville had failed to see. My degree is in social anthropology, and I bristle every time that some right-wing scribbler uses anthropology, or for that matter sociology, as a code word for ideological nonsense. It only shows ignorance and prejudice. Besides, a doctor of all people ought to shut up on these matters. Medicine is the last refuge of eugenics, and is all too obviously dominated by this murderous delusion, which leads the mass of doctors to endorse abortion and quietly practise euthanasia. When it comes to the value and end of my life, I would much rather trust a social anthropologist than a medical graduate. Unless, of course, he has trained at SOAS.P.S.: Mieville is a moron, but we knew that already.

15 Nov 2007
Send an emailZZMike

Well as long as they don't actually hurt anyone.....

But surely they can use soft fuzzy foam balls for these conker things.  That way nobody would have to worry about shooting their eye out.  (oops, that's America.)

Never mind, carry on. 

Fascinating history, though.  The word derives from "conquer".  Probably brought over by that rotter William and his men.


26 Oct 2007

I enjoy your posts about some bit of English culture that previously was unknown to me.  Conkers - better than Indian wrestling!

Never had heard of Ludo before, except for Ludo Bagman from Harry Potter books.