A Few Things

First off, how many is a "few"? I mean, I think of a "couple" as two, and a "few" as three. But what does that make five? "Some"?



Anyway, please head on over and congratulation Southern Fried Scientist for his Quark win!!! 3quarksdaily picked his post on dolphin-safe tuna for their quark award! I'm so jealous, but it's a great post and totally deserves it. The other quarks went to Daylight Atheism and Bad Astronomy, and they were both worth checking out. Clearly I need to write some better stuff before next year...I want a quark to hang on my wall...

Secondly, you should check out a post AK wrote on defining neurotransmitters. When we discuss neurotransmission, even in scientific papers, we tend to think very simplistically about it. This is something that is necessary in papers where you might have a 39,000 word limit, but it's not necessarily a good thing.



Next, I'm sure you all have heard about the Dancing Cockatoo, Snowball, who can dance to the rhythm of music (though he's got TERRIBLE taste, I mean, the Backstreet Boys?! That's so...1998...). Check out the new book about the brain, music, and language, at the official blog by Oxford University Press! There's also apparently a documentary, though I think it'll be over by now. I don't know if I support this kind of research, though. I mean, the BACKSTREET BOYS!? How did THAT pass animal welfare regulations?

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I can't say that I'm a fan the music choice, but I have to admit, this bird can dance to the beat better than I can. This is Snowball, "a medium sulphur crested Eleanora cockatoo," who's apparently a big fan of the Backstreet Boys.
tags: snowball, dancing cockatoo, parrots, Cacatua galerita eleanora, interview Snowball, adult male Eleanora (medium sulfur-crested) cockatoo, Cacatua galerita eleanora. Image: courtesy of Bird Lovers Only [larger view]. I have been working behind the scenes for the opportunity to interview…
tags: snowball, dancing cockatoo, parrots, Cacatua galerita eleanora, interview Snowball, adult male Eleanora (medium sulfur-crested) cockatoo, Cacatua galerita eleanora. Image: courtesy of Bird Lovers Only [larger view]. I have been working behind the scenes for the opportunity to interview…
I am currently attending the International Marine Conservation Congress (so please pardon my long absence) and wanted to quickly share some new ideas on how technology could contributions to conservation. Erwin Brunio from Japan's Graduate School of Marine Science and Technology (itself an…

I also define a 'couple' to be two and a 'few' to be three...
Thanks for the links!

I had a boss once who used "couple" to mean about 3-4, "few" to mean maybe 6 or so, and "several" to mean perhaps 10 or more.

This would get very confusing, because to me "couple" is either exactly 2, or for uncertain quantities "almost certainly 2", "few" is usually around 3 or 4, and "several" around 4-6.

5 is "several"...

By Charlie B. (not verified) on 25 Jun 2009 #permalink

"Several" is 5-7 for me. I guess I use "couple" for 2-3 and "few" for 3-4, approximately -- but I don't have a clear idea of how I use the latter two.

Fifty grains of rice is a few, fifty birthday cakes is a lot. To me, it really depends on what you are talking about but I agree, a few is at least three.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 25 Jun 2009 #permalink

5 is a handful, pentadactyly speaking.