Monday Mirthiness: Crock-on (UPDATED)

Josh sends this cartoon along (and now an updated version) in reference to Paleoscientist: Mann’s recent work was a ‘crock of xxxx’  

Philip Bratby was the inspiration with this comment at BH:

“More politely known as “a pile of poo”, the term “a crock of shit” derives from an ancient Roman custom that coincidentally took place in Roman times. It referred literally to a pot into which people would excrete if they were particularly bored by whichever freelance philosoper happened to be talking rubbish at the time. The Roman empire employed crock-monitors who were each assigned to a philosopher, and it was their job to monitor the pot (or crock). Should the crock become full, it would be presented to the philospher, who was obliged, by law, to announce that it bore a remarkable resemblance to himself, thus proclaiming he was full of crap and was, in fact, talking a crock of shit.

“I am talking a crock of shit”, Socrates 429 BC”


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Anything is possible
October 21, 2013 3:20 pm

Has anyone done more to undermine CAGW theory than Michael Mann?
Give him a Noble Prize! (A real one this time.)

Gunga Din
October 21, 2013 3:23 pm

Only one critique. Mann’s crock was made of wood. 😎

Gunga Din
October 21, 2013 3:27 pm

OOPS! Sorry, Josh. I missed your point.
A dog smells his own. If only Mann would!

October 21, 2013 3:33 pm


John Whitman
October 21, 2013 3:36 pm

For Mann it was crocks full of compensation (perks, grants, tenured position, speaking fees, awards . . . . ).

October 21, 2013 3:36 pm

cautionary note, I’m pretty sure there is no historical basis for the Urban Dictionary’s tale of the origins of crock of poo. It’s just something made up by U.D. Socrates was Greek not Roman!
I can’t find any earlier source than the U.D. and I’ve never heard of such a thing despite studying quite a bit of ancient thought in translation. Still an entertaining tale, but view it with much skepticism…..

October 21, 2013 3:40 pm

If it is a Roman custom, why a quote from a Greek?

October 21, 2013 3:43 pm

Now we are getting to the real bottom of the CAGW “theory” matter! 😉
Always wondered where all of that mysterious “adjustment” crap came from.

October 21, 2013 3:43 pm

What device would one use to stir a crock of XXXX?
A Crockey Stick, of course.

View from the Solent
October 21, 2013 3:46 pm

The quoted comment (lifted from ) looks like a crock of shit to me. While Socrates was alive in Attic Greece 429BC, this predates the Roman empire by a couple of centuries.

October 21, 2013 3:48 pm

Don’t you all think you’re being a bit unfair to the crock of xxxx? What did it ever do to deserve being compared to Mann’s work?

October 21, 2013 3:51 pm

We have the BS, the MS, the PHD, and now the COS!! A new degree for only those who excel in filling crocks should pursue…

Bruce Cobb
October 21, 2013 4:11 pm

Too bad there are no Nobel prizes for it. He’d be a shoo-in for the Nobel Crock Prize. It would look rather nice alongside his self-awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

October 21, 2013 4:19 pm

Great cartoon, Josh. But Mr. Mann gets waaaayyyy too much attention. LOL!

October 21, 2013 4:28 pm

Urban Dictionary isn’t meant to be serious. It stems from “urban legend”, so often publicizes creative folk etymologies without any basis other than imagination.
But you probably all already knew that. So while UD’s definition of CoS is itself a crock, it still made for a good & apt cartoon.

Roger Dewhurst
October 21, 2013 4:33 pm

Time for a cartoon of a scrawny, bearded, shoeless indian wearing a dhoti straddling a train and pointing vaguely at a cloud in the sky. Readers can choose their own words to accompany.

Peter Crawford
October 21, 2013 4:39 pm

An interesting character, Mann. A giant in his field – posing with tree trunks- and yet a midget in every other regard. Of course he can’t help the fact that he is only 3’9″ tall or that he looks malevolent. This could befall anybody. He makes it worse for himself and lessens goodwill by writing incoherent and bad-tempered books which make people who would otherwise be sympathetic to his ghastly appearance want to dropkick him out the nearest window. I have refrained from this. So far.

October 21, 2013 4:40 pm

Don’t know who wrote this originally, it has been around for a long time. It only just now struck me how much it resembles the sh*t dressed up as science that somehow makes it into reporting of facts by those who don’t have a clue:
In the beginning was the PLAN
And the assumptions were without form
And the plan was completely without substance;
And darkness was upon the faces of the employees
And they spoke amongst themselves, saying,
And the employees went unto their supervisors saying, “It is a pail of dung and
none may abide the odor thereof.”
And the supervisors went unto their managers saying, “It is a container of
excrement and it is very strong such that none may abide by it.”
And the managers went unto their directors saying, “It is a vessel of fertilizer
and none may abide its strength.”
And the directors went unto their executive directors saying, “It contains that
which aids plant growth and is very strong.”
And the executive directors went unto the general manager saying, “It promotes
growth and is very powerful.”
And the general manager went unto the Board of Directors saying, “This new plan
will actively promote growth and efficiency of this organization and these areas
in particular.”
And the Board of Directors looked upon the plan and saw that it was good and the
plan became policy.
This is how sh*t happens!

October 21, 2013 4:47 pm

I’m confused!
Are we mixing up Pooh-Sticks with Hockey-Sticks or have we just gone a bridge too far?

October 21, 2013 5:18 pm
Jim G
October 21, 2013 5:26 pm

Be careful boys and girls:
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
― Socrates

Gunga Din
October 21, 2013 5:33 pm

davidmhoffer says:
October 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm
I have a government job.
Now I understand!

October 21, 2013 6:49 pm

Perhaps Mann could be nominated for an Ig Nobel Prize?

October 21, 2013 6:58 pm

milodon: “So while UD’s definition of CoS is itself a crock, it still made for a good & apt cartoon.”
True. But on balance it sounds like a more effective way of dealing with ballot issues than the current manner. Such as selecting politicians, determining consensus, or peer review.

October 21, 2013 7:37 pm

October 21, 2013 8:00 pm

carbon trader turned UKIP candidate in UK who sees the co2 trading scheme as a crock!
20 Oct: UK CityA.M.: Iain McKie: Defective EU carbon trading scheme is adding billions to UK energy costs
YOU MAY never have heard of it, but a European scheme, designed to achieve carbon emissions targets that have already been met, is adding billions to consumer energy bills…
The EUAs are the main “currency” of the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), borne out of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and designed to help us monitor and reduce our carbon emissions to hit various targets.
Kyoto converted CO2 into a currency, and allowed countries to buy and sell this new currency to meet emission targets set to a base year of 1990…
Now here comes the real scandal (if it wasn’t enough to create a system which has been vulnerable to VAT fraud, which has potentially allowed for billions to be siphoned off to pay for “projects” with questionable sustainability credentials, and which offered effort-free profits to power companies and industrials at the cost of the energy consumer).
We have hit our Kyoto targets, and are well on the way to meeting new EU-imposed targets for 2020. Yet the system is not being switched off. The effects of a European recession, the impact of the Large Combustive Plant Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, and the massive growth in wind and solar, have meant that we have shot through all our emissions targets. Nevertheless, the system persists.
Lower than expected emission levels have led to a lower carbon price (down from a peak of over €30 to €5 now). And even though the system could be seen to have been a success, the European Commission decided that it wanted a higher price. It never gave a coherent reason for why higher carbon – and therefore higher power prices – in a recession would be a good idea. Nevertheless, it decided to temporarily remove 800m carbon credits (enough for the UK’s needs for four years) to boost prices. Why? It quickly becomes apparent that the EU ETS has nothing to do with curbing climate change. It is about revenue generation for member states…
It gets worse (and more complicated). Under the terms of Britain’s home-grown Carbon Floor Price (at £15.70 a tonne), power companies will have to surrender back to the DECC the same credits they bought for €5 plus another €13 or so, taking an extra €2.5bn out of the pockets of energy customers. Given that this is new money (credits are not “backed” by anything), it will ramp inflation.
Loading the cost of carbon onto consumers may make sense. But there is a final twist to this sorry saga. There is no obligation for the government to use any of this revenue for “green purposes”.

October 21, 2013 8:07 pm

davidmhoffer says:
October 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm
With the modern trend to all our paid thinkers, planners and worryworts can I suggest ‘An Ode to Stinkers in Residence’ everywhere?
Their ‘stinking’ caps and pens are not worth the price-

October 21, 2013 9:10 pm

In Norway we have the expression drittsekk “shitbag”(translated to English).
During the Danish Swedish wars in the 15-16 century something the Swedish army where now and then in Oslo, but the Norwegians where pretty good defended and safe in Akershus fort. The Norwegians had plenty of food and plenty of water in a small lake in the middle of the fort. The atmosphere inside the fort was positive and they where just waiting for the swedes to go home when winter approached.
The swedes started biological warfare with catapulting bags filled with shit aiming for the lake. And if they hit it the atmosphere would drastically change to sour, running to the toilet all day long.
So shitbag means someone or something that drastically reduces your quality of life.
UNFCCC/IPCC/Agenda21 etc are also shitbags design to hit us and drastically change our way of life?
Fits the radical greens good?

Dudley Horscroft
October 21, 2013 10:44 pm

I saw Mr (Senator?) Cruz making that speech and he was referring to Obamacare. But his comments apply equally to statements made by Adam Bandt – Greens MHR, Christine Milne – Green Party leader, and Christiana Figueres – UN spokeswoman for something or other.
With Christiana’s comments, the IPCC has lost all credibility. Here is what a letter writer to The Australian wrote (Monday 21 October 2013):-
“GREENS MP Adam Bandt, as one might expect, has been using the bushfire tragedies to promote his global warming fear-mongering and to condemn Tony Abbott.
Does he have a point? Can you make a case that it is carbon dioxide that is to blame for the recent fierce and scorching winds?
Here’s First Fleet marine officer Watkin Tench writing in 1790. “Port Jackson: Wind NNW. It felt like the blast of a heated oven.”
“Rose Hill: an immense flight of bats, driven before the wind, covered all the trees around the settlement, whence they dropped dead or in a dying state, unable longer to endure the burning heat. Nor did the parakeets … bear it any better. The ground was strewed with them in the same condition as the bats.”
These hot winds were normal when carbon dioxide was nothing but a curiosity in chemistry laboratories. Bandt is being not only mean-spirited but also ignorant.
Warwick Wakefield, Rushcutters Bay, NSW”
I thank and salute Mr Wakefield for his rejoinder to Mr Bandt. Australia suffers from bushfires, period.
The destruction of property and the loss of one life is due to the Green Party’s ignorant policy of preventing landowners removing unwanted trees, and preventing timely hazard reduction burns. Eucalypts contain in their wood and leaves high quantities of oil, which in hot conditions distils out and creates a flammable atmosphere. While there is no info on the flammable limits of eucalyptus oil, the flash point of the liquid is from 43 to 56 degrees Celsius (closed cup) and it is easy for these limits to be transgressed on a hot day in the bush.
“Conditions to avoid: Avoid exposure to heat, sources of ignition, and open flame. Avoid exposure to air.
Incompatible materials: Incompatible with oxidising agents.” from
Note that while leaves of normal deciduous trees drop and rapidly decay, the leaves of eucalypts, plus twigs and even branches, drop and take a very long time to decay. As a result flammable materials build up and when there is sufficient, a flying ember can ignite them. As embers can be carried by the wind some distance, it is not unknown for the fire front to leap hundreds of metres, occasionally entrapping fire fighters. Fuel reduction burns and fire break maintenance is essential in Australia.

Chad Wozniak
October 21, 2013 11:28 pm

Josh – couldn’t you have made the gnome a little uglier?

October 22, 2013 2:58 am

I skipped over the definition before so didn’t really get the cartoon, now just read it, lol.

October 22, 2013 4:52 am

Bruce Cobb, I agree mostly. The only difference is that I think Dr. Mann would be a poo-in for the Nobel Crock Prize …

October 22, 2013 7:44 am

Someone suggested “Mannure”.

October 22, 2013 11:14 am

Great one from Josh!
Whether the crock idea is true or not (it may have been a Roman Urban Myth afterall – originator, of course, of the expression, “A RUM do”), however Roman Emperors had the dubious privilege to be given all the nightsoil from Rome as a perk. Good for their asparagus no doubt.
One emperor decided that a cash settlement was more to his liking, and when asked why, replied with the only known Latin joke: “Non Olet” – it doesn’t smell.
A thought therefore strikes me in regard to ‘green’ taxes. Why not substitute the custom of handing over money for these to governments and instead revert to the much older (and surely therefore better) custom of handing over our nightsoil instead – far more organic after all.

October 22, 2013 12:34 pm

I think people are pushing Mann over the edge. He may soon carry out a Glieck.
Does anyone know whether Mann’s Bristlecone study was measuring rainfall? It seems that despite 1934 being a very hot year his data showed a downspike! I understand that in times of drought they go kinda dormant.

Oxford English Dictionary
Definition of crock in English
Old English croc, crocca, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse krukka and probably to Dutch kruik and German Krug

October 22, 2013 1:38 pm

Why wasn’t Mann’ MBH99 cited as a reference in this 2004 Review Article? It cited 50 references. Is it because of precipitation?
“A paleo perspective on hydroclimatic variability in the western United States”

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