1. On lookout point, the guard fence is made of potatoes?

    On the PBS, it’s not clear what vintage that comic is, but only two of the four mentioned musicians are still alive. Sign.

  2. The cliff in “Rubes” reminds me of a couple of climbs around castles and other coastal locations in Scotland and Cornwall. Dangerous stretches that would be fenced off in Germany (or the USA) might have a warning sign reminding visitors to be careful, or they might not. The British park services either have an unusually high opinion of the intelligence (and dexterity) of their visitors, or they treat the issue as an opportunity for “evolution in action”.

    P.S. I looked up the PBS strip, hoping to see the introductory (throw-away) title panel. Instead, I discovered that the strip originally had ten panels; the version above omits Rat’s retaliation at the artist’s desk:

  3. Yes the PBS is outdated in its facts. But it’s an outstanding exemplar in the tradition of re-creating “Who’s on First?” and getting the right kind of misunderstandings at the right moments.

  4. @Kilby, or, like the cartoon, they build the “protective” barriers up to the optimal level for tripping over. I thought it was a way to say, “if you’re dumb enough to get this close to the edge you deserve to fall.”

  5. @Kilby – yes, at my local cliff setup, Cheddar Gorge, there are absolutely no fences or warning signs preventing people from standing on the cliff edge at the top or any of the paths near the top. The only sign I remember is one down by the road at the start of one of the paths up, reminding people that there are cliffs up top, but at that point the road itself (also unfenced off) is far more dangerous. Also, just checking on Google Street View, it looks like even that post has been knocked down by a passing vehicle!

    I think the feeling is that a lot of fences and signs spoil the view, basically. Very few people are going to have got to the top of Cheddar Gorge by accident, and so it is assumed that they know what they are letting themselves in for.

  6. Odd – my comment (which was held up for a bit) has a torn-page icon or a ? icon, depending on whether Firefox or Safari, which i normally assume means a broken link, but if you click on it you still get the picture of Cheddar Gorge from the air that I was linking to.

  7. @ Narmitaj – Thanks very much for posting that picture of Cheddar Gorge. We went there on a trip around southern England (mostly Cornwall) about 15 years ago. We did visit the Cheddar Creamery, but did not have (or at least did not take) the time to do much hiking up the gorge. (Looking at that edge of the cliff, I think I’m glad we didn’t go up there).

    P.S. The reason for the “broken” icon is almost certainly that WoRdPrEsS was not able to parse the Wikipedia link past the hash mark. When I clicked on it, it first went to the reference page, before Wikipedia called up the photo.

  8. I’ve recently seen the PBS one (as posted at the top of this discussion) on Facebook a few times. It reminded me of this parody:

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