Question of the Week: Birds or Monkeys? (For Perry)

This Thursday we host our first ever guest speaker in our Skeptics in the Pub series. I’m sure you don’t need to be told we’ll be having the excellent Professor Chris French along to talk all things anomalous, psychological and experiency in his talk ‘The Psychology of Anomalous Experiences’. It promises to be a corker, and we’d love you to come along.

The speaker series will not, never fear, signal an end to our hitherto-successful social-only events though. I can almost hear the communal sighs of relief! Fret not, I for one love our agenda-less, unstructured and mildly alcohol-oriented chances to meet, chat and share influences and heroes. It was in fact at the last SitP that I got chatting (as we always seem to at some point) about the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe and the influence of the skeptical rogues on getting us into skepticism. And, inevitably, the question arose: When did you hear about Perry Deangelis, and just how upset were you at the time?

The answer, for me, is late on (I began listening maybe a year ago and worked patiently through in order from episode one) and immensely upset. I felt I’d lost a friend, a friend who was gone before I ever even knew he existed. And everyone who I’ve spoken to tells me the same – such was the influence of the man. Last month marked the two-year anniversary of his passing, and the skeptical community will always miss Perry.

But, if there’s one thing Perry was about (as much as a humble listener and fan such as I could say), it was a great sense of fun and wit. So with that in mind I ask you not only for your thoughts of Perry but also to add your voice to the age-old debate, in which Perry’s knowledge was peerless:

Just who would win in a fight – a bird or a monkey? Would the monkey indeed give the bird an almighty beak-flip? Or would the avian beak prove too much for the simian? Your thoughts below.


  1. #1 by Andy on September 15, 2009 - 12:04

    I heard about Perry much in the same way as you did. He was an irreverent and unpredictable contributor and Skeptic. I joined the later episodes and only then heard of him and went back in the series. Great fun.

    Monkeys win every time. With the classic beak flip.


  2. #2 by Mike on September 15, 2009 - 16:27

    I think we should make peace between the birds and the monkeys.

    Like so:

  3. #3 by Colin H on September 15, 2009 - 17:27

    Depends on the bird. Depends on the monkey. I’d like to see a cappuccin monkey fight off an albatross. Or a hummingbird versus a baboon. We could get ‘Deadliest Warrior’ to arrange it.

  4. #4 by Andy on September 16, 2009 - 14:10

    Cappucin monkey shoves fist down Albatross’ throat. Game over. Simple.

    Hummingbird gets swatted with ninja like speed and used as hair gel by baboon


    (a tribute to Perry)

  5. #5 by Marsh on September 16, 2009 - 14:55

    Where do the winged monkeys from The Wizard Of Oz fit into this war?

    Would they be the Romeo/Juliet to unite the warring factions, or would they be the half-breed, half-way-house aberrations hated and reviled by both sides?

  6. #6 by Rachel on September 16, 2009 - 23:01

    Why do you think they were working for the witch, no one else would have anything to do with them.

    Monkeys are far superior, birds can’t even out smart cats; here’s a tip you have wings use them to fly away.

  7. #7 by Danny on September 23, 2009 - 22:16

    I remember laughing to myself on the bus listening to Perry talk about the Bird Monkey who would win thing!

    Monkeys all the way!

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