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Archive-name: lemur-faq/part7
Alt-fan-lemurs-archive-name: lemur-faq/part7
Last-modified: 2000/05/12
Version: 4.0

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
    Official USENET Alt.Fan.Lemurs Frinkquently Asked Questions
                  Part 7 of 7  -- Real Lemur Facts


                           The Questions

(1) How did get started?  Where did all this madness
    come from?
(2) Scientifically speaking, what is a lemur?
(3) What are some good books to read if I'd like to know more
     about lemurs?
(4) What is Primate Info Net?
(5) What's the rarest kind of lemur?
(6) Would lemurs make good pets?
(7) Who is Ali Lemer?
(8) Who is Rick Frink?
(9) Is "Frink" in any dictionary?
(10) Where can I find .GIFs of Lemurs?
(11) Are there any drinks inspired by lemurs?
(12) How can I make my own Twinkies at home?
(13) Is Terry Chan in the FAQ?
(14) What's significant about Tob Wood?
(15) What _is_ Big K Grape Soda?
(16) What was Southeast?
(17) What was Southeast?
(18) What was Lemurcon '94?
(19) Got any nifty factoids about lemurs to wrap things up with?


                            The Answers

(1) How did get started?  Where did all this madness
    come from?

As with many things, it had humble beginnings. Specifically, on a
bulletin board,, at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg,
Virginia.  We were in the system administration conference on that BBS
chatting about system configuration when one participant called another
participant a 'lamer'.  Someone else pretended to misunderstand and
thought the other person was being called a lemur.  A third person said
something like "I thought lemurs were the little furry critters with the
big eyes."

Believe it or not, that's where it all started.  A few of us, college
students full of caffeine, thought that was extremely funny and the
lemur jokes started.  We kidded the sys-admin about his artificial
intelligence lemur detection routines which were slowing the system down
at peak times, and then one guy showed up and asked if anyone wanted to
go lemur-tipping.

Before we knew it, there was a full-fledged conference on that BBS about
lemurs.  About jokes about lemurs, specifically, as none of us had ever
seen a lemur or heard of the Duke University Primate Center.  We weren't
even particularly sure what they looked like, except that we were fairly
sure that they had big eyes.

Lemur jokes flooded the entire BBS.  People got testy about having
people showing up babbling about lemurs in, say, the general chat
conference, 'bar', or in the conference for discussing the local sci-fi
con, 'technicon'.  It was like a virus -- spread, in large part, by
yours truly.  It was a collectively shared hallucination, to put it one
way -- without ever explicitly saying "these are the ground rules"
everyone came to understand that lemurs loved Twinkies and Big K Grape
Soda (sold at fine Kroger stores everywhere), had only three words in
their vocabulary (cheep, frink, and ptang) which meant various things
depending on the eye motions of the lemur involved, were tremendously
sexually attracted to large-eyed primates, and that they loved to swing
from ceiling lights.  Everything else was based on those shared beliefs.

All the stuff about cows that made it into the newsgroup later on was
also evolved on VTCOSY in the separate 'cows' conference.  As we
understood it, the cows had a big crashed spaceship in a field somewhere
near Blacksburg but had lost the keys and couldn't get back in, except
for one deranged member of the herd known only as the Terror Cow.  The
Terror Cow roamed the streets of Blacksburg driving a strange and
heavily-armed form of assault vehicle (Virginia license plate "MOO 1")
and eventually had to be dealt with.  When we hit the big time on the
Internet (see below), the Cow stuff was ported along with all the lemur
stuff since it was the other "big joke" from VTCOSY.

About the middle of 1991, I found out how to get onto the Internet.
Trained to assume that every discussion group would profit from an
injection of lemurism, I acted accordingly.  Not that there was a huge
influx of lemur humor -- no one knew what I was talking about.  It died
down somewhat, but then I found out how one gets a new newsgroup started
-- you go to alt.config, propose it, and get flamed.

So, I did.  August 1992 was when I first proposed it.  I got flamed.  No
one knew what the hell lemurs were, for the most part, and those that
did didn't see the need for a whole newsgroup dedicated to rare and
little-known family of primates. I came back two months later, at the
end of October, and proposed it again and finally, someone agreed to

Then, boom -- I lost net access for the better part of a month.
Discussion was taking place on the newsgroup and I wasn't able to
participate.  When I finally showed up there, people had half- heartedly
talked about lemurs from a scientific standpoint and about seeing the
critters in zoos.

Determined to steer these people back onto the straight and narrow, I
began posting my lemur jokes saved up from VTCOSY. Traffic dropped off
precipitously as some people left and others waited to see what was
going on.

Finally, via the strategy of cross-posting to humor newsgroups, I
attracted enough of a critical mass that the free-for-all called truly got underway.

We started the stuff that you see today in the FAQ -- the
stuff about Twinkies and Big K, of course, began at Virginia Tech but
achieved the truly magnificent proportions of the present day once
people came to understand the Way of the Lemur.

Somewhere along about January 1993, if memory serves, someone finally
posted to to tell us that there was a huge agglomeration
of real lemurs in Durham, North Carolina -- barely four hours (if you
obeyed the speed limits) southeast of Blacksburg.  It was called "Duke
University Primate Center" and apparently, as we understood it, bred
lemurs.  It wasn't until later in the year that we bothered to actually
call down to DUPC and get information on their programs -- and hence, we
spent a good while totally clueless about lemurs and what sort of
animals they really were. got its infamous FAQ in stages starting in January of
1993 and evolving and growing over the course of the year until it was
finally separated into six parts in early July.

Finally, in March, we finally got around to telephoning the Duke
University Primate Center and arranging a tour.  We tried to organize a
mini-con around it called " Southeast
I" (I was also very active on alt.folklore.urban at the time and wanted
to get as many people there as possible) and ultimately attracted a
whopping total of six people.  We went on a tour of the place and
abruptly, the newsgroup took on its second big theme, Saving the Lemurs.
I'd had no idea how endangered the critters were and how desperate the
situation in Madagascar was.

I came back, added the DUPC section of the FAQ, and went on to start a
joint Adopt-A-Lemur program for readers of the newsgroup. DUPC was
already running an Adopt-A-Lemur program but the adoptions cost as much
as $150 and hence I figured we'd have more luck if we pooled our money
for adoptions.  Some people could afford to adopt their own, and did so,
and some people couldn't, and hence we wound up group-adopting six DUPC
lemurs: an aye-aye named Nosferatu, a red-bellied lemur named Cheyenne,
a Coquerel's Sifaka named Nigel, a savage little bamboo lemur named
Bebop, a crowned lemur named Redjedef, and finally, a ringtailed lemur
named Leonidas.

DUPC didn't really know who the heck we were since very few of their
staff had any experience with the Internet at all but they were more
than happy to take our money. went through one really big flamewar in May of 1993 when
I, feeling my oats with such a thriving newsgroup, decided to propose a
move to a "Big 7" newsgroup in one of the better-propagated hierarchies
such as talk or rec or misc. Unfortunately, my plan backfired when
crossposted flames from news.groups showed up in and
drove some people away.  We were months recovering.

The group has settled down to a stable 20-30 messages a week, half being
about events and goings-on in the world of real-life lemurs and half
being about typical lemur silliness.  The newsgroup is relatively
insignificant compared to groups attracting hundreds of thousands of
readers such as rec.humor or, but does
theoretically get about 40,000 readers worldwide.  This places it near
the top of the bottom quartile of newsgroups in readership. is significant in that we never, ever have flamewars.  No
one ever gets up and howls and rants and we're scarcely ever even
invaded by vandals from other groups.  I suspect it's the Terror Cow at
work. IS about taking over the world, bit by bit, but it's also
about saving a lot of very wonderful animals whose only fault is that
they have a little too much of the sweet tooth (a lemur will do anything
for raisins, and if the staff at DUPC ever actually let one get a
Twinkie, the wildest speculations of would probably pale
by comparison to the reality of a sugar-binging prosimian).

Here are the original messages from that got it all started:

Ron Jarrell,;
Todd Perry,;
Joel Furr,; and
Vance Kochenderfer,

These four people, and a few innocent bystanders, engaged in a
conversation on that inspired Joel Furr to
create first a lemurs "conference" and then go on to infect
USENET with lemur chat.  It's all Ron and Todd and Vance's fault,
as you'll see from the excepts below:

>Ed Chamberlayne (responding to someone's insult about Ed being
>in everyone's crosshairs):  Well...I'm in the crosshairs. Goody.
>Lamer.  Yes.  Lamer.  Probe a thesaurus??  Get real geekmeister.
>I certainly don't need to consult  reference books when compos-
>ing a message.  I guess you do, huh??
>Ron Jarrell (responding to Ed):  I still think a Lamer is a type
>of monkey.

>Joel Furr (responding to Ron):  No, that's a lemur.  The differ-
>ence is that Lemurs are not eligible for membership in Toastmas-
>ters International, being incapable of human speech.

>C. Carson (commenting to Joel): Not too mention the Mongo size

>Joel Furr (blathering on):  Lemurs are actually primates, as you
>know.  The clever little fellas inhabit the island of Madagascar
>and some species are so shy that only one or two individuals of
>each species have ever been seen.

>Ron Jarrell (in an entirely different conversation):  Well, as
>of the nightly report last night we had processed 27,885 usenet
>messages, up from a normal high of anywhere from 9-11,000....

>Joel Furr (reviving the thread):  How many of them were about

>Daniel Pawtowski (interjecting):  Probably fewer than there were
>about cows.

>Ron Jarrell (responding to Joel):  I haven't had the chance yet
>to run the artificial intelligent lemur detection routines on
>it.. Even the 5810's RISC chip can only do about 100 lemurs a
>second, so I didn't want to bog it down with 27,000 lemurs.

>Todd Perry (commenting to Ron):  Where did you get that figure?
>Be careful with the Lemur benchmark.  Several manufacturers have
>rigged their compilers to detect Lemur benchmark code and opti-
>mize it to death, so you get a much higher lemurs/sec rating
>than you would in real life...

>Joel Furr (also commenting to Ron):  Well, that would only take
>270 seconds... four and a half minutes, and think of all the
>lemurs you could detect in that time.

>Vance Kochenderfer (coming in from out of the blue):  Anyone
>want to go out and do some lemur-tipping?

>Ron Jarrell (ignoring Joel and Vance and commenting to Todd): Oh
>really? I might have been getting psuedo-lemurs?  I'll see if I
>can find the real lemur count..

>Joel Furr (summing up): Inquiring lemurs want to know.

And it raged on from there.


(2) Scientifically speaking, what is a lemur?

A lemur is a primate, member of the same order of mammals that men and
apes belong to.  However, lemurs are thought to be less evolutionarily
advanced than men and apes and monkeys are, representing the stage of
evolution our ancestors would have been at several million years ago.
Note that this does not mean that we are descended from lemurs.
Ultimately, somewhere far back, we share a common ancestor.  Lemurs are
often lumped in with other somewhat less advanced primates known
collectively as "prosimians."  Other animals sometimes referred to as
prosimians include tarsiers, lorises, bushbabies, galagos, pottos, and
so forth.  None of the aforementioned animals are _lemurs_ per se:
lemurs are prosimians who live on Madagascar and the surrounding islands
and who belong to the superfamily _Lemuroidea_.

The major difference between lemurs (and prosimians in general) and
other primates is, believe it or not, the wet nose.  Lemurs have 'wet
noses' like dogs and rely more on scent than do 'more advanced' primates. has its very own lemur researcher, Mr. Bill Sellers, who
recently finished his PhD. dissertation on the mechanics of lemur
leaping.  The following list of lemur families, genii, and species has
been run past him but probably still isn't 100% correct.   If it's
crucial that you know the exact status of lemur taxonomy, send email to that's Mr. William I. Sellers, thankyewverymuch.

Anyway: on to the lemur taxonomy:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates

Primates can be divided into two suborders.  The older division was
between prosimians ("almost monkeys") and anthropoids ("man-like").  The
newer division is between Strepsirhini (wet noses) and Haplorhini (dry
noses).  This change results in tarsiers being grouped with monkeys,
apes, and humans as haplorhines; all other prosimians are strepsirhines.
(Thus, tarsiers are not listed here, despite still being classed as

Suborder: Strepsirhini

Superfamily: Lemuroidea

  Family: Cheirogaleidae
    Subfamily: Cheirogaleinae
      Genus: _Microcebus_
        Species: _murinus_, gray mouse lemur
                 _rufus_, rufous mouse lemur
                 _coquereli_, Coquerel's mouse lemur
      Genus: _Cheirogaleus_
        Species: _major_, greater dwarf lemur
                 _medius_, fat-tailed dwarf lemur
                 _trichotis_, hairy-eared dwarf lemur
    Subfamily: Phanerinae
      Genus: _Phaner_
        Species: _furcifer_, forked-marked dwarf lemur

  Family: Lemuridae
      Genus: _Lemur_
        Species: _catta_, ring-tailed lemur
      Genus: _Eulemur_
        Species: _macaco_, black lemur
                 _fulvus_, brown lemur
                 _mongoz_, mongoose lemur
                 _coronatus_, crowned lemur
                 _rubriventer_, red-bellied lemur
      Genus: _Varecia_
        Species: _variegatus_, ruffed lemur
      Genus: _Hapalemur_
        Species: _griseus_, gray gentle lemur
                 _simus_, broad-nosed gentle lemur
                 _aureus_, golden bamboo lemur

  Family: Lepilemuridae
      Genus: _Lepilemur_
        Species: _doralis_, (no common name)
                 _ruficaudatus_, red-tailed sportive lemur
                 _edwardsi_, Edward's sportive lemur
                 _leucopus_, (no common name)
                 _mustelinus_, (no common name)
                 _microdon_, (no common name)
                 _septentrionalis_, (no common name)

  Family: Indriidae
      Genus: _Avahi_
        Species: _laniger_, avahi or woolly lemur
      Genus: _Propithecus_
        Species: _verreauxi_, Verreaux's sifaka
                 _diadema_, diademed sifaka
                 _tattersalli_, Tattersall's sifaka?
      Genus: _Indri_
        Species: _indri_, Indri (aka babakoto)

Superfamily: Daubentonioidea
  Family: Daubentoniidae
      Genus: _Daubentonia_
        Species: _madagascarienis_, aye-aye

FYI, the _following_ critters _are_ prosimians, and _are_ strepsirhines,
but are _not_ lemurs, since they belong to a different superfamily and
don't live in Madagascar.  They are simply listed so you'll know what
other animals are currently considered to be prosimians.  (As above,
tarsiers are now considered to be more similar to apes and men than to
prosimians such as lorises and lemurs.)

Superfamily: Lorisoidea
  Family: Lorisidae
    Subfamily: Lorisinae
      Genus: _Loris_
        Species: _tardigradus_, slender loris
      Genus: _Nycticebus_
        Species: _coucang_, slow loris
      Genus: _Arctocebus_
        Species: _calabarensis_, angwantibo
      Genus: _Perodicticus_
        Species: _potto_, potto
    Subfamily: Galaginae
      Genus: _Galago_
        Species: _alleni_, Allen's bushbaby
                 _crassicaudatus_, thick-tailed bushbaby
                 _senegalenis_, lesser bushbaby
                 _inustus_, (no common name)
                 _demidovii_, Demidoff's dwarf galago
                 _elegantulus_, needle-nailed bushbaby

I hope this is getting to be more or less correct.  Bill Sellers tells
us that lemur scientists periodically regroup the genii, renaming the
genii and moving one genus into a different family as more is learned
about the animal, but that _species_ names tend to stay the same.


(3) What are some good books to read if I'd like to know more about

Two very good books that look at lemurs from a zoological and biological
standpoint, reviewing the entire gamut of lemurs from aye-ayes to
indris, are:

  Catherine Harcourt, _Lemurs of Madagascar and the Comoros : the IUCN red
  data book_  (This one has lots of black and white photos, and is the
  most recent of the two.)

  Ian Tattersall,  _Lemurs of Madagascar_  (This one is a little older but
  is the Bible of the lemur research field.)

  Wilson, Jane, _Lemurs of the lost world : exploring the forests and
  Crocodile Caves of Madagascar_

  Peter M. Kappeler and Jorg U. Ganzhorn, Eds.  _Lemur Social Systems and
  Their Ecological Basis_.

Another book, somewhat broader in scope, is Napier and Napier's _Handbook of
Living Primates_, published by the British Natural History Museum.

If you want books that talk about lemurs from an anecdotal standpoint, try
these two:

  Durrell, Gerald Malcolm, _The aye-aye and I: a rescue mission in
  Madagascar_  (Great descriptions of gentle lemurs and aye-ayes.)

  Adams, Douglas, _Last Chance to See_  (The author of _The Hitchhiker's
  Guide to the Galaxy travels to far-off spots to see animals that are in
  grave danger of extinction.  Very interesting stuff about aye-ayes.)

And, of course, there's the famous kids' book, _Hook A Book Lemur_:

  Zoe Wilmot and David Anstey, _Hook A Book Lemur_.  (This book is written
  for 2-3 year olds, I guess, and is printed on that thick, cardboard-like
  paper, so even though it's 3/4 inches thick it only has about 6 pages.
  The cover features a ring tailed lemur. His tail forms a hook that juts
  out from the top of the book. (Hence the term "Hook-a-book," and hence the
  cardboard paper.) At the bottom, his hands join together forming a handle
  -- a handle that's just the right size for a tiny hand to hold on to the

KG Anderson provided a few magazine references, since some of the above books
are fairly technical:

1) August 1988 National Geographic: an EXCELLENT article by Alison
Jolly, the Queen of lemur studies. Dr. Jolly was one of the first
researchers to study lemur behavior in the wild. This is the all-time
greatest issue of National Geographic if you're a lemur fan. The
pictures in this issue are just awesome.

2) January 1993 Scientific American. Another great article, this one
by Ian Tattersall. (If Alison Jolly is the Queen of lemur studies,
Dr. Tattersall is probably the King.) About ten pages. A pretty cool

3) August (I think) 1993 BBC Wildlife. This is for you British lemur
fans out there. There's a beautiful photo spread taken by David
Haring, the colony manager of DUPC (who also doubles as the court
photographer of lemur studies and/or photographer to the stars).
Highly recommended.

4) November/December 1993 issue of The Sciences. There's an article
by Elwyn Simons, scientific director of DUPC, about recent excava-
tions of fossil and subfossil lemurs in Madagascar. (Since he used to
be Ian Tattersall's advisor, Dr Simons must be the Emperor of lemur
studies.) No pretty pictures, alas 8-(, nor any mention of the
fossilized bottles of Big-K that undoubtedly lured those ancient
lemurs into the caves to their doom in the first place, but the
article itself is well worth reading if your interest in lemurs goes
beyond their fuzzy coats and bright eyes.

5) December 1993 Southern Living. Southern Living?  A bit odd, but
true. Basically it's a brief interview with Elwyn Simons and Kenneth
Glander, of the DUPC, entitled "Adventures in Lemurland." It has 3
nice photos, of (if I recall correctly) a coquerel sifaka (eating
raisins out of the hands of the aforementioned humans), a red-ruffed
lemur, and a female blue-eyed black (they're SO beautiful). Oh, I
forgot to mention that Dr Glander is the Director of the DUPC. That
makes him, I don't know, Lord High Chancellor of lemur studies.


(4) What is Primate Info Net?

Primate Info Net is an Internet Gopher ( network
for people with an interest in the field of primatology.  PIN is
maintained by the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center Library at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Among the resources accessible in
PIN are a taxonomy of the primates, audiovisual resources, a list of
specialized bibliographies, information about Primate-Talk (an email
based listserver) the latest issue of the Laboratory Primate Newsletter
and other resources pertinent to the field.  Other menu choices will be
added to PIN in the future.

To make suggestions or for more information about Primate Info Net,
contact Larry Jacobsen, Head of Library Services, Primate Center Library
Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center, Madison, WI 53715-1299.

Tel:  (608) 263-3512
Fax:  (608) 263-4031


(5)  What's the rarest kind of lemur?

Several species that are quite rare are the golden bamboo lemur
(which was thought extinct until a few were found lurking in the jungle),
the golden-crowned sifaka (which was identified as a species unto itself
not too many years ago, and which lives only in a very small part of the
island of Madagascar), the Lake Alaotra bamboo lemur (which is a
subspecies of your basic bamboo lemur, hapalemur griseus, and which is
commonly sold for food by the natives who don't know about laws against
eating or killing lemurs), the red-bellied lemur (which for some reason is
plummeting in numbers in the wild and no one knows why), and the aye-aye
(which was also thought extinct and which is very rarely sighted).


(6) Would lemurs make good pets?

In the words of Joao de Souza, who researched the issue:

- In some cities in the USA it is legal to own a lemur, but you will
  have some very hard time trying to find one for sale.  Pet shops
  will NOT carry them, and any reputable zoo or university will NOT
  sell you one of theirs.

- Having a lemur as a pet is not at all a good idea.  Okay, they are
  adorable looking little cretures, but thats when you don't have to
  take care of them.  First of all, like most primates, lemurs are
  VERY strong.  They like to run around and to climb onto your
  furniture.  Unless you have a huge back-yard, and are willing to
  transforming it into a cage, the lemur WILL destroy your house.
- Lemurs cannot be house trained (they will defecate wherever they
  feel like, and they will pee all over the house in order to mark
  the territory).  If you try to house train a lemur, it will turn
  violent, and you don't want a pissed-off lemur anywere near you.

You may want to try some easier pet (ie: an elephant, a couple of
giraffes, a herd of buffalos, etc... :-)


(7) Who is Ali Lemer?

Take it from the horse's mouth:

>From: (Ali Lemer)
>Subject:'re not going to believe this, but...
>Organization: Columbia University Center for Telecommunications Research
>Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1993 21:50:16 GMT
>Wow...I think I finally found my netnews niche. Perhaps I could be the
>a.f.l.'s official mascot, for...
> last name is, LEMER (pronounced LEE-mer, as in our favourite
>Yes, believe it or not, folks. People always say to me, "Lemer? As in the
>monkey?" and I always have to say, "Yeah. <sigh> But with an 'e'."
>In fact, a kid in 10th grade called me, "Ali the Ring-Tailed Lemer from
>Madagascar" once...
>Well, there you have it, at any rate.
>-- Ali Lemer.


(8) Who is Rick Frink?

>Rick Frink                                              (513) 865-1645
>Mead Data Central                             Telecomm/Campus Networks
>P.O. Box 933                             
>Dayton, Ohio  45401                          ...!uunet!meaddata!rfrink

No one's told him yet of the unfortunate similarity of his name to the sound
commonly used by the average lemur for a wide variety of purposes, some of
them even printable in a family newsgroup.


(9) Is "Frink" in any dictionary? made another step upwards toward respectability when 'frink',
the Lemur verb of unknown meaning, was included in the latest release of the
Jargon File.  The Jargon File is the closest thing that the computer and
USENET world have to an unabridged dictionary.  You can ftp the Jargon File
from lots of FTP sites.  Email or ask on
alt.folklore.computers to find the best place to snag it.

Here's the definition, per Eric Raymond:

:frink: /frink/ v. The unknown ur-verb, fill in your own meaning.
   Found esp. on the USENET newsgroup, where it is
   said that the lemurs know what `frink' means, but they aren't
   telling.  Compare {gorets}.


(10) Where can I find .GIFs of Lemurs?

The following sites have lemur .GIFs in the following directories:, /graphics/gif/l, /mirrors/wustl/graphics/gif/l, /graphics/gif/l,  /pub/images/animals

The files are "lemur01" through "lemur11" -- .gif or .jpg.

You can also find some lemur pics on the furry FTP site ( in
/pub/furry/images/downloads/l.  A master index is in file index-by-date in
/pub/furry/misc.  They ask for access only between 1800-0600 Central time.


(11) Are there any drinks inspired by lemurs?

Yes.  Here are three.  Try them at your own risk.

  From: Spike the Destroyer <STDNCHGA%LMUACAD.BITNET@VM.USC.EDU>
  Subject: Screaming Lemur Recipe

  >Take one standard sized $8.99 bottle of reasonably cheap gin.  We
  >use Popov.  Purchase a package of Hawaiian Punch drink mix.  The
  >traditional flavor of choice is "Sharkleberry Punch", but a
  >reasonable alternative is Rock Island Red or some other silly
  >name.  Just as long as the hue of the drink is resembles the
  >intesine of a lemur. (light to medium pink) Mix the two together,
  >and ice heavily.
  >That's it! If you proportion it correctly, it should be very
  >sweet with only a slight hint of gin aftertaste.  You may dillute
  >with sugar or water if you really need to.

  From: Joel Furr (
  Subject: Reeling Lemur Recipe

  >3/4 glass of Big K Grape Soda
  >1/4 glass of "Aristocrat" vodka
  >One or two of these will have the most well-balanced and upright
  >lemur staggering and reeling around the apartment.

  From: (Richard A. Schumacher)
  Subject: Recipe for "Sleepy Lemur"

  >1 oz. Kahlua
  >1 oz. creme de Cacao
  >1 oz. vodka
  >Balance skim milk and chipped ice
  >Serve in a large truncated conical glass, or in a plastic rocket
  >ship with a straw.


(12) How can I make my own Twinkies at home?

Sylvia Sotomayor ( tells all:

     This is primarily (but not only) for our British readers, who are having
     difficulties getting twinkies (tm).

     I got this twinkie recipe from a book Top Secret Recipes, by Todd
     Wilbur, published by Plume.  $10.  ISBN 0-452-26995-4.

     I didn't get permission to share this or anything, but then I work for
     Plume, so they better not mind.  Besides, this book has lots and lots of
     neat recipes in it, so it is worth buying anyway!

     Twinkie Recipe:

     You will need a spice bottle (approximately the size of a Twinkie),
     twelve 12 by 14 inch pieces of aluminum foil, a cake decorator or pastry
     bag, and a toothpick.

     for the Cake:  nonstick spray, 4 egg whites, one 16 ounce box golden
     pound (or sponge, whatever) cake mix, and 2/3 cup water.

     for the Filling:  2 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup vegetable shortening, 1
     cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, 1
     tea-spoon vnilla extract, and 2 drops lemon extract.

     Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

     Step 2:  Fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice.  Wrap the
     folded foil around the spice bottle to create a mold.  Leae the top of
     the mold open for pouring in the batter.  Make twelve of these molds and
     arrange them on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan.  Grease the inside
     of each mold with a light coating of nonstick spray.  (According to the
     diagrams in the book, a Twinkie is approximately four inches long, 1 and
     3/4 inches wide and about an inch or so tall.)

     Step 3:  Disregard the instructions on the box of cake mix.  Instead,
     beat the egg whites until stiff.  Combine them with the cake mix and
     water, and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes).

     Step 4:  Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4
     inch. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is
     golden  brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

     Step 5:  For the filling, cream the butter and shortening.  Slowly add
     the sugars while beating.

     Step 6:  Add the evaporated milk, vanilla, and lemon extract.

     Step 7:  Mix on medium speed ntil completely smooth and fluffy.

     Step 8:  When the cakes are done and cooled, use a toothpick to make
     three small holes in the bottom of each one.  Move the toothpick around
     the inside of each cake to create space for the filling.

     Step 9:  Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with
     filling through all three holes.

     Makes 12.

     End of recipe.

     They, of course, forgot to add Step 10:  Feed to thankful lemurs.



Try it!


(13) Is Terry Chan in the FAQ?

Yes.  His address is  Send him all the fan mail you


(14) What's significant about Tob Wood?

Tob Wood, aka, was toasted with a special
birthday toast at AFU/AFL Southeast, held at Raleigh/Durham,
North Carolina, on March 27, 1993.  Basically, Tob couldn't
attend, since he's all the way out in Omaha, Nebraska, but since
his birthday fell on the 27th, he asked that we take brief note
of it in passing during the event.  A group of people, some of
whom had even posted to at some point in their
lifetime, took time out from their discussions of zeppelins and
alternate histories to have a toast of Big K Grape Soda to Tob.


(15) What _is_ Big K Grape Soda?

Big K Grape Soda is a brand of soda sold by Kroger supermarkets.
Kroger is a fairly wide-spread chain with offices in Cincinnati,
Ohio and stores located in many U.S. states.  Kroger has, as most
supermarkets do, an essentially generic house brand of most
everything.  In the case of soda, the house brand is called "Big
K."  It usually sells for about 49 or 59 cents per 2 liter jug
and isn't all that bad.  Lemurs like it because of that great
generic taste.


(16) What was Southeast? Southeast was a get-together held on March
27, 1993 in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, including people from and alt.folklore.urban.  Since it was the first such event held
in the southeastern USA, the turnout was not massive, but attendance is
expected to rise in future years.  Attending on behalf of were
Joel Furr and Vance Kochenderfer; attending on behalf of alt.folklore.urban
were Bruce Tindall, Jim Cambias, and Diane Kelly.  Also attending was Dena
Barbee (a member of the great non-USENET world population) and three goats,
one cat, and infinite numbers of lemurs.  The featured attraction was a tour
of the Duke University Primate Center, located in Durham.  In addition to the
tour, the participants had lunch at a dim sum restaurant, beer at a brewpub,
and a relaxing evening of urban legend trading in Bruce Tindall's palatial
mansion in Carpenter, North Carolina.


(17) What was Southeast?

It's a long story -- the newsgroup had been planning a big "boink"
as they called it in Durham, North Carolina, during the June 18-19-20 weekend
of 1993.  Louise Perry, an reader who studies in England yet
who was visiting her family in the USA, was also going to be in Durham for a
DUPC visit as she had adopted a red-ruffed lemur named Diphda.  Since there
were all these people in the Durham area I knew vaguely, I went down too!
When all was said and done, we had a group of some fifteen people going around
the standard DUPC tour.  We got to see some of the animals we'd adopted, but
not up close and personal since the educational coordinator who would have
arranged that was not on duty that day.  Louise did get to meet Diphda and
pose for photos, and I got to wow everyone with my encyclopedic knowledge of
lemur trivia.  We also got to see the new DUPC noctural animals facility,
which was crammed with adorable little mouse lemurs and lorises and tarsiers.

This time around, the people present were as follows.  There were three readers there and three associated hangers-on; the three
readers were Joel Furr, Louise Perry, and Timothy Satterfield (a Durham-area
resident).  Louise had brought along her boyfriend, Jim Parberry of Norfolk,
England, and Tim had brought along two friends from the locality, Cheryl and
Jared Murphy.  We were accompanied into the Primate Center by someone who'd
unexpectedly shown up as well: Dena Barbee, the friend of Bruce Tindall's who
participated in AFL/AFU Southeast yet missed the lemur tour through unexpected
circumstances.  Dena was back to do the tour for the first time and
coincidentally was there the same day as AFL/SS Southeast.   Our contingent
from consisted of Beth "Diamond" Abrams, Paul Wallich, Seth
Breidbart, and Eleanor "Piglet" Evans.  There were apparently dozens of other wandering around Durham that day that we only glimpsed
lolling at a picnic table on the DUPC grounds as we were finishing our tour.


(18) What was Lemurcon '94?

Lemurcon '94 was the first big gathering, once again being held
in Durham, North Carolina. Its success had a lot to do with the fact that, for
the first time, someone from the newsgroup was actually IN DURHAM and there-
fore could coordinate events with the Duke University Primate Center, set up a
hotel, get the barbecue stuff, and so forth without having to do a lot of long
distance calls.

Lemurcon '94 took place on a scorcher of a day, Saturday, July 9, 1994.  Quite
a few of the out-of-towners had met the night before for dinner at Ole NC
Barbecue in north Durham.  The day's program consisted of a lengthy tour of
the Primate Center guided by Scientific Director and internationally known
paleontologist and primatologist, Dr. Elwyn Simons... including a lengthy
foray to visit with the black and white ruffed lemurs and ringtailed lemurs in
one of the large Natural Habitat Enclosures and a very up close and personal
nuzzling by Canopus the black and white ruffed lemur, and a lecture on the
history of the Prehistoric Sloth Lemur.  The people who'd adopted lemurs were
taken off into the depths of the woods to find their adopted animals while
others went off to tour the Nocturnal Building, and Joel Furr and David Witzel
singed all the hair off their hands cooking hamburgers.  During lunch, the
adopters returned and ate and then did the Nocturnal Building thang while
others spent a lot of money in the DUPC gift shop.  After 4 pm arrived, some
people went home and others went to their hotel rooms to shower and change for
dinner, which was held at the Olive Garden restaurant in south Durham.

Memorable moments included:

      * Canopus nuzzling all of us, apparently out of affection but actually
      looking for food
      * Chiggers, chiggers, chiggers!
      * Finding the slimy thing in the box of Twinkies
      * Rollande Krandall playing her ocarina to a troop of ringtails while
      they mewed in time to the music
      * Joel Furr's look of absolute dejection when he didn't make it onto the
      evening news (Paula Filseth did instead)
      * Trying to explain "USENET" to a reporter from the Durham Herald-Sun,
      who, despite spending all day looking at Joel Furr's nametag, still
      managed to refer to him as "Jeff Furr" in the next day's paper.
      * Dr. Simons imitating the calls of prehistoric Sloth Lemurs in the
      crowded Fossil Lab
      * Explaining the concept of North Carolina barbecue to Tom Esch
      * Punch-drunk, exhausted, hysterical laughter at the Olive Garden
      * "Yeeeeeow" as David Witzel and Joel Furr burned themselves yet again
      * Learning first-hand about the precise aim and remarkable distance the
      average lemur can achieve with a stream of urine

It was a long, exhausting day, but virtually everyone seemed to have a good
time and clamored for Lemurcon '95 to be held next year.

'Con participants were:  Paul and Paula Filseth (San Jose, CA), David and Kira
Smith (Tampa, FL), Chris Brann (Atlanta, GA), Mary Ann Neel (Lafayette, IN),
Vance Kochenderfer (Havre de Grace, MD), Dolly Paul and Rollande Krandall
(Dearborn, MI), Joao de Souza and Maria Drago (New York City or thereabouts),
John, Margret, and Liz Rylko (Tulsa, OK), Lisa Ruthig and Tom Esch
(Landsdowne, PA), Dave Sisson and Todd Perry (Blacksburg, Virginia), and a
whole slew of North Carolinians: KG Anderson, Richard Barnette, Lara Benton,
Amy Conklin, Beth Davis, Joel Furr, Judy Gehrig, Steve Gehrig, Judah
Greenblatt, Brian Little, Andrea Raddock, Lorrie Tomek, Alyson Wilson, Greg
Wilson, David Witzel, and Doreen Yen.


(19) Got any nifty factoids about lemurs to wrap things up with?

Sure.  We can't tell you everything there is to tell about lemurs because
there's so much to know, but the books listed earlier will help you get
started.  To wrap up the FAQ, here're a few factoids about some lemur species
that you might like to amaze your friends with.  (Thanks, Bill, for your

Ringtailed lemurs:  Ringtails have black and white circles around their tails,
and a black masklike area on its face around their eyes.  Ringtails are often
very friendly, but also very acquisitive.  Don't leave your car keys lying
around where this lemur can find them.  If you have laserdiscs of Japanese
cartoons, the lemur will be your friend for life.

Grey gentle bamboo lemurs:  These lemurs are small, soft, friendly-looking,
and not at all menacing in appearance.  But wait: grey gentle bamboo lemurs
are actually known for their temper.  If you meet a lemur, and the lemur
sneaks up behind you and takes a swipe at you with well sharpened fingernails,
odds are you've spotted a Gentle Lemur; Gentle Lemurs have been seething for
generations over being stuck with such a silly designation and are out to
prove that they are anything but gentle. If the lemur does not attack, but
instead sits down and chews on a nice clump of cyanide-laden bamboo leaves,
you're seeing another interesting quality of the bamboo lemurs:  bamboo lemurs
can ingest cyanide in quantities that would kill primates several times their
size.  When British conservationist Gerald Durrell was in Madagascar
collecting specimens for breeding, he kept a well-fed and well-cared-for
collection in an adjacent hotel room, and noticed that among their repertoire
was a popping sound not at all unlike the sound of a champagne bottle being
uncorked.  A roomful of these creatures, of course, would sound like a
cocktail party.

Sifakas:  Sifakas are white of fur, with extremely long arms and legs and with
black faces.  Sifakas are among the largest of lemurs.  Sifakas (pronounced
Shi-fahks or Shi-falks) are a variety of lemur that has proved to be
exceptionally hard to keep in captivity due to their preference for heart-
shaped beds and Magic Fingers boxes instead of green-walled enclosures with a
few pipes projecting out for them to climb on.  Consequently, they've become
very skilled at outwitting their human captors, picking locks (I'm NOT making
this up) and devising ways to get extra food despite the presence of electric
shocks around the food trays.

Aye-ayes:  Aye-ayes are small and rodent-like, with a long, skinny middle
finger ending in a hooklike nail?  Aye-ayes are especially feared by the
Malagasy natives because of a local superstition that aye-ayes can curse
people to gruesome deaths simply by pointing their long middle fingers at you.

Aye-ayes are generally killed on sight by the natives.  Efforts to breed them
in captivity are paying off bit by bit, as the first aye-aye born in
captivitity was born last year at the Duke University Primate Center: Blue
Devil.  Aye-ayes live off insects, which they dig out of rotten wood with
their long hook-tipped middle fingers.  When they were first discovered, they
were thought to be rodents, and it was not until much later that they were
identified as primates.

Black lemurs:  Interestingly, black lemurs have brilliantly blue eyes, and are
in fact the only primate species other than man that has blue eyes.  The
females are golden-furred and the males are black-furred.  This difference in
color between the sexes is known as "sexual dimorphism."  Partly because
blue-eyed lemurs look so glamorous, the Duke University Primate Center names
them all after movie stars such as Judy Garland and Robert Redford.

Dwarf lemurs (Cheirogaleidae):  These are the small, sneaky, steal your
twinkies before you notice them lemurs. They are mostly a rather nondescript
brown (all the better for you not to see them) except for the fork-tailed
(forked?) lemur (furcifer) which has a striking black fork shaped mark running
from the base of it's tail to its head. Some of them (the fat-tailed lemurs)
have (you guessed it) fat tails. This is where they store their twinkies in
the off season. Probably the cutest (and certainly the smallest) is the mouse
lemur. These are prime espionage agents, weighing in at approx 60g - mouse
size. Just imagine a mouse that can leap 2 metres, and has little grasping
hands, and tickles like crazy when running around inside your T-shirt.

There's much more to know about lemurs, and is the place to
start.  Welcome aboard!

      Revised April 5, 1993 by Joel Furr,
      Revised July 6, 1993, by Joel Furr,
        Revised August 8, 1994, by Joel Furr,
      Republished May 12, 2000 by Joel K. 'Jay' Furr,

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