"Oh there you are!" she peered in to Pauly and Lucy's box where we were sheltering. Pauly was in a good mood - luckily for us - and allowed us all to join her in the warm and dry of her stable (and library).
"Today is Cyber Monday" Mum announced, quite out of the blue.
Old Bob the Buff Orpington misheard and started preening himself ready to head off to The Pooch and Pullet for a pint of scrumpy.
"What does Cyber mean, Gordon?" Mum asked.
I didn't have a clue.
Luckily Pauly overheard and rooted in her reference section in order to extract a fairly unscathed encyclopedia.
"Cyber is a prefix used to describe a person, thing or idea as part of the computer and information age. Taken from kybernetes, Greek for "steersman" or "governor," it was first used in cybernetics, a word coined by Norbert Wiener and his colleagues."
We all were immensely grateful for this most revealing and earthshattering information delivered by Pauly, who was still in a good mood.
"Today is the big online shopping day before Christmas. Deals and things. Discounts. Bargains. People are predicted to spend millions of pounds shopping on the internet. And I wonder how much shopping will be done on work computers in work hours?" Mum mused.
"Who is Norman Wiener?" asked Dandy.
Shaking the straw from another tome, Pauly cleared her throat in a rather frightening way.
"He was an American mathematician and philosopher. A very clever man it says here. He became an early researcher in stochastic and mathematical noise processes, contributing work relevant to electronic engineering, electronic communication and control systems. A scientific genius - he laid the groundwork for the last half-century of art, literature and electronic music."
Wow! Hats off to Norman! But it was all too much for Old Bob to take in and he shuffled off to The Pooch and Pullet anyway. Gordon xxx