Myths in or about Cambridge
Philosophy Exam Answer
Question: "Is this a sensible question?"
A student thought for a while, wrote "no" and left.
The examiners considered that to be a successful answer.
Background: punting in Cambridge involves standing on the
platform designed for that purpose at the rear of punts and pushing with the
punt pole. Being at the rear means it's easy to steer and water dripping from
the pole is kept away from the occupants (theoretically).
"Tradition" (or at least a myth) has it that the other place believes in standing inside the punt
at the front, making steering difficult and dripping on the occupants inevitable.
Decorative Sphere on Clare Bridge
Clare Bridge has a number of stone/cement decorative spheres along its parapet.
The legend is that one of these got replaced by a polystyrene duplicate overnight.
The next day a perpetrator waited until a punt of Japanese tourists (with the
inevitable cameras) was underneath and then pushed the sphere over, making the Japanese
The story goes that Army Engineers in either WWI or WWII took this wooden bridge
apart as an exercise but couldn't put it back together without using metal bolts.