Sep 292017
 

In the animal world, predators are almost always smarter than herbivores. This makes sense, evolutionarily… you don;t need to be all that smart to sneak up on a leaf, after all. There are of course exceptions… elephants are reasonably bright. But stacks a rabbit against a cat, or a deer against a wolf, or an Aurox against a Cro Magnon… the vegetarians is going to come out on the losing end of the who’s smarter” scale.

The same seems to apply within species as well. Take, for example, this group of vegans who decided to stop a fully loaded semi truck by jumping out in front of it while it was in motion. As any meat eating  engineer will be able to tell you, even if the truck driver wanted to stop, these things don’t stop on a dime.

 

 Posted by at 12:46 pm
Sep 262017
 

Have you ever wondered why there are so many dashcam videos out of Russia showing spectacular car crashes? The usual explanations include bad roads and booze, but I think I’ve discovered the real problem: bears. Bears on the roads. Bears in vehicles.

NATO better watch out. When Russia invades Lithuania, Poland and Portugal to protect the local ethnic Russians, they’re going to show up with bear cavalry.

 

 

 Posted by at 8:33 pm
Sep 212017
 

There is a time and a place for critters. My cats, for instance: their place is “my house” and their time is “all the time, because this is their house too.” But their place is *not,* say, the grocery store or the restaurant. Nor is it appropriate for women to take their genetic mutant fishbait yapdogs into restaurants and the like simply because they want to keep them nearby.

On the other hand: service animals, generally dogs. (NOTE: *real* service dogs, trained and certified) Their place is “pretty much everywhere.” Because they not only do a job, they’ve been *trained.* Cats and dogs, as I’ve said multiple times before, are On Our Team. But service dogs are even more so… they are *professional* members of Team Humanity. They get to go wherever the person who needs them gets to go.

The proper response to a service animal is, almost always, to *ignore* it. Sure, you see a dog and your instinct is to start baby-talking like an idjit and to come over and pet it… but it’s doing a job. Leave it alone. Your petting it will not only distract it, you could well cause a system failure.

There was a time when the only service dog you were likely to see was a seeing eye dog for the blind. But now there are dogs who can detect when their human is about to have an epileptic seizure, or go into sugar shock or something like that. And there are now service dogs trained to aid people with psychological issues, anxiety and PTSD and the like. You coming over and pestering the dog will not only throw it off, you might actually set off the issue that caused the person to need the dog in the first place. I admit, a decade or two ago I thought the idea of a service dog for mental issues was nonsense, but all evidence points to them being fully functional, real and useful. A PTSD service dog is no more nonsense than PTSD is. So if someone has been properly diagnosed with PTSD and the people and organizations who regulate PTSD dogs sign off on that someone having a service dog… I got no problem with that. And neither should anyone else.

But of course, the world is full to overflowing with people who missed out on the whole “rationality” and “empathy” development programs. Take this magnificent example of NSFW insanity:

Note how the dog remains calm throughout, as does the veteran. You know who else remained calm throughout? The womans husband/boyfriend/whatever. The look on his face, though… *priceless.* Ya gotta feel for the guy. How many years of this before *he* needs a therapy dog?

Uuuuuuuuuunnnnnnggggggggghhhhhhh……

Repeat after me, kids: Leave. The. Dog. Alone.

So, let’s say you’re in a restaurant and you see someone with a service dog, and it is behaving itself. And your first thought is something like “ewww, the hygiene, the hygiene,” and your impulse is to get up and complain. Well, I have a very simple test for you. Look around. Does the restaurant allow *children?* If so:

 Posted by at 6:39 pm
Sep 042017
 

This is the sort of story that can only be met with an AAAAARRRRRRGH….

So, I’ve put a “read more” split here in case ya want to maintain that happy feeling and give this one a pass.

Still, if you want to prove your stone-heartedness, or you want to do the exact opposite, give it a read… and take a good look at the photos.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:32 pm
Sep 022017
 

Scientists have spiders producing enhanced web that can hold a human

Scientists gave water containing carbon nanotubes to spiders,the spiders drank it and incorporated the nanotubes into their silk, producing webs five times stronger than usual.

One the one hand: neato. All kinds of interesting potential applications there, including cranking out kilotons of fibers equal to or surpassing kevlar in strength.

On the other hand: yeeeeeeeesh.

Below: artists concept for future manufacturing facility for baby hammocks.

 Posted by at 9:04 pm
Aug 292017
 

As hurricane Harvey whallops Texas and flood Houston to a truly remarkable degree, comparisons to hurricane Katrina are inevitable. There have been some deaths due to Harvey, but nothing – at least so far – comparable to the more than a thousand dead in Katrina. Plus, the Cajun Navy is there in force rescuing people… but I notice a lack of reporting about all the folks being rescued by the Antifa Navy. Maybe their efforts are being held in reserve…

Another difference: in Katrina, hundreds of thousands of pets were simply abandoned. Many died, many were re-homed. At the time I was puzzled… I can understand the panic that comes with having to pack up and split in a hurry, but leaving pets behind? OK, pets like fish and lizards I get, but abandoning cats and dogs? Nope. Just… nope. These creatures are, as I’ve said before, On Our Team. You don’t leave team members behind. A lot of it, I suppose, was due to rescue services not letting people take their pets, a situation that has fortunately changed: as I type this, a bit on CNN shows a fire department boat going door to door in a suburb (there’s a phrase you don’t read too often) collecting families… and their pets. A police officer was shown helping a family find their freaked-out cat, another family loaded their dog onto the boat. Good on all y’all.

The coverage certainly seems to suggest that Texans are doing a  better job of taking their pets with them when they leave.

Harvey and Pet Owners

Plus:

List of animal shelters and rescues in the path of Hurricane Harvey

Plus: it’s interesting to see humans coming to the aid of *non* pet animals. A popular story ove the last few days has been that of a Coopers Hawk that took shelter from the coming storm in a taxi:

What’s spiffy is that the taxi driver took the hawk in and provided aid and comfort to this wild animal. See the updates on the guys YouTube channel. The hawk turned out to be injured in some way that prevented flight; after a few days it was transferred to the care of a wildlife center.

 

 

 

Where I live the chances of a flood are pretty slim. More likely are things like fire and earthquake and ashfall from supervolcanos. But I would *like* to think that if the time came to bail I’d take the time and effort to gather up the cats. Fortunately I’ve not had to put that to the test, but I’m reasonably sure that any disaster that gives me more than a few minutes warning is going to see me stuffing cats into crates.

 Posted by at 7:03 pm
Aug 262017
 

In these here 57 United States, is the problem of people shouting “wolf” in crowded theaters so bad that the Constitution doesn’t cover it?

See, this is why whenever I go to the theater I make sure to bring a fully loaded .50 caliber Browning machine gun. The wolves, you see.  I can’t say anything about them, what with the freedom of speech now being curtailed.

 Posted by at 9:06 am