Dec 192014

Every now and then you come across some work of Man that makes ya proud. The kind of thing that makes you think “this is what Men can do.”  The Apollo program. Lasers. Nuclear power. The Panama Canal. The discovery of evolution and relativity. But not all of them need to be gigantic projects. Sometimes they’re just new legs for a pet dog:

[youtube uRmoowIN8aY]

 Posted by at 1:30 pm
Dec 172014

Woman’s will asks for her [still-living] dog to be buried with her

The German Shepherd in question is not only still living, but apparently quite healthy.

See, here’s the thing: you can kill a pig or a sheep at will, because they are meat critters. You generally own such animals specifically for the purpose of killin’ ‘em at some point and putting their carcasses to use. But *dogs?* If you own a dog in order to kill it… yer doin’ it wrong.

Dick move, lady.

 Posted by at 1:15 am
Nov 252014

Due out in June, “Jurassic World.” The idea is that Ingen, the company behind Jurassic Park, folded and sold all their stuff to another company… one that went back to the island, fixed it all up and made the park functional and successful. Learned all the lessons and did everything right, so now the “Jurassic World” park is a rampagingly successfully place to take the family.

But “because Hollywood,” they also decided to genetically tinker and intentionally made a particularly horribly nasty Super Dinosaur, apparently named the “Diabolus Rex,” because people are bored with Brachiosaurs and Velociraptors and Tyranosaurs, or something.

Still, the trailer looks fairly spectacular (especially the Jurassic sea world). I woulda loved to have seen a version of this where the idjit who suggested  whipping up the Super Dinosaur got voted down, and the end result was just an awesome dinosaur park.

[youtube RFinNxS5KN4]

 Posted by at 11:29 am
Nov 212014

Actually, a lot of days like this.

[youtube FkHbC1RSjv8]

Yesterday, for one…

I had a pair of ferrets when I lived in Colorado. Little balls of fur, fight and personality, they were. Often wondered how they’d get on with my cats. I suspect it wouldn’t be pretty.

 Posted by at 6:49 pm
Nov 192014

Dogs are useful because they can be brainwashed into doing what we want them to do. This can include ignoring toys and treats while under orders.

But sometimes a dog will transcend that nonsense and display a praiseworthy disdain for Doing What You’re Told.

[youtube 5iTTNRE-njM]

 Posted by at 4:08 pm
Nov 182014

Zeus is a blind screech owl that was lucky enough to crash into just the right house, and now it’s a permanent resident of a wildlife center. It’s cute enough, as owls go (sure, they can be cute… until they take those talons and try to flay the flesh from your miserable bones), but what seems to have really interested people is the unusual appearance of the owls eyes. They seem to be missing both iris and lens, making them just big clear baubles, filled with flecks of collagen. The result is somewhat… celestial.

Meet Zeus: The Rescued Blind Owl With Stars In His Eyes


 Posted by at 10:52 am
Oct 272014

At least according to your cat. An interesting writeup of feline psychology and how to get along with cats:

Why Your Cat Thinks You’re a Huge, Unpredictable Ape

The article makes the point that *both* negative and positive feedback are important in behavior-training a cat. But it makes the *important* point that *you* should be the source of positive feedback, while negative feedback should come from the environment itself.

“How the hell is your cat supposed to know that you’re yelling at him because you want him to stop scratching the couch?” Buffington says. Without the cognitive ability to connect your outburst to their scratching, cats see only chaotic aggression. “To the cat, you’re this crazy primate who is attacking him for no reason,” he says.

Instead of discouraging the act, you become an object of fear.

Basically, cats have Aspergers. Because felines are naturally loners, they did not evolve the need or ability to read very many social cues (unlike dogs which have been pack animals for millions of years, and have been integrated into Team Humanity for probably longer than 15,000 years). And if they don’t have much use for *feline* social cues, what are the chances hey are going to be able to figure *you* out?

As with humans with Aspergers, cats are often thought of by the ignorant as having no empathy, or that they don’t care about their humans. This, as anyone who has put in the effort can attest, is untrue. The fact that they don’t understand your social cues doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you; they simply don’t *understand* you. Their thought process is alien from yours, but it can be understood in broad strokes.

 Posted by at 10:45 am