Friday, December 09, 2005

the last laugh

scientists have isolated dog laughter, a sound they say expresses excitement and calms other dogs:

Nancy Hill, director of Spokane County Animal Protection, admits she was skeptical at first that this noise would affect the other dogs.

"I thought: Laughing dogs?" Hill said. "A sound that we're gonna isolate and play in the shelter? I was a real skeptic … until we played the recording here at the shelter."

When they played the sound of a dog panting over the loudspeaker, the gaggle of dogs at the shelter kept right on barking. But when they played the dog version of laughing, all 15 barking dogs went quiet within about a minute.

"It was a night-and-day difference," Hill said. "It was absolutely phenomenal."
Officials say it works every time, and researchers across the country are taking note.

and if scientists say it, it must be true. i wonder if they'd be as excited if they knew that what we're laughing at is you? ha-ha!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

doggy dna

scientists have mapped the canine genome. according to an article in today's washington post points out the obvious fact that we are the most fascinating species on earth though, of course, it goes on to give credit to the naked apes.

In size, appearance and behavior, the dog is the most diverse species on Earth. It was the first animal domesticated from the wild, at least 15,000 years ago. Its many subspecies, or breeds, were sculpted by man, so it's no surprise that man should want to shine the illuminating light of genome science on his longtime companion.

when will they locate the naked ape hubris gene?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

credit where credit is due

i have to give some credit to the bush administration. they focused their video holiday greeting 'a very beazley christmas' around the only folks in the white house not currently under indictment (ie, on the "naughty" list). i'm talking about their dogs, of course. and barney and miss beazley, the presidential pooches prove themselves to be better actors than the first lady. of course, she's that stilted under the best of circumstances so i should cut her some slack. so, i will put this on the list of things they've done correctly while in office (the other things on the list: purchasing miss beazley and not barfing on the japanese prime minister).

the best part of the video, of course, is that the president reminds the dogs to remember the spirit of the holidays and the first lady wishes everyone a joyful holiday season with nary a mention of the reason for the season. someone's going to get a spanking from bill o'reilly and friends!