Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wally's Umwelt

This review of Inside a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know has been near the top of the NYT Most E-mailed stories all week. And why not? Who doesn't want to know what's going on between our ears? For some of us it is a theme park of thinkerating. For others, grey space. (Ahem, OBST.)

There was interesting stuff like this

A dog’s vision affects its sense of time, too. Dogs have a higher “flicker fusion” rate than we do, which is the rate at which retinal cells can process incoming light, or “the number of snapshots of the world that the eye takes in every second.” ... This is more than a game of fetch; it is a profound, existential realization: “One could say that dogs see the world faster than we do, but what they really do is see just a bit more world in every second.”

Or this:

Countering the currently fashionable alpha dog “pack theories” of dog training, Horowitz notes that “in the wild, wolf packs consist almost entirely of related or mated animals. They are families, not groups of peers vying for the top spot. . . . Behaviors seen as ‘dominant’ or ‘submissive’ are used not in a scramble for power; they are used to maintain social unity.”

So let's see how much you have learned. Below you must study my pictures and guess what my expression tells you about what is going on in my noggin...

A. Robert Reich's column in the NYT was an informative defense of a single payer system, though I do believe he is overly optimistic about the political possibilities for passing said legislation.
B. Mmmmm.....bacon.
C. I should recite a little Seamus Heaney, ahem,:
Up, black, striped and damasked like the chasuble
At a funeral mass, the skunk's tail
Paraded the skunk. Night after night
I expected her like a visitor.

D. Oscar's looking at my butt, isn't he?
E. I wonder if I'm taller than Robert Reich. And also, he's looking at my butt again, isn't he?


Match 'em!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Send help, please

It has been raining cats & dogs here so we've been inside a lot. The cabin fever is getting to us. But I do believe my brudder has gone completely off.

No, really, there's something quite wrong with him.

An exorcism may be in order.

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