Category Archives: Animals

Don’t climb that ladder

A real life study: Stephenson, G. R. (1967). ‘Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys.’ In: Starek, D., Schneider, R., and Kuhn, H. J. (eds.), Progress in Primatology, Stuttgart: Fischer, pp. 279-288. [A gentle tip of the hat to Terje P] ———————————- Also: our viewing stats have gone fairly silly since Larvatus […]

The unbearable lightness of being Henri

Like many teenagers, I went through an existentialist phase. But I did not know that there were existentialist cats too. There is a sequel, which I think is even funnier (it’s the moron writhing around, begging for “les cheeseburger” which does it). Henri even has his own facebook page, on which he posts gloomy updates […]

‘Fascinatingly ugly’

I stole this from a friend in the Australian Skeptics (thanks, Jayson!) on Facebook, but it comes from a US zoo. Which means the original image has a decent number of comments underneath where people are guessing what they are. Everything from bats to snakes to ‘some sort of weird hybrid’ until someone turns up […]

Simon Cowell’s next recording star…

… Alaska’s got talent. Mind you, I strongly suspect that Mishka the husky’s owner has fed her through Autotune, an ingenious piece of audio processing software that blends pitches to the nearest true semitone (to the exact pitch of the nearest tone in traditional equal temperament). While huskies are among the most tuneful of dogs (in part through […]

Greater love hath no man…

A picture of a man who stripped down to his underwear and crawled across a frozen river to rescue his trapped dog has emerged. But why do people risk their lives to save dogs? The tale of dog owners taking extraordinary risks to save their furry friends from freezing or fast flowing water is a […]

Pedants are We

Dolphin slaves

Via The Australian today, I see that PETA has filed a case against Sea World on behalf of dolphins, whom it claims are enslaved: US District Judge Jeffrey Miller called the hearing in San Diego after Sea World asked the court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) […]

The Midwich Cats

On the bonnet of the damned…

Fenton the Dog (oh, and Happy New Year…)

Most people are not capable of staying posh whilst simultaneously shouting and swearing at their naughty dog. Fenton’s owner, however, managed the task with aplomb. His adventures in Richmond Deer Park have since gone viral. The original video: The poor beleaguered deer: This is Fenton! Fenton is, of course, now turning into the British version […]

Quit while you’re behind…

As I’ve written previously, Christmas is an ancient pagan rite, its relationship to the baby in the feedbox tenuous at best. However, it is a rite, and with rites come repetition (indeed, that is the point). Research bears out the common hunch that the important bits of religion are in its rituals, not theology: this […]