I write the software for Geneffects and tend bar at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Dogs Laugh

Laughologists have recently figured out that dogs laugh! Apparently it sounds like a a long pant and other dogs get a kick out of hearing it.
"What we found is that it had a calming or soothing effect on the dogs," said Patricia Simonet, an animal behaviorist in Spokane who has studied everything from hamster culture to elephant self-recognition. "Now, we actually really weren't expecting that."
Hamster culture? Dear Ms. Simonet, where can I find out more about this hamster culture?


Anonymous said...

I heard Hamster Culture live back in '94. Their drummer was OK, but you know, a drummer just can't carry a band. The vocals were innovative but too grating, and the riffs were cliche. They opened for the Laughologists though so it wasn't a total loss. Elephant Self-Recognition was a disappointment, but it was only their third live gig if I remember right.

Ex-squeeze-me ah, baking a powder, but speaking as someone who has read some anthropology, I thought culture was like, I don't know, a human thing.

American Heritage Dictionary:

The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of HUMAN work and thought.

Stupid PETA.

This was probably Pamela Anderson's idea.

4:05 AM  
Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous:
"Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story.... the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything." Persuasion, Jane Austen.
Many things we have long claimed for ourselves as proof of our superiority over the animal kingdom: tool-making, language, feelings, have each since been found to be shared abilities. If you think about it, this actually makes sense: humans and animals evolved from common ancestors therefore, the nucleus of these things must be in other animals.
For the record, I’m not a PETA member, and I believe its okay to eat meat and OWN pets. But I also believe humans have used our ability to point out differences against others long enough, i.e. differences in race, in gender. I believe our humanity obligates us to do otherwise.
And yes, I realise the irony of quoting a passage from a book, which decries proving anything by quoting a book, to criticise your having quoted a book.


11:43 AM  
semi-anonymous said...

Well, when you say "a book," I assume you mean the dictionary my good friend anonymous quoted. I've been to anonymous's house, and I sure didn't see any books there but I guess anybody with a "world wide web" connection can seem smart these days. American Heritage, eh? Good choice.

For the record, anonymous is not a member of PETA either, nor does he find Pamela Anderson all that attractive. I also know other things about anonymous that he wouldn't want me to tell you, like his social security number starts "239".

Here's the rub, you see. Human DNA is 99.99% similar across all human "races" (not a scientific term so much as a socially-constructed one). But our DNA is only about 96% to 98.5% in common with chimps (depending on who you believe). 98.5% may seem copacetic to people like Pamela Anderson (if she has learned her percentages yet), but that extra couple of percent is what gives us the ability to nuke the rest of the friggin' animal kingdom.

Hell yeah, we're different.


p.s. It has not yet been determined whether or not Pamela Anderson is the same species as Jane Austen, nor the percentage of overlap. My guesses are no and 1.5%. But the real question here is are they the same gender? I have no idea. Are they the same sex? Is there a difference between gender and sex? Yes there is; you get clocked over the head by different people in different ways depending on which word you use. (Other than that, no.) And is it too late to pass the dern Equal Rights Amendment? I dunno; can men get pregnant yet?

Seriously, can they? I don't keep up with all the medical stuff.

Figure 1 Figure 2

2:48 AM  
Anonymous said...

I know where steven drozd is

3:48 PM  

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