Monday, November 22, 2010

Saved by vanity...

"Throughout history, prominent men have identified with the majesty, power and machismo of large cats. Leaders especially like to think of themselves as having the virtues of large cats,” said Stephen R. Kellert, a professor emeritus and senior research scholar at Yale University who studies human-animal relationships. “They like the image of the stand-alone, solitary yet fearsome hunter.”

Read entire article here.

(Vladimir Putin helps fix a satellite transmitter on a tranquilized tiger)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A split after the primordial soup...

I love animals for how NOT involved they are in our civilization. There are certainly days when I feel that nothing we've done in our hubris and our "dominion" over them outshines their simple exquisite being. And then the phone rings...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Porpoises save DVD from watery grave...

"On screen, Dick Van Dyke has been rescued from untimely death by flying cars and magical nannies. Off screen, the veteran star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins had to rely on the help of a pod of porpoises after apparently dozing off aboard his surfboard. "I'm not kidding," he said afterwards."

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this story (and there are many) was the realization that DVD was still alive in the first place.

Read all about it here...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Addicted to the rhythm...

Ant colonies, like genes, work without blueprints or programming. No ant understands what needs to be done or what its actions mean for the welfare of the colony. An ant colony has no teams of workers dedicated to fighting or foraging. Although it is still commonly believed that each ant is assigned a task for life, biologists now know they move from one task to another.

Colonies are regulated by networks of interaction. Ants respond only to their immediate surroundings and to their interactions with the other ants nearby.

What matters is the rhythm of interactions, not their meaning.

Ants respond to the pattern and rate of their encounters with each other, as well as to the smells they perceive in the world, such as the picnic sandwiches.

(continue reading…) and (more great pics here )