March 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
Part of me clapped and grinned whilst watching this video (yeah yeah it’s from yesterday but I HAD OTHER THINGS TO DO OK?) because dogs are some of my favorite people — all they want is to do right by the humans they love, and they just try so hard no matter what! But another part of me thought the basic premise –haw haw let’s see what happens when we disappear some dog treats– was a little mean, an idea echoed by this article discussing the moral lives of dogs. Dogs have rules, you know, the most important of which is DON’T LIE. Here are some highlights:
Play bows [when dogs crouch down to indicate they're just playing] are honest signals, a sign of trust. Research shows that animals who violate that trust are often ostracized, suggesting that violation of the rules of play is maladaptive and can disrupt the efficient functioning of the group. For example, among dogs, coyotes, and wolves, individuals who don’t play fairly find that their invitations to play are ignored or that they’re simply avoided by other group members. Marc’s long-term field research on coyotes living in the Grand Teton National Park, near Jackson, Wyo., shows that coyotes who don’t play fairly often leave their pack because they don’t form strong social bonds. Such loners suffer higher mortality than those who remain with others.
Play can sometimes get out of hand for animals, just as it does for human beings. When play gets too rough, canids keep things under control by using bows to apologize. For example, a bow might communicate something like, “Sorry I bit you so hard—I didn’t mean it, so let’s continue playing.” For play to continue, it’s important for individuals to forgive the animal who violated the rules. Once again there are species differences among young canids. Highly aggressive young coyotes bow significantly more frequently than dogs or wolves before and after delivering bites that could be misinterpreted.
The social dynamics of play require that players agree to play and not to eat one another or fight or try to mate. When there’s a violation of those expectations, others react to the lack of fairness. For example, young coyotes and wolves react negatively to unfair play by ending the encounter or avoiding those who ask them to play and then don’t follow the rules. Cheaters have a harder time finding play partners.
And that’s what the above video is doing, very cutely, but still, that cookie is a LIE! Not cool man. Not cool.
October 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
Way back in the forever ago (last year), I used to write some things for Chris’ blog Modern Primate, may it rest in peace. It occurred to me that someday the site will likely be recycled for scrap metal, or whatever ends up happening to decommissioned websites, so I’d best start archiving.
This realization coincided with an earlier realization that I have done a horrible job indexing this blog, due largely to the fact that the whole thing started out as a haphazard repository for snarky PhD exam commentary. I had been tagging certain things as “Digital Culture,” for example, but only in relation to my digital culture exam list. All the actual “digital culture” posts, you know, the ones in which I talk about things on and around the internet, got filed under “Spotlight On” or “Lightning Round,” tags I eventually deleted because they were annoying (which didn’t delete the posts, but rather how they’re indexed onsite). This has made searching for stuff very difficult, which is silly if the whole point of a blog is to write things that other humans can find.
Anyway, in order to kill two birds with one post, I’ve transferred the full text of all my Modern Primate writings to their corresponding posts here. And then because I was already doing that, I figured I might as well collate them all in a separate, more easily navigable MEGApost. No one cares! So without further ado:
- Life is “Hard” for Rich White “Girls” (Review of HBO’s Girls)
- TLC: A Retrospective
- TLC Virgin Diaries: The Celebration Continues
Of and Related to Dogs:
- The Death of Internet Culture, Or Not
- Honorary Trolls: Hotness Trolls
- Honorary Trolls: Courtney Stodden
- Quitting Facebook: It’s Not THAT Complicated
- Moving (On) Without Facebook
Santorum Slashfic, which got increasingly weird as the months wore on:
- Episode 1: The Cone
- Episode 2: Rank Stinktorium Takes a Bath
- Episode 3: The Dark Side of Santorum
- Episode 4: Santorum Takes a Stand
- Episode 5 & 6: Ricky Santorum is Bad and Filthy, and Ricky Santorum Wears His Bunny Suit
- Episode 7: Ricky Makes a Career Change
- Episode 8: Scratching the Activia Itch
- Episode 9: Looking for Friends is a Real Grindr
- Episode 10: 50 Shades of Romney
- Episode 11: Ricky Makes His Best Friend a Blingee
July 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
Easily the best local news graphic ever Photoshopped.
Via Dlisted like 800 days ago but whatever, gold is golden any time of the year
June 30, 2013 § 2 Comments
I don’t write about my personal life much on this here blog, for all kinds of reasons. But I am posting the above video, which is a (yes I know too long) compilation of clips from the trail behind my house. If you’re going to watch, be sure to do so in 1080p (click the little gear icon on the bottom right; find the HD setting under “quality,” and don’t feel bad if you didn’t know you could do that). I still prefer running on the trail to tripping over inconsequential mad after inconsequential mad on the internet, which makes every day pretty excellent; I’ve been waking up pathologically early to work on book revisions (hence the break from posting), and then after a few hours head out for 6ish miles here. Really not a bad way to start the human part of my day.
One thing I will say about my feelings — the stretch of trail at 3:22 is quite possibly my very favorite sight. Few things make me happier than running under a canopy of leaves with the sun streaming through, in fact in terms of overall life goals, having access to this sort of thing is in my top 3.
Oh but that’s not enough internet for you? Fine.
June 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
Melodrama at its finest! (via Gawker)
May 21, 2013 § 1 Comment
In New York, Chris and I would take Nathan to the (from our perspective at the time) mostly adequate dog park in Carl Schurz park. The dog run was about 600 square feet, and depending on the time of day would be packed with anywhere from 8 to 15 large and often aggressive dogs. That wasn’t fun for anyone, least of all Nathan — we’d go through phases where we’d take him a few times, have a bad experience with one of the other dogs and/or owners, then swear off dog parks for good. Eventually we’d worry that Nathan wasn’t getting enough exercise, and the cycle would begin anew. Here in Spokane we won’t have the same kinds of issues; see above, which is nearly 9 minutes of SpokAnimal dog park goodness, shot by doting dogdad Chris. In conclusion, by every metric, I do not understand why anyone would want to live in a big city.
January 14, 2013 § Leave a comment
January 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
And Chris discusses things like chew toys. It’s a win-win situation!