Animals with Unusual Aspirations

Every once in a while odd notions pop into my head. (Okay, more than just once in a while.) The past few months, though, I keep having thoughts about animals with unusual aspirations. I’m not sure if they’re potential children’s book titles or just humorous musings meant to poke me when my subconscious thinks I need a laugh. Whatever they are –or may one day become– they make me smile. With all the bad news in the media recently, I thought I’d share them with you in the hopes perhaps they’ll bring a little levity to your life, too. The … Continue reading

Monkeys Use Brain in New Ways

If you’ve watched the news lately, you might have seen the report where two monkeys controlled a robotic arm with their minds to feed themselves. (It didn’t take two monkeys to control one arm. Each monkey controlled its own robo-arm to feed itself pieces of marshmallow or fruit.) How You Get a Monkey to Control a Robotic Arm with It’s Mind As you might imagine, it was a complicated process. Using “visualization” techniques, the study’s leader, Andrew Schwartz, showed the monkeys what he wanted them to do. Then he “mapped” their neural activity to see what cells reacted in which … Continue reading

The Smartest Species

I saw a headline on MSN about the smartest animal species… of course I had to click that link! The article compared signs of human intelligence — like making tools, solving problems, self-awareness, and more — with animal behaviors. Humans are the top of the list of the smartest species (at least as far as we know). Next on the list of smartest animals came chimpanzees. Humans and chimps share a lot of the same genomes — and chimp behavior demonstrates that some of that is shared intelligence. Among documented intelligent behaviors in chimps are: Making and using tools Hunting … Continue reading

Religion and Animals

The other night on the news they ran a story about orangutans eating matzah crackers in observance of Passover at the Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan in Israel. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, and while it was a cute story I couldn’t help but wonder: do you think those orangutans care if they’re kosher or not? I’m willing to believe they don’t, but because their handlers are Jewish and it’s their way of life so it becomes the orangs way too. Or does it? Maybe they don’t always follow a kosher diet. But if they did, what about … Continue reading

Spring Beauty Tips: Hands and Nails

Spring is the season of rebirth… of rejuvenation. Don’t forget your hands! Over the winter, your skin may have gotten rough and dry thanks to forced-air heat. It’s time to renew your hands and nails. Want a good idea of someone’s age? Look at their hands. Hands are often a truer judge of age than any other part of the body. You can keep your hands looking healthy and young with these tips: Keep moisturizer handy — all year round. Apply lotion after you wash your hands to help lock in moisture. Pick a hand cream that includes sunscreen. A … Continue reading

Meet a Blogger – Courtney Mroch!

Courtney Mroch is the next awesome blogger to be featured here in our Blogger series. Courtney, thanks for taking the time to chat with me today. How long have you blogged for I started in December 2006. What topics do you blog about? I started out assigned to Pets, but in September 2007 I also took on Marriage. But I like to guest blog in Food, Travel, Computing, and have recently ventured into new territories in Home, Money, and Health. What is your favorite thing about blogging for Hands down, my fellow bloggers and the readers! (Something … Continue reading

Affairs and STDs

You often hear people talk about the psychological issues they suffer after finding out a spouse has had an affair (namely lack of trust), and there’s the other kind of fallout that manifests (counseling and divorce), but what about the health issues? How many affairs result in the contraction of an STD? Perhaps it’s a weird thing to wonder about. (Then again, I’m prone to that. “How Do Monkeys Keep Their Nails Clipped?” is proof.) But there you have it, I’m wondering about it. I blame Wayne. Not because he cheated and gave me an STD, but because of his … Continue reading

The Pets Blog Week in Review for January 28 – February 3

So long January, hello February. Here’s the articles Aimee and I wrote to round out one month and start another. Monday, January 28 Sad Stray Pup Update The stray pup I helped puppy sit a couple weeks back was reunited with his owners, but I wasn’t too pleased to find out who they were. Code Red: Planning for Pets When Emergencies Call You Away What to do with the pets if your family lives in one state, you live in another, and there’s a death in the family? Tuesday, January 29 Planning for Pets When Emergencies Call You Away: A … Continue reading

How Do Monkeys Keep Their Nails Clipped?

Do they even have nails to keep clipped? These are the type of burning questions that keep me up at night. (Okay, they don’t keep me up at night. But I was thinking about it before I drifted off last night.) So I did some cursory Internet searching today and found that apes and most monkeys do in fact have nails, but some have claws. I could not find any mention of how they keep them trimmed. While clever, I’m fairly certain no ape or monkey colony has come up with a nail salon out in the wild. But if … Continue reading