Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Archives for November, 2006

Today has been an exciting day for me! First of all, although Steven Pinker had to decline my invitation to speak at UM (during the Neuroscience Spring Symposium), he did agree to do an interview here on Retrospectacle. So, similar to the Q’s and A’s I posted for review for Irene Pepperberg, I will post…

Vicious Dog, Vicious Owner?

According to a study of dog owners, people who own vicious and dangerous dogs, like pit bulls, have significantly more criminal convictions than the owners of tamer breeds. A vicious dog was defined as a breed that, without provocation, has killed or seriously injured a person, killed a dog, or was a pit bull. It…

Knock knock. Who’s there? T-Rex. T-Rex who?

This news is of ill portent to UM, and right before the big Ohio State game?? Bo Schembechler, a former head coach here, is a legend to UM football. He used to be a OSU assistant coach, and dying today just seems like a really bad sign. I mean, if you believed in that kinda…

The wild bird trade, which is where exotic birds are trapped in their natural habitats and shipped away for pets, has devastated many types of parrot species. Thankfully this practice is now illegal in much of the world, however many parrot species have the unfortunate luck as to live in countries where these laws are…

This is just plain heart-breaking. Even these Inuit seem sad to kill these poor belugas. About 200 beluga were first spotted in early August by hunters in the Husky Lakes area south of Tuktoyaktuk, a string of saltwater inlets north of the Arctic Circle that are linked to the ocean through a 300-meter-wide [980-foot-wide] channel.…

Stupid Student Plagiarizing Stories

These stories are true, however names and a few details have been changed to hide the identity of parties involved. Anecdote #1: Let’s just say a college professor and science-blogger, we’ll call him Dr. Bob, assigns a term paper on ecology to his class. The semester is winding to a close, and this paper will…

I’m about to send these questions out to Dr. Pepperberg (hopefully for next week’s Grey Matters), and wanted some feedback. Also, please suggest questions if you have some! Q. Initially your research background was not in comparative cognition and language. How did you become interested in this field? Q: Human language processing and production relies…

Go Play Name That Panda Cub

More on bears today: go vote for the name of the newest member of the Atlanta Zoo, a panda cub. I wonder if its part of China’s policy that all the baby pandas have to be named Chinese names. Cause I haven’t ever heard of a panda named Fred or Joe. And speaking of China,…

The forests of Siberia are full of insomniac bears, scaring the locals, as the weather has been staying too warm for them to go into hibernation. Usually Siberian bears sleep six months, beginning in October or November, but the Kemerovo region where they live has currently gotten no snow. Hunters, out in the woods stalking…