The Thoughtful Animal

Archives for May, 2010

The perspective that whales, dolphins, and other such marine mammals should be afforded “human rights” has surfaced again. I thought I’d revisit a post I wrote about this several months ago, from the archives, when this first hit the news after the AAAS conference in San Diego. So here’s a modified, updated version of the…

Want to get experience working with marine mammals? The Dolphin Research Center, in Grassy Key, Florida, is looking for interns for the Fall semester, and the deadline to apply is next week! The DRC is home to a pod of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (you might recognize A.J. from my banner image, used with permission of…

Found this in my inbox the other day. Looks like a cool workshop and a really rich dataset. And the great part is if they accept your application, it is all entirely funded! The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is sponsoring a three-day advanced studies seminar on the use of the Early Childhood Longitudinal…

More science, more blogging, more fantastic. Here are my Research Blogging Editor’s Selections this week: Angry people might play video games to release pent up energy and aggression…But researchers find that it doesn’t really help. Neoacademic explains why. Blue bananas and pink elephants. Kevin Mitchell at Wiring the Brain considers a rare condition called colour…

Four sea lions nicknamed Matti, Pablo, Apolo and Taite were recently found underweight and malnourished on beaches in Orange County. This morning, they were released back into the wild before a cheering crowd at Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach. This was possible due the incredible work of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, a non-profit organization…

Lately, a paper to be published in the June edition of the American Naturalist has been getting some attention. The findings that are getting reported out of this paper didn’t make sense to me, but I wondered if this was an issue with accuracy in reporting. So I went and found the paper. Turns out…

Figure 1: So what did everyone think of the Fringe season finale last night? I’ll tell you what I thought: J.J. Abrams can bite me. (image source) Okay, so maybe part of the reason I am so annoyed is because I’m kind of obsessed with Anna Torv’s character, and I’m pissed about that twist at…

[Below is a longer, less edited version of an article I wrote for my department newsletter this month.] Is science blogging something that belongs to Science or to Journalism? Clearly more and more scientists are communicating online. In a time when mainstream media are obliterating their science departments, science blogging is growing, and the few…

Happy Birthday, Mom!

A song for Mom’s birthday. The best gift (by my own calculation) I ever gave my mother was a custom mousepad with an MRI image of my brain on it. I don’t think that this youtube video comes close, but one can only give so many MRI mousepads before it becomes a little redundant.

Regular readers of this blog know that while I think studying animal cognition, behavior, and communication is (sometimes) fun and (always) interesting, the real importance – the why should I care about this – is because by understanding animals, we can attempt to learn more about ourselves. I’ve written about this before. Here are the…