Day: January 3, 2012

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

08:00 – I see that a jogger in Chicago was savagely attacked by two pit bulls, which persisted in their attack despite the attempts of a bystander to drive them off with a baseball bat. The cops eventually shot the dogs. What surprised me was that the article mentioned that this was not normal pit bull behavior, and that the dogs must have been abused.

Pit bulls have a horrible reputation, of course, but the truth is that they’re normally sweet, gentle dogs, at least toward people. Pit bulls were bred to fight other dogs, and I would never trust a pit bull around other dogs. But they were also bred to remove any aggressiveness whatsoever toward humans. That was crucial for the safety of the handlers, who had to handle dogs coming out of the pits after fights, when they were injured. Any dog who showed even the slightest aggressiveness toward humans, even if the dog was injured, was ruthlessly culled.

I’m still working heads down on the vertebrates chapter. I’d planned to do a lab session on animal behavior using a couple of mice. Barbara says she won’t have any mice around here. I offered to give them to Colin to play with afterwards, but she still says no deal.

Not that Colin would hurt the mice. I remember the time Duncan caught a chipmunk out in the yard. It had strayed too far from its burrow, and Duncan pounced. He came up with the chipmunk in his mouth and pranced around for a while, showing off his prey. I yelled at him to let the chipmunk go and–I am not making this up–he carried it back over to its burrow and dropped it. At first I thought it was dead because it didn’t move, but apparently it was just stunned. Duncan snouted it towards its burrow a couple of times and it finally woke up and scampered into its burrow. My best guess is that Duncan considered the chipmunk to be a very small sheep.

13:38 – I’m sure all of us are eagerly awaiting the results from Iowa. There’s one thing I don’t understand, though. According to all the political commentators, Iowa is so important that if Romney wins it’s game over for Paul and the rest of the Republican hopefuls. But if Paul wins, which seems about equally likely from all the polls, it doesn’t matter. Huh? A little biased, are we?

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