Saturday, February 07, 2015

Coffee and Provocation

An E-Leash?
I stumbled across a link to this -- an e-leash.  It gets very good reviews on Amazon (as good as an Amazon iPhone!), and it fits with what we actually know about training, which is that good timing and consistency are all important -- and that most people tend to do poorly on both. Skinner boxes and other "teaching machines" (such as electric fences) work well because they are "always on" and have exquisite timing. Patricia McConnell is not a fan, but it also seems that she has also not actually tried it.  I am not a huge fan of theory over experience, so....  if you have actually tried the simpleLEASH for more than a week or two, let me know. I would like to borrow a unit to see if it might work for an older dog owner without too much upper body strength and not enough self-discipline to be consistent in her training.

Killing Greyhounds at the Track
A News-Press review of data and reports complied under Florida's Greyhound death reporting rule shows a greyhound dies at a Florida race track every three days. A total of 192 greyhounds died on a Florida dog track between June 2013 and December 2014. The larger story here is that Greyhound tracks are just about gone in this country, wiped out by low-cost slot machines. Once upon a time, thousands of greyhounds a year were raised, raced, shot, and buried when they failed to win -- part of the "big wink" of greyhound racing.

Rocky Mountain High Revenue 
Colorado's marijuana revenue is so high the state may give residents some of their money back. This is, of course, the state that also has the lowest child vaccination rate in the country. On the other hand, when Colorado began offering free birth control, teen births fell by 40 percent.  Some story board here!

The South Shall Rise Again
Virginia, the state where the Civil War started, and the capital of the Confederacy was located, is changing. A survey of the most common jobs in each state found that in Virginia, it was now computer software developer.  Most common job in California: truck, delivery, and tractor driver.

Ebay was Named After Ebola
True story. Funny how that bit never came out during the ebola outbreak in Africa (still ongoing), nor did I see Ebay offering to fund even $50 million worth of research. or make a penny-per-transaction donation to aid or assistance.

Killing Feral Cat Colonies is the Way Forward
Feral cat killing cannot start fast enough in Australia. The good news is that the Australians think they have a poison protocol that will work well to kill their millions of feral cats -- 1040 mixed with kangaroo meat and chicken fat. A similar program of poisoning to wipe out possums is at work in New Zealand. Meanwhile, half-wit Virginia state Senator Stephen Martin (R-District 11) has authored Senate Bill 693 which will green light the systematic abandonment of feral cats which will results in millions of birds being killed every year. The best feral cat colony is one that is trapped and killed -- nothing does more to reduce unnecessary death, pain, and suffering than wiping out feral cat colonies right at the beginning.

The Parsley Massacre
I wrote about shibboleths a while back, and a friend sent me this link about the Parsley Massacre. Love the name!

Largest Rodent Ever?
The largest rodent that ever lived fought with its teeth, was the size of a bull, and had the bite strength of a tiger... and it had a skull that is almost identical in shape to that of the modern rat, groundhog, or beaver.

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