Flipper is his human name

Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.


It’s a prince!!!!!

Meanwhile, in news I care more about, I had a delicious bowl of cereal for breakfast, there are two pens on my desk and it’s Tuesday.

OK, I’m not really that snarky. The public persona of Will and Kate seem like a nice couple and hopefully their family is a happy one. I just don’t know why anyone is excited about bowing to – being subject to – a person with the last name Windsor.

On to other random subjects…

Don’t leave your dog tied outside all the time and don’t leave your dog in a hot car. But also don’t be a self-righteous, narrow-minded judge of your fellow citizens. In other words, use common sense, not sloganeering, to guide your actions.

So, tying a dog out for 15 minutes is OK, tying it out for 24 hours is not. Somewhere between the two OK becomes not OK, but just because there’s a bit of grey doesn’t mean we have to take the draconian stance that ever putting a dog on a rope in your yard for a short period is the worst thing you could ever do to a dog.

Leaving a dog in a closed up car on a hot day for 10 minutes is a very bad idea. Leaving a dog in a car with the window open six inches on a mild day for two minutes is not. Obviously, compassionate people err on the side of caution – no one wants a tragedy – but a person isn’t automatically a monster because they run into the gas station to pay while their dog is left in the car.

Why are these subtle nuances left out of messages from police or animal welfare organizations? Because they’re less interested in the complex truth and more interested in ensuring the really stupid among us just listen and obey. If no one ever has a dog in a car, and no one ever ties a dog on a rope, dogs will be safe. But they will also be safe if you inform yourself, recognize the hazards, and then make smart decisions.

Rest assured, I would love to see this province’s animal cruelty laws toughened to create serious consequences for those who make stupid decisions. I’m just not a fan of “zero tolerance” that flies in the face of rational thought. (Here’s an example of where zero tolerance leads: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/headlines/florida-teacher-fired-finding-extinguishing-school-fire#)

I’m not convinced: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/07/22/training_or_work_unpaid_interns_want_companies_to_pay_up.html

These interns are upset because they say they’re doing the work of a regular paid employee. But here’s the thing: If a company doesn’t get labour out of an unpaid intern, what exactly is the incentive for them to bring you on? The goodness of their hearts? Some companies would do that, but many wouldn’t, the end result being fewer internship opportunities.

If you start an internship and it isn’t meeting your goals, quit. If the internship is required for your school program, then it’s an issue to take up with your school, not the legal system.

Take newspapers, for example: an intern who is treated like a “regular employee” has a terrific opportunity to tackle stories, get published and enlarge their portfolio – precisely what they need to land a paid position in the future. It would be great if newspapers also had the time to give interns four hours of instruction per day in journalism, but they don’t, and that’s what colleges and universities are paid to do. In my opinion, an intern that doesn’t want to research and write stories is a liability – more trouble than they’re worth – and isn’t actually interested in journalism anyway.

I’ll acknowledge there could be exceptional circumstances warranting payment, maybe even in the linked case. I think it’s a good gesture for companies to reward interns with some kind of payment. But there’s no way unpaid internships should be made illegal, and the circumstances where a disgruntled intern deserves retroactive payment would seem to be few and far between.

Looks like dolphins may have names: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/07/17/1304459110.abstract

I wonder how much longer we can continue to think the smartest animals on the planet have more common ground intellectually with protozoa than they do with us. And how much longer we can ignore the mounting evidence that animal species after animal species is proving itself smarter than we previously thought. Did you know goldfish have memories and can be trained, for example?

For the smartest creatures – from ravens to chimps, whales to elephants – it’s time we start assessing what it means to be a “person” and thinking deeply about whether being a member of homo sapiens is mandatory. I’m not suggesting something absurd – “Voting rights for parrots!” – but a sea change in how we think of what these fellow travelers deserve in terms of autonomy, environmental protection and (limited) rights.

It’s looking more and more likely a substantial number of species in the animal kingdom deserve to be in the broad tent inhabited by intelligent, self-aware creatures.

Cool photo (very cold, actually – the temperature in deep space is about 3-degrees Kelvin): http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-earth-cassini-photos-20130722,0,1800495.story

Today’s “people are idiots” link: http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2013/07/22/is_a_cronut_all_it_s_cracked_up_to_be.html

The journalists aren’t stupid – they got a story out of eating a tasty treat. But voluntarily lining up for something that isn’t necessary is usually a bad idea, and lining up for a really long time for something really unnecessary is virtually always freakin’ stupid.


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page