Category: Communication

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes

That includes some of them having an unusual look!

Of the dogs that we have at home one, little Pedi, is not your average dog. He is just about blind and one of his eyes is different to the other. Not that this stops him from getting around and one sees the power of their noses at work.

Once again, The Dodo has a story about a dog that isn’t your average canine. But so what!

ooOOoo

This Little Dog Peeking Over A Fence Is Making People Uncomfortable

Her name is Junebug and she’s actually a perfect angel 😇

By Stephen Messenger, Published on the 7th October, 2021.

This is Junebug. She’s a curious little dog with an outsized personality.

But, yeah, she can seem a bit intense.

Tim K.

This photo of the 4-pound pup has been making the rounds online in recent days. In it, Junebug is seen peering over the top of a tall fence, fixing what appears to be a rather ghoulish gaze on the viewer.
.
“Never been more scared of a dog,” one person sharing the image tweeted.

Here’s a closer look.

Tim K.

The photo of Junebug went viral. And since then, people online have likened her appearance to that of Beetlejuice, the Joker and even that scary clown from “It.”

Is her expression somewhat spooky? Well, yes. But in reality, there’s nothing scary at all about Junebug.

The Dodo was able to track down Junebug’s owner, Tim K., to learn about their “scary” dog and the viral pic. And sure enough, that menacing vibe people seem to sense in Junebug doesn’t align with reality. She’s actually a perfect angel.

“Junebug is, without a doubt, the sweetest dog you could ever meet,” Tim said. “She loves people. And everyone who meets her falls in love with her. She’s just the sweetest little thing in the world.”

To be fair, though, Junebug sometimes looks a tad disgruntled — even when she’s not.

Tim K.

But how is Junebug peeking over such a tall fence in the pic above? There’s a sweet explanation behind that, too.

“We have a privacy fence in our backyard,” Tim said. “Every once in a while, Junebug wants to see what’s happening on the other side of the fence, and I’ll pick her up and hold her. We let her look over.”

Tim’s wife snapped the picture, which he decided to share with a dog-loving community online.

“For us, it was just a cute photo,” he added. “It wasn’t until people started commenting … she’s got such an intense look on her face.”

But that’s just Junebug.

Tim K.

Tim and his wife never intended for the photo of their dog to go viral, or for people to think she’s scary. They know the truth, though, and are happy to spread the word about the real Junebug.

“We’ve always been dog people. She’s a member of our family,” Tim said. “If Junebug knew about all of the attention she was getting, she’d be over the moon.”

ooOOoo

Well I am not sure I agree with Tim. Dogs are so clever that a part of me thinks that Junebug realises the attention she is getting. I guess we will never know for sure. But that doesn’t take the slightest from what is a lovely story.

Darkness!

Chris Impey writes about his specialty in observational cosmology.

This has nothing to do with life, nothing that we are dealing with in our daily affairs, and has nothing to do with our dear dogs. BUT! This is incredibly interesting! Incredibly and beautifully interesting!

ooOOoo

The most powerful space telescope ever built will look back in time to the Dark Ages of the universe

Hubble took pictures of the oldest galaxies it could – seen here – but the James Webb Space Telescope can go back much farther in time. NASA

Chris Impey, University of Arizona

Some have called NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope the “telescope that ate astronomy.” It is the most powerful space telescope ever built and a complex piece of mechanical origami that has pushed the limits of human engineering. On Dec. 18, 2021, after years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns, the telescope is scheduled to launch into orbit and usher in the next era of astronomy.

I’m an astronomer with a specialty in observational cosmology – I’ve been studying distant galaxies for 30 years. Some of the biggest unanswered questions about the universe relate to its early years just after the Big Bang. When did the first stars and galaxies form? Which came first, and why? I am incredibly excited that astronomers may soon uncover the story of how galaxies started because James Webb was built specifically to answer these very questions.

A graphic showing the progression of the Universe through time.
The Universe went through a period of time known as the Dark Ages before stars or galaxies emitted any light. Space Telescope Institute

The ‘Dark Ages’ of the universe

Excellent evidence shows that the universe started with an event called the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, which left it in an ultra-hot, ultra-dense state. The universe immediately began expanding after the Big Bang, cooling as it did so. One second after the Big Bang, the universe was a hundred trillion miles across with an average temperature of an incredible 18 billion F (10 billion C). Around 400,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe was 10 million light years across and the temperature had cooled to 5,500 F (3,000 C). If anyone had been there to see it at this point, the universe would have been glowing dull red like a giant heat lamp.

Throughout this time, space was filled with a smooth soup of high energy particles, radiation, hydrogen and helium. There was no structure. As the expanding universe became bigger and colder, the soup thinned out and everything faded to black. This was the start of what astronomers call the Dark Ages of the universe.

The soup of the Dark Ages was not perfectly uniform and due to gravity, tiny areas of gas began to clump together and become more dense. The smooth universe became lumpy and these small clumps of denser gas were seeds for the eventual formation of stars, galaxies and everything else in the universe.

Although there was nothing to see, the Dark Ages were an important phase in the evolution of the universe.

A diagram showing different wavelengths of light compared to size of normal objects.
Light from the early universe is in the infrared wavelength – meaning longer than red light – when it reaches Earth. Inductiveload/NASA via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Looking for the first light

The Dark Ages ended when gravity formed the first stars and galaxies that eventually began to emit the first light. Although astronomers don’t know when first light happened, the best guess is that it was several hundred million years after the Big Bang. Astronomers also don’t know whether stars or galaxies formed first.

Current theories based on how gravity forms structure in a universe dominated by dark matter suggest that small objects – like stars and star clusters – likely formed first and then later grew into dwarf galaxies and then larger galaxies like the Milky Way. These first stars in the universe were extreme objects compared to stars of today. They were a million times brighter but they lived very short lives. They burned hot and bright and when they died, they left behind black holes up to a hundred times the Sun’s mass, which might have acted as the seeds for galaxy formation.

Astronomers would love to study this fascinating and important era of the universe, but detecting first light is incredibly challenging. Compared to massive, bright galaxies of today, the first objects were very small and due to the constant expansion of the universe, they’re now tens of billions of light years away from Earth. Also, the earliest stars were surrounded by gas left over from their formation and this gas acted like fog that absorbed most of the light. It took several hundred million years for radiation to blast away the fog. This early light is very faint by the time it gets to Earth.

But this is not the only challenge.

As the universe expands, it continuously stretches the wavelength of light traveling through it. This is called redshift because it shifts light of shorter wavelengths – like blue or white light – to longer wavelengths like red or infrared light. Though not a perfect analogy, it is similar to how when a car drives past you, the pitch of any sounds it is making drops noticeably. Similar to how a pitch of a sound drops if the source is moving away from you, the wavelength of light stretches due to the expansion of the universe.

By the time light emitted by an early star or galaxy 13 billion years ago reaches any telescope on Earth, it has been stretched by a factor of 10 by the expansion of the universe. It arrives as infrared light, meaning it has a wavelength longer than that of red light. To see first light, you have to be looking for infrared light.

Telescope as a time machine

Enter the James Webb Space Telescope.

Telescopes are like time machines. If an object is 10,000 light-years away, that means the light takes 10,000 years to reach Earth. So the further out in space astronomers look, the further back in time we are looking.

A large golden colored disc with a sensor in the middle and scientists standing below.
The James Webb Space Telescope was specifically designed to detect the oldest galaxies in the universe. NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Engineers optimized James Webb for specifically detecting the faint infrared light of the earliest stars or galaxies. Compared to the Hubble Space Telescope, James Webb has a 15 times wider field of view on its camera, collects six times more light and its sensors are tuned to be most sensitive to infrared light.

The strategy will be to stare deeply at one patch of sky for a long time, collecting as much light and information from the most distant and oldest galaxies as possible. With this data, it may be possible to answer when and how the Dark Ages ended, but there are many other important discoveries to be made. For example, unraveling this story may also help explain the nature of dark matter, the mysterious form of matter that makes up about 80% of the mass of the universe.

James Webb is the most technically difficult mission NASA has ever attempted. But I think the scientific questions it may help answer will be worth every ounce of effort. I and other astronomers are waiting excitedly for the data to start coming back sometime in 2022.

Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

ooOOoo

The dark ages of the universe that lasted for millions of years until gravity started to form some order out of the ‘soup’.

I don’t know about you but the winter nights, when the sky is clear, have me waiting outside for the dogs to come in looking up at the night sky just lost in the sheer wonder of it all.

The very best of luck to NASA on December 18th!

Is there more to licking paws?

I am speaking of dogs!

Speaking for myself I haven’t ever given any notice to a dog licking its paws. Jeannie, however, would spot if a dog was over-licking, (you know what I mean), and would find out the cause.

This comes to the fore because The Dodo published a post in May, 2020, that I reckoned was worth republishing.

ooOOoo

Why Does My Dog Always Lick Her Paws?

Here’s how to tell when it’s a problem.

By DANIELLE ESPOSITO , Published on May 5th, 2020

You’ve seen your dog do it a thousand times — that cute paw licking that can quickly turn to “Hey! Stop that!” once it becomes a total obsession.

In general, paw licking is normal behavior for many dogs. They do it after they eat; they do it after they’ve been playing outside; they even sometimes do it before taking a nap. While all these are expected, you should start to take it more seriously if you’re noticing a sudden increase in licking, raw or irritated spots between their toes, or even loss of fur.

When it crosses the line between normal grooming and excessive paw licking, it’s probably time to try to figure out the root of the problem — so we chatted with one of our favorite veterinarians to get some expert advice.

Allergies

“There are a number of reasons why dogs lick their paws, but one of the most common reasons is allergies,” Dr. Alex Blutinger, a veterinarian from BluePearl Pet Hospital in New York City, told The Dodo.

“This behavior can be caused by environmental allergies, food allergies and even fleas or ticks,” he said. 

Dr. Blutinger said many everyday substances can also cause an allergic reaction, including things like pollen, grass that’s been treated with insecticide, certain plastics or rubber materials on food bowls, and even certain medications or shampoos.

“There are other caustic chemicals that dogs encounter in their environment,” he said, “[like] deicing salts to melt ice.”

This means that if you’ve noticed your dog is licking her paws more than usual, she’s likely experiencing allergies. If that’s what you suspect, it’s a good idea to chat with your vet about how to help her feel better.

Trauma to the Paws

Aside from allergies, excessive paw licking — which includes paw chewing — can also be caused by various types of injuries.

According to Dr. Blutinger, some of these types of trauma can include burns from walking on hot surfaces like cement or blacktop, splinters, broken nails, injured bones or ligaments, or even insect bites.

It’s a good idea to inspect your dog’s paws to see if you can find any physical trauma, and consult your vet if you think it’s something that may need extra attention.

Gastrointestinal Issues

“Interestingly, dogs that have gastrointestinal disorders (like pancreatitis) have also been shown to lick their paws,” Dr. Blutinger said.

He added that certain hormonal imbalances like hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease can also cause dogs to lick their paws — which means a trip to the vet is definitely in order to sort out your pup’s health!

Anxiety

Finally, sensitive dogs can also display anxiety by licking their paws, in the same way some people bite their nails as a sign of nervousness. If you think this is the case, it might be a good idea to figure out why your dog is feeling anxious and find ways to help her feel better.

So while paw licking is generally normal for most dogs, if you worry it’s becoming obsessive, and you can’t figure out an obvious cause, it’s a good idea to check with your vet to make sure your dog doesn’t need extra care.

ooOOoo

I call that very sound advice.

Out of interest have any readers of this post had a case of excessive licking with their dogs?

Furry life saver!

The story of Rhys the dog!

I have known Keith Edmunds from a long time ago and we chat from time to time. Keith has his own company Tiger Computing, Linux specialists, (We provide managed cloud services and Linux support services for high-tech businesses), and we had a business connection many moons ago. But in an effort to stay connected with friends in the old country I have subscribed for quite some time to Keith’s newsletter. Although Keith clearly is speaking to potential clients his newsletter is quite readable for non-technical peeps such as myself.

At the end of September this year Keith’s newsletter was a little different. Here it is:

ooOOoo

Rhys the dog saved my wife’s life last week.

She was alone in the house. She put some flatbread in a pan on the hob, then went to check something on her PC. And forgot about the flatbread.

The flatbread got hotter, started smoking, and then the smoke alarm went off. That would be a clue for most of us that something may be amiss.

But my wife is deaf. She can’t hear the smoke alarm.

That’s when Rhys, the Hearing Dog, leapt into action. He found her and butted her hard with his nose. “What is it?”, she asked him. He squatted down on all fours, the signal that the smoke alarm is going off. He only makes that move for the smoke alarm so it’s clear what the problem is.

My wife ran to the kitchen, turned off the hob and opened windows to disperse the smoke. Without Rhys alerting her there would have been a fire. The consequences of that can only (fortunately) be imagined.

So here’s how it works. Rhys is trained to notify my wife when he hears certain sounds. He notified her when he heard one, and corrective action was taken.

Here at Tiger Computing we have sophisticated monitoring systems that keep an eye on our clients’ Linux systems. They’re configured to alert our support staff if things start going wrong, and the support staff can take corrective action.

Our monitoring probably won’t save your life. But it might save your bacon.

Until next week –
Keith

ooOOoo

It is a delightful account of yet another aspect of dogs. Dogs can undertake many things and some of our dogs are really clever. Rhys is an example of how highly trained dogs can be.

I spoke to Keith and asked permission to republish this, gladly and readily given, and whether Keith had any photographs of Rhys.

Rhys and Mrs. Edmunds

Beautiful!