Tag: YouTube

Cutest, or smartest? You decide.

Misa Minnie being promoted as the world’s smartest puppy.

After getting up at 3am to let Dhalia out for a pee and then waking to find that George had died, I wasn’t really in the mood for a deep and meaningful post for today.

So I have used an item emailed to me by our neighbours, Dordie and Bill, that seemed fun to share with you.

First, watch the video.

then want to know more?

Well you could drop into Misa’s Facebook page or read what appeared in the Huffington Post in the middle of January:

We’ve seen dogs doing tricks you wouldn’t believe — but we’ve never seen a dog look this cute while doing them.

Misa Minnie is a 1-year-old Yorkie pup who has been trained by her owner. At just 18 weeks old, she began performing a wide array of tricks and has now racked up more than 15,000 YouTube fans.

A video from last June resurfaced on Yahoo! this week showing Misa at 31 weeks mastering over two dozen commands.

Misa could easily get by on her looks alone — but with her talent, this little Yorkie really is the whole package.

See you tomorrow, I hope!

Once again – the need for integrity.

No apologies for another banging of this drum!

Last Friday’s post Has it always been like this? was comprised mainly of a republication of a recent George Monbiot essay.  The closing paragraph of that essay read:

Stories like this remind me that much of life is a struggle against disappointment. Perhaps I’m an idiot, but I expected a world that was so much better. I still believe it’s possible. But getting there requires a daily struggle against those who would mislead us.

George is certainly no idiot for expecting a better world, or to put it another way, if George is an idiot for such an expectation then there are millions of fellow idiots out there.

That essay from George Monbiot opened, thus:

Almost everything is fake. The brave proverbs with which we were brought up – the truth will out, cheats never prosper, virtue will triumph – turn out to be unfounded. For the most part, our lives are run and our views are formed by chancers, cheats and charlatans. [Ed. my emphasis!]

They construct a labyrinth of falsehoods from which it is almost impossible to emerge without the help of people who devote their lives to navigating it. This is the role of the media. But the media drags us deeper into the labyrinth.

So with those words still ringing in your ears, settle down for just sixteen minutes and watch anti-corruption activist, Charmian Gooch‘s recent TED Talk.

Anonymous companies protect corrupt individuals – from notorious drug cartel leaders to nefarious arms dealers – behind a shroud of mystery that makes it almost impossible to find and hold them responsible. But anti-corruption activist Charmian Gooch hopes to change all that. At TED2014, she shares her brave TED Prize wish: to know who owns and controls companies, to change the law, and to launch a new era of openness in business.

And if, having watched Charmian’s very compelling talk, you want to support her, then go to the Global Witness website.

Just words!

Odds are you have already seen this!

Reason I state that is, as of yesterday morning, some 19,070,066 viewings of the following video had taken place.

But so what!

That number shows that despite the advertising insertions, despite the video promoting a commercial concern at the close, there are plenty of us who want to be reminded of the power of words.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care

for people will hear them and be influenced by them

for good or ill.

Buddha.

Footnote:

Jean and I were pottering around yesterday afternoon getting everything ready for Ranger’s arrival planned for Tuesday.  In the back of my mind was some self-criticism for just sticking today’s post up in front of you, in the sense that it was just too easy.  Not that the message isn’t powerful but does it relate to the essence of this blog – exploring what we can learn from dogs?

Then it struck me as blindingly obvious! Of all the things that dogs offer us humans, the one key aspect of their integrity is their unconditional love.   The way that dogs love us acknowledges our existence at a ‘being-to-being’ level.

That’s the power of that short video. That the passing lady stopped and acknowledged the existence of the blind beggar-man.

We all need to be reminded of that all the time!

No limit to friendship!

The friendship of a Magpie and a dog.

Kindly sent to me by Chris Snuggs.

Tried to find more background information but the best I could do was from here:

This is Sqwark the Australian Magpie, and Whiskey and the dog and they are the best of friends! Sqwark is Whiskey’s friend, not a chew toy. It may look rough, but they are just playing like they do all the time and having fun.

In addition, there was a comment on the YouTube page:

The “grey back” is an indication that it’s a juvenile. When it’s an adult, the grey bit will be snowy white.

Wherever you are in the world, have a peaceful and fun-loving day!

Not your Sunday afternoon drive!

From today until the end of the year, while there will still be a post each day, I will be leaning more towards republishing items that have been sent to me or that, otherwise, have caught my eye.  Nothing heavy.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Racing.

Dan Gomez sent me the link to this video a couple of months ago.  The description of the YouTube video is thus:

In November of 2011 two amateurs decided their first professional race ever would be one of the worlds toughest- the Score BAJA 1000. The infamous illegal street racer Alex Roy and Skiny begin a journey that will take them around the world to test themselves against some of the worlds most challenging races and hangovers.

There is also a website that includes the video below but also, more usefully, much background information, for example:

DAY 1: THE BEGINNING

Today starts a journey of a lifetime.  The decision has been made to turn my forty year-old life over to the pursuit of racing for the next three years, and hopefully inspire some people along the way to take leave of all that is important to seek out the thing that thrills them most. My hope is that the journey will be interesting enough to fill the pages of a book – aptly titled the Gentleman’s Guide to Racing – and to make some friendships along the way with people I already know but just haven’t met.

Transient

I wanted to start writing today so as to retain a snapshot of this adventure in its seedling stage.  As of right now I have nothing.  No money, no car, and no sponsors.  But I do have determination, and getting to the race is often the most interesting half of the battle.
Today I commit to sharing my exploits with whomever is interested in the trials and triumphs of a lone man seeking to test himself on some of the world’s toughest and most grueling races.
Steve McQueen famously said “Racing is life, anything that happens before or after is just waiting.”

Here’s the video.

Words fail me!

But there is a very good ending!

There was an item in a recent set of links from Naked Capitalism that caught my eye.

It was a link to a story on Huffington Post that I am taking the liberty of republishing.

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Left To Die In A Trash Heap, Abandoned Dog Gets Remarkable Second Chance

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 12/13/2013 5:19 pm EST

A moving video of the extraordinary recovery — and resilience — of an abandoned dog who was left to die in a trash heap is reminding us this week of the healing power of love, friendship and second chances.

On Nov. 15, when Eldad Hagar first laid eyes on Miley, an abandoned dog living among piles of trash on the outskirts of Los Angeles, his heart broke.

“When I got there, I almost couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Hagar, the co-founder of animal rescue organization Hope For Paws, told The Huffington Post of his first encounter with the pup. “It’s almost as if this place was struck by a tsunami.”

Miley, covered in mange and infections, was so lifeless and defeated that Hagar, who recorded the dog’s rescue on camera, says she “didn’t even have the energy” to run away from him as he approached her.

Mileytrash1

Hagar says he rushed to Miley’s side after he heard about the pooch’s plight from a local resident. The tipster told him that Miley had been living in the trash heap for at least a few months. It is believed that she was abandoned by her owners.

Though he knew that Miley wouldn’t be in good shape, Hagar says he was still shocked when he finally made contact with her. Her physical deterioration was “definitely one of the worst cases” he’d ever seen, he said.

He knew he had to get Miley to a hospital right away.

Gaining the pup’s trust was no easy feat, however. Hagar says he offered her food and sat with her in the pile of trash for an hour before she was finally ready to leave with him. Then he got her into his car to be brought to the vet.

“She was very lucky we rescued her when we did, because her condition would have continued to deteriorate until she would have died a miserable and painful death,” Hagar said.

After examining Miley, veterinarian Dr. Lisa Youn discovered that the pooch wasn’t just suffering from mange and bacterial infections, but parasites and malnutrition, as well.

“She was in so much pain,” Hagar said.

Mileytrash2

Over the next two weeks, Miley got intensive medical care and was treated with antibiotics, medicine for parasites and frequent medicated baths. Slowly but surely, her spirits began to lift.

It wasn’t, however, until Miley found a best friend that her recovery took a dramatic turn for the better.

Miley met Frankie the chihuahua after he was rescued from a sewer tunnel by Hagar and a friend. The tiny dog had almost drowned, Hagar said, because of a spell of heavy rain.

“He was so scared of everything,” Hagar wrote of Frankie in the video. “Miley took Frankie under her wing and they quickly became really good friends.”

Mileytrash3

Miley and Frankie, who are wonderfully affectionate with each other, are said to be doing well.

The “worst part is behind [them],” Hagar told the HuffPost, adding that Miley should be “100 percent” in a few months.

Watch the adorable duo playing with each other in the video above. To find out more about the work that Hope For Paws does, visit the organization’s website andFacebook page.

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That first YouTube video also had the following comment:

Published on Dec 12, 2013

Please make a small donation to Hope For Paws and help us start 2014 strong with many more rescues. A $5 donation from many people would make all the difference to so many animals: HopeForPaws.org
Hope For Paws took care of Miley’s vet care, but she is now fostered by our friends from The Fuzzy Pet Foundation. Please visit their website to fill an application to adopt her: fuzzyrescue.org
Little guest star – Frankie was also rescued by Hope For Paws (with help from Lisa Chiarelli), and is now being fostered by our friends from The Forgotten Dog Foundation. If you would like to adopt him, please fill an application here: theforgottendog.org
Thanks 🙂
Eldad

The Hope For Paws website is here.  Please, please make a small Christmas donation.  It makes such a difference.  Chapter Twenty-Three of The Book comes out in thirty minutes and, I hope, goes a long way to demonstrate the value of our relationship with dogs over thousands upon thousands of years.

Smart animals!

It’s not just dogs who can read us so well.

Millions of dog owners know how well their animals can read us humans; it’s been mentioned on Learning from Dogs many times before.

Try elephants.

There was a fascinating article on the BBC news website a few weeks ago that went on to explain:

10 October 2013

Elephants ‘understand human gesture’

By Victoria GillScience reporter, BBC News
African elephants have demonstrated what appears to be an instinctive understanding of human gestures, according to UK scientists. In a series of tests, researcher Ann Smet, of the University of St Andrews, offered the animals a choice between two identical buckets, then pointed at the one containing a hidden treat.

From the first trial, the elephants chose the correct bucket.

The results are published in the journal Current Biology.

The item included a short video that I am delighted to say is on YouTube.  Here it is:

Published on Oct 10, 2013

African elephants have demonstrated what appears to be an instinctive understanding of human gestures, according to UK scientists.

In a series of tests, researcher Ann Smet, of the University of St Andrews, offered the animals a choice between two identical buckets, then pointed at the one containing a hidden treat.

From the first trial, the elephants chose the correct bucket.

The results are published in the journal Current Biology.

The scientists worked with captive elephants at a lodge in Zimbabwe.

Prof Richard Byrne, a co-author on the research, said the elephants had been rescued from culling operations and trained for riding.

“They specifically train the elephants to respond to vocal cues. They don’t use any gestures at all,” said Prof Byrne.

“The idea is that the handler can walk behind the elephant and just tell it what to do with words.”

Despite this, the animals seemed to grasp the meaning of pointing from the outset.

Ms Smet added that she had been impressed by the animals’ apparently innate understanding of the gesture.

“Of course we had hoped that the elephants would be able to learn to follow human pointing, or we wouldn’t have done the experiment in the first place,” she said.

“But it was really surprising that they didn’t seem to have to learn anything.

“It seems that understanding pointing is an ability elephants just possess naturally and they are cognitively much more like us than has been realised.”

Prof Byrne said studying elephants helped build a map of part of the evolutionary tree that is very distant from humans.

“They’re so unrelated to us,” he told BBC News. “So if we find human-like abilities in an animal like an elephant, that hasn’t shared a common ancestor with people for more than 100 million years , we can be pretty sure that it’s evolved completely separately, by what’s called convergent evolution.”

The researchers said their findings might explain how elephants have successfully been tamed and have “historically had a close bond with humans, in spite of being potentially dangerous and unmanageable due to their great size”.

But the scientists added the results could be a hint that the animals gesture to one another in the wild with their “highly controllable trunks”.

Ms Smet told BBC News: “The next step [in our research] is to test whether when an elephant extends its trunk upwards and outwards – as they regularly do, such as when detecting a predator, this functions as a point.”

That BBC article goes on to highlight:

Prof Byrne said studying elephants helped build a map of part of the evolutionary tree that is very distant from humans.

“They’re so unrelated to us,” he told BBC News. “So if we find human-like abilities in an animal like an elephant, that hasn’t shared a common ancestor with people for more than 100 million years , we can be pretty sure that it’s evolved completely separately, by what’s called convergent evolution.”

The researchers said their findings might explain how elephants have successfully been tamed and have “historically had a close bond with humans, in spite of being potentially dangerous and unmanageable due to their great size”.

But the scientists added the results could be a hint that the animals gesture to one another in the wild with their “highly controllable trunks”.

Ms Smet told BBC News: “The next step [in our research] is to test whether when an elephant extends its trunk upwards and outwards – as they regularly do, such as when detecting a predator, this functions as a point.”

Now just where did I pack my old trunk.

Couple of cool dudes!

Wherever you are in the world, relax and smile.

First up is a wonderful video showing a dog enjoying some guitar music.

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Clearly popular because at the time of creating this post, the video had been watched 10,347,784 times!

Want to learn about how the video came about?

Then here’s the story.

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And in stark contrast, here’s an item for all you parents out there, courtesy of Bob Derham.

A mother passing by her son’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made, and everything was picked up. Then, she saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow.

It was addressed, ‘Mum’. With the worst premonition, she opened the envelope and read the letter, with trembling hands.

‘Dear, Mum.

It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend, because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you.

I’ve been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice, but I knew you would not approve of her, because of all her piercings, tattoos, her tight Motorcycle clothes, and because she is so much older than I am.

But it’s not only the passion, Mum. She’s pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods, and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter.  We share a dream of having many more children.

Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone. We’ll be growing it for ourselves, and trading it with the other people in the commune, for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want.

In the meantime, we’ll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS, so Stacy can get better.  She sure deserves it!!

Don’t worry Mum, I’m 15, and I know how to take care of myself.  Someday, I’m sure we’ll be back to visit, so you can get to know your many grandchildren.

Love, your son, Nicholas.

PS: Mum, none of the above is true. I’m over at Jason’s house.

I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the school report that’s on my desk.

I love you!

Call when it is safe for me to come home.

That young man will go far!