Wednesday, June 20, 2007


* Here's a link to an article about an Episcopal priest who's just announced that she's also a Muslim. She doesn't see any contradiction between the two faiths (apparently she hasn't read her Bible very closely), but she suspects she'll be 100% one or the other by the time she dies. I suspect so, too.

...Oh, I just noticed that Al Mohler picked up this story, too ... his analysis (obviously much better than mine) is appropriately called "Clueless in Seattle."

* The other interesting fact of the day is an excerpt from an article by Malcom Gladwell in The New Yorker. (Btw, if you're ever at a loss for things to do and find yourself with hours to read articles on the Internet, Gladwell's articles are a rich source of things that make you go 'wow'.) This particular article is about Cesar Milan (already you can see why I'm interested).

I found this particular tidbit fascinating:

Everything we know about dogs suggests that, in a way that is true of almost no
other animals, dogs are students of human movement.

The anthropologist Brian Hare has done experiments with dogs, for example, where he puts a piece of food under one of two cups, placed several feet apart. The dog knows that there is food to be had, but has no idea which of the cups holds the prize. Then Hare points at the right cup, taps on it, looks directly at it. What happens? The dog goes to the right cup virtually every time. Yet when Hare did the same experiment with chimpanzees—an animal that shares 98.6 per cent of our genes—the chimps couldn't get it right. A dog will look at you for help, and a chimp won't.

"Primates are very good at using the cues of the same species," Hare explained. "So if we were able to do a similar game, and it was a chimp or another primate giving a social cue, they might do better. But they are not good at using human cues when you are trying to coƶperate with them. They don't get it: 'Why would you ever tell me where the food is?' The key specialization of dogs, though, is that dogs pay attention to humans, when humans are doing something very human, which is sharing information about something that someone else might actually want. "Dogs aren't smarter than chimps; they just have a different attitude toward people. "Dogs are really interested in humans," Hare went on. " Interested to the point of obsession. To a dog, you are a giant walking tennis ball."

Finally, The Sacred Sandwich has a new round of photos posted. Too funny. Check out the whole page after you've finished reading Gladwell's archives.

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