Showing posts with label Cats Vs Dogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cats Vs Dogs. Show all posts

8 November 2017

Will Your Dog Eat Your Steak Dinner?

hungry dog
If you tell your dog not to eat the steak, will he obey you?
You throw a perfectly cooked sizzling steak on your dining room table. Then you step away for a bottle of wine. As you head towards the cellar, you pause and look at your dog. You wag your finger and say, "Buster, do not eat this steak!" Buster looks back at you hungrily, eying your juicy hunk of sirloin.
"Buster will make a decision based on what he wants," says Perry Marshall, founder of Natural Code LLC. "And when you leave, he's going to decide whether to obey you or not. However, the situation turns out, he's doing something that no computer can do – which is to want something, then choose whether to take it or not."
This attribute, Marshall insists, is exclusive to living things. Computers don't do it. Rocks and molecules don't either. The aspect of will, which every pet owner and parent is all too familiar with, is what divides living from the nonliving.
Marshall seeks to unravel life's mystery with a $5-million Evolution 2.0 Prize. "If you trace life to its very beginnings, you'll find that information in DNA is the central mystery. It's the original set of choices. Nobody knows how we got from chemicals to code. But we intend to find out."
Marshall's private equity investment group, Natural Code LLC, suspects that the same physical principle that animates life today may have also given rise to the digital instructions in the very first cell.
"If we can solve this, Artificial Intelligence stands to make a giant forward leap. Because for the first time, we might be able to make computers that program themselves, much as living things do," says Marshall.
Evolution 2.0 Prize - Logo
Evolution 2.0 Prize, funded by Natural Code LLC
  • The Evolution 2.0 Prize takes its inspiration from Peter Diamandis and his Ansari X Prize for Space Flight. It was a $10-million challenge which resulted in a successful launch of a reusable manned space capsule into orbit, twice in two weeks.
"We all know that when you talk to Siri or Alexa, there's nobody 'in there.' Everyone knows Siri is just a hunk of silicon. But what if we had a living algorithm? What if your iPhone or computer could do what your dog does? That will transform everything," Marshall says. "It will spawn new billion-dollar industries."

The Video:

19 October 2017

Are Dogs Trying To Tell Us Something With Their Expressions?


A dog
Image via Shutterstock
By Jan Hoole, Keele University

Dogs have been part of human social groups for at least 30,000 years. So it’s not unreasonable to suppose that we might have had some influence on their behaviour, and perhaps their understanding, during that time. We certainly know that dogs have developed ways to communicate with us, for example by whining when they are distressed or barking to alert us to intruders.

Many dog owners would probably say their pets can even tell us things using facial expressions, just like humans do. But is that really true? Perhaps they are just showing emotion without meaning to communicate (just like humans also sometimes do). New research published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests it might be, but there are still reasons to be sceptical.

In a rather elegant experiment, the researchers set up four scenarios. They offered a dog food (a guaranteed way to get their interest) while the human handler was facing towards and also away from the dog. They also had the handler face towards and away from the dog without offering food. They found that the animals showed facial expressions more often when the handler was facing towards them than away, regardless of whether or not food was involved.

Until now, there has been little work on whether or not facial expressions in dogs are involuntary. You might be able to see when a dog’s happy, angry or sad from their face, but that doesn’t mean they are purposefully trying to tell you how they felt.

The new paper suggests that the expressions may be a means of communicating something to the person. It is certain that the expression is more frequently displayed when the human is facing towards the dog, even though the handler did not look directly at the dog during the trial, and that humans respond to that expression.

A dog
If I make this face, will you stop shouting? (Shutterstock)

That dogs are able to understand when a person is paying attention to their behaviour is well documented. We also know that dogs show different facial expressions when in the presence of humans, especially in the case of that guilty” look that every dog owner knows. That particular expression doesn’t actually mean they are feeling guilty. It’s more an attempt to appease the owner who is angry for some, to the dog, unknown reason.

But there are some questions about the particular facial expressions the dogs made in the new study that mean the evidence isn’t conclusive. For example, one of the expressions the authors noticed was the raising of the inner end of the eyebrows. This increases the size of the eyes and makes the dog look more puppy-like.

Studies have shown that humans prefer animals that look like infants. This explains the popularity of breeds with short noses and large eyes, such as boxers and pugs. Dogs that raise their eyebrows more frequently seem to be more popular with people than those that don’t. This could have led to the breeding of dogs that are more likely to show these more attractive expressions alongside those that have childlike anatomical features.

Tongue wagging
Another important indicator that the authors noted was when the dogs showed their tongues. Unfortunately, the researchers didn’t separate tongue movements that indicate stress, such as licking the nose or lips, which can be an appeasing signal, from those that indicate pleasure, anticipation or excitement, such as panting or hanging the tongue out of the mouth. Without this distinction it is difficult to draw conclusions about the emotional state of the dogs.

Previous research also suggests that dogs are aware of when a human is paying attention to them and may change their behaviour accordingly. It is possible that these dogs, aware that the human is facing them felt a level of anticipation, excitement and possibly some anxiety which affected their facial expression. The fact that the food produced no extra interest when the person was turned towards the dog or away from them, could be influenced by the fact that the dog was not actually given the food.

The authors suggest that the dog’s facial expressions may be partly a result of their emotional state and partly an attempt to actively communicate with the handler. Without any evidence about the effect of the expression on the behaviour of the handler, it is difficult to say if that is true.

The ConversationIf further research could make distinctions between the type of tongue movements involved in these expressions, as well as the raising of the eyebrows, we might be able to say with more certainty. But whatever the outcome, many dog owners will probably continue to swear their pets are trying to tell them something.

About Today's Contributor:
Jan Hoole, Lecturer in Biology, Keele University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. 

4 October 2016

USA: Chihuahua Predicts Election In New Book

"If I Were The President's Dog!" by The Fabulous Bookwormzillas (PRNewsFoto/The Fabulous Bookwormzillas)
A chihuahua named Rocko got the attention of his sitter, and what happened next can only be described as an astounding hoot!

IF I WERE THE PRESIDENT'S DOG! - Written by The Fabulous Bookwormzillas and Illustrated by Ashley Carey was telepathically transmitted by Rocko, a chihuahua - to his sitter, GoldenEagle. She shared Rocko's messages with her family, and her grandchildren began to create dialog and scenarios from the transmitted thoughts of the chihuahua. 
"We had no idea when we began writing in '08 that the winds would turn the political tides our way via the 'craziest election season ever!'" says GoldenEagle. "And when election results were predicted back then, I was blown away!
In the book IF I WERE THE PRESIDENT'S DOG! the reader has a front row seat into the mind of Rocko's pup-culture reverie! You are amused by his comedic imagination as he shares his personal thoughts and heart-felt dreams of becoming the first chihuahua to ever reside in the White House!  
As Rocko campaigns to be dubbed as the next DOTUS, he introduces you to his presidential amigos, UK Royals, pop-culture events, international peace solutions, presidential canine facts, celebrity friends, fashion perks, red carpet appearances, and a presidential prediction in the Rose Garden!  
Rocko's 'big dreaming' and winning attitude demonstrates his credo: "It's not the size of the dog in the dream, it's the size of the dream in the dog!"
Hunter, Cherokee Skye, Keagan, and Zyan Cunningham and Gabriella Nedelykovic wanted to share their love of reading and writing with other children. The Fabulous Bookwormzillas, Inc. a 501(c)(3) Children's Literary Arts/Writing Collaborative was then formed to facilitate their love of being ambassadors of literary cheer! 

  • They will write, publish, read and gift their books primarily to Children's Hospitals, and diverse community events. 
Tiara Starr English-Cunningham RN, (a pediatric nurse) and a parent/VP staff member is very pleased with the group's decision.
Due to the present turbulent political climate, Rocko wants to make the following statement:
"When adults become so emphatically engaged in their own particular causes, they sometime lose their sense of awareness and become self-serving; not understanding the unintended consequences of their words and actions. As a result, children and animals are inadvertently affected by the release of such tremendous negative energy! Hopefully, IF I WERE THE PRESIDENT'S DOG! will bring bi-partisan levity and a different perspective to the present political environment!
>> The book trailer can be watched here: <<

SOURCE: The Fabulous Bookwormzillas

9 December 2014

The Best Dogs For Families With Children


Submitted by: Kelly Marshall

There is much speculation about which dog breeds are the best for families with young children. There is no definitive answer to this question. Almost any type of dog has the potential to do well will kids. Each dog has its own unique personality and you never know exactly how they will turn out. Many factors go into determining a dog's ability to mesh well with children. 

Here are some things to keep in mind when searching for a family dog.

19 November 2013

The Furry Friend Factor [Infographic]


Over 46 percent of households in the United States have at least one furry, four-legged canine for whom they love and care. A considerable 12 percent have three of more canines living under the same roof. There is little doubt that we humans love our dogs as pets. There are a huge number of reasons for this deep affection that is pervasive throughout the country, a number of which can be explained by a small look at the psychology that applies to dogs that we love like family members.

To begin with, dogs and humans have been developing together for thousands of years. Man has relied on dogs for companionship and hunting since as early as 12,000 B.C.. As man's capacity for emotions developed from the beginning of time, so have those of dogs. They are able to feel the vast majority of feelings that we humans feel. They get excited, experience joy, can be shy, and feel distress as well. The spectrum of their internal lives is vast despite the fact that their long-term memory is quite limited when compared to ours. However, dogs have also been lucky enough to avoid developing some emotional reactions for which only humans are known. These include feelings related to pride, guilt, shame, and other negative states of mind. The most valued characteristic in the eyes of humans that dogs have developed, although, is the capacity to love. This ability is what allows us to welcome them into our hearts and treat them as equals in many ways.

Beyond sharing unconditional love with their owners, it has also been shown that dogs provide many other benefits to the average household. Dogs must be exercised either by walking or jogging. It has been shown that pet owners who engage in this activity with their dog are much more likely to be in good health when compared to individuals who do not own dogs. The dogs certainly enjoy this experience, and researchers have discovered that dogs can feel a certain “runner's high” that is comparable to that in humans, only more intense. Bringing a dog into your life will allow you to feel connected to nature and another creature in a very unique way. You both share the capacity to dream, love, and desire the absolute best out of life.

3 June 2013

Cat Caught Smuggling Cell Phones Into Russian Jail


Cat caught smuggling cell phones into Russian jail (via AFP)
The Russian prison service said Monday it had caught a cat being used as a courier to smuggle banned cell phones and chargers into a prison camp in the country's remote far north. The prison service in the Komi region said on its website that the cat was detained Friday evening as it climbed the fence…

2 June 2013

Cats are Equal Opportunity Affection Givers [Infographic]

Cat (Photo credit: @Doug88888)
Cats are equal opportunity affection givers. Cats love their humans regardless of whether those humans are rich or poor, young or old, or any color of the rainbow. Cats give affection on their own terms, however.

What are some of the primary manifestations of kitty affection?

21 February 2013

I Can Haz Moneyz Too? How LOLcats Are Actually An Industry


Let’s Start With The Basics… What Is A Meme? 
In its simplest form, a meme is an idea, phrase, image, or element passed around from one person to another. Given the rapid speed in which people share information on the Internet, many memes live, breath and eventually die on social network sites and online media outlets. And it’s pronounced meam—and rhymes with cream, seam and theme. 

20 October 2011

The One About The Dog And The Scary Lift (Video)

  • In today's post, we actually prove that it's not just the cats that are curious...
I'm not sure if that's going to help the dogs' side in the Dogs Vs Cats debate, but with Halloween being so close, it was strongly felt that this video had to be re-posted (we posted it a few years ago in 'Forward and Share', but as the old site is now deleted, etc... etc... etc...) due to its weirdness and Halloween-ish feeling.. 

Hopefully dog owners will forgive me and see it as what it is: a funny video-clip, nothing else... Oh and, by the way, the video might be fake.
To be fair, someone should have taught him how to read, I suppose...I mean, going into a building called 'Tower of Terror' at night and on his own was like asking for something scary to happen, wasn't it?
Watch the video clip and see how the poor dog ends his nocturnal visit to Disneyland, Paris.

Enjoy.... and do feel free to laugh out loud.

Loup Dargent

The Video-Clip

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19 June 2011

The One About The Whiskas Ads (Videos)


Apparently, our friends at Whiskas think cats really know how to live... So theye're taking a fun peek at what it would be like if people lived like cats. And, let's face it, if we did live like cats, that might actually make us happier people. 

Have fun watching those vids and let us know which one you liked the most, okay?

22 September 2009

Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs


Apparently, there has been a debate going on on the net regarding cats and dogs for quite a long time...

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