It’s Wednesday on the SE Texas coast in September which means there is a stalled out “cold” front somewhere in the neighborhood. The upshot that is we will be adding to our 18″ surplus of precipitation for a few days as the weather system tries to sort out it’s conflicted personality. Cooler, dryer to the north…Warmer, wetter to the south…SE Texas in the middle…Makes for a classic fall weather pattern along the Gulf Coast in late summer and early fall. I suppose mostly though, it means the cooler weather only made it as far as…Oh, maybe Huntsville before pulling up short.
As I sit here this morning the rain is falling. It will make the drive into work pretty dang awful let me tell you. Houston commuters have never figured out that they need car/boats for a city where the primary rainwater drainage system is the streets and roads that the cars share with the water…
When I heard the news of his death I was taken with the story of his life. Alex the Parrot died last week at the known age of 31. Leave it to Verlyn Klinkenborg to turn the story on it’s head and give it legs…
Alex the Parrot – New York Times
A truly dispassionate observer might argue that most Grey parrots could probably learn what Alex had learned, but only a microscopic minority of humans could have learned what Alex had to teach. Most humans are not truly dispassionate observers. We’re too invested in the idea of our superiority to understand what an inferior quality it really is. I always wonder how the experiments would go if they were reversed — if, instead of us trying to teach Alex how to use the English language, Alex were to try teaching us to understand the world as it appears to parrots.
Just imagine spending your life learning a world view totally alien to your very nature. That was the world that Alex inhabited. The final words from Verlyn’s essay touch on the duplicity of our own world view.
Scientifically speaking, the value of this research lies in its specific details about patterns of learning and cognition. Ethically speaking, the value lies in our surprise, our renewed awareness of how little we allow ourselves to expect from the animals around us.
Rest in Peace Alex.
Yesterday’s Anniversary of the fall of the towers came and went without comment from me. Last evening as I wandered my blog roll though I came across a post that I thought said it pretty well. I think I’ll let Kate say it herself…
Today is the anniversary of that day, six years ago. Has anyone forgotten? Does anyone really need a memory nudge to recall those hideous pictures of planes crashing and exploding into buildings?
I know people react to things differently and I’m not discounting, for a second, the traumatic effect it has had on many. It scared the hell out of me, that’s for sure.
I’m curious to see how many years will have to pass before I stop seeing “NEVER FORGET” banners popping up on blogs, in front yards, on cars, (etc. etc.) as the day approaches.
For me, seeing “NEVER FORGET” is like fingernails down a blackboard…
Go read the rest at Cider Press Hill: Have You Forgotten?
Time for that drive in the rain…….. . . . . . . . .