Monthly Archives: June 2004

Twilight bark revealed!

Deana sent this “story from Yahoo! News”:

_German researchers have found a border collie named Rico who understands more than 200 words and can learn new ones as quickly as many children._

_…The researchers found that Rico knows the names of dozens of play toys and can find the one called for by his owner._

_…The border collie, a breed known primarily for its herding ability, was able to go to the room with the toys and, seven times out of 10, bring back the one he had not seen before._

_…”Apparently he was able to link the novel word to the novel item based on exclusion learning, either because he knew that the familiar items already had names or because they were not novel,” said the researchers._

The (over)long goodbye

I’m glad I’m not the only one looking for a bit of “perspective about the Reagan presidency”: The article calls for a bit more “balance” than I’d allow, but at least it’s more thoughtful than the current love-fest has been.

_Reagan’s growing reputation as the great victor in the Cold War who made Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall depends on looking at Reagan and his times through the light cast by subsequent events._

_…To one who covered many of the key international events of that day, Reagan seemed in fact to come late to a realistic view of the Soviet Union and the world, and — like most presidents — to have improvised furiously and not always successfully in foreign affairs._


“One person”: can make a difference, as long as “we don’t forget”:

Thanks to Karen for reminding me.

SpaceShipOne launches June 21

A quickie: The SpaceShipOne folks have announced a “historic launch on June 21″: the ship will reach 100 km, generally regarded as the “edge of space”. Apparently this is the first space launch that can be viewed up close by the public, since the rocket itself doesn’t fire until the carrier plane is aloft.

Islam’s marked woman

This “article about Irshad Manji”:, a feminist Canadian Muslim and author of _The Trouble With Islam a Wake-Up Call For Honesty and Change_, caught my attention.

I’m very impressed by her candor, and I think she is right to press for a Muslim reformation, in that the true power of a faith comes from individuals choosing, after thought, to follow tenets, not blindly. There seem to me (not that I am an expert on Islam) to be so many good aspects to the religion, if only individuals can allow themselves to choose, and not feel they have to live a medieval religion.